16 May Want More Energy? Drink Your Greens!
If I didn’t experience it myself, I wouldn’t have believed it and would probably be rolling my eyes just about now as someone was boasting all of the amazing benefits of juicing. But stay with me here.
For YEARS, I fueled my engine (which burns pretty high), with tons of caffeine & sugar. And like many of you, relied on the fleeting spurts of energy that my daily coffee provided, only to find myself crashing – and eventually grabbing a second and third cup of Joe just to make it through the day.
Then a funny thing happened, after I picked up an amazing book called Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr. I decided to try my hand at juicing. And green juicing in particular. She made such a compelling argument for green juicing which included creating an alkaline environment in your body (great for cancer and disease prevention, and as an almost 7 year Breast Cancer survivor, I was all ears), detoxifying and cleansing your system, flooding your body with tons of micro-nutrients and an enjoying an increase in energy. Sustained energy. Energy from the inside out.
I figured I’d start out by making a juice and chasing it down with my morning cup of coffee or very strong black tea. So, I bought an affordable and awesome Breville Juicer, hit the farmer’s market and stocked up on delicious cucumbers, celery, apples, lemons, kale, parsley, spinach, romaine lettuce and a bunch of other amazing veggies and fruits and got to it. I absolutely didn’t know what I was doing in the beginning, but over time tapped into resources like The Juice Generation by Eric Helms, Crazy Sexy Juices & Succulent Smoothies, by Kris Carr and the the phone app, 101 Juice Recipes by Joe Cross (From the powerful documentary Fat. Sick and Nearly Dead) then things started to get really juicy! (Ha Ha – get it?)
It didn’t take very long to realize something very profound was taking place in my body. Within the first week, my skin cleared up and I lost a couple of pounds. By week two, I was sleeping better, lost a few more pounds and started to feel really clear headed. By week three, I stopped drinking coffee altogether and found myself with more energy than I’ve ever had before. What was most impressive was that my energy level was sustained throughout the day. No more coffee and sugar crashes.
Since there’s a debate out there as to which is better, green smoothies (where you get the full benefit of the fruits and veggies) or juices (which hydrate and nourish the body quickly and directly), I alternate and drink both!
It’s been three years that I’ve been drinking daily (mostly) fresh juices and smoothies and I’m not stopping anytime soon.
If you want to get your juice on, here are some great tips.
- Invest in a good juicer and blender (I finally got a vitamix which was life changing)
- Whenever possible, choose organic produce
- Start slowly, meaning start with a half of a cup, work your way up from there and let your body get used to juicing, especially green juicing.
- Using a base of cucumber, celery and romaine lettuce works really well. Then you can add anything you like on top of that.
- Don’t put too many fruits in your juices as the sugars get absorbed rapidly.
- You can soften the green-ness by adding in an apple or pear and/or some lemon.
- Start with some leafy greens of your choice, like romaine lettuce, kale or spinach, some fruit which can be just about anything, and a liquid base such as almond, soy or coconut milk or coconut water.
- Super foods such as flax or chia seeds, nuts and seeds work great in smoothies.
- Throw in some frozen fruit for some punch and pizazz!
- Prepare smoothies ahead of time and store in mason jars (lasts up to 2 days in fridge) and voila, you’ll have a drinkable grab-n-go meal or snack!
- Use bananas and or avocado for a creamy texture.
- For more great tips and challenges, check out www.simplegreensmoothies.com
So, while people make faces at the color of my juice and smoothies, and others are curious to try, I can tell you one thing, I am often asked what vitamins do I take and how do I have so much energy. And while, I practice other types of self care (or try to) – like yoga, walking, getting enough sleep, clean healthy diet, etc., my green energy drinks play a vital role in keeping me energized and healthy!
If you have gone green or have a favorite recipe, or questions on how to get started, please post in the comments.
Until the next time, Bottoms Up!