When my daughter was in her pre-school ages it became very, very obvious that whatever I did she would copy. It was scary sometimes when I would hear snippets of a telephone conversation I had with my mother relayed to me by a 4 year old over the family dinner table.
“Monkey see, monkey do,” is what my parent friends would tell me and I learned to be mindful of what I did and said around my little one.
What I also saw, however, is how much power we have to positively influence how our children grow up. As well as picking up our bad habits they can also follow our positive ones.
One of the areas I wanted to get right for my child was in her diet, and helping her feel that fruits and vegetables were the best choice, rather than candy bars and potato chips.
So, I bought a juicer! And I love it – and, more importantly, so does she.
So, here’s a quick guide to juicing.
Juicing is a great way to incorporate more vegetables and fruits into your diet. It has countless health benefits, and you get to experience new flavor combinations – who would have thought that apple, carrot and spinach can taste so good?
Investigate juicers that use the masticating process instead of the centrifuge process for extraction, if your budget allows it. Masticating conserves many more nutrients, and you get much more actual juice (the pulp is dryer). Having said that a centrifuge juicer can still work well and be great value – just read some reviews first.
Take time to enjoy the juices. In the beginning I would swallow them back, but I read that allowing them to swish round your mouth enables the necessary enzymes to be released from your saliva, and that this helps the digestive process.
Making different color juices is fun, especially for kids. It also makes nutritional sense, so buy a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.
Drink your juice on an empty stomach about an hour before a meal. Your body will absorb more of the nutrients. Another benefit is that you are less likely to over-eat at meal time as your body already has some of the nutrients it needs.
In the beginning I was concerned that I was wasting food by throwing away the pulp from the juicer. Since then I have learned that I can use the pulp to make delicious soups, and if I do the ingredients one at a time and empty the pulp container I can use the leftovers to make fruit breads and cakes.
My daughter loves to make her “magic juice”, and so can your kids. What’s really cool is that as they get healthier, so do we!