Most people this time of year are thinking about buckling down on their diets. What I have found works best is to take it in small steps. Start with changing your eating for just a few days — with a 3-day juice cleanse — and it is remarkable what positive transformation will follow.
The romance of unhealthy foods is powerful, as evidenced by the 65 percent of Americans who struggle daily with being overweight and obese. But it is essential to break the cycle of dependence on saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and excess caffeine and alcohol. Research going back decades (1, 2, 3) has shown us that we can not only be healthier, but actually reverse even severe chronic disease by changing to a plant-based diet: vegan best, but I’ll settle for primarily plant-based.
In addition to breaking the cycle of cravings of foods that undermine your health, just three days of a juice cleanse can do so much more! Here are more than a dozen significant health enhancements you can obtain with the 3-day juice cleanse featured as part of my 21-day program in The Detox Prescription. Let’s get motivated to make 2014 the year of your transformation!
Note: First rule, keep it organic. Otherwise you are ingesting many of the same pesticide, herbicide and antibiotic residues the body is trying to clear out. And know the
“Clean 15″ (and “Dirty Dozen”) from the Environmental Working Group (4).
1) Rest the stomach. For the tens of millions of people who are on acid-suppressing drugs — and for older folks who often don’t produce enough stomach acid — making the stomach work less to extract nutrients can be a huge benefit. Juices require less of the stomach’s digestive processing (churning, acid and pepsin). Remember to gently chew the juices to add oral enzymes to further ease digestion.
2) Rest and repair the gut. Toxic foods (including saturated fats, refined carbs, foods with additives, pesticides and allergenic foods), taking medications (such as antibiotics or antacids), and even stress can impair the intestine’s functioning. There can easily be an imbalance in the gut microbiome (flora and fauna balance) as well as actual breaks in the intestinal barrier (“leaky gut”) — allowing substances into our bodies that should not get a free pass (5). Consuming a phytonutrient-dense rainbow plant-based juice diet allows food to be assimilated quickly through the intestine — consuming less energy, while the toxin-free, nutrient-dense food helps to repair the gut itself.
3) Rest the liver. The liver is our main detoxifying organ. Every molecule of food that is absorbed through the intestinal wall (fiber is not absorbed) moves into the liver for detoxification and preparation before being allowed to enter the rest of the body. Problem is, there are too many toxins for most of our livers to handle — with many passing unchecked into the general circulation to wreak havoc in distant cells. An organic juice cleanse rests the liver’s overload.
4) Reduce your appetite. Juicing doesn’t really shrink the stomach — although it feels like it does. Juicing eliminates the habit of comfort eating, and makes you feel satiated with less food than usual. This provides a big psychological boost to help get over the hurdle of changing habits.
5) Ease food decision-making. Juicing focuses on consuming fresh whole food produce every few hours — and reduces the enslavement of thinking constantly about what the next meal is going to be. Not only do we feel sated, but realize we are no longer slaves to our addictions with (often very harmful) foods.
6) Eliminate harmful foods. The juice cleanse eliminates dairy, wheat, gluten and fermented foods from the diet (as well as coffee and alcohol). In my experience, the majority of patients over 40 are relatively insensitive to wheat. Being off this — and other common trigger foods for a period — then reintroducing them can help define what foods are causing our body problems.
7) Floods our body with super nutrition. Being on an all-produce diet gives us not only the vitamins and minerals but the all-important phytonutrients that are powerhouses for the clean-up and healing process. Juices are by nature raw foods — and retain nutrients that would be destroyed by cooking, including some B vitamins and especially (digestive and anti-inflammatory) enzymes.
9) Lose weight. As you are feeling better and having more energy, you also naturally lose weight. Some of this is water bloat, but also some is fat. A juice cleanse (three days minimum) is a great way to jump start a diet. It not only helps control appetite and cravings, but is naturally lower in calories, while supplying the body with probably more concentrated beneficial energizing and healing nutrients than it has seen before.
9) Improve energy. After the first day’s adjustment period (mostly missing crunching, and any coffee/alcohol cessation symptoms), most people begin to feel much more energy and clarity (by consuming only fresh juices) than they ever did with frequent caffeine drinks.
10) Rehydrate the body. Most of my new patients consume inadequate fluids, often having diuretics such as coffee or tea as their main beverages. Drinking sufficient fluids (5-6 glasses/day) makes the body function more efficiently, increases energy (often successfully removing the afternoon blahs/brain fog), and helps insure proper elimination of toxins.
11) Reduce physical problems. You begin to feel generally better, not just with your energy, but with many chronic symptoms such as headaches, rashes, general aches, congested sinuses and chest, and bloating/cramping/gas. Too much of the time our body is fighting off the things we do to it (especially with food — but also with lack of sleep, inactivity and stress). Take a break, rest the body (and mind) and flood it with nutrients.
12) Allow maximum detoxification. To optimally support all phases of the body’s natural detox process, you need a very broad range of plant-supplied nutrients like anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories. By providing the body with super-nutrient dense foods juicing allows the body to have more of the resources it needs to support the phases of detoxification, and even to begin to help remove the cumulative toxins stored in the body — 147 industrial chemicals on average in Americans’ bloodstreams (6) with many present in newborns (7).
13) Heal our cells. Switching to an organic plant-based diet allows cells to work optimally to re-establish efficient internal messaging and manufacturing processes, allowing the mitochondria to create energy without having to fight off a plethora of free radicals and inflammation, and reducing some of the impediments to proper DNA functioning.
(Caveat: Juicing is not for everyone. Check with your health care provider first, especially people who are pregnant, underweight, diabetic, have unstable heart disease or low blood pressure, or who have life-threatening health challenges.)
(1): Kjeldsen-Kragh, J, “Rheumatoid arthritis treated with vegetarian diets” Amer J Clin Nutr Sept 1999;70(3)Suppl:594S-600S
(2): Ornish D, Brown SE, et al; “Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease? The Lifestyle Heart Trial.” Lancet. 1990 Jul 21;336(8708):129-33.
(3): Koertge J, Weidner G, …Ornish, D; “Improvement in medical risk factors and quality of life in women and men with coronary artery disease in the Multicenter Lifestyle Demonstration Project.” Am J Cardiol. 2003 Jun 1;91(11):1316-22.
(5) Gustavo D Pimentel, et al; “Gut-central nervous system axis is a target for nutritional therapies”, Nutrition Journal 2012, 11:22 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-22
Follow Woodson Merrell, M.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/docmerrell
What if I told you that you could take a 1 ounce shot of green goodness that provides literally EVERYTHING your body needs and can turn you into a magical unicorn? Well there is, and we have it…..except for the unicorn part.
E3 is a wild-harvested, organic blue-green algae (Aphanizomanon flos-aquae, or AFA) from Klamath Lake in Oregon, one of the few remaining unpolluted alkaline lakes on Earth. This nutrient dense superfood has the most naturally bioavailable amount of nutrition than anything else on the planet with 65 vitamins, minerals, all the essential amino acids & fatty acids (omega 3 & 6) and a high concentration of protein! WOW!!!!
E3 Superpowers include:
- Immunity boosting!
- Better digestion!
- Mood stabilization!
- Brain chemistry balancing! (serotonin levels)
- Menopause symptom alleviation!
- Increased stamina and endurance!
- Increased recovery time from workouts!
- Long-lasting energy boosts!
- Healthy skin, nails and hair!
- Inflammation fighter!
- Depression destroyer!
Stop by Roots Juices and pick up a shot of E3 Live for just $3! (*Spandex and tights not included.)
Eggnog (or egg nog to some) is one of those drinks that people expect to see at holiday parties, and homemade eggnog beats the pants off the store-bought stuff. Traditional recipes often call for bourbon and/or brandy, but this one allows rum to shine as the spirit of choice.
10 large, fresh grade AA eggs, separated
1 cup superfine sugar
3 cups heavy cream
2 cups Mount Gay Eclipse Rum
6 tsp. pure almond extract
6 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Glass: cocktail, wine, flute or toddy
Garnish: grated nutmeg and cinnamon
Separate eggs into two bowls. Beat yolks until stiff, and beat whites with half the sugar until peaks form. Slowly fold whites and yolks together. Separately, beat cream with almond extract, vanilla and remaining sugar in a bowl until stiff. Slowly fold in cream with egg mixture. Add rum and stir gently. Refrigerate overnight, or serve immediately. Serves 18–20.
Q: Tell me a little bit more about what you do for clients, what type of training programs do you take them through? (just describe yourself a little bit for readers that don’t know who you are)
I’m an open water swim coach that focuses largely on mechanics of the freestyle stroke. I predominantly work with Triathletes and individuals rehabbing injuries. With clients I utilize underwater video (as well as video above water) to analyze their stroke, and then assign certain drills and focuses specific to their particular stroke. Swimming is anything but intuitive, so allowing the athlete to see what they’re doing in the water reduces the learning curve significantly. I dork out on the science of fluid dynamics and how to work most efficiently with the medium of water.
Q: You’re currently training to swim across the English Channel next year, what does that involve? What kind of things do you have to prepare for?
I am absolutely nuts, but nothing excites me more than the idea pushing my mind and body past any threshold that currently exists, by way of water from England to France. The waters are notoriously brutal and known to be of the most difficult in the world. With that said, preparing myself for the variable water conditions requires some hefty training. I can expect super cold, rough water the entire 22 mile swim, scary amounts of jellyfish and other critters, sea-sickness whilst swimming, and the list goes on. I’m currently building my weekly distance in the water up to 70 kilometers, taking loooong ice baths daily, eating all of the food I can get my hands on to help “insulate” my body in the frigid 60 degree water, as well as maintaining a happy body through yoga and weekly massage/ROLFing. (Thanks Sage at the Solberg Center!)
Q: How does training in the water affect your skin and hair? Any must-have skin care products?
The chlorine certainly beats up my skin, and my hair gets a bit crisp at times. I use “Alma” coco lotion on my skin twice daily, as well as “Yes To Tomatoes” facial lotion. I guess you’d have to ask my wife how well these work for me, but I certainly feel much less itchy and dry!
Q: Describe your ideal client, who would benefit the most from training in water/ training with you, and what kind of results can they expect to see?
My ideal client is a self-motivators wanting to learn. I’m very in-depth and hands-on with clients, so a lot of attention is required from them. The beauty of who I work with (triathletes), is that they aren’t afraid to push themselves and are very committed to their sport. My clients constantly improve their efficiency and confidence in the water, thus producing a more tactical and competent athlete come race day. They also get faster, which never hurts!
Q: What are some of your workout essentials (favorite bag, shoes, tunes, etc)?
In the water I’m quite loyal to speedo, from suit to goggles to swim bag. When I’m on deck coaching, it will be rare to see me NOT decked out in lululemon from head to toe. Music is one of my biggest passions and I actively collect records, BUT I deprive myself of music during workouts and swims to help build mental toughness and endurance.
Q: What is the actual name of your sport and what is the hardest part of training and racing?
The sport is called Marathon Swimming. Technically what I’m preparing for is an Ultra Marathon swim, but who’s keeping score? The most difficult aspect of training is dealing with loneliness of the sport. Swimming counts hours can be quite isolating, as you have no one to talk to but yourself in your head. I’ve been able to turn this into a productive meditation of sorts, in which I can reflect, plan, and truly listen to my body.
Q: #1 vacation spot?
Key West, Florida! My wife and I have made this a yearly trip that we make in June. We plan the vacation around a swim race called, “Swim Around Key West”, a 12.5miles circumnavigation of the island. After the race we spend the rest of the vacation…well, swimming more. We’re not normal.
Q: Dallas’ best hidden gem?
The Trinity River. It’s not “hidden” per se, but certainly under-utilized. The trail system that is currently being developed along the Trinity River will be a game changer for athletic training. Can you imagine creating an open water swimming basin in it? I’m dreaming…and digressing, but you get the point.
Q: Lastly, why do you cleanse with Roots Juices?
I like to consume foods that work WITH my body, rather than against it. With the amount of precise calculation my training currently requires, I have little room for error. Roots saves my day!
Follow Bryan’s Roots Juices journey and snag his coupon code:
Quitting smoking is one of the toughest get-healthy challenges there is, and many people will try to make it happen during this week’s Great American Smokeout, a program of the American Cancer Society.
But according to Ashley Koff, R.D.,they may be leaving out one important piece of the puzzle says—good nutrition.
Koff, a renowned nutrition expert who’s a regular on shows like Dr. Oz, just launched the AKA Quit Kit for Smokers in collaboration with Conscious Box, and it includes a set of mostly food-related products that address common challenges smokers face while struggling to break the habit.
“I realized that smokers know they should quit but struggle with the how, and specifically, how to address the physiologic changes that occur in the body when you remove nicotine,” she says. “So I took the nutrition/nutrient approach to address these changes, with the idea that if you can feel better—or even just feel okay versus feeling really bad—you are more likely to be a successful quitter.”
In other words, if you eat McDonald’s and then feel lethargic and have digestive issues, it’s going to be harder to fight cigarette cravings, which you associate with making you feel better. If you eat a kale salad with wild salmon, you’ll be flooding your body with antioxidants, protein, and healthy fats, and you’ll feel less depleted and stronger when those cravings come. (Easier said than done, obviously.)
The AKA Quit Kit
Here are three specific ways nutrition can help you put out your last Marlboro for good:
1. Substitute a sugar high. It’s not often a nutritionist will recommend sugar, but Koff says it’s a good temporary substitute for the “fix” that nicotine provides—as long as you follow it with a healthy protein snack, so you don’t go from sugar high to low quickly. She put an organic lollipop in the kit for this purpose (which also occupies your mouth), and the trail mix and hemp hearts are protein supplements to prevent the crash.
2. Help with digestion. “Some people smoke after a meal to settle their stomachs,” Koff says. But if you eat balanced meals with plenty of fiber, you won’t feel like you need it as much. Koff also includes probiotics in the box to help.
3. Calm your quitting anxieties. Quitting is insanely stressful, and if you can’t calm down, you’ll likely fail. Healthy calming foods will help, like herbal teas and foods rich in magnesium, like cacao nibs (which also happen to be delicious). —Lisa Elaine Held
Cayenne pepper is known for its hot and spicy flavor. In the health world, this spice is known for all of its health powers. It is used in cooking, medicinal use, as well as to detox the body.
Here are some benefits of cayenne pepper:
- Fight inflammation
- Natural pain relief
- Reduce blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and platelet aggregation
- Clears congestion
- Boost immunity
- Prevent stomach ulcers
- Promotes weight loss
the list goes on and on!
Here, at Roots Juices, we use cayenne pepper in our detox H20. Lean about Cayenne Pepper Juice Benefits!
B Well with B12!
Have less pep in your step lately? Life got you feeling run down and weak? Maybe it’s not just your 5 margarita lunch. You could be lacking in B12!
A B12 deficiency is no joke, yo. A lack of it can cause anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, depression, poor memory, and vision problems.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that keeps your nerves and red blood cells healthy. It is responsible for the smooth functioning of several critical body processes.
The top 5 health benefits of vitamin B12 are:
It is needed to convert carbohydrates into glucose in the body, thus leading to energy production and a decrease in fatigue and lethargy in the body.
It helps in healthy regulation of the nervous system, reducing depression, stress, and brain shrinkage.
It helps maintain a healthy digestive system. Vitamin B12 also protects against heart disease by curbing and improving unhealthy cholesterol levels, protecting against stroke, and high blood pressure.
It is essential for healthy skin, hair, and nails. It helps in cell reproduction and constant renewal of the skin.
Vitamin B12 helps protect against cancers including breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer.
Vegetarians should take extra care to supplement B12, as it is mostly found in animal sources. Here @ Roots juices, we offer B12 shots for just $1 mixed into your favorite juice sample!!! So B well, B healthy, and B cool with this super vitamin!
Aloe Vera does so much, it might just be easier to tell you what it doesn’t do. It won’t do your taxes or hold you at night. But pretty much everything else.
This magical plant is most known for it’s healing properties in treating minor burns and skin wounds. But did you know pouring aloe down your gullet provides even more magic to your digestive tract?!?!
Aloe Vera has over 200 active components including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and fatty acids. It contains all the B vitamins, and one of the only few plants that contain B12. It also contains 3 plant sterols (important fatty acids!) which help to lower fats in the blood.
- reduces allergy symptoms
- relieves acid indigestion
- soothes and cleanses the digestive tract
- decreases the amount of unfriendly bacteria in our gut
- keeps healthy intestinal flora in balance
- absorbs toxins
- relieves constipation
Here @ Roots Juices, we offer 16 oz Aloe Vera H20. So if it’s soothing you need, Aloe Vera got ya covered; inside and out!