The Pros & Cons of Juicing

Pros and Cons of Juicing

Juicing has recently gained increased popularity amongst the media and health/fitness communities. I personally have come across multiple juicing brands over the past few months such as BluePrintCleanse, Pressed Juicery and Project Juice (one of my favorites) that have been promoting their various types of cleanses. Being health conscious myself, I naturally felt the need to jump on the bandwagon try one of these juice bars out to see what all the buzz was about! It was not until I stepped into one of these juicing locations and saw the price tag of these juices, that I really had to step back and research the pros and cons of a juice cleanse.

Juicing Pros:

  1. Depending on the juice recipe, you can consume your recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables in one bottle! Sounds enticing..
  2. Promises such as glowing skin, bright eyes, colon health by giving your body a break from solid foods and even increased energy! What’s not to love?!
  3. Last but not least, weight loss which seems like the #1 pro for most people who decide to tackle a juice cleanse.

Juicing Cons:

  1. Exorbitant pricing. One bottle of juice averages out to about $9-$10, where as juice cleanses will cost you about $75 a day! Eek!
  2. Bye bye to fiber, hello tummy grumbles. While some juice recipes may taste great, juicing extracts the fiber from your fruits and vegetables which is what helps keep us feeling full and satisfied.
  3. By relying on only food that can be juiced you are missing out on other vital food groups such as fish, meat and eggs (aka protein) which are important to your overall health and also help keep you feeling full for longer periods of time.

After evaluating the pro’s and con’s I have formed my own personal opinion on the juicing craze. I think juicing does have its benefits as long as it is supplemented with some solid healthy foods. I think a juice cleanse may do the trick if you are trying to drop a couple pounds for an event, but it is not a good idea for weight maintenance. However, I am not totally against juicing. In fact, I am a huge fan, but I do tend to complement my juice with some solid food.  For example, I think a piece of grilled chicken and quinoa along with a healthy green juice would be a great idea for a well balanced lunch that will help keep you full until dinner. You could even grab a juice from a juice bar or make your own and consume it as a snack between lunch and dinner to help hold you over.

Because money does not grow on trees in my world (I wish), to combat the exorbitant juice bar pricing, I went ahead and invested in a juicer so I can make my own juice whenever I want! Juicers tend to range in price anywhere from $30-$500 dollars, depending on how serious you want to get and what kind of things you plan on juicing. I bought my juicer from Costco for about $100 and love it (http://amzn.to/LXzDrQ).  Below I have listed one of my favorite juicer recipes that is totally affordable and might I add delicious! 🙂

 Easy Homemade Juicing Recipe

My Favorite Juice Recipe:

1/2 Cucumber

3-4 Carrots

4 Celery Stalks

1 Apple

1 Pear

1/2 Lemon

Pour and enjoy!

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Is Reusing Your Gym Water Bottle Dangerous to Your Health?

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Are you one of those people who constantly reuse the same water bottle when going to the gym? If you just answered yes to this question, you may want to read on to discover how potentially dangerous this can be to your health.

I am all for reusing water bottles to save our environment, but it is important you are making sure to sterilize them after every use. You may think one or two days of reusing the same water bottle is not big deal, but tests done by the Coffey Laboratories in northeast Portland discovered that a water bottle used only a couple days of week (without washing) contained a shocking 4,100 bacteria colonies!

A similar study, analyzed at the University of New South Wales,  found back wash to be a main contributor to bacterial build up in reused, unwashed water bottles. They also discovered that people who share water bottles could be spreading a common food poisoning bacteria known as staphylococcus. Too much consumption of this bacteria can potentially make you very sick.

Another study conducted at Calgary elementary school, brought to light an even more shocking discovery. Researchers found that about a third of the sampled water bottles contained bacteria content. Some of them even contained traces of fecal coliforms! The bacteria content found in the water bottles most likely came from the students forgetting  to wash their hands, and repeatedly coming in contact with their unsterilized water bottles.

Hopefully these studies have now convinced you to not only wash your water bottles in warm water and mild detergent after every use, but also to think twice before sharing your water bottle with a friend. Read more about these studies on the following sites:

Sources

http://www.kptv.com/news/15424379/detail.html#

http://health.ninemsn.com.au/whatsgoodforyou/factsheets/694247/are-water-bottles-safe-to-be-reused

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/people-who-frequently-reuse-their-water-bottles-may-be-risking-their-health.html

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Why Eat Organic?

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It seems like these days eating organic foods has become increasingly popular. But why? Is it just a health trend we picked up from various celebrities, or has eating organic really turned into a lifestyle? Personally, I do not think eating organic is just a trend. Many people have turned to organic foods for a variety of reasons:

1.  Its healthier for you! Organic foods tend to have higher levels of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, iron etc. than those grown non-organically.

2. Organic foods lack food additives that can potentially cause health problems such as heart disease and osteoporisis. The Soil Association bans additives such as hydrogenated fat, aspartame, and monosodium glutamate in all organic products.

3. By eating organic, you are also avoid pesticides. Conventionally farmed products are exposed to over 400 chemical pesticides, but because most of us are not there to see how our food is being grown, we remain oblivious. Pesticides are actually very dangerous to our health and can lead to reproductive problems and cancer.

4. Reliance on drugs are removed. Often times farmers use antibiotics on farm animals that have questionable consequences on human health. By eating organic, you can ensure that none of these are being consumed in your food.

5. Lastly,  it  tastes better! Many people agree that organic fruits and vegetables have a better flavor compared to those grown non-organically. I think knowing that your food is grown all-natural is a very mentally satisfying benefit to most people.

What do you choose to eat organic foods? Comment and share your thoughts!

Sources:

1. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/7290.php

2. http://www.puristat.com/standardamericandiet/pesticides.aspx

 

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What Exactly are “Whole Grains”?

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We are constantly told that if we are going to eat any type of carb that it better be whole grain. However, most people don’t even know what a  “whole grain” really is, or why consuming them is more beneficial to your health.  Hopefully after reading this post you become clear on what whole grains are so the next time your told to eat them you know why.

When you eat carbs like white rice or white bread, you are consuming refined grains. This means you are consuming milled grains.  Milled grains have been through a  process that removes the bran and germ of the grain. They give a finer texture and help improve the shelf life of the product, but what most people don’t realize is the process also removes nutritious dietary fiber, iron, and B vitamins.

Foods containing whole grains, such as brown rice, mean you are literally eating the entire grain kernel which includes the bran, germ and endosperm.  The bran is the outer shell of the kernel and contains fiber and B vitamins, while the germ provides nourishment for the seed and provides antioxidants, vitamin E and B vitamins.

Learn more about foods containing whole grains at:

http://www.mypyramid.gov/pyramid/grains.html

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The Best Nutrition/Fitness Iphone Apps

If your an iphone lover like myself, you are constantly looking for new and interesting apps that make your life a little easier. To save you the trouble of searching, I have found some of the best nutrition/fitness apps offered so far:

1. Good Food Near You: This app is great for those of you who are health conscious and constantly on the road. The app allows you to type in your current location (or track your location automatically via GPS) and will then recommend nearby healthy food options. It categorizes food based on distance, lowest fat, calories and carbs. It even allows you to view other options on the menu! The best part of this app? Its FREE!

2. Fitnio: This app uses GPS to track your choice of exercise whether it be walking, jogging, running, or cycling and provides you with basic fitness-related information about your workout such as mph, calories burned (based on your body weight and height), and miles completed.  What I love best about this app (besides that it is free) is how easy it is to use. You can also track your fitness progress at http://www.fitnio.com

3. B.iCycle: If your favorite way to exercise is cycling this is the app for you. For a price of $9.99 (a little steep if you ask me) this application tracks the distance, time, calories burned, and speed of your rides. It even grants you access to mapped bike trails based on your GPS location.

4. Nutrition Menu: At a reasonable price of just $2.99 this app is the “largest  freestanding nutritional information database on the market.” You can search for over 79,000 food items and discover their calorie, fat, carb and fiber content without even connecting to the internet!

5. iBody: This app recently recieved the Mobile Award for best app in the Healthcare and Fitness category. It allows users to stay in top shape by recording weight, blood pressure, pulse rates, and BMI. Depending on what your health concern is, the app useful for a variety of people ranging from those trying to maintain a healthy weight to those wishing to maintain a healthy blood pressure level. My only complaint about the app is the rather expensive price of $9.99, but I guess you can’t really put a price on health.

If you guys know of any other health/fitness/nutrition based apps (or even fun and interesting iphone apps in general) feel free to comment and share them here!

Are you getting enough sleep?

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Many people often underestimate the importance of sleep. With our busy schedules and hectic lives we begin to view sleep as more of  a luxurious activity rather than a necessity.  What many people don’t realize is that sleep is essential to living a healthy lifestyle.  Chronic lack of sleep can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, memory loss, fatiuge, reduced concentration, and even weight gain. According to the National Sleep Foundation, it is suggested that adults get around 7-9 hours of sleep a night. With this amount of sleep, getting up in the morning shouldn’t be the worst part of your day.  Here are some helpful tips to finally getting a good nights sleep:

1. Establish consistent sleep and wake schedules.

2. Create and begin a relaxing bedtime routine an hour or more before you go to bed.

3. Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your bedtime.

4. Exercise regularly.

5. Your sleeping area shouldn’t be too warm.

6. Warm up your feet with socks can help with a more restful sleep.

If you know of any other sleeping tips feel free to comment and share with the rest of us!

(Source: http://www.sleepfoundation.org/)

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