Juicing 101

Juicing is one of my new favorite things and I am about to explain why! I am not talking about a juice fast or cleanse, but simply adding a juice a day to keep the doctor away. Suddenly more juice places are popping up, my friends are talking about it and a local yoga studio is even thinking of offering juice to its clients. I personally do not own a juicer, but my dear friend does and was kind enough to show me how to juice using a combination of fruits and vegetables that pair well. I began to juice almost every day and I noticed my skin becoming clear and bright and I was far more energetic. I occasionally drank the juice as my breakfast, but most of the time I juiced in addition to my meals. 

  Photo by Libby McAvoy - T  o me green juice is earthy, tart and delish!

Photo by Libby McAvoy - To me green juice is earthy, tart and delish!

I did not realize what was such a big deal about a juicer until I finally used one. I was under the impression that it was not much different than a blender. Boy was I wrong! Now having said that, you can juice with a blender if you don't have a juicer. My friend, who first introduced me to juicing ten years ago, uses a blender which works fine for blending spinach and berries in different combinations. The benefit of using a blender is that it keeps the fiber. The disadvantage is it thicker and you have to chew the fibrous parts and skin. A juice machine, on the other hand, extracts the natural juices and discards the skin, seeds and pulp into a separate container. Some people then use those parts to make muffins or add it to soups to reap the full benefits nutritionally.

A good juicer will cost between $300 - $500. There are regular juicers and cold pressed juicers. The difference is relatively minor, but cold pressed means there is no heat therefore all of the nutrients are raw and intact. Cold pressed juice costs a few more dollars, the machines cost a couple hundred more and it is a much slower process. I do not personally feel like the regular juicer heats enough to destroy the nutrients so that is what I use. Another nice factor is that is that the juicer that I used was easy to take apart and clean.

  Photo by Libby McAvoy  -  This is my very favorite combination. I added 1/2 pint of blue berries once. as well and it was incredible! The ginger definitely stands out and tastes healthy, but incredibly good.

Photo by Libby McAvoy - This is my very favorite combination. I added 1/2 pint of blue berries once. as well and it was incredible! The ginger definitely stands out and tastes healthy, but incredibly good.

I will tell you that although juicing is healthy and has many benefits, you are consuming calories so don't over do it. Juicing  also offers little to no protein and can contribute to muscle loss and fatigue if done in excess or extremes. Try a variety of colorful fruits and veggies each day to stay balanced and gain maximum nutrients. Also, drinking the juice the same day that you press it is highly recommended to maximize those nutrient while they are fresh. If you have to juice ahead for time sake, you can use a mason jar to seal it and refrigerate up to 24 hours. I personally like to drink half of an 8 oz mason jar in the morning and the other half around 4 pm when I am experiencing that mid day slump. Try different combinations of fruits and veggies and experiment until you find the blends that work for you. Also try the fantastic recipes that I have included in this blog!

  Photo by Libby McAvoy - This orange   juice was earthy, but sweet at the same time like drinking sunshine from a glass.

Photo by Libby McAvoy - This orange juice was earthy, but sweet at the same time like drinking sunshine from a glass.

When you first begin juicing, start with small amounts and gradually increase how much you drink per day to give your body time to adjust. I drank an entire 8 oz Mason jar my first couple days and wondered why I was feeling nauseous. Juicing cleanses your body and draws out the toxins, which may make your system feel uneasy at first. My face also broke out initially thanks to those toxins. Like I said, stick with it through this adjustment period and you will be happy with the health benefits that you will soon experience.  I stuck with it and suddenly my skin became clearer than ever and the juice no longer bothered my stomach. After four weeks my skin looks and feels better than ever. I also feel more energetic! So visit your local farmers market this weekend and pick up some fresh produce to start your juicing journey. If you are like me you will be so happy that you did!

Wishing you health and happiness,

Libby


Our love affair with healthy food continues on Tuesday's blog when Paul goes into the soulful aspects of gastronomy! If you haven't already, sign up for our FREE newsletter and become an official member of the Total Soulful Journey community. Cheers to all of our wonderful readers, supporters and the newest members of our tribe. Have a fantastic first weekend of the summer!!


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