Eating With Your Dollars: The best fast food money can buy

Posted by Vani Hari on Tue, May 15, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Sawadee ka from Thailand!

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Drinking fresh raw organic vegetable juice is one of the fastest and easiest ways to stay in tip-top shape while vacationing. It also happens to be one of the best ways to "Eat With Your Dollars." It's something I do no matter where I am in the world (including here in Thailand) and do almost daily back home. And I'm not talking about opening a can of V8 or buying a ready-made juice like Naked that has been pasteurized. I'm talking about drinking the juice of this many vegetables (see photo below) at one sitting - raw, fresh and straight out of a juicer.

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The reasons to drink vegetable juice seem endless to me, but here are just three reasons why adding this habit to your repertoire is the key to ultimate health.

1. It's really hard to get the amount of vegetables required by most experts (6-8 servings) in a typical day. I don't know about you, but when I wake up, I don't crave a big bowl of collard greens or broccoli. It's rare to see Americans eating vegetables for breakfast, and at lunch it could be as small as a piece of lettuce and tomato on a sandwich, leaving very little room in the day to get that 6-8 servings. It takes a few pounds of vegetables to get a 12-ounce glass of juice - which gives you the whole day's worth of servings in one class. Additionally, juicing allows you to get a wide variety of vegetables you would probably not otherwise consume in your diet, giving your body the variety of vitamins and minerals it needs to repair damaged cells, prevent disease, and keep you looking and feeling younger.

2. Drinking juice gives you a ton of energy. When juice is separated from the fiber of fruits and vegetables, it is easier for your body to absorb all the nutrients, giving you an instant boost of energy. Consuming the abundance of live enzymes, vitamins and minerals in juice is like drinking a natural version Red Bull. There's nothing wrong with a little organic coffee, but my daily habit was eliminated after I started having fresh juice daily. I simply didn't need it anymore to feel awake and alive.

3. Our soil is depleted. Due to the use of pesticides, genetically modified seeds, and conventional farming practices, several vitamins and minerals have become depleted from our soil. Eating a piece of broccoli now vs. 20 years ago does not yield the same amount of nutrition. It's crucial that we try to overcompensate this fact by consuming as many whole plant foods as possible. Juicing allows you to get the extra boost you need much more efficiently than trying to chew vegetables all day. When I started drinking carrot juice, my eye lashes immediately started to grow longer within just a couple of weeks. Feeling the extra energy boost is one thing, but seeing the results in the mirror can be quite dramatic and make you a firm believer of the powers of drinking juice.

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Obviously, you don't have to travel all the way to Thailand to get fresh organic juice. My favorite way to get juice is through my juicer at home. (There are some easy and fast recipes on my blog. I like to flavor my juice with lemon, ginger and garlic. If you have never tried fresh raw vegetable juice before or are new to juicing, I recommend starting off with an 80 percent vegetable to 20 percent fruit ratio and slowly migrate over time to 100 percent vegetable juice with fresh lemon or lime juice as the only fruit-based flavor enhancer. It's really important to slowly drink your juice, almost chewing it, so the juice will mix with your saliva. This action stimulates your digestive enzymes allowing you to absorb all the nutrients.

If you don't have a juicer of your own, no worries, there are several fantastic juice bars in town that can make you a fresh raw juice in no time! Here are some of my favorites:

Berry Brook Farms: Great recipes, fast service, call in orders and take away.

Luna's Living Kitchen: Innovative combinations, the "Kale Lemonade" is perfect for those just starting out and need a little apple and lemon to help that kale go down.

Home Healthy Market and Earth Fare: I love combining my juicing and shopping! Sipping on juice while shopping keeps my will power in check and prevents me from loading my cart with junk food.

And if you are too lazy to make your own juice or can't get your butt off the couch, you can always call Viva Raw, who delivers fresh raw juice straight to your door. They just upgraded their equipment with a Norwalk Juicer - the best juicer on the market that cold-presses the juice, preserving many of the raw enzymes longer than other traditional juicers.

See! Fresh juice is the most nutritious "fast food" money can buy. Now, how's that for Eating With Your Dollars?

I'm off to drink juice with the elephants. Until next time ...

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A management consultant by day and food activist blogger by night, Vani Hari has been featured here on CL's 2012 Lust List, the Charlotte Observer, and the New York Times. She has made it her mission to spread as much information about what is in food as well as how to make the right purchasing decisions at the grocery store and how to live an organic lifestyle on her blog Foodbabe.com.

Comments (12)

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Great insight!

What type of juicer do you use? And what juicer would you recommend to a newbie juicer that needs an affordable option before jumping into a $500+ investment?

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Posted by MamaOnTheRun (mamaontherun.com) on 05/16/2012 at 9:55 PM

Hi Mama on the Run! I'd recommend the Breville for those starting out - super easy to use and clean. It's under 300, especially if you use a coupon from Bed Bath and Beyond :) - check out my site for more details here - http://foodbabe.com/2011/10/23/day-2-all-a…

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Posted by Food Babe on 05/20/2012 at 9:41 AM

To MamaOnTheRun,
I recently was inspired to try juicing and bought a $65 juicer from Walmart. It works just fine. I'm glad I went cheap because so far I hate every juice I've tried to make, and so has my husband.
so ...
Vani, I was wondering, was icky to you at first, too? I really have to choke it down, and then I just dread the next batch. Did you have to develop a taste for it or am I just destined to be a miserable juicer? I have put more fruits than vegetables so far to try to make it more appealing to me, but it's still not good.

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Posted by Robyn Vines Smith on 05/21/2012 at 6:56 PM

Hi Robyn - I've always loved juice, I guess I'm lucky like that! What combinations are you trying? Are you adding lemon? Lemon really cuts the taste of the greens and is a crucial component. Good Luck... hopefully your taste buds will adjust soon!

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Posted by Food Babe on 05/26/2012 at 6:03 PM

I've tried a few fruit/veggie combos. I didn't add lemon. That might help. My husband was already to try a juice fast (no fast for me) but he was immediately discouraged by the taste. I'll give the lemon a try. Thanks!

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Posted by Robyn Vines Smith on 05/27/2012 at 9:36 PM

Do you bring your juicer with you when traveling? Most juicers don't seem very portable to me. How do you ensure that the raw vegetables you buy abroad to juice are free from harmful substances, such as pesticides and e. coli?

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Posted by Nan Barber on 06/13/2012 at 8:23 PM

Juicing is fantastic! I have been doing it for about 3 weeks and already feel and see the benefits! I have a Breville juicer. I learned of the benefits of juicing from my coworker/physician, who had me watch a documentary called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. I do vegetable/fruit juice combos, spinach, kale, berries, all organic. Its so delicious!

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Posted by Amy Molina Doggett on 07/18/2012 at 3:57 PM

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead is amazing and I did a 30 day juice fast that totally healed and repaired my immune system that was totally destroyed from a parasite I pick up from a cruise 10 yrs. ago. We do all nuture everything and this was the fasting why to heal anything in the body. It super alkilines your body which no disease can survive in. I have epstein barr and mononucleosis in my system from sometime in my life and it will always be there dorment unless something triggers it. It always shows up in blood test and when I go to the homeopathic doctor but after I did the juicing niether one of them showed up in my testing and I had a live blood test done and my immune system is picture perfect. 4 wks. of juicing!!!! I have an Omega Juicer which is one of the best juicers to get. It cost around $330 and is smaller in size which mks it easy to tk with u on vacation if u r driving to your distination. We just went away for a wk and we took it with us and went to the grocery store and got the 25lb. of organic carrots and some other organic veggies and juiced for everybody and brought bk with us what we did not use. It was only a 1 1/2 drive so we could do that. ALWAYS wash everything organic or not in peroxide and water. Fill the sink up with water just covering the veggies/fruits and put a cup of pero. in the water and let sit for 15 mins., drain and fill bk up with water and squeeze a lemon into the water and sit for 5 mins. and u are good to go. My biochemist doctor and Dr. Hulda Clark who wrote The Cure for All Dieases and Cancers tells you to do this. It will wash and kill all herbecides, pesticides, parasites, bacterias that u do not want in your body. Cheap and easy. The Omega juicer is so good because it only goes 80 hP compared most juciers that go 1500 to 1800 HP which causes the breakdown of the emzymes and oxidation and that is why u have to drink it within 30 mins. The Omega does not do this because it goes slow so you can do your jucing up to 3 days ahead of time. We will do it for the day and the next. Only mix apples or pears with your veggies NO other fruits. Fruits have a totally diff. emzyme that it requires to break it down in our digestion then veggies. You can eat fruit 30 mins. before or after a meal. Apples and pears r the only ones u can mix in juicing or eating and cooking. Food Babe I love your sight and You Tube videos. I am 41 and look way younger because of doing what u do. We also do the Alkaline water machine and Rife machine. AMAZING!!!!!! Food Babe u an your hubby would be interested in these. Thanks again.
Tete ; )

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Posted by Tete on 09/29/2012 at 12:18 PM

Jucing messes up my blood sugar and feeds candida. Plus the amount of veggies it takes for one glass of juice is out of my budget. So I went with veggie Smoothies and I love them! Don't discount the fiber in those veggies. For me all the benefits of jucing and none of the fuss. Plus I manage to eat more veggies every meal.

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Posted by Linda Nedderman-Eaton on 03/01/2013 at 3:28 AM

I use a Vitamix to blend my veggies. It does a fantastic job making a vegetable juice. I was wondering though what are your thoughts are on keeping the fiber in the juice like what the Vitamix does?

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Posted by GD on 05/11/2013 at 12:51 PM

I am very new to juicing. I eat healthy and every 3 hours to keep my metabolism boosted and have been trying to determine the best way to incorporate juicing daily. I thought maybe replace my afternoon snack with a fresh juice? Any advice is much appreciated!! My goal is to get healthier and lose a little weight along the way...

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Posted by bella5884 on 06/12/2013 at 9:51 AM

Hi! I've been juicing for a while now. Made a 14day juicing fast and felt great so I've kept the green juicing as part of my morning routine! I do travel a lot though, I see you travel too, so my question is: did you travel all that way with your breville packed? (I have a breville also! Yay!) if not, how do you make sure the hotel will prepare your juice every morning? Thanx for the great tips!

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Posted by Silvana Guajardo on 10/26/2013 at 8:16 PM
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