In Gratitude to Orange Juice

Oranges and Kiwi FruitsI love Orange Juice and it has been a big part of my diet for almost three years. I attribute a good deal of my health and the improvement of my eating habits to the simple practice of drinking Orange Juice every day.

It all began with a gift from my friend Rupa, who gave me an electric orange reamer. The reamer has a straining basket to catch the pulp, but I enjoy throwing the pulp back in (except for those pithy white stems from the middle of the orange). It seems more like eating the whole orange. I try to drink it slowly, and chew the pulp a bit before swallowing the juice.

Each morning I drink water as soon as I arise, wait an hour or two until I’m hungry, and drink 40 oz. or more of fresh-squeezed, unpasteurized, organic orange juice. There were a few days I tried using oranges in a second meal, but I found a single citrus meal each day to be the best for me.

I used to occasionally go to Jamba Juice when in a hurry. But as I started drinking larger quantities, I would occasionally get headaches from drinking their juice. I suppose there were a few reasons for this:

  • they don’t use a reamer like I do, so some of the skin of the orange is getting into the juice and I understand the skin contains toxic substances (to protect the orange from insects and birds)
  • their oranges are not organic
  • their juice doesn’t have as much pulp in it, so I imagine the sugar uptake to be quicker
  • I was in a hurry and driving my car (my digestion is typically better when I only sit and eat and do nothing else)

Since I’m drinking so much, I tend to draw out my breakfast over 20 - 30 minutes. After each glass of OJ. I wait a little bit, trying to listen to how I feel, before I get another glass.

When you are in the mood to have a little variety in your OJ meal you can cut a couple of pomegranates in half and ream them just like the oranges into the rest of the juice (throw out the seeds). It gives a little different color and flavor to the juice. Or, blend a bit of nectarine or mango into your juice. I’ve also found that I can eat nectarines or mangos about 10-20 minutes after drinking the juice and they seem to combine well. Another favorite combination is dicing up kiwi fruit or strawberries in very small chunks and adding it to each glass. It makes for some enjoyable, chewy texture. The added kiwi fruit is a favorite of my son, Michael.

Orange juice can be left out on the counter all day. Other folks in the family drink it in quantity too, and it seems everyone would rather have it at room temperature than cold from the fridge. Nevertheless, if you know you are preparing OJ for tomorrow, put it in the fridge right away. Left out on the counter all day and then refrigerated overnight it doesn’t taste as good.

I used to need my OJ right away in the morning, but as I become better nourished, I find that I can wait longer and longer before drinking it. Occasionally I wait until noon, run several miles and then drink, and it’s a pretty phenomenal feeling.

The 80/10/10 DietAs I transitioned to the 80/10/10 Diet, I had days where I binged on cooked food. I found that when I felt bad (clogged up, icky) the next morning, an all orange juice day was a nice idea. I would fast as long as I could in the morning, then drink only OJ all day as I got hungry. Sometimes I felt like eating a lot of greens later in the day on those days (or even bananas), so I would go ahead and not be too strict with myself. The effect of an OJ day is very cleansing, but I never needed to extend it beyond a day. The next day I usually feel more like myself again.

An electric orange reamer can be had cheaply, for less than $20. These days we juice so many oranges, that I splurged on a bigger, more sturdy model that cost $80. It was well worth it.

That surely cannot be all the secrets oranges have to offer. What are your experiences?

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