Juicing is HOT right now. You cannot scroll through Pinterest without seeing pins featuring juice cleanses, recipes or diets. Juicing isn’t a new concept. Jack Lalanne preached the health benefits of juicing for years, and if you’ve seen the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” you know that Joe Cross set out to change, or really, save his life, by kicking the fatty foods to the curb and embarking on a 60-day journey of only drinking juice from fresh vegetables and fruit. But juicing has splashed (yep, pun intended) on to the scene of health trends again, and you may be wanting to give it a try. Allow me to try and push through the surplus of information you will find online and give you the “Cliff Notes” version.
Pros and Cons of Juicing
First pro of juicing – it’s better than eating fast food (bet you knew that one). Some argue that juicing is not that beneficial because it eliminates the fiber from the fruit and vegetables (I will review the arguments in that debate later on in our Juicing Series), but the bottom line is that juicing IS good for you. Should juicing be the only way you are consuming fruits and vegetables? Probably not. The key here is balance. Another pro – it’s delicious! And if you have a problem consuming the recommended amount of fruits and veggies everyday, juicing is a fabulous way to consume more nutrients. My favorite pro of juicing – it’s an easy meal. I often have a juice mid morning and another mid afternoon in place of lunch – but this fits my routine because I work from home.
One con often mentioned when it comes to juicing is the cost of buying enough produce to make what feels like a small amount of juice. The first time you shove a whole bunch of kale down the chute you might be shocked at how little juice comes trickling out. Playing devil’s advocate, I’d argue that the cost of making juice from organic fruits and vegetables is justified if you wouldn’t have otherwise consumed them. Another complaint regarding juicing – the clean-up. I admit that cleaning the juicier can be a tad time consuming, but so is cleaning up the pots and pans from making dinner or any other meal; after a a few times it won’t seem like that much work.
- If you know someone with a juicer, ask if you can borrow it for a few days before you run out and spend $300 on a juicer that will be used once. Using a juicer for a few days will give you an idea whether or not it is something that will fit your lifestyle.
- Purchase only organic, pesticide-free, preferably locally-grown produce for juicing. Since you are consuming the produce raw, you want it to be of the highest quality. (Psst…. I don’t always buy organic produce. DO NOT TELL ANYONE. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t either, but make the effort if you are using the produce for juice.)
- Join a local produce co-op if you decided to get serious with juicing. You will get high quality produce for less than what you would pay in the store. Even better, start growing the produce yourself. Think you don’t have the room? Read Backyard Farming On An Acre (More or Less) or Vertical Vegetable Gardening.
- Make your juice with roughly a 80/20 vegetable to fruit ratio. If your juice is made up mostly of fruits, you are increasing your caloric intake and sugar intake, especially considering how much fruit is required to make a glass or two of juice. You really just need a small amount of fruit to sweeten the vegetables.
- Drink the juice as soon as possible after making it, the nutrients start to break down very quickly. Fresh is best.
- Serve your juices over ice. Kale juice is delicious. You know what is not delicious? Warm kale juice. Chill the glorious green liquid over ice before drinking. You can thank me later.
- Beet juice is … well it is exactly what I imagine human blood to taste like. It’s also the reason that I urge you again to drink juices over ice. Unless you are a vampire. Beet juice is thick and creamy – and not like a milkshake. Not at all like a milkshake. And listen, I’m not trying to get a rise out of Dwight Schrute or any other beet farmer; I love beets – roasted beets, beets in my salad, sauteed beet greens. I just feel obligated to warn you so you don’t end up doing a spit take with warm beet juice in your kitchen. Beets can stain everything a lovely pink color.
- Do your own research on the subject – don’t just read this post. Come back and read the rest of the juicing series, too! AND make sure and read more from legitimate sources (not a company that’s trying to sell you their juicer, or juicing diet plan, etc.).
To help get you started juicing, here are a handful of recipes to take the guesswork out of the combinations.
One of my favorite bloggers, The Londoner, has a gorgeous post on juicing (seriously, tell me you aren’t thirsty after looking at her post) including 3 recipes that are all delicious.
Check back for my comparison reviews of the Ninja Blender versus the Breville Juice Fountain – including the battle of the smoothie vs juice and an overview of the juice cleanse trend with reviews of two made-to-order juice cleanses.
I am not a medical professional, so do not take my opinion to be medical fact.
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