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We should all be juiced about the New Year

By Paul Viau | Jan 22, 2013
Photo by: File photo POR SU SALUD — Juice, it's not just OJ any more.

It’s a little late for a New Year’s column, but what can I say? The goats got in the way of my writing again this year. And while they (those pesky goats) can eat anything and everything, this "old goat" is being a little more selective in 2013.

My wife and I began the year with a champagne toast and gave thanks that the world didn’t come to an end — then embarked on a three-day detox cleanse diet inspired by the Dr. Oz Show. Oz’s Detox consisted of a yummy (and I use that term loosely) fruit and vegetable smoothie for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

This claims to “eliminate harmful toxins, restore your system and reset your body.” And it works. I lost around eight pounds in three days; my wife lost more than six. And the colorful drinks were (for the most part) palatable.

That being said, after three days, both my wife and I had our own not-so-complementary names for our smoothies. Carol referred to them simply and accurately, as "sludge."

I named each drink separately. Breakfast was Red Tide, lunch was Pond Scum and dinner was The Blue Meanie.

Despite our protesting, this program got us off to a really healthy start to the year. And now we’ve turned to our brand new juicer to fill the gap.

This is our second time using a juicer. Back in Florida, our Jack La Lanne Power Juicer quickly made its way to a garage sale. But that was 20 years ago. They have made tremendous improvements in juicers since then, making juicing easier and a lot less time consuming.

“Why juice, you might ask?” Simply stated, it’s the best way to get all the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) from fruits and vegetables, without all that pesky fiber.

Yes, I know fiber is good for you — really good for you — but your body can absorb nutrients more efficiently from juice, giving your digestive system a much-needed rest.

Juicing can boost your immune system, help eliminate toxins from your body, aid digestion, help you lose weight and reduce your risk of cancer.

Sure, you can get nearly the same benefit from eating whole fruits and vegetables, but that’s a lot to "chew on" every day.

The USDA’s dietary guidelines call for each of us to consume 5 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables daily — that’s servings. So you can’t just have one, small salad with a dusting of carrots, green peppers, onions and cucumbers for lunch, and think you’re good for the day.

The American Heart Association quantifies this requirement, recommending 4-5 cups daily, from a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Personally, I think the USDA’s new “MyPlate” model does the best job of illustrating the quantity of fruits and vegetables you should consume — fully one-half of everything on your plate, at every meal. That’s right, half your plate should be fruits and veggies.

That’s a tall order, but so good for your body.

My wife an I are trying our best to eat as many fruits and vegetables daily, and we are supplementing our diet with a concentrated, whole-food product called Juice Plus. This spring (right around the corner) we’re going to start growing our own fruits and vegetables in a revolutionary aeroponic system called the Tower Garden.

I’ll do a column or two about this new-fangled way to garden at that time.

Until then, eat healthy — and don’t forget the juice.

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