The Green Secret

Green Juice ArrayHave you ever had one of those mornings where you wake up and just feel thinner? That sensation that your body is shrinking from the inside out and you know when you get on that scale the numbers are going to be down. This has happened to me two days in a row… and it feels beyond fantastic. After battling with my body for weeks I feel that I finally have it under control and I am finally reaping the benefits of all my hard work. Alleluia!

Now is the perfect time to talk about one of my “secrets” (though it really isn’t a secret) and that is juicing. Green juice to be exact. I know many people cringe at the thought of drinking juiced kale or spinach. And rightfully so – by itself that sh*t is nasty. But when you combine greens with the right blend of fruits and other veggies, it becomes a refreshing, healing elixir that you’ll never want to live without. I have juice for my breakfast pretty much every day – I find I get the most out of it in the morning on an empty stomach. When I’m really feeling ambitious I will also juice for either lunch or dinner. The philosophy behind juicing this is that you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients of an entire bushel of fruits and vegetables – an amount you could never eat in one sitting – condensed into a beverage that you can drink down in no time and will be easily absorbed into your body.

If you’re a long time follower of my blog, you may recall a post from many months ago where I spoke of my recipe for the magic green elixir. I have since changed my recipe and I think it’s a winner:

  • 1/2 bunch of kale
  • 2 or 3 leaves of beet greens (see below)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 beet
  • 2-3 small apples
  • a 1-inch chunk of ginger
  • 1 lemon

When I buy beets they come with huge beautiful greens attached to them. Instead of throwing them away, I juice a few stalks along with the kale. It’s delicious. Also when blueberries are in season I will juice them in here as well for an antioxidant boost – it’s phenomenal. I also have been adding an aloe solution to my juice for an extra cleansing kick. I use Herbalife’s aloe, but I am sure you can find a good one at Whole Foods. It may seem crazy, but I promise this will not only help you lose weight, but it will do wondrous things for your overall health.

If you’re in need of a juicer, I highly recommend this Breville on amazon for $150. Its feed tube is extra wide so you can put in whole apples and cucumbers and carrots without having to cut anything up in advance. Considering it’s a product I use every single day, the price is a super deal.

If you’re still in need of convincing, you can read about some of the benefits here. I also highly recommend checking out a documentary called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. This film is what turned me on to juicing in the first place and presents a very compelling real-life case for making juicing a part of your life.

Magic Green Elixir

Perhaps one of the best habits my weight loss journey has brought me to is juicing. If you had asked me a year ago if I would ever consider buying a juicer and using it to juice fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, I would have said absolutely not. I mean, what a ridiculous concept – time consuming, expensive, and who wants to eat juiced kale?? I was perusing Netflix about 6 months ago looking for health documentaries (I am obsessed with current health trends and research) when I came across a movie called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. It’s the story of an Australian man who goes on a quest to cure his body of a chronic disease that was causing him to spontaneously break into hives. What was his method? 60 days of drinking only fresh juice, followed by a 6-month diet comprised of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. And you know what? It worked. He lost 75 pounds in 60 days and by the end of his 6-month follow-up diet, he was completely off all his medication. Cured. The next day I bought a juicer.

What is so great about it, you ask? Well, I’ll leave it to you to watch movie and learn all the details, but he basic premise is this: fresh fruits and vegetables contain absurd amount of nutrients and phytochemicals that your body needs to thrive. By juicing a mess of veggies and fruits, you are hyper-concentrating the nutrition of what would be three meals of vegetables into one drink that your body can absorb almost instantly. I can honestly tell you that adding juice to my diet (it’s my breakfast every morning) has really been integral in my struggle for balance and healthy weight. If you read my post from earlier today, you know I’ve been battling a head cold for the past week. Though what I want is comfort food, what I know my body will really benefit from is my Magic Green Elixir – the recipe I have settled on as my go-to juice. You of course can juice anything you like, but what’s important is making sure it’s green. The nutrients you get from Kale or any leafy greens are what really make the juice worthwhile.

Now I know some of you are thinking, wait, I thought you were the starving artist – how can you just go out and drop $140 on a juicer? Simple answer: timing. If I saw the movie this week, I would certainly not be buying a juicer. However, I happened to have a little wiggle room and decided I wanted to make it happen. And honestly I’ve used the juicer almost every day since then. Absolutely worth it.

Also I should say that I don’t necessarily encourage you to go on a full on juice fast. I mean, if you want to and your doctor says it’s ok, go for it. But I have to tell you I tried it for two weeks. I lost a good chunk of weight, like 17 pounds, but once I was done I went on vacation and guess what? It all came back… and then some. I think if you’re looking to jump start a new healthy regimen, juice fasting for a day or two first can be a great way to jump start. But for me, I find that using juice as part of my every day health-conscious diet works best for me.

I’ve decided to drink juice twice a day today and tomorrow and see if it helps get me better faster. We’ll see how it goes. Does anyone out there juice? Any favorite recipes or success stories?

Magic Green Elixir Recipe

  • 2 large handfuls of Trader Joe’s Southern Green Blend
    (or whatever greens you like – kale, spinach, collard, etc)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 3 small apples
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 1-inch chunk of ginger
  • 3 sprigs of fresh parsley

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