Here we are. One and a half months into 2014 and many of us have already fallen off the “I’m going to eat healthier” bandwagon. I can admit it and so can you! But it’s not too late to hop back on the wagon and adopt a healthier lifestyle. I spoke with the founder of Daily Greens Juices, Shauna Martin, and she gave me some great information on the benefits of drinking green juices daily as well as a delicious juice recipe to help me start my busy days off right!
S&LF: What are some of the benefits of juicing?
SM: Juicing is a great way to dramatically increase one’s daily intake of raw vegetables (and fruit). The standard American diet is sorely lacking enough vegetables and fruit, so much so that the FDA recently increased its recommendations for daily intake from 4-5 to 7-9 servings daily. It takes six pounds of produce and the equivalent of nine servings of vegetables and fruits to make a dense, green juice like our Daily Greens juices. Drinking a green juice is a super powerful way to get a jump on your daily intake of veggies. Also when consumed for breakfast on an empty stomach, the nutrients become immediately available for assimilation.
S&LF: For those seeking weight loss, is juicing a healthy option?
SM: Not necessarily. Crash juice cleansing can be very bad for the body and lead to blood sugar problems and nutrient deficiencies. I recommend using green juice as a daily meal replacement for optimal long term health, which includes maintaining a healthy weight. At only around 100 calories, a green juice provides a truck load of nutrients and vital electrolytes like sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium, making it the perfect breakfast, lunch or snack replacement.
S&LF: What’s the difference between intermittent fasting and cleansing?
SM: Intermittent fasting refers to setting aside “intermittent” times of fasting without consuming solid food. For example, I fast from dinner every evening until lunch the next day, only consuming a green juice every morning in lieu of breakfast. That creates a “mini” 15-18 hour fast each day, which provides my intestines with time to clean and rid my body of toxins. Cleansing, on the other hand, is the practice of eliminating most solid food from the diet for a period of time to allow the intestines with a more in-depth period of cleaning and detoxing. I personally like to do a seasonal re-set cleanse once per quarter, consisting of drinking green juices during the day and consuming a raw vegetable meal for dinner. The roughage from the raw vegetable dinner each night will move my bowels and push out the toxins that have been gathered up during each day’s fasting period. I find that this mini-cleanse once per quarter is a wonderful way to reset my body and immune system. I do not recommend doing a cleanse for more than 3-4 days and always suggest that folks consult with a physician prior to cleansing or fasting.
S&LF: There are a lot of green juice products out there. What should people look for on the labels when choosing the best quality?
SM: Dark leafy greens give the biggest bang for your buck in the nutrient department, so look for green juices that contain dark leafy greens and are low in fruit content (i.e. sugars). 120 calories or below for a 16-ounce bottle is optimal. Also be sure to look for green juices that do not list water as an ingredient. All the juice in a green juice should come from pressing the vegetables, not by adding water. For an electrolyte boost, look for green juices that contain celery, cucumber or romaine, as they contain the highest quantities of essential electrolyte minerals.
S&LF: Can you talk about how you got into juicing following your breast cancer diagnosis? How did juicing impact you physically?
SM: My treatment for breast cancer involved a year of chemotherapy and multiple surgeries. By the end of that two-year period, my body was really broken and my immune system was nonexistent. Also, my doctors told me that because of my age and stage of breast cancer, I had a reasonably high risk of a re-occurrence, so I went in search of a way to regain my health and prevent a re-occurrence. After reading the China Study and several other books documenting the connection between food and disease, I became convinced that the best way for me to regain my health and prevent a re-occurrence was to move to an all plant-based diet. I did so over the course of several months and have remained vegan for over 8 years. I found that the cornerstone to living a healthy vegan lifestyle was to consume a green juice very morning. Green juices, unlike other fruit or root-based juices, contain an amazing amount of vitamins, iron, calcium, electrolytes and highly absorb-able protein. After moving to this type of diet, I saw my health bounce back within months. I also noticed after several months that I never got sick, never suffered from allergies, I did not require as much sleep as I had before, and I had more energy than ever before. Over time, my skin started to glow as well as my hair.
S&LF: What’s a good recipe for someone to try juicing at home?
Shauna’s Basic Green Juice:
1 bunch of kale (spinach or collard greens can be substituted as well)
1 stalk of celery or two heads of romaine (if you don’t like celery)
If more sweetness is desired add:
1 apple or pear (or 1/2 of either or both)
To cut the greenness add:
½ lemon (or full lemon if desired)
Fresh ginger (about a half inch)
To add flair include:
Handful of mint
Wash the cucumber, celery (or romaine), and kale (spinach or collard greens) well. If adding fruit, wash, core and cut the apple or pear and cut into pieces that will fit in your juicer. If adding lemon, cut the peel off a lemon. If adding ginger, wash the root and cut off half an inch. If adding mint, wash and cut off long stems. Run everything through your juicer, disgard foam (if desired) and enjoy! This recipe should make about 32 ounces of delicious, green juice.
S&LF: What are your suggestions for those who are interested in juicing but are worried about cost?
SM: Some ingredients are more expensive than others. I suggest figuring out a juice that is simple (3 ingredients) that you really love and stick with it. To keep from wasting anything and to save time, I suggest making a double batch and saving half for the next day. For years, I stuck to a very simple and inexpensive recipe of 1 bunch of kale, 2 cucumbers and one stalk of celery. I would throw it all in the juicer to make 32 ounces of basic green juice. I would consume half immediately and half the next morning.
S&LF: Where can people find Daily Greens brand juice?
SM: Daily Greens can always be purchased through our online store.
Readers can use our special discount code of “dailygreens” to receive an extra 15% on their first shipment.
Daily Greens is also available in a number of health and retail stores, including Whole Foods.
About Shauna Martin
At the age of 33, Martin, the founder of Daily Greens, was diagnosed with breast cancer. With a young family to care for, she struggled to recover from the trauma of multiple surgeries and the toxic effects of chemotherapy.
Eight years clear, Shauna attributes her complete recovery from breast cancer in part, to her current healthy lifestyle, which includes her regimen of drinking a green juice every day. Shauna decided that she wanted to share this life-enriching habit and spread the good word about drinking your vegetables.