REVIVE YOUR SYSTEM FOR A HEALTHY, ENERGIZED LIFE
Ten years ago, during a bout of insomnia, flipping the channels through all the infomercials, one man caused a stir of curiosity. He looked incredible and was full of energy, but he proclaimed to be 90-years-old. Jack LaLanne, a fitness guru, was in his 50s and working out at the famed Venice Beach when 21-year-old Mr. Universe Arnold Schwarzenegger challenged a push up and chin up contest. By many accounts, Arnold lost and he lost badly. In Mr. Schwarzenegger’s eulogy for Mr. LaLanne in 2011, he recounted the challenge, "I said, 'This guy is a machine. He's the real machine.’”
In 2005, that night on television, Mr. LaLanne was introducing a new product and his secret to a long, healthy, fit, energized life. The Godfather of fitness was pitching a juicing machine. He believed in the power of fruits and vegetables. He ate eggs at breakfast, fish at dinner, and during the day it was all juice and water, "If man makes it, don't eat it." He also supplemented his diet with 40 to 50 vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. He told Larry King, “If you don’t take vitamins on a regular basis, it’s like going to bed with a rattlesnake. It’s going to get you.”
The USDA recommends 2-3 cups of vegetables and 1½-2 cups of fruit per day, which equates to about 50% of the daily diet. The average American diet is only 8% of non-starch-based and unprocessed fruits and vegetables. Some people have found that if they increase the daily intake of fresh fruits and vegetables closer to 50-80% of their diet, their health increases and fatigue decreases. Eating plate after plate of vegetables will exhaust your jaw, so this is where juicing comes in. It allows the body to absorb the nutrients faster and for the body to take in more food.
As Jack LaLanne proclaimed that night, “That's the power of the juice!”
WHAT IS JUICING?
Juicing is literally consuming fruits and vegetables in the form of a juice. It is not purchasing juice from a store, but putting fresh vegetables and fruits into a juicing machine for the freshest possible juice.
Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, LDN, Senior Clinical Nutritionist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital said, “You’re drinking nutrients, particularly micronutrients that are coming from fruits and vegetables. And because it’s a liquid, it’s more rapidly absorbed. So, it’s a quick, easy, way of giving your body a very potent source of healthy nutrients.”
Your body needs a variety of vitamins and minerals called micronutrients for the body to function properly and prevent immune deficiency. Micronutrients come from fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and seeds. “The closer a food is to its natural state, the healthier it is,” adds Stacy Kennedy, “all plant foods are beneficial and essential for human health.” Which is in contrast to macronutrients that are needed in large quantities in order to provide energy to the body. The three primary macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Protein can be procured from meats, dairy products, fish, and eggs, but also whole grains, pulses, legumes, soy, and nuts. Carbohydrates are cereals, breads, pastas, and sugar. But, it is important to note the difference between whole grain wheat bread where the body gains nutrients, and white bread where the nutrients have been removed through processing. “61% of the American diet is processed foods. We’re talking about oils, sugar, and flour, predominantly. And the processing, which usually involves cooking and heating, also damages the food. In other words, processed foods probably don’t even have 1/10th the original nutrients that were in the food in the native state,” Dr. Joel Fuhrman, nutritional researcher and author of New York Time’s bestsellers Eat to Live and Super Immunity.
Juice in the United States is typically purchased in a grocery store from a major manufacturer. The juice has been so processed that it does not matter if the juice has sugar added or not. The processing of the fruits and vegetables has removed most, if not all, of the nutrients. The processing also alters the taste of the fruits and vegetables. If you taste test a Mott’s Apple Juice and an apple juice you made from a juicer; the difference is incredible. So, if there is a juice on the market that you do not like; do not discount it when you try juicing at home.
The popularity of juicing has created a cottage industry of juice bars, websites, recipe books, books, keynote speakers, gurus, and endless articles about the power of juicing, including this one. Most proclaim it as a diet, but that causes hesitation. It should not be called a juicing diet because diet has come to mean something that people do to lose weight. Juicing can help you lose weight, as testament by people all over the world, but it can also help heal your body from varying diseases.
As Joe Cross explored in his documentary, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, and forthcoming book, Reboot with Joe: Fully Charged, juicing is a way to detox your system. We live in a world dominated by macronutrients, processed foods, and pills. In the words of Jack LaLanne, these are man made. “You don’t get permanently well unless you permanently change the way you live,” added Dr. Joel Fuhrman.
TIME TO DETOX
The typical American consumes mostly processed foods and sugar, which are highly addictive. How we obtain food is convenient. We no longer hunt and gather. We app and order or drive through. In order to step away from the convenience and addictive foods to give your body a chance to change its habits, it needs a detox.
We consume more and more food because the food we consume does not fill us or causes spikes in our systems that indicate hunger faster. “If you get famished between meals, that’s a sign that your blood sugar is crashing. When blood sugar is low, you’ll eat anything. To better balance blood sugar, eat a small meal or snack that includes healthy protein, like seeds or nuts, every 3 to 4 hours,” according to Mark Hyman, MD, New York Times bestselling author of The Blood Sugar Solution.
The foods we eat can also be related to our illnesses: allergies, cancer, arthritis, depression, migraines, diabetes, and blood pressure.
We need to make a choice. Do we want to eat our way to health or eat our way to death?
HOW TO DETOX
Detoxing your body through juicing gives your body all the micronutrients it needs to sustain itself and flush your system of the food addictions. The length of time required depends on the person and the addiction. Some recommend 10 days and others 30 days.
Joe Cross, author of Rebooting with Joe: Fully Charged, is not a doctor. He is an entrepreneur that committed himself to 60 days of juicing in order to hopefully change his life and unchain himself from prescription pills. He made a documentary following his 60 day transformation called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Five years later, Joe has kept most of the weight off and inspires others across the world to spread the word about the benefits of a juicing detox.
Whether it is 10 days or 60 days, here is what you need to know to detox your body through juicing. You’ll need to buy a juicer. Expect the first three to four days to be awful. The first few days your body is going through withdrawal and the symptoms will vary depending on your previous eating habits and food addictions.
The following days will be filled with water and juiced fruits and vegetables. Most of us will also have to train ourselves in new shopping habits. You don’t have to buy everything organic, but it is recommended that you shop from local farmers. Shopping local decreases the amount of time that the food has been removed from its source, thus increasing the number of nutrients.
Create a shopping list and eat a small healthy snack beforehand. Nearly all fruits and vegetables can be consumed. There are recipes across the web, but if you want to make your own, then your recipe should be 80% vegetables and 20% fruits. Fruits are a natural sugar, so too much will still create a sugar rush and crash in our systems. Stay focused on your green vegetables: kale, spinach, celery, collard greens, and mustard greens, but do not forget herbs and spices to liven your drink.
As usual, you should seek the advice of your doctor before trying a detox.
TRY IT, SHARE IT, AND FEEL NO SHAME
As in the article in the Winter issue, I challenge you to a 10 day detox. Please, check with your doctor before accepting this challenge.
Share your story with us on our Facebook page.
According to an article in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, approximately 54% of people who resolve to transform themselves fail in the first six months and the average person will make the same resolution ten times before seeing success. Detoxing your body and making a commitment to changing yourself is one step closer and one time more that the transformation will stick.
Do not judge yourself for failure, but believe that you have the ability to try again.
About Lisa McTigue
Homelessly Home: Wandering. I take my coffee with a side of sunglasses. Prefer short conversations and verbose thoughts. Co-founded MINIvivo.com, recommended by travelers. As a freelance writer, I cover travel, small business, and buying local. For over ten years, I developed film, television, and new media content in Hollywood. Featured in The New York Times, AmericanExpress OpenForum, Intuit Small Business Blog, and The Washington Post.