There's a lot of conversation surrounding juicing and whether it is even healthy to do a juice cleanse or detox. I think juicing is wonderful in moderation. Do I do juice cleanses? Yes, I do them a few times a year for 2 to 3 days. I feel recharged and rejuvenated after. Is that all in my head? Quiet possibly. Do I lose weight? Yes, usually about 5 pounds. But when I go back to eating regular food, I gain it all back. I don't do them for weight loss though. And a juice cleanse for weight loss is no different than any other "lose weight fast". A cleanse is not a lifestyle change and quick fixes don't last.
Personally, I like to simply include freshly made juices with my everyday meals. This is a great way to get my vitamins and nutrients straight from the source, especially when life is hectic and I don't eat as well as I should. The problem with juicing is that our stomach absorbs vitamins and nutrients better with the addition of fiber. When you juice (with a juicer), you are essentially removing all the fiber with the pulp. So on a pure juice cleanse/detox, you are simply pissing those beautiful vitamins and nutrients right out. It's true. That's why I like the idea of incorporating juicing into your normal everyday life.
For my blog, unless I specifically say "juice cleanse" or "juice detox", juicing means adding freshly made juices to your everyday life and still eating solid food.
There are many health benefits to juicing. The obvious benefit is all the added vitamins and nutrients you get. But remember, depending on your health needs, there are some vegetables or fruits that can be counterproductive to your health. And most fruits contain a lot of sugar. Remember, its the vitamins and nutrients in their raw form that are the real superstars in fruits and vegetables. They are what you need to focus on. Looking to get a boost of iron, calcium, vitamin A, lutein, magnesium and potassium? Go for a green juice. Feeling a cold coming on and want a jolt of vitamin C? Choose a juice with citrus and ginger. Need to reboot your liver? There's no better way than with beet juice. Listen to your body, know what it needs, and then choose the right blend for you.
So maybe you are interested in adding juicing to your everyday diet, but the cost is holding you back. Do you need to have a juicer to juice? Well, you don't need to but it will make your life a whole lot easier. I own a Breville juicer I bought for $180 on Amazon. There are some juice plans out there that deliver right to your door for a few hundred dollars a week. I felt it was a better investment to just buy a decent juicer and juice myself. Here's a link to mine:
Now how about the cost of all the fruits and vegetables it takes to make a small jar of juice. I'm not going to lie—it does take lot to make a 16 oz bottle of juice. I buy organic when I can, but sometimes it's just not available or feasible. For this week's blog, I went to Whole Foods (aka whole paycheck). The closest WF is about 40 miles away and so I always stock up on my favorite frozen and bulk foods when I go. And my husband still eats a little meat and cheese, so we never get out of there for less than a hundred dollars.
My total bill came to $221.16. Whole paycheck indeed. However, everything I needed to make my four 16-18 oz bottles of juices came to $37.30. More than half of the fruits and vegetables were organic. These four juices are enough for a 2 day juice cleanse. If you were to buy a 8 oz bottle of fresh pressed green juice at WF or a local juice bar, you would spend around $10 each. So you see, if you want to start incorporating juicing into your life, juicing yourself is a financial no-brainer.
Here's what I bought:
To start, always wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly. I do a quick peel of my citrus, ginger, and pineapple with a knife. Everything else goes into the juicer as it is, cores, stems, ends and all.
My Everyday Green juice is perfect for, well, everyday. It's simple and you can find everything at your normal grocery store. All you need is one cucumber, 1 apple (something firm and tart), 1 lemon, an inch of peeled ginger, a bunch of lacinato kale and 3 stalks of celery. I added my carrot tops from one of the other juices as well, since you should never let the tops of your root vegetables go to waste!
Never hurry the process when juicing. Pressing at a slow to moderate speed will extract the most juice from the pulp.
Once you are done juicing, a quick strain through a small sieve is important if you want clearer and less pulply juice.
Beautiful anti-inflammatory, iron, calcium and protein rich everyday green juice.
The Pineapple Mint juice is one of my favorites. Who would have thought this would be a great combination, but it is. I make it a lot in the summer when pineapple is cheap and mint is growing in abundance in my garden.
All you need is one pineapple, a pear and an apple, a cucumber, and a bunch of fresh mint.
It's so refreshing. I've been told it's delicious with a splash of vodka on a warm summer evening, but you didn't hear that from me.
My Royal Red juice is called "royal" because it is made up of purple and red fruits and vegetables. It is a beet, carrot, and kale juice that is jam packed with nutrients.
I actually prefer purple carrots because I have this weird problem with retaining too much carotene—which is high in orange vegetables—and it gives my skin an orange-y look. I also found this bunch of organic red kale that looked so beautiful I had to buy it. All you need for the Royal Red is two beets with their greens, 4 purple carrots (you can use normal ones though), a bunch of red kale, a lemon and 1/2 an apple.
Put it all together and out comes a gloriously vibrant red juice.
Don't put any liquor in this one! It is everything your liver is looking for in a single glass.
The last juice is my new favorite; a Grapefruit Turmeric juice. I love grapefruit. And I cook with turmeric. I have tried drinking turmeric teas—because I know it is so good for me—but find turmeric tea disgusting. So I tried this concoction and am in love.
Two grapefruits and an orange (all peeled), 3 regular carrots, an inch of ginger, half an apple and 1/2 a teaspoon of ground turmeric. I sprinkled my turmeric on my fresh citrus before adding to the juicer and it worked like a charm.
The result is so delicious, you would never know there was all that anti-inflammatory fighting power in it. Real, legitimate studies have found turmeric beneficial for headaches, stomach issues, kidney and liver diseases and for cancer. Drink up!
Now you might be wondering how to store your juices. First off, juices are best used within 3 days. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge. I bought these bottles a year ago when I bought my juicer. You have to buy the silicone sleeves separate, but they are perfect for juicing and taking your juices with you on the go. They are Aquasana 18oz bottles (see the links below) and come in a six pack. We also use them as our everyday filtered water bottles, which cuts down on our water purchases when we get thirsty out and about. If you think about the cost (and waste) of plastic water bottles, these will easily pay for themselves in no time.
So here's what $40 and 2 hours will do for you. I promise you, it's worth it. It takes a little bit of patience and a little bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it, juicing is very easy and affordable.
Let's start a conversation! What are some of your favorite juice blends? I'm happy to try and answer any questions as well!
Time: 2 hours or half an hour each
1 lemon, peeled
1 inch of ginger
1 bunch of lacinato kale
3 celery stalks
1 pineapple, peeled, cored, top removed
1 bunch of fresh mint
2 beets and their greens
4 purple carrots
1 bunch of red kale
1 lemon, peeled
2 grapefruit, peeled
1 orange, peeled
1/2 an apple
1 inch of ginger
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
Prep by washing all your ingredients well. Run, at a moderate speed, through your high powered juicer. Place a small sieve over a bowl and strain your juice. Pour into a glass bottle and refrigerate. Use within 3 days.
Each makes approximately a 16 oz serving