March 7, 2012 Edition

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New ways to get your
daily fruits, vegetables

I guess I had heard of juice bars before but never really paid attention to them. In the past week, I have learned a lot of information about juice diets and cleansing. Josh Ozersky writes in TIME Magazine this week about the "Big Gulp," a story that talks about juice fasting as the latest fad diet to lose weight or cleanse one's body.

Ozersky notes that Starbucks has plans to open juice bars and has invested in juicing equipment. Juice fasting is apparently drinking nothing but fruits and vegetables that have been liquefied through a juice machine.

At our house, we have been "juicing" regularly many mornings with fruit smoothies, with ingredients such as strawberries, bananas, cranberry juice, yogurt and ice or maybe with blueberries and pineapple as a fruit substitution. However, juicing with such contents such as kale, celery, bell peppers, beets, cabbage and carrots is taking the idea to another level.

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Another encounter with juicing was the viewing of the documentary, "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead." This film takes viewers on Australian Joe Cross' 60-day juice fast across America. His fast, by the way, was conducted under a doctor's care.

Juice fasting may be the new Atkins Diet, but as with anything else, moderation seems to go a long way.

I do agree with the belief that Americans, me included, eat too much processed food and that we should try to include more foods in our diet that appear in their original state, such as fruits, vegetables, beans and such. The five-a-day approach, attempting to have at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, is another sensible goal.

*********

It will be interesting to see how things develop with Starbucks' plans for opening juice bars. If it's anything like what they did for coffee, then we will all be seeing, hearing and probably drinking a lot more juiced fruits and vegetables.

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