I recently read through my New Year's resolutions from earlier this year and was happy to see that I had achieved most of them.
But it was the heading at the top that make me chuckle. It said "The Year of Juicing," and so far, 2012 has been 100% that.
Juicing was initially an easy way to eat healthier, but it ended up being a catalyst to changing the rest of my bad habits. My quality of sleep has improved and I have such an abundance of energy compared to in the past.
Sounds good, right? If you are new to juicing there are some basic that you need to understand to get you started.
Why should I juice?
Juicing is an easy way to get your recommended fruit and (especially) vegetable intake. Few people would eat carrots, beets, celery, spinach, pomegranate and apple (my big RED juice) within their day, so this is a great way to not only have the nutrients from the vegetables and fruits, but it's also so much easier for your body to absorb all of the goodness.
Another question I often get asked is, why not just eat it?
The first thing I say is, well, do you eat all of this? Generally, the answer is no. Juicing allows you to experiment with a wide range of food not typically eaten at the dinner table. Also, juicing essentially pre-digests the fruit/vegetables for you allowing the nutrients to be absorbed much easier. When juicing beetroot, I have never noticed red in my stool (unlike when I eat it). The nutrients stay within my body and don't get flushed down the toilet with the fiber.
What juicer do I buy?
Well the answer to this depends on many things like budget, space, why you are juicing, etc.
Juicers can be broken down as follows;
Centrifugal: These are commonly seen at Juice bars and use a high-speed rotating blade to cut the fruits and vegetables. This action oxidizes the juice, which alters the nutrients left in the liquid you drink. Centrifugal juicers are generally priced lower, but extract less juice from the pulp compared to other juicers mentioned below.
Single & Double Auger Juicers, Masticating & Cold Press: These juicers crush or squeeze the juice out of the fruits and vegetable at a much slower rate than the centrifugal juicer.
This means there is less oxidization and more nutrients are extracted. If nutritious juice is what you are after, I'd recommend these types over the centrifugal juicer.
Personally, when I first started juicing, I looked at the prices and thought, how can I spend so much money on another appliance? If you are a first time juicer, I suggest buying a Single or Double Auger, Masticating or Cold Press Juicer that is as close to or within your budget. Use this juicer and work out whether or not you are committed to juicing long-term before forking out for a better and therefore more expensive juicer. I initially got a $300 juicer and used it so much, it wore out/died within six months . . . for me my new juicer is well worth the investment.
What to Juice?
Use your imagination! You can juice pretty much any fruit or vegetable, but try to keep it 75% vegetable to 25% fruit. If you do have a centrifugal juicer, extracting juice from greens can sometimes be an issue.
My 3 Favorite Juices!
You can be as imaginative as you want. For me these are a joy to drink and I LOVE the vibrancy of the juice!
1. Big RED: Beetroot, Carrot, Celery, Apple & Pomegranate.
2. Yummy Carrot: Carrots, Apple, Ginger, Turmeric & Lemon.
3. Greenie: Kale, Spinach, Cucumber, Celery & Apple.
If the taste of the juice isn't sweet enough to your palette initially, try juicing some stevia or things like cucumber, beetroot and carrot, which can make the juices easier to drink for a newbie.
Even More Motivation!
For some juicing inspiration, check out the documentary called Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.
What are your favorite juicing combinations?
Photo Credit: Shutterstock