Dans le Jus / Revolution

Cooked Versus Raw Food: Which is Better?

At Rejuice we get asked this question a lot and so this week we looked at credible sites and scientific studies comparing the two. And what we found was ..
There is no hard evidence to support either view.
Some of the research found that the people who ate raw vegetables were healthier overall, while others cited better results with cooked vegetables. 
What was clear was that those who ate the most fruits and vegetables (cooked or raw) overall had lower rates of disease - especially cancer. 
The take-away for us was to understand that some foods contain more nutrients cooked, and some had more nutrients raw.
Cooking:  softens the plant matrix (tough cell structure of plants), which helps to release more phytochemical compounds. Thus, depending on the vegetable being cooked, the cooking method, and the phytonutrient compound being studied, conservative cooking  (steaming, making soup) can provide greater nutrient availability. We also increase the plant proteins in the diet, especially important for those eating a plant-based diet with limited or no animal products. 
Veggies you should definitely turn the heat on for include carrots and asparagus because cooking makes it easier for our bodies to benefit from some of their protective antioxidants, specifically ferulic acid from asparagus, and beta-carotene, which we convert to vitamin A, from carrots.
 
A study published in The British Journal of Nutrition last year found that a group of 198 subjects who followed a strict raw food diet had normal levels of vitamin A and relatively high levels of beta-carotene (an antioxidant found in dark green and yellow fruits and vegetables), but low levels of the antioxidant lycopene.
So roast your tomatoes slowly or make a cooked sauce  because it helps to break down the plant cell walls, allowing us to better absorb the antioxidant lycopene - 

shown to have antioxidant properties and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

 
The rest is a bit confusing. For example, while some studies cited that some veggies, like broccoli were healthier raw than cooked, others noted that

 heat damages the enzyme myrosinase, which breaks down glucosinates (compounds derived from glucose and an amino acid) in broccoli into a compound known as sulforaphane. On the other hand, indole, an organic compound, is formed when certain plants, particularly cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, are cooked. According to research in The Journal of Nutrition in 2001, indole helps kill precancerous cells before they turn malignant.

Another reason to turn up the heat sometimes:
Humans are the only primates that cook their food. Raw foods have a low caloric yield, which imposes “a tradeoff between body size and number of brain neurons, which explains the small brain size of great apes compared with their large body size.” Cooking our foods allowed us to spend less time feeding. Cooked food provided a greater amount of brain neurons and drove humans to evolve with an increased brain size and functioning capability. Essentially, this might mean that humans would not have evolved were it not for cooked foods.
As always, the important thing is BALANCE!
 Balancing raw foods with cooked foods is your best strategy for overall health and wellbeing!
#behealthybehappy
Read more →

Love: Organic Style. Rethinking our Relationships!

At Rejuice we love organic whole foods because they are grown without pesticide sprays and other harmful chemicals. And in its highest application, organic food has no synthetic fertilizers or artificial dyes, nothing extra that's not required and it's handled in a way that preserves some of the integrity of what nature created.
Going organic is about honoring the reality that sustainability can only occur if the relationship between the land and the people is healthy. And that we acknowledge the connection between ecology (the "study of home") and the health of the people who live in that home.
Why not extend that same philosophy to our relationships? Why not have organic relationships, free of the toxic fillers that degrade the quality of our precious time here on earth. Non organic relationships, the kind marketed to us as aggressively as processed foods, are based on possession, fear, superficial structures, oppressive and negative ideas, that result in emotionally undernourished people. And so our world is filled with angry lovers, spreading their emotional toxins. 
It does not have to be this way. That is the beauty of our species, we can change our environment both externally and internally. 
The solution: organic love! Love that is closest to our true nature. That follows the same principles of sustainability and ethics of organic foods.  

When we feed and support our own happiness, we are nourishing our ability to love. That’s why to love means to learn the art of nourishing our happiness. Understanding someone’s suffering is the best gift you can give another person. Understanding is love’s other name. If you don’t understand, you can’t love. 

Zen Buddhist Teacher Thich Nhat Hanh

Organic love recognizes that it is in our best interest as human beings to respect and nourish the lives around us, as we respect and nourish our own. To feel deeply the pain of others, as pain and suffering is a universal phenomenon and it helps to explain our connection to others. Empathy teaches you understanding.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is carrying a great burden. 

The following 10 ways to strengthen your love from www.tinybuddha.com align with the principles of organic love. Like organic foods these tips emphasize wholeness, moving away from toxicity, cultivating a healthy terrain, understanding the natural ebb and flow of time, and letting nature take its course.
 
Use relationships to teach you how to be whole within.
Relationships aren’t about having another person complete you, but coming to the relationship whole and sharing your life interdependently. By letting go of the romantic ideal of merging and becoming “one,” you learn as Rainer Maria Rilke says, to love the distances in relationship as much as the togetherness.
 See your partner for who he or she really is.
The romantic tragedy occurs when you view the person you are in love with as a symbol of what they have come to represent, the idea of them. When you realize that more often than not you don’t really know your partner, you begin to discover who they are and how they change and evolve.
Be willing to learn from each other.
The key is to see the other as a mirror and learn from the reflection how you can be a better person. When you feel upset, rather than blame your partner and point fingers, remain awake to what has yet to be healed in yourself.
 Get comfortable being alone.
In order to accept that love can’t rescue you from being alone, learn to spend time being with yourself. By feeling safe and secure to be on your own within the framework of relationship, you will feel more complete, happy, and whole.
 Look closely at why a fight may begin.
Some couples create separateness by fighting and then making up over and over again. This allows you to continue the romantic trance, creating drama and avoiding real intimacy. If you become aware of what you fear about intimacy, you’ll have a better sense of why you’re fighting—and likely will fight far less.
Own who you are.
We generally grasp at romantic love because we’re yearning for something that is out of reach, something in another person that we don’t think we possess in ourselves. Unfortunately, when we finally get love, we discover that we didn’t get what we were looking for.
True love only exists by loving yourself first. You can only get from another person what you’re willing to give yourself.
 Embrace ordinariness.
After the fairy-dust start of a relationship ends, we discover ordinariness, and we often do everything we can to avoid it. The trick is to see that ordinariness can become the real “juice” of intimacy. The day-to-day loveliness of sharing life with a partner can, and does, become extraordinary.
 Expand your heart.
One thing that unites us is that we all long to be happy. This happiness usually includes the desire to be close to someone in a loving way. To create real intimacy, get in touch with the spaciousness of your heart and bring awareness to what is good within you.It’s easier to recognize the good in your partner when you’re connected to the good in yourself.
Focus on giving love.
Genuine happiness is not about feeling good about ourselves because other people love us; it’s more about how well we have loved ourselves and others. The unintentional outcome of loving others more deeply is that we are loved more deeply.
Let go of expectations.
You may look to things such as romance and constant togetherness to fill a void in yourself. This will immediately cause suffering. If you unconsciously expect to receive love in certain ways to avoid giving that love to yourself, you will put your sense of security in someone else. Draw upon your own inner-resources to offer love, attention, and nurturance to yourself when you need it. Then you can let love come to you instead of putting expectations on what it needs to look like.
 
Love should be like breathing. It should be just a quality in you – wherever you are, with whomsoever you are, or even if you are alone, love goes on overflowing from you. It is not a question of being in love with someone – it is a question of being love. Osho
#behealthybelove
Read more →

The Amazing Benefits of Outdoor Workouts!

Nature HEALS!

Hey Juicers! Spring has finally sprung and a great way to celebrate the season is by getting out of the gym and into nature! 

"Spending time in nature has been linked to improved attention spans (short and long term), boosts in serotonin (the feel good neurotransmitter) and shows increased activity in the parts of the brain responsible for empathy, emotional stability, and love (whereas urban environments do the same for fear and anxiety)." Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. Plus, you'll not only boost your calorie burn, you'll hit muscles you won't reach with gym machines.  

Here are a few of our favourite outdoor exercises!  
Park Bench Push-Up Trio
Targets chest and shoulders
First, put your feet on the park bench and your hands on the ground, belly down. Do 10 push-ups this way. Then switch and put your feet on the ground and your arms on the bench. Do 10 more this way. End with 10 regular push-ups completely on the ground.
Park-Bench Dip
 
Targets triceps, shoulders, core
Sit on a bench and place your hands on either side of your hips. Slide your butt forward, supporting yourself with your hands. Bend elbows, bringing upper arms almost parallel to ground, then return to starting position. Keep lower back close to the bench throughout the exercise. Complete 12 to 15 reps.
Park Bench Step-Ups
Targets abs and arms
Keeping your right foot on a bench, step up and down with your left foot, bringing your leg to your chest. Then keep your left foot on the bench, and do the same with the right foot to complete the set. Repeat 20 times.
Tightrope Walk

Targets Calves, Quads, Core

Find a curb or fallen tree with a smooth surface that is at least 6 feet long. Raise arms out to sides and walk across the "tightrope" until you reach the end (or go at least 6 feet). Turn on the balls of your feet; walk in the opposite direction. Continue for 3 minutes.

In today’s age of high technology, research shows that our hunger for the natural world still endures. In fact, our connections with nature could just be the best medicine for people of all ages—improving our health, happiness, and well-being.
#behealthybehappy!
Sources: http://appalachiantrials.com/scientifically-supported-reasons-get-outside/
http://news.health.com/2014/09/29/health-benefits-of-nature/
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/lose-weight/total-body/outdoor-workouts-30-minutes/
Read more →

Veganism 101: Iron. Are you getting enough?

One of the first questions vegans and vegetarians get asked (after where do you get your protein) is "how do you make sure you get enough iron in your diet?"
At a glance:
Iron is an essential mineral required to maintain good health 
Iron is found in every cell and has the following main functions:
Formation of red blood cells
Cofactor of enzymes and other proteins involved
Transports oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body.
If you don’t get enough iron you may feel tired and not have the energy to do the things you want to do. You may also look pale, be irritable and have trouble concentrating. Since iron is critical for brain development, a lack of iron may lower children’s ability to learn.

How much iron you need depends on your gender, age, and (for women) how heavy your period is.  

Recommended Dietary Allowance Iron intake (in mg per day)

Life Stage

Males

Females

7 to 12 months

11

11

1 to 3 years

7

7

4 to 8 years

10

10

9 to 13 years

8

8

14 to 18 years

11

15

19 to 50 years

8

18

51 years and over

8

8

Pregnancy

 

27

Iron comes in two forms: heme and non-heme. Heme, which makes up about 40% of the iron in animal foods, is easily absorbed by the body. Vegan diets contain only non-heme, which is less readily absorbed. And so the concern: 
Are vegans and vegetarians at risk for iron deficiency?
The Short Answer: NO
In fact, what the research has shown is that there is much more to this picture. Plants have nonheme iron, which is more absorbable when the body is low in iron and less absorbable when the body already has enough iron. This allows the body to regulate its iron balance. On the other hand, meats have heme iron, which barges right into your bloodstream whether you need it or not. The problem is that many people have too much iron stored in their bodies. Excess iron can spark the production of free radicals that accelerate aging, increase the risk of heart disease and cause other problems.  
SO a high absorption rate is not necessarily a good thing as the body has no mechanism for disposing of excess iron. In other words, iron from plant foods is more beneficial to the body because its absorption remains safely regulated. Whereas iron from animal sources can accumulate to levels which could be harmful. As well, there is no research that shows that vegans or vegetarians suffer higher rates of iron deficient conditions than the rest of the population. (See the footnote at the end of this post for the science behind these claims)
Maximizing Absorption:
The absorption of iron is affected by the presence of other foods in the gut. Calcium, tannins, phenols (found in chocolate, tea and coffee), proteins, for example in cow’s milk and egg, all have a tendency to hinder the absorption of iron. Phytates (phytic acid) found in grains, bread and pasta also have a similar effect. 
 
 
Vitamin C - ascorbic acid - helps to increase the absorption of iron and, in particular, the non-heme form of iron prevalent in the vegan and vegetarian diet. To increase your iron absorption substitute your morning cup of tea or coffee with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. If you are concerned about low iron levels, try to combine vitamin C-containing foods with your iron-rich meal.  
As always, it is important to consult your physician and a simple blood test will tell you where your iron stores are at.
But the take – away here is that most people can get their iron needs met by eating a healthy whole food plant based nutrient rich diet.  
 
 #beHappybeHealthy
The footnote:
Although vegetarians have lower iron stores, adverse health effects have not been demonstrated with varied vegetarian diets in developed countries. In fact, moderately lower iron stores reduce the risk of some chronic diseases (Hunt, 2003). It is well known that many meat eaters are oversupplied with iron, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and certain cancers (Leitzmann, 2005).
Hunt, J.R. 2003. Bioavailability of iron, zinc, and other trace minerals from vegetarian diets. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 78 (3) 633S-639S.
Leitzmann C., 2005. Vegetarian diets: what are the advantages? Forum on Nutrition. (57) 147-156).

    Iron Content of Selected Vegan Foods can be found here: 

     http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.php

    Read more →

    Part 3: Revive the Spirit: The Benefits of a Spiritual Cleanse

     
    To us this is the hardest part. Why? It is not just about watching what you eat, although that is a challenge, or finding forgiveness for yourself and others, a task that can take a lifetime, it is about seeing the bigger picture. To constantly be pushing beyond the limits of your vision, your perspective, and most importantly, and probably the most difficult part, to TRUST the unknown. 
    Often we feel like grains of sands balancing on a scale, the lightest shift in weight and we can easily become unbalanced. The task is to be more like the scale, the one who holds the balance of a life that is, at its essence, unpredictable. 
     
    To be able to take that leap of faith into the unknown. Without that leap, nothing happens. Ships are not meant to stay in harbors, they are meant to explore everything the sea has to offer.
    There is a great poem by Antonio Machado that goes…
    Mankind owns four things
    That are no good at sea:
    Rudder, anchor, oars,
    And the fear of going down.
    Fear. This is not an easy thing to overcome. So don’t. Just live with it. At Rejuice we subscribe to the 80/20 rule in all things. Perfection is a trap. You learn to walk by falling down. You are allowed to indulge, you are welcome to take that nap, to eat a piece of cake, to scream if you need to, what we wish for you, for us, is the courage to be afraid and do it anyways. To TRUST that there is something greater than our own needs, our balancing acts. That at the heart of our green revolution is LOVE.
     
    Grasp it. Hold on to it. It is all there for you. You are that pure energy. You are a force of nature.  
    Suggested Steps to Revive!
    What follows are practices. Do them each day, each hour, each minute if that is what it takes. The only way to discover which practices work for you is to do them. 
    Meditation. Meditation, prayer or contemplation is an important part of any spiritual tradition. It is the time to turn your focus inward while simultaneously expanding your consciousness beyond a sense of ‘self’ that encompasses everyone and everything.  
    Self-awareness. You can use meditation to become self-aware, but on a daily basis, the way you think, speak and act is important to recognize. Your sense of self is often defined by how other people treat you – yet this is not the real you! The real you – the soul, or higher self – can never be ugly, unlovable, stupid, unwanted, etc. When you’re aware of how you think and speak about yourself, you will be amazed at how your thoughts and language center on separateness instead of oneness.
    Become non-attached. Don’t mistake non-attachment for not caring and not loving. You can love unconditionally, and care deeply, without the neediness that comes with being attached to something. Attachment causes suffering because you fear loss. Remember, while nothing physical is permanent, consciousness is. Imagine loving something without “owning” it. Imagine a never-ending bond between you and someone you love, whether you are in physical proximity of each other or not.
    Accept change. Everything is changing constantly. Nothing will ever be as it was a moment ago. Don’t assume that change is bad. Things change, and how you perceive them determines whether you see them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Set your intentions on seeing good; feeling good; experiencing good.
    Be curious and see the world from multiple perspectives. Look at the world with the curious eyes of a child – who does not judge or criticize, but who sees the good and the wonder in everything. Delight in your creations and in the creations of others. See the blessings in every difficulty and the joys in every sorrow. See “what is” from other points of view that will open your mind.
    Be present-focused; be here, now, instead of allowing life to pass you by while your thoughts are stuck in the past or wandering in the future. NOW is when you create your future!  
    We shall not cease from our exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started 
    And know the place for the first time
    -- T.S Eliot
     #beHappybeHealthy

     

    Suggested steps comes from http://www.loveorabove.com/blog/spiritual-growth/

    Read more →