Check this out- Congratulations! You have made some great changes to your life. The last step will be to implement a juicing plan. I am firmly convinced that juicing is the final key to giving you a radiant, energetic life, and truly optimal health. I've said this in the other levels of this nutrition plan, but it's so important I'll say it again - valuable and sensitive micronutrients become damaged when you heat foods. Cooking and processing food destroys these micronutrients by altering their shape and chemical composition. In this advanced nutritional level, you avoid all processed foods and eat only organic vegetables and fruits, unless not otherwise possible. Virtually every health authority recommends that we get 6-8 servings of vegetables and fruits per day and very few of us actually get that. Juicing is an easy way to virtually guarantee that you will reach your daily target for vegetables. While you can certainly juice fruits, if you are overweight, have high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol it is best to limit using fruits until you normalize these conditions. The exception would be lemons and limes which have virtually none of the offending sugar, fructose, that causes most of the metabolic complications. Additionally lemons or limes are amazing at eliminating the bitter taste of the dark deep leafy green vegetables that provide most of the benefits of juicing. Reasons to Juice There are three main reasons why you will want to consider incorporating vegetable juicing into your optimal health program: Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. This is important because most of us have impaired digestion as a result of making less-than-optimal food choices over many years. This limits your body's ability to absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. Juicing will help to "pre-digest" them for you, so you will receive most of the nutrition, rather than having it go down the toilet. Juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner. If you are a carb type, you should eat one pound of raw vegetables per 50 pounds of body weight per day. Some people may find eating that many vegetables difficult, but it can be easily accomplished with a quick glass of vegetable juice. You can add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet. Many people eat the same vegetable salads every day. This violates the principle of regular food rotation and increases your chance of developing an allergy to a certain food. But with juicing, you can juice a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally enjoy eating whole. If you are new to juicing, I recommend a mid-priced juicer. The cheap centrifugal juicers (like the Juiceman) break easily, produce low quality juice, and are very loud, which may contribute to hearing loss. They also don't last very long. My favorite are the single gear juicers which are relatively fast, less expensive and easier to clean than more expensive juicers like twin gears or even the $2000 Norwalk juicers. Here is my current favorite products.mercola.com/juicer Many people initially think that juicing will be a real chore, but the majority are pleasantly surprised to find that it is much easier than they thought it would be. Vegetable Juice is Not a Complete Meal It is important to note that vegetable juice has very little protein and virtually no fat so by itself it is not really a complete food. It really should be used in addition to your regular meals not in place of it. So unless you are undergoing some special fasting or detoxification program it is probably unwise to use juicing as a meal replacement. Ideally it can be consumed with your meal or as a between meal snack. Important to Listen to Your Body This is partly because you should only start by juicing vegetables that you enjoy eating non-juiced. The juice should taste pleasant -- not make you feel nauseous. It is very important to listen to your body when juicing. Your stomach should feel good all morning long. If it is churning or growling or generally making its presence known, you probably juiced something you should not be eating. Personally, I've noticed that I can't juice large amounts of cabbage, but if I spread it out, I do fine. The health benefits of juicing are immense for adults and children. Here are a few simple lessons to get you up and juicing quickly: Lesson 1: Use pesticide free veggies. It is wise to choose organic whenever possible. However, some vegetables are worse than others. Below are the vegetables that are the most pesticide loaded ones according to the Environmental Working Group. So it would be wise to only purchase these vegetables if they are organically grown. The worst ones are listed first. Celery Spinach Kale Collard Greens Lettuce Carrots Cucumber (not as bad if you peel the skin) Lesson 2: Get ready to juice! Please note that the order listed below is only intended for those that are new to juicing so you do have a pleasant experience with it. However, if you use ¼ to ½ lemon or lime to the juice you can start experimenting with the more bitter greens early on as the lemon and lime effectively counter their bitterness. Please note it would be FAR better to use lemon or limes than carrots, beets or apples, which have far more fructose than lemons or limes. Step 1: If you are new to juicing, I recommend starting out with these vegetables, as they are the easiest to digest and tolerate: Celery Fennel (anise) Cucumbers These three aren't as nutrient dense as the dark green vegetables. Once you get used to the 3 vegetables listed above, you can start adding the more nutritionally valuable, but less palatable, vegetables into your juice. Step 2: When you've acclimatized yourself to juicing, you can start adding these vegetables: Red leaf lettuce Green Leaf lettuce Romaine lettuce Endive Escarole Spinach Step 3: After you're used to these, then go to the next step: Cabbage Chinese Cabbage Bok Choy An interesting side note: Cabbage juice is one of the most healing nutrients for ulcer repair as it is a huge source of vitamin U. Step 4: When you're ready, move on to adding herbs to your juicing. Herbs also make wonderful combinations, and here are two that work exceptionally well: Parsley Cilantro You need to be cautious with cilantro, as many cannot tolerate it well. If you are new to juicing, hold off on the cilantro. These are more challenging to consume, but they are highly beneficial.