Monday, July 21, 2014

Carrot + Celery + Ginger Raw Juice Recipe

Hi Readers! How was your weekend? Mine was great-- a lot of work mixed in with date nights and fun in Atlanta. I love this city. There is something about the community, the people, and creative culture of Atlanta that inspires me and is also comforting in an inviting-Southern-kind of way. It feels that same exhilarating way that any big city feels like; yet it also feels homey and small and inviting like you and what you have to give matters. It's basically a big city with small town feel and I couldn't love that any more than I do. #weloveatl. ;) 

I definitely have Atlanta on my mind, but today I want to talk about something that I love just as much: juicing. Juicing has become one of the bigger parts of my wellness and has many healing powers. When many people hear juicing they automatically associate that with a juice only cleanse. I wish that weren't the case, as there are many benefits of juicing along with your regular meals and not only while doing a cleanse. I don't skip any meals to juice. I don't do juice cleanses. I don't juice to loose weight. One can definitely do all of those things. I, however, juice frequently and often without skipping any of my regular meals or eating. I juice to get nutrients I wouldn't other wise get into my system in a fast and yummy way. Juicing gives me energy and helps me feel rejuvenated and focused. It helps my skin. It helps me to keep up a really good immune system where I rarely ever get sick (which is not at all how I used to be!). It helps me feel better
emotionally too as I find my emotions are more balanced when I'm getting enough nutrients-- which is clearly always a plus! I used to have really bad anxiety during certain times of the month and I've found that all of the nutrients in juicing really helps keep that at bay and levels my hormones. Some juice to level their blood pressure. Some juice to loose weight. Some juice to eradicate arthritis. Some juice to heal and get rid of cancer and leukemia. Some juice to fight constipation. I juice to prevent all of those things and to restore my body and it's nutrients. When my husband and I are in our normal routines (with little traveling) we juice often-- at least 3x a week but often even more than that. When we have been traveling and aren't in our normal routine, juicing is one of the first things we do once we get home and are getting back to taking care of ourselves. When I start to feel sick or that I may be coming down with something, I quickly take a mental inventory of three things: have I been drinking enough water, have I been taking my epsom salt baths, and have I juiced lately? Those are the things I go to even before thinking about whether or not I've been taking my supplements. Juicing is one of the first things I do (along with these other two) when I feel like I'm getting sick. It's a great way to get a ton of nutrients into my body in a fast way.  It would feel boring to me to eat two handfuls of raw vegetables. Juicing is a great way to get around that while still getting all the nutrients of all of those raw vegetables. I'm not sure I could even get all the nutrients and natural vitamins, enzymes and  minerals I get with juicing in any other way practically speaking.  It's also easier for my body to digest in it's liquid form. 

Something that many people are unaware of is that in raw juices (if consumed soon after made) there are live enzymes in the fruits and vegetables that help your body digest it and utilize it for optimum nutrition. Many people say that it's not good for your body to get so much sugar at one time. If you are the one making your juice or if your juice is made within five minutes of you consuming it, this shouldn't be a problem. The vegetables have live enzymes that are made just for the sole purpose of helping your body digest it and go to where your body most needs it. Amazing how God created the world that way! I've also heard many people say that drinking raw vegetable juice is yucky and doesn't taste good, and I can definitely understand the sentiment as I've had juice from other places that don't taste as delightful. However, making your own juice at home is a great way to make sure that you aren't drinking something yucky. You can taste it as you make it, and if it doesn't taste right you can add fruits or vegetables until it tastes pleasant to your taste. When I first started making juices I had to have apples in my juice or it tasted too bitter to me. As I got used to juicing, I can drink full green juices without any apples or fruit and I absolutely love the flavors. (Basil is great to add for flavor if you aren't used to juicing and it doesn't have any added sugar!) My husband and I start with a pretty common base recipe when we juice that we love and we add fruits and vegetables depending on the season, what we have, and what things in our body we are trying to strengthen. This base recipe below is one I would suggest for anyone just starting out with juicing. You can solely use the ingredients below and you will have a wonderfully flavored juice or you can add more vegetables to your liking. I've heard it said that the more colors of raw vegetables you consume through juicing, the more your skin will glow since the colors will come through in your complexion. I definitely find a difference in my skin and complexion with juicing. Cheers to nice complexions and healthy immune systems! 

Carrot + Celery + Apple + Ginger Juice Base Recipe: 

4-5 Carrots 
4 stalks of celery 
2-3 apples 
1 knob of ginger about the size of the tip of your thumb- this is optional to use when you are able and have access to USA grown ginger. Not only does the ginger give a wonderful flavor to the juice, but it is also so helpful for boosting the immune system with all of it's anti-viral properties and amazing for digestion and any stomach issues. It's also great for PMS and arthritis!

You can add anything to this base. We absolutely love adding fresh herbs!! I've been utilizing my basil plant in my backyard to add to our fresh juices and it's been my favorite! We also most often add kale or greens. Sometimes we have even added sweet potatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, beets, turmeric, tomatoes, etc. We also do wheatgrass shots of just wheatgrass when we haven't killed our wheatgrass plants that we (try to) grow. As you will notice we don't often do just fruit based juices, and we don't even usually add much fruit to begin with. If we do an all fruit juice it's usually as a treat using fruits of the season: i.e. watermelon and strawberries

*Juicing Tip: You want to start by juicing the ginger, any greens, and any herbs first. It's best to do those things first, because the more firm vegetables will help the smaller and leafy vegetables to go down. 

It's also  important to note that I take great care in where I buy my fruits and vegetables from. We mostly only buy organic, if not the very least of adhering to the Clean15/Dirty Dozen list. We buy most of our vegetables for juicing at the local farmer's market and that definitely affects the quality of nutrition and the overall taste. I definitely wouldn't want to be juicing pesticides to drink! 



P.S. Thank you to Ben, my husband, who is the one who actually makes our juices! I don't feel like I can write this post without giving him credit. I will sometimes wash and get the vegetables ready, but he is the juicer of our household who actually makes all of our wonderful juices and comes up with a lot of the combinations and recipes. He is also the one who did all of the research to figure out which juicer was the right one for us (those types of processes are always slightly boring for me as they involve a little too much research for my liking!) and brought back and returned one or two that ended up not being the right ones.  Love you babe & thank you for contributing to my immune system. ;)   

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