Happy New Year! I hope you all had a fabulous holiday season and are ready for a fabulous 2014. Scott and I had a really relaxing Christmas. We packed up Cookie in the car and drove up to Sacramento to spend the holidays with Scott’s family.
It felt so good to be well rested again. I don’t know about you, but I am an eight-to-tenner - I need at least 8 hours sleep a night in order to function properly. While I was writing my book and developing recipes for it, I was getting about three to four hours sleep a night. But, I'm firing on all cylinders again, and gearing up for an amazing year.
This spicy beet juice is one of my favorite detox juices. Most beet juice recipes rely on apple to sweeten the deal. This recipe utilizes the natural sweetness of carrot and the zestiness of lemon to lift the earthiness of the beet.
With loads of betaine to flush the liver and bring down homocysteine levels, beets help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, aiding brain function, and stabilizing mood. Since beets optimize the red cells’ utilization of oxygen they’re very helpful to endurance athletes. Minerals in beets include calcium, potassium, iron, copper, and sodium. On the thermic side, this is a “neutral” food, neither warming nor cooling, which makes it an ideal all-season cleanse candidate.
There’s no need to peel raw beets. Just give them a scrub, roughly chop, and juice away. Nothing beats a beet for clearing the body— maybe faster than you’re looking for. So if you’ve not juiced beets before, start with a little, a quarter to a third medium-sized root, going easy until your system gets accustomed to the effects. Overdo it and you may be paying the porcelain deity more frequent homage than you’d like. If your urine gets a pinkish or reddish tinge, no need to be alarmed. That’s a sign that you’re “beeting” the toxins.
Carrots contain loads of life-extending carotenes and minerals. This vegetable helps lower cholesterol, too, and alleviates skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, all while enhancing the respiratory system’s resistance to infection. A great source of vitamin A, carrots also contain the magical antioxidant glutathione, which protects against free radical damage, and B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Carrots fuel the production of white blood cells and enhance their performance, and are a great immune booster. These brilliant orange roots also deliver powerful anti-inflammatory agents, helping to relieve the symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis.
Carrot is a warming and strengthening vegetable perfect for cleansing. Cut off the greens (the jury is still out as to whether they are toxic or beneficial), but don’t peel the roots—much of carrots’ nutrients lie in the skin or just beneath. Just scrub, roughly chop (if using certain masticating juicers) and push through your juicer. The earthy sweet flavor of the juice, much richer than that of carrot itself, combines well with apple, pineapple, beets, tomato, ginger, and cinnamon, so this one works well in both sweet and savory juices.
One of the most common herbs, parsley offers a myriad of health benefits. It’s a brilliant blood purifier, and is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which help control blood cholesterol, prevent constipation, and protect the body from free-radical damage. Its essential volatile oils can be used as a local anesthetic and as an antiseptic for teeth and gums. Rich in polyphenolic flavonoids, parsley rates among the richest plant sources of antioxidants. It is also a good source of potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium, and vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, and folates.
As a warming herb, parsley’s perfect for moderating cooling foods, especially in the colder months. We use the flat-leaf variety, as it has a more intense flavor than its curly-leaf restaurant-garnish cousin, with less bitterness. Light as a feather, parsley will throw its weight around in a juice, delivering that aromatic and pungent “clean” taste. In the right amounts, it combines well with leafy greens, sweet fruits like pineapple and mango, as well as apples, lemons, and limes. A handful juices easily, stems and all.
I always add lemon to any cleansing juice. Lemon is the queen in the realm of cleansing. This highly alkalizing fruit is a potent detoxifier and natural antibiotic that improves liver function, relieves constipation, helps dissolve kidney and gall stones and kills certain intestinal parasites. The high levels of vitamin C helps boost immunity and alleviate symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as fight the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.
Lemons also provide ample calcium and magnesium for strong bones and teeth, along with unique compounds that have powerful antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. The flavonoids in limes have even been shown to halt abnormal cell division.
While lemons are cooling, this superstar can be balanced with warming foods like cayenne and fennel. We use lemons in lots of juice blends to lift the earthy and pungent quality of leafy greens and vegetables, add zip and tang, and balance the acidifying impacts of high-sugar fruits. You may want to remove the rinds of these fruits before juicing, as in substantial quantities they’re slightly toxic, or you may enjoy the zesty punch it adds—a good compromise is a bit of the peel along with the flesh.
Ginger is a brilliant health-promoting juice booster gives beautiful back-end kick to blends of all kinds. In one serving of juice, as little as a half-inch slice of washed, unpeeled root packs a powerful punch.
We rely on ginger as a warming agent, to counteract the cooling effects of fruits and vegetables, and to promote healthy sweating, beneficial to the cleansing process and fantastic for battling colds and flu.
This sensational herb-and-spice is an overall anti-inflammatory agent that stimulates the lymphatic system, provides cardiovascular and respiratory support, aids digestion and tones the intestinal tract, and relieves gas, bloating, nausea and gastrointestinal distress. It helps make blood platelets less sticky, and reduces risk factors for atherosclerosis. Ginger’s powerful antioxidants and anti-tumor agents can also protect against free radicals.
There’s no need to peel ginger before juicing. Much of the nutrients are in the skin or just beneath. Scrub the root, lop off a piece, and juice away. In our experience, people either love ginger in a juice, or hate it. Starting slow’s a good way to go if you’re unsure which camp you’re in.
This hot pepper will put zing in your juices and amp up your cleanse. This spice does a great job of eliminating toxins while it warms the body and stimulates the circulatory, digestive and lymphatic systems.
Cayenne is a powerful cleansing ally, and breaks up respiratory and cardiovascular-system congestion. Providing antibacterial and antifungal support, cayenne can alleviate migraines and airborne allergies, reduce blood clotting, and regulate cholesterol. It also provide some relief from joint pain, and is a fabulous metabolic booster, assisting with weight loss. Stimulating secretion of hydrochloric acid, which encourages proliferation of friendly microorganisms in the gut, cayenne’s a brilliant prebiotic as well.
In a juice, start with a bare pinch and build up as your taste and bravery dictate. You’ll get bang for your buck—pennies, really—in both flavor and medicinal support. Cayenne’s forceful personality, if kept in check, plays well with flavors of all sorts—but is particularly convivial with lemon and lime. It almost magically lifts and enlivens the earthy or pungent character of many winter vegetables.
Try our 3-Day Juice Fasts or 14-Day Detox Dynamo Cleanse.