Juicing is all the rage. There are even juice bars, where you can get a freshly made glass of juice for a pretty expensive sum, popping up all over.
Fresh juice is so expensive because it takes so many fruits and vegetables to make a single serving.
If you’re like me, you may think that making a smoothie would be better for you, since you’re consuming the whole fruit or vegetable and not just its juice.
But after doing some research, I found that experts are not saying smoothies aren’t good for you — just that juicing is a different health option.
When you juice fruits and vegetables, you’re extracting the live enzymes and basically putting them straight into the blood stream.
The body doesn’t have to digest the juice, so it absorbs more of the nutrients. How else can you get 2 or 3 pounds of fruits and vegetables into your body a day?
We bought a juicer years ago, probably right around this time of year, when I was trying to shed those pesky 10 or 15 pounds that always seem to come back.
It worked great, but I found it a pain to clean. It also was expensive to buy all of the products to make a single serving.
I didn’t want to get rid of the juicer, but put it away and had all but forgotten about it.
Then about a year ago, I began hearing more about the juicing trend and how cancer patients were juicing and in some cases curing themselves.
A friend of mine suggested I watch a free documentary of sorts called “Fat, sick, and nearly dead,” which you can find online.
The film is the true story of an Australian man named Joe Cross who takes you along on his 60-day fast, during which he drinks only fresh juice four times a day.
The film is about an 90 minutes and chronicles Joe’s health diagnosis and subsequent juicing journey, which results in drastically improved health, weight loss and overall lifestyle changes.
There are other characters involved, all of whom are extremely inspiring.
The film, influences and testimonials from some new (and old) friends, as well as some personal research, combined to make me dust off our juicer and get juicing. Here’s some advice.
Juicers vary in cost and quality. There are some fairly inexpensive models and some that are more than $300.
We have a middle-of-the-road juicer, which cost about $100. It works just fine, but I have heard the less expensive ones are not as good.
I have a friend who has a high-end juicer that she loves. I say, let your pocketbook be your guide.
Next, the first time you juice, you’re going to be shocked by how much it takes to produce a single glass.
I rationalize this by thinking of the health benefits, and that if I went out to eat I would likely spend that much on a nice meal.
It may not sound like it, but fresh juice is naturally sweet and savory and truly tastes great.
My husband, Paul, says to just “chug” it. I prefer to sip it slowly.
My favorite combination, which is really not a recipe, goes something like this: Three or four big carrots; one or two cucumbers; three or four apples; a big bunch of kale; one stalk celery; a little piece of fresh ginger; and, if I have one, a fresh beet.
Juice that according to your machine, and then squeeze a little fresh lemon into the mix. Stir and drink it up.
If you have leftovers, store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. But try to drink it all on the same day you juice.
Experts say as soon as you juice, the nutrients and enzymes begin deteriorating when exposed to oxygen and light.
Because it is a bit of a process, I don’t juice every day. Even two or three times a week is valuable. Sometimes I leave the juicer on the counter and clean it out later in the day.
You may be wondering if the juice fills you up. I find it not only does so, it also gives me a burst of energy — something most of us get from a caffeine fix.
All in all, I think you’ll be surprised at how beneficial juicing can be. Don’t forget to watch the documentary for inspiration.
Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.