Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Juice This, Baby!

The comma in the title of this post is very important.  Otherwise it sounds like I'm advising people to "juice this baby", and that is not an appropriate use of a juicer.  Or a baby.

No, I am not talking about juicing babies, but rather the usual fruits and veggies.

Yes, that's right, I am foregoing writing about wine in this blog for a couple of weeks, and instead will be writing about Steve's and my current adventure in healthy eating and juicing.

So what has prompted this?

Nothing terrible, luckily.  Steve and I are both perfectly healthy, but we just started feeling like we weren't eating as well as we could.  I think we also started suspecting that we weren't feeling as great as we could, either.

To top it off, we saw a pretty fascinating and inspiring documentary called Hungry for Change.  If you are a Netflix subscriber, it's currently streaming, and I highly recommend you watch it.

In it, they talk about the billion-dollar food industry, and how all of the processed foods we find in our grocery stores are designed in laboratories and are specifically engineered to make sure our bodies continue to crave them, and keep us coming back for more.

They talk also about our body's natural desire to feast whenever possible, to pad and protect itself in case there's a famine, but how that gets us in trouble because for many of us in this country, the famine never comes.

It talks about much, much more, but i won't go into it all here right now.  I'm certain to reference it repeatedly, don't you worry!

This is a difficult exercise for me, this healthy eating, which fascinates me, because I am a smart person.  I know the dangers of too much salt and sugar in ones diet.  I know what is necessary to do in order to have a healthier body.  I know how to cook, and cook pretty well.  I know what I should and shouldn't buy at the supermarket.

So why then don't I always do what I know is the best thing for my body and my health?

I'm not quite sure, to be honest, and there are millions of others in the same boat which is why the diet industry is always booming.

I admit, I love healthy foods, but I also love Annie's Mac & Cheese, and cereals (any and all of them), and Pop-Tarts, chips, cookies and cakes.  And Pasta.  I capitalize it because I love it that much.  What a glorious food.  Those Italians....

There are so many aspects to eating, and why we eat what we eat. 

So many nights when I have eaten too many chips in the course of a day, or eaten half a jar of Nutella in a sitting, and then gone to bed, feeling terrible about myself.

I don't want to do that anymore.  More to the point, as I get older, I do start to realize more and more how truly extraordinary the human body is, and how important it is to treat it well.

For me the biggest thing is re-framing how I think about eating; to make it more about health than about weight.

One of the best points made in Hungry for Change, was that diets don't work because they are all about deprivation, and they force people to have to say "I can't", as in "I can't eat that anymore".  And nothing makes a person want a particular food more than telling themselves they can't have it!

Therefore this documentary suggested that people think more about adding than they do about subtracting.

In other words, add more veggies and fruits and other whole foods.  Focus on what can be added rather than on what must be taken away.

Psychologically this is brilliant, and has already worked for me and Steve.

So we have started by juicing, and in this way adding more fruits and veggies to our diet.

I went to the doctor this morning to get my blood work done, so that I have a starting point on this adventure.  Steve is going to get his done too.

We are going to take photos of each other as well (no, not those kinds of photos, my goodness), to track any changes in appearance.

I don't have the blood work back yet, obviously, but I will update when I do.
i will also track Blood Pressure and Heart rate, to see if any changes occur there.

Today's readings (taken after blood-draw):
Heart rate:  73
Blood pressure: 126/83

Here is what we are trying to do:

  • Add more fruits and veggies, by
    juicing our way to glory
  • Eat more whole foods (in other words, not processed)
  • Add more beans and legumes and have meat twice a week.
  • Move more (that's for me, of course, Steve is out riding his bike 150 miles every weekend, that bastard)
The picture is of our new juicer, and our first batch of juice!
The juicer is awesome.  You can stick a whole apple in there.

In the meantime, I would love to hear how you all think about food and what you eat.
Is there a single food principal that guides you?  Certain rules you follow?
Do you focus more on weight, or on health when choosing foods?