Juicing vs. Smoothies

Juicing
I think juicing is so important, especially for those with health issues. Juicing takes all the nutrients out of the fruits & vegetables and when you drink it, those nutrients go through your body a lot quicker than if you had eaten them, and in a larger quantity. We don’t usually eat that many fruits/vegetables at a time and you might juice something you wouldn’t normally eat. Like for me I wouldn’t normally eat a beet but I would juice it with other fruits & vegetables and eat it that way. Yes, juicing does leave a lot behind (the fiber). But that can be harder to digest and if you want to get a lot of nutrients into your body at once, like a detox, this is a great way. For those of us with autoimmune diseases or other health issues, we need this. I juice periodically. Usually once on the weekends, just because of time and money. It does cost a lot to juice because you have to buy a lot of fruit and vegetables in large quantity, and you want them to be of the highest quality (organic). Some people go through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Or you can buy large quantities of what is on sale.

carrot apple orange

I recommend watching the documentary ‘Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead’. I watched it through Netflix. It’s about a guy (Joe Cross) that is going through all these health issues and taking all these medications. He decides to do a juice detox and ends up clearing up all his health issues and weaning off all the meds he was on, in addition to losing a lot of weight. The documentary also shows another guy and his situation of health issues and going through the juice detox. I have never done a detox, but I try to juice when I can. Like I said, I would like to do more juicing but it really only happens once/week for me right now (and I have really been slacking since we bought the NutriBullet because it is more convenient to use and clean! More on that below. But I will get back to my once/week juicing regiment). I don’t think a detox is needed unless your health is so bad that your body needs it to try to get on track. Like the situations shown in the documentary. Back when I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I think a detox would have been good if I was more aware of it. Instead I had switched the type of food we were eating and later incorporated juicing into my diet. (Here’s my post on switching to organic foods and how I lost 30 pounds.)

Here’s the same brand of  juicer we use-Breville (I couldn’t find the exact model):

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This is what we typically juice, just because it’s what we always
have on hand (and I like to add ice to mine):

  • carrots
  • apple
  • orange
  • celery
  • spinach/kale
  • ginger*

*I don’t use a lot of ginger because it has a very strong flavor. You can use fresh ginger or sprinkle in ginger after you are done juicing and just stir it up.

Some things to know about juicing: Make sure to rinse everything thoroughly. Cut off the ends of the carrots but you don’t have to peel. You don’t have to peel an orange when juicing and it’s actually good for you to do it this way but it can taste very different. You don’t have to peel the apples, or the ginger. You can put the whole apple in, even stem and seeds. You will just probably have to cut it in half to fit it in the machine. Celery leaves should be included in juicing. I put the ingredients in the machine in order of speed. So, hard veggies first, then apples, citrus, soft fruits. Then I turn the machine up to full speed to kind-of clean it out before shutting it off. Stir and drink! The juice needs to be consumed right away, or you can put it in the refrigerator (covered) but it goes bad after about 24 hours. It is at it’s very best fresh.

watermelon juiceJuicing is also handy when you want to make the juice to add color to frosting. Beets are good for red, spinach for green, and I found that raspberries make a pretty pink rose color that was great for my daughter’s birthday cake. Or let’s say you have a watermelon that is kind-of soft inside and no one wants to eat it but it’s still good (hasn’t gone bad). I just juice it and make popsicles with the juice or put the juice in my daughter’s lunch. She loves it! One time I had an abundance of cucumbers and we love cucumbers but I was worried about us not eating them fast enough, so I juiced several of them and we drank the juice. It was so good, and good for us. I bet my daughter would love a cucumber juice popsicle too! 🙂

Smoothies

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I do think smoothies are a healthy way to go too. It’s how I get the majority of the fruit I consume, just because I’m so bad about eating fruit. I do like fruit, it just doesn’t sound appealing to me all the time. Smoothies are great as a healthy drink or even for dessert! Mix in some ice cream and whatever fruit you want. Yum! You can do yogurt instead of ice cream. We have been into the hemp milk lately for our healthy drinks.

Here are the reusable straws that we use and we invested in a NutriBullet recently. Here’s one through Amazon:

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This is our basic recipe, but we just throw in whatever fruit we have
(no measuring necessary):

  • blueberries
  • mango/pineapple
  • banana
  • strawberries/raspberries
  • spinach/kale
  • hemp milk
  • chia seeds/flax seeds (ours are usually ground)

(then I sprinkle in ginger & turmeric in mine)

Comparison of juicer to NutriBullet and juicing vs. smoothies
I think we need to juice and make smoothies. Incorporate both into our diet. I juice on the weekend, so once/week, and try to make a smoothie every day. Juicing is not as convenient as my awesome NutriBullet. It is so easy to use and easy to clean. The juicer takes more time to use and is so bulky. There are so many parts. Yes, they are dishwasher safe but it takes up the whole top rack! I would love to drink a freshly made juice every morning, but this is costly and inconvenient. So instead, I choose to make a smoothie every day. The reason I think we should do both is because juicing takes all the nutrients from the fruit/veggies without the fiber that can be harder to digest, and when you drink it these nutrients go right through your bloodstream. And you can drink a juice a lot faster than sipping on a smoothie. We can consume the amount of fruit/veggies that are recommended in a day, which is a lot harder than trying to eat that many in a day. And I do like that there isn’t any waste with the smoothies. But we are going to start composting, so the ‘waste’ from juicing will be great for that. Which will be good for our garden!

Here’s Food Babe’s info on common juicing mistakes: http://foodbabe.com/2013/08/05/juicing-mistakes/.  If you type ‘juicing’ into her search bar, you will find all kinds of great information and recipes about juicing. She is like the Juice Queen! 🙂

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