By Samantha Betti
In the age of fad diets, crazy detox remedies and insane workout routines that will “recreate your body with just 5 minutes a day,” the options are endless for anyone looking to get healthy and be fit. I am 100% guilty of surrendering to a lot of these options. After struggling with my weight and conquering a loss of 57lbs, I’ve become slightly obsessed with nutrition, eating right, and taking care of my body. When I became a mom I wanted to be sure that I instilled the same knowledge (without the obsession) in my little girl. I feel it’s such an important and simple thing to teach our kids; eat healthy, be healthy.
Most recently I decided to take up juicing. Not as a diet or cleanse but as a way to incorporate the recommended serving of seven fruits & vegetables we are supposed to consume every day. That’s right, SEVEN!!! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my fruits and vegetables but there is no way I’m eating seven servings of fruits and vegetables every single day. With juicing I feel like I’m at least getting a good portion of that recommendation without much work.
New studies are starting to show that plant-based diets can also have a huge impact on decreasing common (and uncommon) health problems, including cancer. This hits home for me since so many of my loved ones have battled countless health issues and genetics are not necessarily in my favor on this. In an attempt to continue to bring healthier options into my home, rid the house of overly processed foods and convert to organic in order to do what I can to protect myself and my family, I figured juicing would fit right in.
I started by using only fruits to get used to the idea, then slowly started experimenting with vegetables to see what went well with what. The truth? It doesn’t really matter, it all tastes so good!!!! I’m currently up to a combination of between 8-10 fruits and veggies every single day. I pair my drink with a serving of nuts and a cup of tea in the morning and there is breakfast. I feel about the same as I did before starting to juice but the satisfaction of knowing that I’ve satisfied my daily nutritional requirement by 9am is awesome! I’m not any hungrier than I was before I started juicing, if anything my appetite has decreased. The water in the fruit helps to keep me hydrated which, as we know, is just as important as getting those seven servings of fruits & veggies.
The best part? Getting my 3-year-old on board with it all! It’s a nightly mommy-daughter routine we both look forward to every day. No matter what, she comes running when it’s time to create the concoction and can’t wait for the taste test when we are done.
She’s 3, so anything with the word ‘juice’ in it is equivalent to anything with the word ‘wine’ in it for us moms (am I right?!) Everyone has their own opinions about store-bought juice, especially for toddlers, but in our house it’s a limited option. I feel less guilty about giving her one that’s fresh, all natural and has no extra or artificial sugars added to it. Plus, there’s the added bonus that we made it together!
I’ve also been able to use juicing as an educational activity. We’ve worked on counting what we put in the juicer, talked about colors and textures, and I’ve even been able to introduce new fruits and veggies to her vocabulary and diet. Her favorite part, dumping the compost into the bin, has opened up doors to learning about recycling, compost, gardening and a slew of other toddler-friendly topics.
Fad diets, crazy detoxes, and ‘5 minute workouts’ don’t stand a chance in my house, but juicing is here to stay!