Saturday, November 07, 2009

Juicing

No, not steroids, as I was once accused of taking. I took it as a compliment because it was directed toward me after lifting a PR and running a PR race. In this case I mean as in juicing fruits and vegetables for health.

When I first began eating a vegan diet, over 4 months ago now, I began each morning with a smoothie of dark greens and fruit. Many mornings I am still consuming these, however, I am now juicing regularly, too.

By juicing I am removing all of the fiber of the fruit and vegetable. With the fiber removed, fresh juice digests very easily, so I am not expending as much energy on digestion. This extra energy then becomes available for my body and mind.

Remember when I posted how difficult afternoon runs were for me; that I felt out of energy and my legs felt very tired? I really couldn't figure this out. I assumed it was just the change of schedule-from AM summer vacation runs to PM afternoon runs. The weekend rolls around and I have alive legs and all is well on the weekend AM runs.

Well, the past few weeks-two weeks prior to Javelina and this week-I found that my afternoon runs no longer sucked. Three weeks ago I was still running a high mileage week. I was running 5 in the AM and another 5 in the PM. I was surprised that the 5 in the PM were good, energized runs. I couldn't figure it out. I went to the gym 3 weeks ago and lifted a few PR's. The week prior to the race I cut back on mileage, thereby figuring that the energy I felt during PM running was due to the taper.

This week I recovered so quickly from Javelina 100 that I was back to running AM/PM again, something I have never been able to do post 100.

I finally realized that a large part of the reason for the great PM runs and the recovery is due to the juicing. It has to be. Another part has to be due to the raw diet. I had absolutely no bloat/swelling at all. I went back to work on Tuesday in heels .. I never have been able to do this before. I had no soreness or stiffness whatsoever. Of course I do have the horribly dry skin, hair that falls out and cold sores that I normally have post 100. Yes, I always suffer these maladies post 100.

Back to the juicing...I usually juice approximately 32 ounces for a morning breakfast. I like to begin with a sweet base so I use 4-5 medium-sized carrots and an apple as a base for a 32-oz juice (one quart). By using carrots and apple as my base I am sure to have a sweet tasting juice no matter how many greens I add.

Carrots and apple are high in natural sugar. When I first began juicing I used few dark greens because the taste of the greens was so strong. I usually used the sweet base of carrot and apple and added celery, romaine, and cucumber as they are alkalizing and very mild in flavor. Over time I cut back on the carrot and apple and have increased the dark greens as I have adjusted to the flavor and find it wonderful and refreshing.

When I want a large supply of juice I'll use whole heads of celery as they have a high water content so I can get a lot of juice out of them.

After juicing the fruit base and the alkalizing vegetables I'll add the dark greens. My favorite dark greens to add are now kale and spinach, sometimes collards. I usually save my collards for wraps, using only the ripped ones for my juices and shakes.

Finally I'll add lemon or lime and ginger root. I juice the skin of the lemon or lime too, and about 1" of ginger root. I find that the citrus juice adds a zing to the juice, the ginger adds a great spike of flavor.

After accepting a part time position with Macy's a few months ago, my first purchase using my employee discount was a Breville Juicer. It works very very well. I place a plastic grocery bag or large Ziploc bag into the pulp container to catch the pulp, thereby making clean up even quicker. It stores nicely under my kitchen sink and clean up is a snap. It takes me less than 15 minutes to clean the fruit and vegetables, juice and clean the juicer.

Since juicing my desire for morning coffee has plummeted. I can't believe it. I have always enjoyed grinding my own beans each morning and preparing french press. I found that I now have desire for juice and not coffee! I didn't go through a caffeine withdrawal but I do find that I still want coffee one or two times a week..so I have it. Eventually I'll probably just give it up altogether. Again, this shocks me.

Today after my run I juiced 3 carrots, 1 apple, 1 head of celery, 1 head of romaine, about 2 cups of spinach, 1 lemon and 1" of ginger root. It is pictured above. Tasty!!

4 comments:

SteveQ said...

I think a lot of the coffee craving in the morning is really just thirst; if i switch from my pot (yes, pot) of morning coffee to something else, I don't miss it.

Londell said...

I have the same machine... Have you tried this for the family. For the fiber in the evening meal, I take the pulp (Mostly just carrots, beets and celery pulp) and mix one to one with my 97/3 burger. Now Vegan would not do this, but I love it... I have also taken the pulp and used it in a variety of muffins... But have to use it quick as it spoils fast.

Other favorites for me is watermelon rind and whole tomatoes.

I do agree, I feel better with my morning juice and love the Ginger zing! Some may not like it.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Julie!

I have always thought fruit juice was the enemy since it removes all the fiber and leaves you with just the calories, but your experience has me intrigued. Do you think you're able to get as much fiber this way, or at least as much as you need? I'd be interested in your comments.

Thanks!

Julie B said...

The fiber is removed, you get none of it, this is why the digestion is so easy and swift. We still need fiber, I get a ton from the remainding 3-8 pounds of fruit and vegetables that I eat each day!