So YES! I turned 50!! Wow!! What an amazing time I had on my birthday! My husband, family and friends lavished me with so much love, it left me speechless! Seriously, that is a big deal to leave me without something to say, but it is now it’s marked in history.
Turning 50 is a very special time in anyone’s life, but for me it is a miracle, since I was suppose to be dead at 38, being born with chronic kidney disease left frail, weak and dying on dialysis. I am grateful for my husband’s love and sacrifice, he gave me his kidney back in 2008, next month will be 12 years, #kidneystrong. So, what does this have to do with juices and smoothies? Well I had a goal, to feel and look great when that big number rolled around. My girlfriend Rochelle, who I like to call the “Juice Queen”, inspired me, by dropping off two 32 oz. jars of juice on my front porch. My friend’s kind gesture inspired me to go back to my roots. I started juicing daily for months back in 2002 and loved all the benefits it offered my body, mind and spirit, over the years I have found other ways to nourish my body, that I enjoy. I still juice two or three times a week, but I knew this was the way to go for turning 50.
I tapped into my education in Holistic Nutrition and Medicine and put it to the test and it paid off . I decided for 8 days to consume only juices, smoothies, lot of veggies, some lean proteins and No Sugar and No Alcohol. I also did yoga daily, walked, hiked, lifted weights, prayed and meditated. Now on the food side, I could have just juiced, but here’s the thing, juicing is amazing and it’s extremely beneficial for you, but it lacks the fiber my body needs, so I combined my juicing with smoothies and it made huge difference.
So, what’s the difference between juicing and a smoothie. Juicing is extracting the juice from a vegetable or fruit by removing the fiber. Juicing gives you a powerhouse of nutrient, minerals, vitamins and lots of phytonutrients. Juicing is awesome for that boost you need to start the day. You are literally getting the living energy of raw foods going to your blood stream immediately. Now with that being said, the downside is most people like to juice the sweet fruits and yes you get the nutrients from the fruit, but you also get all the sugar. Yes! major energy boost, but sugar can bring you down quickly, especially when it gets in your blood stream too quickly. Please take NOTE, if you are diabetic or sugar sensitive, juice more of the leafy greens and vegetables. Also, if you have issues with Vitamin K foods, or you are sensitivities due to medications, like blood thinners, please talk to your healthcare provider before juicing large amounts of leafy greens, like kale, collard greens or spinach, to name a few.
Now let’s talk about smoothies, I love a good smoothie. In a smoothie you get it all, they provide you with the same vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber. The fiber in smoothies help slow down digestion, which in turn, helps you stay fuller longer, which also stabilizes blood sugar levels. The two types of fiber that helps us stay in good health, is insoluble fiber and soluble fibers. The insoluble fibers helps keep us regular and cleaned out. The soluble fiber helps lower blood cholesterol, slows down the absorption of carbohydrates from foods and it also helps feed the good bacteria in our guts. Happy Tummy, Makes a Happy Mommy, is my mantra.
Juicing and having smoothies gave me diversity, also with smoothies I was able to add in vegan based protein powder, nuts and seeds, which gave me my good fatty acids. The protein and fiber made my smoothie a meal for me and my dinner was much lighter, mostly consisted of a salad and sometimes a piece of fish.
Since you know why I chose to do both, here are some fun photos and juice and smoothie recipes to get you started to look and feel great at any age and always Set the Table with Love.
NOTE: THESE ARE LARGE AMOUNTS OF INGREDIENTS. I was making juice and smoothies for my breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner. You can adjust the amounts to your preference. Also on occasion I would add a bit of distilled or coconut water to my juices on hot days, it was quite refreshing.