Winter is a time for Juicing

It’s a great time of year to be juicing…here are some health benefits of juicing

Juicing is:

  • easy to digest and can increase your metabolic rate.
  • an easy way to get beneficial enzymes, which are primarily found in raw foods, into the body. Enzymes in fresh fruits and vegetables have the vital role of converting food into body tissue and energy.
  • ensures that the body is getting sufficient amounts of phytochemicals, substances in plants that are considered among the most powerful ways to fight disease.
  • is high in antioxidants and other immune enhancing properties.
  • can help to accelerate recovery from illness and improve or alleviate symptoms.

It’s Citrus Season

We are in the super citrus season, where mandarins, grapefruit, navel oranges and tangelos are available.

Citrus fruit are well known for their high levels of Vitamin C, but they are also packed with significant amounts of dietary fibre, beta-carotene and folic acid (all particularly good for pregnant and breast feeding mums).

Citrus fruits are also rich in phytonutrients which have been shown to help fight cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon. As there is growing evidence that organic crops contain significantly more phytonutrients than non-organic, they really are the super fruit.

A refreshing start

It is a wet and humid day here in Melbourne, so felt like something light and refreshing this morning. The idea of having mint again in my juice got the taste buds tingling. My son helped me juice this morning and he loves using the juicer as it crushes, squashes and makes a funny sound. For a 6 yr old boy, that is actually really fun!

Today we had pineapple, watermelon and mint. A simple and refreshing juice, lovely to sip slowly as I pottered in the kitchen getting school lunch ready. The kids enjoyed this one too.

As I read about the nutritional benefits of mint, I am thinking that not only drinking it in my fresh juice is great, but it can be added to teas, salads and even add to a hot bath!

In the Mediterranean regions, mint is used as a symbol of hospitality and a sign of welcome to any guests. I can see why, as it does have that inviting, home coming scent and taste about it.

Mint is a powerful antioxidant and is rich in vitamin A, C, B12, thiamine, folic acid and riboflavin. Essential minerals that mint has include: manganese, copper, potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, fluoride and selenium.

I am going to make the most of my thriving home grown mint this Summer.

Slowing down drinking on the run

I am blessed to be the owner of an organic home delivery company Organic Angels and have an endless supply of fresh organic produce. I sometimes wonder how I would manage without the business supplying my fresh organic fruit and veggies, and I think I would have a very big veggie patch.  It is always better to eat organic (and juice organic), if you can’t get it have a try growing your own.

Actually in our garden (yes, we do have some things growing!) we have beans, beetroot, tomatoes, lettuce, herbs and cucumber. No credit goes to me mind you, but my dear in laws who reside with us. They love it and so do our boys. The other day I saw my son munching away, thinking it was a snail or something random, when I asked him what he was eating, he replied with a grin “a bean”, and off he goes to play!

I am really enjoying the fresh mint that is growing really well in our garden. So this morning I could pick a big bunch without making a dent to the bush to add this to my juice. 

This mornings juice was mint, carrot, cucumber and beetroot. This was really easy to drink, really refreshing in fact, but as I gulped 2 glasses on the run on an empty stomach I did feel a little queezy afterwards.

I use a slow pressed juicer, which means that it operates at a lower speed, gently sqeezing and pressing the produce without harming living enzymes. This makes it a very nutrient rich juice. It is always best to have a juice on an empty stomach, but if you are starting make sure you sip it slowly and even add filtered water.  I will try that again tomorrow to avoid the belly ache.

Getting into the groove of juicing

Apparently juicing can help with mental clarity, if so then clearly I need to be juicing big time as I completely forgot it was the first of the month yesterday! So today I left a note to remind myself on the kitchen bench….”MAKE A JUICE” it said in big letters. I had to think about what to make so rustled out of the fridge some organic carrots, beetroot and apples. I mainly used beetroots with one apple and carrots to sweeten it up a little. Organic celery has not been around recently and I miss it. I am also missing my spinach which is out of action due to some farms getting flooded in the recent crazy weather in Victoria. So, as an alternative to green up my juices I will use silverbeet and kale over the month.

I remind myself that the extra effort in the morning makes me a happier person. Why? because regular juicing gives me energy to start the day, gives me a good dose of raw food and high nutrients, I sleep better and have a good regular digestion and toilet time. All of this combined does bring mental clarity, so looking forward for the foggy head to go!

See you tomorrow…..

Fresh Living Juice Month – starting 1st Feb 2011

We are back from our annual holiday time and it was wonderful. I always enter into the Christmas period determined to not break my usual healthy routine of avoiding caffeine and alcohol, reducing grains and wheat and eating as much raw and unprocessed foods as I can. However….that didn’t quite go to plan as we ended up enjoying many meals out with family and friends. I admit it was nice to indulge in some lovely dinners, desserts and wine, but I was very conscious of noticing that the more sugar, bread, alcohol that I ate / drank, the more my body craved it. 

Cravings can be ferocious and easy to let loose in your diet, and they can be harder to break (especially when you start).  The good news is, once cravings are gone your body is much happier for it, you feel more mentally alert, less tired and lethargic and have more sustained energy. Overall, a happier healthier person! So, that is my mission this February 2011 for Fresh Living Juice month, to start juicing, create a healthier routine by eating raw fresh living foods and eliminate the cravings.

Day 31 – Last day of Fresh Living Juice month

First day of Spring today and last day of Fresh Living Juice month.  Juicing through the chilly month of August has been great. We have established a routine in the morning, a healthy habit of drinking fresh living juice and getting more raw food into our diet. Its a great way to start the day for all the family.

We seem to have avoided all the colds and flues going around, up until today! To fight off the sniffles, we juiced up celery, beetroot, apple and red grapefruit this morning. Extra organic citrus in the day, lots of water and early night should hopefully do the trick.

I have noticed quite a few benefits from juicing every day this month, they are….

  • feeling more alert
  • no “foggy head” feeling
  • puffiness under eyes gone
  • sleeping better
  • digestive system working regularly
  • sweet cravings diminished
  • now craving raw greens, fruit, nuts
  • lost a little bit of weight
  • felt the urge and energy to exercise more
  • kids have loved the juices too!

Happy days and bring on the warm Spring weather!

Day 28 – Going crazy for Kale!

So , what is so great about leafy greens you may ask? Leafy greens are packed with chlorophyll and antioxidants which helps the body to heal. I went crazy with the kale this morning and it went really well with some celery, green apple and red grapefruit. The juice was a great combo, it was the right amounts of each to make a very easy and enjoyable juice  to drink.

The quantities were, 2 big handfuls of kale, 5 stalks of celery (including leafy ends), 1 green apple and 1 red grapefruit. I also added a teaspoon of spirulina in my juice this morning for an extra dose of vegetable protein and goodness.

Kale has wonderful nutritional value. Kale is considered to be a highly nutritious vegetable with powerful antioxidant properties and is anti-inflammatory. Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and is rich in calcium.

Go crazy!

Day 25 – Organic Citrus, the Superfruit!

I didn’t have a juice first thing this morning, I went straight to the herbal tea and natural muesli. After school drop off, I braved the chilly wind and went for a very brisk walk & jog with Jake in the pram and dog in tow (we are being dog sitters for a few weeks).

Charlie has a little mate coming round after school for a play today and he asked if I could make ice cream! Crazy child doesn’t he know its polar ice weather outside?  He persisted so I agreed to make some fruit ice tubs. So, I juiced up some delicious navel oranges, granny smith apples and poured into the little tubs which had fresh passionfruit pulp on the bottom. They are in the freezer ready to go for later today. I will make an orange and poppyseed cake, just in case the kids chicken out :)

The smell of the oranges got me craving for some good ol fresh orange juice. So instead of my green concoctions, a big glass of fresh OJ was todays juice. The navel oranges this time of year are to die for. It was beautifully refreshing and jam packed with goodness.

We are now in the organic citrus season and sunny Queensland produces some beautiful citrus fruits. Oranges are well known for their high levels of Vitamin C, but they are also have significant amounts of dietary fibre, beta-carotene and folic acid (all particularly good for pregnant and breast feeding mums).

Citrus fruits are also rich in “phytonutrients” which have been shown to help fight cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon. As there is growing evidence that organic crops contain significantly more phytonutrients than non-organic, they really are the super fruit!

Day 20 – Brain juice

This morning’s juice was kale, yellow grapefruit, apple and silverbeet, watered down with filtered water. That is a powerful juice, almost fluorescent green! We shared this with Ian from Beenak Farm, who came by our house early this morning to drop off some biodynamic kiwi fruits, so that was nice to have a chat over a fresh juice.

What a great way to start the day. Although technically a day off, working this morning on accounts, so brain juice was required this morning (especially as I did have a really late night last night, dinner and movie with a friend). Off to my Pilates class later, more pain!