Bring On the Juice

photo credit: anahelencampbell.com

Have you ever tried juicing? It is a great way to incorporate many nutrients into your diet and besides a little chopping and the clean-up, it's pretty fun and easy.

I want to answer some questions about juicing and then leave you with some recipes to try.

1. Why should I juice?

In our culture, we are very bent on quick and easy. We have been duped into believing 30 minute meals or drive-thru's are our friends. We need live enzymes in our foods. Raw fruits and vegetables are the only way to get these life-giving enzymes. Juicing is just a great way to get them in your system. Raw vegetables are also shown to lower the ph levels in our bodies. Diets high in sugar, processed foods, meat and dairy products often lead to acidic blood (higher ph), according to Dr. Alejandro Junger, author of the book Clean. Raw foods are very alkalizing and are shown to lower the body's ph.

2. Why should I juice over just eating the fruit/vegetable in it's natural state?

Digestion is one of the most energy-involved processes in the body. It starts once the food enters the mouth and doesn't end until it reaches the toilet (sorry for the visual)... about 18 hours later. When you juice, you are giving your body a break from this labor-intensive workout in essence. The juice is absorbed very quickly and the nutrients go immediately where the body needs them.

3. When is the best time to juice?

To me, it doesn't really matter. If you are doing a fast you will be replacing your meals with it. If you are juicing to help add more fruits/vegetables into your diet, make sure to do it alongside a healthy meal. If you use a lot of high sugar fruits and/or vegetables like apples, carrots, oranges, melons, etc. in your juice without a meal, it will spike your insulin levels and the sugars will go to your small intestines and be stored as fat. BAD.

4. Drinking juices from vegetables sounds really gross, right?

Well, it can be... that's why you add the things you like first then experiment. If you don't like kale, don't start with it. I love carrots, gala apples, English cucumber, celery, red grapes and oranges. So that's what I juiced with first. Also, as a rule of thumb, the green vegetables should only make up 1/4 of your juice. Beyond that and the taste may be bitter.

6. Which fruits/vegetables are best to juice?

Go for color. Orange, red, dark green ~ brightly colored foods come to mind and are abundant in phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are nutrients that protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals. These chemicals have been shown to help prevent diseases that are associated with cancer and heart disease. Also, if you want the maximum nutrients, go for organic (less pesticide content) and opt for in-season fruits and vegetables.

5. Can I store the juice for later?

Yes, but you need to do it properly. Use a glass canning container with a lid. Fill the juice to the top so there's not much air. Secure the lid and store in the fridge for only 24 hours. After that the juice will begin to oxidize like apples or avocados do when left out. You may add a couple drops of lemon juice to it as well.

As far as recipes go, go with the fruits and vegetables you like first. Make sure you are not making them with ingredients that are too high in sugar (here's a list of the sugar content/calories in fruits).

Juice Recipe #1 (my favorite)
2 apples (with skin on)
2 carrots
1/4 English cucumber
1 orange

Juice Recipe #2
3-4 carrots
equal amount of celery (with stems on)
1/2 red bell pepper

Juice Recipe #3
1 apple
2 carrots
1 small beet (peeled)
1/2 lemon

Juice Recipe #4 ~ Mean Green Juice Recipe *

4 stalks of celery
1 cucumber (peel off skin)
1 ginger root (thumb size – peel off skin)
1/2 lemon (skins off)
2 green apples
6 kale leaves

Juice Recipe #5 ~ Kidney Tonic **
1 cucumber (peeled)
1 small handful parsley
1 celery stalk
1/4 lemon
1/2 inch gingerroot

The internet is a great place to scour for more juicing recipes. Here are some sites with additional juicing recipes...

Happy Healthy Life


I Am Well Now!

Reboot Your Life

* recipe taken from Joe Cross's documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.

** recipe taken from the book, Juicing, Fasting, and Detoxing for Life by Cherie Calbom

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