Oct 24, 2014

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Juicing My Way to a Dress Size 10

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Today, I officially began incorporating more fruits and vegetables into my daily diet by simply juicing!

I grew up not eating a variety of vegetables.  On most days, my mother cooked the Dominican flag, as we call it:  rice, beans and some sort of meat.  It was delicious, don’t take me wrong.  But I can’t recall my mother cooking broccoli, spinach, string beans, or even potatoes.   Our dose of vegetables was usually included in a sancocho or a home made soup.

Not surprisingly, vegetables have never been a strong part of my diet.

But when you hit your 40’s and your metabolism starts slowing down, and it takes a lot more effort to lose two pounds, you gotta do something about your diet and your level of activity. The problem is that I still don’t love vegetables.  I have to admit that making a meal with broccoli or spinach is not that appetizing to me.   However, I don’t mind drinking a cold glass of vegetable and fruit juice.  In fact, I love it!  It makes me feel energized, invigorated and light.

And so, after preparing for this, I have decided to juice two times per day.  If you want to give this a try, here’s my 2 cents on how to get ready for juicing.

Preparing to Juice Daily:

The Juicer Machine

If all you want to do is make fruit smoothies, all you’ll need is a good blender.  We make strawberry/banana smoothies at least three times per week, and we use the blender to do that.  It’s very simple.  Later on, I’ll share some good recipes for smoothies.

However, if you want to juice vegetables, you will need a juicer machine.  There is a wide range of juicers out there, but I went with one that reminded me of my childhood.  I purchased the Jack LaLanne’s Power Juicer at Bed, Bath & Beyond.  I recall watching Jack LaLanne’s commercials, a 60-something-year-old guy looking fit and super energetic, juicing all kind of fruits and vegetables, smiling and bouncing around his kitchen.  It’s interesting to see what guides our purchasing behaviors — here I am, 20 years later purchasing an items based on commercials I saw decades ago!   I also started with this machine because it is one of the most affordable out there.  Plus, I was able to use a 20% off coupon at Bed, Bath & Beyond.  The machine was $99.99, but with the 20% coupon, I paid $80, plus tax.

Purchase Your Fruits and Vegetables Ahead of Time:  Quantity and Variety

Now, this is the really fun part for me.  Since I don’t mind drinking any type of vegetable or fruit, I had the freedom to literally get every fruit displayed in the fruit aisle of my supermarket.  I then added all the vegetables that normally make me wrinkle my nose at the sight of seeing them on my plate.  I even got eggplant!  Yes, eggplant.

Purchasing your fruits and vegetables ahead of time, and lots of them is crucial.  Variety is also key.  You don’t want to make the same smoothie or juice every single day.  That could get quite boring.  So, purchase whatever fruit and vegetable is in season (also more affordable), and bring it home.  Make sure you wash your fruits and vegetables well, and put them aside for juicing.

Note that you can add yogurt and nuts to your smoothies.  This will add the texture and feel of your smoothie!

Encourage Your Kids and Family to Enjoy Juices

It is difficult to create new eating or cooking habits for yourself, if you have a family to cook for.   Therefore, I encourage you to get your kids involved in the juicing experience.  If you have young kids, have them help with getting the fruits out of the refrigerator, or help set up.  Another way to get them excited is to have special cups just for their juices.

Start with the fruits your family really loves, and then add more variety to them.  Never, never let them see you add a veggie…God forbid.

Just Do It, Start Simple

If you’re not sure this is for you, why not try it once or twice?  Go grab a bunch of strawberries, raspberries, bananas and oranges, and dump them inside your blender, with a nice chunk of ice.  Wait until you’re really thirsty, and go for it!   You’ll be surprised how great it feels.

Promise to keep you posted on my juicing experience!

Do you juice at home?  If so, please share your experience and recipes.

Photo source: Food Thinkers

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Angélica Pérez-Litwin

Angélica Pérez-Litwin

Dr. Perez-Litwin is the Founder & CEO of ELLA Leadership Institute, a multi-platform professional development organization designed to advance the careers and leadership of women. She's the creative force behind the LATINAS THINK BIG™ national tour, sponsored and live-streamed by Google.

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Comments

  1. My husband always makes banana milkshakes for the kids. (Banana, ice, milk, and vanilla extract.) – Carlos usually adds sugar to his but I find it unnecessary – especially if the banana is pretty ripe.

    I’ve never had a smoothie containing vegetables but I’d be open to trying it :)

    • Try it Tracy, I swear you’ll love it. Start with adding carrots to a bunch of fruits. And then, start adding spinach…

  2. My husband and I love smoothies for breakfast, banana, strawberry, blueberries and almond milk is our favorite.

    One of my best friends owns a Vitamix (I wish I have one of those, maybe one day) and she makes spinach, strawberries and orange juice and it is delicious!!

    I love smoothies!

    • Hi Silvia, I have never heard of the Vitamix. Are those expensive? Are they really good?
      This whole juicing thing started when we began to make special trips to the mall to go to Jamba Juice, which is a chain store here in NY (not sure they have it in the West Coast) that makes really awesome juices and smoothies. We decided to do it ourselves now… :)

      • Stella Montoya says:

        Vitamix is expensive but it is an investment in your health. I have recently seen it at Costco for upwards of $400. I do have one and it is one powerful puppy! I just made blended cantaloupe, ice, and water for a refreshing drink. I have to agree with Silvia, the strawberry, bananan, blueberry with Almond milk is the best. I throw in a handful of walnuts because it gives it a nice texture.
        I make soups in the Vitamix blender too. Butternut squash, Creme of Asparagus, or even Tortilla Soup.

        • Stella, Vitamix sounds great! Definitely worth checking it out. I also like the idea of adding almond milk…never thought about that. The soup idea is fantastic, especially for the kids. Thanks so much for sharing this information and your suggestions!

  3. Lisa Velazquez says:

    Go Angelica! I love juicing too! I just got a new juicer this weekend because my last one burned out. I mostly stick to green veggies. I juice fruits occasionally. It does give me energy and keep me feeling light. Not to mention it does wonders for my skin.

    I can definitely relate to how you grew up eating. I’ve come to love eating veggies by cooking them lightly in my brown rice pasta or chicken stir-fry or a big salad with my brown arroz con pollo. Its all about the sabor…:-)

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