Friday, December 6, 2013

In Praise of Vegetables -- Juicing

I'm going to let you in on a little secret.  I have this strange obsession with vegetables.  I can't seem to get enough of them.  At the farmers' market or grocery store, I'm all over them.  This morning (fridge still full of carrots, celery, eggplant, daikon radish, cabbage, spinach and baby greens) I found myself drawn to the organic green cabbages.  I bought three heads!  Then there were the red, yellow and orange carrots.  Mmm...had to get them.  Then it was the leek and then the turnip.  Yep, brought those home.  You get the idea.

This "obsession" can be traced back to earlier this year when I went on the GAPS diet and removed all grains from my diet.  The Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet enables the gut to heal and reseal itself by removing hard-to-digest grains from the diet and increasing foods like bone broth, protein, good saturated fats, pro biotic foods, fruits and vegetables.

While the diet was beneficial, the added bonus was how it broke me of my dependence on carbs and opened up a whole new world of cooking to me.   On GAPS I had only vegetables to satisfy my hunger, so I learned to cook them in a variety of new ways:  juiced, in soups, as snacks, as meals and fermented.

Keep in mind, I am no gourmet cook-- if I can do this, you can too!   Join me in this new passion for vegetables and finding delicious ways to cook them.  Perhaps this obsession with vegetables will spread to family members and children.


Inspired by my friend Denise Rhodes and convinced of its many health benefits, I'm dedicating this post to juicing vegetables, commonly referred to as "juicing".
Denise has lost over 60 pounds and has seen many health improvements in the last year and a half simply by adding juice to her daily diet.  Juicing became such a way of life that she planted a summer garden, her first ever.  She then turned it into a winter garden! You can read testimonies, see her vegetable garden, get vegan recipes and view how-to videos at .
Why Juice?
  • In a nutshell:  to get a concentrated amount of nutrients in one glass.  We've been told to "Strive for Five" or get 7-8 servings of vegetables each day.  Juicing makes that easier.  You wouldn't eat a pound of carrots in one day.  But you can drink a glass of carrot juice!   And you'd be multiplying the vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants over eating just one carrot.  
  • By juicing vegetables you remove the fiber, making nutrients easier to absorb and able to stimulate digestive juices, revitalize the liver, purify the blood, and cleanse the kidneys. 
  • Also, juicing detoxifies and cleanses the body.  The nutrients in vegetables rid your body of toxins such as heavy metals.  Juicing provides high amounts of minerals that chelate metals without the added stress and side affects of chelation therapy. 
Juicing Tips:
  • To get the most benefit, use a juicer that removes the fiber or pulp from the vegetables (a Vitamix won't work here).
  • Use only organic vegetables and fruits, if possible.  
  • Drink your juice on an empty stomach, which means first thing in the morning and/or late afternoon an hour before dinner.  
  • Start with a moderate amount of greens, and balance with fruits to sweeten the juice.  As you progress in juicing, add lemon or lime juice to brighten the bitter taste of greens without adding sugar.  
  • Juice once a day to start (no fasting or starvation diet here!).  If you have leftover juice, drink it within 24 hours; it will remain fresh if refrigerated and sealed very tightly.  

Beginner Juice Recipe:
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 celery stalks
  • apple
  • orange
  • 3 cups of spinach

For more recipe ideas see the list at: .

Happy Vegetable Trails!

--Two Peas

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