Juicing or no Juicing?
By now we are all well versed in the latest and greatest health fads. Juicing is all the rage, with stores sprouting everywhere, offering green juices the price of a drink at an expensive bar. It is the process of extracting the juice from whole fruits and vegetables such as apples, oranges, lemons, carrots, green leaves and berries. Many people have been substituting green juices for meals, believing that this is a healthy and beneficial way to slim down. This is a seemingly easy and inexpensive to increase your daily fruit and vegetable intake.
Joe Cross and Juicing
If someone took juicing above and beyond the limit, Joe Cross must be it! I am picking him as the poster boy. Watch his documentary, “Sick, Fat, and Nearly Dead” He is easily likable, charming, and sincere, with an irresistible Australian accent, and he treats everyone he interviews with great simplicity and sensitivity; he takes care to interview only the guy or gal next door. This makes for a relatable and genuine portrayal of the human desire to achieve better health.
Joe Cross, an overweight man sick and tired of being out of shape, goes on a cross-country road trip where he vows to go on a “juice fast” for 60 days. Along the way he interviews and meets other people seeking to embark on a lifestyle change. Together, they embark on a health journey. In the documentary’s trailer, Cross declares, “The best way to change the world is to change yourself.” What the documentary fails to report, however, is the alternative lasting healthy lifestyle changes one should implement into his or her own life, instead of cutting out all food, and relying solely on a juice cleanse to restore health and happiness.
Juicing Vs Blending
What happens when they face off? With juicing, the pulp is unwanted, and therefore discarded. One of the main issues lies in the discarded pulp. According to WebMD.com, the nutritious fibers found in fruit and vegetables are in its pulp, so juicing neglects to provide you with this valuable fiber intake. Furthermore, the calories begin racking up when all you’re using is fruit to juice. The main goal of undergoing a juice cleanse is to “rid your body of toxins,” says EverydayHealth.com. Nutrition and health expert Dr. Youdim asserts that juicing is simply unnecessary because “…your body doesn’t need cleansing. Our bodies have their own elaborate, elegant detoxification system, called the liver, intestines and kidneys.”
- Joe Cross saying that blending will be diluted because it requires more liquids to achieve the desired juice effect is incorrect. A high power blender needs a very small amount of liquid to get everything liquefied, and all the solids will get liquefied as well. Meaning, there will be no waste at all. Well-known physician and author Dr. Mark Hyman describes this at great length.
- Nowhere in the documentary is there any mention of what becomes of the semi-industrial amounts of pulp that gets disposed of in the process of juicing. This would have been an ideal place to mention the remarkable “Rescued Burger” project. In summary, this revolutionary project has called for “innovators to come up with creative ways to reduce and eliminate food waste”. An inspiring example is a collaboration between Pressed Juicery at Westfield UTC in San Diego, CA and Mendocino Farms, an organic vegan restaurant chain with seven locations near Los Angeles, who have teamed up to create a scrumptious veggie burger made of upcycled pulp from the juicer.”
- The price point of juice cleanses must also be analyzed and noted. Some charts compared the cost of juicing to the cost of treatment. That’s not apples for apples. The argument that needed to be made was, eating healthy doesn’t cost more than eating junk. Healthy food costing more than fast food is a myth. For cheap, cheap, cheap one could buy whole foods such as oats, beans, veggies, soup, fruit, and green tea. Stay away from junk and processed foods, and you will have plenty left for real and healthy foods.
Living a healthy lifestyle always wins
- A lady with frequent migraines is shown in the documentary. She didn’t need juicing to cure her ailments! She’s thin; she just needed to cut out processed foods. What she suffered from was, quite simply, MSG headaches. Take a look at what her husband ordered- all the mash, gravy, and the goop with his meat are all processed foods!
- Thin people who were interviewed were not told the difference between being thin and being healthy. Plenty of thin people have diabetes and immune disorders, so eating healthy is just as important for them.
- There is no mention of what happens when we go back to food following a massive juicing expedition. Big mistake in my view. The relationship between man and food is not described at all, yet it is what it’s all about.
Always be aware of what you are putting into your body
All in all, the documentary is a great piece, but you are left with the disquieting impression that Joe’s ulterior motive is, quite simply, pushing for juicing and more juicing rather than for using all the means at our disposal to get well. Fresh food, walking, and playing should be the first methods of attaining a healthy lifestyle, and not succumbing to a juicing fast. We don’t need 30 days (or 60 days!) for rebooting. A huge salad and soup and a nice handful of almonds or seeds every day, with plenty of green tea, water and yes, green juice, will whip you into shape, in no time, in good health and in style. You too can live your best and healthiest life (sans juicing detoxes) by switching to whole foods!