Physical Funness for the Motion Starved

Fit more fun into your fitness while exploring the outdoors.

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Juice? (The Season of Eating – Navigation Tip #2)

Green "Juice"

A few years back I decided to try juicing. Why? Because a super skinny girl I knew was into juicing and I wanted to look like her.

This girl, whose name escapes me wasn’t into “juice fasting.” She was simply into drinking home-distilled juice as a means of cutting her daily caloric intake. There are people however who advocate juice fasts that suggest drinking only fruit and vegetable juices for up to 14 days. This juice fasting paradigm has been touted as a way to detoxify or “detox” the body of unwanted chemicals and toxins. Unfortunately there’s little evidence that these juice-only diets provide any detoxification beyond what our liver and kidneys can achieve normally.

Anyway, once I decided to get on the juice train, I jumped online and ordered myself a Jack Lalanne Power Juicer along with a shitload of books on juicing. Two days later the books and my new juicer arrived sending me off to buy many dollars worth of organic produce to pulverize.

With bags of apples, carrots and greens I raced home to blend up my first skinny cocktail (no I didn’t add vodka). At first I thought the juicer was pretty cool because you could feed it entire apples and lemons, peel, core, seeds and all. “Whow,” I thought. But then I realize that it took a bag-full of produce to squeeze out enough juice to drink, leaving the best parts of the pricy edibles to be tossed in the compost. I kept with the juicing for a few weeks, substituting juice for a full meal or part of a meal. When I didn’t effortlessly get skinny I dumped the juicer. And frankly, the fact that I had to toss the best parts (the things the make you feel full and contain most of the nutrients) down the shoot, never really set right with me.

So here we are years later and I still think conventional juicing is a lot of effort for too much money, too many calories and too much waste. Until I read about juicing with a blender, so off I went again to buy my organics and give this new method a try. It was the idea of keeping all of the fiber and goodness the fruits and vegetables initially came with that interested me.

Well, at this point I’ll simply cut to the chase. Here’s what I have to say about juicing with a blender.

First: What you get is not “juice” it’s more like a chunky smoothie, don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad. It’s just not juice and it’s very filling (which is a good thing). Also keep in mind that you’re using the whole fruit or veggie so the flavors are very intense. Be careful, and you’ll want to add water or ice to the mix.

Second: These concoctions are super filling and keep well in the frig. If you’re the type that likes to get your 5 colors of fruits and veggies a day BlenderJuicing is a great way to get the job done.

Third: You can use the same recipes to juice with a blender as you would with a juicer. Just be sure to cut things up into pieces and take out seeds, cores and I wouldn’t think citrus peel would be too good but you could try.

Lastly: Very important! Check your teeth when you’re done. Think about it! All those little colored bits…

So there you have it. I give blender BlenderJuicing about 6 stars out of 10. It’s a great way to get your colors and fiber as well as keep calories in check. Play with it, you may love it or you may not. It’s worth a spin especially this time of year when time is short and calories are high!

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It’s the Sunday before the big Monday

If you’re like most of us you’ll be starting your New Years diet & exercise program tomorrow. The said beginning of the New You. It happens at the beginning of every year and lots of Mondays throughout each year. We chow down on Sunday and start big on Monday. I’ve been there. I’ve tried every diet, exercise and over the counter aid known to man. I’ve lost thousands of pounds since my first diet at age 10 and gained most of those pounds back. In all my years, I’ve gone from looking great, to looking like a massive farm animal and back to looking great again, over and over. Same thing happens to most of us (even those folks on The Biggest Looser). What’s become clear to me is that you must find a solution to your fitness needs that you can live with every day, forever. It needs to be fun, reasonable and adaptable.

Here’s what I suggest. Start with a washing out of your insides. Use the terms detox or cleanse if you prefer. Sure, there are lots of things you can do and kits you can buy to help eliminate the havoc wreaked upon your body during the holidays. Some of those products even promise to cleanse your system of things that have been stuck in there for years. Remember those crayons you ate as a kid? They may still be in there. I’ve tried some of these products, they’re fun but they’re a bit of a commitment.

Why not start with these simple detox ideas…

First – drink water, drink lots of water. Water helps ease your digestion and clear your system of all the fat, alcohol and sponge like carbs you’ve been sucking down. For better taste, place lemon, cucumber, orange or grapefruit slices in a pitcher of water and keep it chilled. Also pour yourself some freshly squeezed grapefruit juice instead of that martini. Grapefruit juice is said to help detoxify your liver. Whatever…just drink up!

Second – Fiber, eat lots of it. Every meal. Same as with the water, fiber helps smooth the flow of digestion and scrub out all that stuff you don’t want in there anymore. Get my meaning…? It makes you feel fuller too which helps with that post holiday diet you’re working on. Great sources of fiber are: beans, lentils, Okra, pears, whole-wheat products. Remember you need 30 grams a day.

Third – Get your sweat on! Go outside, go to the gym, clean your house. Do whatever it takes but make it something you actually like. I’m going on a guided hike (in the rain) along the coast in search of shipwreck remains today. Sounds fun right? Here’s your plan…Warm up for 5-10 minutes, then start doing some serious moving. Make sure you’re sweating. Sweat for at least 20 minutes, cool down 5-10 minutes with some stretching and drink some of that yummy water.

Forth – Repeat daily. Try it for a week and see how you feel. Can’t hurt. Just one week and then we can reevaluate.

More on this tomorrow, recipe ideas too…