let's talk raw – juices and smoothies

16 Feb

Yesterday was a big day for green smoothies in our house.   The husband drank his first one.

While he’s had sips of mine before, he didn’t really like it and has never shown any real interest in drinking them himself.  For starters he doesn’t like banana, and since that’s the main ingredient in mine every day, it’s no wonder he sort of turned his nose up at them.  But in the spirit of wanting to up the health factor in his diet, he decided to give them a go. And he’s actually really liking them!  He obviously knows the way to my heart:)

Unfortunately I didn’t get a pic, but I ended up buying a bag of mixed fruit – peaches, pineapple and strawberries – and using that for sweetness instead of banana.  I also added a big handful of spinach, soymilk, 1/2 scoop of Amazing Grass and ice.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m currently reading Kris Carr’s new book, Crazy Sexy Diet, and I’m loving it.  As a wellness warrior, she advocates eating only raw food, preferably liquids (juices or smoothies) until lunch.

According to Kris that means “green juice, green smoothies, purified water, and teas.”  But this doesn’t mean that you have to starve as you can have as many servings of them as you need.  And “if that’s not enough for you, no worries, solid foods are definitely an option.”   I’m not one to jump on unrealistic fad diets, but as I’m learning more about the benefits of raw food, juices and smoothies, I am becoming more and more of a believer that the more raw foods you can incorporate into your diet the better. I feel overwhelmed (in a good way) by all the information I’ve absorbed, and while I want to share it all right here right now there’s just too much!

For now, I will say that one of the best things about starting the day off with green juice or a green smoothie (after a big glass of purified water with lemon of course) is that it gives the body an instant shot of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, protein and oxygen, plus a major hydration boost.  And the body barely has to do anything to digest it!  Little work + lots of healthy stuff = pure energy and vibrance.

One thing to remember though is that when our bodies are used to digesting and storing more acidic foods, it will take a sort of short detox phase to adjust as the body gets rid of toxins.   During that time you may in fact feel less energetic…but just give it a few days to a week and you’ll be so glad you did.  It took about 3 days for me, and this morning I felt noticeably more energetic than previous days.

There was a time when I didn’t understand how juicing was so good for you.  Doesn’t it remove all the good fiber?  Won’t it raise my blood sugar if the fiber isn’t there to balance out the natural sugar in fruit?  While it may raise blood sugar a bit, it won’t be a big deal as long as the overall ratio of veggies to fruit is about 3:1, as fruit has more natural sugars.  And make sure they are vegetables that are low on the GI scale – like cucumber instead of carrots.  A great one to start off with is 1 whole organic (or peeled if it’s not organic) cucumber, several stalks of organic celery and a small apple.  But have fun playing around with different combinations!

Coming full-circle now, let’s talk smoothies again.  Smoothies are almost just as amazing for the body as juices…and they also keep you full longer. The body does have to work a bit to digest them, but still not nearly as much as with solid food, and the fiber provides longer lasting fullness and energy.  Plus, they’re easier to make.

As Kris explains, “the difference between a juice and a smoothie is that a smoothie leaves no pulp behind – it contains all the fantastic fiber of the ingredients.  The tough cellulose structure of the produce is broken into tiny pieces that are easy for your body to digest and assimilate.  Think of it as a pre-chewed blast of optimum nutrition.”

My green smoothie was just a smidge different than usual this morning. In an effort to keep it 100% raw, I subbed in water for my usual almond milk.  I was kind of concerned that it would loose it’s delicious creamy factor, but I could hardly tell a difference!

2 big handfuls of organic spinach + 1 banana + 1 cup water + 1 scoop of Amazing Grass (with a side of folded towels:)

As I talk more about raw/vegan food, I want to make it clear (as always) that whatever each individual can do that improves their health and quality of life is like gold.  If that means introducing green juice or green smoothies once a week or eating three raw meals a week, then that’s great!  The fact is that no one is perfect and the more we put pressure on ourselves to be perfect – in any area of our lives- the more we’re setting ourselves up to fail. I’m currently trying to eliminate sugar from my diet as much as possible, but yesterday afternoon I got a serious craving and nothing but the vegan peanut butter cookies I’d made for the husband would do.  So I ate one.  And it was delicious.  It didn’t lessen the healthiness of my morning and I can definitely tell you it improved the healthiness of my mind because it reminded me that perfection is overrated and food is to be enjoyed.  The thing I’m realizing though, is that the more I use food to take care of my body and promote energy and vitality, the more I do enjoy it.

Amen?

This morning I’m spending some time going through my yoga class for tonight.  I only have two classes left!  I’m really going to miss teaching and am hoping I can get a new position asap.  Also on the schedule for today is three tutoring appointments and of course…packing.  I probably don’t even have to say that anymore, huh?  It’s kind of a given that there will be packing going on here during any down time for the next week and a half.  Crazy times.

Hope you all have a great Wednesday – the week is almost halfway over!

*Note that I’m only talking about food intake up until noon.  Kris doesn’t necessarily advocate eating a 100% raw diet.
**I also want to add that while I am really enjoying Crazy Sexy Diet, and I feel like I’m learning a lot of valuable information, Kris writing style is very forward.  At times she uses language that could be a bit offensive to some, and while I personally don’t like it, I choose to look past it because for me the information is worth it.  Just an FYI if you’re considering reading the book.

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7 Responses to “let's talk raw – juices and smoothies”

  1. Heather (Where's the Beach) February 16, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    Thanks so much for your honest opinion of the book. I really want to read it more and more. I love the idea of at least learning more about nutrition even if I don’t exactly follow the plan or fully believe in it. Just being armed with that knowledge is a good step in the right direction. I never drink smoothies because I never feel like they keep me full long enough to be honest. Though, I will admit to mostly having them as a protein shake after a workout when they get metabolized much faster. Or that’s my theory 😉

    • candice February 17, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

      I totally agree – the more we know, the more confident we can be in the lifestyle we do choose.

      I usually eat a snack mid-morning, so my smoothies keep me full until then. When I was teaching, though, I would often go all morning without anything else…just too busy! For me, it’s all about what I put in it, ie protein powder, nut butter, chia seeds, etc.

  2. Kristina @ spabettie February 16, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    YAY for the hubs and his first smoothie! 🙂

    I am just starting Kris’ book also, and I’m really excited about it… there are many days I only drink until lunch or dinner… juice all day and have smoothies. Some days I need much more so I only go until lunch, but on “light” activity days I love to do a “cleanse” every now and then 🙂

    • candice February 17, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

      Interesting to hear your eating routine – I never really thought cleansing was that important, but I’m seeing a new angle to it now and I definitely think it has benefits.

      I’m looking forward to hearing what you think about the book!

  3. amber@SAHM's musings February 17, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    I’ve been interested in this book and even perused it when I went to B&N this past weekend. But your right, the language was a little off putting and while that’s not a deal breaker (i can look past it) I think I was most wary of the heavy eastern religious vibe I got. I guess what I’m saying is I’m having a hard time with that part of the book and if I’m going to read some on all encompassing health (physical/spiritual) I’d prefer it to align with my personal belief system. I was curious as to how do you feel about this aspect of the book? If that’s too personal a question you can plead the 5th 😉

    • candice February 17, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

      Not too personal at all and a very valid question. I really should address this issue in my post. The spirituality that Kris advocates is basically the universal truth system. Find whatever kind of spirituality works for you and go with it. Obviously as a firm believer in Jesus, that doesn’t jive with me. I have been doing a bit of soul searching on this topic for awhile now, trying to figure out what I believe God calls me to in this area. In many parts of the spiritual side of the book, I feel like I’m able to apply it to my relationship with God. For instance, she encourages meditation and a prayer (to whomever) each morning. For me that is my time spent meditating on scripture and in prayer. There are a couple of references in the book to there being no God or to God being a she. This really did bother me and maybe that is God convicting me about it. Now that I’m “talking” this out with you more deeply, I’m realizing that maybe I need to lay the book aside and really seek Him on this. The language I can skim over, but maybe no amount of nutritional insight is worth these kinds of lies being put in my head? hmm. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

      • amber@SAHM's musings February 19, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

        This is a tough subject. There’s a part of me that thinks that if your faith is built on the rock then all the spiritual cruft doesn’t matter because you know what’s true in your heart of hearts but then at the same time you wouldn’t want to continue to compromise yourself. I put myself on the reserve list for the library for the book because I would like some healthy recipes, smoothie ideas etc. I probably won’t delve into the 21-day thing near the back. I don’t know… it’s a tough topic and kind of gray. It’s like discussing with people whether drinking is good/bad/indifferent. Everyone has their own convictions and I do believe each person is convicted by the Holy Spirit differently. I guess what I’m trying to say is just pray and do what you feel a peace about. I’ve really been struggling with spiritual mental stuff so it’s probably not a book I would read too in depth at this point. I actually picked up Reshaping It All by Candace Cameron Bure because it’s part memoir (i loved Full House) and part Spiritual/Physical fitness book. I could go on and on but I’ll stop.

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