As I previously mentioned, my Parisian cousin is a devout juicer and smoothie-drinker, and is also on her way to full on veganism. During my visit, we spent a lot of time talking about this way of life and its benefits, and she introduced me to a book called Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr (published by Skirt!, 2011). I’ve purchased a copy since my return but unfortunately haven’t found the time to read it cover to cover yet. I have flipped through some of it though and feel smarter already!
The author was diagnosed with a rare and incurable form of cancer some years ago and decided to adopt a healthy lifestyle to help her deal with the condition. The focus of her diet (and here the word Diet refers to a lifetime commitment, not a two-week ritual) is plant-based and her motto is “Make juice not war.” It’s all about making greens your best friend.
Of course we’ve all heard that eating spinach is good (thanks, Popeye) but rarely are we actually explained why. Well, think back to 7th grade science. Remember something called chlorophyll? Chlorophyll is the molecule that makes plants green and Carr calls it liquid sunshine. Chlorophyll is what lets plants absorb sunlight and turn it energy. And just as it is good for plants, it is good for humans. Chlorophyll can heal and detoxify the blood. Specifically, it “increases red blood cell production and enhances the cells’ ability to carry oxygen. It strengthens the immune system, improves circulation, eases inflammation and counteracts harmful free radicals.” What this means is less joint/muscle pain, less colds and less skin imperfections. Sounds pretty good, eh? The author places a bigger emphasis on juicing as opposed to blending greens, as juice instantly alkalizes the blood while a smoothie takes a little time for the body to process. However, smoothies get to keep their fiber and that’s also very important.
I know this may be a shocker to some of you (I mean the pork buns, the Russian doughnuts, the stews!) but I actually don’t indulge as much as this blog may suggest. After all, I only document the memorable, document-worthy meals. And ever since learning of this book, I’ve been cutting down on things like meat and caffeine. But not forcefully – I don’t really miss them! I guess that’s because my body doesn’t need them as much as I previously thought and because I enjoy knowing that I’m paying closer attention to the things my body tells me. And I’ve been drinking smoothies every day! I highly doubt that my love for burgers, pulled pork and otherworldly New York pizzas will ever go away, but making small changes is actually a huge deal.
As much as I believe in the comforting power of poundcake, I now believe in the healing power of this lifestyle, too. I highly recommend that you too read this book, pay closer attention to your body and raise a green glass to your health. Here’s my favorite green creation so far.
(Yield: 1 cup)
1 c baby arugula
1 handful of parsley
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 ripe kiwi, peeled and chopped
1/2 c water
Procedure: Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Serve in a chilled glass.
Talking about green smoothies is just scratching the surface but when I’m finally done reading the book, I plan to share more of her advice with you