Fruit In My (Green) Juice

I’ve always been somewhat extreme. It’s all or nothing. White or black. Darkness or light. At the same time, I have been told again and again, by many a wise individual, that moderation is important: moderation is fundamental to a balanced lifestyle: moderation is essential in every aspect of life. I am almost 35 years old and I am just now figuring out how to moderate. UnknownI’m learning how to balance.

This equilibrating act also applies to what I eat. When I first began juicing, and integrating different aspects of holistic wellness into my daily diet- I was a bit radical in my zeal. I mostly gulped down juices (while holding my nose) made of 100% green leafy vegetables- the results were thick and bitter and I, in turn, was bitter about juicing too. My morning concoctions were more of a punishment than a pleasure. After having read a number of nutrition books (especially the ones about the alkalinity and acidity (pH) of food), I had gotten it into my head that fruit was bad. I had convinced myself that fruit had too many natural sugars and therefore the high glycemic index would mess up all the good I was putting into my body with the other plant-based, whole foods I was consuming. I was also just learning about “food combining” and before allowing myself to truly dissect the science behind it, I had ruled out the fact that fruit could be eaten with anything else (including raw veggies) and therefore, eliminated it in each and every form.

I later figured out that although high in natural sugars, fruit also plays an integral role in holistic health. Fruit provides the body with numerous nutrients including vitamins and minerals- fiber, potassium and folic acid. Eating fruit reduces the risk of chronic diseases including type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers. Furthermore, eating fruit can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney stones and bone loss. The benefits of fruit are so vast that a number of the health promoting phytochemicals are still being identified.

Understandably, different types of fruits provide the body with different nutrients. The benefits of citrus fruits (orange, lemon, grapefruit, etc…) vary from the benefits of berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc…) and of course, there are the considerably potent “superfood” fruits (acai, maqui, goji, etc..) and so on and so forth… The truth is, I think that leaving out fruits due to my fear of combining foods and sugar consumption, limited my body from the advantages of many of nature’s most vibrant, beautiful and delicious foods.

Therefore, I now categorically include (organic) fruits in both my smoothies and juices. I try to keep the ratio to about 80:20 (80% veggies, 20% fruits) but this can also vary as some vegetables are sweeter than others, and vice versa.

More importantly, now that I have made my peace with fruit, I thoroughly enjoy my green (and sometimes purple, orange or yellow) juices. Thank goodness for that.

UnknownBelow are two of my favorite juice recipes. Delicious, nutritious, and totally balanced.

IMG_6650

Spicy Spinach Juice

Ingredients:

  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 1-inch piece of ginger
  • 1 cored green apple.

Directions:

  • Wash, slice, juice, serve and enjoy!

IMG_6456

Sweet Greens Juice

Ingredients:

  • 1 handful swiss chard
  • 1 handful kale
  • 4 pineapple slices (1/4 medium pineapple)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 celery stalk
  • Juice of ½ lemon

*When I have fresh homegrown wheatgrass (about once a month), I also throw in a few tablespoons of the juiced grass before serving.

Directions:

  • Wash, slice, juice, serve and enjoy!

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