Leisa Wheeler, naturopath, health and healing mentor, and fatigue specialist, is the founder and director of Embracing Health, a business dedicated to bringing you health information that can change your life.
Leisa’s passions include many areas of health – from food as medicine and nutrition, to physical fitness and detoxification; from emotional release work to spiritual healing; these varied interests shaping her belief in the value of integrated healing on all levels; physical, emotional and spiritual.
I love juicing. Fresh juices are my favourite things to drink, and every single day I have about a litre of fresh juice – combinations such as beetroot, celery, lemon, apple and ginger or cucumber, mint, pineapple, kale and lemon. Although juices are best when they are made and consumed straight away, I will often juice of an evening and quickly put the juice into airtight glass bottle, and put them straight into the fridge. Whatever loss of nutrients occurs overnight is not something I am concerned about – the benefits of the massive amounts of nutrition still in the juice is what I am after. And if comes to juicing of an evening and storing overnight – or not juicing at all – storing overnight wins every time!
When I was studying to be a naturopath many years ago, one thing that really bothered me during the course was the very poor level of education on food as medicine. The course structure gave a nod to food as medicine and from memory there was one semester of this subject, but it was so poorly presented that the students made a lot of complaints and that teacher was sacked after a few lessons. We then had a replacement one who was not much better. I was horrified. Having studied different aspects of naturopathy for many years prior to gaining my formal qualifications, I was incredibly enthused about the topic of food as medicine – I couldn’t wait to delve in deeper, to be guided by experienced naturopaths who had used these tools in their clinic and fine tuned the application of food in the process of healing. Boy was I disappointed. Like a lot of the curriculum, this topic was regulated by government guidelines and although we learned quite a lot of detail about nutrition (macro and micronutrients) we really did very little on food as medicine.
What we did study quite in depth though, was supplements. Each supplement company gave out their product list and we spent many a lecture comparing the amount of magnesium in one product to another. So that we could best prescribe supplements to our patients when we were in practice. For me, this was not what I went into naturopathy for. I knew that food as medicine provided the foundation for health, and that cannot be found in a vitamin pill. Supplements do have their place and I do use them often, however they are not used in the place of wholefood as found in nature. They are short term to correct a deficiency, provide specific nutrients for healing a specific condition, or supplying herbal medicine to a patient who is ill. They are not meant as a day to day ‘quick-fix’ in place of food.
This is where juicing comes into its own. Healing comes down to providing the elements that the body needs to heal and repair itself. In a multitude of cases, chronic disease can be linked to two main areas – toxicity and malnutrition. People often do not have the elements they needs in the quantities required to be able to combat illness. Juice, being a concentrated form of abundant nutrition is a simple, easy and delicious way to provide your body with healing vitamins, minerals, enzymes, chlorophyll, phytonutrients and the pure hydration needed by the body to start the healing process. Committing to having juice every day is giving your body a powerhouse of nutrition. In a world where digestive issues are a major complaint, juicing allows instant nutrition to be absorbed, even in a compromised digestive system. There are thousands of nutrients in wholefoods, yet only a small selection in a vitamin pill. The best vitamin you could have, is fresh, organic juice, consumed daily.
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