Juicing fruits and vegetables has become a popular choice for health and weight management within the last few years.
I was introduced to juicing by my sister-in-law who lost 65 pounds in 3 months and did an amazing transformation. While I’d still consider myself a “newbie” to the juicing world, through the experience I’ve learned a few things. First, there’s a lot of good juicers on the market, the key is finding the one that meets your needs. If you don’t own a juicer a blender works great for juicing. Blend your fruits and veggies and then squeeze the juice from the pulp through some cheesecloth.
Getting Started with Juicing
Worried about the taste of vegetable juices? Start off with sweater juices (more fruit, less greens) and then wean yourself back to more of a 3:1 ratio of veggies to fruit. Your taste buds renew approximately every 15 days and eventually the sweeter juices won’t taste as good (as long as you’re not still drinking pop and other sweet things.)
If you’re going to do a juice fast or trying to eat mostly raw foods for your detox, start on a Friday because day 3 is ruff and you’ll want to be home, and if you’re needing the bathroom more frequently on day 2 you’ll be home for that too.
For the first three days you’ll be tired (more like freaking exhausted), you won’t be able to think, and you’ll probably have a killer headache as your body detoxes. You’ll go through a similar “life sucks” period around week three as well. The good news is that I’ve felt totally high for days after each detox and ready to conquer the world!
I had it even though I didn’t go completely into a juice fast. I had juices and raw foods only and still had the day 3 detox symptoms. (My husband did too.)
My Favorite Budget Friendly Juicing Recipes
My favorite juice is apple, lemon, spinach, kale and ginger. It’s sweet, refreshing and not bitter. Kale is good for you but can taste more bitter than spinach until you get used to it and I have trouble finding it in organic (it’s loaded with pesticides if it’s not organic). I now add cucumber to my apple, lemon, spinach and ginger mix because it’s moist and will give me more juice for my money.
Another good mixture is pineapple, spinach or kale, and ginger (more on the sweeter side). Apple carrot is good to start with too. Ginger, cinnamon, mint, etc are all awesome to add into a juice. A little goes a long way with ginger and it can easily overpower your juice. I do about 1 inch of ginger per day’s juice, but your tastes may differ.
If you make something that doesn’t taste sweet enough, add Stevia. And diluting your juices over ice is sometimes easier to get it down, if you don’t particularly love the taste. I’ve also found that using apples as a base for my juices helps me to stretch my budget and mask the flavors of things I don’t “love.”
Think Juicing Takes Too Much Time?
Juicing is time consuming, and some people say you can make juices the night before but I find that the green ones don’t taste as good…it’s like the yucky flavors get stronger the longer the juice sits. I make enough for my day in the morning and store it in mason jars to keep it fresh. The sweeter orange juices that are carrot or sweet potato based or juices that have more fruit in them last longer in my opinion. It takes me about 15-20 minutes to wash, peel, juice and clean up my juicer in the morning.
Other Juicing Tips
Don’t forget to drink lots of water to flush out the toxins that are released from the juices. My favorite water recipe is to add mint and slices of lemon into a pitcher and cover with water overnight then drink it the next day. Cucumber is good in the water with the lemon and mint too, but can be too strong for some people.
Also, head’s up…you may feel a bit buzzed after drinking a juice since all the nutrients are flooding your system and your body (for a change) is able to assimilate them into your bloodstream so quickly. This passes after about 1/2 hr to 1 hour for me, but it’s fun none the less.
Another yummy thing to make with the juicer is to run frozen fruit through it, making like a sorbet. I put the blank screen in so no juice drips out, and where the pulp normally comes out is where the frozen slush comes out. It’s a super healthy, yummy treat that even the kids like. (Sweeten with Stevia). It’s not part of a juice only fast since it has fiber in it, but it’s delicious! I have yet to try making nut-butters, but it’s on my list.
If you’re going to do a juice fast, make sure you’ve read up on how to wean your body back into digesting fiber. From what I’ve read it can be a really gassy, painful, horrific experience if you start eating normally too soon.
I’d love to hear feedback on your juicing experience and if you have any great recipes to share, please do!