It’s All About Juicing

So, while I was away at a bachelorette party this weekend, my husband watched “Food, Inc” and “Fat Sick & Nearly Dead.” The outcome was me coming home to a man ready to go on a juice cleanse. After a bit of an argument on Monday night, we have compromised and are now incorporating 1-3 vegetable smoothies into our normal menu plan.

We have talked about buying a juicer quite a few times, but haven’t done the research yet, and thus, are sticking to vegetable smoothies at this point. I’ve heard that smoothies are better because they maintain the nutrients and fiber, while some of that is lost once juiced. We’ll see how it goes.

Benefits of Vegetable Smoothies (note: these are for smoothies with lots of leafy greens – ie kale and spinach):

  1. Prevents heart disease
  2. Boosts your immune system
  3. Prevents diabetes
  4. Lowers the risk of depression
  5. Spinach increases the feeling of satiety; feeling full sooner decreases the chance of overeating
  6. The body can absorb more calcium from kale than milk
  7. Can help balance healthy hormone levels
  8. Improves triglycerides
  9. Decreases risk of cancer
  10. Provides energy
  11. Maximizes your vegetable intake
  12. Increases fiber intake, which promotes healthy digestion, prevents blood sugar spikes after eating and helps lower your blood cholesterol
  13. They help prevent kidney stones
  14. They soothe acid indigestion because they are naturally alkaline
  15. Some greens have a circulation-boosting effect that makes you feel sexier and gives you an attractive glow

So, what does our meal plan look like? Here’s a sample from the first few days…

Monday

Dinner: Very small portion of wheat pasta with a vegetable-rich pasta sauce and turkey meatballs (leftover from a couple weeks ago – I had frozen the extra) – for the sauce, I lightly sauteed 2 zucchinis, 1 squash, 1 head of broccoli, and a package of organic mini tomatoes. Then, I cut up the meatballs and sauteed for about 1-3 minutes more and then added some random organic marinara sauce I picked up from the grocery store. I put a small portion of pasta (1/2-2/3 cup) in a bowl and covered it with the vegetable/meatball sauce. Mmm! We had leftovers, which I threw in a freezer bag and into the freezer.

Tuesday

Breakfast: Carrot, Beet, Kale, Avocado & Pineapple Smoothie (RECIPE: 4 handfuls of mini carrots, 1 small beet peeled and sliced for easy blending, 3-4 handfuls of kale, 1 avocado, 1/2 a mini can of pineapple juice – Throw it in a blender, then pour into cups or mason jars and voila! Note: This made approximately (4) 16 oz. servings)

Carrot, Beet, Kale, Avocado & Pineapple Smoothie.

Carrot, Beet, Kale, Avocado & Pineapple Smoothie.

Mid-Morning SnackBlueberry Maple Refrigerator Oatmeal

Lunch: 1/2 Whole Wheat Pita Pocket with light mayo, 1 slice of the “thin sliced” packaged pepper jack cheese, a slice of tomato, spinach and raw mixed stir fry vegetables (I buy a package of fresh stir fry vegetables from the grocery store as a little convenience. Saves a ton of time not having to slice a million vegetables. The mixture includes carrot, red onion, pea pods, broccoli, and bell peppers.)

Snacks (with lunch and throughout the day): Clementine, 1-2 cups popcorn (I can’t remember the brand… maybe Boom Chicka Pop), bag of mini carrots, Blueberry Greek Yogurt

Dinner: 1/2 Carrot, Beet, Kale, Avocado & Pineapple Smoothie, Slow Cooker Tofu & Chickpea Curry over small portion of leftover wheat pasta

Wednesday

Breakfast: The Glowing Green Smoothie (I adjusted the recipe a bit: in addition to the greens, I also added about 2-3 cups of chopped kale, a splash of canned pineapple juice, some extra water and probably 2 TBSPs of Kefir for some extra probiotics. Note: This made approximately (4) 16 oz servings)

Glowing Green Smoothie... Mmmm!

Glowing Green Smoothie… Mmmm!

Mid-Morning SnackBlueberry Maple Refrigerator Oatmeal

Lunch: The Glowing Green Smoothie, 1/2 Whole Wheat Pita Pocket with light mayo, 1 slice of the “thin sliced” packaged pepper jack cheese, a slice of tomato, spinach and raw mixed stir fry vegetables

Snacks (with lunch and throughout the day): Clementine, 1-2 cups popcorn (I can’t remember the brand… maybe Boom Chicka Pop), bag of mini carrots, Blueberry Greek Yogurt

Dinner: Having dinner with Pop & Milly (Mark’s gramps and momma)

A few things to note… it helps if the smoothie is cold, the smoothie is WAY more enjoyable with a straw, a little fruit goes a long way, if it’s too thick – just add more water, the smoothies can keep for 24 hours or more!

Symptoms

My lower back is definitely in need of the chiropractor. I am feeling achy and uncomfortable. As always, my face looks worse than it ever did in high school. Literally, every time I look in the mirror, there is a new zit. I’m starting to get used to it, but it obviously does not make me very happy. Ahh also, for the past 4 or 5 days, I’ve noticed that my hands are feeling quite swollen when I wake up. I wonder if this could be tied to me not getting enough sleep or slacking on my workouts last week. Who knows? Either way, I’m hopeful that between my vegetable goodness, my revived work-out schedule this week, and some extra sleep, the swelling will subside. But then again, maybe it won’t.

Besides these very minor things, I’m feeling pretty good. My moods seem to be very easily influenced, which makes me an extremely happy, upset, angry, excited, jolly, crabby, etc version of myself in a very short amount of time. Let that be a warning 🙂

Also, I’m getting excited for this weekend. Friday marks 20 Weeks… our halfway point!! Mark has a work conference on Friday, so he won’t be home until later, but we’re going to celebrate on Saturday. I’m sure he’ll plan something nice and relaxing and fun for us.

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