Sunday, April 3, 2011

Eating to Live: Eat Your Veggies

So far I have talked about food combining and gluten-free living. All choices I have made in order to relieve my digestive distress. At this writing I have been food combining for 8 weeks and gluten-free for 6. Both dietary changes stress the importance of eating fruits and vegetables.

Eating raw fruits and vegetables generally causes problems for my digestive system, but now I need to somehow consume more vegetables and fruit than I have ever considered. Two weeks into the gluten-free diet, I was still having occasional digestive problems. While eating breakfast one morning, a thought came to mind⎯what if I juiced the vegetables or fruits? Wouldn’t that make it easier for my gut to move the food on down the line, and perhaps the wonderful power of vegetables would aid in healing any inflammation I might have.

I really feel like I am on to something with this vegetable madness⎯and get this, I even have a juicer! Yes, I just never used it. It was given to us when my husband, Dennis, had cancer. What was I waiting for? I pulled out our many books on juicing and began reading that very morning. Yes, I even had books on the subject⎯all of this right under my very nose. The books I had even covered juicing recipes specifically for many ailments including, wait for it⎯Crohn’s! The next morning I went grocery shopping, list in hand.

I have now been juicing for the past month. I love it. I feel like I am drinking some sort of secret healing elixir. I have never, never eaten so many vegetables. At this writing I am juicing once or twice a day. It’s easy for me to go through five pounds or more of carrots within a week! I keep looking in the mirror to see if I am turning orange yet!

Unless you are a vegetarian, most people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables⎯period. Juicing provides a rather simple way for us to EAT OUR VEGGIES! Here are a few tips to keep in mind...

1. How does juicing work with food combining and gluten-free?
First off ⎯veggies and fruit do not contain gluten, and what I am reading about juicing correlates very nicely with the food combining. Veggie juices combine well with protein OR starch⎯remember I cannot mix protein AND starch when food combining. I’ll sit down to a meal of protein OR gluten-free starch, vegetables AND a veggie drink.  My body doesn’t know what to do with all the goodness I am sending it⎯well actually I hope it does know what to do with it!

2. What about the mess of cleaning all the vegetables AND the juicer?
I never thought of juicing other than it would be a pain to mess with. Yes, you need to clean all the fruits and veggies and clean out the juicer, but I have found it much easier to clean all my veggies once a week and clean out the juicer once a day. No biggie!!! It’s kind of like I had one of those V8 moments⎯why didn’t I think of that before! The easier you can make it, the more you will do it.

3. Your mother always said, chew your food!
Because you are drinking vegetables, it is important not to drink the mixture rapidly. It is best to sip and allow the enzymes in your mouth to set the whole digestive process into play. It is even a good idea to actually chew it a bit as you sip. I understand this is really important to anyone drinking nutritious smoothies or other healthy drinks. The lack of chewing does not release the appropriate enzymes, which may lead to digestive distress. When enjoying my juice, I sit down as if I were having a meal whether it is a meal or not. I sip my juice and sip a bit of water to help the fiber move on its merry way.

4. Chlorophyll Cocktail:
My go-to gut drink is five carrots, a large handful of spinach, a couple stems of parsley and one celery stalk. If I choose to sweeten it up a bit I’ll add one apple⎯yum! Even Popeye would be proud.

Crohn’s or no Crohn’s, I am feeding my body with amazing nutrients. This is another gift that has been given to me via Crohn’s. Humans are funny animals, we don’t necessarily do what is best for us unless there is a problem⎯and even then we don’t do what is best. I am thinking juicing is something we should just do, problem or not. The world would be a better place for it…there I go⎯visualizing world peas⎯I know⎯corny⎯see I can't get veggies off my mind.

Are you feeding your body the way you should? Think of one small thing you know you should do, know you can do and just do it! And hey, YAY for you!

© Copyright 2011 Michelle Clark