I used to look forward to the food at the holidays. Now I dread that meal and all the treats that go along with it. Don’t get me wrong, I look forward to tasting all of that special holiday food, but by now I dread, in equal measure, the feelings of overload and self-loathing that go along with over-indulgence. So to prepare to feel my best before, probably, feeling my worst, I’m going to double down for the next two weeks in my efforts to consciously consume fresh, clean, easy to handle foods – and one of the best is freshly made juice. There are, undoubtedly, many measurable benefits to juicing such as flushing toxins from the body, improving vitamin intake, and even decreasing cravings for unhealthy foods. Notice that last benefit? What if you started each day for the next 14 days with a freshly made vegetable-and-fruit juice? You’d not only be making a healthy start to your day – always good – but you might be priming your body to NOT crave, or overindulge in, those sweet and heavy holiday treats over Thanksgiving weekend.
But beware – some of the benefits of juicing sound almost too good to be true, and for a lot of people on the juicing bandwagon, they are. This is due to a few key errors that many people make when starting a juice routine. Check out these tips on how to avoid them.
- Beware the allure of the forbidden fruit – Fruit juice tastes wonderful. It’s colorful and lovely, and part of the reason that we like it so much is that it’s loaded with sugar. Most juice recipes you find will be extremely heavy on vegetables, and include only a couple fruits per serving, but the tendency to improvise to make your juice more palatable is almost universal. If you’re going to make juicing part of your daily life, make sure you’re not overdoing it with the fruits.
- Eat Your Vegetables…Still – Juicing does not replace the need to eat vegetables every single day. Your daily green juice might be high in vitamins but what it’s lacking is fiber, (i.e. all that pulp and green matter that gets diced or mashed and cast aside when you juice). Fiber isn’t important just for your digestive health, it also helps you to feel full – something crucial if you’re using juicing to lose weight.
- Consider the Calories – It’s tempting to think of juice as a free pass in terms of caloric intake. If you’re juicing at a high vegetable to fruit ratio you might be in the clear, but if you find yourself adding high sugar fruits and skimping on the leafy greens it’s important to factor this into your daily diet.
So join me – visit your produce store, load up on the freshest, in-season vegetables and fruits, and crank up that juicer. Let’s feel good – physically – on Thanksgiving night! Now there’s a new concept, right?