For Christmas, Mike asked for and received the Jack LaLanne juicer. Jack LaLanne, aka the “Godfather of Fitness,” is often regarded as one of the most fit and healthy men that ever lived and one of the reasons he claimed that led him to live for so long was his regular juicing of fresh fruits and vegetables. His famous line, “That’s the power of the juice!” was also a personal motto of his.
Jack LaLanne lived on a very strict diet and blamed the worlds health problems on processed food. Two other mottos of Jack’s were, “if man made it, don’t eat it”, and “if it tastes good, spit it out.” Personally, I don’t believe that all delicious food should always be avoided (Jack’s thought was that if it was delicious, it was full of fat and was unhealthy), but I do believe in the power of the juice.
On a day to day basis, I try to get in a good portion of fruits and vegetables. On any given weekday I eat 2-3 pieces of fruit and have 3-5 servings of vegetables. As an endurance athlete, it is especially important to fuel up on fruits and vegetables that contain powerful antioxidants that will help repair and recover your body after difficult workouts. However, weekends throw my schedule off a bit and I tend to consume less fruits and veggies on Saturday and Sunday. This is where the juicing is essential! Although we often will have juice on a weeknight, we really try to get in at least one large glass per day on the weekends.
Here are our two favorite drinks and the benefits of the vegetables and fruits we put in them (benefits of most commonly juiced fruits and veggies can be found here):
- 1/2 Large Cucumber
- alkalinizing & a cooling diuretic
- great for skin problems- acne, psoriases and eczema
- regulates blood pressure
- fights arthritis, promotes weight loss and healthy kidney function
- counters inflammation by removing uric acid crystallization
- 96% water with high content of vitamins A, C, B complex & folate
- 1 Cup Spinach
- excellent source of chlorophyll
- superb source of vitamins A, B complex, C, E, K, carotenes, folate, manganese, calcium, iron, iodine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, some trace elements and many valuable amino acids.
- The minerals in spinach is highly alkaline, making it helpful in regulating the body pH.
- It supplies the same amount of protein as you would get from the same quantity of meat¾a cheaper and healthier alternative to getting protein.
- 1 Green Apple
- promotes digestion & weight loss
- cleans intestines from toxins
- healthy skin & hair
- cleans liver
- fights arthritis, gout, rheumatism
- vitamins A, B1, 2, 6 & folic acid
- promotes healthy heart function
- 2-4 Stalks of Celery
- natural diuretic that strongly helps in weight loss
- treats asthma, constipation, gout, insomnia, lung & kidney problems
- high in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 & C
- rich in potassium, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron and essential amino acids
- 8 families of anti-cancer compounds
- 4-6 Carrots
- great source of anti-oxidants
- fights asthma, arthritis, eye problems, liver & bladder issues
- soothes ulcers & acne
- high in calcium, vitamin A, B1, B6, C
- high in alpha, beta and gamma carotenes
- phytonutrients such as lutein, lycopene, zeaxanthin
- strong healing properties
- 1 Orange
- combats anemia & constipation
- aids in digestion
- over 170 phytonutrients
- strengthens blood vessels
- high in vitamins A, B1, 2, 6, K, E & C
- Vitamin C protects from genetic damage & birth defects
- over 60 flavanoids with anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and blood clot inhibiting properties
- 1 Green Apple
- Same as above
Each recipe makes a large serving of juice. It is surprising how much juice comes out of spinach! Spinach to me is the ultimate super food. We now only buy spinach for our salads since it is so rich in so many things – protein, fiber, iron and all the rest of things listed above.
Does it taste good? Surprisingly, yes! If you add fruit, it pretty much takes over the taste of the entire juice. I’m not a huge fan of the carrot juice, but Mike likes it.
Do you juice? What is your favorite juice recipe?