28 December, 2011

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day; here's to The Drink

Isn't it easy to not eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables?  (Especially vegetables??)  Unless you are my mom, an organic vegetable farmer, or a strict vegan/vegetarian, chances are you (probably) don't prioritize them enough.  It's okay, I know it's not easy.  I learned the hard way and now I try to really eat a lot of FRESH (can't emphasize that enough) vegetables and fruit (but less fruit because it's very high in sugar, which doesn't help the body fight off nasty things like cancer. *cancer loves sugar.  And yes, everybody needs sugar to survive, but too much sugar - I'm talking sweetened drinks, candy, etc. - is not a good idea. Kris Carr's blog writes about what we can do about the sugar-cancer connection here.)

My first juicer was a Jack Lalanne.  It is now in my friend's kitchen because I was coveting this one for it's snazzy design and juicing powers.  Juicing - and especially green juicing - is like sunshine on a cloudy day.  Here's why:

-Easy assimilation of nutrients by the body
-Raw juice helps top up our body's water supply
-Cleansing action, ridding body of toxins
-Plants alive! So much vital energy is lost when food is overly processed
-Natural sugars that are also high in vitamins
-Chlorophyll, delivering oxygen to our cells

I call this The Drink because I consider it to be revolutionary as far as beverages are concerned.  It has life giving powers, and it's not something you could ever get from a powder, a box, or a bottle.  If you are lucky enough to have a juice bar in your 'hood then by all means use their service.  But, like many recipes, it's more fun to achieve this concoction on your own.

It is clean, green, fresh, and pure juice that you make from market veg and then drink (over ice is best), feeling the tonic go straight to your blood cells from your head to your toes.  You've heard about it I'm sure, and I hope that you've tried it also.  I can't say I make The Drink as often as I should, but when combined with some time to yourself, indoors on a snow globe kind of day,  it makes you feel powerful (in a great way).  The three rules of juicing are to buy market fresh, organic & wash well.

The Drink
(add ingredients to the juicer in this order)
5 stalks of kale
2 celery stalks
1 apple
1/2 cucumber

Serve over a couple ice cubes.

Vegetable & Fruit Profiles 
(from The Juicing Bible)

Kale is a leafy green and so is an exceptional antioxidant and anti-cancer veg (here's another great drink recipe).  Excellent source of vitamin A and chlorophyll, and good source of vitamin C, with some calcium, iron, folic acid and potassium.  

Celery has anti-bacterial properties and adds a natural saltiness to the drink.  You can use the full stalk when juicing.  

Apple helps to cleanse the system, lower cholesterol, keep blood glucose levels up, and aid digestion. The apple is a good source of vitamin A, C, B and G (*what is vitamin G you may ask? It's called a typo, carried over from my source text to this here blog.  oops, sorry about that.)  The apple contains two important phytochemicals: pectin helps with both lowering cholesterol and colon cancer, and boron, thought to help prevent the calcium loss that leads to osteoporosis, boost blood levels of the hormone estrogen, and which appears to stimulate electrical activity of the brain, increasing the ability to perform tasks "quickly and efficiently".

Cucumber is a diuretic as well as a moderate source of vitamin A, iron and potassium.  Shown to contain sterols, which may help the heart by reducing cholesterol.