I’m a Juice Head but it’s not what you think
For Christmas last year, the in-laws got us a NutriBullet. I love this thing. You can slam an entire salad bar worth of vegetables in a matter of minutes. This post isn’t about selling the benefits of the NutriBullet so before I digress too far, let me just say this. Raw veggies are very important and I want all the nutrients and fiber. Traditional juicing doesn’t do that so here we are. All hail the NutriBullet!
What this post is about is what goes in the NutriBullet and why I’m a “Juice Head”
Nature has a funny way of hooking us up. It’s kind of like what Dozer said in the Matrix, “everything the body needs.” If you’re not following current research on the benefits of certain veggies, stay tuned because I’m about to light you up.
After working about, about one hour or so to be exact, I am currently having the following in the NutraBullet. A handful of spinach, some broccoli, asparagus, a green tomato, ginger, lemon, and if there’s room left over; some cucumber or celery.
All of this stuff is good for your muscles.
How so? Glad you asked. Post workout nutrition is a key factor to recovery, repair and growth. Now, a quick note about timing. There is a “window” of opportunity you want to consider. In the bodybuilding world, especially if you’re trying to pack on serious muscle, you don’t want anything to get in the way of muscle building and you’re constantly walking a thin line between anabolism and catabolism. Especially if you’re going natural. The guys on the other juice have a bit of an advantage here. So, if you’re going for “swole” there’s a Catch-22 coming and it might make some sense to rethink the whole high carb/sugar protein shake immediately after training thing.
This juice head concoction of mine is low-glycemic. If you want to maximize the body’s natural production of growth hormone and testosterone, carbs and sugar post workout or anything that spikes insulin will put the breaks on the whole cascade of muscle building hormones released post workout. Additionally, it will also put a halt on any fat burning that was happening as well.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to consume something that helps you maximize these benefits rather than neutralize them? Additionally, if you’re going for lean muscle, it might also make sense to keep the metabolic furnace firing for as long as possible. I wait one hour after training before consuming the juice. On the off days, consider it breakfast.
Popeye was on to something. The Juice Head drink starts with a handful of spinach. Spinach was shown in a Swedish study to improve muscle strength and improve cellular function. The natural nitrates in spinach produce Nitric Oxide as well as improves mitochondrial efficiency.
Spinach is also a good source of Niacin and Zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate,Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper, and Manganese.
Broccoli is high in DIM (3,3′-Diindolylmethane). It is a compound found in cruciferous vegetables and is very good at helping the body metabolize estrogen. (Google it) Also, as an added bonus, it has anti-cancer properties as well. Broccoli is also a good source of Protein, Vitamin E, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Selenium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium, and Manganese.
Next up in the juice head drink are green tomatoes. Not the red, but the green. Why? Tomatidine, that’s why. What’s Tomatidine?
The scientists found that both compounds [ursolic acid and tomatidine] increased muscle mass by 10 percent, and more importantly, increased muscle quality, or strength, by 30 percent.”
The study also shows it’s even more helpful the older you get and since we’re not getting any younger, might be a good idea to get down on the green tomatoes more often. Which is why they’re going in my juice.
Asparagus is high in fiber and vitamin K. Also, Asparagus is a natural source of glutathione. There’s folate which improves red blood cell production. Asparagine, an amino acid in asparagus, prevents fluid retention and there’s copper in it which is critical for making connective tissue such as collagen. This precious metal also helps to keep your skin and muscles taut, and bones strong.
Ginger is great for digestion and also it is great for recovery, it’s anti-inflammatory, and helps reduce muscle soreness after training. Also, In a recent 2015 study of 41 participants with type 2 diabetes, 2 grams of ginger powder per day lowered fasting blood sugar by 12%. In my Juice Head “smoothie” I’ll toss in a good amount of ginger. Enough to add flavor and feel the effect.
The last thing is half a lemon. HALF the lemon. Yes, the whole lemon, rind, peel and all. Gives you more fiber, more vitamin C, gives you all the flavonoids and antioxidants from the fruit. Such as Naringin and Hesperidin. My guy Joe Cross, from Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, sold me on this idea when his blog cited a study that shows naringin is so strong and antioxidant, it may actually reduce radiation-induced damage to the cells of the body. So if you’re Bruce Banner and still looking for a cure, might want to start juicing with lemons.
CELERY OR CUCUMBER
If there’s room, I’ll toss in a little Celery and/or cucumber. Celery and Cucumber are both high in water content. Celery is also got lots of good fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Celery helps with blood pressure, inflammation, and can calm the nerves. If you’ve ever had your nervous system taxed for going too hard in the gym, celery juice can help with that. Cucumber also has many of the same benefits of celery, especially when it comes to reducing inflammation and soreness.
OLIVE OIL and COCONUT OIL
I will drop in a tablespoon of olive oil or a tablespoon of coconut oil (sometimes a little of both) for two reasons. One, many of these nutrients are fat soluble. Meaning the body needs fat present in order to assimilate and metabolize them. Also, I am on a primal, paleo, ketogenic diet. I need to stay in ketosis as much as possible. I want my body using fat for fuel. The added fat to this will help my body stay ketogenic, not spike insulin and get max nutrition from the veggies. Coconut oil is also high in MCTs. I take Onnit Coconut Oil. Better, cleaner energy, no crash, and helps you feel full longer.
SIDEBAR: WASH THE F#^%K OUT OF THE VEGGIES! Buy organic when you can. Many of the pesticides on these veggies can do all kinds of crazy crap to your hormone levels and in a negative way essentially negating the benefits of these veggies all together.
Start with a handfull of spinach. Drop it in the bottom of the Nutrabullet. Then chop up the broccoli, the asparagus, the green tomatoes and toss it in. Cut the half a lemon into four pieces and in that goes. Add your ginger slices (4-5). If there’s room, in goes some celery and/or cucumber. Drizzle in the olive oil and/or coconut oil, add some water to the fill line, blend it up and chug-a-lug.
I slam it, pay no attention to flavor and get it down. Not that it tastes bad, mind you, it’s just a strong flavor and it is highly fibrous meaning that the longer it sits there, the bulkier it gets and the harder it will be to drink. Slam it. Take my advice on this.
Within an hour or so of this feeding, I’m really full still. But, I will start sipping a protein and greens drink I get from Garden Of Life. All plant-based protein. Easy to digest and the body will soak it up.
To wrap this up, as my summer camp counselor so wisely stated many moons ago, “You get out of it, what you put into it.” This juice head drink is a testament to living a full glorious life. You got to carry this body around and you got to look at yourself in the mirror every single day. If you’re not liking what’s looking back, what kind of life is that? What are you putting into it? And while we’re here, let’s also examine the mind. What’s going in there too? How do you fuel it and with what are you filling it?
Questions go in comments below….