Friday, January 6, 2012

To Your Health

Over the past few years, David and I have been more aware of the blessing of good health and how what we eat and the lifestyle choices we make contribute to (or detract from) being healthy. One of the biggest catalysts in this awareness, for me anyway, was getting my cholesterol checked for the first time a few years back. First of all, I was shocked that my doctor even suggested I have it tested. I wasn't even 30 yet and she's talking cholesterol?! Isn't that something that only 50 year-olds need to worry about?! (Apparently age 25 is when it is recommended to first check your cholesterol.)

I was expecting perfect scores all around (always been one to obsess over grades and scores!) when the call came from the doctor's office. "We got your results back and you have high cholesterol. The doctor wants you to go on a diet and have it checked again in three months." I must have heard wrong. "A diet?" I asked in disbelief. They said they would mail me a list of what I could and could not eat. Boy, that list was depressing. I decided I would transition from cooking with butter to cooking with olive oil, and switch out the cow's milk in my morning cereal for almond milk. Three months later, my cholesterol was down to a healthy level.

To some extent, I still have the mentality of "I'm young and healthy! Nothing can get me down!" but now I realize that my dietary and lifestyle choices really do have a big impact on my health and wellness and that the daily choices I make now will affect my health for years to come.

And of course one of the best ways to stay healthy is to eat a balanced diet. I realized that David and I (like most people these days) weren't getting enough vegetables. It seemed nearly impossible to eat five or more servings of vegetables every day! David had been talking to a fellow teacher and carpool mate who was a big fan of juicing vegetables, so we started looking into it and decided to buy a juicer and give this thing a try.

Fast forward about a year or so, and now we aim for a glass of green juice every morning to help get in more servings of veggies (yes, I drink it out of a wine glass!). We decided to do green juice after reading about Kris Carr. She has such an amazing story. Diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer (stage 4) at the age of 31, she is still alive and thriving 10 years later. She attributes her survival to a diet rich in fruits and veggies, including daily green juice. Of course that's not to say veggies can cure cancer, but studies have shown that they can go a long way in helping to prevent it. And with a family history of breast cancer, I've got to do all I can to keep it away from me!

Our morning green juice usually consists of the following:
*Adapted from Kris Carr's Morning Green Juice recipe*
2 large cucumbers (peeled)
1 organic green apple or pear
4-5 stalks of organic celery
Fistful of organic kale (or organic spinach or romaine if I'm out of kale)

This makes enough for David and me to both have a large glass (probably about 12-16 oz each). In a perfect world, we would each drink closer to 32 oz of green juice daily, but we aren't quite there yet. (And a note about organic veggies - I follow the dirty dozen list found here. I don't buy everything organic; only the veggies on this list that have the highest levels of pesticides when grown conventionally.)

In addition to a balanced diet, I've been working on making exercise a habit. This summer David carved out several trails in the woods and we loved to hike every evening after work.

It was so nice yesterday and I made it home just in time to play in the creek :)

When it started getting dark earlier and we weren't able to hike after work in the evenings, I needed to think of a way to get in some exercise indoors. Enter the mini trampoline!

Called rebounding, jumping on a mini trampoline is actually a great way to get some exercise and helps flush out your lymphatic system to keep you healthy. I usually jump while watching TV at night and the time flies by. I have always found it hard to stick to exercise, but I have kept this up for about a month and still love it. I bought my little trampoline for about $40 at WalMart. I highly recommend it!

How do you stay healthy? Any fellow juicers out there? :)



  1. Good post, lots of great info! We don't juice, but we've been doing more smoothies lately (we don't own a juicer but we own a blender, haha). Thanks to pinterest (oh no....) I've tried a smoothie with celery and it was okay. And a new popular drink in our abode is a smoothie of frozen strawberries/banana/oj/water/fresh refined sugar and it's tasty.

  2. Thanks, Heather! Smoothies are great if you don't have a juicer. Your smoothie recipe sounds yummy! Ginger is amazing to put in smoothies and juice. One time I added too much though and could barely finish the juice!

  3. My wife and I went vegetarian about 8 years ago and I have never felt better. Giving up meat, dairy and processed foods has been one of the best things we have ever done. Eating a plant based diet seems to be the cure for just about every disease. They say that most diseases and chronic illnesses are caused by malnutrition and most people aren't getting the proper nutrition. I am glad to hear your numbers came down after giving up dairy! Go Veg!! :)


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