The world of juicing is juicy by default. There is a wealth of interesting and valuable information out there regarding the health benefits of juicing, and it may seem like an enticing thing to try. Today’s post is not about juice fasting. No, not one bit. It’s merely a tiny tip toe into a world where some use juices as meal replacements, while others see them as a once in a while or maybe once a day vitamin-laced beverage. This post sides with the latter. Although juicing is not for everyone, it could be an interesting alternative for many people. Not too long ago, a group of women juiced their way through fourteen days of fruit and vegetable juice and pulp. Was it happy faces all around? For some. As always, there are a few things that can be tricky about adopting a new healthy tactic, but you can learn a lot of things about yourself and the process once it’s over.
Sojourner of Married with Two Boys is the reason more than ten women decided to plug in their juices (or run out and buy one) and stock their kitchens with inordinate amounts of fruits and vegetables. As a new juicer, I was one of those people who had to run out and buy one the day before we were to start. I found one that fit my price range and what I believed would be my continuation of this journey down the line. Many people know that a juicer can be an expensive investment, so there’s no reason to buy a big bad boy if you can’t afford it and know that you’ll never juice again. After the juicer was purchased, it was time to bulk up on produce. I grabbed mangoes, spinach, kale, apples, grapes, peaches and lemons that day and proceeded to make myself a juice in the morning for the first couple of days. What a mess a juicer can be. Imagine piles of produce reduced to nothing more than 8 ounces of vibrant juice. Then imagine all the fibrous pulp leftover that you have to clean out of the juicer. The glamour is partially gone, but the juice is delicious. Finding a way to use the pulp would be a fun experiment. As you might guess, the clean up can be messy, and you should probably factor at least 20-30 minutes into your routine if you plan to juice. If you are not a morning person, perhaps you’d be better off juicing at a more appropriate time of day. To that end, due to my early rise and go schedule, I found myself grabbing Naked Juice‘s Green Machine or Berry Blast for a few mornings. Otherwise, I juiced on my own.
The variety of juices that you can develop really allow you to explore new flavor combinations of fruits and vegetables. You can use all of your favorites as the base and toss in something different here and there in order to add more body or lighten the flavor. Throwing in ginger is perfect with fruit, and if you’re into spice toss a jalapeno into your veggie juice. If you’re feeling extra brave, use ginger and jalapeno together for a pure metabolism boost. I found citrus to once again stand out as that perfect last touch to brighten up the final product. Sometimes I even sprinkle the tiniest pinch of salt into my glass to make everything pop. If you are open to juicing, you may find that it’s a creative way to play with your food.
For this mini juicing experiment, several women shared their experience and their favorite juice ingredients. Here is mine. It is a super red blast of goodness. Many people come from the school of juicing many of their thin skinned fruits and vegetables without peeling them. Usually this results in a thicker, cloudier juice. I prefer to peel my fruits and vegetables, but the decision is your’s. In the recipe below, you could get away with not peeling the apples, peaches and carrots, especially if they have been washed very well. Drink this juice, and any of your favorite recipes, right after making them in order to make the most of its fresh fresh flavor and nutrients. If you must make your juice ahead of time, keep it in an airtight container in the fridge and definitely drink before 24 hours have passed.
Apple, Peach and Beet Juice – Serves 2
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 pieces
2 large peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into 8 pieces
2 large leaves red kale, destemmed
1 1/2 cups green grapes
3 medium carrots, peeled and quartered
1 large beet, trimmed, peeled and cut 6 pieces
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Use your juicer to extract the juice and pulp of these fruits and veggies. Split the juice between two 8-ounce cups and serve immediately.
If you read below, find out how each person fared with their two week juicing experiment! Do you have any juicing stories to share?
Los Angeles, CA
Goal: Incorporate more fruits/veggies into my daily meals by swapping at least one meal for a juice every day.
Favorite Juice: Apples, peaches, kale, grapes, carrots, beets, lemon juice
Toughest Moment: Being hungry 30 minutes later, especially after breakfast!
Outcome: Feeling lighter!
Goal: To successfully juice one of my six meals a day for at least five days a week.
Favorite Juice: Pineapple juice, spinach, frozen mangos and mixed berries.
Toughiest Moment: Buying store bought juice and expecting it to be “SAFE”, then discovering there’s not just one serving but 2 in the container.
Outcome: I am able to control my hunger pangs and cravings, and I am getting down at least three servings of fruits and veggies at one meal.
Valley Village, CA
Goal: Replace dinner with juice everyday for at least two weeks.
Favorite Juice: Apple, orange, kale, spinach and mango.
Toughest Moment: Declining a great dinner invitation in order to juice.
Outcome: My metabolism is fired up, and my largest calorie intake is shifted to earlier in the day. I plan to continue juicing or eating raw for evening meals as a rule at least 75% of the time.
Goal: To cleanse (physically, mentally, spiritually) and to get my eating habits back on track, along with renewed self-discipline.
Favorite juices: 1) carrot, orange, ginger and 2) fennel, celery, green grapes, green apples
Toughest moment: Cooking dinner for my husband and cleaning the juicer six times a day.
Outcome: More energy, mental and spiritual clarity, and motivation to eat healthier!
Lake City, SC
Goal: To lose a couple of pounds and incorporate more fruits and veggies in my diet.
Favorite Juice: Green apples, pink grapefruit, pineapple, grapes, and carrots.
Toughest Moment: Using the juicer everyday. I didn’t enjoy the clean up!
Outcome: I lost 5 pounds! I also had more energy and just felt better.
Sojourner Marable Grimmett
Goal: To incorporate better eating into my daily diet by adding nutritional juices that consist of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Favorite juice: 12 strawberries, 1 cup of blueberries, 1 Granny Smith apple, half of a banana, 1 cup of ice and 1/4 cup of water.
Toughest moments: Staying away from fast food restaurants the first week. It was also tough not to eat off my kids’ plates!
Outcome: Getting back to eating healthy and being more conscious of what I put in my body. I’m also exercising more regularly again.