I grew up with parents that mixed Spirulina powder into my orange juice when I was in middle school. I can still see it and taste it to this day: a green, thick juice that tasted more like the earth than the sweet orange juice it was supposed to be.
My dad grew up being overweight until he was in his late 20s, when he began to learn more about nutrition and then dramatically changed his eating habits. All this interest in nutrition got passed down to me because my parents would nicely explain why we could or couldn’t eat certain things as we were growing up.
Since then, I’ve loved learning about the human body and what helps it function best. I studied Nutrition in college and made it my minor, just for the fun of it. We’re not perfect by any means, but we do strive to nourish our bodies in the best ways we know how. Below are some of the rules we try to follow:
1. Make Fruits & Veggies a Priority
We’re suppose to be eating 7-13 fruits and veggies a day. There is no way I get close to that unless I make it a priority to eat those things first, in my snacks and my meals. My dad always told us girls to eat fruits before our meals and to eat our salads or veggies before we started the meat & carbs part of our meals. Why? A) More nutrients get absorbed when you eat them first, on an empty stomach & B) you make sure that you actually eat & finish those foods because you don’t run out of room in your stomach.
2. Read Labels & Know What to Avoid
These are the items that we try to stay away from if we see them on a nutrition label. I encourage you to research these ingredients and read up about the dangerous effects they have so you’re motivated to stay away from them too. (some of the adverse effects include: endocrine disorders, lowered immune system, behavioral disorders in kids, diabetes, oxidative stress to your cells, digestive problems, obesity, higher likelihood of cancer). High Fructose Corn Syrup, Soybean Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Oils, Carrageenan, Aspartame, Sodium Nitrate, Monosodium Glutamate. ** for me, it’s important to pick my battles instead of get overwhelmed by it all. For example, I choose a coffee creamer & salad dressing without Carrageenan, but we get a low-fat ice cream that does have it. **
3. Don’t Eat Fast Food.
Fast Food is easy & convenient but when I read about what they actually put into that food, it’s disgusting. Knowing what’s in there, helps me to stay away from it. (CLICK HERE to see how fast food gets digested in your stomach) I am not saying I cook every night. I’m just saying we don’t drive-through fast food places. I get Amy’s or Kashi frozen pizzas or rotisserie chickens and salads… rotisseries are the best!! There are lots of options for quick food you can ‘pick up’ from the store but that aren’t fast food. (An additional motivator for us: save the money from eating out for family vacations!).
4. Portion control the ‘weakness’ foods or don’t even buy them
Ideally, sweets are a luxury and should be eaten on rare occasion. But honesty, I usually eat a small dessert on most evenings after dinner. What helps us is using mini bowls & only having a couple spoonfuls of low-fat ice cream. And things that I can’t have self-control with (which is basically any other kind of dessert), I just try not to buy & bring into the house at all.
5. “Supplement” to get what you don’t realistically get on a daily basis
Our family strives to eat healthy, but when we sat down and actually looked at our day’s intakes, we realized we weren’t getting the recommended amount of 7-13 fruits and vegetables. Whaaaat? Yes, sadly. That’s when I heard about Juice Plus. It’s a whole-food nutrition product: a capsule of powder that you swallow like you would a vitamin. I don’t use the words multivitamin or supplement because Juice Plus isn’t synthetic vitamins in a hard pill form, it’s actual food. And it actually gets absorbed by your body.
It is grown on the vine, broken down, dried at low temperatures (so it doesn’t lose the enzymes and phytonutrients that you get from real food) and put in a capsule. There are 7 fruits in the Orchard blend and 10 veggies & grains in the Garden blend. There is nothing like it that you can buy in a store.
I’m not easily sold on things. What helped me ‘trust’ Juice Plus, if you will, was the amount of clinical research that has gone into it & actually proven its positive effects on the body (the same effects that eating fruits & vegetables has). Also, I know how powerful what we put into our body is (say vs. a skin cream or an oil. In my opinion, what you ingest has way more of an effect). Juice Plus has been around for 20+ years, and reputable Doctors around the country are behind it. Dr. Sears is one of them and it’s the only ‘supplement’ he himself takes and also recommends to all his patients.
Our family has loved Juice Plus and we especially are thankful to have it for Ella (they have Chewables for toddlers – which are proven to actually make them crave & eat more real vegetables… amazing). If you want to read about the clinical studies they have done, CLICK HERE. Or if you’d like to see the unique way Juice Plus is made, CLICK HERE to watch a short video. And of course, let me know if you have any other questions I can answer for you!
All in all, every little step towards eating healthier and cleaner makes a difference. I’d love to hear some ways you try to fuel your body well, that help you feel your best. Happy eating!
**I’ve had a few questions, so I thought I’d clarify! Yes, I distribute Juice Plus and if you’re interested, here is where you can get some product: www.LanaL.juiceplus.com 🙂 **