Fitness: Juice and Me!
January 8, 2014 § Leave a comment
Now that the holidays are long gone it’s time to start thinking about getting back on track! Personally, I allow myself to indulge over Christmas because there is no way I can go home to an Italian family and not eat. I mean, really, I could have just eaten dinner and 30 minutes later a plate of snacks will appear out of nowhere from my dad that I didn’t even ask for (but of course I eat it because who can say no to a cute dad?!). Not to mention this year I baked about 15 dozen cookies, of which I taste-tested at least a dozen! I’m not sure if being sick for NYE was a curse or blessing because that saved me thousands of calories I probably would have consumed in over-priced food and alcohol…but I was home playing the Wii U and eating soup which wasn’t bad but not as much fun as wearing a sparkly dress and going out with friends! So, with all of these things done and over with I decided to start paying attention to what I’m putting in my body a little bit more to lose that holiday weight and get 2014 started out right!
A lot of people ask me about juicing ever since I started getting into it about a year and a half ago. I’ll tell you right now it’s not for everyone but if you can get yourself to do it I can promise you you will never feel better in your entire life! For me it started out as a way to get more nutrients from fruits and vegetables because my diet was too overloaded with carbs, and eventually it grew into a way to lose weight and then maintain my weight once I was at a place where I felt comfortable. I’ve never done a “juice fast” per se, but I have replaced meals with juice and there is nothing unhealthy about it! As long as you have a good balance of veggies and fruit you aren’t depriving your body of any nutrients. When you break food down, whether you make smoothies or juice, it makes it easier for your body to absorb the nutrients and it also helps you feel full without feeling heavy. I recently got a NutriBullet and have been using that the last few weeks rather than juicing–it is basically a super-high-wattage personal blender and blends greens, seeds and nuts into the smoothest consistency of any blender I’ve ever seen–and the result tastes great. After including these smoothies into my diet for only a little over a week, I’ve already lost the extra weight I put on over the holidays from all those extra calories and lack of exercise!
So, what can you do to incorporate juicing/smoothie making into your diet? Well, for starters I would suggest replacing either breakfast or dinner with a juice. I think eating a large, well-balanced lunch is really important if you are just starting out because it will help to keep you full throughout the day and keep your sugar levels even. Juicing for dinner is my favorite time to juice (unless I have plans to go out to dinner or I plan on running over lunch) because I usually eat dinner very late (around 9 or 10pm) and it just makes sense to not have food sitting in my stomach before I go to sleep–your body doesn’t work as hard at digesting when you are asleep as when you are up and active! I always like to incorporate a green vegetable (kale or spinach is my favorite) and an apple to counteract the bitterness that the greens bring to the table. Adding chia seeds is an awesome way to add extra fiber and protein to your smoothies as well. Just remember to eat plenty of protein, more veggies than carbs and incorporate some juice or a smoothie and you will be on your way to feeling great in no time!
Here’s a list of what I might eat on any given weekday to give you an idea of how I keep it healthy while feeling full and fulfilled:
Breakfast: Fruit smoothie (1/2 banana, 1 orange, 5 raspberries, handful of chopped strawberries, 1/4 lemon, 1/4 apple, 12 ounces cold water)
Lunch: Green smoothie (1/2 large carrot, 1 apple, 1 orange, 2 handfuls of spinach, 1/2 banana, 1/2 lemon, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 16 oz water, ice)
Dinner: Salmon fillet with rice (I def didn’t take a picture of the finished product…but here’s the before haha!) Also, as a note my favorite seasoning to use on fish, chicken, vegetables, etc. is McCormick’s Grill Mates spicy steak seasoning–it adds a lot of flavor and it’s all in a single container. I do not own a grill nor have I ever cooked steak but that’s not the point–the seasoning is amazing. I nixed the veggie with this meal because I figured I had plenty given all the juicing I had done that day! Generally speaking though, if you are trying to really lose weight quickly you’ll want to skip the rice and make a veggie! Rice basically turns into sugar and fat the minute you eat it, which is why it’s so good!
If you have any questions, want more recipes, etc. please shoot me an email! As always, thanks for reading! XOXO Jen