It’s no secret that eating fruits and vegetables can help us maintain a healthy body, but would you believe me if I told you that they can save your life? It happened to me…
As a teen I remember my grandfather buying me one of Jack Lalanne’s first juicers called the Juice Tiger.
From a young age I had an interest in health and staying fit, but my issue was always having an addiction to all the wrong foods. Even though I was trying to eat right I would sometimes fall back into old habits.
As life moved on and I started working full time jobs it was common to eat out and grab whatever I could get my hands on. One of my first jobs was right next to a Greek restaurant which was a huge curse. I was able to order fried chicken, lemon rice soup and had an endless supply of all the rice pudding with whipped cream that I wanted.
I felt healthy and happy for the most part, but started experiencing horrible fatigue. It didn’t matter how much I slept. I would walk around feeling like I had a thousand pounds on my shoulders all day long.
Years went by and I was finally diagnosed with my first autoimmune disease. I didn’t have a clue what was going on and my doctor didn’t explain to me that my disease was most likely caused by the combination of poor diet, the environment, and my family genetics.
So, I chose to try and help myself by changing my diet. I began juicing again, eating more fruits and vegetables and making smoothies. I started feeling better, started jogging again and went on for years battling my disease which had declined in severity to a more mild form.
I struggled to maintain my diet and always slipped back into old habits. I got really bad again and I started consuming massive amounts of sugar from candy, baked goods, and processed foods. My health declined and I was again diagnosed with a more deadly autoimmune disorder. This time I didn’t have a choice. I had to straighten up and fly right or I was going to die.
I started juicing and eating healthy again. I removed gluten and dairy which were huge issues for me. I went and visited a holistic doctor and had a systemic allergy test done. I learned that there were many things I was eating that were killing me. I had serious nutrient deficiencies and I was shocked to learn that I had pesticides in my system too from all the years I was eating and juicing conventional fruits and vegetables.
Yes folks, I believe it’s important to buy organic whenever possible, but that’s a post for another day!
So, here I am now and in a fairly healthy state. I’m a serious juice advocate and would recommend it to anyone who wants to heal their body or just to maintain their health. I still occasionally cheat and allow foods in that I shouldn’t, but for the most part I juice, make smoothies, and try to eat an assortment of fruits and vegetables daily. I also eat nuts and seeds.
I know that eating enough fruits and vegetables doesn’t come easy for everyone. We live busy lifestyles and some days it’s hard to get the recommended amount of vitamins and nutrients in our diet when we aren’t eating right, or enough. Preparing fresh juice is easy and in turn you’ll create a rich treat for your body that will include vitamins, minerals, and enzymes to keep your body in the best health.
Below are some of my favorite juice recipes. I won’t get into the nutritional content of the juices, but I’ve included a list of books that can help you learn the nutritional content of fruits and vegetables. I hope these will help you on your juicing journey.
This is one of the simplest juice recipes because it contains watermelon as it’s only ingredient. All you have to do is remove the rind, cut it up into pieces and feed it into your juicer. It’s that simple. Watermelon contains Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, Potassium, Magnesium-the list goes on…
What I love most about making watermelon juice is that you get TONS of juice from a smaller size watermelon. The circular watermelon you see above is roughly 10-11 inches in diameter and picked right out of my garden. After juicing it, here’s what I got…
Nearly a quart and half of juice. That’s almost 6 cups of juice and in a matter of a few minutes! You can store it in the fridge but the sooner you drink it, the better.
Green juice is one of my favorite juices by far. Most of the ingredients can be grown in your own garden and the health benefits are amazing. There are many different versions of green juice that I enjoy, but this one is quite simple and tastes pretty good.
1 bunch of cilantro, 1 bunch of parsley, 1 fennel bulb, 1-2 apples, 1 pear, 2 lemons, a handful of kale, and 1 bunch of celery.
Rinse and chop everything excluding greens and press through your juicer. I only peel the lemons. The yield is about 2 cups.
Another one of my favorite green juice recipes is a recipe from Joe Cross called “Mean Green Juice”
Mean Green Juice INGREDIENTS:
- 2 cucumbers
- 8 celery stalks
- 4 apples
- 16 leaves kale with stalks
- 1 lemon
- 2 in (5 cm) piece of ginger
- Wash all produce well.
- Peel the lemon and core apple.
- Add all ingredients through juicer and enjoy!
Servings: Makes 2 servings of 16-20 oz (500-600 ml)
I drink a quart which is 32 ounces if I’m replacing a meal.
If you’d like to learn more about Joe Cross you can click his name above. Here’s the trailer for his juicing documentary – Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. I highly recommend watching it. It’s a real eye opener and you’ll learn the basics including information on why you should juice and what’s so great about it…
Another simple and great tasting juice is what I call “Straight Carrot.” It’s just carrots! I don’t even peel them. If you want a sweeter juice, peel them, or simply add a few apples. Wash and juice…
Carrot, Celery, Beet, Apple
This juice is so delicious. You don’t have to measure out how much you use, but here’s a rough estimate of what I normally juice for this recipe.
1 overflowing handful of carrots, 2-4 apples, 2 beets, and a handful of celery. You’ll get about 2 cups of juice.
Any time you add beets you wind up with a beautiful red juice…
Ingredients: 3-4 grapefruit depending on size. Mine are small. If i’m replacing the majority of a meal, I’ll drink a quart of juice.
You’ll get roughly 2 1/2 to 3 cups of juice.
Orange, Apple, Beet, Turmeric
2 apples. 3 oranges, 2 beets, and a piece of turmeric. I don’t even peel the turmeric but I definitely peel the beets, otherwise the juice can taste like dirt. It’s personal preference and you choose what works for you.
Rinse, Peel, Chop, and Juice. When it comes to apple seeds, I leave them. Some people believe you need to remove them as they are poisonous, but I believe it would take consuming hundreds of seeds at one sitting to cause concern. I’ve never had a problem.
You’ll get 2 to 3 cups of juice…
When it comes to juicers I would recommend a masticating juicer, one that smashes the food rather than a centrifugal juicer that has the potential to heat the juice. It’s personal preference and I’ve used both. Omega juicers are the best to me because you get a wonderful 15 year warranty!
Here’s my juicer. I love it…
I purchased my juicer from John at http://www.discountjuicers.com. Here’s a video of John with a tutorial on the juicer.
I’ve had other juicers in the past including 2 Jack Lalanne Power juicers that I liked. They were both centrifugal. You can stick full size foods into it because it has a larger shoot and juices differently, so it’s a bit faster.
At one time I had a Native Juicer which I would never recommend because it broke all the time and you only get a 1 year warranty on it. In 1 year I had to have it replaced twice.
The only juicers I recommend to people now are Omega Juicers. It’s also been my experience that the yield of juice is higher with masticating juicers like the Omega above…
Here are a few book recommendations. There are hundreds of books out there on juicing that you may find helpful, but these are a few that I keep around on my shelf. A few of these are outdated, but I still use them.
One of my absolute favorite juicing books is by Jay Kordich. It’s a small paperback loaded with recipes and nutritional information. There aren’t any color photos, but the content is wonderful. It covers equipment, recipes, nutrition, and even has a section about juicing for specific ailments.
Blurb: Television’s Juiceman serves up his unique formula for healthy living, with almost one hundred recipes for fruit and vegetable drinks designed to lower cholesterol, increase sexual energy, and much more.
Here’s a video of Jay Kordich lecturing:
Juicing for Life covers the basics of juicing, includes recipes and discusses ailments and disorders. There aren’t any pictures but this a great beginner juicing book.
Blurb: Eating fresh fruits and vegetables can boost your energy level, supercharge your immune system, and maximize your body’s healing power. Convenient and inexpensive, juicing allows you to obtain the most concentrated from of nutrition available from whole foods.This A-Z guide shows you how to use nature’s bounty in the prevention and treatment of our most common health disorders. This accessible book gives complete nutritional programs for over 75 health problems, telling you which fruits and vegetables have been shown effective in combating specific illnesses and why. Along with hundreds of delicious, nutrition-rich juicing recipes, this book provides dietary guidelines, and diet plans to follow in conjunction with your juicing regimen.
The Fully Raw Diet by Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram
This is one of my favorite raw food books. It contains raw recipes, juice recipes, and smoothies as well. It starts with Kristina’s story and what she typically eats in a day and continues through her journey.
Recipes include juices, smoothies, soups, dips, dressings, salads, main dishes and desserts.
All recipes in this book are 100% raw. My favorites are: Fully Raw Fettuccine Alfredo, Raw Zucchini Pasta, Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho, Totally Tropical Smoothie, and Cotton Candy Juice.
It’s not specific to juicing but I highly recommend it.
Blurb: The must-have book for FullyRaw fans or anyone who wants to explore a raw-foods vegan diet to lose weight, gain energy, and improve overall health and wellness
The Fully Raw Diet offers a 21-day plan to help people enjoy a clean, plant-based, healthful approach to eating. Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram transformed her own health by eating vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds—100% fresh, raw, and ripe—and she is now the vivacious, uber-healthy founder of the FullyRaw brand. Her ten-year success with this lifestyle inspires thousands via social media, and her 21-day FullyRaw Video Challenge on YouTube in 2014 dramatically grew her fan base. This book shares her advice and will correspond to a new video challenge, with meal and exercise tips, recipes, and vivid photos. Fans will love the smoothies, salads, main dishes, and desserts, such as Lemon-Ginger Blast, Spicy Mango Basil Salad, Yellow Squash Fettuccine Alfredo, Melon Pops, and Caramel-Apple Cups.
Here’s a video with Kristina teaching about her recipe for her Anti-Cancer Green Juice
Live Raw by Mimi Kirk
Blurb: Everyone knows that eating well makes you feel good, but Mimi Kirk is living proof that eating well ideally raw vegan food can make you look amazing. She ‘s routinely taken to be at least twenty years younger than her age. Live Raw offers 120 recipes sprinkled with must-have advice, including such topics as: Detoxifying So Gravity Won t Get You Down: A detoxifying program to rid your body of dangerous toxins drop weight in the process and experience an abundance of energy. What You Need to Eat Every Day, and Why: An easy-to-read chart of the foods your body needs daily, what vitamins they contain, and what part of the body they compliment and nourish. Delicious Raw Food Recipes That Won t Scare Off Non- Vegetarians: Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Basil Pesto, Pomodoro Lasagna, Lemony Cheesecake, and more. Learn how to feel better and look better with Mimi Kirk in this engaging, one-of-a-kind guide.
Mimi Kirk has some amazing raw recipes! I absolutely LOVE her and her books are amazing. This one has smoothies, juices and other raw recipes including salads. It contains many color photos of the recipes as well.
What I love about Mimi’s books is that they contain tons of fully usable recipes that are easy and I continue to make them time and time again. Not to mention, many are kid friendly raw recipes. Her almond milk is a staple in our home. Do yourself a favor and try her chocolate milkshake below. It tastes just like chocolate pudding. Yum…
I would highly recommend for anyone who wants to eat raw and even for those who just want to supplement with health recipes.
My rating on this one is:
Mimi’s Chocolate Milkshake:
The NutriBase Nutrition Facts Desk Reference
This is my go-to guide whenever I want to find caloric content and basic vitamin and mineral content in foods. It also has content values for fat, sodium, carbs, fiber, protein and more. It’s very simple to use.
Blurb: A completely revised and updated edition of the most comprehensive collection of food values.
With more than 77,000 copies in print, The NutriBase Nutrition Facts Desk Reference is an essential tool for monitoring the nutritional value of your diet.
This completely updated edition provides thorough nutritional profiles of generic, brand-name, prepared, and specialty foods, including values for fast foods and restaurant meals–more than 40,000 listings in all. Arranged alphabetically for easy reference, listings are complete with the amount of calories, carbohydrates, sodium, protein, fiber, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and percentage of calories from fat in each item–in short, everything needed to analyze diet and nutrition.
This essential reference book is based on data from the NutriBase Nutrition Managers integrated software package, the most complete and versatile nutritional and fitness information available.
My rating for this book is:
Here’s a book I’m currently reading by Mimi Kirk titled:
The Ultimate Book of Modern Juicing: More than 200 Fresh Recipes to Cleanse, Cure, and Keep You Healthy
Mimi Kirk is one of my favorite raw food advocates. This juicing book is over 300 pages long and full of information on juicing, including scads of juice and smoothie recipes. It covers information on equipment, ailments, fasting/detox, and even blending.
I love the colorful pictures included. This undoubtedly is one of my new favorite juicing books.
Worth every penny!
Blurb: The most current and comprehensive juicing guide available
Step aside, Juicing Bible and Big Book of Juices: Mimi Kirk is back with the most current and fresh guide to juicing yet. With more than 200 recipes, handy advice on how to get the most from your juicing, and an eye toward taste, health, and cost, The Ultimate Book of Modern Juicing is the only book on the topic you’ll ever need. Kirk has been juicing vegetables and fruits for more than 40 years, yet she doesn’t look a day over 50. (And yes, those two things are connected.) She recently became more interested in how to use juicing to feel and look even better. Her discoveries—genuinely up-to-the-minute—are shared here, along with vibrant photographs of her creations The Ultimate Book of Modern Juicing is a must-have for everyone interested in or committed to the juicing lifestyle.
My rating for this book is:
I think the best advice I can give is to JUICE. You don’t have to use any particular recipe. You can just start easy with 1 ingredient juices like carrot or apple. The best starter juice is a simple one – carrot, apple, and celery in equal amounts. Find out what works for you and makes you happy.
I hope this post will inspire you and help you to decide if juicing is for you. Later this week I’ll have a post containing information about smoothies including some of my favorite recipes!
Please feel free to leave comments below. If you have any recommendations, please let me know.