Thursday, February 21, 2008

Drinking Healthy - Fresh Juice

Ever since I found a great fresh fruit and vegetable market (A. Russo's, Watertown, MA), I am starting to get back into making my own fresh juice. I would love to have a large kitchen so I could keep my juicer out all the time, but it's probably just as well to get everything out and have a special treat once in a while (even natural fruit and vegetable juice has a high amount of sugar, with no fiber). My favorite juice is Beet - Apple - Carrot. By the way, my 3 year-old and 18-month old love it! We water it down a little though, about 1/2 juice and 1/2 water.

I have the Omega juicer, which I've used for fruit/vegetable juice and for grinding nut or seed -butters (such as almond, sunflower seed and pumpkin seed butter). It has worked well, it's fairly easy to clean, and powerful. However, you have to cut the fruit/vegetables into slices that will go into the machine, so this sometimes takes a few extra minutes.

Juice is a great way to transition to eliminating soft drinks and diet coke/pepsi (which in addition to being a health risk will ironically just cause you to gain weight). If you don't have time to make your own juice and must buy commercial juice, make sure it is 100% Juice. Try mixing a little Sparkling water, like San Pellegrino, in with the juice.

Some people drink soft drinks just to be drinking something. Try getting a water bottle (preferably a hard plastic), and fill up on fresh, filtered water all day. I've read even drinking bottled water is sometimes not so good, because the water is bottled in soft plastic containers that may leak chemicals into the water if exposed to extreme temperatures.

If you are just drinking diet coke for the caffeine or refreshing pick-up, I think it would be better to drink some unsweetened iced green tea mixed with sparkling water. At least it's all natural - and real! Plus, green tea does have some nutritional value and health benefits. Octavia tea is very good.

I used to buy apple juice for my kids and water it down, but now I don't even buy apple juice. They are used to drinking water all day, and I make sure their water bottles are full. It's great to get them in the habit early of drinking lots of water. I can't believe how much I'm saving on my grocery bill by drinking healthy - no juice, beer or wine, coffee, soda - so I can afford to buy treats such as tea, Teeccino, or sparkling water once in a while.


ara0062 said...

Hi, I saw a link on a friend's blog to your blog. My brother's wife seems to have all the same food allergies than your husband is suffering from. They use a lot of ground buffalo meat these days, and have deterimined that they like the taste better. Also, I had a question. Do you have any suggestions as to a carrot substitute? I am allergic to carrots and cilantro (a member of the carrot family). A lot of recipes call for carrots and just don't taste the same without them. Thanks!

Angela said...

Ground buffalo is a great alternative to beef, it tastes better and I would think it is much healthier (generally they are raised more traditionally).

Carrot and cilantro substitutes are difficult - many I would think of are part of the "parsley family" that carrots and cilantro belong to: anise, celery, cumin, dill, fennel, parsley, and parsnips.

For raw carrot shredded on salads, I can think of shredded or chopped papaya, cantalope, summer squash, zucchini, or jicama. In soups/sauces/stews I can think of sweet potato, winter/acorn/butternut/speghetti squash, or pumpkin. Cilantro/Parsley substitutes could be fresh basil, marjoram, mint, oregano, or sage.

You might find that you are not allergic to all members of the same family. For example, even though my husband is sensitive to tomatoes, he can still have eggplant or potatoes.

Hope this helps!

ara0062 said...

Thanks for the great suggestions. Fortunately, I don't seem to be allergic to all portions of the carrot/parsley family. I *knock on wood* haven't had a reaction to celery, cumin, dill or parsley yet. My allergy to carrots is pretty mild if they have been cooked well. I read from a website that sometimes cooking changes the particular substance in foods that you are allergic to, so you may be able to actually eat it SOME of the time. I made the mistake of trying a "real" carrot cake not to long ago though. It felt like a horrible case of food poisoning. Cilantro sends me into anaphalactic shock though, so I don't go near the stuff. I love fresh basil though, we grew it during summer and I have some dried that I use from then. Thanks again for the suggestions!