Monday, September 3, 2012

Green Hygiene

I am mid-holiday weekend, and I realize that most of you are probably taking this moment to unwind and not worry about counting calories, as you enjoy that margarita with your chips and guacamole. You will start fresh on Tuesday, and there is nothing wrong with that. Being in the fitness and self-care business, I enjoy a reverse schedule. Holidays and weekends are the most populated days for classes at your local studio or gyms. My work days can begin as early as 6am and end as early as 12 noon or even begin at 7pm. That said, I have decided to give my digestive system a holiday. I am taking a break and I am opting for green drinks instead.

When I post or speak about green juices or cleansing and detoxing, I get a lot of inquiries. My sense is that 'detox' and 'cleanse' have become code words for 'crash diet', but just the same, fueling your body with some highly nutritious greens can only be beneficial, as it will provide you with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory veggies will improve your skin and your digestive system, and give you energy. Since I am taking this day to do all green drinks I thought I would share a few tips.

* Avoid fruit juice.
Fruit juice is loaded with sugars. Not only is this highly caloric, but it will spike your insulin levels. Better to opt for green veggie juices. Even carrots and beets are very high in sugar, so I suggest that you veer towards the more highly nutritious and less sugary green veggies.

*Dark greens are good for your blood. 
The darker the veggie, the more nutritional value it has. For instance, iceberg lettuce has little nutritional value, as opposed to spinach which is a darker green. Greens help to alkalize your blood. They also taste really good when juiced and blended with additions like ginger or lemon. Try green peppers, spinach, kale, cucumber, romaine and parsley.

*Add some flavor.
Ginger, lemon, cayenne or turmeric, are all delicious when added to your green juice. If you need to sweeten it up, green apple or mint can be refreshing.

* Chill out.
When juice is kept very cold, it tastes much better. I have been getting my fresh pressed juice from Kreation. They keep their juices chilled and are especially delicious on these hot Summer days. It is optimal to juice during the hot Summer or Spring months, rather than the cooler Winter and Fall months, when we require warm things to balance our bodies. 

*Combinations matter.
Kale and spinach can be very bitter alone. I like a spinach, celery, kale, lemon, parsley, romaine. To be honest, I prefer to go to get a fresh pressed juice. Although it is expensive (up to $8.00 for 16 oz), the time it takes, and the equipment needed, plus clean up...well, I consider it worth the money. 

Juices will boost your immunity, build your vitality, purify you (not that you need it!). If you add cayenne, it will boost your metabolism, while ginger will improve your digestion. Other additions that could raise the nutritional value of your juice would be Vitamineral GreenSpirulina, wheatgrass shots, flax, or hemp seeds. I like to keep it simple myself. 

Since we are into September, and saying good-bye to the indulgence that Summer brings, it is natural to want to clean out. Adding a green juice daily this month would be a wonderful replacement for one of your mid-day snacks. It will give you an energy boost and help to keep your system clean. It's just good clean green hygiene.

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