Food is nutrition, food is supposed to be fuel for your body, and yet somehow, most of what we ingest is just the opposite. Our food is mainly calories, full of sugars that spike our energy and cravings, and make us feel like we need more in the short term yet feel worse later on.
I’m painfully aware of my sugar addiction. While I often read articles about how to break it off, how to feel better and get through the day without deeply craving a chocolate bar, nothing seems to work. That is why I was so intrigued by the film Hungry for Change. It offers an answer to my sugar cravings: juicing.
The idea behind juicing is that by processing all of the juice out of fruits and veggies and drinking it as either a supplement to your diet or as the main course, you gain all the health benefits in a salad without having to ingest and process all that food yourself. The film says that it takes about an hour for the human body to pull the nutrients out of food and dispose of the excess, which often includes many vitamins and minerals. Therefore, it takes about an hour to feel full and gain energy from eating. A glass of juice is already primed and ready for your body to absorb and you don’t waste any nutrients in the process. Better yet, it takes less than fifteen minutes to feel full and revitalized.
I started juicing a week ago, and I have already felt some of the benefits. I have been craving sugar less because I feel full and healthy almost immediately. I have much more energy than I’d ever had before, and better yet I’ve also lost two pounds with no other changes in my routine! But most importantly, I actually really enjoy the flavor. The veggies actually taste sweeter as juice than as just the vegetable itself. I’m very excited about my new food adventure, but I also have some concerns.
To make just one glass of juice, I have to use about half of a cucumber, an apple, two handfuls of kale, and about a cup of carrots. I do feel satisfied after a glass, but about a cup of processed, crumbly left overs end up in the trash. I feel guilty about wasting this perfectly good food. Given, If I had eaten the apple I would have thrown out the core, and when I juice it all goes in, it probably works out evenly. But I think there must be a better way to use the remains.
The process also takes about fifteen minutes, from cutting veggies, juicing them, cleaning and drinking. I don’t always have time between classes to juice, and in this case I’ll just eat some real fruit. I do notice, however, that it takes me longer to feel full after eating an apple than after drinking the juice. I also worry about protein, and have been eating Greek yogurt to supplement lunch, and a full meal at dinner.
When I check in after a month, I feel confident that I will have reaped some benefits of juicing. I also hope to have learned how to speed up the process, and a better way to use the leftovers from the food processor. We can’t forget to be green while drinking green!