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
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:
Cucumbers are a great source of B vitamins, which give you energy! They’re also 95 percent water (yay for hydration) and , which is amazing for your skin.
Though you might see parsley as just an herb to be sprinkled on main dishes, it actually , 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 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 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 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 It also contains a compound called Phthalides that the New York Times says helps lowers stress levels!
This root has long been used to cure a wide variety of health problems. It’s amazing in aiding digestive health(bye bye morning sickeness!) and getting rid of inflammation.
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!
3 celery stalks
An inch of ginger
One clove of garlic
Four kale leaves
A handful of parsley
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!