Skip the fast food and get some healthy food fast.
It’s lunchtime and you’ve only got thirty minutes to eat something. You’ve got to make it quick but that doesn’t mean your meal has to be stuffed between two greasy buns and smothered in ketchup. At least once a week many Americans order their lunch from something with a name like the Super Extra Awesome 99¢ Value Menu (57% of 18-29 year olds eat fast food weekly according to a 2013 Gallup poll).
I don’t know you, but I’m guessing you could use some more fruits and vegetables in your diet. The Center for Disease Control recommends adults get around two to three cups of fruit and two-and-a-half cups of vegetables every day (it varies slightly depending on age, sex and level of daily physical activity). But many recent studies, including some from the CDC, show that less than forty-percent of American adults and adolescents are getting the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables in their diet.
The good news is you can get all your daily serving of fruits and vegetables in less time than it takes to order from the drive-through – and you won’t even have to go through the huge hassle of chewing. (We’re not talking about a Meat Shake either.)
Juicing is one of the latest dietary trends and a great way to get your daily intake of fruits and vegetables. Like many dietary trends, juicing took off in Southern California – but it’s made its way to Central PA. Places like Juice N’ Grind in Lemoyne and ríjuice in Lancaster offer tasty and healthy fruit and vegetable juices loaded with protein, nutrients and healthy enzymes. One 11-ounce bottle of juice can contain somewhere between nine to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables – nearly three to four pounds of produce – totaling two to three times the daily recommended amount.
ríjuice co-founder Cullen Farrell (pictured right) knows about the daily stresses of working in a fast-paced office. Before establishing ríjuice, Farrell worked at a start-up company, during which time he noticed the drain and toll that office life takes on your body.
“I was sitting at a desk for 10-14 hours a day and within a year I’d lost 15-pounds – not the right way – and my stress was through the roof,” Farrell says. “One guy would drink like six Red Bulls a day. He started getting cluster headaches.”
Farrell decided to leave the start-up and pursue something more meaningful. “I thought food was something I’d rather get into. At the end of the day that’s really all people need,” he says.
“I ate whatever I wanted just a year ago. I would eat lots of meat. I would go to McDonald’s to be completely honest. But I would always make sure I was flooding my body with juice or a smoothie at least two or three times a day,” says Farrell. “Even if I was making these dietary mistakes I was putting some plants into my body. I knew that stuff had what my body really needed.”
Juice made from a cold-press juicer or a centrifugal juicer packs an extreme amount fresh fruits and vegetables containing vital nutrients into a single drink. Cold-pressing, however, is able to preserve the nutritional qualities of the juice longer than those juices made with a centrifugal juicer due to the oxygen that is introduced in the process. And generally speaking, the green-colored juices are healthiest.
“We don’t add anything. We just take organic fruits and vegetables and process them through a machine and bottle it immediately,” says Kyle Ober, the other co-founder of ríjuice (pictured left in above photo).
How else are you going to get fresh kale, beets, carrots, celery, spinach, apples, cucumbers and other fruits and vegetables into your lunch?
“To get one twenty-ounce cup of fresh juice you’re going to use four carrots and three cucumbers and all this stuff,” says Dave Alvey of Juice N’ Grind. “You’d never want to eat that many veggies at once and that’s why juicing is considered a really nice alternative,”
Don’t be scared off by that long list of vegetables – the juice made by Juice N’ Grind and ríjuice tastes great. It’s all about making the perfect combination of fruits and vegetables to bring out the bests taste.
“Putting a carrot or some apple will make it easier to drink,” says Alvey. “Carrots are good because they’re sweet and they hold more nutritional value than something like an apple.”
Though he does give a quick warning about using too many carrots. “I’ve read about people who are juicing for a week and they’re putting five or six carrots in their juice. They actually get an orange tint to their skin,” Alvey laughs. “It doesn’t hurt you but you want to watch out for that.”
We’re right in the middle of the holiday season – when it’s almost impossible to resist all the cookies and treats that flood the office and holiday parties. Chances are you’ll be making some sort of resolution to drop some of the holiday pounds after January 1, so why not get a head start now and have a healthy liquid lunch instead of that 99¢ Double Super Awesome burger you were about to eat?
Do you juice? What’s your go-to flavor combination?