Sitting in my doctor’s office, I awaited the dire prognosis that lay before me. Thoughts of regret, anger and frustration flooded my consciousness as I wondered how I had gotten to this point.
At age 35, I was a successful working professional, I had a wonderful family, and things looked promising in all other aspects of life—-except for my health. I was considered obese by medical professionals, I suffered from eczema, skin lesions, and chronic pain, and I had been led to the doctor’s office as of late because of a disturbing series of unexplainable pain across my abdomen. Due to the history of liver, pancreatic, and stomach cancer in my family, I decided I needed to find out what was going on.
So here I was, dreading the news, and wondering what kind of painful changes I needed to start making to get my health back on track. I was too young to be feeling this way.
Doctor’s news revealed that I was prediabetic, I was at risk for developing arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, and if I didn’t do something about my weight, I could die from heart disease and heart attack. In addition, there were some disturbing red flags in my bloodwork regarding my entire digestive tract that necessitated a biopsy in the near future.
A turning point
I left the doctor’s office with a fire in my belly—-I went home, determined not to fail my wife and children as I told them the news, then proceeded to promise them that I would take my health back one day at a time. I dove into internet research, books, and other sources of information that would point me in the direction of better health and vitality.
I found a bunch of junk, initially. For every search related to health and fitness, there is a diet specific to that line of thinking. For the first time in my life, I followed my “gut” rather than my appetite and kept slogging through the oatmeal diet, the cheeseburger diet, and all the other diets that promised amazing results without truly healing the source of the problem.
I was toxic, and I needed a detox plan that would allow my body to heal and repair itself.
Juicing......my "aha" moment
I began researching information on juicing, and suddenly I became very excited about improving my health. I read stories of juicing gurus, ordinary people that had gone before me and regained their health, eliminating years of toxic buildup and a host of autoimmune diseases by giving their bodies proper nutrition. This is where I needed to be.
My wife thought I was nuts as I ran out to buy a juicer and some fresh produce. She hadn’t seen me this excited for years, and it had never been about broccoli! Over the course of the next six months, I incorporated more and more fresh juices into my diet, and I dropped an astonishing 118 pounds, reclaiming my health once more. My wife and children are now on the juicing train as well, and we are safeguarding our health one glass at a time. If the thought of juicing seems daunting or scary to you, read on and benefit from some of the research I did while reclaiming my health and my body once more. There is a lot of misinformation out there about this seemed “fad”, but I can tell you with absolute confidence—juicing saved my life. Here are some juicing facts and myths you need to know in order to be able to make informed decisions about your health:
Juicing Myth #1: Juice contains no fiber
If fresh juice contained absolutely no fiber, then people on a juice fast would cease to produce bowel movements, and this has not been the case at our house, I can assure you! There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber remains in juice after the insoluble fiber is extracted through the juicer.
Soluble fiber is able to absorb water like a sponge and provide bulking matter that acts as a prebiotic to improve your digestive health.
The result is a clean and healthy digestive tract that serves you more efficiently.
Juicing Myth #2: Juice contains too much sugar
This may be true in cases where only fruit is used. Yes, fruit is healthy, but when used in moderation. With any excess, the body only knows how to handle so much before it goes into overload, storing extra energy as stored fat on the body until it is needed.
Follow the 80/20 rule; use mostly vegetables when juicing, and throw in a few choice fruits for taste and flavor that you can savor.
Juicing Myth #3: Juicing does not provide detox benefits
I disagree with this myth completely. Your body is always trying to detoxify itself to maintain good health, but juicing fresh fruits and vegetables significantly helps this process along. Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage promote the release of liver enzymes associated with detoxification.
Eating, blending, and juicing these naturally grown gems is a great way to increase and promote good overall health.
Juicing Myth #4: There are no proven health benefits of juicing
Research points to the fact that consuming a plant-based diet—-be it in solid or liquid form–does wonders for improving overall health, strength, and fitness.
Numerous personal stories attesting to the health benefits of juicing exist; merely finding them is enough to bring inspiration and the will to change your own life as you read how people are losing weight and combating disease naturally with fresh produce.
Juicing Myth #5: Juice doesn't contain enough protein
While juice may not contain as much protein as a 12-ounce steak, it is not devoid of essential proteins, either. Anyone concerned with adding additional protein to their diet during a juicing cleanses can choose to add plant-based proteins or chia seeds for an extra boost.
Combining fresh juices with clean sources of proteins like chicken, fish, and egg whites is a wonderful way to get the best of both worlds.
Juicing Myth #6: Juicing is just a fad. It will eventually fade away
In reality, juicing has been around for years, although the recent upsurge in popularity has been because of the proven health benefits it has for everyone consuming fresh juices.
Improving conditions like high blood pressure and chronic inflammation, it is a healthy alternative to heading for your medicine cabinet.
Juicing Myth #7: Juice is devoid of nutrients due to the extraction of pulp
You might lose some additional fiber and trace amounts of minerals present in the pulp, but the nutrients and live enzymes released in the extraction process are worth their weight in gold because of what they do for your body.
Pulp can be used to bulk up sauces, smoothies, and even make bread and muffins, thus saving some lost nutritional value.
Juicing Myth #8: Eating fruits and veggies is better than juicing them
No matter what, it’s all about the plants. Choosing to consume your fruits and veggies in salads, sauces, smoothies, soups, or juices is not as important as how many you are consuming each day.
Finding ways to incorporate more plant-based foods to your diet will ensure that you are doing the best thing for you and your health.
Juicing Myth #9: Consuming bottled juice brings with it a risk of bacterial infection
While there is a risk of contamination associated with drinking bottled and pasteurized juices, if you were to juice and consume fresh juice at home, you would be in control of what you put in and what you are getting out of it.
Juicing Myth #10: Juicing causes hair loss
This myth is partially true for people suffering from thyroid conditions. Including minerals like zinc and biotin as well as extra protein will help safeguard against hair loss and help to build and protect lean muscle tissue that may have been at risk for loss as well.
Juicing Myth #11: Juicing is expensive and wasteful
There are many ways to use all by-products associated with juicing and to cut down on the cost of produce. By fresh produce in season, and get to low local farmers and small businesses that can offer better deals to you.
As for the leftover pulp, feel free to use it as an additive to foods like soups, smoothies, bread, muffins, burgers, crackers, cookies, and other lip-smacking snacks to make them as nutritious as they are delicious.
Don't know where to start? Here are some tips for juicing at home:
Many people are overwhelmed at the thought of beginning to juice at home. For one thing, there are a number of juice machines on the market that all claim to be the biggest and the best, but it is not necessary to break the bank to find a quality juicer that will go with distance with you.
Look for juicers with parts warranties, and purchase something that can keep up with the volume of produce that you intend to consume in this manner.
A Nutribullet might be good for the occasional smoothie, but you are going to want a commercial juicer for larger jobs or larger quantities of juice. Do your research and choose the machine you need for your unique situation.
Other helpful tips for starting to juice at home include:
- Wash, peel and cut produce to remove pesticides and dirt
- Clean the juicer after each use
- Combining strong-flavored veggies with your favorite fruits will make them more palatable
- Use a variety of fruits and vegetables for juicing. Avoid drinking the same juice every day
- Add pulp back into your juice, or add to a soup or rice dish
- Add ground flax seeds, chia, or ginger for a boost of nutritive value
- Consume fresh juice immediately to avoid breakdown of live enzymes
In no time at all, you’ll be a juicing pro who can sing the praises of this lifestyle and share your new, healthy physique with others as a way of inspiring better health. Be ready to set the record straight with juicing facts and myths for others and help to guide them to find the path to wellness. Here’s to your improved health and vitality!