I’m happy to say I’ve started juicing again…you know I’m talking about fruits and veggies, right? Summer is a perfect time to juice, when the goal is to enjoy the warm weather while showing off glowing skin…in a bathing suit. Not there yet? Adding fresh juice to your daily routine might be able to help. If you’re new to juicing, or need a reminder of all the benefits, let me share why juicing may be right for you…
- Juicing is the easiest, quickest, and most efficient way to absorb all the nutrients in fresh fruits and vegetables. The process of heating food destroys nutrients in varying degrees, depending how you cook them. Eating raw vegetables in the amount that’s ideal can cause digestive upset. Juicing produce yields micronutrient-rich liquid that’s doesn’t require much effort from our digestive system.
- Juicing is easy. Yes, juicing does take some prep work. But after you select and clean your produce, it takes little time or effort. And your meal is totally portable, able to be enjoyed on the go. I love my Breville juicer (Juice Fountain Plus, recommended to me by Joe Cross) because it’s quick to assemble, extracts all the juice possible from fruits and veggies, is easy to take apart, and a cinch to clean.
- Juicing is tasty. Freshly juiced produce is absolutely delicious! If you’re new to juicing, it can be a little daunting to figure out what combo makes a tempting, nutritious concoction. But after consulting the many tasty juice recipes out there, you gain the confidence to know which produce to use, and perhaps even try out your own recipes. I recommend The Big Book of Juices by Natalie Savona for ideas and guidance. With more than 400 recipes, you’ll never get bored. I love the nutrients list and benefits rating for each recipe, as well as the index in the back that suggests which juice recipes are helpful for what’s ailing ya.
- Juicing is sexy, because it makes YOU sexy. With skin-glowing nutrients, cleansing properties, and slimming qualities that make a difference people can see…how can you not feel great about how great you look?
Although juicing does awesome things for your body, you do need to keep a few things in mind….
- Juice is not nutritionally complete. There is very little to no protein, and no fat, in juice. You need both in your diet. I use juicing to complement my diet as a vitamin-rich snack or a detoxifying elixir. The only time I use juice to replace meals is when I’m doing a cleanse, and in this case, I’m purposefully giving my digestive system a break from protein and fat.
- Fruit and sweet vegetables contain sugar. Too much sugar, even from healthy sources, is still too much sugar. If you’re trying to watch your weight or have blood sugar issues, use sweet veggies and fruit sparingly. I use a carrot, beet, or apple (or half of one) for a touch of sweetness to greens-laden juices or to tone down strongly flavored vegetables like cabbage. Adding lime or fresh ginger is a great low-sugar way to add depth to your juice or “cover up” strong vegetable flavors. If you do use sweet produce to juice and want to keep calories/sugar on the light side, drink a small glass instead or dilute your juice with water or club soda.
- Use organic produce as much as possible. Juicing requires a lot of produce…which means you’re consuming a lot of produce. So make sure what you’re ingesting is free from pesticides and chemicals! The worst offenders are on the Dirty Dozen list, so definitely choose organic for those.
- Fresh juice has a quick end date. Freshly juiced beverages have a small window of time in which to drink them. It’s best to drink fresh juice right away, but if you want to make juice for later, here are a few tips:
- Store juice in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate. Make sure the juice fills up the entire jar to reduce oxidation.
- Freeze the juice for later use. Pop in a couple cubes of juice, frozen in an ice tray, when you’re making smoothies, shakes, and other cold beverages.
- Taking juice with you but not drinking it right away? Add a teaspoon of vitamin C powder or squeeze of lemon to the container to keep juice from turning brown.