Arden’s Garden: Juice and Smoothies

I’ve recently accepted a job with the Arden’s Garden office, and as a result, I’ve been reading up on juicing and cleansing and nutrition and all that fun stuff. So far I’ve felt conflicted, mostly because I learned in my nutrition class that it’s better for you to eat your food than to drink it. I also can’t imagine that cleanses are that healthy for you, since you basically go on a liquid diet for 2 or 3 or 14 or 30 days.

One of the most important reasons to eat your food rather than drink it is because you need to exercise your digestive muscles. If we were supposed to drink our nutrients, we probably wouldn’t have so many muscles in our stomachs and intestines. Another problem with drinking instead of eating is that our bodies are not accustomed to receiving calories and nutrients from liquid. It takes practice and discipline to train your body (and mind) to feel full after drinking a meal’s worth of calories. Since your body doesn’t have to work as hard to process the nutrients, it doesn’t think it’s getting any, and so you don’t feel full, and so you eat more.

If, however, you’re not eating well to begin with, fresh juice and smoothies may be a great option for you. Drinking your fruits and veggies is still nutritious, and probably much easier than eating apples and spinach and blueberries while driving to work. You can easily have a serving of spinach if you blend it with fruits like strawberries, bananas, and blueberries. Furthermore, if you replace sodas, sports drinks, or processed juices with fresh juices and smoothies, then you’re cutting out bad sugars from your diet, especially since most Americans drink their calories nowadays. For example, if you replaced a glass of whole or even 2% milk with a smoothie with spinach, you could get your serving of calcium without the saturated fat from milk!

The only thing I’m still skeptical about is this cleanse business. A lot of people have made money through this kind of stuff, but I don’t believe that you need to do a cleanse in order to lead a healthy lifestyle. That being said, I may do one, just to see what it’s like. As Daniel Tosh of Tosh.0 said, “Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

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