Tales of a Juicing Rokie

The new year has already been a whirlwind for me.

I came into January with a massive hangover and realized I had just 20 days left to study for my personal training exam.
Oh Shit...

I sat on my couch for hours each day just reading along, taking numerous practice tests, cramming anatomy into my brain, stressing out repeatedly, then repeating that process all over again. Then, the morning of my test came. I woke up with an extremely gross sore throat, I accidentally drove onto the University's sidewalk (thinking it was a road), I slipped on the ice walking from my car to the test center, and then I became lost for the next 15 minutes inside a building even a turtle could navigate.....But all of that chaos and confusion was soon relieved.

I passed my exam!.....sweaty palms and all.

Now you can all say hello to a newly ACE Certified Personal Trainer :)

Once the joy of my results subsided, I realized my nutrition school had started two days earlier. Once again, I needed to kick my butt into gear and catch up on the materials. It took me all of last week to really get used to the formatting of the lectures, website and assignments. It's definitely going to be a lot of work and concentration on my part, but I guess it's all a part of the process.

With my stresses of the past month came poor eating habits, little to no exercise, very little water, and really bad sleeping patterns.....not to mention lack of blogging (oops!) My immune system had finally started to react and plan its retaliation. For 10 days, I had a nasty virus that started out as a sore throat and then slowly crept up to my sinuses and back down to my chest. All the stress of January finally caught up to me. I rarely ever get sick, maybe like once a year, but when I do it's sure to come at me like a blow from Mike Tyson.

I had watched a GREAT documentary a few weeks ago called Hungry For Change. It dives into the relationship America has with diets and explains why they just simply don't work. A diet implies that you are only changing your habits for a short period of time before you fall back into your old ways. It also talks about how the majority of people in today's society are overfed and undernourished.

Now repeat that...."Overfed and Undernourished."

That line right there is what made me start to think that even the healthiest of people could use a little more nourishment in their lives. I, for one, am a prime example. I get plenty of macro-nutrients in my diet (good carbs, lean protein and good fats), but as for micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals), I definitely could use a little more "green" in my life.

The documentary goes on to explain just how important these micro-nutrients are in leading a healthy lifestyle and how unimportant they are in the American diet. People will eat and eat and eat in order to fill a void. We don't sit back and ask ourselves Is it the food you're craving or is it something else? A lot of people will mistake the body's call for nutrients with hunger.

So how exactly do you get enough micro-nutrients in your diet?

The simple answer is juice. 

Juicing is a huge topic that a lot of people disagree with. I used to be one of them. I used to think the only people who juiced were those trying to get a quick fix for weight loss, and once they stopped, would eventually gain it all back plus some. I thought people who juiced were trying to "cleanse" their body by only drinking juice night and day for an unhealthy amount of time, suffering in the process.....and that's just not true.

In most cases, people who juice do it to not only look good, but feel good from the inside out. When you juice, a mega-dose of nutrients hits your system within 15 minutes of consuming the beverage. That's insane compared to the average 4-5 hours it takes a regular meal to fully hit your system.

After watching this documentary and getting that horrendous cold, I wanted to give it a try. So, for the past week I have been making one juice a day and I can't tell you how good I feel. I've definitely noticed a few things that have changed:

-My cravings are down
-I'm getting a full night's sleep
-My cold is done and dusted
-I'm sweating easier and more (detox effect)
-I haven't had one night sweat outbreak (I used to have them nightly)
-My digestive system is....let's say....on track
-And I feel tanner....even in the dead of winter

All of these results after only juicing once a day? I'd say it's a pretty awesome habit to get into. Not only is it easy, but it's kind of fun too. The best part is throwing the ingredients into the juicer, pushing them down with the sticky-thinga-ma-jig, then voila!....out comes the juice. It's like magic.

If you want to start juicing (and I highly recommend you give it a shot), here are a few simple tips in order to get started:

1. Choose a juicer that's high quality and won't waste the juice.
You also don't need to break the bank either.

2. I recommend only juicing 1-2 times a day. When you juice, you lose almost 90% of the fiber. A combination of drinking AND eating your fruits and vegetables will provide the most benefit.

3. Juice in the mornings as this is the optimal time your body absorbs
nutrients due to an empty stomach.

4. If you have multiple juices, have fruit juices in the morning, then switch to vegetable juices. The sugars in the fruit juices are more easily absorbed first thing and don't spike your blood sugar as bad.

5. Choose organic fruits and vegetables. If you're going to go through
the trouble of juicing, make sure you choose organic as you
eliminate the pesticides and toxins used on non-organic foods.

And here is a simple recipe for my go-to juice in the morning....
Cherry Cleanse
-2 medium apples
-1 pear
-1 slice lemon
-1 chunk ginger (about 1 inch)
-1 tbsp hemp oil
-1/4 c tart cherry juice
-1/4 c sparkling water
-1/4 c water

Juicing does wonders for your body and your mind. You'll start to think a little clearer, see a little straighter and might even look a little livelier. It can make your whole body feel complete and, most importantly, nourished.

The best part? It falls under my one rule to live by:
When you bring in the good, you'll eventually crowd out the bad....

XO, Cass