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Top Tips For Healthy Juicing

Growing up I always loved a big glass of orange juice for breakfast alongside my favorite Captain Crunch or Cocoa Puffs bowl of cereal. 

It was the way I began almost every morning before school.

The weekends were made for chocolate chip pancakes in the form of animals and a side of bacon... also accompanied by my big glass of orange juice. 

I was always craving juice.

That quick sugar rush was what my body had learned to expect... but when juice wasn't around, soda was. 

I stopped drinking so much juice when I picked up the habit of drinking soda.

Soda delivered the sugar my body craved and became my drink of choice. 

When I was in high school the group I wanted so much to be apart of took soda drinking to a whole new level... they coupled it with camel wide cigarettes. 

I was so grown up.

Drinking my soda and puffing on my cigarettes.

I was so cool. 

Now, I'm not implying that orange juice is a gate-way drug... but for me it was. 

It set my body up to crave high quantities of sugar every day and it wasn't until after college, at my very first "grown-up" job that I discovered soda wasn't what I thought it was. 

One of my new friends and I went to grab lunch on a beautiful sunny Arizona day.

We sat down and the waitress asked if we wanted anything to drink. My friend replied, "I'll have filtered water with lemon."

How boring I thought. 

"You don't want a soda?" I asked. "No!" she replied. "Soda is horrible for you!" 

WHAT? I know it's not good for you, but horrible?

I ordered the water with lemon. 

I went back to my desk and the guys I was working for weren't back from their lunch. I googled health issues linked to soda and there it was a list of health issues. 

I had NO clue soda consumption was linked to:

  • Digestive issues. Check
  • Weight Gain. CHECK
  • Mood disorders. CHECK
  • SO MUCH MORE

I stopped drinking soda that day. 

I went back to orange or fruit juice. 

I was so addicted and needed my sugar fix. 

Now, this article is about juice, not soda. 

But the thing is most store-bought juice contains up to 35-45 grams of sugar. That's as much sugar as a soda. 

Many juices are also sweetened with the same chemical concoction of high fructose corn syrup and other chemicals that the human body DOES NOT WANT or need. 

This high-powered sugar rush sets us up for disaster! 

When ingesting this amount of sugar, our body is on a rollercoaster of craving all day. 

This was one habit that contributed to my decades of health issues, more on that another time. 

You see, Mother-Nature has provided us sugar in a form that is perfect for our body. 

It's wrapped up perfectly in fiber, to slow the metabolism of the sugar. 

When we take the sugar out of the fruit, we are left with... well sugar.

But NOT all juice is created equally! 

First, there are many benefits to drinking juice.

The most important element is the quality and soucing of the juice.

When we juice ourselves, we extract the juice from our plant friends resulting in a liquid containing most of the vitamins, minerals, and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) found in the whole plant.

HOWEVER, fiber is lost and this is a VERY important element to digestion and whole-body health (see tips below).

Your body requires at least 6 – 8 servings of plants per day!

So consuming this amount can be hard for anyone. Juicing (and blending) are great ways to supplement.

Let’s first start with the pros and cons to juicing:

Cons: 

  • Juice can be time-consuming and expensive.
  • It does take commitment and resources to juice.
  • It could affect the thyroid. Juicing cruciferous veggies like kale, arugula, bok choy, and cabbage can potentially interact with the thyroid by interacting with iodine absorption. 
  • Can cause digestive issues, due to the lack of fiber (see tips below about adding fiber back in).
  • It can take your body some time to get used to processing green juice on an empty stomach so be aware of any side effects if you are new to juicing, one of them can be a run to the bathroom! 

Pros: 

  • Juicing allows you to consume more vegetables efficiently.
  • It helps you consume a wider range of vegetables bringing more nutrients to your body.
  • Helps your body detox. Juicing assists the body in breaking down toxins, cleansing the body, carrying oxygen and nutrients directly to cells and tissues, and allows nutrients to be better absorbed.
  • Drinking fresh plant juices is the fastest way to allow your body to absorb all those vitamins & minerals.
  • Green juices are an excellent source of amino acids, your body loves these.
  • Loaded with antioxidants that support the immune system.
  • Can increase energy! 
  • Juicing provides a rich source of live enzymes essential to the digestive process.

I used to juice daily, but it just became too much. Now, I juice when my body craves it and that's about one to two times per week. 

I learned a lot during my 3 years of daily juicing so here are some great tips if you already juice or are looking to start... 

  • GO organic!! You don’t want pesticide juice, do you? Preferably juice plants from your local farms or even better own veggies from your garden!
  • Limit fruits (90% vegetables / 10% fruits is the ratio I follow).
  • Add in fiber (especially if juicing fruits). This is the most important element that is lost when juicing (unless you have a juicier that adds it in for you). I always add in a bit of fiber from the pulp. Especially pulp from dark leafy greens
  • Limit high sugar fruits like pineapple and grapes. Green apples (1/2 per person), blueberries, lemons, and ginger are great flavor enhancers (and lower in sugar).
  • Chew your juice! Digestive enzymes released in saliva help your body breakdown and absorb all of those amazing nutrients! When you add in fiber you are also forced to chew more… it’s a win/win.
  • Take fat with your juice! You read that right! Always consume a little healthy fat either right before or with your green smoothie or juice. Vitamins A, K, E, and D, and various minerals, are fat-soluble and need fat to be absorbed into your precious soul-home! I prefer cold-pressed flaxseed oil, raw, virgin coconut oil (1/2 tsp), or even an omega-3 supplement will do.
  • Drink your juice two hours after you eat and 30 minutes before you eat. Timing is important so your body can efficiently digest and utilize all the goodness!!
  • Variety is key. Think about getting at least 30 different plants every week! 
  • Store juice in an airtight glass container for up to 24-48 hours in the fridge. Nutrients are lost over time so try and drink as soon as you can for maximum benefit!
  • Last but not least, save all the tips, leaves, and stalks of veggies you don’t use and juice them! #boom #wasteless

If you are interested in buying a juicer, I love this Buying Guide by Food Matters

I'll share with you one of my favorite fresh-pressed juice recipes. It's SO yummy, highly detoxifying, and full of beautiful and bio-available nutrients, I call it my Beauty Juice Recipe... 

Becky's Beauty Juice Recipe: 

Ingredients (all organic): 

  • 1 red beet
  • Bunch of beet greens
  • Bunch of dandelion greens
  • 1 green apple 
  • 1/2 inch of fresh ginger
  • 1 lemon (remove rind)

Directions: 

Chop, juice, mix, and enjoy!

Don't forget to chew your juice and ingest a healthy type of fat like extra virgin olive oil or MCT oil! I just take about 1tbsp straight up with my juice! 

Do you like to create fresh-pressed juices? 

I'd love to know! 

Thanks for reading! :) 

In health and wellness, 

Becky Wells
NTP, Clean Living Educator & Advocate
www.thehippiemoms.com 

boom #eatmoreplants #eatyourgreens #hippiemoms #greenjuice#plantsheal #nourishyoursoulhome

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