I was fortunate to grow up in a household where we ate “clean”. Whether my Mother was ahead of her time, she did not subscribe to the processed food extravaganza where “reduced calorie,” “fat free,” “cholesterol free,” and every other type of “free,” except the price, was on the box. She knew not to fall for the card box items and shopped the perimeter of the market where the healthy produce and proteins were and are still located.
Fast forward two or three decades and there is still a great deal of discussion about what we should eat and drink. Fitness is so “hot” right now; people are scrambling to exercise classes to ride bikes, lift weights, squat at ballet barres and be all-round awesome, but diet can be a little tricky for some. Not only is it tricky, diet plays a huge role towards seeing results from your time spent working out. The public is inundated with tips on what to eat and drink and what NOT to eat and drink, and it seems a lot of us are confused.
We have lived through Slim Fast, Atkins, South Beach and the Cookie Diet; it seems now, finally, we are getting back to the realization that balance and living off the land will be most beneficial to the waist line.
All of the emphasis over the last few years about plant-based diets has made me really pay attention to juicing and eating veggies. But, which is better? I have read that pre-made juices may contain up to six pounds of vegetables. Do we need all of that? It seems way higher than the recommended amount of 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of veggies per day for most adults.
Within a two block radius of my residence on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, I have two juice stores and a third opening any day now.
The first, Juice Generation on West 72nd Street, has been a neighborhood staple for as long as I can remember.
They have Juice Cleanses that you can order in advance online and pick up if you live in NYC, courtesy of Cooler Cleanse. They also deliver nationwide. Selma Hayek is Co-Founder.
You can also buy fresh juice and smoothies made to order from a menu that ranges from a straight shot of wheat grass, to a Blueberry Protein Buzz® (blend of hemp, brown rice, pea and quinoa protein,) or the “Hail to Kale”® (blend of apple, lemon, watermelon and kale).
Visit Juice Generation for a full menu and more recipes.
A newer addition to the neighborhood, Juice Press, is located on the east side of West 71st Street and offers a wide variety of cold pressed juice ready made and packaged to be picked up along with clean eating organic, vegan meals to satisfy your plant based diet needs.
The “Nurse Ginger Green” is made of banana, green apple, ginger, hemp protein, date, lemon kale, spinach and coconut water, while the “Coffee Almond Latte” made with USDA Organic coffee beans, date, vanilla, sea salt and coconut oil can satisfy your caffeine and sugar craving in one 90-calorie stop.
Would saying one has a “plant tooth,” catch on?
With all of the juice themed stores occupying retail space around NYC and the country, I could not help but wonder if I am the only person who needs to chew? I can say with 100% certainty that I cannot do juice cleanses. I know that because I have tried and they make me so sad. I start to miss the feeling of chewing pretty quickly and become a little teary when I see a drink made of ingredients from a front lawn, in front of me.
I have friends who love to juice cleanse, but it is not for me. That being said, having a “green juice” can give you the plant nutrients, at least 3 cups of veggies and 2 cups of fruit are recommended for most adults, that you may not make time for in your busy day.
Taking the element of time out of the scenario, is it better to chew the whole fruits and veggies or have them juiced or blended? And when I say “better”, I mean which will give us the nutrients and calories needed to get through the day? Is it worth it to start chopping and blending everything at home? Can we simply rinse the fruits and veggies and carry them with us? I went to the experts for some answers.
Laka Huyette, MS, RDN, LD tells us that, “In a study in Nutrition journal, tomato juice alone was seen to decrease markers for inflammation in the body. Therefore juicing vegetables can have some of the benefits of whole vegetables. However, one of the benefits you may be missing out on when blending your vegetables is the fiber (roughage) of the plant that is good for maintaining regular bowel movements and healthy digestion.” She adds, “There is a key difference between blending and juicing vegetables. Blending is what you get from using a blender and your drink will contain everything but with a smoothie consistency. Juicing uses a specific machine that removes the pulp and solid from the fruit or vegetable.”
Barbara B. Lincoln, MS, RD tells us that it is definitely better to eat your fruit and veggies if you can. “When you drink your calories, it bypasses the brains signals that you are consuming calories. When you chew, you experience physiological and digestive processes that do not occur when you drink.”
Both experts agree that in order to adopt a healthy lifestyle, each individual has to look at her lifestyle and make realistic goals both in nutrition and exercise. Both agree that whichever method that you can get nutrients from fruits and vegetables, whether juice or solid food, is better than skipping them all together. It seems that if you have the time, sitting down and enjoying a plant-based meal may satisfy an individual for longer, allowing you to resist the urge to snack; and as a result, cut calorie consumption.
If sitting down to a meal is not an option, we have no excuses to not play like a plant eating champion and enjoy the juice!
Meet the dietitians
Laka Huyette, MS, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian who holds a Masters of Science in Nutritional Sciences from Rutgers University. She practices clinical nutrition extensively in the medical community in St. Louis and is a nutrition consultant for Totton Body Lab in New York.
Barbara B. Lincoln, MS, RD is a registered dietician and yoga instructor who practices holistic nutrition and teaches fitness classes in Westport, CT.
Angela Ranieri joins us as Contributing Editor with an extensive background in Fashion, Beauty and Digital Media. She has worked with PRADA USA Corp., Jurlique, Amore Pacific and the New York Daily News in management capacities including Marketing, Client Relations, Employee Relations and Training Management. She has authored and published the column, “Ask Angela,” featured on the Amore Pacific USA website. Her beauty advice has been featured in Shape and Fitness Magazines and CBS News.
She is a graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Writing.
Angela also has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. While at Northeastern, her Market Research on the Electric Car was published for University use.
Angela is currently creator of Circuit Cosmetics, a Brand Ambassador for luxury beauty line, Patchology, an On Air Guest for QVC and blogger for www.thelaughinmommy.blogspot.com
In her spare time you can find Angela running, spinning, practicing yoga or getting beautified. She resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her Husband, Son, and Chihuahuas.