Let me put it out there. I love food.
Food is kinda, ‘My Thing.’ I love tasty food – it can be a la Heston Blumenthal Gastronomical Physics, or Mom’s lamb roast with brussel sprouts. There’s nothing that disappoints me more than going to a restaurant and being served a meal less scrumptious than one I could have in my own home, or in the home of several people in my life who are also self-proclaimed Foodies.
I don’t believe that anything, within moderation, can be harmful to your health. I seriously believe that one day we will find an incredible health benefit, (apart from the dark chocolate benefit to heart disease,) to chocolate because nothing can taste that delicious and not be of some use. Butter, never margarine. Fragrant olive oil, aged Balsamic, organic vegetables, free range chicken and eggs, and pasture raised meat products. These are the status quo in my kitchen and what I look for in stores or restaurants.
Anyway, I digress.
Part of eating well is believing in healthy living. I know that a skinny chef is not to be trusted, but I don’t think a morbidly obese one with dangerously high cholesterol is better equipped to cook. And so, in the search of health, (including but not strictly for weight loss,) as well as nutrition from my dinner plate, I have tried a lot. From the weird diets where you weigh your food and ensure that your protein/fat/carb/veg quotient is right. To the iridologist ‘eat-right-for-your-type’ plan which included a whole whack of supplements and a suggestion to drink my morning urine. I didn’t want to do that for many reasons, but mostly because my morning wee stank and was a horrid colour. Probably all the toxins flushing from my system. I hope.
On the exercise front, six gym memberships started and then later cancelled due to lack of interest. Biokineticist told me to do strength training, especially for my belly and bum. Dance teacher told me to do cardio if you want to lose weight. My kick-boxing instructor told me to go back to dancing. Cousin’s girlfriend who was a personal trainer told me that all people need to take supplements in the form of protein powders etc if they are to build muscle mass. Only then can they start to worry about fitness and weight loss.
I have tried a SCIO machine and found the results amazing. Introducing L-glutamine to my system has changed my life. As has the inclusion of Theanine. For a person who used to crave sweets and chips like it was going out of fashion, I haven’t had any in my home for months and apart from chocolate, seem to have lost my sweet tooth all together.
There was also the incredible dietician who examined urine samples, again with the wee, and I apologise. She alkalised us, (shame, hubby had to go through it too.) and introduced some rules we still stick to in our day to day living. Like having the right proportions on our plate, (she gave us pictures that looked like pie charts.) And always to combine tomato with lamb as the acid in the tomatoes cuts the fat of the lamb.
Iridologist told me to eat as much potato and steak as I like, I'm an O blood type and that’s what I need. The weigh-your-food people said NO to potatoes. And meat portions bigger than a matchbox. But I could eat half a tuna fish if I so desired. SCIO lady said I was anxious and needed sleep, and for good overall health, I need to get at least six uninterrupted hours of sleep. Tell that to my nursing/night-terror-ing daughters. Incredible wee-watching dietician told us that until our wee is as clear as water, we’re not eating right. Iridologist should maybe team up with her and they can make a ‘bottled wee that looks good enough to drink’ campaign?
But again, I digress.
Back to me loving food and health and L-glutamine. We have a juicer in our home. Nothing fancy. It was a gift from my in-laws and so we used it for a month or two and then packed it away when winter came and fresh fruit juice was replaced with hearty soups. But 2014 has been declared the year of the juice in our home. And after reading up about the benefits, hubby and I were convinced this was worth a try. Add in some chia seeds and you’re good to go.
So this week has been the first week, almost complete, of juice for breakfast. I made three litres on Sunday night and we kicked off the week with Green juice: spinach, watercress, rocket, celery, cucumber, ginger and green apples. That can't be bad for you. Tuesday was Red juice: mixed berries and beets, red apples and lemon. Wednesday was Orange juice: pineapple, carrot, ginger, lemon and cayenne pepper. Hubby has been doing one juice for breakfast, I have been adding a juice for lunch as well.
I thought I was going to starve.
I thought juice was something you drank with a meal, not as the meal.
I have been proven completely wrong.
Yes, at first it feels as though you're drinking a salad, or earthy flavoured water. Then you wonder how soon after you can have a plate of nachos. But then something strange happens; you start to feel nourished. And I don’t use the word ‘full’ here deliberately. You feel as though you are fed, but not full. It’s been quite amazing.
Dinners have been as per normal and tonight was a particularly delicious burnt-butter steak with a roasted chickpea and tomato quinoa salad.
I won’t be doing two-juices-a-day for a long time. I really just decided to do it to get the whole system going and give the effects a full go. I can't believe that skipping out on the roughage and fibre provided by the actual fruit and veg can be a good thing long term. But, my energy reserves seem to be up. I'm not starving either. And when you consider that an average glass of juice probably has about three beetroot, a tablespoon of chia seeds, an apple, mint sprigs, half a cup of berries, some ginger and half a cucumber in it; I imagine that by this time next week, I will be glowing.
This is something I was hugely resistant to. I hate dieting and, like I said, I love food. Getting new recipes for the juices going is quite fun though. And of course, if my kids sip on the juice a little, all the better. Some things go in your tummy and you can simply feel that they are good for you. I'm hoping this becomes a way of life for us, to some extent. Despite some of the negative press about juicing being a ‘fad’ and that there is little evidence that it actually has any added benefits to your health that eating the raw fruit or veg wouldn’t, I can't help but argue that it simply feels healthy. Like I said, and remember this is coming from a foodie, it simply tastes as though it must be good for you and once it’sin, you definitely feel the benefit. Now whether that’s the chia seeds, or the raw produce, or the combination of both, I can't say. But there is the surprise added bonus: my morning pee is as clear as a crystal stream.