Monday, November 12, 2012

On the Juice

Autodidacticism made possible by teh interwebz never ends.

When I think I've figured it all out, I learn something new, and then my paradigm shifts.


The latest paradigm I've adopted was inspired by Juicing for Men. I've been juicing for close to two months now. It's one more practice I'm going to add to the panoply of lifestyle hacks that go against the mainstream, conventional wisdom of our mass media driven society.

FitJuice had this to say about why he started the site:

I started Juicing For Men because most juicing sites have a New Age feel to them. They talk about the “energies” and “chakras” in juices. Most juice blogs treat juicing as all-or-nothing. "Either go on a juice fast and a spiritual retreat, or don’t bother."
I think a lot of juicers want to become spiritual gurus or cult leaders. Anyhow, there was no juicing forum for regular guys. While women can learn a lot from Juicing For Men, I built the site for regular guys who want to get fitter and healthier. Ideally women will take their husbands and boyfriends to Juicing For Men. “See, I told you this isn’t a bunch of hokey nonsense!”

Prior to reading up on this topic after both Danger & Play and Roosh previously linked to Juicing For Men, I had an inaccurate preconception of this practice called "juicing."

It appeared to be yet another hokey, emasculated veganist, new-age nonsense fad to me.

Juice To Boost Your New Age Chakras,You Vibrant Hippie!
Juice fasting?


Bah. Cutting out most grain flours and industrially processed vegetable, grain and legume oil-based feed products, and eating plenty of healthy fats, animal proteins, veggies and some non-toxic starches like rice and potatoes is detox enough, as far as I was concerned.

 It's been years since I've eaten any significant quantities of such Neolithic Agents of Disease....why would I need to "detox?"

Answer: Juicing is not for "detoxing."

Or for fasting, purifying or cleansing.

Purifying and cleansing will naturally result from a long enough period of time for which you are not eating man-made, mass-produced, factory farmed FEED, and eating natural, organic raised animal and plant foods.

What is juicing really for?

 It's for adding a surplus of vital nutrients, minerals and antioxidants to to your daily diet.

Better a surplus than a deficiency, no? Isn't that why most health conscious people buy bottles of vitamins and supplements?

Why would you "supplement" with a bunch of pills and powders, when you can supplement with fresh, natural, REAL FOOD processed by your own hand and made into a form that is more readily bio-available and immediately beneficial to your overall health and well-being?

Even if you eat the fast food and convenience-based processed fare of the S.A.D., and have no intentions of changing your dietary practices anytime soon, juicing will still benefit you.

Certainly more than the results of millions of dollars Americans spend on the vitamins and supplement industry every year, a large portion of which does nothing more than create a vast stream of expensive urine.

As FitJuice implies, juicing doesn't have to be reserved for holistic healers, emaciated vegans, crusty hippies, or weirdo, B-12, CLA, D-3, DHA, EPA and K-2 deficient herbivores.

Nor does it need to adhere to some strict dogma or rigid guidelines to be beneficial:

Samseau: How bad is regular V8 juice?
FitJuice: Not bad at all and certainly better than most beverage options. It’s just not optimal. But one should not let the good be the enemy of the best.

I was given a centrifugal juicer about 3 years ago as a gift. I politely said thanks, and promptly stuck it in the back of my cabinet, forgot about it, and let it collect dust.

Juicing? That's for emaciated, sickly vegans, not those of us who've embraced our natural place in the food chain as an omnivorous predator.

I regularly eat a lot of vegetables and fruits. Most meals are usually some main, meat-based main dish, with a side or two of broccoli or asparagus or zucchini or green beans or some other veggie, usually sauteed or steamed and drenched in butter and/or bacon grease, and liberally salted and peppered. I also eat salads on a regular basis, with homemade  dressings based on extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar. I also eat small portions of a wide variety of fruits as a regular dessert after most meals.

Compared to my former S.A.D. lifestyle, going "paleo" definitely increased my fresh fruit and vegetable consumption.

But when I discovered Juicing For Men, I realized that I could in fact increase my consumption of a much wider variety of plant fare...plant foods for which I normally would never buy, cook or eat - all without force-feeding myself despite the bitter or sour taste, sucking it up and forcing it down as medicine, just because it's "healthy."

Since I've "gone paleo" or "primal" for the past 5 years, I've eaten plenty of onions, garlic, taro, bell peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, a wide variety of beans, asparagus, spinach, mushrooms, olives, corn and carrots. All veggies integral to a wide variety of cultural and ethnic meat-based dishes, appetizers and salads that make up the majority of my diet. Always steamed, fried or broiled and saturated in healthy fats like lard, coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, macadamia nut oil and/or butter.

Juicing has added a new dimension to my veggie intake.

Veggies like kale, chard, collard greens, celery, beets, red cabbage, Chinese cabbages like Pak Choy and Bok Choy, and ginger. I rarely ate veggies like that, primarily because I just didn't like the way they taste....even if they were prepared with fats I like such as butter, bacon grease or olive oil. Throw 'em in my juicer, add some natural, fresh-ground Hawaiian sea salt, and I'm now drinking my servings of these formerly excluded veggies from my diet, in addition to the usual fare of plant foods I already have been consuming on a regular basis.

I've upped the dose of plant-based vitamins, minerals, nutrients, phyto-chemicals and anti-oxidants at every meal...and I don't feel like a grazing herbivore stuffing my face with a heaping plate of roughage to relieve the perpetual hunger that comes with the vegan/vegetarian-based lifestyle (been there, done that).

 If you are one who needs a prescription for erectile dysfunction, you may want to give juicing that includes a large portion of beets and celery a try. Both are rich in nitrates, which are vasodilators. They are known for engorging blood vessels and increasing blood flow. This increased blood flow is also good for your brain.

This is why nitrates are ubiquitous as a meat preservative in processed meats. It promotes dilation and blood flow so meats stay "red" or fresh looking much longer. Nitrates are why your bacon, ham, sausage and cold cuts that were processed and packaged many days before, don't appear brown and decaying when you buy them from the grocery store..

The same goes for your overall health and well-being. Up your dosage of Nitrates.

And really, it's not rocket science. Recipes need only be a rough guideline.

I'm currently drinking my own "V-12" juice on a daily basis. There's no need to be specific, nor do you have to measure, weigh or count anything. Just buy fresh produce and juice it to your preferred taste. It's all good.

I simply go to my weekly farmers market, and buy as much locally grown, organic produce I can find, take it home, and juice it into one large batch. This past week, I purchased about $20 worth of produce, and took about 45 minutes to make enough juice to last me a week. A week of twice-a-day, 12 oz. glassfuls I now drink as a matter of habit with my regular meals. I fill up several old glass 1.75 liter liquor bottles and keep 'em in the fridge to chill, ready for me to drink as desired throughout the week. And I'm not the only one to benefit from my new chickens are digging on the by-products as well.

All the pulp generated by my juicing serves as a nice supplement to my chicken's feed as well. I've noticed on days in which I give them juiced pulp, the following day I get more eggs and they have darker, more nutrient dense yolks. Juicing can be for the birds, too.

If you're curious to give it a try for yourself, rest assured, you don't need to spend a lot of money on an expensive, feature-filled juicer, either. As FitJuice states:

But when you’re a beginner juicing, it doesn’t make sense to sweat the details. Buy a nice introductory juicer to get you started on your juicing journey.

If you enjoy juicing, you’ll never want to be without juice. You’ll wind up bringing your entry-level juicer to the office and buying yourself a nicer one for your home.

I was fortunate to have my introductory juicer given to me as a gift. Two months into this, and I see what FitJuice means. Someday soon, I'll be upgrading to a masticating juicer for sure. I want more yield from the greens! But for now, my cheap model centrifugal juicer is certainly good enough.

Don't fall for the false notion that unless you achieve the perfect result, it's not worth doing at all.

Don't let the optimal be the enemy of the good. In most cases, good, is good enough.


Faust said...

One thing I like to reiterate whenever I talk about juicing is that the best juicer off Amazon, the Brevel Big Mouth, is 50$-60$ plus shipping. You touched on that in your post, but I don't think most people understand how cheap it is to get started. You don't need to buy expensive books, or supplements, or put money in anybody's pocket. You can pay less than what you'd spend on a good night out to get something that has the potential to massively improve your health.

YouSoWould said...

I'm someone who has been sceptical of this myself for some time.

What measureable, quantifiable health benefits have you noticed since you started doing this?

Carnivore said...

Great post! Have been at it for almost a month now, also prodded to start by FitJuice.

@YouSoWould - I haven't been juicing for very long, so can't say there's been some noticeable health benefit. However, it's a good way to increase intake of vegetables with the associated nutrients having anti-cancer properties; broccoli and kale have anti-estrogen effects. Makes it easier to eat raw.

Peggy the Primal Parent said...

Bruce Lee drank raw vegetable juices every day and he was a badass.

I've been juicing since way back when I started eating raw meat, 5.5 years ago. I don't like eating fiber much and I stay away from fruit completely so vegetable juicing is my source of plant nutrients.

There is no question that there "is some health benefit" to juicing. There is some health benefit to consuming nutrients.

Thanks for spreading the word on juicing. We need more optimally healthy people in this world!

Anonymous said...

Nutrients in juices are absorbed into the bloodstream faster, because they take less time to digest. Herbal teas work for the same reason.

You're right though, don't overdo it, or most of your exercise will be running back and forth to the bathroom LOL!

On erectile dysfunction: apple juice is also good. But through a pinch of powdered ginseng and royal jelly into the mix and that will pretty much end any problems with impotence.

FitJuice said...

Thanks for the kind write-up.

Stingray said...

You're probably aware of these, but just in case:

Ingemar said...

I "juice" simply because it makes consuming otherwise boring vegetables easier.

My standard protocol is this:

Frozen berries
Frozen banana
1-2 scoops whey protein
Whole milk or almond milk
Leafy green vegetable of choice (usually something dark)

zagamaphatoadis said...

This is a pretty good video on nutrition.

Anonymous said...

I have heard before that you need to drink the juice within 15 min after juicing. So I have been making juice every morning and drinking it but it would be a lot easier to make for the week and stick in the refrigerator like you do. What are your thoughts on drinking within 15 min? Are you really losing that many nutrients by sticking in the refrigerator for later?

Keoni Galt said...

While I don't doubt the loss of nutrients over time...15 minutes?


In a perfect world, we could all make sure every single meal, every single glass of juice would be fresh made from scratch.

To quote FitJuice again - don't let Perfect be the enemy of the good.

I notice that my big batch of juice, the taste does change a little bit by the end of the week....but surely there's some nutritional value left! At the very least, the high nitrate content of the beats and celery is still present and acting as a potent vasodilator.

This is not to say I'm totally unconcerned with aging juice. Two things you can/should do - one, I always add fresh lemons and limes in every batch. Those juices are anti-oxidant rich, which is why lime juice keeps guacamole from turning brown.

If you're that concerned about it, you could also do what FitJuice does - he makes his batches once a week, and freezes them in mason jars. He thaws 'em out as he drinks them throughout the week.

I personally don't have the room in my freezer (I keep mine perpetually stocked with all sorts of meat.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the response! I didn't quite understand the 15 minute thing. I just did it because that's what I read. I am going to make a bigger batch tonight to drink for the next few days! It sure will make my like easier having three crazy kids at home with me all day:)

Jual Masker Spirulina said...

I'm someone who has been sceptical of this myself for some time.