Thanks to the power of the information age, everyone seems to have the right answer to this question. No doubt, every time I open my email or turn on the television, there seems to be some new ad for a miracle supplement or a ground breaking new diet. If you ask me, the real answer to the question of a healthy lifestyle has never changed since the beginning of civilization: consume natural foods and stay physically active.
The beauty behind this simple little secret is that it applies to everyone; whether you are an individual suffering from a chronic illness or a world class athlete training for your event. All of us, no matter who we are, can improve our lives by making a commitment to eating the right foods and exercising daily.
This begs the question, if the answer to living a healthy life is so simple, why do we struggle so mightily with debilitating diseases stemming from malnutrition? Illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease have become a societal issue. Shouldn’t we, as a society, be healthier than we currently are with the information we have been given about maintaining good health? Unfortunately, even though the answer is obvious, committing to a healthy lifestyle is a difficult undertaking for even the most well intentioned individuals. Purchasing fruits, vegetables, and quality foods has become much more expensive compared to processed and GMO rich alternatives, and what hard working individual has the time to regularly commit hours daily to a fitness plan?
In my case, I was fortunate enough to have a friend (and now a boss) who shared my passion for health and nutrition. This man, Jim Lukens, introduced me to the concept of raw cold-pressed juice during my junior year of college. At the time, I was struggling to maintain my weight regimen while competing on the school wrestling team. My struggles brought about headaches, chronic fatigue, and insomnia in the days leading up to competition. At Jim’s insistence, I tried cold-pressed juicing myself at home with one of his spare juicers he allowed me to borrow. Every day, I stuffed that juicer full of spinach, kale, carrots, red beet, and apples among other items available at the local farmer’s market on campus. I saw improved results in my performances on the mat and more importantly in the classroom as my issues stemming from cutting weight went away almost immediately.
At the time, I didn’t know or care why the juice made me feel better, I just felt the benefits of drinking it daily and saw a difference in my overall performance. What I have come to realize now after committing my life to studying healthy practices is that the process of juicing raw vegetables separates nutrients of the fruit or vegetable from the pulpy fiber. What remains is a nutrient dense liquid. I had already known from my weight cuts that the human body more readily processes liquids compared to solids, which need to undergo longer digestion. What juice gave me was a three tiered advantage:
1. It was hyper nutritious. Nowhere else in my diet was I getting the amount of vitamins and nutrients my body needed to function, even though I was meticulously monitoring my diet at all times before I started juicing. I later learned that 100% of the nutrients from juice are absorbed by the human body, compared to 40% of the nutrients if the entire item of produce is digested.
2. It satisfied my hunger. I was able to satisfy nutritional needs while also injecting some much needed variety into my diet. The produce I put in my juicer was not limited to basic garden variety greens; I also experimented with nuts and seasonal fruit. There was never a dull moment.
3. It was convenient. I was a double major taking five courses a semester and balancing my course load with a division one athletics schedule. My time was limited and I seldom had time to prepare meals. However, the juice was easy enough to take with me everywhere I went, and one juice session yielded several days’ worth of juice.
I mentioned earlier that one of my favorite characteristics of natural foods such as cold-pressed juice products is that everyone stands to benefit. The benefits of juice products span age and demographic. I was able to use juice to achieve my athletic and educational goals, however Jim’s story is much different than my own. Several years ago, Jim was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a chronic illness that causes severe discomfort in the digestive tract. Out of desperation Jim decided to do a juice cleanse – a regiment that requires a person drink juice and only juice for a predetermined amount of time with the goal of “cleansing” the body of toxins. I am happy to say that Jim’s first one month cleanse led to a commitment to a holistic diet, and a remarkable and full recovery from his disease!
By no means do I believe that cold-pressed juice is a cure-all for disease. Every person’s case is different, and should be treated as unique. What I am convinced of however is that commitment to a fruit and vegetable heavy diet only stands to improve your overall health. That’s not to say that treating yourself to a hearty meal once or twice a week is a bad thing; I like to drink two of our juices per day to justify treating myself to a spaghetti dinner at the end of the week (my grandparents are Italian after all…). The purpose of cold-pressed juice is, at its core, an excellent method to get yourself on the right track. A commitment as easy as substituting a juice for a soft drink at dinner will do wonders for your health and nutrition over a long period.
Jim and I have committed the past two years of our lives to making the juice we love for our loved ones who seek to improve their own lives. Nothing fulfills us more than hearing positive feedback from the customers we have helped. All of the recipes we feature on our webstore we invented ourselves, and we are proud to offer them to you. I hope that these words inspire you to try including juice in your daily diet. We would be happy to make it for you and send you on your way to a new healthy mindset. The path to a healthy lifestyle begins with a bottle of raw, cold-pressed juice.
Bryan Ortenzio – Manager @ The Fountain of Juice
491 Park City Center, Lancaster, PA
Learn more about us and our mission at www.thefountainofjuice.com