Juicing Julia pours her youth tonic

By: Angela Becnel - Staff Writer
Health Works Fitness Center at 157 Odd Fellows Road is owned by Julia Guidry Leonards. She features fresh squeezed veggie juice for the members as well as her walk in visitors.

“The Godfather of Fitness”, fitness guru Jack LaLanne was admittedly addicted to sugar and junk food when was a youth and as he got older he started eating healthier and exercising. In fact, his fitness show, the Jack LaLanne Show started in 1951, long before the fitness rage of today. He invented a strength machine which is still used in health clubs today. There are over 80 clubs in America with his name associated. There are numerous books, videos and nutrtion products that have his trademark. Jack LaLanne practiced what he preached, working out two hours a day with 90 minutes of weight training and 30 minutes of lap swimming. At one point, he even swam from Alcatraz to San Fransisco pulling several boats with several people in each. Most recently he was known for the expert marketing of his power juicer. To honor the life and death of Jack LaLanne, America’s original “health nut”, the following information can help a person to understand how easy it is to “juice”.

“One of the most evident benefits of juicing is a clear, sparkly complexion.” Julia Leonards drinks 20 ounces of carrot/apple juice every day. “And the end result, the pulp, can even be used for mulch for the garden.”

Juicing is not only healthy, but quick to make. There are so many benefits to juicing. There are no preservatives, no added sugar and no artificial coloring or flavoring.

Apples offer sources of fiber and Lutien. Pectin helps to maintain regularity and digestive function. Apples are a healthy and safe part of a weight loss program. As a fat free and no cholesterol food, apples also benefit the heart.

Carrots provide vitamins A, C, K and the minerals folate, potassium, phosphorous, beta carotene, alpha carotene, beta cryptoxanthin, lycopene and lutien. Carrots keep eyes healthy, boost the immune system and aid the digestive and nervous system. Additionally, carrots support healthy skin, bones, teeth, gums, heart and blood vessels. Carrots also minimize neural birth defects, allows the body to absorb iron and improves energy.

“Juicing is also known to provide excellent prenatal health” sites Julia. “ Additionally, it balances the hormone ratio of estrogen and progesterone.”

“You will use three parts carrots, and one part apple.” In terms of recipes, Julia definitely recommends using California carrots, as opposed to Mexican carrots which tend to be more bitter and less sweet. “Washington state apples, extra fancy or super delicious are the best.” Julia was raised by a father who was in the produce business in Arnaudville. “ Granny Smith and red delicious apples are good too.” But she warns, “No mealy (mushy) vegetables for juicing.”

“If you invest in good health, buy a juicer and then listen to the advise of a professional,” advises Julia. “For example, in preparing carrots, cut of the tips at each end, and avoid pealing. Throw the whole thing in your juicer.”

“Also, the harder, firmer the apple, the more juice you get.” Julia provides the Jack Lalanne Power Juicer Pro and the Power Juicer Express for sale. She prefers these models in stainless steel or black over the white edition, which gets stained. She chooses to use these models at her juice bar because she has had one for three years, she juices three gallons a day, and it never breaks. “I can juice up to 100 ounces before taking it apart to start over,. Because most people cannot make veggie juice everyday, carrot/apple juice is good refrigerated for up to three days.”

Although assembly is easy because there are only three items to clean. The difference between a blender and a juicer is a juicer separates the pulp from the fruit and a blender mixes everything.

“A juicer actually takes the juice out of the fruit.” Julia explained. “ A blender blends.”

Allow the juicer to run 5 to 10 seconds before inserting fruits and vegetables and don’t force food through. Instead allow food to pass through slowly using the “pusher” apparatus. Use the side container of pulp for soups, baking and desserts.

Julia’s Juice sells for $5 for a 12 ounce, and $7 for a 16 ounce size. She gets her high quality ingredients from her brother, noting that her carrot juice is best when made only from Kevin’s carrots. Julia is referring to the Original Kevin Guidry Produce Market in Lafayette, known for the best produce.

One of Julia’s favorite “secret recipes” is one half part cranberries, one half part honey crisp apple and a splash of champagne.

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