OK, so you’ve probably noticed if you have been following me on facebook or instagram (@theshrinkinghubby) that I have turned into a bit of a juice-o-ho-lic! And since I have started daily juicing (it’s been over 5 weeks at the time of writing) and raving about how fantastic it has been making me feel (inside and out), I have had so many people asking me to write about juicing – i.e. how to get started and most importantly what to juice, so this post is dedicated to all of you!
So I hear you ask why juice?
Firstly, we all know (and if you didn’t you do now!) that we are supposed to be eating (AT LEAST) 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit per day. (That’s about 5 cups of raw veggies). I am generally quite good at getting that into my day to day diet – but then again I’ve been eating this way for a really long time so I am used to throwing extra veggies into each meal (yes even breakfast!). I just want to clarify that I do not juice to try and get my daily quota into one glass per day, my daily juice is a supplement to my daily fruit and veg intake. Having said that, if you know you are getting all that fruit and veg into your daily juice, you know that you are already well on the road to consuming an adequate amount of fresh produce.
It is also worth mentioning at this point however that no matter how wonderfully full of good stuff a juice is, you are still consuming calories, so if you are thinking of adding a daily juice to your diet perhaps you could consider replacing a snack or reducing a meal size to counter-balance this (or increasing your exercise).
There is some criticism about how juicing deprives your body of the essential fibre of fruit and vegetables, however as I said above, if you are eating your 2 and 5 serves a day, and treating a juice as a supplement to this, you are just giving your body a bonus of essential nutrients, and trust me, it will thank you for it!
The reason that juicing makes you feel so fantastic is that by juicing you are giving your body the nutrients without making it work to extract them from the produce. This is why you will feel an almost immediate energy kick after drinking a juice, as your body can get to work delivering all those wonderful vitamins, minerals and antioxidants throughout your body – in my opinion simply incomparable to a vitamin supplement.
Also, if you look at the volume of produce that goes into a glass of juice, you can understand that it simply wouldn’t be possible to consume that quantity by eating or blending in a smoothie – plus what you are getting in your glass is the highest concentration of nutritients. Don’t get me wrong – smoothies are a great meal option and can be a nutritonally complete meal too – however that is for another blog post …
You couldn’t possibly eat all of this daily!
What to put into your juice?
I always like to start with a base of green apple, lemon and kale (the leaves not the stalks). Then you can get creative with your other veggies. I like to use (and I mix and match according to whatever I have on hand) carrots, beetroot, broccoli, parsley, ginger (careful as juiced ginger can get a little spicy), cucumber, celery, spinach, zucchini etc etc. It’s good to mix and match as different fruits and veggies have different nutrients
If you can get your hands on it – juiced turmeric root is a great all round anti bacterial and immunity buster.
My favourite combo – green apple, kale, lemon, parsley, ginger and cucumber – so refreshing!
- Always juice the leafy greens which don’t hold as much liquid (e.g. kale, spinach, broccoli, ginger) before the juicier fruits/veggies (e.g. apple, lemon, cucumber). That way the juicier produce will flush out the nutrients of the less juicy produce through your juicer. Kale in particular will not create much juice, but you will see from the dark green colour that it is highly nutritious and full of chlorophyll which is a great detoxifier, blood cleanser and energy converter. You don’t want to leave all of that dark green goodness in your machine!
- Keep your juicer handy – if you keep it on the top shelf out of view I promise you will be less likely to be motivated to use it. Most people I speak to have a juicer but never use it because it is tucked away somewhere inconveniently. My juicer sits on the kitchen bench and washing it up has become as routine as brushing my teeth.
- Plan ahead – have some glass jars washed, sterilised and ready to use. (A run through the dishwasher will sterilise your jars – then just make sure they dry before you use them. Jars are a great way to store and cart your juice around (and you’re more likely to drink a juice if you have thrown one into your bag that morning!)
- Make in bulk – I usually juice about 4-5 jars at a time. It’s not ideal to drink it after a couple of days, but it’s better than nothing!
- If you can – always try and use organic ingredients. Give your body the full benefit of pesticide free produce – it doesn’t need to deal with the chemicals when you are trying to detoxify!
- If you feel like you are are fighting a cold, add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to your glass of juice and mix it well, or for an extra metabolism kick in the morning a pinch of cayenne pepper is extremely invigorating (but not for the faint hearted!!!).
If you want to see how juicing can turn lives around I highly recommend watching Joe Cross’s documentary ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’, in which he documents his own journey from ill health to good health by undertaking a 60 day juice fast (yep juice only for 60 days). The results were astounding and he continues to travel around the world showing people the benefits of regular juicing and juice fasting and the impact he makes on so many people is really astounding. I’m not saying that we should all give up food for 60 days, however this documentary provides a really good insight into the nutritional benefits of juicing (and eating enough fruit and vegetables.)
Another combo – this one kale, green apple, ginger, parsley, carrot, celery and beetroot – happy juicing!
I hope that this had been a good introduction to the world of juicing. I am sure that there will be more to come on this site as I read and learn and experiment and taste more! There is so much to read and learn but the best advice I can give you is to give it a go. Dust off your juicer and try a daily juice for a week or so (buy a juice from a juice bar if you aren’t ready to invest in a juicer). I promise that it will make you feel radiant and amazing!
My friend Robyn runs a cooking demonstration/catering business called Mimi’s Kitchen – you can find her here. She has many delicious recipes in her repertoire but this tasty salad is truly sensational. I made it the first time for hubby a little while ago and he said it was one of the best things he’s ever eaten! If you don’t want to use yoghurt you can whisk up some hummus with lemon juice and a bit of tahini for a dairy free dressing.
Lamb, Lentil and Tahini Salad
What you will need:
400g lamb (either lamb steaks, loin or back straps)
1 leek, halved and finely sliced
250g sliced mushrooms
2 zucchini, halved and cut into crescents
1 bunch asparagus (chopped into 2 cm pieces)
1 tin lentils, drained and rinsed well
salt and pepepr
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup greek yoghurt
Juice of a lemon
Large handful of mixed leaves (spinach, rocket work well)
How to pull it together:
1. Generously sprinkle sumac, salt and pepper on both sides of the lamb.
2. In a large pan, heat some olive oil and garlic, then add the leek and fry until translucent and starting to brown. Add the zucchini, asparagus and mushrooms and continue to fry until they soften (about 10 minutes).
3. In a separate pan (or on the bbq – this is my preferred option) cook the lamb for a few minutes on either side until cooked through, but tender. Set aside and slice into thin pieces. (try not to eat it all at this stage – it is very yummy!)
4. Meanwhile, whisk the tahini yoghurt and lemon juice in a small bowl with some sumac, salt and pepper.
5. On a platter/in a largebowl place the mixed leaves, followed by the vegetables. Add the lentils, then the lamb. Drizzle the dressing over the top and serve.
Mmmm cooking up the veggies …
Enjoy – and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook www.facebook.com/theshrinkinghubby and instagram @theshrinkinghubby!
I have just returned from a 3-day juice fast/detox in beautiful (but very rainy) Byron Bay with my good friend Janet Kalmin who is equally as passionate about health as I am. We had a lot of time to read and learn while we were away, and we have returned from our trip invigorated, cleansed and very motivated to make positive changes to our diet. In particular we read the works of some of the leading voices in food and health at the moment – David Gillespie (Sweet Poison, Big Fat Lies, and Toxic Oil) and Sarah Wilson (I Quit Sugar). Janet has kindly offered to guest blog on The Shrinking Hubby this week. What she has to say about the fats we consume is not only interesting and thought provoking, but really (urgently) important for our future health. The large and very powerful manufacturers who control our food industry are not concerned about future risks of health, as long as their products don’t instantly kill us – it simply doesn’t make business sense to them. This is going to have extremely worrying consequences for our future generation.
I hope that you get a lot out of Janet’s article, and above all that it gives you some power to make informed decisions about the kind of food you are feeding yourselves and your families. Because if we can get the message out that there are foods swamping our supermarkets that are making us very sick as a population, then hopefully our population won’t buy these foods and then the manufacturers will not have the incentive to market them to us (and our kids)!
Finally I just wanted to bring to your attention the fact that Jessie Reimers (you can follow her facebook page ‘Get A Fresh Start’ here) is currently petitioning the Heart Foundation to stop endorsing unhealthy margarines and immediately review the ‘tick of approval’ program. I highly recommend that you check out what the petition is all about and sign it here. Please also take the time to share it with your friends – it is a very important crusade for the benefit of all of our health.
The Skinny on Fat
by Janet Kalmin
It seems a small revolution is happening in the world of fats, and with the help of the internet, vital research previously ignored is being brought to light.
There is a dawning of a new age in how we see fat, particularly the much maligned saturated stuff; butter, lard, cream, animal fat of any sort plus some other gems like coconut oil. Some are calling the war against saturated fat the biggest health myth of the century and you should know about it!
We are so conditioned into thinking that saturated fats cause heart disease and raise our cholesterol that even I find myself feeling some guilt when I add another slather of butter. But according to pioneering nutritionists Mary Enig and Sally Fallon of the Weston A. Price Foundation in the US, this is exactly what I should be doing if I want to raise my good cholesterol and protect my body from oxidation and other nasty repercussions of too little saturated fat and too much polyunsaturated fat. It’s the latter that raise your ‘bad’ cholesterol.
They say animal fat is “not deadly, but is necessary for our bodies to initiate, suppress, or resolve inflammation as needed. These are all vital processes that allow us to respond appropriately to our environment. My children have always enjoyed butter, animal fat, whole milk, coconut oil, just as our pre-war ancestors did. They are heart disease free.
However the food industry sponsored Heart Foundation continues to strongly urge us to replace saturated fat with omega 6 options (polyunsaturated) through the media, our GPs and little friendly reminders on margarine lids. Funny, that.
Just a few years ago I thought I knew it all, all about fats anyway. The much espoused Mediterranean diet told us to cook and cover everything in EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and so I did. And don’t get me wrong, that was great, mono-unsaturated omega 3s and all that jazz. Problem was, almost everything from the shops contained anything but olive oil. From cook-in sauces and curry pastes to take-away you can almost guarantee a polyunsaturated fat has been used. They are lurking, weirdly, in things like an Up and Go, marketed as a great start to the day! And they are not just polyunsaturated. Canola oil needs so much processing to rid it of its foul taste and odour that it becomes a trans-fat – generally now agreed to be the worst possible scenario for fat.
Polyunsaturated fats are known as vegetable oils, which is laughable as no vegetable is processed for its oil, it’s just sounds good. David Gallespie more accurately calls them ‘seed oils’. Seed oils are nasty stuff according to some enlightening new and old research. Canola and Cottonseed oil are by-products of industrial waste! They are cheap and easy to make in large quantities. They just make perfect business sense.
These are everyday foods that contain seed oils:
- peanut butter
- boxed cereals
- packaged breads
- salad oils
- other fake fats like shortening and artificial “butter” products
Cotton-seed oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, rice bran oil….
These fellas are lurking in your daily diet whether you like it or not.
Bread, sauces, chips, take away, almost anything that comes in a jar of oil like olives, antipasti, snack foods, and the list goes on.
But what does it do you?
Seed oils are highly- processed polyunsaturates full of omega 6s. And there lies the problem.
Our bodies are designed to be 1:1 Omega 6 and Omega 3. Get this ratio wrong and you are asking for trouble. Apparently we are not getting enough of the 3 and WAY too much of the 6s.
And you can see why when you look at everything that contains ‘vegetable’ (aka seed) oil.
Some recent research (and more importantly some older research that seems to be constantly ignored by mainstream health ‘authorities’) is telling us that these oils are doing all sorts of damage including floating around while our bodies try and absorb them into our cells. Google the link between skin cancer and vegetable oil, it will turn your stomach.
Problem is we are animal fat! Yes that’s right; you know the saturated stuff that we have been warned will kill us. But if you think about it simply, how can we process fat into our cells if that is not the fat our cells are made of? Sometimes you don’t need a Bio-Chemical PhD to understand basic logic. And that’s the whole point. David Gillespie says it like this “… the reality is our body can’t tell the difference between them [polyunsaturated and saturated fats]. We use fats for energy and importantly, to construct our cells. The end result of a diet high in polyunsaturated fats is that our cell membranes are constructed of polyunsaturated fat. This is a problem because it is much more volatile, much more likely to oxidise. Out of control oxidation ultimately leads to the kind of mutations in the DNA of the cell nucleus that leads to cancer. “
The Weston A. Price Foundation sheds some light on the recent history of fats:
“[It’s] the mid-1980s and the food industry has a problem. In collusion with the American Heart Association, numerous government agencies and departments of nutrition at major universities, the industry had been promoting polyunsaturated oils as a heart-healthy alternative to “artery-clogging” saturated fats. Unfortunately, it had become increasingly clear that polyunsaturated oils…cause numerous health problems, including and especially cancer.” Check out westonprice.org and go crazy!
Join me in banning these foods from your family’s diet and go back to the good stuff. The Weston A. Price Foundation found women with lower saturated fat and higher polyunsaturated had far more wrinkles. That’s the deal breaker is it not? Wait and see, it will all come to light in ten years and you can sit back smugly and say with me:
“I told you so!”
Lunch doesn’t have to be boring, or a sandwich, or a soggy wrap, or leftovers. You certainly don’t need to fork out obscene amounts of money at a gourmet cafe for a quick healthy salad.
I am going to share a few of my favourite pull together salad ingredients in the hope that it inspires you to get creative, plan ahead and enjoy amazing lunches wherever you are during the day!
Firstly I always have a bag of mixed greens in the fridge. I love the baby salad and beetroot from woollies because before you have even done anything else you have a rainbow of vegetables to start with.
Here are some other yummy salad ingredients to think about adding – there is no end to the number of options – these are my current favourites but they do tend to change regularly!
Roast pumpkin, cauliflower, broccoli and feta salad.
Some of these suggestions like the pumpkin or tomatoes I like to make in bulk and keep them in little containers in the fridge and I make a big batch of dressing for the week too. Then pulling together a gourmet salad is incredibly quick and easy.
Some ideas for your salad:
Firstly, I always like to have a source of protein (apart from the nuts and cheese) such as chicken, leftover steak from the night before, tuna or tofu. See below for some preparation tips:
- Chicken: You can steam/poach/grill/bbq/ or fry up some chicken breast in some coconut or olive oil. Add some spices or a squeeze of lemon for some zesty flavour. I have been steaming a few breasts at the beginning of the week and we have been using in salad, as snacks etc … great source of protein. Choose free range or organic if you can …
- Tofu: I love to chop up a little bit of firm organic Tofu (make sure it is GM free) – say 75grams into little bite sized squares and cook it in some coconut oil until it goes brown and crispy – yum! You can marinate it before cooking in a little tamari or lemon juice for added flavour …
- Tinned tuna/salmon – always easy to take with you if you are on the go or at work. If you are going to use the flavoured variety check the ingredients as some are cleaner (i.e. no nasties added) than others. The lemon/pepper flavour, zesty vinaigrette or chilli ones are quite good.
- Legumes – Some well rinsed organic chick peas, cannellini beans, kidney beans or lentils are great in a salad.
Here are some other yummy extras you can think about adding:
- Chopped veggies – think capsicum, cucumber, mushrooms, tomatoes (if you aren’t using the roasted ones see below), snow peas, sprouts …
- Steamed veggies – such as broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini …
- Roast Pumpkin – chop up some pumpkin into cubes. Sprinkle with cinnamon and chilli powder and bake in the oven for 30-40 mins or until cooked to your liking. You don’t even need to spray with oil …
- Roast Tomatoes – even the shrinking hubby (who professes to hate tomatoes) loves these! I am loving the mini roma tomatoes at the moment. Slice them in half lengthways and toss in some olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper. We found a delicious basil infused olive oil which is great with the tomatoes. Bake skin side down in a 200 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until they are cooked to your liking…
- Nuts and/or seeds: Think sunflower seeds, pistachios, walnuts, pine nuts – although these are great dry roasted or tossed in a little bit of coconut oil, they are just as nice sprinkled over a salad straight from the container and add lots of nutrients, protein, good fats and yummy crunch to your salad. You can also buy seed mixes from grocers such as Harris farm or Thomas Dux for salads which are just as yummy …
- Olives – black or green add so much zest to a salad!
- Feta – those who have been following me for a while must have realised I have a serious feta fettish!! I just can’t get enough of the stuff although I (try to!) limit myself to just a little bit …
- Avocado – Avocados are just so brilliant – they provide so many essential nutrients, good fats, great for skin, hair, mood and taste so amazing. One of my favourite things!
And there are loads of options for dressings – try these – you may want to experiment with quantities as per your taste …
- This is my current favourite dressing (makes enough for about 4 salads): shake the following up in a jar: 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, juice of 1/2 a lemon, 1 teaspoon organic maple syrup, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 tablespooon dijon mustard and some freshly ground cracked pepper.
- Other great mixes are olive oil with apple cider vinegar, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice.
- Try a dash of greek yoghurt with some pesto or a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Or another alternative is some tahini with some lemon juice, water, salt and pepper.
Tofu cooked up in coconut oil with olives, chick peas, avocado, broccoli, pistachios, walnuts and my dijon/maple syrup dressing
So – hopefully that is enough to get you excited about what to have for lunch! Feel free to comment below … and please if you have any suggestions of other great additions to salads please comment below or share on my facebook page www.facebook.com/theshrinkinghubby
For those of you who follow me on Facebook you might have seen the delicious dinner I whipped up on Monday night – baked barramundi on a bed of zucchini with cherry tomatoes on the vine, black olives and herbs. It was so easy to prepare – it only took about 5 minutes – but it was vibrant, colourful and very impressive. I was inspired by a recipe in Tessa Kiros’ beautiful cookbook ‘Limoncello and Linen Water’.
If you don’t like barramundi you could use an alternative white fish (think cod, snapper, flathead etc) or if you don’t like fish then it would be delicious with chicken! Next time I am going to try this with salmon …
I served it with blanched asparagus, but a mixed green salad would be just as delicious, and if you really can’t be bothered you can relax because the zucchini and the tomatoes mean that this dish really is a one-pot-wonder!
Baked Barramundi with Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes, Black Olives and Herbs
This made enough for the 2 of us (we did have a lot of tomatoes) but if you wanted to double it for 4 people and again for 8 etc it would work just as well.
What you will need:
2 small zucchinis – thinly sliced lengthways and tossed with some sea salt and cracked black pepper
2 barramundi fillets (or fish of your choice, or chicken)
200 g (7 ounces) cherry tomatoes (on the vine). (This was actually a lot of tomatoes for 2 people – keep in mind if you are not mad on tomatoes ..)
1 heaped tablespoon chopped parsley
6 basil leaves – torn
1/2 cup of white wine or chicken stock. (I used stock here but I think that white wine would be even more delicious)
A couple of handful of black olives (I used the pitted kalamata olives from the deli at Woolworths – they were perfect!)
Zest & juice of one lemon
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
How to pull it together:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
In a baking dish (which I lined with baking paper), drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, and lay out the zucchini. Season the fish on both sides with a little salt and pepper andlay it over the zucchini. Top with the tomatoes and herbs. Pour the wine or stock around the fish and toss in the olives. Finish with the zest of the lemon and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until the tomatoes are roasted to your liking and the fish is nice and brown.
To keep updated with The Shrinking Hubby and for more inspiration for your healthy eating, don’t forget to like me on Facebook by heading over to www.facebook.com/theshrinkinghubby. Do you know anyone who loves cooking and eating healthy food, or who struggles with their weight or has a loved one who does? Please refer them to my page – I love hearing stories of those who have been inspired by our journey. Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to mean that you sacrifice wonderful food and good times! For those who follow me on Facebook – if you didn’t see this posted earlier in the week, it may be because Facebook is restricting the number of people who are exposed to my posts on their news feeds. To make sure you receive my posts it is a really simple process. To keep receiving all my posts, hover your mouse on the “Like” button near my name (The Shrinking Hubby) on Facebook. In the drop-down menu select “Add to interest lists.” Then create an interest list.
Thank you again for your support – we continue to be overwhelmed by the positive response from so many of you!
Wishing you all a wonderful week!
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