OK, so you’ve probably noticed if you have been following me on facebook or instagram (@theshrinkinghubby) that I have turned into a bit of a juice-o-ho-lic! And since I have started daily juicing (it’s been over 5 weeks at the time of writing) and raving about how fantastic it has been making me feel (inside and out), I have had so many people asking me to write about juicing – i.e. how to get started and most importantly what to juice, so this post is dedicated to all of you!
So I hear you ask why juice?
Firstly, we all know (and if you didn’t you do now!) that we are supposed to be eating (AT LEAST) 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit per day. (That’s about 5 cups of raw veggies). I am generally quite good at getting that into my day to day diet – but then again I’ve been eating this way for a really long time so I am used to throwing extra veggies into each meal (yes even breakfast!). I just want to clarify that I do not juice to try and get my daily quota into one glass per day, my daily juice is a supplement to my daily fruit and veg intake. Having said that, if you know you are getting all that fruit and veg into your daily juice, you know that you are already well on the road to consuming an adequate amount of fresh produce.
It is also worth mentioning at this point however that no matter how wonderfully full of good stuff a juice is, you are still consuming calories, so if you are thinking of adding a daily juice to your diet perhaps you could consider replacing a snack or reducing a meal size to counter-balance this (or increasing your exercise).
There is some criticism about how juicing deprives your body of the essential fibre of fruit and vegetables, however as I said above, if you are eating your 2 and 5 serves a day, and treating a juice as a supplement to this, you are just giving your body a bonus of essential nutrients, and trust me, it will thank you for it!
The reason that juicing makes you feel so fantastic is that by juicing you are giving your body the nutrients without making it work to extract them from the produce. This is why you will feel an almost immediate energy kick after drinking a juice, as your body can get to work delivering all those wonderful vitamins, minerals and antioxidants throughout your body – in my opinion simply incomparable to a vitamin supplement.
Also, if you look at the volume of produce that goes into a glass of juice, you can understand that it simply wouldn’t be possible to consume that quantity by eating or blending in a smoothie – plus what you are getting in your glass is the highest concentration of nutritients. Don’t get me wrong – smoothies are a great meal option and can be a nutritonally complete meal too – however that is for another blog post …
What to put into your juice?
I always like to start with a base of green apple, lemon and kale (the leaves not the stalks). Then you can get creative with your other veggies. I like to use (and I mix and match according to whatever I have on hand) carrots, beetroot, broccoli, parsley, ginger (careful as juiced ginger can get a little spicy), cucumber, celery, spinach, zucchini etc etc. It’s good to mix and match as different fruits and veggies have different nutrients
If you can get your hands on it – juiced turmeric root is a great all round anti bacterial and immunity buster.
- Always juice the leafy greens which don’t hold as much liquid (e.g. kale, spinach, broccoli, ginger) before the juicier fruits/veggies (e.g. apple, lemon, cucumber). That way the juicier produce will flush out the nutrients of the less juicy produce through your juicer. Kale in particular will not create much juice, but you will see from the dark green colour that it is highly nutritious and full of chlorophyll which is a great detoxifier, blood cleanser and energy converter. You don’t want to leave all of that dark green goodness in your machine!
- Keep your juicer handy – if you keep it on the top shelf out of view I promise you will be less likely to be motivated to use it. Most people I speak to have a juicer but never use it because it is tucked away somewhere inconveniently. My juicer sits on the kitchen bench and washing it up has become as routine as brushing my teeth.
- Plan ahead – have some glass jars washed, sterilised and ready to use. (A run through the dishwasher will sterilise your jars – then just make sure they dry before you use them. Jars are a great way to store and cart your juice around (and you’re more likely to drink a juice if you have thrown one into your bag that morning!)
- Make in bulk – I usually juice about 4-5 jars at a time. It’s not ideal to drink it after a couple of days, but it’s better than nothing!
- If you can – always try and use organic ingredients. Give your body the full benefit of pesticide free produce – it doesn’t need to deal with the chemicals when you are trying to detoxify!
- If you feel like you are are fighting a cold, add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to your glass of juice and mix it well, or for an extra metabolism kick in the morning a pinch of cayenne pepper is extremely invigorating (but not for the faint hearted!!!).
If you want to see how juicing can turn lives around I highly recommend watching Joe Cross’s documentary ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’, in which he documents his own journey from ill health to good health by undertaking a 60 day juice fast (yep juice only for 60 days). The results were astounding and he continues to travel around the world showing people the benefits of regular juicing and juice fasting and the impact he makes on so many people is really astounding. I’m not saying that we should all give up food for 60 days, however this documentary provides a really good insight into the nutritional benefits of juicing (and eating enough fruit and vegetables.)
I hope that this had been a good introduction to the world of juicing. I am sure that there will be more to come on this site as I read and learn and experiment and taste more! There is so much to read and learn but the best advice I can give you is to give it a go. Dust off your juicer and try a daily juice for a week or so (buy a juice from a juice bar if you aren’t ready to invest in a juicer). I promise that it will make you feel radiant and amazing!