Earlier this year I hopped aboard what our family has affectionately called the “Juice Train” and it has been such a game changer. For the past 15 years I have seen numerous doctors and specialists in hopes to find a reason for all of my constant GI discomfort. After several surgeries, procedures, eliminating gluten, dairy, acidic foods and taking all kinds of medications under the care of my physicians….I finally gave juicing a try. Y’all, FOR THE FIRST TIME in my adult life, I finally feel good! I am not suggesting that jucing is THE answer to everything, but I know that for me, it has made a huge difference in how I feel on a day to day basis. I cannot begin to tell you how much more energy I have. This Mama of three under four was relying heavily on Green Tea and Red Bulls. I loved the rush, but I kept finding that after the buzz wore off, I would experience huge crashes and ultimately decided it wasn’t worth it! Don’t get me wrong, I indulge occasionally, but I know that it will come with a price each time. Now, each morning when I wake up, I cannot wait to get downstairs and crack open a juice! Who knew I would end up craving it as much as I did Red Bull? Definitely did not see that coming!
Friends and family began asking where I was getting these beautiful bottles of bright colored juices. When revealing that I did it at home, they immediately assumed it was such a chore. Secret is out, it’s so easy! I decided to put together a how to. It really is simple and can even be fun. Yes, FUN! My kids get in on the action and as a result, have tried veggies that they had never been interested/willing to try before. Quite possibly even more unexpected, my husband is hooked too. We each have two bottles a day and he gets all wah wah when there isn’t any in the fridge ready to go. Hey, if I can convert him (Mr. Only eats cooked broccoli and cauliflower) anyone will love it!
Is the Juice Worth The Squeeze?
Okay, simply put, the act of juicing is basically extracting all the juice from the fibrous portion of the fruit or vegetable. This allows you to ingest the main nutrients from more veggies than you would be able to eat in a given day or put in a smoothie. For people with gut issues, like myself, smoothies and overloading myself with tons of whole fruits and vegetables can irritate my GI system and cause problems I will not go into here in the off chance that you happen to be eating while reading this post.
While people juice for all sorts of reasons, my purpose is to add to my diet, not supplement. I still eat all meals and snacks, but try to drink the juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and again in the afternoon before having a snack to get me over that afternoon hump. Anytime you make healthier choices you are going to see results in many aspects of your life. I would not, however, suggest eliminating other foods and or smoothies from your diet. There are great arguments for including whole foods, smoothies AND juice in your diet. Convinced yet?
Side Note: If you have any kind of issues with sugar, I would focus more on the veggies and add in only a tiny amount of fruit to offset the flavor.
Let’s Get Started
If you are interested in getting started in juicing at home, I’ve made it super easy to get started.
The links all of my favorite products that I am currently using are listed below. With Amazon Prime you could get started in just two days!
YOUR SHOPPING LIST
Bristle Brush to Clean Juicer
Organic Fruit & Veggies (emphasis on the veggies)
A Good Knife
A Recipe You Love
A GREAT JUICER: I know it’s more expensive than some of the other options out there but let me save you some time. I got the predecessor to the Breville BJE820XL Juice Fountain Duo Dual Disc Juicer and I have LOVED it. This juicer makes the process quick to use and super easy to clean.
A LARGE PITCHER (or two): These Rubbermaid Pitchers work great if I am making several days worth, but any big 1 gallon pitcher will do. The small pitcher included with the Breville is great if you are doing single serving juicing, but you will need something to mix
STORAGE: I do my juicing in bulk. In 30 minutes total time, there is enough to fill twelve 18oz Seacoast Glass Bottles which will last my husband and I three days. I love drinking out of these bottles and it adds a lot of color to your fridge.
ORGANIC FRUIT & VEGGIES: While you can certainly use whatever produce is available to you and in your budget, I would highly suggest going organic, even if you don’t with the rest of your food, and here’s why. I’m going to use carrots as an example. In a given day I might eat several carrots in total, but never in one sitting. When I am eating them whole and they are not organic, I am only ingesting several carrots worth of potential exposure to pesticides. In an 18oz bottle of juice, in my current recipe, I am getting approximately 1/2 lb of carrots worth of pesticides that I am now ingesting twice a day. Juicing greatly multiplies the amount of nutrients that you are consuming, but it also multiplies any toxins the produce has been grown with or exposed to. Luckily, many grocery stores are making organic options more readily available. Our local store’s organic section is growing (pun intended). Even better would be find your local farmer’s market or you get extra points for growing your own! No matter what, adding in more fruits and veggies (emphasis on the veggies) is great for your body!
A GREAT KNIFE: Since you will be chopping a lot more fruits and veggies than you did before, you are going to want a great knife. The Wusthof Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is the knife we are currently using and it has worked just fine, though it is definitely due for a sharpening.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY….
FIND A RECIPE THAT YOU WILL ENJOY: Just because its healthy, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. Try a couple of different recipes that sound appealing and stick with the ones that are easy and most cost effective for you. For the past several months this has been my jam:
Makes Approx 6 – 18 oz Servings
- 4 lbs of carrots
- 6 cucumbers
- 6 apples
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
Warning: This amount of carrots in this recipe may or may not cause the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet to turn orange. If this bothers you or you are already taking keratin supplements, you may want to decrease the carrots.
If you have a recipe that you love, share the details or the link! I am always looking to try new things. Look for the step by step instructions for how I go about juicing in a future post!