A friend on Modern Hippie mentioned wheat grass today and I LOVE wheat grass; it's just not always the easiest thing to come by. You usually have to get it at a health food store and it's about $3 for 1 ounce! It's tough to make at home, unless you are super dedicated, live near a whole foods, and have a masticating juicer. So all these stars don't align for everyone all the time and I'd like to talk about the next best thing, Green Drinks!
Green drinks only require greens (maybe a piece of sweet fruit), distilled water and a blender. Distilled water is important as it pulls minerals from the veggies your blending and deposits them into the distilled water which is naturally mineral free. This is also why drinking distilled water for long periods of time can lead to mineral deficiencies as it will pull minerals from your body! Not good!
What I like to do is get me some nice romaine, green leaf or red leaf lettuce; use about 5 leaves. Then I pick up something really nice and bitter like Dandelion greens.
Dandelion greens are especially supportive for the liver because the support the secretion of bile, an important factor in the digestion of fats. The liver needs all the help it can get for all that it does for us!
I use about 4 leaves of Dandelion, use too much and you'll know it as they are very bitter. The bitter taste is an important part of the physiological action that occurs; tasting the bitters prompts the body to secrete gastric juices needed for healthy breakdown of food and assimilation of nutrition. Dandelion leaves can be bought at traditional grocery stores pretty easily. I bought mine at Kroger recently so call around before shopping.
Lastly I like to throw in a little something sweet like grapes or a peach. The peach is really awesome if it's nice and ripe! Blend all these until completely liquid in about 20 ounces of water. I always tell people to use as much water as you want to drink for you morning (or afternoon) juicing session.
Once liquefied, strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove the pulp. While the pulp is fiberous and fine and dandy to consume, it is something for the body to digest and work for. When encouraging detoxification a key element is giving the body a break from digestion. Giving it this break allows the body to work on other things like healing and ridding the bodily tissues of built up crud from pizza, hamburgers, and chocolate ice cream. Not to mention the environmental pollution and chemicals that we encounter each day! Cleansing periodically is one of the best ways to stay ahead of disease, maintain weight, and just feel darn good!
Enjoy green drinks in the morning first thing or in the afternoon for a snack. Haviong a green drink on an empty stomach with no other food is the best approach to maximize the benefits. Green drinks contain chlorophyl, minerals and vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants. It's a great way to bump up your veggie intake without really trying too hard and it's tastier than you think!