I want to jot down some thoughts about juicing. I should be very, very clear here in saying that I am not an expert. But I have been doing a lot of reading and investigation lately into the impact that things like diet and exercise have on our health, physically, mentally and emotionally, and I’ve made some lifestyle changes that have had a very positive impact on my own personal health. So, what I am about to say here should not under any circumstance be taken as advice, rather I am simply sharing what I am learning on my own journey.
Cold Press Juicing : Recently my lovely wife Karen started investigating the idea of juicing for health reasons. And when I say juicing I mean mostly vegetable juicing, you know, leafy greens and all that. She discovered that the best way to do this is via a method called “Cold Press Juicing.” Now I’m not going to go into the science of it, but if you click “Cold Press Juicing“ it will take you to a website that will explain it. Yes, they are more expensive than your traditional Breville Juicer from K-Mart, but from what research we have done, it’s money well spent. We bought one after months of research, discussion and thinking and I have to say, I think it’s one of the best investments we’ve made in our life time. We bought ours from Organic Feast. They will do a demo for you and if you buy a juicer, they take the cost of the demo off the cost of the juicer. At the very least you get to try some amazing fresh juices. We were converts from that moment (if you live in the Newcastle region and happen to go for a demo, make sure you mention Geoff and Karen. I told Brent I’d give his business a mention on my website, he’s a lovely bloke with some inspiring stories including his own wife who is battling cancer that has come back).
So, why am I so pleased with our purchase? Let’s consider it from several different aspects; cost, energy levels, taste, my kids and healthly living. Firstly, cost. I’m not going to tell you which one we bought or how much we spent, but we worked out that if we stopped consuming percolated coffee at home and specifically me at work, then that saving alone would mean that the juicer would pay for itself in less than a year. That’s right, less than a year. I was horrifed when I did the maths to realise just how much we were spending on coffee a year. Now I’m not anti coffee, in fact, I’m on a night duty tonight, my second one, and I had 3 cups of percolated coffee before I even got to work to help wake me up. But in the last 3 weeks that’s only the second time I’ve had coffee, and you know what, I feel better for it, even if only psychologically (but I suspect it’s more than that).
The problem with caffeine: I discovered recently we actually have a Journal of Caffeine Research and that coffee is one of the most commonly traded commodities on the planet (there’s controversy over what place it holds on the ladder). I don’t think that caffeine in and of itself is the problem, it’s the amounts we’re consuming (not good for our health but on the other hand good for the livelood of millions of people around the world). Another concern is young people. You can read a press release here about the concerning effects of caffeine on young people and whether by encouragnig them to consume this “stimulant” we’re paving the way for a lifetime of having the mindset of needing to use a psychoactive substance as a way of coping with life, whether that be uppers (stimulants), downers (depressants) or trippers (hallucinogens).
The second reason I’m happy with purchasing this juicer is the increase in my energy levels. Again, I’m not going to go into details, I’m not a nutritionist. What’s really surprised me about juicng is the quite incredible increase in my energy levels. I do shift work, so I’m often tired to the point of feeling like my arms and legs have been weighted down. It’s not unusual for me to nod off after work because of absolute exhaustion and getting up in the morning can be almost impossible. Within days of commencing juicing I started noticing an increase in activity and energy levels. Now, in our fourth week, I simply cannot beleive how great I feel. I find I’m craving my daily juice and if I’m not home when Karen makes it she bottles me up some and keeps it in the fridge.
Currently I’m pulling some crazy hours which is a combination of bad choices by me (taking on too much private work) and some unkind rostering at work (I think I upset the roster gods). The last several weeks I’ve worked 12 days straight, then a couple of days off and now I’m on the back end of 19 days straight (and that includes 2 weekends in a row where I taught on Saturday from 8am-2.30pm, worked from 3pm-7am at the hospital, came back for another night shift, finished at 7am and then taught from 9am-4pm). But I feel bloody fantastic (I’m not advocating working yourself in to the ground by the way, it’s quite negligent of me to have done this to myself and I’m going to try to make sure it doesn’t happen again). But in spite of this I feel energised every day, even after doing night duties. And I’m pretty sure it’s not just psychological because to be honest with you, I was a little skeptical about the impact juicing would actually have on me.
Taste: For me buyng the juicer was a a decision about health (I’ve had 2 cancer scares in the last several years) and I expected that I’d be forcing myself to drink this horrible, filthy vegetable juice convincing myself that I really *should* be having it because it’s good for me, kind of like taking cod liver oil as a kid. But much to my surprise, cold pressed juice is almost completely pulpless and has a smooth, silky and almost creamy texture. I’ll admit that the first few were a bit like, “Hmmmmm, that’s a but unusual isn’t it.” But I never gagged or pinched my nose and forced myself to drink it. The other day I was running some training where they served orange juice from a tetra pack at lunch time. I had some to compare the taste. You know what? I gagged. It was like drinking sugar syrup. It was possitively awful and I could not finish it.
My kids: The other health benefit seems to be with my kids. I have 2 teenage sons who are having the usual skin troubles that come with adolescence, although I think they’re having more trouble than the average young person does, and it’s made a remarkable difference to their skin and they’ve both noticed and commented to us. Their skin is much, much less inflamed and they are having less breakouts (and we haven’t even started giving them the really hard core juice yet, we’ve been sweetening it up with apples and pears to make it more palatable for them). My 17 year old asked my wife to start giving him the stronger juices this week. Both have tried using Proactiv but this product has always concerned me in terms of the use of harsh chemicals on the skin and the fact that it’s treating the condition from the outside in when I personally think it’s better treated from the inside out. A lot of the highly processed food that we eat is inflammatory in nature and so is troubled skin. There are thousands upon thousands of good news stories out there where people improve their skin through diet rather than chemicals.
Healthy Living: Now, I’m no expert, but my gut feeling is that the typical Western diet is not really that crash hot. After watching documentaties like Foodmatters and Food Inc I can’t help but want to change my lifestyle, and as I’ve already said, I’ve had 2 cancer scares already, one with my lung and another with my liver. Both times were terrifying as I waited for the results of further testing and according to my doctor I’m in a higher risk category for developing cancer because of a lung condition that has required so many x-rays that I glow in the dark (you thought it was just that I had really pale skin didn’t you). So I figure why not be proactive rather than reactive. Why not start making good, wise, well educated choices now rather than after a diagnosis of cancer or diabetes or high blood pressure.
Anyway, enough of my raving now. If you go out and buy a juicer or one of the documentaries that I’ve mentioned it doesn’t impact me at all. I don’t get a commission. I’m not a salesman. I’m just excited about the difference that juicing has made to our lives and I want to share that excitement.
Take care and here’s to good emotional, mental and physical health.
(Jewish: peace, completeness, wellness and welfare)