This week I’ve been spicing up my homemade juices with a little bit of ginger root. I personally love the heat that ginger provides and while I realize it’s somewhat of an acquired taste, here are a few more reasons you should give ginger a shot:
* it has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor effects on cells
* it’s very effective in preventing motion sickness or nausea
* it lessens (arthritis) pain and swelling
* it induces cell death in ovarian cancer cells
* it boosts your immune system
As much as I love talking about my workouts, from time to time I will talk about what I eat. These past few days I’ve been very selective with what I eat. I’ve mentioned before that I juice about 6x week. I’m shortening that to 5x week. The two days I don’t juice I try to eat at least 5 servings of fruits/veggies. (I actually shoot for that everyday, but more so when I don’t juice.) Here’s the rundown of what I’m doing:
*Juicing 5x week
*Eating min. of 5 servings of fruits/veggies per day
*Eating an apple or Asian pear once a day
*Eating plenty of fresh blueberries
*Eating Greek yogurt w/ walnuts after my workouts (both cardio and weight workouts)
*Eating fish (especially salmon) at least 3x week
*Cooking only w/ extra virgin olive oil
*Eating about 4 avocados per week
*Eating lots of green/leafy veggies along with colorful veggies (like beets)
*Drinking water only!
*Avoiding red meat / poultry / pig / eggs
*Eating lots of black beans and chick peas
*Eating broccoli (not juicing it) at least 2x week
*Looking at nutritional labels before buying food (esp looking at sodium count)
*Buying fruit/veggies that look fresh and are either local or organic
*Making sure I eat a good variety of fruits/veggies
*Hitting the steam room 6x week
One other thing I’ve done in the past year is limit the amount of hard liquor I drink. I don’t care if it’s a 20-year old whisky, I’d rather drink red wine than hard liquor. I haven’t eliminated hard liquor completely (maybe once a month I’ll have that whisky), but like I said — I’m trying to eliminate it as much as possible. Red wine I’ll have maybe once or twice a week.
I’ve been following this diet for at least 6 months and I feel really great. I wouldn’t even call it a diet, it’s more a lifestyle that I’m leading and while this is my personal/customized nutrition plan, I highly recommend one or any of these tips for your own nutritional plan. It’s not cheap (I try to keep costs down by buying seasonal produce), but it makes me feel great, and there’s no price on that feeling.
Last week my girlfriend got me a gift certificate for Suburban Organics. Suburban Organics delivers organic fruits and veggies straight to your door on a weekly, bi-weekly, etc. basis. (They only deliver to the tri-state area within New York.) Each week you log onto your account to see that week’s menu and you’re allowed to make up to 5 substitutions. So if, for example, you hate onions and that particular week onions are included in your box, you can substitute them for something else. I like eating healthy so this gift was perfect for me.
I quickly set up my account (you’ll need a credit card) and last Thursday I received my first shipment (I opted for the smallest package called the “little box”). The Little Box costs $25 (shipping included) and is described on SU’s site as the “perfect starter box for the single cook, roommates, or a couple.” I would agree with the single part, but for a couple, it’s a tad too little in my opinion. Anyway, my box included 4 bananas, a head of garlic, 2 kiwi, 2 apples, 2 danjou pears, 1 avocado, half a head of red leaf lettuce, a bunch of carrots, and a bunch of broccoli. The produce is wrapped in a clear plastic bag and shipped in a brown box. (I have a doorman, so delivery was not an issue for me.) The good news is that everything looked and tasted great. The kiwi was delicious and sweet, the avocado arrived ripe and ready to eat, the broccoli was nice and purplish in color, and the bananas were thin, but sweet. As far as quality, I give SU a perfect score.
This week I decided to do a taste test so I got some kiwi from my local Whole Foods and believe it or not, but Whole Foods’ “Italian” kiwi was nowhere near as tasty as SU’s California kiwi. Whole Foods’ kiwi was actually a bit bitter. I noticed that Whole Foods also sells braeburn apples and danjou pears, but I wasn’t able to do a direct price comparison because SU doesn’t always tell you what each item in your box costs. They do, however, list weekly specials which you can add to your box for an additional cost. This week blueberries were the special item. SU sells 6 oz. of blueberries for $2.99. Whole Foods sells 16 oz. of blueberries for $4.50. I realize SU must factor in the cost of shipping, but if Whole Foods’ blueberries are also organic, then SU isn’t really saving me money now is it?
And that brings me to my only gripe with SU. I can’t tell if it’s saving me money or not. Granted, SU doesn’t claim to be a money-saving service, but in today’s economy, I don’t want to spend more money than I need to. My Little Box didn’t last me a full week and Saturday afternoon I found myself back at Whole Foods shopping for more apples and some produce (such as celery) that wasn’t included in my box. My second SU box arrives tomorrow and this time around I’ll try to do a better price comparison.
I did it. On this 94-degree day I went for another run along the West Side Highway. This one was supposed to be short, but I felt pretty good during the run so I went as far as 20th street. The trek back was a little intense I must say. My shins were (and still are) very sore from Saturday’s run, so I felt that slowed me down a bit. But in the end I did 4.93 miles in 50 minutes and burned 956 calories. Not bad at all! I normally don’t run on Monday (I took a vacation day today), so it was nice running along the Hudson to a completely empty path. I loved it.
Prior to my run I had a beet, carrot, cucumber, broccoli, and peach juice. After my run for dinner I had salmon, asparagus, salad (with an olive oil/chipotle/honey/mustard dressing), carrots, and potatoes. I feasted. I have to say — I feel magnificent!
This afternoon I went on my 4th run along the West Side Highway. It was my fastest and longest run to date. I covered 6.29 miles in 1 hour burning 1,254 calories at a 6.2 mph speed. It was a warm day, but nothing too crazy. I don’t know why I just felt energetic. I think it’s ’cause this morning I went to my first open house! I must’ve had left over excitement, lol.
At any rate, I had a very healthy day. Had my peach/apple/carrot/cucumber juice in the morning, black beans for lunch, a banana, one salmon burger and an avocado for dinner, and some blueberries as a late evening snack. It feels great feeling healthy!!
I’ve been juicing for just shy of a year now and I absolutely love it. I feel the extra energy in my workouts and after juicing I feel more alive. Recently, I came across some debates as to whether you should juice with a centrifugal machine (these machines have blades that spin and destroy your veggies/fruits in order to extract the juice) or a single-gear juicer (these machines use an auger, which slowly grinds the veggies, thus producing less heat, less oxidation, and yielding a higher quality juice).
To be honest, I don’t know who or what to believe. I came across this informative article at Living-Foods that says both machines have amazing health benefits and both machines oxidize your juice. Rather than worry about heat or oxidation, just make sure you drink your juice asap. Otherwise, it does lose its nutrients.
So I’m gonna stick with my Breville until it breaks down and then I will purchase a single-gear juicer — for the sole purpose of juicing wheatgrass and other leafy greens, which I admit my Breville isn’t so great at. At that point, I might get this Omega J8006.
Otherwise, if you have a juicer and you’re consistently juicing, you’re already ahead of the pack.
For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to eat as many fruits/veggies per day as possible. I must say, getting those extra servings of veggies makes a huge difference. I feel great! I’m averaging about 5-6 veggie types a day. On a few days I even hit 7. (I do this thanks to my Breville juicer.) I feel an extra kick in my step and my cardio workouts feel stronger than ever before. That said, here’s what I had today: 1 apple, 3 carrots, 1/2 cucumber, 1 tomato, 1 banana, small piece of ginger.
On a different note, I had a great shoulder and biceps workout tonight. My abs and triceps are also sore from yesterday and surprisingly, so is my back! Tomorrow I think I’m gonna hit cardio again and run for 30 minutes. Maybe do some pull-ups as well.