I've been juicing off and on for a while now, but most recently I figured it was time for me to get serious and really incorporate it into my everyday diet. Cutting out meat cold turkey *no pun intended* was hard as hell, and juicing made me feel as if I was still capable of making important steps to bettering my diet, even if I couldn't fully commit to a completely vegetarian diet just yet.
Slowly but surely, I became a frequent juicer. I started to juice once a day, every morning. A change that produces a positive effect is never immediate, and this is something that took patience.
After a full month of juicing daily every morning, I noticed obvious differences in the way I looked, in the way I felt, and in the way I moved through the world. I wasn't tired in the mornings, my skin looked brighter, the dark circles underneath my eyes started to fade, and my energy level changed from that of an 85-year-old slug to that of a 16-year-old gymnast. OK, maybe it wasn't that extreme but one thing's for certain is that I felt a definite energy boost in the mornings and throughout the remainder of the day.
I particularly noticed that juicing helped with my digestion. Spicy foods or dairy would usually cause me to have gas pains that probably rivaled labor pains. After juicing for a month, I noticed that when I ate those foods, my stomach didn't react as it usually would. I was beyond thankful. Above all else, the most important change was the feeling of inspiration.
I was able to stick to something that I was passionate about and determined to achieve. Not only did I cut out all procrastination in regards to sticking to my juicing schedule, but any other daily goal that I wanted to achieve, I made sure I got it done.
Incorporating juicing into my diet helped me with an overall positive lifestyle change, and made me realize that slow progress is still progress. Through trial and error, I paid close attention to what didn't work for me, and most importantly, what did work. As a result, I compiled a list of 6 tips to keep in mind when incorporating juicing into your diet.
6 Things To Consider When Adding Juicing To Your Diet
Invest in a Juicer
I spent a lot of time searching the web for the best juicer, and mistakenly almost bought a blender instead of a juicer. It's important to be careful to not get a juicer and blender confused. A juicer separates the fiber from the rest of the fruit or vegetable. A blender processes the whole fruit or vegetable, including the fiber, which will take your body much longer to digest. With blending, you still get all the nutrients eventually, but you receive the nutrients immediately when juicing.
It took me forever and a day to find the perfect juicer. Something simple yet efficient so that I wouldn't have to spend hours in the kitchen trying to figure out where the power button was. If you're anything like me and everyday you plan to wake up early, eat a good breakfast, and give yourself extra time to relax before work...but by the time morning rolls around, you're over it and instead, hit the snooze button on your alarm 50 million times, a centrifugal juicer should be your go-to juicer.
These juicers are quick and easy to use. They have a wide mouth feed for you to throw your vegetables and fruits in without having to chop them up. This allowed me to stick with my regular morning routine of snoozing the alarm, jumping out of the bed like a mad woman, scrambling to get ready for work, and dashing out the door with three minutes to spare, all while having time to juice.
If you're looking for a great place to start when shopping for the perfect juicer, start here.
Figure Out What You Want to Juice
When I first started juicing, I got something I like to call “juice happy." I was throwing all kinds of fruits and veggies into my juicer at once and my juices would come out very…uh, disgusting. I juiced pears knowing damn well I hated even eating whole pears, so why did I think I would like pear juice?
My suggestion for all juicing beginners is to start with the fruits and vegetables that you already enjoy eating. Juice one particular fruit or veggie at a time, such as a basic carrot juice or a beet juice. After starting with the basics, you can start to switch it up and began mixing your favorite fruits or veggies to make one juice. I noticed when I first started drinking my veggies and fruits, the taste wasn't as palatable as it would be if I simply ate the fruit or veggie whole.
This is definitely something that you will have to get used to, but the health benefits are well worth it. I realized that if you already enjoy eating a particular food while it's whole, you will more than likely enjoy it when it's juiced, but just don't go throwing any and everything into the blender and expecting it to taste magnificent.
Get a Routine Started
When do you have the most free time? Is it right when you wake up, midday, or late at night? Whatever the answer is, this would be the best time for you to juice. Personally, I like to juice early in the am (because I am even lazier after getting home from work, than when I'm headed to work), right before having my first meal of the day, as a fresh juice in the morning on an empty stomach helps your body to absorb the most nutrients. Whichever time works best for you, try to stick to the same routine.
Being able to juice around the same time everyday can be an easy way to always fit juicing into your schedule. Once I got into the habit of having the same routine everyday, it became second nature to me and before I knew it I was juicing without missing any days.
Drink Your Juice Before Oxidation
Juices are exposed to light and air shortly after being extracted from the fruit or vegetable. This makes it difficult to keep juices for a long period of time, therefore drinking your juice immediately after juicing is ideal.
After juicing apples for the first time, I noticed that the longer it took for me to drink it, the browner my juice became. This was due to it being exposed to air for too long, which led to the oxygen in the air reacting with compounds in the apple, especially after coming into contact with my high-speed spinning blender. Although the color turned brown shortly after, it was still okay to drink. Had I left my juice sitting out for a few hours, I wouldn't have gotten the same amount of nutrients, vitamins, enzymes, or minerals.
Pay Attention to How Your Body Responds Each Time You Juice
My number one rule when juicing is that it should never make you feel sick or bloated. Any feelings of nausea or stomach pain is an immediate red flag that your body is rejecting whatever it is that you're putting into it.
Immediately after drinking your freshly blended juice, your body should feel light and your stomach shouldn't feel as if you ate a McDonald's #2 with some Mac sauce. If you get the feeling of being tired or weighed down after drinking a juice, take note of what fruit or veggies you used and the next time that you use those same ingredients, pay attention to see if your body reacts the same way.
Trying to start a healthy lifestyle isn't easy, and can come with many bumps in the road. Stay committed. No matter what. Don't be too hard on yourself if you feel as if it's just too much when first starting. It could definitely be time-consuming, you could start to feel as if you're not doing a good enough job and begin to feel overwhelmed by incorporating this new healthy aspect into your daily routine. But it is very doable.
How many times have you tried to leave that trifling boyfriend or girlfriend and ended up going right back? Think of this as that – you'll finally stick to it one day.
Kiana Cornish is a Brooklyn-bred, born winner. When she's not surfing through corporate America, you can find her somewhere living up to her Virgo traits, stamping up her passport and perfecting her writing craft.
Featured image by Getty Images
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Imma tell y’all what — it seems like not one week goes by when I don’t see some sort of so-called term that has me like, “What in the world?” For instance, when I first stumbled upon “self-partnering,” honestly, I laughed. Then shared it with some other single people as well as married folks I know. And I kid you not, every individual was like, “What the heck does that mean?” When I told them that it was yet, one more way to seemingly define single living, basically everyone’s follow-up was, “Oh, brother.”
Why can’t (more) singles just be single and be okay with that? Good Lord. Why does there need to be some sort of relational play-on-words to make it sound like we’re with someone — even if we’re not?
Now masturdating? Even though it’s not even close to being a “real” word, it’s something that also brought a laugh outta me — although it was then followed by a genuine smile. The laugh because I almost immediately caught the play-on-words. The smile was due to the intention behind it all.
If you’re not familiar with what masturdating is and you’re curious about why you should even care, take a few moments to at least skim through what it’s about and why I think participating, as a single person, is a pretty cool (and effective) concept.
Masturdate: a date w oneself
What’s Masturdating All About?
Masturdating. Okay, so let the word marinate for just a moment. What does it sound like? Yeah…exactly. And since a huge part of masturbation centers around self-pleasure, it’s cool to explore how “self-dating” could produce similar (as far as pleasure is concerned in a broader sense) results. Because masturdating is all about spending quality time with yourself, pampering yourself, treating yourself— and yes, taking yourself out on dates.
Any of you who may think that masturdating is a consolation prize — and a pitiful one at that — for not being able to go out with another human being or get that dream $200 first date that social media was all in a tizzy about last year (bookmark that) — personally, I think that you’re the demographic who needs to try out masturdating first and the most. Why? Off top, I’ll share my three good reasons.
3 Reasons To Strongly Consider Masturdating
1. It’s an intimate way to get to know yourself better. I’ve been working with couples for a pretty long time at this point and if there’s a pattern that I see arise, OFTEN, it’s that two people are oftentimes so busy trying to “find their person” that they didn’t even know who they were. As a direct result, they found themselves in a relationship with someone who only complemented the “kiddie pool version” of who they were.
That’s why it can be so beneficial to spend time getting to know yourself on the “deep end” of things: what makes you tick, what your passions are, what you want most out of life, what are your interests beyond obvious things — and masturdating can help you to discover all of this. Whether it’s traveling alone or taking out a weekend to drink some wine and journal, the more you get to know yourself, the clearer you’ll be about who complements you on a romantic and friendship level.
2. It will definitely help to boost your confidence levels. I guess since I’m an ambivert, I don’t really get why people freak out at the mere thought of going to a restaurant or movie alone. Personally, I think it requires a helluva lot more energy and gumption to wait around and plan stuff with other people (#Elmoshrug). However, whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, there’s no way around the fact that the more comfortable you get with doing things alone, the more your confidence levels will increase — no, soar — because of it.
One article that I read on the topic said that doing things alone can make you more creative, improve your mental health, and help you to be totally okay with being alone (so that you’re not “needy” for other people’s attention). A psychotherapist from a New York Times article on the benefits of spending time alone said, “Getting better at identifying moments when we need solitude to recharge and reflect can help us better handle negative emotions and experiences, like stress and burnout.” And when you’re able to stare negativity in its face without flinching, how could that not make you bolder, more self-secure, and hopeful about your life?
3. It will teach you to value your time more effectively. In every facet of your world, you’re gonna operate from a healthier place if you’re operating from a “full cup” rather than an empty one. When it comes to this topic, think about it — if you’re constantly waiting on someone to call you to go out or wishing for a dream date with some guy, all you’re doing is wasting precious time that you could be spending taking a cooking class or hell, hiring a chef to make you dinner at your own home.
Indeed, waiting has two sides to it: when it’s in the form of patience, it is indeed a virtue, yet when it’s wrapped up in the notion that you’re not really living life unless you have an audience…it is totally working against you. Choose wisely.
10 Solo Date Ideas To Help You To “Master” Masturdating
So, what if you’re someone who has either never considered actually masturdating before or you don’t really know what to do beyond dinner and the movies? Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Attend a workshop or masterclass that you’re interested in. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, sign up for a workshop or masterclass. The cool thing about this option is there are probably some in your city, as well as some that you can find online (like here) that are convenient and affordable.
2. Binge-read at a local coffee shop. Aside from their coziness and oftentimes inviting scents, I once read that a lot of us gravitate to coffee shops because we can be around people without having to actually socialize with them. So, if you want to “hang out” while still being able to enjoy a bit of solitude, take a book that you’ve been trying to finish to a local coffee shop, order your favorite latte, and sit in a big-ass comfy chair. Usually, you can sit there for hours, and the staff will be just fine with it (another bonus).
3. Have a spa day in the next town. You can never go wrong with a spa day. And while going with a friend can be fun, sometimes there’s too much talking transpiring to be able to fully chill out and relax. So, go off of the grid, get a change of scenery, and hit up a spa in the next city (or town). There are lots of studies out here supporting that day trips or “daycations” can actually be really good for your long-term health and well-being.
4. See a community play. Some of the best solo dates that I’ve ever been on consisted of taking in some of the local arts in my city. What’s really cool about this particular option is, oftentimes, they are extremely inexpensive, if not totally free of charge (in exchange for making a donation or putting money into a tip jar).
5. Plan a trip. Whenever people say something along the lines of, “If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed,” I know that they low-key have some (additional) healing to do from past disappointments. There’s simply too much intel out here to support that anticipation (of good stuff) makes us more motivated and optimistic, keeps our dopamine levels up, and makes life more exciting overall.
Since traveling alone is more cost-effective, gives you the freedom to do whatever you want (when you want), and increases the possibility of meeting new people and having new experiences on your journey — why not devote a day this weekend to planning a solo trip? All the way around, it’s good for you.
6. Try your hand at your own “$200 date.” Uh-huh. Roll your eyes if you want to, but it’s real easy to talk left about how a man should be able to just drop $200 like it’s nothing…until you actually try to do it. So yes, while taking yourself out on this type of date could serve as a bit of a reality check, it can also “scratch the itch” of waiting on some dude to do it for you. It’s also way less emotionally draining because, at least when you’re taking your own self out, it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy the company…right?
7. DIY some pampering. When you get a chance, check out “5 Reasons You Should Unapologetically Pamper Yourself,” “Want To Love On Yourself? Try These 10 Things At Home.,” “I’ve Got Some Ways For You To Start Pampering Your Soul,” and “When's The Last Time You Actually Pampered Your Vagina?” The bottom line here is pampering is all about, not mere self-maintenance; it’s all about treating yourself to levels of EXTREME SELF-INDULGENCE. So, if nothing else tickles your fancy on this list, at least consider doing that, chile.
8. Feed your creativity. Something that I used to be really good at is art. That said, one of my goddaughters is insanely talented, so she has reminded me to tap back into it. Also, a big part of what got me into the writing world is poetry; I actually used to be a house poet at a local spot. Sometimes, my best quality time moments with myself have been revisiting these creative sides of me — and this is definitely easier to do (and enjoy) alone.
9. Try some stargazing. When’s the last time you took a blanket into your backyard, laid down on it, and just stared at the stars for hours on end? While some say that stargazing can teach you to be mindful, others say that being in that form of nature reduces stress, while others believe that looking up at the universe at night can increase your attention span. All solid reasons to give it a shot, if you ask me.
10. DO. ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING. Let me tell you something that nobody will ever be able to make me feel bad about: doing absolutely nothing. I’ve got data to back me up. Good Housekeeping shares that doing nothing can help you decide how you want to respond or react to certain things. I like howThe Guardian says that taking this approach helps you to regain control of what you give your attention to.
TIME magazine says that it can ultimately make you more productive.BBC offers up that it can help you tap into your ingenuity.Henry Ford Health says that it can make you kinder and a better problem-solver. So, if you want to invest in yourself, do nothing sometimes.
Closing Thoughts from the Lovely Javicia Leslie
While some of y'all may know Javicia Leslie from being the former Batwoman, I discovered her back in the day from the indie series Chef Julian (and yes, "Julian" was right to say that "Mo" looks like Tatyana Ali...the real ones know). Sometimes I'll hop on her IG to see what she's got going on and this story popped up within a few hours of me penning this...so, I took it as hella confirmation.
TREAT YO SELF. WAIT FOR NO ONE.
WAIT FOR NO ONE. TREAT YO SELF.
RINSE AND REPEAT.
Sooo…what kind of masturdating plans do you have for this coming weekend? While going out with others has its perks, hanging out with yourself has a ton of ‘em too. Enjoy!
No…for real. ENJOY!
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