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Need to reboot your resolutions to get healthier? Give Juicing a try!
The inspiration for today's post is a rocking deal on an Omega Juicer that came through my feed. The deal is valid through tomorrow night, so don't wait if you're interested.
Juicing fruits and vegetables has become very popular for health in the last few years. I was introduced to it when my mother-in-law traveled to Gerson for nutritional therapy and have tried to make it a part of my family's routine. While I'd still consider myself a "newbie" to the juicing world, through the experience I've learned a few things.
I shared them with a coworker in an email to help him get started and figured I'd share that email with you here. But first...
Buying a Juicer:
If you're in the market for a juicer and can afford to purchase quality, this one is a great one!
This Omega Juicer can do a lot more than just juice. You can make nut butters, baby foods, and even frozen sorbets. Just load it with frozen bananas and fruits and you'll have a fast, easy, healthy ice cream replamement.
I don't have an Omega, but I have another masticating juicer. I've been happy with our Champion, although I didn't pick it out. My husband's mom needed it when she came to visit and it's what she had at home. It's what was recommended to her by the Gerson Therapy people to use until she could afford the $2500 Norwalk juicer. From what I've read, masticating juicers give you more nutrients and enzymes in your juice than centrifugal juicers do!
The only downfall I see is that the Champion doesn't do very well with wheat grass. In fact most juicer's don't process wheat grass if you're wanting to do that. That's not a problem for me. I just put mine in a blender with a little water, blend it up and then run it through a coffee filter in a glass to extract the pulp from the juice. It works just fine for me that way. I add about a shot or two of it to my morning juices (can't taste it and it's good for me).
There are specific wheat grass juicers as well, but I haven't seen the need to buy one. I'd rather get a press if I'm going to spend the money. I've even been wondering if my husband could make me a press since it's such a simple concept.
Buy the way, a good blender works great for juicing even if you don't own a juicer! Blend your fruits and veggies and then squeeze the juice from the pulp through some cheese cloth.
Getting Started with Juicing
Worried about the taste of vegetable juices? Start off with sweater juices (more fruit, less greens) and then wean yourself back to more of a 3:1 ratio of veggies to fruit. Your taste buds renew approximately every 15 days and eventually the sweeter juices won't taste as good (as long as you're not still drinking pop and other sweet things.)
If you're going to do a juice fast or trying to eat mostly raw foods for your detox, start on a Friday because day 3 is hell and you'll want to be home, and if you're needing the bathroom more frequently on day 2 you'll be home for that too.
For the first three days you'll be tired (more like freaking exhausted), you won't be able to think, and you'll probably have a killer headache as your body detoxes. You'll go through a similar "life sucks" period around week three as well. The good news is that I've felt totally high for days after each detox and ready to conquer the world!
I had it even though I didn't go completely into a juice fast. I had juices and raw foods only and still had the day 3 detox symptoms. (My husband did too.)
My Favorite Budget Friendly Juicing RecipesMy favorite juice is apple, lemon, spinach, kale and ginger. It's sweet, refreshing and not bitter. Kale is good for you but can taste more bitter than spinach until you get used to it and I have trouble finding it in organic (it's loaded with pesticides if it's not organic). I now add cucumber to my apple, lemon, spinach and ginger mix because it's moist and will give me more juice for my money.
Another good mixture is pineapple, spinach or kale, and ginger (more on the sweeter side). Apple carrot is good to start with too. Ginger, cinnamon, mint, etc are all awesome to add into a juice. A little goes a long way with ginger and it can easily overpower your juice. I do about 1 inch of ginger per day's juice, but your tastes may differ.
I've been buying organic for all things that aren't on the dirty dozen list. (Check out The New Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods to Eat Organic.) For anything on the dirty dozen list I buy organic or if I can't find it I peel it first (i.e. cucumber).
If you make something that doesn't taste sweet enough, add Stevia. And diluting your juices over ice is sometimes easier to get it down, if you don't particularly love the taste. I've also found that using apples as a base for my juices helps me to stretch my budget and mask the flavors of things I don't "love."
Think Juicing Takes Too Much Time?Juicing is time consuming, and some people say you can make juices the night before but I find that the green ones don't taste as good...it's like the yucky flavors get stronger the longer the juice sits. I make enough for my day in the morning and store it in mason jars to keep it fresh. The sweeter orange juices that are carrot or sweet potato based or juices that have more fruit in them last longer in my opinion. It takes me about 15-20 minutes to wash, peel, juice and clean up my juicer in the morning.
Other Juicing TipsDon't forget to drink lots of water to flush out the toxins that are released from the juices. My favorite water recipe is to add mint and slices of lemon into a pitcher and cover with water overnight...then drink it the next day. Cucumber is good in the water with the lemon and mint too, but can be too strong for some people.
Also, head's up...you may feel a bit buzzed after drinking a juice since all the nutrients are flooding your system and your body (for a change) is able to assimilate them into your blood stream so quickly. This passes after about 1/2 hr to 1 hour for me, but it's fun none the less.
Oh, another yummy thing to make with the juicer is to run frozen fruit through it, making like a sorbet. I put the blank screen in so no juice drips out, and where the pulp normally comes out is where the frozen slush comes out. It's a super healthy, yummy treat that even the kids like. (Sweeten with Stevia). It's not part of a juice only fast since it has fiber in it, but it's delicious! I have yet to try making nut-butters, but it's on my list.
If you're going to do a juice fast, make sure you've read up on how to wean your body back into digesting fiber. From what I've read it can be a really gassy, painful, horrific experience if you start eating normally too soon. lol
Juicing Experts to FollowJuicing isn't complicated and you can easily get started. Luckily there are many people online with great tips and videos to help you through the rough spots.
Here are a few juicing blogs I follow.
Check them out and please share with me any you find as well! I'm @StephensHeather on twitter. Please share any yummy recipes you discover with me too!