Kill Cravings and Lose Weight with Juicing

My son was excited when he called me the other day. Now what would excite a 28-year-old, single male in his last year of law school?

A good grade, a win for his intramural basketball team, a Seahawks score, or perhaps a girl?

Nope, not even close. You’ll never guess–not in a hundred years. I’m still recovering from the shock.

His thrill of the moment–a juicer. Yes, you read it right–one of those whirling machines that separates the juice from the pulp of fresh fruits and vegetables.

“Come on, Leslie. How can that be?”

What can I say? Truth is stranger than fiction as they say.

Yes, it’s true that my son has watched me make juice since he was four years old. We both remember vividly when he screamed to me, “Mom, I cut off my finger!” He was my little helper–cutting up carrots (and his finger) for our juice. Stitches, yes; one digit less, no.

Yes, it’s true that he still asks for juice, vegetable juice no less, when he comes home.

Yes, it’s true that he’s proud of himself (and I am mama bear relieved) for eating better and better all the time.

Yes, it’s true that several months ago he asked me for a juicer, and I finally got around to getting him one–just last week.

And yes, it’s true that he was thoughtful (whew – he does have some manners after all) enough to call me up and thank me. (He tells me he thinks of me every time he opens a door for a girl and all those times I yanked him back when he tried to walk through a door ahead of his sisters and me – giggle, giggle.)

But what I could’ve never predicted was how genuinely thrilled he was to get his very own juicer! Go figure.

“Mom, this is my very first appliance. I tried it out right away. Now I can get a lot of nutrients into my body really fast!”

Up to that moment, I didn’t even know he knew the word “nutrient.” Maybe our children listen more than they let on.

“So what’s all the ‘ta-do’ about juicing?”

We can get all essential nutrients from the juice of whole fruits and vegetables. The fiber, although needed for digestion, contains no nutrients.

So why not just eat the whole food and forget about separating the juice from the pulp? Great question.

Juicing is excellent supplementation to, NOT a substitute for, a diet filled with fresh whole plant foods, primarily whole, fresh fruits and vegetables.

=> Juices give us concentrated nutrition in just a few swallows.

We can’t possibly eat four stalks of celery, one beet, beet greens, kale, one cucumber, one zucchini, and parsley in just a few moments, much less a whole day. Look at all that nutrition.

That was one of my juices today, and, no, it doesn’t taste great. In fact, YUCK! Remember, I’m a hard-core every-day juicer–I drink juice for its value, not taste, but you can make juice that YOU like.

Hint: a bit of lemon and fresh ginger make any juice more taste-bud friendly.

=> Juices rev-up energy within, some say, 30 minutes.

The energy we get today comes from the carbohydrates in whole fresh fruits and vegetables that we ate yesterday. (Energy doesn’t come from meat, or cheese, or fat, or protein bars, or coffee–ouch, that hurt!)

Most foods take at least 24 hours to digest and transform into usable energy.

One exception to 24-hour digestion and absorption: juice. Juice, without the fiber, goes through our system lickety split and lifts us up in minutes.

=> Homemade juices are the best form of hydration, not water. Water has no nutrients; homemade juices do. Given the choice, homemade juices are better for us than water.

(If you have diabetes, watch your blood sugars when juicing–vegetable juice is usually doable, fruit juice often is not.)

=> Juices boost immune systems. What are our disease warriors and health heroes? Whole, fresh fruits and vegetables. What better way to get a concentrated shot of nutrients than by drinking the juices from fruits and vegetables?

=> BIG bonus here: fresh, homemade juices are weight reducers and controllers.

Drinking homemade juices between and before meals curbs the appetite, starts filling us up, and bingo, bango, without thinking about it, we eat less. Result: fewer calories, less weight.

=> Juices crush cravings. Juices contain the carbohydrates from whole fruits and vegetables that satisfy the hunger drive and help kill cravings–that sugar and salt thing that holds most of us hostage.

Just to be clear, juicing is different than blending. A Vitamix is a blender, not a juicer. A juicer specifically separates the juice from the pulp for all of the above reasons.

A blender pulverizes the food, mixing the juice and the pulp together. Blenders make great smoothies, but they don’t make juice.

Juices have been a part of my day for years, the perfect complementary appetizers for the whole fruits and vegetables I eat.

And I’m not pulling your leg. I have proof!

The next time you get close to me (if distance makes it possible and practical), notice the color of my skin – it’s yellowish, orangish – no, it’s not a tan, and it’s not even from carrots, I don’t juice many of them anymore. It’s from all the other vegetables I drink that constantly help my liver detoxify.

Who knows. When I see my son at Christmas, perhaps he will have that same funny “juice-glow” as well.

I don’t know about that, but I do know that he and I will continue to open doors for one another on our journey through life together.

Happy door-opening to you, my friend. Bye for now and remember – “Your body first; everything else second.”

By Dr. Leslie Van Romer

Addendum: If you’d like more information on juicing or the juicer that I like for the price (and I’ve tried at least 10 different ones over the years), feel comfortable emailing me or calling my office at 360-683-8844 or 1-800-375-3754. Katy, Diane and Mona know a lot of stuff!