If you live in the States, like me, you probably enjoyed a long weekend of food, drinks, friends, and fun!
My 4th of July was spent soaking up the sun at my family’s lake place. There was definitely some junk food and alcohol involved! ;)
Did you know what you eat and drink has a huge impact on your hormones? So do your other habits such as exercise and how you handle your stress.
In fact, hormonal health expert, Nicole Jardim, says to think of your period like your monthly report card.
In episode #2 of my podcast, I sit down with Nicole to chat about how to reclaim your hormonal health.
If you’re struggling with painful periods, infertility, or menopause, you definitely don’t want to miss our conversation.
Nicole shares her personal struggles and how they became the catalyst for the work she does today. She’s passionate about being open to many different modalities to help heal the root cause of women’s health issues.
Not only does she know the immensely important role hormones play in women’s health, but she’s also a walking resource of simple tips to correct major problems.
Sipping a dirty chai at a crowed café, I overheard a woman talking to her friend.
“Wow!” she said, scrolling through her Facebook feed, “It looks like Kelly has lost a ton of weight.” She added, in an inauthentic cheerful tone, ripe with jealousy, “Good for her!”
That short exchange stayed with me. I couldn’t help but wonder how Kelly had lost the weight. Was she going through a dark time? Was depression suppressing her appetite? Was she eating the same unhealthy food, but depriving herself of volume, constantly hungry? Was she binging and purging? Was her mind consumed with calories, anxious about what she would order out to dinner with friends?
All these were likely. Very likely.
It seems when we blindly praise skinny, we risk praising pain.
Why are we so quick to admire a result without knowing the cost? To fully honor an achievement, we must honor the path.
My hope for Kelly is that her weight loss was a natural byproduct of her healthier relationship with food, exercise, and her body. Wouldn’t it be lovely if she’s become more empowered around exercise, more in tune with her body’s messages, and more in touch with what food made her feel good?
I don’t know Kelly. I don’t know her journey. And so, it’s doesn’t feel helpful to say, “Good for her!” Instead, “Kelly, I hope you feel great and continue to feel better!”
A dear friend once told me about a study done on interactions between adults and young girls. I don’t remember the specifics of the findings. But I don’t need to. Why? I see the essence play out often. In fact, I notice my tendency to do it…greet young girls with compliments about their looks.
“You look so cute.”
“That’s a cute dress.”
Don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t love being noticed for the beauty and radiance they’re emanating? However, pressure inevitably builds for bodily perfection when that’s the main thing you get noticed for, over and over again.
Now, I make it a practice to greet people with statements that let them know I’m happy to see them no matter what they look like.
“It’s great to see you! What’s been going on in your world?”
“It’s so nice to reconnect! Have you been reading any good books lately?”
“I’m so happy you’re here. You look like you feel great!”
I love this quote from Adele…
“I don’t want to be on the cover of Playboy or Vogue. I want to be on the cover of Rolling Stone or Q. I’m not a trend-setter. I’m a singer. I’d rather weigh a ton and make an amazing album than look like Nicole Richie and do a shit album. My aim in life has never been to be skinny.”
In general, as a culture, why do we assume a main goal, for everyone, should be to be skinny? It’s madness!
Adele’s statement emanates profound clarity. It says, “I know what I value. I know what I’m passionate about. I’m happiest when I align my thought, word, and deed with my unique gifts and desires. It would be out of integrity to do otherwise.”
It’s not virtuous to beat yourself up in order to submit, without question, to default, cultural standards. Especially when those standards are saturated with dysfunction.
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
Instead, my wish for you is that you’ll give yourself permission to shift your health goals from focusing on how you look to focusing on how you feel.
This is what I’ve had to do. Otherwise, I probably would have quit teaching yoga and Pilates a long time ago. I was putting way too much pressure on myself to look a certain way. It was exhausting.
But then I realized…
If you’re skinny and exhausted, you’re exhausted.
If you’re skinny and uncomfortable, you’re uncomfortable.
If you’re skinny and insecure, you’re insecure.
If you’re skinny and neurotic, you’re neurotic.
If you’re skinny and stressed, you’re stressed.
My point? Feelings trump all.
It’s time to prioritize. It’s time to focus on what truly matters. It’s time to shift from dysfunction to function.
It’s time to set a new standard for young girls. Let’s assume the goal is inspired. Let’s assume the goal is kindness. Not skinny.
Are you with me?
Chronic twinges? A nagging ache? Sleepless nights? Or, the worst, having to crawl to the bathroom?
At best, lower back pain is an annoyance. At worst, it can wreak true havoc on your life.
Do you assume this pain caused by issues in your lower back?
This can certainly be the case. Tight, weak lower back muscles can cause major problems. It’s definitely important to bring strength, blood flow, relief, and mobility to this area.
However, what you may not know about your lower back is that it often compensates for:
- Tight hips
- Weak or underutilized abs
- Weak or underutilized booty
- Improper posture
All these issues must be addressed in order for you back to stay healthy and pain-free.
A great place to start? One, very important postural adjustment.
It’s fancy name in yoga? Uddiyana Bandha.
“Bandha” simply means “lock”. “Uddiyana Bandha” is your “Abdominal Lock”. Or what I like to call your “Ribcage-to-Pelvic Lock”.
Before I knew about this lock, I threw out my back, multiple times, while doing yoga.
The first step to master this lock? Envision yourself growing a monkey tail.
No joke here. I’m dead serious…
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Pull your imaginary (obviously) ;) monkey tail through your legs, then up towards your head.
Do you need a visual? Check out this recent television segment of mine. The monkey tail is discussed a few minutes in.
Find this lock when you’re standing in your everyday life and when you’re doing standing yoga poses. It will make a world of difference!
If you struggle with lower back pain and you need some help, click here and let me know what’s going on…that’s what I’m here for! ;)
Awhile back, a research study concluded that putting a pencil between your teeth for a few minutes a day could make you feel happier.
Why on earth would this be the case? Because it causes “smiling muscles” to engage and your brain responds accordingly.
The takeaway? There is, most certainly, a connection between your physical choices and your emotional wellbeing.
The good news…
When you’re feeling less than stellar, making simple physical changes can help you feel better quickly…like, in seconds.
Practicing posture you’re proud of is one of the fastest ways to boost your confidence. Plus, it’ll make you look thinner, instantly, and aid in the alleviation of your chronic pain. (Lots of perks!)
Before yoga and Pilates, I used to have awful posture! For real.
Nowadays, my good posture something I get complimented on frequently.
In one of my recent television segments, I share my top 3 tips to transform your posture, 5 secrets to train your posture in your everyday life, and a couple yoga/Pilates exercises you can do on a stability ball to improve your posture.
Are yoga and Pilates among the best forms of exercise to tone up, slim down, and get more flexible? Yes, absolutely.
But they also deliver countless other benefits that you’ll begin noticing throughout your entire day, not just when you’re on your mat.
You’ll be sitting at your desk and you’ll realize you want to straighten up and hold yourself with strong posture. You’ll think, “Whaaat! Where did that come from?!”
You’ll be washing dishes, with your lower back beginning to bug you, and you’ll remember to support your back by engaging your abdominal muscles…you’ll feel a bit better.
You’ll realize deep breaths are necessary when things begin getting stressful at work.
Suddenly, you’re slimming down, toning up and feeling better throughout your entire day, even when you don’t have time to actually roll out your mat. (It’s awesome!)
You get so much bang for your buck when you do these forms of exercise consistently.
That’s why I created my Yoga & Pilates Online Membership program.
It’s a super-affordable, super-convenient way to access awesome yoga and Pilates workouts!
I used to be a major perfectionist and an all-out worry wart. I was often consumed by anxiety, but was good at hiding it.
Can you relate?
You slap a smile on your face at a meeting, but you’re actually thinking about…
- The embarrassing thing you said the last time you were with these people.
- Your overwhelming to-do list.
- The extra weight you’ve gained. (You wonder, “Will they notice?”)
- Fears about your health.
- Fears about your finances.
- Fears about your future.
- Fears about your child’s future, health, and finances.
- Fears about your parents’ futures, health, and finances.
- Fears about your friends’ futures, health, and finances.
…I think you get the point. Stressful thoughts have the potential to be never-ending and downright scary.
Nowadays, people often tell me, “Annalicia, you’re so good at going with the flow.”
The reality is, stress still surfaces in my life…a lot. But, it doesn’t stick around very long anymore. Why? I’ve figured out ways to take charge of my stress instead of letting it constantly have control over me.
Two surprising things I’ve realized? Stress has a purpose and responding to stress effectively is a skill that anyone can learn.
If you want to be a good piano player, you have to hone the skill, right? Practice is required. Often a good teacher and solid resources are needed too.
Isn’t it interesting that that’s all obvious to most people when it comes to learning how to play the piano, but we don’t realize the same things (practice and support) are needed when it comes to dealing with stress? For some silly reason, we don’t see that as a skill that can be learned. And so, this important skill goes “unhoned”, shall we say, by most people. As a result, the suffering continues.
Why not hone the I-can-take-charge-of-my-stress skill and stop the suffering?! Are you with me?
It all starts with understanding what stress is and why it shows up.
Stress is a messenger that’s trying to keep you safe.
Imagine you’re on a hike in the jungle and you hear rustling in the bushes. You feel anxious. The obvious message is, “Hey, there might be a predator on the loose. Get ready to fight or flee.”
But, what’s the message when you’re stressed in your cushy office or comfortable home? Your perception of what’s happening is that you’re unsafe or something you value is being threatened.
The key word here is perception.
Your body doesn’t respond to situations, it responds to your perception of situations.
So, if you’re in your cushy office worrying about a work deadline or in your comfy home worrying about your children, your body responds the same way it would if you were hiking in a jungle with a predator on the loose…it goes into fight-or-flight mode.
Your body doesn’t know that what you’re worried about can’t be physically fought off. It doesn’t understand you can’t actually run away from what’s making you feel threatened.
Instead, it starts pumping blood to your extremities, away from your internal organs, so you can run if you need to…or fight, if that’s necessary. Of course, those two options are not antidotes to the stressors that most of us experience in our modern world.
As a result, our bodies stay stuck in fight-or-flight mode, instead of rest-and-digest, and that has real physical and emotional consequences. Have you noticed?
In order to shift your relationship with stress from being ruled by it to being the ruler of it, you must not only understand what it is (a message), but you must also have tangible tactics and tools you can rely on to soothe yourself out of fight-or-flight and into rest-and-digest mode.
Here are two, powerful resources full of my top stress-busting tools and tactics…
I’d love to hear from you! What stress management techniques have you found work wonders in your life? Which ones are you excited to try? Share in the comments below.
I saw this greeting card at a local co-op awhile back.
I laughed out loud. I couldn’t help it. I pretty much live in yoga attire. :)
It bubbled up some real feelings, though…honest questions and things that felt important for me to consider.
I ranted in my journal.
Here’s an excerpt of that rant, it’s how I actually feel about the cute card that made me laugh at the co-op…
What other people think about me eating a scone is really none of my business.
Who cares whether or not they think I deserve it? If I truly feel good about eating it, there’s no need to justify anything to anyone.
I don’t like the thought of having to earn or deserve my food.
To me, it implies that I had to struggle, struggle, struggle doing some form of exercise I hate to ‘”deserve” the “sinfully” delicious thing in front of me now.
That feels like it sucks all the fun out of life and food and movement.
Let’s cut the ties between food and worthiness. Are you with me?
While we’re at it, let’s cut the ties between:
- Food and weight
- Exercise and weight
- Weight and worthiness.
Our relationships with food and exercise don’t need to center around the scale. That’s a choice.
What if they were centered around fun and feeling a certain way, instead of looking a certain way?
Part of my definition of “healthy” is not being “healthy” all the time.
I eat pizza, drink too much wine and coffee, and skip my workouts sometimes.
Things like this used to freak me out. I strived to always hide my imperfections and felt ashamed when I couldn’t. When I’d miss workouts, I’d be scared I would gain 10 pounds overnight. (For real. Silly.)
Now, I’ve simply made the decision to be kinder to myself. To expect and embrace imperfection. To be flexible and in the flow with life. To give myself the benefit of the doubt and a break. To trust that I’ll get “back on track”.
And, to know that oftentimes being “off track” is part of being “on track”. Liberation.
Here’s what I’m trying to say…
Be kind to yourself.
Give yourself permission to “be bad” every now and again. Choose scones over salads sometimes…and enjoy them. You’ll certainly be happier and probably healthier and more fit, in the long run.
I’d love to hear from you! What feelings and thoughts bubbled up when you read the card? What about when you read my rant? Do you agree?
Share in the comments below!
My sweet, sweet Grandma Betty passed away a little over a year ago.
Without fail, all interactions with my grandma ended with a hug and the gift of a chocolate treat.
Not just any chocolate treat, mind you. Always a dark chocolate with almond Dove Promise…the purple ones.
She loved making other people’s lives sweeter. Taste buds were definitely an avenue she utilized, but she also had a desire to inspire. I think that’s why she really loved giving the Dove Promises away. Because, each wrapper offered uplifting words to live by.
Last week, my grandparent’s home was sold. A few days before the closing, my family got together at their place, one last time…to reminisce, cry a little, and laugh a lot.
What did we have for dessert? Dove Promises, of course.
The uplifting words on my wrapper read, “Get lost on purpose.”
This felt like a wink from my g-ma.
Last week I was a guest on Jeff Sandquist’s Intentionally Wandering podcast.
He always says, “Not everyone who wanders is lost.”
Jeff advocates for meandering and sees value in giving yourself and other people space to explore.
Supporting people’s explorations and new endeavors was definitely something my grandma was good at!
In fact, she was incredibly supportive of my dreams and aspirations.
She was my cheerleader as I was building, launching, and tweaking my Yoga & Pilates Online Membership program…even though she had no idea what I was actually doing. (The internet totally baffled her and never became a part of her life.)
She was sick during that time and at every one of her medical appointments, with each new nurse or doctor we met, she’d say, “This is my granddaughter, Annalicia, and she’s starting a computer business.”
Without fail, they’d look at me curiously and say something like, “So, you’re going to sell computers?”
I’d wink and say, “I’m starting an online business.”
And, my grandma would say, “Yep, she’s starting a computer business!”
Her faith in me, without understanding any of the details, is one thing that kept me plugging away on days I wasn’t sure I could figure it out or make it work.
She honored my curiosity and desire to grow, even though she didn’t understand the specifics. What a gift!
It’s the gift Jeff is offering through his inspiring work as well. Which is why I was honored to be a part of it.
We chat a lot about what I’ve learned through my “intentionally wandering” journey and I share this poem that I wrote…
To the one who’s curious, be curious
To the one who desires more from life, keep wanting
When life feels messy, own it
Mess is the mark of a maverick…
One who thinks beyond
One who creates beyond
One who becomes beyond that which has been before
The mess, the swirl of uncertainty, the dust of disappointment, the tornado of ideas
All natural as better becomes
Space to be messy, permission to not know
Life signs off every time with an exclamation point, a heart above the “i”, and a smiley face to seal the deal
“I need to wander,” you say to life
Life says, “Yes!”
“I need to meander. I need some space.”
“Yes, yes, you do,” Life responds
Never does Life withhold permission to explore or be free
And so, freedom, becomes a journey of unlocking the bondage in our own hearts and minds
Where to start?
Meander a little
Wander a lot
Daydream, definitely daydream
Do more with less
And, in the midst of your current mess, laugh
Go ahead…get the giggles
…in preparation for my conversation with him.
If you find our chat helpful, Jeff and I would so appreciate you sharing with others. Share the poem with a friend, post the link of Facebook…whatever feels right! We love the idea of more people feeling supported on their crazy, wild, creative paths. :)
And, we certainly appreciate your support!
Have you ever wondered why two people, experiencing the same thing, can have completely different responses? One might use a situation as a reason to be angry. The other uses the same situation as a catalyst for massive, positive impact.
It’s because your life is not about what’s happening to you, but the story you’re telling yourself about what’s happening to you.
Your thoughts about yourself are powerful. They dictate how you feel. And when you feel gross or guilty, it’s extremely hard to initiate and sustain healthy changes.
The next time you’re feeling less-than stellar, see if you can figure out the less-than-stellar story you’re telling yourself. Then, tell a better-feeling story.
You recently gained some weight.
Here’s your less-than-stellar story: I look so gross. None of my clothes fit. Why can’t I figure this weight-thing out? I’m not even datable anymore. Who would want to go out with me? I hope no one tags me in that photo on Facebook.
Here are 101 things you can think instead, to begin creating a better-feeling story:
- I like the thought that my weight has nothing to do with my worth…or my beauty.
- I like the thought of dating someone who believes that too.
- I guess this is a good reason to call a girlfriend and plan a fun shopping day.
- I know my body is adaptable.
- I don’t have to live with this extra weight forever, if I don’t want to.
- I didn’t gain it because I was “bad”. I’ve just had different priorities lately.
- I know a few baby steps I could take to start feeling healthier today.
- I think I’ll start by drinking a glass of water right now.
- This really isn’t that big of a deal.
- I still really like my smile and my hair.
- I bet I can find some new, cute clothes I feel more comfortable in.
- Making peace with this weight gain doesn’t mean I have to live with the extra weight forever. It just means I don’t want to beat myself up in the process of becoming healthier.
- I’m done beating myself up. It hasn’t got me where I wanted to go in the past. Why would it now?
- It feels better to be kind and soothing.
- I want to have fun and feel good on my health journey.
- I bet I’ll be better able to sustain my results if I’m having fun on the journey.
- I’m actually kind of looking forward to this!
- I’m ready for a change!
- I’m ready to make taking care of myself a priority.
- Nothing’s gone wrong here.
- The extra weight just got my attention. It reminded me that my health is important to me.
- It feels good to get clearer on my priorities.
- I like the thought of being an example of self-love.
- I want to show young girls that empowerment and confidence have nothing to do with weight.
- I want to show young girls that I can be at ease with my body.
- Change is a natural part of life.
- I don’t need to battle it.
- I want to show young girls that they don’t have to constantly be scared of these changes.
- I want to show young girls that how they feel and who they are isn’t dictated by a number on a scale.
- When I think if it that way, it seems silly that I would put so much emphasis on a number.
- This is a good reminder that I have a lot to offer, regardless of my weight.
- I commit to kindness towards myself.
- Maybe I’ll inspired a few other women to be more kind to themselves.
- Think of how the world could change if more women were kind to themselves.
- We would all have so much more energy to direct towards positive things!
- It’s exciting to think of the possibilities available to me now, with this mindset shift.
- Plus, I’ve heard that it’s easier for my body to let go of extra pounds when I’m happy and relaxed.
- What would be the benefit of working myself up over this and throwing my body into stressed-out mode?
- I know I’m doing the best I can.
- I don’t need to justify this to anyone. (Plus, the person that’s hardest on me is usually…me.)
- I’m going to take a few deep breaths. I always feel better when I do that.
- I think I’ll feel better if I carve out a little time for a walk tonight.
- I like that I’m focusing on simply feeling better now.
- It feels better to focus on how I feel vs. all the numbers I was tracking before.
- Something tells me if I make feeling better my focus, extra weight will drop off naturally.
- I know how I want to feel: vital, radiant, alive, and beautiful.
- I don’t have to wait to drop the weight to feel that way.
- I bet I quick walk or dance party in my kitchen could help me feel more vital.
- Trying something new might help me feel more alive.
- Maybe I’ll search for a fun, healthy recipe to try tonight.
- Yoga or Pilates would probably feel great. Maybe I’ll give them a try!
- Maybe this is a good reason to start or join a challenge.
- I like the thought of getting support.
- There’s no need for me to do this all alone.
- Other people understand how I feel.
- I’m not alone.
- I can ask for help if I need it.
- I can start small.
- Small changes make a big difference.
- Small changes, like a short walk or a quick stretch, can make me feel better right away.
- I give myself permission to make my health journey about feeling better.
- There’s leverage in feeling good.
- When I feel good, I want to continue the things that make me feel good.
- When I feel good, I build momentum towards what I want.
- When I feel good, I’m better able to sustain my efforts and their results.
- Maybe I’ll buy a stability ball. That seems kind of fun.
- I think I’ll call a friend to go on a hike this weekend. That would be nice.
- I’m going to reach out to that girl on Facebook who’s always posting pictures of her healthy meals. Maybe she would be willing to share some recipes with me.
- Maybe one day I’ll be the girl that people reach out to for healthy recipes.
- If I start taking a few healthy, baby steps today, I wonder what could change for me a month from now.
- How would my life be different a year from now?
- How would my life transform five years from now?
- Wouldn’t it be nice if I got into such a routine with healthy food and movement that it became a habit?
- Wouldn’t it be fun if I actually looked forward to exercise?
- It’ll be exciting to see how my body responses to these changes!
- I’m really looking forward to feeling more comfortable in my body.
- I’m really looking forward to letting go of the battle with my body. I’d rather be friends instead.
- I think this conversation with myself is helping.
- I already feel like I appreciate my body more than I did a few minutes ago.
- I think my body is always doing the very best it can to keep me healthy.
- It’s pretty amazing how adaptable it is.
- It’s pretty amazing how adaptable I am.
- I’m proud of myself for being willing to see this differently.
- This mindset shift feels powerful.
- Who knew that a little kindness towards myself could be so transformative?
- I can see how guilting myself into action or trying to motivate myself through harsh words never really worked. I feel more inspired now.
- The ‘no pain, no gain’ attitude is starting to feel ‘off’ to me.
- This is beginning to feel more true: ‘no fun, not super motivated to go on a run’.
- And, ‘no joy, probably not eating much bok choy’.
- Finally, ‘no self-love, not much to be proud of.’
- I think this is all easier than I was making it out to be.
- I’m ready to be less condemning and more curious.
- I’m ready to be less judgmental and more compassionate.
- I’m ready to be less serious and have more fun with this.
- I’m ready to be less strict and more inspired.
- I’m ready to stop making my body the enemy and to start to befriend.
- I’m ready to be kind.
- I’m ready to be an example for young girls who need me.
- I’m ready to make feeling better my primary goal.
- With my priorities in order, I trust the shedding of unwanted pounds will happen naturally, as a secondary benefit.
- What a relief!
What a relief, indeed! :)
There’s a big difference between blending and juicing.
When you blend something, although the food gets pulverized, you still end up consuming the food in its entirety. So, if you blend up a pear and a cup of spinach, your body thinks you’ve eaten an entire pear and a whole cup of spinach.
When you juice something, on the other hand, the fibrous portion of the fruit or vegetable is removed. And, what you’re left with are the micronutrients (and the sugars), in a liquid form. So, juicing four apples, a bunch of kale and three cucumbers is not the same as eating or blending four apples, a bunch of kale and three cucumbers…you will get all the micronutrients in those fruits and veggies, but you won’t get full the way you would if you blended those fruits and veggies into a smoothie or tried to sit down and eat them all.
Check out the pictures below. You’ll see that the blender (on the left) consists of just one container…if something goes in there, it stays in there…just changes form. The juicer (on the right) has multiple vessels. The middle part of the juicer processes the fruit or vegetables, the left side of mine is where the fibrous “leftovers” go and the right side is where the (micronutrient concentrated) liquid goes.
I’m confused. Is my Ninja a juicer?
You’re not alone…I was confused too! There are many blenders (such as Ninjas) that market themselves as juicers. These blenders may be powerful enough to process dense foods and you can even make the consistency of what you blend seem like juice by adding water. However, because you’re consuming the entire food (what went in, stayed in…it just changed form), it is still an act of blending, not juicing.
Which one’s better?
In my opinion, one is not better than the other. In other words, I not only juice, but I also blend…I not only blend, but I also juice. The two simply have different intentions.
When you consume a smoothie, you’ll get full. When you drink a glass of juice, you won’t get full the way you do when you consume a smoothie, but you’ll be giving your body a concentrated burst of micronutrients…it’s like a supplement in a glass!
With all this being said, if I’m going to use a lot of fruit in something, I blend it. I save my juicer for primarily vegetables. The following example will illustrate why.
To get one cup of orange juice, it takes about four oranges. The good news about that is you’re getting all the micronutrients from four oranges. The bad news is you’re also getting all the sugar from those oranges. Juicing fruit, on a regular basis, can really mess with your blood sugar levels.
If I’m going to juice fruit, it’s typically only within a vegetable juice…I use the fruit to sweeten the vegetable juice up a bit. The fruit I usually use, in that case, are Granny Smith apples because of their relatively low rating on the glycemic index and glycemic load scales.
Do I have to juice and blend in order to be healthy?
No, I don’t think you have to juice and blend in order to be healthy. However, I do feel that juicing and blending open doors to many fun recipes and powerful ways to nourish yourself.
What’s so great about blending and juicing?
When you blend a food, you’ve already started the digestive process, in a powerful way. Your body doesn’t have to work nearly as hard to assimilate the micronutrients available. Additionally, you can “hide” foods, such as dark, leafy greens, really easily within a smoothie.
When you juice, suddenly you have the micronutrients from a large volume of fruits and veggies ready for you to consume in one glass. The micronutrients available in one glass of vegetable juice typically come from a volume of vegetables you would not be able to sit down and eat all at once because you’d get full or bored.
Additionally, not only are there concentrated micronutrients available to you, but they’re available in a way that’s extremely easy for your body to assimilate.
Isn’t it expensive to start juicing or making smoothies?
Yes, high quality juicers and blenders are definitely an investment that will typically run you anywhere from $300 to $500. Of course, you can get ones that aren’t quite that spendy, however, the more expensive ones typically work better, last longer and are easier to use and clean. (I went through three crappy blenders in one year before getting my Vitamix.)
Additionally, you have to purchase a large volume of produce every time you juice.
With all this being said, though, I believe you pay for your health one way or another. You can choose to invest your time and money now in high quality foods, exercise and other self-care rituals. Or, you can pay later in sick days, medications and procedures.
Isn’t juicing wasteful?
I think this depends on your definition of “wasteful”. Yes, some people would definitely attest that juicing is a wasteful practice (because of all the fibrous “leftovers”). I have a different opinion, though.
Most Americans are not starving on a macronutrient (caloric) level, but we are starving on a micronutrient level…our bodies are not getting the micronutrients they need in order to work functionally, let alone optimally.
There are two reasons for this. This first is we’re not eating enough fruits and veggies. The second is that the fruits and veggies that we are eating now are not as nutrient-dense as they used to be. In other words, a carrot consumed today does not give you the same amount micronutrients as a carrot consumed 50 years ago.
Juicing is one way to get the micronutrients in your system that you need. And, I don’t view giving your body what it needs to function well as “wasteful”.
Furthermore, there are many ways to get creative with your juicing “leftovers”…you can compost, feed them to your guinea pigs, save them to make natural dyes, so on and so forth!
Is there any way to make juicing and blending easier/more convenient?
Yes, my rule of thumb, whether I’m juicing, blending or cooking is…
“Cook once, eat twice.”
I will often make multiple batches of juice or smoothies, all at once, and then freeze the extra.
Also, clean up right away, before the food gets stuck to the equipment.
I haven’t liked the smoothies or the juices I’ve tried in the past. Any ideas?
Absolutely! There are thousands of different juicing and blending recipes out there, I’d encourage you to keep trying until you find a few you love.
What’s your favorite juicing or blending recipe? What other questions to have? Let me know by sharing in the comments below.