I Juice!

Green Greyhound

During the Hood to Coast last August, we had a great discussion in our van about vegan nutrition as several vanmates were curious about what I was eating and why I became vegan. We got onto the topic of sports nutrition and I said, “I’ve been juicing and it works great for me!” to which one woman asked, “Where to do get it?” and I replied, “Well I make it fresh at home.” I thought, hmmm, kind of a strange question, of course I make it fresh at home…and then I realized what she thought I meant! I’m juiced up on fresh fruits and veggies, not steroids!!!

How I Got Started into Juicing

I was thinking about adding fresh juice to my diet when a nutritionist friend of mine asked last spring if I would be interested in doing a cleanse with her, which included juice fasting. I thought it would be a great idea for me to do the cleanse to flush out all the accumulated waste in my system from my previous animal/refined grain diet after switching to a plant/whole grain-based diet. 

I had an intensive triathlon clinic scheduled in the middle of the juice fast phase of the cleanse, and I was pretty nervous about having enough nutrition for the full 8-hour clinic, which included pool, bike, and track workouts. I made eight quarts of juice, packed in a cooler, and decided to do the clinic, drinking juice instead of eating the food provided at the clinic. I found that I did great on the juice! I had no heaviness in my stomach, had abundant energy, and also felt well-hydrated. It’s now become my staple nutrition on race day.

Why Juice?

Most of us do not get enough fresh fruits and vegetables in our diets, leading to deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and phytonutrients vital in boosting the immune system, helping the body fight against developing fatigue, ailments and disease. Juicing fruits and vegetables separates the nutrients from the fiber, allowing your body to quickly absorb those nutrients, which would otherwise take several hours to go through the digestive process to be absorbed. Fiber is great, it is important, and adding juice to your diet does not mean forgoing eating whole fruits and vegetables, but it is a nutritional boost, and a great way to get vital nutrients into your system quickly.

My Favorite Juices

My race day nutrition for a sprint distance triathlon now includes 32 oz. carrot/red cabbage juice (Carrothead recipe below) and 16 oz. carrot/green bean juice (Beany Bunny recipe below) about 3 hours prior to the event, along with 4 oz. of Energy Pudding (Brendan Brazier recipe which I’ll post in another nutrition blog) 1.5 hours prior. I also have 32 ounces of coconut water (I buy Vita Coco or O.N.E.) for electrolyte preload the night before, and 8 oz. more along with water prior to the race in the morning.

This first section are my daily go-to morning juices. I also have them in the afternoon, but they are my staple breakfast everyday. Please take a look at my blog post on organic fruits and vegetables on why I specify certain fruits and vegetables be organic.

Green Juice
Kris Carr, Crazy Sexy Cancer. 
http://crazysexylife.com/2009/make-juice-not-war-green-drink/

2 large cucumbers (peeled if not organic)
big fistful of kale
big fistful of sweet pea sprouts or romaine lettuce
4-5 stalks organic celery
1–2 big broccoli stems (Yes! A way to use those stems!)
1 pear or organic green apple
1-inch piece of ginger, or less, depending on your taste

Green Greyhound (my current favorite!)
Sarah Matheny, Peas and Thankyou.
http://peasandthankyou.com/

3 organic kale leaves
3 organic celery stalks
1 cucumber (peeled if not organic)
1 organic apple
1 grapefruit, peeled

Green Lemonade
Natalia Rose, The Raw Food Detox Diet.
http://www.detoxtheworld.com/

1 head romaine lettuce or organic celery (I prefer lettuce)
5-6 stalks kale
1-2 organic apples
1 whole organic lemon, unpeeled
1-inch piece of ginger, or less, depending on your taste

These are my go-to pre-race/pre-workout juices:

Carrothead
6 organic carrots
1/4 head of cabbage (red is my favorite)

Beany Bunny – So surprisingly sweet, like candy!
4 organic carrots
Handful of fresh green beans
1/2 organic cucumber

These are some of my favorite kick back juices.

Watermelonade – An amazingly refreshing summer drink!
1 organic lemon
1/2 watermelon, rind, peel, and all! Not kidding! Full of beneficial chlorophyll.
Handful of fresh mint

Orange Creamsicle – Who knew you could juice a raw sweet potato? But this is soooo good!
4 stalks organic celery
1 sweet potato, peeled
1-inch piece of ginger
4 oranges, peeled

Red Juice – Note, if your stomach is low on hydrochloric acid, you might pee pink afterward…
2 organic carrots
3 medium beets, peeled
4 oranges, peeled

What Juicer do I Use?

I purchased the Breville BJE200XL 700-Watt Compact Juice Fountain after watching Kris Carr’s demo on Crazy, Sexy Cancer and seeing just how easy it was to clean and that it was reasonably priced, since I was new to juicing. I had a juicer years ago, one someone had given me, but it was horribly difficult to clean and made such a mess when I used it that I gave it to Goodwill! The Breville is a centrifugal juicer, in that fruits/vegetables hit a high speed spinning grater and then the juice passes through a fine sieve through centrifugal force, separating it from the pulp. It does a great job, was inexpensive, is very easy to clean, and doesn’t make a mess. However, centrifugal juicers do not juice wheatgrass or other herbs, and now that I know I really like juicing, I may switch to a masticating or auger juicer, which are more expensive but do a better job.

There are tons and tons of different juicing combinations. These are the ones I enjoy, but I do experiment with other fruits and vegetables and find great new combinations all the time.

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