Ok, I have a confession to make: the last couple weeks I’ve been eating a less than stellar diet. Between birthday celebrations, dinners with the family, and going out of town, I’ve consumed more gluten and sugar than I like to. In an effort to give my body a bit of a break, I did some juicing last week.
Juicing is great because its an easy way to get in a lot of nutrients that you probably wouldn’t be able to consume otherwise due to the sheer volume of fruits and vegetables you’d have to eat. It’s also easier on your digestion as there isn’t the amount of fiber that there is in whole vegetables.
While there are a lot of benefits to juicing, there are some things you need to keep in mind. Anything that has been juiced is going to be absorbed faster, so if you’re juicing fruits or vegetables that are high in sugar, you’re going to get more of a “sugar rush” than if you were eating the vegetables whole. For this reason, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend juicing while you’re in the first stages of trying to rebalance your gut flora, as the juice may feed the pathogenic bacteria. You can also add some full fat coconut milk or milk kefir to your juice. This will add some fat and help it to absorb more slowly, though it will increase the digestive load a bit from just plain juice.
I stuck to juicing just for breakfast for three days. I picked up some golden beets, carrots, apples, cucumbers, and lemon. I used red apples, but green apples are lower in sugar if you’re trying to keep that to a minimum. Carrots are also a sweeeter vegetable, so I only used one. And remember that there’s a lot of nutrition in the beet greens, so be sure to include them as well. Scrub all your veggies with a brush to get them nice and clean, and, for even more convenience, you can cut them up in big batches to speed up the actual juicing process.
1 golden beet, with greens and stems
1/2 red apple
1/2 large cucumber
I really enjoyed this combination! I did plain juice the first day, then added some milk kefir the last two days to keep me full a bit longer. The first couple days I was fairly satisfied with just a tall glass of juice for breakfast, but by the third day I felt like I needed some solid food again. I’m fairly slender and tend to get hypoglycemic, so after the three days, I went back to solid food for breakfast.
For me, juicing isn’t something I’m likely to incorporate into my daily routine (at least not right now.) It is a bit labor intensive to clean the machine, so it isn’t very practical when I have to be out of the house by 6 AM. But, it is a great way to cleanse the body and to help you get through a period of time when your nutrition is less than ideal.
Remember, there’s more to life than nutrition. You can’t expect yourself to always stick to a perfect diet. I do believe that there are phases in life when its ok to cheat a bit, and phases when you really need to be fairly strict. At the beginning of a gut healing protocol, its important to stick very closely to your diet. And people with celiac disease really can’t afford to cheat and have gluten without feeling terrible. But once you’ve restored your health and healed your gut, I think its ok to have the occasional indulgence. It’s different for everyone, and you may be able to cheat with one food that makes someone else feel awful. If you listen to your body, you’ll figure out your own rhythm and just what your limits are. There’s a lot of freedom in that!
This post is part of Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable.