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Better Health Tomorrow Begins by Making Better Choices Today

better Lifestyle Choices Lead to Better Health

I am a very practical person. When I was deciding on a series of articles intended to be both informative and practical, I realized that one of the missing factors in people being more healthy than they currently are is that they don’t know how to make proper choices in their lifestyle. I have written a series of articles to help you in your quest toward achieving and maintaining optimal health. Better health tomorrow begins by understanding what changes to make in your lifestyle and then making better choices in what you do and what you eat on a daily basis. Where we are in the future is determined by the small changes we make each day. Applying these changes consistently over time will take you virtually anywhere you would like to go in your health and in your future.

How healthy you CAN be is determined by many factors- things like genetic limitations, your history of childhood diseases, and many other things that are beyond your control. But by far, the NUMBER ONE reason that people are not in their best state of health is that no one has taught them how to make better lifestyle choices. Things like smoking or not, whether you choose to drink alcohol, what you eat, how much sleep you get every night, and more. I have been practicing in the field of health and health care for over 30 years, and it never ceases to amaze me how little the average person knows about how the choices they make affect their health and their future.

“You are today the product of all the choices and decisions that you have made in your life up to this point.” Does that make sense to you? If that is true, and it is, then where you are in your life and health 5 years from now will be determined by the choices that you begin making starting TODAY. It is NEVER too late to start making better decisions regarding your health, and it WILL determine your future.

In these articles, I will span a wide variety of topics all designed to provide practical steps toward achieving the best state of health that you can achieve. Regardless of your personal limitations that are beyond your control, you CAN be more healthy than you are today. Small changes in the choices you make consistently over time will help you more than you can possibly imagine at this point in time. In this article I will discuss the importance of exercise and the role it plays on becoming as healthy as is possible. Remember, you don’t have to start training for a marathon by tomorrow, but you must begin MOVING. Our bodies were designed to move and be active, and I will do my best to help you make better choices with regard to what you do during the day, the activities you participate in, and how to exercise simply and effectively on your way toward better health.

Our state of health is not a “static” thing. In fact, it is just the opposite. It is a dynamic, constantly changing, sometimes elusive entity that requires constant attention. Health and your quality of life begin with choices that you make. If you make bad choices over a period of time, you will pay the consequences. On the other hand, good choices in matters that affect your health can turn around what appears to be a hopeless situation in a reasonably short period of time. One of the most important choices with regard to health is the inclusion of some form of exercise in your daily routine. You must make this a priority because research has proven that exercise on a daily basis is even more important to your health and your future than what you eat! The general populous pays way more attention to their diet than they do whether or not they exercise, so by applying this to your life, you will be ahead of most of the people you know regarding your state of health in a relatively short period of time.

I can hear some of you now saying things like “I’m too old to begin an exercise program”, and “If I don’t have any energy now, how can I possibly muster enough extra strength to exercise”. “I’m already tired. Won’t exercising just make me even more tired?” Other excuses include “I don’t have time”, and “I can’t afford to join a health club or a gym”. All I can say in response to all of these excuses is GIVE THEM UP! Everyone can exercise effectively as early as 3 and 4 years old, and no one is too old or too out of shape to begin a program of improving your level of fitness.

You can be just as effective in your quest for getting into better shape in your living room, family room, or den than you can in a health club, so you can’t use the lack of money as an excuse. You don’t even need to buy a bunch of weights and additional equipment, but can use what is available in your own home. By setting aside as little as 15 minutes per day, you can be on your way to experiencing the benefits associated with consistent exercise. Everyone can find 15 minutes per day- roll out of bed 15 minutes earlier, don’t go to bed until you have completed your exercises, use a portion of your lunch hour instead of talking, give up part of one TV show or perform your exercises while watching your favorite show! The payoff far outweighs the “sacrifice”.

Let me list a few of the benefits of exercise. They include the following:

More energy- instead of draining your existing energy, it assists in building your reserves of extra energy.
Better circulation in your arms, legs, feet and hands.
Increased resistance to sickness and disease.
Lowered cholesterol and a stronger heart.
Improved digestion and a higher rate of metabolism which will allow you to burn more fat!
Better muscle tone and more strength to go with it.
Look better and feel younger- exercise is truly a “fountain of youth”.

If we listed them all there wouldn’t be room in this article for anything else! God gave us a body in which to live during our stay on this planet. Along with it, He gave us the responsibility to take proper care of it. A significant part of this care of our bodies lies in the importance of exercising and keeping it fit and healthy. This is what enables us to do the work he has called each of us to in our daily lives. The Bible says that people perish for a lack of knowledge. Ignorance of how the body works and what makes it function at its best is no excuse when the information is readily available. I heard a great statement that simply said, “If you wear out your body, where are you going to live?” We have an obligation both to ourselves and to God to learn everything we can about the care of our earthly vessels (our bodies), and then to apply what we learn on a consistent basis. With exercise, the consistency of your effort should be on a daily basis.

If you will just start the process with 15 minutes per day and do this for a period of 30 days, it will become a habit. You will notice small changes at first, but the longest journey in your road toward recapturing your health and fitness begins with a single step! The advertising writers for Nike got it right when they coined the phrase, “Just Do It”. The first and most important single step is just to start! No one is so far out of shape that there is nothing they can do in the form of exercises, so you can’t beg off with that excuse either. Once you begin, you will see that you had nothing to fear and no acceptable excuse, so you never need excuses again.

Begin by implementing two different types of exercises into your daily routine. The first is a simple series of stretching exercises. Bend over and reach toward your toes keeping a slight curve in your lower back. You will notice I didn’t say touch your toes, as it may have been some time since some of you even saw your toes! Just reach forward until you feel a comfortable stretch in your back and your leg muscles. Next, reach up and stretch for the sky. Always remember to breathe when you are stretching. I don’t want anyone to pass out during this process! I know that sounds silly, but you’d be amazed at how often we hold our breath instead of replenishing our bodies with a fresh supply of oxygen. In fact, deep breathing is another form of exercise, so you’ve already begun to get some exercise each time you take a breath. You see, it wasn’t so hard after all! Repeat each of those stretches 10 times and hold each time you stretch for 5 seconds.

For those of you who are confined to a chair of some kind, or for those of you that are uncomfortable standing for any length of time, perform the same two stretches with your deep breathing while in a sitting position. This will not prevent you from bending forward or from reaching toward the heavens.

The second type of exercise to initiate is a light form of strengthening. For example, hold a can of soup or a bottle of water with your arms at your side. Bend your elbows and raise the can or bottle toward your shoulder, flexing the arm. Then reach over your head with the same can as the second exercise movement. This will strengthen both your arms and your shoulders. Repeat each of these 10 times and as it gets to easy, add a heavier can or a hand held weight of some kind and increase to 2 sets of 10 of both of these movements. Again, these can be done both standing and sitting. In addition, if you are standing, take hold of a chair and bend at the knees going down only as far as is comfortable to begin with.

As you get stronger and more comfortable with the movement, try to squat down most or all of the way before coming back to a standing position. Use the chair to assist you in maintaining your balance and aiding you in coming up until your legs are strong enough not to need the help. If you are sitting, try standing up from your chair 10 times and then slowly sitting back down into your chair. Simple enough, but this is a very effective method of providing strength to the legs and lower body and the larger muscle groups.

I know these are for beginners, but they apply for all ages, in all walks of life, and in any state of health. Remember you have to begin somewhere, and all exercise programs should be implemented carefully and gradually over a period of time to allow the muscles of the body time to adapt and get used to the routine. When it becomes too easy, increase the number of repetitions, add more weight, do additional sets of repetitions, etc., and you are on your way!

Be sure and consult your doctor if you have health problems that might prevent you from performing these exercises and ask that they set you on the path to better fitness with a series of steps that will work for you.

Exercise must become a daily habit and become part of you. You must add it to the other components that we will discuss in future articles if you expect to develop a healthy lifestyle. Each step builds on the steps you have taken up to that point. Set realistic goals with your exercise and it will contribute long-lasting benefits in your attempt to be your best. Don’t be too hard on yourself for the poor choices you have made in your life up to this point. If you “fall off of the horse” and make a bad choice, just get up, dust yourself off and begin again. Decide today that you will begin making proper lifestyle choices from this time forward. A little discipline goes a long way. Keep it simple, be consistent, and expect small changes at a time. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your body begins to respond when provided the right environment consistently over time!

Simple, Quick Changes to Better Health

In today’s society with fast food restaurants on every corner, processed foods lining the shelves of the grocery stores, pollution in the air and stress at work and at home health is hardly anyone’s number one priority. But it should be. Better health should be the most important part of anyone’s lifestyle because without our health, we will get sick, weak and immobile. Unfortunately our fast pace world has lead us down a road of neglect when it comes to our health and such has caused the rise of lifestyle diseases and obesity. Change is hard especially when it comes to our lifestyles, but there are small changes that you can make to lead you down the road to better health. Make these simple, quick changes to achieve a better quality of life.

Diet & Fitness

Eating healthy and exercising are two of the most important aspects of obtaining better health. But changing your eating habits and sticking to a workout routine are very difficult. So instead make small adjustments that you can stick to. Continue with these small changes and they will become part of your daily routine.

For many it’s hard to eat raw vegetables especially 5-7 servings a day. But when we cook them, they lose much of their nutrient value. By juicing vegetables you will get all the nutrients from the vegetables in an easy to consume form. Plus you can take them with you on the go. You will be able to consume your recommended daily servings of vegetables with all their nutrients intact without having to eat the raw counterparts.

Exercise doesn’t have to be time consuming, boring or difficult. For beginners who are unfit, start by doing one exercise for the minimal amount of time. You don’t have to go to the gym. Choose an exercise that you can do in the privacy of your own home. If you have a treadmill or stationary bike you can use them, but if you don’t you can still walk in place without any equipment needed. Do this for 5 minutes a day, for 2 weeks. Then increase the time to 10 minutes, 15 minutes until you reach 30 minutes of exercise a day. This is the minimum amount of exercise any one person should do on a daily basis for better health.

Drink More Water

Most people don’t drink enough water on a daily basis. Our bodies are made up of approximately 70% water and we lose water through perspiration, respiration, and aspiration. It is vital that the body’s water is replaced daily, to function at an optimal level. To remedy this situation drink 1 glass of water every ½ hour to 1 hour. This equals out to 10-12 glasses of water a day. When you take in the appropriate amount of water your body will function better and your health will be restored.

Relax

With stress in both work and home lives it’s hard to find time to relax. But if you don’t minimize your stress your mind and body will suffer. Stress can cause both emotional and physical symptoms such as mood swings, fatigue, headaches, etc. To manage your stress, start by giving yourself 5 minutes a day of quiet time. It doesn’t matter where you do it or when you do it just take 5 minutes and get in tune with yourself. Then you can find other ways to relax such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or any activity that you like to do and makes you happy.

Socialize

Social interaction is an important part of our emotional health. What’s even better is taking time to laugh. Laughter releases tension and relaxes the mind and body. Laugh everyday whether it is at a joke, with some friends, or at a picture. By taking time out to laugh you will live a happier, more peaceful life.

It’s not hard to obtain better health. Start with these simple changes, until they become a permanent part of your daily routine. Make these small, easy changes in your daily life and you will achieve better health.

How to Achieve Better Health

Now that we are in the 21st century, more people’s focus has shifted to improving their health. Health is important because ones health determines how long you will live and what type of quality your life will have. Health is determined by diet, physical fitness, happiness, stress levels, choices and genetics. Genetics is the only part of health that cannot be changed. The rest of the factors determine what type of health one will have. However, no matter what ones present health is, there is always a way you can improve upon it. Poor health is a result of ones lifestyle, it occurs overtime. It takes years of eating unhealthy food, breathing in unclean air, not exercising, stressful situations and unhappiness to acquire poor health. But you can get better health by changing these bad aspects of your life. Even the smallest step in the right direction can improve your health significantly. It’s your life; this is how you will achieve better health.

Healthy Eating- Food is a main part of everyone’s life, because it’s necessary to sustain life. As technology improved, so did the ability to make food quicker and cheaper. Although faster and less expensive to make food, doesn’t mean healthier to eat. Because the American lifestyle has sped up so has the need for quicker meal times, thus we have fast food. Highly processed foods are high in fat, calories and sugar, but the taste is good. The American diet is rich in saturated fat, high sugar content, and it has resulted in poor nutrition. The easiest way to change your diet is to add more fruits and vegetables into your meals. Fruits and vegetables are so important to the body because they supply vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients. Fiber is also an important component of ones diet which comes from fruits and vegetables, beans, seed, brown rice, and whole grains. By cutting out processed foods, and hydrogenated oils you can improve your diet significantly. Make healthier food choices. Buy fresh seasonal produce and make all your meals and snacks at home. Eliminated sugary foods from your diet as much as possible. Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite foods. However eat them in smaller quantities to satiate your cravings. Malnutrition is one of the leaders in disease and death totals each year, that’s why it’s important to make healthier choices when t comes to food.

Hydrate- The United States is a free country where people have access to clean drinking water and yet 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Our bodies are made up of 70% of water. When we are dehydrated it triggers fatigue and chronic dehydration can ultimately lead to death. Pure clean water is the best water to drink because all contaminants have been removed. Water purifiers remove such contaminants as chlorine, lead, heavy metals, parasites, and bacteria. It is recommended to drink between 5-8 glasses of pure clean water a day depending upon perspiration, respiration and urination. Replace soda, and juice with water to kick start your way to better health.

Exercise- Physical activity is needed to keep the muscles in the body from atrophying, the joints, tendons and ligaments flexible and elastic, and keep circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the body. Inactivity is a huge risk factor for many diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Moderate exercise between 10-30 minutes a day helps to control weight loss, reduce stress, improves circulation, and lessen the risk for blood, heart and arterial diseases. Doing some exercise is better than dong none. Walking, running, house cleaning, gardening, dancing and stretching are just some examples of everyday exercise. If you have maintained a sedentary lifestyle it is necessary to start any exercise regiment slow and build up. Start with 10 minutes and work your way up to 30 minutes a day. Remember to switch up your daily exercise to avoid boredom and monotony. Thirty minutes of exercise, 7 days a week is an ideal way to better your health.

Clean Air- Breathing in clean air is just as important to ones health as nutrition, exercising, and drinking pure water. Our lungs are an integral part of the circulatory system, which without we would not be living. Pollution is just one way that our air supply can be contaminated. In some cases indoor air can be more hazardous than outdoor air. Indoor air pollution is thought to be the cause of many circulatory diseases such as allergies, asthma, and autoimmune disease. Using an air purifier can help to reduce indoor air hazards such as mold spores, viruses, bacteria, chemical gases, fumes, odors and pollen. Plus, when the weather permits open up the windows and let fresh air in. It’s important to get outside more often. Air pollution is more concentrated in cities, so air quality is better in the suburbs or country. Breathing cleaner air keeps your lungs pumping for a longer life.

Lower Stress- Stress is a major factor, which impacts our health. Stress impairs the immune system, leaving the body susceptible to diminished health. Stress can arise in any area of our lives, i.e. Job, money, relationship, economy, etc. Stress can cause feelings of hopelessness, depression, or negative thoughts, which ultimately deteriorate your mood and behavior. It is important to change negative thoughts and bad moods by shifting ones energy. By looking at a situation from a different perspective or letting go of things you can’t change you can circumvent stress. Talking to a close friend can lift your stress. Surrounding yourself with a supportive group of friends that accept you and understand you is vital to your social well being.

Job unhappiness is a major stressor taking place in society today. With the inability to find jobs, people are accepting positions without determining whether it would be a job they would enjoy or excel at. Because we spend most of our time at our jobs it’s important to like what you do rather than do a job you hate with people you don’t like. Job satisfaction plays an important role in our mental well being.

Expressing love freely also is a great stress reducer. Love reduces stress hormones in the in the body which strengthens the immune system. Showing love, appreciation, and gratitude to your spouse, partner, friends and family, will bring you closer and diminish stress in your life. When you love it makes you happy, and happy people live longer and healthier.

Ultimately achieving better health is about making better choices throughout your life. Every choice we make in our lives has as future outcome. Making bad choices or choices for the wrong reasons can result in an outcome we don’t expect, leaving us angry or blameful. That’s why it’s important to feel good about your decisions no matter what the outcome. Choose healthy foods, exercise, clean water and air, good friends and an enjoyable job to eventually improve your health and live a longer life

The Best Ways to Attain Better Health

Due to increased obesity, lifestyle illnesses and stress in today’s society, many people are turning towards better health, to live longer, healthier lives. Your overall health includes all aspects of mental, social and physical health. Choosing better health doesn’t just mean eating healthier, or getting active, it also means getting enough sleep, avoiding drugs and smoking cigarettes, limiting alcohol intake, managing stress and keeping your brain active. It’s easy to improve upon specific areas of health such as diet and fitness but if you really want better health you should try to improve upon all areas of your lifestyle.

Get Fit
Exercise is important part of any lifestyle. To have better health you should do some type of physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day. Any type of exercise is good but for those who don’t like exercise other types of daily activities includes walking your dog, chores around the house such as cleaning, gardening, dancing, etc. Anything that gets your body moving, you blood pumping and can work up a sweat can be considered adequate exercise.

Eat Healthy
Putting the most nutritious foods in your body is the best way to keep optimal health. Fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats will keep your body and brain functioning optimally. Choose fresh sources of foods whenever possible and try to avoid processed foods and added sugars.

Get Enough Sleep
It is said that everyone needs 8 hours of sleep each and every night to regenerate and rejuvenate the body and mind. Sleep is an important part of one’s health therefore you need to get enough sleep to achieve better health.

Manage Stress
It’s hard not to have stress in your life these days but it’s important to learn how to manage it rather than to let it takeover. If you don’t learn how to manage your stress it can cause anxiety, depression, anger, or even turn into physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea and fatigue. Find time to relax or choose activities to release tension and relieve stress such as yoga or meditation, deep breathing. Managing ones stress is needed to obtain better health.

Avoid Drugs, Quit Smoking, Limit Alcohol
Alcohol, drugs and cigarettes are all harmful to the body and brain. If you really want better health then kick the habit. Throw out your cigarettes, dump your alcohol and avoid drugs including prescription drugs (consult our physician before stopping any medications). Your body will thank you and will live a happier, healthier life for it.

Stay Sharp
Your brain just like your body needs to stay active to stay sharp and strong. To do this you need to stimulate it on a daily basis. Any type of challenging stimulus is good for your brain, for example puzzles, crosswords, brain teasers, or even learning a new language. This will keep your brain as young as your body is fit.

The key to better health is keeping all aspects of your social, mental and physical health active. To live a healthier, happier, longer life you need to make changes to your current lifestyle and you will achieve overall better health.

Juicing Tips for Better Health

If better health is at the forefront of your mind, then you may want to consider juicing as an addition to your daily mealtime regimen. Juicing can be a way to get more fruits and vegetables into your body without having to spend time cooking them in the kitchen.

People become juicers for many reasons. Some like to use a juicing fast to cleanse their system and launch a better health diet. Others use juicing as a way to shed pounds. Many people just use juicers to start implementing better foods into their diets.

Juicing even helps you maintain the great tasting qualities of your fruits and vegetables, without you having to add sugars or fattening additions to the food to make it edible to your tastebuds.

The process also saves you money, because buying pre-made juice is often very expensive. And you can make a meal off of a juice mixture!

Picking the Right Juicer

Before you can start juicing, you have to have a machine to do the work for you. There are manual, cheap plastic versions you can buy, but it’s highly recommended that you invest a little more into your options, because those will take you forever to get a small trickle of juice into your cup.

Juicers typically come in three main versions. There are manual juicers, like the one I described above that require a lot of work and arm strength in some cases, not to mention ample amount of time to extract the juice from your fruits and vegetables.

Some of the manual juicers are very lightweight, so you can’t put too much pressure on them. This means you won’t get to create larger batches of juice – you’ll have to stick to small quantities.

Instead of a manual juicer, you can consider buying a masticating or centrifugal juicer. Masticating juicers actually chew up the pulp, making it easier to extract the juice from the fruit or vegetables.

These are single gear juicers, and they work slowly. Some people enjoy the slow juice creation because whenever speed is involved, it means heat is typically a factor – and heat destroys some of the nutrients found in the fruits and vegetables.

The masticating juicers are quieter than the centrifugal juicers, due to their low speed, but many people prefer the centrifugal juicer to the other options. These juicers shred the fruits or vegetables and then spin and strain it, so you get more juice and less pulp.

These are high-speed machines, so the noise level might be a bit higher. However, the speed is faster, so the process is complete in less time, making noise less of an issue. If you get one of these machines, you’ll remove the pulp periodically if you’re making large batches of juice to store for future consumption.

Each type of juicer will have different results when it comes to the volume of juice it can put out. On average, juicers can turn one pound of fruits or vegetables into a standard, 8-ounce cup of juice, but this depends on the product you pick and the power of the juicer, too.

Choosing Perfect Juicing Foods

If you want to feel better and take better care of your body, then your juicing foods should be tailored toward that goal, because some foods are better for you (even in juice form) than others are.

You’ll need to look at your own health requirements and decide which recipes to use for your juicing. For instance, you might be diabetic and need to lower your intake of sugar. Or you might be anemic and need a raise in your iron levels.

For basic health, always think green. Look for foods that are in the vegetable family over the fruit family because you’ll get more health benefits for your body. Fruit has a lot of nature’s own blend of sugar and it can pack a health punch by raising your glucose rapidly.

But keep in mind that just because a food is a vegetable, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have some sugar in it and some vegetables do contain more sugar despite the fact that they’re good for you.

Even though they contain beta-carotene that helps lower cancer risks, carrots are an example of vegetables that have a higher sugar count than other vegetables, such as cucumbers.

While green vegetables are very good for you, their juice can be difficult to swallow if you’re new to juicing. You’re going to want good recipes for these and then start slowly introducing them to your juicing routine.

You might have read that the minute you make any juice at home, you should go ahead and drink it. The reason behind this advice is because when fruits and vegetables are cut, they start to lose some of the nutritional punch that they pack.

Since the whole purpose behind juicing is a healthier way of eating for your body, you want to take full advantage of everything that these foods offer you, so enjoy them right after you finish juicing them whenever possible.

Because juicing requires time (and because that’s not a commodity you might have a lot of), you want to take steps to eliminate any part of the process that’s a time drain. Waiting until the last minute to gather your foods, get it sliced and diced and then juice it can take more time than you want it to take.

If you have to get up early and get your day going, the last thing you want to do is stand sleepy eyed in the kitchen chopping up food. To cut out this step, get everything ready before you need it. Scrub any residue from the soil from your vegetables, wash your fruit and get out the cutting board. Dice the foods up and it’ll be handy when you’re ready to go.

Remember that if you’re planning to use certain fruits like apples, they might turn brown if they’re cut and you don’t use them the minute you cut them up. They’re still okay to use, they’re just not as visually appealing.

Using your juicer for homemade juice is a nice treat, but unlike the less healthy store bought kind, you might end up with pulp in your glass. That’s not a problem unless you absolutely can’t stand to have pulp in your juice.

Pulp is actually good for you, but if you don’t like it, you don’t have to put up with having it in your glass. You can use a mesh strainer – but if your juicer has made the pulp fine, some of it’s still going to get through.

To make sure that the pulp is cut completely out, some people take an extra step of using a cloth material just for straining that catches every little bit of the pulp. This might be a good idea if you have kids who are picky about pulp and complain if the texture isn’t just right. And the softer your choice in fruits and vegetables, the thicker the juice will be.

Fruits make great tasting juice and you can experiment on your own to create a blend of fruit juices to delight your tastebuds. Plus, many fruits offer additional health benefits by giving you antioxidants.

Look for fruits that are berries like strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. Also use cherries, apples and plums to give your body that additional health boost.

Finding Delicious Juicing Recipes

Everything that grows doesn’t belong in a juicer. It might seem like a good idea at the time, but will end up tasting horrid. Juicing isn’t the time to unleash your inner food artist if you aren’t familiar with what foods will taste good together.

You can buy a juicer recipe book (highly recommended) but you can also use the trial and error method. You’ll know what tastes good and which mixtures are mistakes. But since mistakes can be costly, use the following tips to create delicious tasting concoctions.

If you don’t like apples, then juicing isn’t suddenly the time to decide that you’ll like them in a juice. You want to start out by sticking with what you already know that you like. You can broaden your juicing horizons later.

And if you know you want the health benefits of apples, then you might try working it into a recipe where another fruit or vegetable taste overpowers it. So you still get the health rewards, without having to drink what tastes like straight apple juice.

If you’re going to make vegetable juices, leave off the more potent tasting ones until you’re prepared for the stronger flavor. Remember that you can mix your vegetables in the juicer with ice cubes, water and a small slice of fruit to give it a better taste.

We all have a tendency to be creatures of habit. We do this even when we’re trying to eat healthier – we’ll just keep on choosing the same healthy foods we’ve always eaten, but that can keep you locked on a certain food source and you’ll miss the wonder of trying new combinations if you juice with the same foods you’ve always used.

Don’t be afraid to make subtle changes. Many recipes advocate sticking with straight vegetable juice or straight fruit juice, but if you do that, you’ll miss out on some tasty concoctions.

Adding a little bit of water can help lessen the strength and thickness of fruits that are too thick as a juice for you to enjoy swallowing. If you do add water, measure it carefully so that you don’t overdo it.

Whatever recipe you use, keep in mind that there is what’s known as a “half rule.” For every pound of raw vegetables that you use, you’re only going to get about half of that in juice value.

Storing Your Juice Concoctions

For the best nutrients and the best taste, use whatever you create in the juicer right away. But considering how busy people are, quick consumption is not always an ideal solution. So if you can’t always drink the juice immediately, you should know a few tips on how to keep the liquid in a container that locks in freshness and as many health benefits as possible.

Foods change because of the process known as oxidizing. When enzymes in foods mix with oxygen, they turn brown. You can alter this process by storing the foods you’ve cut or chopped in water. This cuts off the full access to oxygen supply the foods would get out of the water.

Once the juice is made, keep it as fresh as possible by putting it into a container that you can’t see light through. This will prevent the juice from acquiring any exposure damage that it would get in a clear container.

For the best possible storage for your juice, keep it in something made of glass. One of the handiest solutions is to use brown tinted canning jars. Glass is much better than plastic for storing juices. If you need to, use tin foil or another dark paper to wrap the glass container in to keep out light.

Containers that let air in are bad news for storing juices so choose containers that keep the air out.

You can keep juices with a higher acidic level longer than juices with a lower acid count, but you shouldn’t go longer than a day and not use up the juice that you’ve made.

Cleaning and Caring for Your Juicer

Like any kitchen appliance, taking proper care of your juicer will help ensure that your machine creates great tasting juices and lasts a long time. The best juicers can be expensive, and you want to lengthen the longevity of your appliance.

Always read the instruction manual if this is the first time you’ve cleaned your juicer, since there’s a lot of variety among the different brands and models. Some require more work than others.

For optimal performance, you want to clean your juicer each time that you use it. This isn’t the kind of appliance you can get lazy with, because juice in general is a sticky mess if left out to harden.

The first step is to get all of the pulp out. If your juicer has a built in pulp container, you can clean that out, but you want to make sure that you check for pulp that may have escaped the container.

Take apart the removable parts and run them under water to rinse them free of any food debris. You can put the dishwasher safe pieces in the top of the dishwasher if you don’t want to hand wash them, but if you do, double check after the dishwasher cycle is complete to make sure it cleaned all of the crevices.

Gently wipe down any electric or motor parts to get rid of any residue or splash, but don’t expose these by submerging them in water.

Clean the blades with a soft brush to make sure that nothing is compromising the blades, but take caution when doing this step because it can be easy to cut your fingers if you’re not careful. Don’t put the pieces of this appliance together if any of them are wet or damp. Once you’ve done all these steps, your juicer is ready to use again!