Why should I juice, what do I juice, and how do I find time to juice?
I started juicing about 4 years ago. Since then, I have been asked many times . . . why do you juice? What do you juice? How did you select a juicer? How do you find time to juice? All great questions!
Juicing fits in well with my overall wholefoods way of eating. I try not to use the word “diet” because too many people think of “diet” as a way of losing weight and a temporary “fix”. My wholefoods diet is my lifestyle of eating organic wholefoods, and eliminating processed foods, sugar, meat and dairy. Juicing is a way to inject fresh, nutrient rich foods directly into my system first thing in the morning, get all my greens for the day, and keep my system moving effortlessly. A great way to start my day!
The first step in juicing is to think about the type of fresh products you want to juice. I highly recommend buying and juicing only organic produce. This will minimize the pesticides, antibiotics and GMOs you are putting into your body, all of which can affect your overall health. There are a variety of books that will provide guidance on juices, but, for me, I start with the basic ingredients of 3 carrots (carrots that look like old-fashioned from-the-ground carrots not the small bite-sized, processed baby carrots), one apple, and one lemon with the outside rind cut away. To that I add some of the following depending on what I have in the refrigerator: 1 to 2 stalks of celery, ½ cucumber,1 to 2 leaves of Swiss chard, 1 to 2 leaves of collard greens, flat leaf parsley (the curly leaf is more bitter), dandelion greens, and one red beet plus the leaves. All of these greens are fairly mild and create a mild sweet tasting juice. Some mornings I will add a 1” piece of fresh ginger for a little flavor boost. I lay all the greens on top of one of the biggest leaves, roll them up like a sushi roll, and chop into 1” rolls using my 7” chopping knife. I cut everything else into 1” chunks. As I juice, I alternate the chopped sushi greens with the denser chunks to keep the juice flowing through my juicer.
I have been using a Hurom juicer for the past four years. The Hurom juicer is a masticating juicer, but there are basically three types of juicers available: a juice press, a masticating juicer and a centrifugal juicer. The juice press and the masticating juicer operate at a slow speed. The slow speed crushes the cellular structure of the produce without creating heat. Heat will destroy some of the nutrients of the juice. The juice press is usually the most expensive, but also can provide the most juice from the produce. The centrifugal juicer operates like a blender, at a faster speed. It creates heat and destroys some of the nutrients. However, juicing with a centrifugal juicer is definitely better than not juicing at all! You can expect to spend anywhere from $200 to $500 for a juicer. The difference between juices and smoothies is that juicing removes the fiber from the drink where the smoothie chops up all of the ingredients, retaining the fiber. Because the cells are crushed in the juice, the nutrients are digested more directly and quickly. It is recommended that you drink the juice within 10 minutes of preparation. The longer a drink sits, the more nutrients lost.
I use a Hurom juicer because the information I read listed it as the easiest juicer to clean. Other manufacturers include Green Star, Omega, and Breville. Cleaning a juicer can be the biggest hindrance to juicing. I juice each morning. It takes about 10 minutes to rinse and chop the produce, juice, and clean up the juicer. For me, it is the best way to start my day and know I did something good for me . . . because I am the only one who can take care of me!
The CEO Corner is a Relan blog series by our very own Della Simpson on living a green, happy, and healthy lifestyle from the inside out. Learn more about Della here.