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JUICING FOR HEALTH



 

November 28, 2010 on 7:01 pm

I made a real tasty juice this afternoon. I was quite surprised. I had a couple of sweet potatoes and decided to juice them up.

I added a couple of carrots and a couple of apples as well. I added a small piece of ginger and then topped it off with freshly grated nutmeg. Yumm.

I’ve been working on some nice recipes to add to my e-Book which will be coming out in the next couple of days. I think this one is a contender.

I’ll let you know about the e-Book as soon as it is completed. I had a lot of fun creating it and even more fun coming up with some delicious recipes that I think you all will enjoy.


November 28, 2010 on 12:48 am
Fragaria × ananassa 'Chandler,' a short-day co...
Image via Wikipedia

Parents have a difficult job. Fear is everywhere, and if we responded to all the adverts around us, making us afraid of the air we breathe and the water we drink, we’d live a sad, drab life. Most of us struggle to find the right food for our children. They need liquid, they need vitamins, they need fiber and they need protein.

Sadly many of the popular drinks contain only carbohydrates, and rather too much of that, they are also expensive. I found that my kids would drink cans, but they had learned so much about pollution at school that when I suggested water as a substitute they thought I was mad.

The problem with cola/soda is that it’s sweet and kids get used to that. It can also contain caffeine which has more effect on small bodies than it does on adults. In fact when you get right down to it, you wonder why we let them drink it all. There are many alternatives. Sparkling water is one, smoothies are another.

Most of us think of smoothies as creamy drinks, and this is great initially when you are persuading your kids to try them out. Imagine if you could persuade your children to drink something which supplied them with the water they needed AND lots of minerals and vitamins, without the caffeine and excessive sweetness? Guess what? That ideal drink’s a smoothie, so you’ll need a blender. I like the Blendtec Blender HP3A.

Take a look at any smoothie recipe and one thing that will jump right out at you is the sugar content. Although smoothies are made with real fruit, modern tastes seem to prefer food which is far sweeter.

The good things about this is that the sweet tooth is learned, so it can be unlearned. Ask anyone from outside the USA and they’ll tell you that everything here tastes sweet to them, often too sweet, in comparison to the food in other countries.

Here are three smoothie recipes to help with the process.

1. The original ice cream drink. It’s important to use strawberries and bananas here because they are nice familiar fruits – don’t try to introduce anything weird or wonderful. If you can’t get strawberries because of the time of year, frozen ones taste great.

Strawberry and Banana Ice Cream Drink

1 large banana

2 scoops of vanilla ice cream

3-4 fresh strawberries

Blend them all to make a refreshing drink that’s great for the summer.

2. Staying with nice, familiar strawberries, blend them with fruit juice and start to introduce some other fruit.

Pineapple and Strawberry Smoothie

8 large strawberries

1/2 banana

3 pineapple slices

1 cup of apple juice (no added sweetener)

If this isn’t sweet enough, try adding just a little honey.

Blend it all together until smooth and then add 1 cup of crushed ice as the final touch.

3. This last recipe introduces melon. I love the taste of melon, especially water melon, but I’ve never been able to persuade my kids to eat it. This recipe had the opposite effect. They liked the drink and so were curious about the fruit. The happy result is a house full of melon eaters.

Strawberry Fair

2 cups fresh strawberries hulled and chopped

1 cup apple juice

1/2 melon peeled and chopped into chunks.

As always, add honey if required.

I like to add ice cubes once the fruit is all smushed (technical term) together, the kids seem to enjoy the destruction involved!

Weaning your kids off cola is no easy job, but it’s very worthwhile, especially if you can do it by introducing smoothies. You might just succeed in teaching them that not everything that’s good for you tastes bad.

November 15, 2010 on 12:06 am
Lemon Berry Smoothie Remix
Image by terriseesthings via Flickr

Children seem remarkably resilient and can survive on an amazingly junk food diet, but processed food contains less vitamins and minerals and these are necessary not just for health and growth, but as a foundation for health in later life.

The easiest way to access vitamins and minerals directly is through fruit and vegetables, but children often reject these, finding green vegetables unpalatable, and preferring sweetened desserts to raw fruit. It’s amazing how kids can be convinced that foods will only taste good if covered in breadcrumbs, wrapped in a bun, smothered with sugar or at the very least sealed in a packet.

Children need to consume the right foods and perhaps more importantly, get into the right habits, so as parents how can we persuade them?

Good nutrition is a complex issue, not least because there is so much variation between one person and another. Tests have shown that two apparently identical individuals living similar lifestyles can have very different amounts of vitamins and minerals in their blood.

We all know that vitamins are essential, but did you know that minerals, in tiny quantities are also vital to the operation of our bodies, and that no matter how many drugs we consume, without minerals we cannot function properly?

The minerals we need in large quantities are:

calcium
chlorine
magnesium
phosphorous
potassium
sodium and
sulfur

But there are even more which are vital to the body in extremely tiny amounts. They act as catalysts in many of the chemical reactions in our bodies, and without them we would die very quickly.

Zinc is an example. Nutritionists believe we need around 8-11 mg per day to stay healthy, a tiny amount by any standards, but vital as zinc is essential in the operation of over 100 enzymes. Zinc is used by the metabolism, and the immune system. It is also important for proper growth, and a serious deficiency can result in growth problems.

Most fruits and vegetables contain some zinc, but some, avocado, blackberries, dates,raspberries and pomegranates contain more, so if your children refuse to eat zinc rich green vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, french beans or corn, you can always give them their minerals in fruit form, and if that is still not acceptable, create a fruit smoothie using a Vita Mix blender. A cup of Brussels sprouts has roughly the same amount of zinc in it as a cup of raspberries, but for kids, the raspberry smoothie is likely to be a lot more palatable.

Here’s a recipe.

Take one cup of Greek yogurt
1/2 cup of milk
1 cup of raspberries

Blend them all together with your Vita Mix Blender and taste. If it’s too tart, add just enough honey. If you’re just starting with smoothies make them with ice cream in place of the yogurt and milk and present it to your children as a treat. If you have to over sweeten to begin with, don’t worry. You can reduce the sweetening slowly over time.

Who should have healthy smoothies? The simple answer is everyone. Using zinc again as an example, recent surveys have shown that 35-45% of adults over 60 have diets which are deficient in zinc, resulting in loss of taste and smell as well as lethargy and loss of appetite.

Whatever your age, vitamins and minerals are essential to your health, so get out your blender or juicer and start experimenting. It may be healthy, but it’s also fun.

November 13, 2010 on 4:07 pm
Orange, pear, apple
Image by Joe Lencioni via Flickr

If you aren’t sure that the juicing lifestyle is for you, ask yourself if any of these statements are true for where you are in life right now:

  1. I need to lose weight to avoid or reverse serious health issues.I want to lose weight to feel and look better.
  2. I want to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
  3. I am concerned about the chemicals in food I feed my family.
  4. I am trying to stick to a vegetarian or raw foods diet.

If any of these statements could be applied to your life at this time, then juicing will help you get where you want to be. If you want to lose weight, drinking fresh juice will help in many ways. You will have more energy to get through your workouts.

You will feel fuller due to the high level of nutrients in the juice, which helps stop cravings and sensations of hunger. You will also be able to control the calories in your juice by leaving out the sugar that is often included in bottled juice.

If you are concerned with your impact on the environment, there is nothing better you could do then start juicing! You can use fresh vegetables and fruits to create completely natural juices and you won’t be littering the earth with all of those empty plastic bottles.

If you are trying to switch to a raw foods diet, vegetarian, or vegan diet, juicing will make it much easier to stick to this new way of life. Eating a ton of fresh vegetables may be difficult to do every day, but when you juice them up and consume them in delicious combination’s it is much easier.

Even parents are starting to turn to juicing as a way to combat the growing rate of childhood obesity. Store bought juices are part of the problem because children drink too much of them and the sugar content leads to weight gain and problems with blood sugar.

Fresh homemade juice without any extra sugar or preservatives is very healthy for children and ensures they get the nutrients they need to grow even if they hate vegetables!

Juice can be something that you buy at the store and think little about, or it can become something that you enjoy and benefit from every day. The choice is yours, but with all the benefits to juicing vegetables it is worth learning more about.

November 10, 2010 on 4:07 pm
Fresh Juice. Anyone?
Image by AamerJaved via Flickr

Juice seems like such a simple thing. Every grocery store has an aisle lined with juices of every imaginable color. Some are made from fruit, others vegetables, and still others a blend of both. There are even “light” juices on the market for those watching their calories and low sodium vegetable juices. Juice is a part of our modern world and most people never think much about it.

Then there are those who do think about juice even when they aren’t in the grocery store. They think about juice every day because it is a way of life for them.

How can juice be a way of life? It is a way of life when you discover all the benefits of drinking pure juices created in your own home.

Consider just some of the facts about juicing:

  • Fresh homemade juice can pack more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and nutrients than an entire meal.
  • Juice made at home has richer color than store bought juices.
  • Homemade juice tastes better than store bought juices.
  • Consuming fresh juice daily delivers a natural energy boost.
  • The phyto-nutrients in fresh juice can protect the body from deadly diseases, including cancer.

There clearly are many benefits to drinking juice, but the bottled juices you find at the grocery store aren’t going to cut it. If you really want to enjoy these benefits for your body, you need to purchase a juicer and make your own juice blends at home. This eliminates the extra sugar and salt that store bought juices include. It also ensures that you are not drinking preservatives which are unhealthy for your body.

When you start making your own juice you have the convenience of creating your own unique flavor blends and making the juice fresh whenever you want it. With a good juicer you can quickly turn whole fruits and vegetables into delicious juice that is richer in color and taste than juices selling in the stores.

Fresh juice made in your home won’t last as long as bottled juices in the refrigerator, but you can make enough juice for a couple days at a time. This may be a little less convenient then stocking up on enough bottled juice to last a month, but you are giving your body more of those powerful phyto-nutrients and antioxidants.

Your fresh juice will also taste better than juices bought in the store!

Fruit & Vegetable Juicers