To juice or not to juice? That’s my question.September 10, 2012
I just spent a glorious few days back home in Boston and was psyched to try Life Alive, a restaurant that I’d been hearing so much about since we moved. Organic salads, whole grains, smoothie and juice bar – hello.
First, I went to get my yoga-lovin’ butt kicked by Todd at South Boston Yoga (my old yoga home). It was wonderful to be there, to sweat and relish some of the best yoga I’ve ever experienced, anywhere. Live in Boston? Please go. For me. Give David and Todd a hug from Michelle.
Then I dragged my sweaty self over to Life Alive where I spent $18 on a salad and juice. That’s a hefty pricetag but where else can you eat out and get a delicious bowl of kale, carrots, corn, cashews, quinoa, some sort of ginger dressing and freshly juiced veggies?
Nowhere. That’s where.
I enjoyed it completely.
Sipping my cucumber, celery, kale, ginger, lemon juice I realized that it’s been a long time since I’ve juiced at home. Huh.
Then I got to thinking…is this juice real food?
Often we define ‘real food’ as something that grows from the ground, in its unprocessed state. We say ‘real food’ can be made in the average kitchen and is something your grandma would recognize as food.
Kale grows from the ground with its fiber intact, as a leaf. Not liquid. It can only be turned into juice with a fairly expensive specialty kitchen appliance. And if my grandma saw kale juice I think she’d laugh and wonder how the heck you got juice out of such a dry leaf.
Taking the fiber away from the fruit or veggie certainly means it’s no longer a whole food. So there’s that.
And as soon as your throw some fruit in there, the sugar content gets pretty high pretty fast – with no fiber to help slow its absorption into your bloodstream.
On the other hand…
Juicing provides the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants of a boatload of fresh produce in an easy to drink, easy to digest form. That’s pretty significant since so many people have sluggish or impaired digestion.
It tastes good (when done right!) and appeals to those who otherwise wouldn’t touch vegetables.
It helps anyone get more veggies in their diet, and that’s a great thing.
So, what’s the deal? Juice or no juice?
I think any diet that gets people away from fast food, junk food and restaurant food is going to have amazing health benefits. Raw food in particular can be incredibly cleansing. But I think learning to prepare and enjoy real, whole food is the key.
I’m not into fads or telling people they have to buy a $400 juicer because healthy eating can be so much more simple. Simple = sustainable.
Didja see that my Fall 2012 detox is open for registration? You’re gonna learn how simple it can be to eat real, clean whole food. No juicer, dehydrator, fancy powders or magic potions required!