This was breakfast. Not breakfast for six people – breakfast for two. Can you imagine the workout trying to eat all this veg in one sitting? It’s a daunting task to think about, but not if you’re a juicer. I juiced this lovely bowl of veg this morning for breakfast and with that was able to get closer to my body’s daily requirement for vegetables. You see, I found out the hard way, exactly how many fruits and vegetables we really need to stay healthy and fit – it is a lot!
The hard way? You ask. Let me back up.
I recently discovered I suffer from inflammation which over the years has caused my body to fight against itself. My cells have been attacking the high acidic foods I eat, so my white blood cells, in constant combat position, have had no time to build my body’s immunity. Over time, my body began to show symptoms that something was wrong. I began to gain weight – especially belly fat, I often had migraine headaches, I had trouble waking up in the morning, I was grumpy much of the time and I developed red tingly toes. If you Google red tingly toes, they’re a symptom of many illnesses like obesity, diabetes, lymes disease, heart disease, nerve damage, depression and inflammation.
Since my husband has Lyme’s Disease, I decided to start with a visit to the doctor in order to rule that out as well as other concerns like allergies, a possible thyroid problem, vitamin or mineral deficiency issues or some unidentified ailment. Blood tests and other diagnostics showed that according to mainstream thought I had nothing wrong with me. My doctor was left stumped and unable to provide an answer. I knew from my obsessive love of food that diet can often be the underlying cause of diseases and ailments, so I decided to take treatment into my own hands.
At the same time I was experiencing these weird symptoms, Jeff’s Lyme’s disease was causing him to suffer excessive fatigue and pain. In researching how to help him, we both stumbled across information regarding ph neutral diets and the connection to decreased inflammation. Diet, not buckets of medication, seemed to be the answer. I also watched a couple of food documentaries that prompted me to address my symptoms with diet – they were, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, Forks Over Knives and Crazy Sexy Cancer. It seems that there are a couple of factors that come into play when you eat a mostly raw diet. First you feed your immune system lots of vitamins and minerals, and secondly you are getting enough enzymes to aid digestion. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is very high acidity and low enzyme and that seems to be what causes most of our ailments – everything from type two diabetes, heart disease and many cancers.
So here I am today, twenty pounds lighter, unbelievably happy, and symptom free! And, it was easy thanks to green juice and smoothies! I love vegetables, but I’ve always reached for breads or other grains first to satisfy hunger. Juicing helped me to cut all food cravings out of my life. I find the juice so satisfying that I don’t need much else. I started with a juice fast of about ten days. I wasn’t a purist about it as I had a few salads and a couple of sprouted grain veggie sandwiches over the course of those ten days, but overall, I drank freshly made vegetable juice and I drank as much as I wanted.
During that phase of the plan I also drank HUGE amounts of water and a cup of Smooth Move tea each day. I had read that some people get constipated when they first start a juice fast, and part of the idea is to remove all the toxic build up from your body. You want to sweat it out, flush it out and brush it off your skin, so exercise, drink lots of water and exfoliate the skin. Two days into the fast I felt happier than I had felt in years and I began to lose weight right away! It was very exciting as I had never been able to successfully diet in my life.
Once the fast was over, I simply continued to juice using juice as a meal replacement for breakfast and lunch. For dinner we eat huge salads with greens, chopped veg, nuts and my homemade balsamic dressing. Fats are important to consume so oils from nuts and seeds, olive oil and avocado are all completely acceptable and necessary. Notice the diet is mostly raw foods, however we do eat roasted cauliflower, broccoli, and sweet potatoes as well as a variety of cooked beans. I have found that a small amount of sprouted wheat breads don’t bother me, so I love to eat hummus sandwiches with sprouts, avocado and tomato. I’m sure as the winter months approach we’ll be adding soups to our diet as well.
I cannot express enough how satisfying and liberating this style of eating is. Menu planning is simple, grocery shopping is simple and food preparation is a breeze, but the most amazing thing is how good we feel. This has not been a diet for me, but a lifestyle change.
Here’s the quick and dirty of what I learned and what I do:
- most grains (except a small amount of brown rice, quinoa and wild rice)
- dairy products
- animal products
- any processed food
- any food containing white (white flour, white rice, white pasta, white tortillas, etc)
- fresh vegetables and fruits – as many as you want
- nuts and seeds
- olive oil
- green tea and herbal teas
- Meal replacement with freshly made juice or smoothies
- Make your own sprouts
- Exercise 3-5 times per week
Green Juice Recipe I
- 4 apples
- 2 peeled lemons
- 1 bunch curly kale
- 1 bunch bok choy
- 2 zucchini
- 1 small chunk fresh ginger
Green Juice Recipe II
- 4 apples
- 1 lemon
- 1 fennel bulb with stems and fronds
- 1/2 bunch celery
- 1/2 head cabbage
Directions: Wash and prep the vegetables then run through a juicer. (We have a Breville Juice Fountain Ikon.)