Quick Guide to Juicing

April 13, 2012
quick-guide-to-juicing

Starting your day with a fresh vegetable juice is one of the best ways to set you off on the right track for the rest of the day. Drinking fresh juice gives you a boost of enzymes, vitamins and minerals that is easily absorbed and digested by the body. What is wonderful about juicing is that your body needs to do almost nothing to digest the nutrients from juice and they are immediately available to your system. Since the fiber is removed during the juicing process, the body has direct access to the nutrients. Try eating the amount of vegetables that you fit into a juice and you’ll be chewing for quite some time!

Green juices are especially healthful and should be your juice of choice. They pack a punch of chlorophyll which is a plant’s energy produced directly from sunlight. Did you know that a chlorophyll molecule is almost exactly like a red blood cell? So, by ingesting it you are rebuilding your blood. Green juices are highly alkalizing and detoxifying as they give your liver a welcome helping hand. In addition, they are full of antioxidants and phytochemicals which boost the immune system.

The benefits are really endless and to see proper results it is best to drink them consistently either in the form of cleansing or at least drinking a juice each day. Some of the results people find are: balanced pH and sugar levels, clearer skin, weight loss, increased mental clarity, diminished aches and pains, blood and tissue cleansing, better sleep patterns and better liver function. And this is only the beginning – many diseases are attributed directly or indirectly to an unhealthy digestive system. Your immune system and health depend on healthy elimination of toxins from the body which is what juice cleansing allows to happen, as it gives the digestive system a proper and much-needed break from the work it has to do on a daily basis.

So many people are lacking proper nutrition these days, as a result of poor diet and lifestyle choices, as well as factors that are often out of their control. Juicing is a wonderful way to get the freshest and most direct sources of vitamins and minerals that our bodies require to keep them in a vital and healthy state.

green-lemonade-juicing

Green Lemonade

  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 med size apples
  • 1 bunch kale
  • a few large handfuls of spinach
  • 1 lemon

Run all ingredients through a juicer and enjoy!

Here are a few tips I can give you about my experience with making juices at home:

  • have your greens and herbs washed and properly stored in the refrigerator so they are ready to go.  If they’re not, you may not be as motivated to juice.
  • blend mostly vegetables with only a little fruit to make the juice not taste too bitter.  I prefer to use one apple — peel, seeds, everything.
  • if you want to juice low-liquid food, such as ginger or a clove of garlic, make sure you follow it with a high liquid vegetable such as carrot to flush it out of the juicer.
  • clean your juicer as soon as possible after using it. I don’t love cleaning my juicer, but I love it a whole lot less if it has been allowed to sit.  Those fine vegetable fibers are way harder to get out of there once they’ve dried.
  • the fresher the juice, the more nutrients it contains, but if you need to make your juice the night before, store it in a glass jar filled all the way up to the top so that there is a minimal amount of oxygen in contact with the juice.  Cover and refrigerate.

If you don’t have one already, go buy a juicer and make it your best friend.

Please add your comments or questions below. I get asked about this topic so often – your questions and experience will be helpful to others, no doubt. For those of you who are juicing, what are your favorite recipes? I love hearing from you!

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  • http://beartifix.blogspot.com/ Ena

    I’ve been looking for a juicer since I saw Joe Cross’s documentary “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” – do you have any recommendations? What do you use? There are so many options out there.

    • Katie

      That is such an awesome and inspiring documentary! I agree with you Ena, there are so many options out there for juicers and it can be kind of daunting to choose the right one. If you’re in the market for a juicer I recommend the Breville brand available through Amazon or at your local Bed Bath and Beyond. This is a great juicer because you won’t have to chop any of your fruits or veggies – just throw them in! Not only does it produce a nice juice, but its pretty easy to clean. I think the cost is reasonable as well. I hope this helps!

      • http://beartifix.blogspot.com/ Ena

        Thanks, Katie! Once I acquire one, I’ll be looking to you for more juice recipes. :)

        • Katie

          My pleasure, Ena! Plenty more recipes to share :)

  • sommer

    This sounds fab I think I might buy a juicer if they are not too expensive!

    • Katie

      Sommer, I found a great deal on this Philips juicer at Argos. They oftentimes go on sale for under €100. This is the model I use myself and I’m very pleased with it. I know that may seem like kind of a lot of money, but its a great investment for your health. Hope you find this helpful!

  • http://beartifix.blogspot.com/ Ena

    Just made this. You are right, juicing is fun! Added a sprig of fresh mint leaves to it, too. It is so refreshing! And surprisingly filling.

  • http://beartifix.blogspot.com/ Ena

    Oh, and a quick question – what are your thoughts on adding natural sweeteners to these juices (stevia plant, agave nectar) when serving those with pickier tastes?

    • Katie

      I’m so glad you are loving your new juicer! That is really great. Mint sounds like it would go amazingly with the green lemonade.

      You can absolutely add natural sweeteners to any juice. I recommend stevia – not only is it free of calories, it won’t affect one’s blood sugar and a little bit goes a long way. If that is what its going to take to bring the rest of the family on board with your juicing adventures – go for it!

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  • http://figgyandsprout bev

    Can these juices be made with a vit-a-mix. If so do you need to cook the beet first?

    • Katie

      Thank you for stopping by Bev! You most certainly can use a Vitamix blender to make these juices. Here is a video that shows how it can be done. Raw fruit and veggies should be used – so no, there isn’t a need to cook the beet. I hope you find this helpful.

  • http://soul-waves.blogspot.com yasmine

    This was a great post (I jumped to it from a later juicing post with a handful of great recipes)! Is it possible to do juices early and take them to work or do they lose too much of their nutritional value? I have some flexibility with my schedule but my boyfriend who may join me in a short cleanse works in an office. Thanks!
    Namaste

  • http://soul-waves.blogspot.com yasmine

    whoops! I just realized I missed that you’ve already answered this question. Sorry :) Thanks though.

    • Katie

      Hi Yasmine! Thanks for stopping by :) Glad you were able to find the answer you were looking for. Be sure to let me know of any other inquiries you may have and good luck with the juicing/cleanse! Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Kelli

    Hi,
    I found your blog after looking up info on a 3 day juice cleanse and I love it! I’m having a great time looking around and getting so inspired to eat healthier. We have a juicer that we haven’t pulled out in a while. My husband got on a short juice kick and I never even used it. I can’t wait to learn. Question…what size are your mason jars? I’m just not sure how many ounces would be good for one juice. Thanks!

    • Katie

      Hello Kelli, thanks for stopping by! I’m so glad you discovered the site and you’re finding it helpful. I love to receive comments like this from readers :) To answer your question – the mason jars are 8 ounces. On a normal day I usually drink 16 ounces of juice. I hope this helps! Be sure to let me know of any other questions you have, I’m happy to answer them. Good luck to you on your healthy journey!

      • Kelli

        Thanks for the quick reply! We are going to try a juice cleanse (with maybe a salad at night) starting Monday. We’ve done a one day before but never 3. Thanks for the info!

        • Katie

          You’re very welcome! Best of luck on the cleanse :)

  • Keri

    OK, I’m VERY new to juicing, and this seems like a silly question… How do you juice citrus fruits? Do you peel them first? Throw them in with the peel? Does it affect the taste of the juice? Sorry if this is a totally dumb question, I just haven’t been able to find a good answer. :P

    • Katie

      Hi Keri, thanks for stopping by! That’s a great question! You can definitely leave the peel on if you so choose, but it will have a somewhat bitter and kind of sour taste. If you don’t mind that – juice away. There is actually a high vitamin C content in the peel. I always remove the peel before juicing but that is my own taste preference. Hope you find this helpful :) Please let me know if there are any other inquiries you have, I’m always here to help! And best of luck with your juicing!

  • Jennie

    Hi Katie!
    I was referred to your site by a friend that juices – and I am so pleases she did. a GREAT place to start. My husband and I are going ease in and try some juices but likely do the 3 day cleanse as well.
    Any tips for people like us that have to juice at work and make them in the morning? Will they keep well? We will have the ability tp refridgerate until ready to drink. Will they still be good later in the day?
    Thanks!

    • Katie

      Welcome Jennie! So glad you were introduced to my little corner here. Juicing is such a great way to add more nutrition into your diet and it’s easy to fit it into your lifestyle. I recommend setting aside as little as 10 minutes in the morning to make a fresh juice (this will also allow time to give your juicer a quick clean). If you’re doing a cleanse and don’t have enough time in the morning to prepare all the juices, it’s totally fine to juice the night before. I recommend keeping the juice in an air-tight container – mason jars work perfectly for this. You’ll lose some of the nutrients and enzymes, so it’s best to drink them within 12 hours.

      I hope you find this helpful. I’ll be sharing plenty more juice recipes on the blog and my facebook page so stay tuned :) Best of luck!

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  • http://sweetsmartvegan.blogspot.com Sadie

    I was so inspired by three day detox post! I think I will finally try a detox since yours seems very easy to follow (and stick to :P). For the cleanse, how many servings would this recipe make?

    • Katie

      Hi there, Sadie! I do hope you’ll join us in the detox. I designed the detox to be completely nourishing and easy to follow. Is there a particular recipe you’re referring to for the cleanse?

  • SJ

    Hi Katie,

    I’m so interested in starting a cleanse. I have tried before but I was not in the right mind set, this time I’m 100% sure and ready to see it throught. I have to ask though, if I can go longer than 3 days, lets say a whole week, is that healthy to do? I have a long road ahead of me (24yr old female 198lb 5″1 in tall) and I just want to feel comfortable and not to mention the energy to do productive things throughout the day! I very much appreciate any information you can provide me.
    Thank you.

    P.s
    If I have to make all my juices for the day at once, will they get that thick concistasy sort of like a smoothy?

    • Katie

      Hi SJ, thank you so much for getting in touch! I would start out with doing maybe 3 days and see how your body feels. That may be long enough for you, but if you feel up for it – you can definitely go longer. I do recommend seeing a physician before starting a cleanse though.

      You can absolutely prepare all of your juices for the day in one go! The consistency won’t change much, but the nutrient content will decline the longer it is exposed to oxygen. I recommend consuming juices immediately after juicing for full effect or up to 12 hours after juicing. I hope you find this info helpful!

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  • Lynne

    Day one went ok but by day two I was feeling really hungry – waking up in the middle of the night. Is there a juice that is more filling as I’ve been having a mixed juice with beet, greens and carrot as well as fruits, just don’t feel full – I feel tired and stomach feels full of air!
    Have purchased a breville juice fountain max and keen to detox – just don’t like the pangs and hard to work through it. Protein diets don’t make you feel hungry like this…. :(

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