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Name That Green!
When it’s said that “variety is the spice of life,” greens are no exception!
Plants “allow” humans and animals to eat ALL of their fruits, but only PART of their leaves, because plants need to have leaves for their own use – which is manufacturing chlorophyll. Yet, plants depend on moving creatures for pollination, fertilizing the soil, and helping eat the ripe fruit. For this reason, plants accumulate a lot of highly nutritious elements in their leaves, but mix these nourishing ingredients with either bitterness or very small amounts of alkaloids (poisons) – which is why animals are forced to rotate their menu. They eat a small amount of one thing, then move on to other plants. The body is only capable of detoxifying small amounts of a great many things, but it is much more difficult for the human system to get rid of a large amount of one type of poison. This is why it’s so important for us to learn to rotate the greens in our diet.
Simply eating “lots of salads” is not truly benefiting you if you’re using the same greens over and over.
It’s important to alternate our variety of greens as much as possible. My hope is that our farmers will actually grow a larger variety of green leafy vegetables to increase our green intake. Many of the greens available in grocery stores are mostly bred from the dandelion and mustard families. Despite their names and appearances, cultivated greens have similar nutritional content. To truly meet our nutritional needs, it’s important we include greens from a number of totally different plant families into our daily diets.
So, the next time you’re making a salad, consider adding a combination of 4 or 5 greens. Consider adding a few of these:
Greens: Arugula (rocket), Asparagus, Beet greens (tops), Bok choy, Celery, Chard, Collard greens, Escarole, Fresee lettuce, Goji leaves (wolfberry), Kale (3 types), Mache, Mitsuna, Mustard greens, Lettuce (all types red and green), Radicchio, Radish tops, Spinach, Romaine lettuce green and red leaf, Turnip greens, Wheatgrass
Herbs: Basil, Cilantro, Lemon Balm, Mint, Parsley, Peppermint leaves, Spearmint
Ready to experiment a litte more the next time your shopping? I hope so! If you have a great recipe you’d like me to share, send me an email! firstname.lastname@example.org
Benefits of a Detoxification Program
The benefits of doing a detoxification or what I like to also call a restart or reset to the body is that you are first of all giving your body a rest from all of the work that it has been doing to keep the body able to perform. Other benefits that can be seen are going to be based on the type of program that you choose the length of the program, and whether or not you are following a nutrition plan that has eliminated any foods that may or may not be causing problems in the body.
In my practice and in my personal experience I’ve probably done just about every detoxification program out there. I’ve completed and lead programs where I’ve not felt any differently some that ended with me feeling fantastic. A couple of years ago I did a 92 day juicefeast. During this program I totally reset my metabolism, I lost weight and kept most of it off, my skin became clearer and more supple, some of my fine lines that are starting to come out went away, my eyes were brighter, my mind clearer, and my energy was better than it was when I was in my 20’s. Juicing has quickly become my favorite way of detoxifying and I use it regularly to reset and recharge. I also coach people who wish to do juicing as a way to reset their system.
During the past five years, I’ve led over 50 people either individually or in a group through a 21 day purification program. Some of the benefits these participants have received include improved mental clarity, improved libido, less headaches, and their sleep has improved. I’ve also had people lose between five and twenty- two pounds of weight, reverse health issues, come off of prescription medications, improve their sleep, resolve digestive issues, resolve fertility issues, and find out they had allergies to some foods that may have been causing them problems.
So you see there are many benefits to doing a detoxification program.
Why is it a JuiceFeast?
In my last post I mentioned that I was doing my 2nd 92 day Juicefeast and why. What I did not mention was what exactly is a juicefeast. I wanted to take a little bit of time to explain what it is I’m doing and the protocol I’m following. My main resource is a wonderful website put together by David Rainoshek called http://www.juicefeasting.com/. This website has tons of free information on a juicefeast, length of time, how to come off a juicefeast, how to make juices, etc… You can also buy a membership to do a juicefeast and get coaching. If you choose this option there is even more scientifically based material that is available. So how does this work? I begin my day with a quart of water containing the juice of one lemon and MSM. I drink this while I actually make 4 quarts of fresh, revitalizing, nourishing juice. This is why this is a feast and not a fast. I’m juicing 10 – 12 lbs. of produce daily. One quart is usually fruit based while the other 3 quarts are lots of fresh greens and vegetables. Occassionally I may add an apple in there. It usually takes me between 1 1/2 – 2 hours to completely make my juice, clean up the equipment, and clean up the kitchen. Then I’m done in the kitchen for the day. I will then drink a quart of juice every 3 – 4 hours just as if I was having a meal. Some of my juices may contain superfoods such as maca or a good quality greens mix containing algaes and chlorella. I also will often drink the water from a fresh young Thai coconut. A JuiceFeast can last anywhere from 1 day to 92 days and as I have previously stated can be very beneficial to the body. When you are doing a juicefeast you are basically letting your digestion system rest. This happens because for food to be digested and used in the body it has to be broken down and what can be used separated from what can’t be used. With juice there is no pulp or fiber to digest therefore, the nutrients are absorbed effortlessly. This allows the body to then kind of give itself a tune up. The body continues all the metabolic, catabolic, and other functions but at a much more efficient rate and effectiveness. The body can then kind of scan to see what is there that doesn’t belong and it gets swept away into the intestines and eliminated. An additional benefit is that with the amount of greens that you are juicing the body becomes more alkaline. You might ask what does this mean for me? The Standard American Diet is a highly acidic diet with all the refined carbohydrates, preservatives, food additives, etc. When one eats a diet consistent of these types of products it can increase inflammation, pain, and disease in the body. In fact many degenerative diseases and illness can be linked to poor diet. Dark leafy greens in particular help to make the body more alkaline. Therefore it is possible to see a reduction in joint pain, back pain, allergy symptoms, cysts, tumors, nodules, etc. Skin becomes more youthful, vibrant, and flexible. In addition to weight loss, there are many more benefits of doing a juicefeast. Also during a JuiceFeast gentle exercise/movement is encourage such as yoga, rebounding, and walking. It is important if feasting for a long time to not try to do any strength training because you don’t want the energy of the body to go into building. It is resting, cleaning, and rejuvenating itself. The most important thing to remember after doing a juicefeast is in order to maintain the benefits you have to nourish your body with healthy whole foods on a daily basis. A diet high in raw foods helps to do this.
I believe this covers the why’s, what’s, and how’s of the juicefeast. Feel free to leave questions and comments. I am also available for any juice coaching if you decide you would like to add more juice to you life!