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Some may be asking why do I need to make my own juice? Why do I need a juicer? Why does it have to be so time-consuming and messy?!? And isn’t it expensive?
I had so many questions when I started thinking about juicing as a regular part of my life. One thing I was sure of was that it was good for me and would be beneficial to my health now and in the future. What I did not know was exactly how natural, fresh-juiced fruits and veggies could contribute so actively to improving health and even reversing damage from poor eating and other health choices.
- Juicing Benefits
- Overlooked Juicing Benefits
- Why Do A Juice Fast?
- 3-Day Juice Fast
- Re-Entry Into Eating
My Juicing Inspiration
I bought a Breville Juicer (this is a great choice for anyone interested in getting started – only $99 and high-quality. No need to spend more for the casual juicers like me) about a year ago and have been enjoying fresh juice about 1-2 times a week. I have made many different combinations of things, but mostly fruit juices since that had been the majority of my non-fresh juiced experience. I felt great and super healthy when I drank these fresh juices, and my husband and I loved them. But, we knew we were not using the juicer to its full potential.
So, when the invitation came from BzzAgent a month ago to be a part of their RebootYourLife program, I signed up right away. I was so happy to be accepted into the program, and they sent me a starter kit with a laminated sheet explaining how to juice, some recipes and the nutritional value of many different fruits and veggies. The kit also included instruction on how to do 5 different juice fast plans – from 3-day to a 15-day juice/blend fast. The movie Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead was also inside, so we watched it, learned a ton of info and were inspired to get started with ourown juice fast.
One of my major questions about juicing was why is it better or different from blending fresh smoothies, and here is the answer:
- By exploding the fruit and vegetable fibers, you extract all the micronutrients into a digestible liquid that allows your body to obtain the nutritional aspects of the fruits and veggies that cannot be accessed in any other way because the fibers just pass through the body intact.
- These micronutrients are also more easily and quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, so the nutritional value of the fruits and veggies are in use within your body almost immediately. While you get much of the same value from fresh produce by eating or blending it, juicing allows it to be absorbed faster than any other method of consumption.
- This is an indirect benefit, but should not be ignored. When you are buying and spending so much time with fresh fruits and vegetables, it is hard to ignore how healthy you are being. You will feel healthier from the grocery store through the entire process of washing, making and consuming the fresh produce. And, it will inspire you to eat healthier than you ever imagined! You may also learn to enjoy new flavors that you never even knew you liked!
You Can Tailor Your Juicing To Fit Your Needs
One of the essential benefits of juicing that gets overlooked is that you can plan your juices to meet your dietary needs. We often crave things because our bodies need something in that item. In some instances, pica (an eating disorder that sometimes causes the person to crave items that are not food) occurs. In others, we might simply crave a food item that we don’t usually eat. When we have these cravings, there is a deficiency that could have been prevented.
Juicing allows you to pick specific food items that contain vitamins and minerals that we know we need before there is an actual deficiency. For instance, if you have spent minimal time in the sun and haven’t eaten anything that contains a sufficient quantity of vitamin D, you know you should add something with vitamin D to your juice. This also comes in handy when you require vitamins that are only found in foods you don’t like. Juice the foods in combination with other foods so that you don’t even realize it is there.
Looking for some recipes to get started juicing? We’ve got some great fresh juice recipes for you.
The Skin Of Fruits And Vegetables Are Healthy
Other than small fruits and vegetables that are eaten whole, the skin is often removed before the food is consumed. Whether it is because the texture of the skin is unpleasant, because the taste is not something that the person enjoys, or removing the skin is simply done out of habit, there is most certainly a waste of good nutrition when this is done. To get the most from fruits and vegetables, use a high quality juicer that can juice the skin as well as the rest of the produce.
There are a few skins that can be harmful to you, so do your research before using skins you don’t know about in your juice. In other foods, the skins bind to toxins in the body so that they are not damaging the body. Skins sometimes contain almost two times as much nutritional value as the rest of the food — as is the case with oranges. Fruits with antioxidants also often have more antioxidants in the skin than in the pulp of the fruit.
Juicing Is A Convenient Way For Many People To Get Nutrition
There are many reasons that people do not eat what they need. Some are not even capable of taking vitamins or supplements. For those people, drinking juice is the only way to get the right nutrients into the body.
Can Help Autistic Children Not Interested In Fruits And Vegetables
One of the most obvious signs of autism is limited interest in food items. Most of the time it has nothing to do with taste and everything to do with texture, appearance or the way the food is combined with other foods. For these children, juice may be the only option. If parents understand what kind of textures and appearance are acceptable to the child, they can easily sneak food items into the juice that may not ever get to the child as a solid.
Can Be Helpful To People With Dental Issues
Those with dental issues often have problems consuming raw fruit and vegetables. For instance, apples and carrot are sometimes left out of the diet because they are too hard for the person to chew or may cause pain when they are chewed. Both of these items (including their skins) have multiple nutritional benefits. If they are included in a juice, the individual can get those nutrients without the pain that comes with eating the food raw.
Can Help People With Digestive Problems
Although you may not think of the throat as part of the digestive system, it is. From the throat to the areas of the body that release waste, several medical problems can lead to avoiding certain foods. For instance, someone with throat cancer is going to have difficulty passing solid items and will be limited to liquids. Rather than limit foods to cooked soups, juices offer a way to get vitamins in the body with as limited amount of conflict with the digestive system as possible.
Those that have problems absorbing nutrients during the digestive process will also benefit from juicing. After all, most of the body’s work is complete by the time the juice gets to the digestive system. The body does not have to break down solid matter and can instead focus on extracting and absorbing nutrients from the juice.
Can Enhance Kids’ Interest In Nutrition
Parents would be hard pressed to find a child who is not entertained by using a kitchen tool that turns a solid into a liquid. A juicing machine offers parents a rare chance to do some nutritional experimenting themselves. Parents can use the juicer in several ways. They can make juice to go with a meal as a supplement, especially with fast food or snacks. Parents might allow children to help them put foods in the juicer and might eventually allow the children to come up with their own juice combinations. If none of these tactics work, parents can always hide fruits and vegetables in a juice drink they made.
Juice fasting is a great way to cleanse your body of toxins and reset your digestive system from all the harmful processed foods it has been processing for years. It is recommended that you do a juice cleanse at least one time per year, if not more often, to detoxify your system and help your body to heal itself. There are even situations where, when supervised by a medical professional, juicing has also been used to reverse illness such as cancer, obesity, heart conditions and more. If you are looking for a way to reboot your body from the harm you have caused it over the year, juicing is a great way to get started, but be sure to consult your doctor throughout the process and do your research.
Is Juicing Expensive And Time-Consuming?
Not really. When you think about how much it costs or how long it takes to plan and cook a meal, juicing seems easier. For about $10-13/day, you can drink all fresh fruit and vegetable juice, which last time I checked is much cheaper than eating out for even one meal! You might be able to cook for that little at home but not when you count your time and electricity as well. Money never seemed the issue so much as all the time tied up in cleaning the produce and then cleaning up the juicer after – making the juice is the easy part! But, since I always made at least 2-3 juices at once and that took from start to finish about 30-40 minutes total, that seemed nothing when I thought of the time to prepare three (or even one, really) proper meals a day. So, yes, at the time, it seems very time-intensive and messy, but when you think of it in relation to the alternative, it is quite comparable and manageable.
I decided to do the shortest of the juice fast options, a three-day, long-weekend juice fast between a big party weekend and the 4th of July. Under each entry for the day’s menu below, I will recap how I was feeling physically and mentally from drinking all my nutrients and making lots and lots of fresh juice!
Here is my menu from my 3-day Juice Fast:
Day 1 Juice Fast:
- Breakfast – Citrus Green Juice
- AM Snack – Beet/Carrot/Apple/Ginger
- Lunch – Sunset Blend – Sweet Potato/Red Pepper/Carrot/Apple
- Dinner – Brushetta – Tomato/Garlic/Basil
- Dessert – Beet/Carrot/Apple/Ginger
Today, on my first day of not eating, I was amazed by how much produce it takes to make a glass of juice! I went through almost all my groceries and returned to the store that night. But, this time I had a plan of attack, allowing this to be my last grocery trip until the juice fast was over.
I was a bit sluggish and hungry but not too bad. Digestively speaking, I was clearing out but not nearly as extreme as I expected. Making all these interesting combinations of fruits and veggies into juice is fun!
Day 2 Juice Fast:
- Breakfast – Watermelon/Strawberry/Kale/Lemon
- AM Snack – Mean Green Juice – YUCK!!
- Lunch – Sunset Blend – Sweet Potato/Red Pepper/Carrot/Apple/Beet
- Dinner – Gazpacho – Tomato/Cucumber/Red Pepper/Onion/Parsley
- Dessert – Apple/Carrot/Spinach
Today I am feeling much more confident in my recipes and plan of attack. I feel highly alert – more so than usual – and am not hungry at all. I feel awesome! Very light, no gas or bloat and I even take a walk. I am inspired to continue finding ways to improve my health.
But, I did accidentally put a slice of carrot in my mouth during juicing and felt weird when I realized and had to spit it out. That seems weird, right?!?
Day 3 Juice Fast:
- Breakfast – Citrus Green Juice (non-cucumber)
- Lunch – Taboulli – LOTS of parsley + tomatoes/cucumber/onion/salt/pepper
- PM Snack – V28
- Dinner – Bruschetta – Tomato/Garlic/Basil
- Dessert – Sunset Blend with Ginger, but no beet or orange
On my final day, I must admit that I am ready to chew something tomorrow, but I am also starting to plan for my re-entry into the eating world.
I have read a lot online, and it says that, however long you fast, you should allow yourself half as much time to transition gradually back into normal eating. So with this three-day juice fast, I should allow 1.5 days until I am back to normal. So I guess the 4th of July will not be quite as gluttonous as normal, but that is okay by me. I really don’t feel like putting a bunch of junk in my body anyway!
- Breakfast – Juice (kale/strawberry/orange) with blended strawberries, kale, super green powder and flaxseed
- Lunch – Half PB&J sandwich and half a carrot
- Dinner – quinoa with cooked veggies (carrots, celery), tomato and basil salad, watermelon
Re-entry into the world of cooking and chewing has been much harder than I anticipated – harder than juicing in many ways, especially on my body. It seems that being a vegetarian who does not drink caffeine makes for a very easy digestion transition to juicing, so I had felt amazing during my juice fast.
But when I went to start eating again, I took it easy and still found myself feeling bloated and gassy almost immediately. It was fine, nothing too bad, but it surprised me how much harder solid food is to digest than juice. I will definitely plan to continue juicing a few times a week as meal replacements, and I am already planning another juice fast 6 months from now, just after Christmas.
Our Favorite Juicing Recipes
Visit our Juicing Recipes page, where we have assembled some of our favorite real juice recipes!
Raw Juice Delivery Option
If you are looking to benefit from juicing but not create the mess in your kitchen, check out Raw Generation, a company that delivers fresh, cold-pressed juice to your doorstep.
Share Your Juice Stories
Have you ever juiced? Or maybe you’ve participated in a juice fast or other type of master cleanse? If so, post a comment with your story below. We love to hear about others who are taking control of their health. It makes for a great support network to keep us all on a healthier path in life.
Why are you considering juicing?
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