I’m pretty used to people coming to my home and saying “Wow, this place is so super healthy. I can’t believe it.” But the funniest experience with this actually involves one of the Diet Solution Program employees.
One time, I had a bit of a “retreat” at my house where I invited 3 of our employees to come and work from my house and spend some time together.
I always try and be the “hostess with the mostess” and in my best Martha Stewart impression I asked “Can I get anyone anything? Some food or a drink?”
One of my employees replied, “Yes, I would love some juice please.”
As I did everything in my power to hold back the look of death, I said “We don’t have any juice. How about water or a tea?”
Without going through the entire conversation, this particular employee couldn’t believe there was no juice in the house. Moreover, she absolutely could not believe that my son does not drink juice and only drinks water (and yes, I did let her keep her job).
She has, of course, read and knows the DSP inside and out, but she admitted that she really didn’t believe that I completely lived my life that way until she saw it with her very own eyes.
But back to the juice…
Juice is one of those drinks that many people perceive as healthy, especially when it’s labeled natural or organic and it says it is made from all natural ingredients. Let me clear this up right now…Juice is NOT part of a healthy eating plan unless you are freshly squeezing it right in your kitchen with your own hands or through a juicer.
“But Isabel. My juice says its organic, natural, 100% juice with no sugar added. Is that ok?”
Well, I spent a significant amount of time reading the label of almost every single juice container, juice box, and juice product and they all came up the same…with tons of SUGAR. Read the label clearly and you will see that every gram of carbohydrate contained in the juice directly comes from sugar.
“But Isabel. All the carbs from fruit are from sugar too right?”
Yes, fruits are almost entirely sugar (coming from fructose), but a whole fruit also contains plenty of fiber and vitamins that are lost when you make a juice, bottle it and store it for any amount of time.
“But Isabel. My juice is fortified with calcium, Vit D and iron (or whatever they are fortifying juice with these days).”
When you “fortify” any food or drink with a vitamin and/or a mineral, your body is smart enough to know that this is not the real version of this particular nutrient. So much so, that it will choose not to use it. Yes, all of these fortified products are not giving you the vitamins and minerals you need. You must obtain these from natural sources like real fruits and vegetables (i.e. real food).
So if you’re a juice lover like many people are or have fallen for the “juice is healthy” trap, here are a few strategies to help you get your juice fix while simultaneously following a healthy eating plan.
1. Buy a quality juicer and make your own juice. There are so many different delicious and nutritious juices you can make in a juicer that will give you a super boost of vitamins/minerals and super nutrition. One of my favorite is carrot, apple and ginger. Be careful though! If you’re anything like me and sensitive to too much sugar at once, I would suggest having a serving of 4 oz or less or mixing your 4 oz with some water. I would also suggest juicing primarily vegetables and not as many fruits. This is a great way to get in some serious nutrition without having to eat vegetables all day long (a great option for children). I would also combine your fresh juice with a protein and healthy fat to keep your blood sugar balanced.
It is best to drink freshly made juice right away, as the longer it is stored, the more it will decline in nutrition. You can put your juice in a glass jar with an airtight lid and fill it to the very top. There should be a minimum amount of air in the jar as the oxygen in air (air is about 20 percent oxygen) will “oxidize” and damage the juice. Wrap the jar with aluminum foil to block out all light. Light damages the juice.
2. Make my favorite “tea juice”. If you haven’t seen this recipe in the Diet Solution Recipe Guide, here it is again:
5-6 bags caffeine-free herbal tea (e.g., peach, mint, chamomile, or fruit tea)
3 quarts boiling water
Stevia powder (or liquid) to taste
Pour water over tea bags in a large pot. Add stevia while tea is hot. (Adjust amount according to the desired sweetness.) Let the tea cool, remove tea bags, transfer tea to a serving pitcher or individual water bottles, and refrigerate.
3. Make your own DSP approved lemonade. My business partner loves this and drinks it almost daily (be careful if you’re sensitive to citrus or too much lemon.) Mix the juice from half a lemon, 5 drops of liquid stevia and 12oz of water in a large cup. Add more stevia or lemon based on your taste. This drink is a great alternative to people who need a bit more flavor than plain water all day.
So what did I end up serving my thirsty employee? Water! (And she bought juice when we went out to lunch). Oh well, I tried.