Juicing 101

Raw power.

I’ve blogged casually about juicing, but I think it’s time for me to get serious. If you don’t have a juicer, well, you should. I’ve seen some decent ones on amazon for as low as $65, but if you’re able to make a bigger investment, it’s totally worth it!

While I’m making suggestions, I may as well add that you ought to take some time to watch the following documentaries: Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, Food Matters, and the Gerson Miracle. They will change your life; at least, they changed mine. No, I’ve never been seriously overweight or sick before, but watching those films has drastically altered the way I eat and think about food, which will ultimately affect my lifelong health and longevity, not to mention the health habits of my future children. These documentaries also gave me a greater respect for the power of fruits and vegetables. Nature is truly incredible.

Ideally, everyone should start off the day with fresh green juice. It is a super-concentrated, unique source of vitamins and nutrients that your body needs on a daily basis. Most of us are deficient in some way, whether we realize it or not, and drinking a cup of green juice is the perfect and natural way to give your body the vitamins it’s lacking. You’ll find that when your body is equipped with the vitamins and nutrients it requires to function correctly, it is next to impossible to become sick. Fresh juice has magnificent healing properties and a faithful juice fast can cure numerous ailments.

I’m a big fan of eating lots of raw fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, but it’s not everybody’s thing. For those of you who have trouble consuming the 8 – 9 recommended servings per day, juicing is a quick way to get those servings without all the chewing. It would take a good hour for me to eat all the stuff I put in my morning juice; it’s much more convenient to drink it within a matter of seconds.

The beautiful thing about juicing is that you can put practically anything through there and it will taste great…as long as you add a piece of fruit! I still can’t stomach pure green juice that doesn’t at least have a bit of apple, beet, or carrot to sweeten it. Some quick rules of thumb:

1. Always juice greens. It just doesn’t make sense to go to the trouble of juicing and not throw some greens in there. Unless you put like 4 heads of collard greens in one juice, you won’t really notice much difference in the flavor, but you’re adding tons of nutritional content. Don’t be scared, just do it.

2. Always juice celery, even if it’s just half a stalk. It helps to deliver the nutrients to your tissue.

3. Because of its high water content and mild flavor, add cucumber when juicing vegetables with strong flavors (such as the collard greens I was talking about).

4. Drink your juice right away. It starts to lose nutrients immediately, so gulp that baby down as soon as possible!

If you’re hesitant to juice random combinations of produce, here are a few “recipes”, if you will, that I use often. Remember to always wash everything very thoroughly and chop to the correct size for your juicer’s chute. A helpful hint: greens are sometimes difficult to juice, so always juice them by handfuls along with something large and dense, like a quarter of an apple, beet, carrot, and celery. If you fill the entire chute with kale, you’re likely to have issues. Oh, and don’t forget to stir!

Morning Glory
Makes 2 large servings
You can substitute any dark greens for kale. I personally like the flavor of kale and it has the greatest nutrient density.

6 cups kale, spines removed (optional; they can be bitter)
4 celery stalks
4 medium carrots
Half of one large cucumber
Half of one large beet
2 Granny Smith apples (nice and tart, but you can use any apples)
Lemon or lime, to taste

Green Explosion (ingredients shown above, photo of the juice seen at the top of this post)
Makes 2 large servings

6 cups kale
3 cups spinach
4 stalks celery
2 apples
Half of one large cucumber
Fresh basil, to taste
Fresh mint, to taste
Handful of wheatgrass

Note: One ounce of wheatgrass has the equivalent of 2.5 cups of green vegetables in nutritional value. The Green Explosion is quite a mighty elixir!

Pineapple Citrus Blast
Makes 2 servings

Half of one pineapple, peeled
1 large grapefruit, peeled
2 medium oranges, peeled
1 large apple
3 cups turnip greens (or greens of choice)
Fresh mint, to taste
Lemon or lime, to taste

There you have it, a few of the juices I enjoy regularly. I hope you enjoy them, too! I am currently nearing the end of day three of a five-day juice fast. I am doing this to clean out the junk my body has built up over the holidays and past month, which has come to my attention by way of bad skin and a couple of pounds. When my body is thoroughly cleansed, I look forward to maintaining my squeaky-clean innards with lots of great new recipes that I can’t wait to share with all of you!

Happy Juicing!

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

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6 Comments

  1. molly

     /  February 1, 2012

    there is no bottom to the bottomless pit of my love for you.

    Reply
  2. I went on a ten day juice fast to begin the new year and have been juicing daily for my vitamins ever since. Amazingly enough, the rosacea I have been battling with for years and which has been growing steadily If it weren’t happening before my very eyes I wouldn;t believe it. No more red enflamed and flaky dry skin on my face!!! You hit it right on the head… fresh juice is natures raw power! Keep up the good work. 🙂

    Reply
    • That’s wonderful to hear – thanks for the inspiriation! My husband and I have seen amazing results from juicing, as well. Keep it up! Veggies for life!

      Reply
  3. Nicole

     /  February 2, 2012

    Is there any paticular juicer that you recomend (or don’t recomend)? Any features to make sure to look for? I’ve heard they are hard to clean, any advise? I definatley want to get one!! Thanks for the nudge of inspiration:) I would love to check out those documentarys too!! Love stuff like that!

    Reply
    • I’m using a hand-me-down Jack Lalanne Power Juicer from my mother, which I believe costs about $100 at Walmart. The juicer brand they use in the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly dead is Breville, which cost a lot more (between $200 – $300) but the quality is much, much higher. As for features, you want to make sure to get one that won’t heat up the blade, because the heat can kill some of the living enzymes in your juice. I would read reviews on juicers before you buy them and spend as much as you’re able, because the best quality juicer you can buy will last you for a long time and is one of the greatest investments you can make!

      Reply

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