When my little man, Carter, who will soon be turning 9, was just a baby, I began giving him watered down fresh fruit and vegetable juice from our home Juicer.  As a baby, he loved it and drank it with gusto.  As a finicky toddler, when he began to turn his nose up at it, I resorted to using his favorite hero, Superman, for back-up, calling it “Superhero Juice” and listing all of the super powers he would enjoy, if he drank it.  He played along and would pretend to run “super fast” and fly through the house after each glass.  Throughout the years, his love for fresh juice has waxed and waned, but it remains a regular part of our family’s diet.  Carter loves to help make the juice, pushing whole and chopped fruits and veggies into the juicer and watching the amazing colors that come out.  The beautiful earthy tones of carrots and beets, vibrant greens of spinach, kale, parsley, and cilantro, and the wonderful smells of ginger, pineapple, and apple make the experience all the more enticing for a child.   We keep our family nourished and healthy with fresh juices throughout the year.  We have found that we all suffer from fewer colds and flu’s, and maintain healthy weight and energy levels. We have also found great therapeutic benefits with specific juices.  Sore throats in our house have been treated with a combination of pineapple and ginger.  The pineapple juice breaks up mucus and has a natural analgesic effect.  Ginger fights germs and opens and soothes sinuses.

I began “juicing” in my early twenties, nearly twenty years ago, and have never looked back.  There are times when my life gets hectic and I fall away from it for a time.  As I begin to feel sluggish and unhealthy, I quickly come back to fresh juice to rejuvenate.  I have found, throughout the years,  that juicing, along with yoga and healthy eating, keeps my weight at a healthy balance, my digestive system working properly, and gives me boundless energy.  My skin is clearer and softer, my hair and nails grow faster and are stronger and healthier, my eyesight is clearer, I have no aches and pains and I generally feel great and at the top of my game.  The enzymes and nutrients in a glass of juice made from fresh fruits and veggies cannot be found in the store-bought juices.  The heating process and preservatives used to preserve store-bought juice kill most of the vital enzymes and destroy many of the natural nutrients.  Freshly made juice also retains more of the natural fibers, making the natural sugars in the juice less likely to cause the ups and downs of sugar rush.

In our house, when the juicer begins to “whir,” there is certain to be something delicious and nutritious in the making.  My husband loves to tease me about juicing everything in sight.  He has been known to bring me a shoe or a pencil or some other object to see if I will juice it “just to see what happens.”  While I don’t recommend shoe juice, (or cabbage juice, for that matter), there are endless possibilities with fruits and vegetables.  A single glass of raw, fresh juice can easily supply your daily requirements of fruits and veggies in a form that your body can easily digest and get full benefits from.  Your healthy, vibrant self awaits you!

Some of our favorite recipes:

ABC JUICE

1 part Apple, 2 parts Beet, 3 parts Carrot  (a great blood builder, cleanser, and toner)

 

GREEN APPLE JUICE (our daughter, Madelynn’s, favorite)

Green apples (such as granny smith), cucumber, mint (refreshing) OR squeeze of lemon (pucker up!)

 

POTASSIUM BROTH

Carrot, Apple, Spinach, Celery, Parsley

 

SUMMER COOLER

Melon, cucumber, apple, mint

 

Stephanie Shepard, RYT, is the owner of Blooming Lotus Yoga and Wellness of Interlochen.  She teaches yoga and offers various workshops including “Juicing for Better Health.”