Everyone knows about the dangers of smoking by now; anti-smoking campaigns have made sure of that. However, a lot of us think that the only way to quit smoking is to buy the patch, chew nicotine gum or simply quit cold turkey. There is another way....JUICING! That's right, fruits and vegetables to the rescue AGAIN! Check out the testimony of an 18 year smoker and make up your own mind:
While my husband and I were dating, I told him that I didn't want him to ever ask me to stop smoking. I enjoyed it, and it was a part of what made me who I am. I was 19 years old, and had no idea what the future would hold. All I knew was that our friends were all refusing to date smokers, and I wanted to stop any hounding me to quit before it started. He made that promise, and kept it.
Little did I realize then, but years of smoking was going to make me chronically fatigued. For five years, I went to different doctors who did various tests from thyroid checking to assuming I was depressed. My thyroid was fine, and I wasn't in denial about depression. I was perfectly happy! My doctors never considered smoking to be part of the problem, and neither did I.
The light bulb went off when I was reading an article about the effects of smoking. Normally, I passed by articles like this, but this one was titled Chronic Fatigue and Smoking and it opened my eyes to a new way of looking at my life. In hindsight, I knew everything that article had talked about, but like a lot of people, I didn't think any of the bad things would happen to me. I was so tired by now that I was missing out on important family events, my son drew pictures of me sleeping, and my husband was losing patience.
I started searching for natural remedies to help me quit smoking, but most of them seemed too good to be true. In fact, most of the products didn't even make sense, and there was no scientific evidence to back it up. All I could find was sales pages that made me want to close my computer and give up. Then one day I ran across an article about study carried out by Duke University found that fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and non-carbonated drinks like juice and water make cigarettes taste bad while foods high in fat, coffee, meat, and alcohol make them taste better. This made me start thinking.
Before smoking, the majority of my diet was fruits and vegetables. I didn't like meats, or breads. (Something that changed after I had been smoking for a couple of years). I was determined to use this information in my effort to quit smoking, and finally feel better. Unfortunately, I was working at a place that was fast paced, and allowed me little time for eating. It wasn't unusual for me to go the entire day without food. (Which did nothing to help with my lack of energy!) I knew taking a break to eat was never going to happen, so I needed something fast. That's when I got the idea for juicing.
I did a ton of research on juicing, and found more opinions than I really needed. I was able to put the information I needed into my notes, and then set out to change my life. I got excited to see if juices would work as well as eating the foods the article had mentioned. I made my juices every morning before work, and made enough to last me the entire day. This way, I could easily drink a little here and there without actually taking a break and upsetting my co-workers.
The first day was difficult. My routine with cigarettes was get up in the morning, have some coffee and a cigarette. Have a couple more cigarettes on the 30 minute drive to work, and then another just before the store opened for the day. On my drive, I knew exactly what part of the drive I needed to be in before lighting up. It was ridiculous, but it was a habit formed over two years, and I never thought about it.
Day 2 was easier, but day 3 was the surprise. I woke up and didn't even think about smoking. I made my juice, got ready for work and left the house without ever thinking about smoking. It wasn't until later in the day that I realized I hadn't had a craving, and I started to get excited. They weren't gone completely, though. That evening, I had some minimal cravings, but they weren't anything like I'd experienced before. After the first week, I was craving juices, but not cigarettes. The biggest change? I was less tired. Not just a little less tired, but I could make it through the entire day without the desire to just curl up and sleep. I felt amazing!
Six months later, and I've made more changes to my diet and my life. I stopped working crazy hours, and my diet is now mostly fruit and vegetable based. If I do get tired, it's not like it was before. I'm tired like everyone else who gets tired; it's the normal tired of a busy day, or accidentally staying up too late the night before. My family life has changed, too. I'm less grumpy with the kids, and I definitely have more time to attend their events, and play around with them. It's like an entirely different life than I had before, and though I miss smoking sometimes, I can't imagine going back to it, and back to the chronic fatigue that had me in its grip for so many years.
Points of Interest
We recently shared Tia's green drink and loved it! Check out what her twin Tamera juices for energy.
1 large cucumber
8 stalks of celery
1 handful of kale
1 handful of spinach
pinch of parsley
ginger (to taste)
Blend all ingredients in juicer or Vitamix for 30 seconds or until desired consistency. Voila!
*Note: If using a Vitamix, you will get all the fiber that you need, though the final result may be more pulpy than using a juicer. Simply add water to thin out if desired.
You might have noticed that the ingredients in my energy juice are really similar to Tia's healthy green juice - but I've got one key ingredient that gives me that extra energy push: an apple! You might know this, but your body is able to turn the natural sugars in apples into energy, which can be equivalent to the energy felt from caffeine in a cup of coffee. Amazing! Also, the carbs in apples fuel your body and the high level of fiber is absorbed more slowly by your body. The result is a steady source of energy, instead of the sudden surge and crash from coffee.
I adore a good green juice or green smoothie. Every day I consume my green leafys in at least one of these forms. Studies have shown however that if you consume the same leafy green in the same amount every single day the body begins to build up alkaloids; something that all leafy greens have in very small amounts.
When you consume the exact same variety of green leafy vegetables, your body is always getting the same nutrients. Each variety of plant will give you different nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants. But it goes even further than that. You see, each plant has a self-defense mechanism to keep animals from completely devastating their favorite plant. For example, if monkeys loved spinach and decided to eat all the spinach around then the plant could not procreate and it would die out.
Nature’s system is so smart because it knows that it’s important to keep greens around (hello! most nutritious food pound for pound!). So green leafy plants actually have a minute amount of alkaloids, which act like a poison if ingested regularly. That’s where rotating your greens comes in! If you switch between different types of green plans, your body’s immune system is actually getting a boost because it is working on different alkaloids all the time.
Switch between at least 10-12 types of greens. You can have say two or three days on one green like spinach, and then two or three days on kale, then two or three days on gai lan, you get the picture.
Greens are the most powerful healing foods out there, so it’s great to make them a staple part of your diet!
Your best bet is to go to a farmer’s market and look a the vast array of colorful greens. Pick some up, smell it, ask the farmer what it tastes like, and give it a try! If you’ve got the space and inclination, I’d highly recommend you start a garden. Plant a few of these vegetables and see which ones you like!
Sunflower sprouts (sprouts in general)
Coriander / Cilantro
Greens are the most powerful healing foods out there, so it’s great to make them a staple part of your diet!
I have always been a fan of Tia and Tamera ever since their days on the popular television show Sister Sister. Their bubbling energy is contagious even on screen. Recently, the twins became new moms and Tia took to her blog to share how she regained her girlish figure and maintains her flawless skin:
A lot of people ask me why I'm always holding a weird-looking green drink. Today, I’m here to answer that question! Cory and I are super conscious of what goes in our bodies (we both went vegan in January) and try really hard to make sure that everything going in our bodies is benefiting it in some way. Ever since I realized how nutritious they can be, I’ve been obsessed with making juices – they’re the easiest and yummiest way to get a daily serving of fruits and vegetables. I use an because it keeps the healthy enzymes from the veggies in the juice. It's pretty pricey, but there are a ton of other juicers out there that will do the job too!
Here’s exactly what goes in my favorite green juice:
Cucumber: Cucumbers are a great source of B vitamins, which give you energy! They’re also 95 percent water (yay for hydration) and contain vitamin C, which is amazing for your skin.
Parsley: Though you might see parsley as just an herb to be sprinkled on main dishes, it actually contains a bunch of antioxidants, which help fight free radicals from your body. The vitamin C and vitamin A in parsley strengthens your immune system and act as an effective anti-inflammatory agent in your body.
Kale: Kale is the new superfood that everyone’s been raving about, and here’s why: one cup of it contains only 36 calories, 40% of the daily requirement of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C and 1,020% of vitamin K! WebMD says, “Eating a diet rich in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K can reduce the overall risk of developing or dying from cancer, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Amazing!!
Celery: Celery also contains a nice serving of vitamin K to your body, as well as flavonoids called apigenin and luteolin that are thought to lower your chances of developing cancer, inflammatory diseases and cardiovascular problems, according to Livestrong. It also contains a compound called Phthalides that the New York Times says helps lowers stress levels!
Ginger: This root has long been used to cure a wide variety of health problems. It’s amazing in aiding digestive health, reducing nausea (bye bye morning sickeness!) and getting rid of inflammation.
Garlic: Since we usually consume it in such small amounts, garlic isn’t commonly known for its health benefits – but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any. In several studies, garlic has been shown to lower cholesterol and combat inflammation, blood thinning and high blood pressure.
So now do you see why I drink this everyday? I swear by this juice and think it’s a huge factor in helping my skin glow and my body so energetic. I know it doesn’t sound too yummy, but try it and see if you feel differently afterwards. To make it sweeter, just add some apple into the mix!
Here's the exact amount of each ingredient I use:
3 celery stalks
An inch of ginger
One clove of garlic
Four kale leaves
A handful of parsley
Chaka Khan has taken control over her weight through juicing and looks amazing!
She recently shared with the world how she achieved getting healthier and losing 60 pounds. The popular singer began eating plant powered months ago which included a four month juice cleanse and exercise. The weight loss was necessary to manage her medical conditions of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
She was also motivated to change her life for the sake of her granddaughter. “I ended up going, ‘Oh, no, no, no, no, this is enough. I can’t live like this.’ And I have a new little daughter to raise [my granddaughter], I adopted her so I have to be here…[She] was really my first and major influence to lose weight and get healthy so I can be here for her. What I did was stopped eating and went on a strict unconditional fast for a couple of months. And went off meat, became vegan, stopped all the dairy, stopped all the meat.”
“My weight loss had to occur, because I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and I also had high blood pressure,” said Khan
According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarian and vegan diets are “healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases,” including lower blood pressure, lower rates of type 2 diabetes, and lower overall cancer rates.
After improving her health, the ten-time Grammy award-winning singer went on American Idol during last month’s finale with her sixty-pound weight loss and dazzled the audience.
Khan joins other well-known people who have adopted plant powered living, including Michelle Pfeiffer, Meredith Vieira, Bill Clinton, Russell Simmons, and Mike Tyson.
Newton said that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. With that in mind, know that for every step you take towards better health, getting a better job, creating a business or even making a better life; there will always be an equal and opposite force in the form of a co-worker, close friend or even family member trying to detract you from your goals.
In my world, I call them juice haters. For the ‘fafillion’ testimonials out there (quick google search) in favor of juicing and juice cleansing and how it has literally changed lives; there are those who try to find every reason in the book about how juicing is bad for your health and some sort of gimmick.
Some say: Juicing is starving the body and leads to depression.
TRUTH: Most juicers consume more fruit and vegetables in one drink than the average person on the Standard American Diet (SAD). How much easier is it to get nine servings of fruit and veggies in a juiced or blended drink than to sit down and eating 5 pounds of the same on a plate. Most people won’t do it. According to the Welsh Health Survey, Scottish Health Survey and Health Survey of England between 2007 and 2010, they found that there is an association between peak well-being and consuming about seven portions of fruits and vegetables every day. "Our findings are consistent with the need for high levels of fruit-and-vegetable consumption for mental health and not merely for physical health," they wrote in the study.
Some say: You only lose water weight during a juice cleanse so why bother?
TRUTH: Yes, juice cleanses will remove a significant amount of water weight during a cleanse. However, the ultimate goal of juicing is to reset or reboot positive eating habits, to control cravings, to promote alkalinity as opposed to acidity in the body and to incorporate more superfoods like leafy greens into a diet deficient in them. The wonderful by-product is weight loss. Do you know of anyone who desires to lose weight being concerned that water weight is the first to go? I don’t think so. It all looks the same in the mirror.
Some say: The body detoxifies on its own without any help from juices.
TRUTH: Yes, a body operating optimally does detoxify on its own. However, most bodies suffering from excessive alcohol consumption, poor diets, air pollution, and lung pollution from cigarette smoke are NOT functioning optimally. We all need a little help every now and then. Most people who eat three meals a day SHOULD have three bowel movements a day. The reality is that some think that it is normal to move one time PER WEEK! Can you say toxic overload?
One juicer had this to say about juice hate:
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
have I mentioned I want to start juicing? yeah, just a little bit I know. I've been researching all day... looking up tips and tricks and recipes, watching youtube videos and vlogs. i'm totally inspired but I've also come across a lot of negativity too which is a little disheartening. why do people have to hate!?
I understand that people who eat right and exercise and it takes them months or years to get fit and healthy worked really really hard to get to that point (hey that's the journey i'm on now) and I can see how one such person might look at a juice cleanse as a quick fix gimmick for some weight loss. I can see how other people might look at it like you are delving into some kind of eating disorder or somehow starving yourself. but it's really not that extreme folks. whether or not I completely switch to total juicing for a little bit (without restricting calories of course) or just add green juices to my daily intake I think that adding micronutrients is NEVER a bad thing. I want to detoxify my body because i'm already suffering from severe lack of sunshine, so if i can boost my immune system and get rid of the headaches i seem to be getting way too frequently than i'm in. weight loss, sure why not... but nutrients is what i'm aiming for thank you very much. and that's how i feel about juice and juice haters. done and dusted. Read the full post here: http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5218452
Don’t be a JH (juice hater). Hate is not your color. We all have to make our own decisions about how we choose to maintain and optimize our health. I prefer mine the juicy way. ;-0
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So you’re sold on juicing as an easy way to get healthier by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet but now what. Most beginning juicers don’t know what to do to get started. There is so much information out there that it can be a bit overwhelming. However, it is a lot easier if you know the questions you should ask yourself before you get started. Dr. Allison Stark, MD thinks you should ask:
1. Which kitchen essentials do you need?
1. Juicer (Dr. Stark recommends the Champion Juicer)
2. Sharp knife for chopping produce
3. Reusable grocery bags (for carting those heavy veggies)
4. Cutting board
5. Large bowl for mixing ingredients
6. Mason jars
7. Stiff brush to clean juicer
8. Stainless steel mesh strainer to extract unnecessary pulp
9. Juice Press
2. Where do you get produce and what should I buy?
What are your basic juicing ingredients? Kale, cucumbers, celery, and parsley are my basics, and I sometimes use collard greens, spinach, ginger, lemon, apple, lime, and pears.
Where do you shop? I shop where I get a good deal on key ingredients: bunches of kale and collard greens as well as large cucumbers are a lot cheaper at some local bodega-style shops versus Whole Foods.
How important is organic to you? I'm a big fan of farmer's markets and enjoy buying local produce when I can. I'm not wedded to organic. I personally look for the best-looking produce I can find and make sure to wash it really well.
3. How much does juicing cost per week?
Dr. Stark makes enough juice every week for one 16 oz. drink a day. Compared to Liquiteria's pressed juices, which cost $8.50, Dr. Juicy ends up spending about $3.50 a drink, or $25 a week.
For this price, Dr. Juicy purchases "a BIG batch of kale, a batch of collard greens, a bunch of celery, 5-6 large cucumbers, 5 granny smith apples, 5 lemons, a nice piece of ginger root, and a bunch of curly parsley."
4. How much time does juicing take?
"I'd say about an hour: it's a lot of produce and it just takes time. It's a multi-step process: washing, cutting, setting up the juicers, then putting all the greens through the Champion juicer a few pieces at a time, changing the attachment, and putting the rest of the produce through.
Simultaneously, I use a hydraulic press on the small batches of pulp that come out of the Champion Juicer.
This might sound like overkill, but I extract about 20-30 percent more juice this way.
Also, pressing the juice increases their shelf life. My juices can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days, so I don't have to juice as often.
I probably do about 10 batches in the press, then squeeze the lemons separately, running all the juice through my strainer as I put it into all the jars."
Note: It's not necessary to have a juicer and a press. She's just a little thorough.
5. What's your go-to green juice and where can I get some starter recipes?
Pineapple and Mint
1 large pineapple
Generous handful of mint
Green Juice (makes 100–120 ounces)
1 bunch of green kale
1 bunch of collard greens (or dandelion greens)
1 bunch of celery
1 bunch of parsley (I like to use the curly leaf parsley because it goes through my juicer better)
5 granny smith apples (can replace some or all with pears, if preferred)
5 large cucumbers (or 3 English cucumbers)
2-3 inches of ginger root
Put all ingredients thorough the juicer (except the lemons which I squeeze separately) and put the pulp through the juice press, if available. Note that I use a leafy greens attachment on my Champion juicer for all the greens and then switch to the regular attachment for the rest of the ingredients.
That’s juicing 101 in a nutshell. I promise you, once you start you will find it hard to stop. For more motivational, educational and inspirational information about juicing and the lifestyle delivered straight to your inbox, please subscribe to our free newsletter at www.rawblisslife.com.
Drink Good…BE Good!