Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Juicer Recommendation

I've had at least three people ask me for a Juicer recommendation, so I decided to write a little about why I think the Hurom juicer is and awesome choice. Now, there is one that is better, if you'd like to spend about $2,500 (Norwalk) versus the approximate $350 of the Hurom. 

There are basically three types of juicers: centrifugal, press, and manual. 

Centrifugal juicers are commonly available in retail outlets and are the cheapest to purchase. These extract juice by pulverizing fruit and vegetables against a round cutting blade that spins very quickly against a metal strainer. The centrifugal force generated by this cutting apparatus separates the juice from the pulp, which drains away separately from the fibrous remnants.

They're noisy, produce less juice and don't work very well with greens. But most of all, because of the heat from the speed in which it operates, and the amount of air mixed with the juice during the process, the juice oxidizes very fast, and a significant amount of the enzymes and nutrients are destroyed. Food enzymes mixed with our digestive enzymes aid in digestion. 

Cold press juicers are superior because they operate by masticating or a chewing method. Instead of the rough extraction of centrifugal juicers, mastication or cold-press juicers compress fruit and vegetables to squeeze out their juice. The slower and more thorough extraction rates produce a high-quality juice, and more of it.

They are quieter, work well with greens, and produce less foam. But most of all the lower heat produces less oxidation and therefore they keep the nutrients and enzymes i tact. Ultimately, they simply produce more quality juice, and therefore will remain in better condition for longer. 

Manual juicers, like cold press juicers, provide a slow and gentle extraction that preserves the nutritional integrity of juices. However, they're slow, require some physical exertion, and often limited to certain types of fruit and vegetables. 

My Hurom I use daily and is likely the best cold press juicer on the market under $500. I haven't tried them all of course, but I couldn't be happier. Whatever you do, if you are going to take juicing seriously, get a cold press or manual juicer, not a centrifugal juicer. You'll simply get a lot of calories without many benefits.

Now, there is some pulp that you'll get with the Hurom, so if you're wanting immediate absorption of the nutrients, you may want to strain the fiber. When you drink juice without fiber, the nutrients go directly into your blood stream feeding your body cells within ten to fifteen minutes. And all this with no effort on the part of your body for digestion and assimilation. Therefore when I'm going a cleanse, I strain the fiber out of the juice. It is great for your digestive tract to be able to take a break.

So.... that's my take on juicers:)

I also wanted to leave you with a wonderful recipe:

Blend 2 bananas
Juice from 1 mango
Blend them both with some cilantro

This is probably my favorite juice. I hope you like it! 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Cleanse Day 10

Today is the 10th day of my cleanse. Although I missed having a couple cocktails with my fellow Winterplace ski and snowboard instructors yesterday evening, this cleanse has been pretty easy. I've had no significant withdrawals, and the "coating" in my mouth that occurs when I'm not "clean" has dissipated. I'm debating on whether or not to continue the cleanse through Thursday. We will see...

I have a couple more juice recipes I'll post either in the next couple of days, but today I'm spending my last day at Winterplace. It is expected to be in the 60s. There's still a lot of snow on the ground, and I'm already missing the thought of not being up here regularly. 

Have an awesome Sunday! God bless.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Some Juice Recipes

It is very clear that juicing with organic fruits and vegetibles is expensive.

Luna's has seven 16 oz juices for $62 per day. I decided I'd buy everything to juice myself. I spent about $65 and ran out after two days with only eleven juices over two days. So Luna's was about $9 per juice, versus about $6 per juice. There really wasn't that much savings based upon the quantity in each juice, but more importantly, the time saving.

In any regard, it's not as if you save money on your died when you're on a organic juice cleanse.

I'm now almost complete with day 5. The past two days I made my own juice. The following are two of my favorite recipes over the last two days:

My Daily Salad

This is a recipe from Luna's. Although it tasted slightly different it was still delicious. This makes about 16 ounces and is about 170 calories, and is a good source of iron.

  • 4 Medium Carrots
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 Large Tomato
  • 3 Celery Stalks
  • 4 Large Leaves of Kale
  • 1/3 Clove of Garlic
  • 1/8 Lemon
  • 4-6 Leaves of fresh Basil to taste
  • Dash of Cayenne
  • Dash of Himalayan Salt
My Miracle Juice
As you know if you've been reading my blog, carrot and apple juice was a major factor in my Crohn's healing due to the pectin in both that is digested in the colon and acts as a cleanser and protectant. Well,  a small change to the ingredients zests up the taste for post healing. This also makes about 16 ounces and is about 210 calories.
  • 2 Carrots
  • 6 Medium Carriots
  • 1/4 Medium Orange
  • 1/8 Lemon
  • Cilantro to taste
Purple Pleasure
This is amazingly delicious. It's about 300 calories. 
  • Small Head of Red Cabbage
  • 1 Large Bosc Pear
  • 2 Stalks of Mint
I'll give a few more recipes before this cleanse is over. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

My Juice Cleanse

Friday I began a juice cleanse. A juice cleanse requires that you abstain from eating solid foods and you consume only purified water and juice from fresh fruits and vegetables. Many people who cleanse do so because they want to begin a healthier long term lifestyle and diet. Or they may just want to lose weight, or interrupt their present poor eating habits. Cleanses are often used to break addictions or for spiritual reasons as well.  

Juicing is a way to give the body a chance to cleanse and heal. The body not only heals itself, but improves itself at an astounding rate when it is given all of the nutrients it needs without the setbacks of everyday toxins. 

After eliminating waste and toxins in your body, some of the benefits include an improved immune system, higher energy levels, clearer skin, increased metabolism and improved organ functioning and digestive health. Keep in mind that I'm not a physician, and you should always consult a healthcare professional before participating in any cleanse, or any diet suggestions mentioned earlier in this blog.

There's a few reasons why I decided to do it now. First of all, I've been very bad keeping to my diet, and have cheated on eating some cheese now and then, processed foods, and having a few cocktails. Other than the cheese, I've stayed true to plant based foods, but I'm had many rich processed foods which are waisted calories and tough on the digestive tract. None of this unhealthy behavior has given me any Crohn's symptoms. However, I know that if I kept it up long term, it would result in the Crohn's returning.

So I realized it was time to get back to eating more healthy so I can stay healthy.

Additionally, because I'm healed, this type of eating and drinking is not good for your weight management, and specifically over the holidays, I've gained too much weight. If you recall, however, I really needed to gain weight, so some of this was wanted, but the weight gain went too far. And I really much prefer being a size 4 to a size 8, and it has become growingly obvious that I'd prefer to eat plant based whole food and be a size 4 than eat unhealthy, risk the return of Crohn's and be a size 8-10.

The reason why I decided to do it now, is for years I give up something bad for me, or commit to something good for me during Lent. Additionally, because I had some car problems that I needed to get corrected and I really needed to work on gathering everything for my accountant so I can file my income taxes on time. Because of these two things, I decided to stay in town this weekend and not go snowboarding. Since I was in town and was going to be stuck to my den gathering tax information, it was a better day to feel fatigued. 

The first couple days of a cleanse, you typically have some side effects occur as the body detoxifies rapidly, such as hunger, headaches, tired, anxious, and you might even feel sick at times.  The greater the side effects, the more toxic your body and the greater you needed to cleanse.

Therefore, I wanted to start on a weekend. My past experience is that day 2 and 3 are the most fatigued days of a cleanse. So starting on Friday made perfect sense.

Many of you that know me know that my favorite restaurant in town is Luna's Living Kitchen. This juice cleanse I decided that I would start with their three day cleanse. The juice consumed during the Luna’s Juice Cleanse is not the pasteurized type bought in grocery stores that is often from concentrate and packed with preservatives, but rather the raw, organic, cold-pressed juice from fresh fruits and vegetables.

The difference is important. Juices made with a cold press juicer are juiced slowly through pressure instead of being chopped and heated as they are with a typical at-home centrifugal juicer or in a factory for store bought juice. The chopping and heating process burns off nutrients and denatures enzymes, which are the molecules responsible for all of the chemical reactions in our bodies.

Cold pressed juice retains the vitamins, nutrients and enzymes natural in whole fruits and vegetables and extracts the juice. The result is all of the living potential of a plant minus the fiber. The gastrointestinal system doesn’t have to work to break down fiber and instead the nutrients are absorbed within minutes into the body as energy and nourishment. 

I have a Hurom Juicer. It also works with the pressing process, however, it retains quite a bit of pulp because after pressing the juice from the fruit or vegetable it also then masticates the remains for pulp. So the first three days I'm using Luna's cold press juices, and then the next five days I'll juice my own. However, after I juice the fruits and vegetables, I will strain the pulp out of the juice, so that I in essence get the same effect as a cold press juicer.

I must say, that I love most of Luna's juices. Below is what they provide:

Odd Days
8:00 a.m.   - Tree of Life: Kale, spinach, parsley, cucumber, celery, lemon and ginger
10:00 a.m. - Pure Vida: Carrot, apple, orange, and lemon
12:00 p.m.   - Gateway to Green: Kale, apple, orange, lemon, and ginger
2:30 p.m.   - Volcano: Orange, lemon, grapefruit, maple syrup, and cayenne
5:00 p.m.   - Power Cleanser: Carrot, cucumber, beet and celery
7:00 p.m.   - My Daily Salad: Carrot, zucchini, tomato, cucumber, kale, celery, garlic, cayenne, basil, lemon and sea salt
9:00 p.m.   - Almond Milk: Almonds, dates, filtered water, vanilla and sea salt

Even Days
8:00 a.m.   - Gateway to Green: Kale, apple, orange, lemon, and ginger
10:00 a.m. - Purple Rain: Cabbage, bosc pear and mint
12:00 p.m.   - Tree of Life: Kale, spinach, parsley, cucumber, celery, lemon and ginger
2:30 p.m.   - Coconut-Chai: Coconut water with a splash of their homemade chai tea
5:00 p.m.   - Zinger: Beet, apple, orange and lemon
7:00 p.m.   - My Daily Salad: Carrot, zucchini, tomato, cucumber, kale, celery, garlic, cayenne, basil, lemon and sea salt
9:00 p.m.   - Almond Milk: Almonds, dates, filtered water, vanilla and sea salt

A cleanse can be as short as three days and as long as a few weeks, depending upon how toxic your body is. I usually cleanse for no less than five days and no longer than 14 days. I haven't yet decided how long this cleanse will be because I don't really know how toxic I am yet. 

Every two to three hours that you're awake, you should have 8 to 16 oz of juice. Additionally, you should consume about half your body weight in pounds as ounces of water. For example, if you weight 140 pounds, then drink 70 ounces of water. So for me I make sure I drink as least 12 ounces of water between each juice.

One thing that occurs during my cleanse is that I get a coating in my mouth. It feels like excess plaque everywhere in my mouth. I have to brush my teeth several times a day during a cleanse. When this nasty coating doesn't occur any longer, then I feel pretty safe that I've cleansed most of the toxins from my body. So when that occurs is when I'll complete my cleanse.

When I had active Crohn's, I couldn't eat garlic or cayenne. Garlic is an inflammatory to the colon, and cayenne was an aggravant. Oranges and lemons were too acidic as well. Even though they are alkaline forming, their natural acidic nature was problematic for Crohn's. Now that I technically no longer have Crohn's, adding citrus fruit is not a problem, but garlic and cayenne scare me a little.

Therefore, the Volcano juice above is one that I didn't like and did not drink. As soon as I tasted the quantity of cayenne  it concerned me as to how it might effect my colon. 

Oxalic acid is in spinach and kale, and in the past oxalic acid was a problem for the digestive track. It created inflammation. For those of you who haven't read or remember that Crohn's is an autoimmune disease that cannot control inflammation. Therefore, when the digestive tract gets inflamed, it attacks itself and makes it more inflamed and that's how the ulcers occur and get worse, because the immune system when trying to cure the inflammation, actually makes it worse.

Therefore, the trick to staying healthy and not having Crohn's return is to keep the digestive tract from being inflamed. So, eating garlic, cayenne, or things with oxalic acid could risk inflammation to the digestive tract which could cause a Crohn's flare up. 

One thing I remember hearing from Dr. Azar, is if something is tangy to the mouth, it will be an inflammatory to your digestive tract. And the Volcano juice tasted too tangy. The other juices did not, so I am drinking the balance of the Luna's juices and don't feel as if I've had any issues whatsoever with my GI tract.

Days four through whatever, I will juice on my own. I am planning on making all the juices of Luna's on my own, except I won't use the Volcano juice, and instead I'll substitute watermelon and lemon juice. Watermelon is extremely alkaline forming with helps put your digestive tract in a PH neutral state with is extremely healthy.

I also won't use the Almond juice recipe from Lunas. It has a lot of fat in it, and since part of my motivation for doing the cleanse now is to shed a couple of pounds, I'm going to replace this high fat, high calorie drink with coconut water. Coconut water is composed of unique chemicals such as sugars, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, amino acids, cytokine, and phyto-hormones. It beautifully hydrates the body, almost like Gatorade, while giving it the potassium it needs like bananas.

Also, coconut water is comprised of many naturally occurring bioactive enzymes such as acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, diastase, peroxidase, RNA-polymerases etc. In effect, these enzymes help in the digestion and metabolism. Clearly, for someone with digestion issues, coconut water is one of those miracle drinks.

An interesting recipe above is Pure Vida. For those of you following my blog throughout the tough times, I called my carrot and apple juice my miracle juice. Both contain pectin which is only digested in the colon and pectin when digested acts as a protectant and cleanser of the colon. And Luna's has almost the same recipe.

My favorite tasting juice of those listed is My Daily Salad believe it or not. I'm excited to try to duplicate the flavors in this juice. I can see it becoming my breakfast juice in the future versus the vegetable juice I have currently, which includes romaine, red pepper, cucumber and carrots with a little ginger. I prefer to have my green juice in the morning and my fruit juice in the afternoon. The sugars from the fruit give an extra boost of energy later in the day when it's needed. 

I'm on day three of the cleanse, and really, other than the nasty coating in my mouth, haven't felt bad at all. I'm a little more tired than normal, so it is a good thing I didn't go snowboarding this weekend. But by next weekend, my body will be used to things and if I continue the cleanse into next weekend, I'll still plan on snow boarding, because it will be my last weekend at Winterplace this winter. 

If you decide to try a juice cleanse, please let me know. I suggest you journal what you experience during that time. This not only is a good experience for the health of your body, but it is also a good experience for your spiritural and mental state. You will be amazed at the clarity of thought that occurs when your body doesn't have to focus upon digesting food and disposing of food waste.