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Advice on juicing: Where to start and what to make

A great way to clean out your system and restart a new, healthy you is to start juicing. Juicing has become a huge hit over the last few years. Some of that popularity is probably due to the movie, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” (2010). The documentary describes how eating healthy, exercising and adding juicing into your routine can drastically improve your health.

The film is focused on a man who is littered with health concerns — obesity and diabetes, among others — and he gets fed up with doctors and pills. He decides to go on a yearlong juice cleanse which subsequently cures all his health issues, including losing over 100 pounds.

At the end of the film, it’s made clear that not everyone needs to commit to a yearlong juice cleanse. Anyone can add juicing to their daily routine to receive great health benefits.

The Great Juicer

The Breville Juice Fountain Elite is touted throughout the film as an awesome, one-tool wonder. The Breville juicer is a top of the line juicer because you can throw in entire apples, carrots and sweet potatoes, among other things, without having to peel, seed or core most fruits and vegetables. It also filters out most of the pulp for a smoother juice. That particular model will set you back about $300.

Other less expensive brands and models require a little more prep work, like peeling or chopping ingredients into smaller pieces, or result in a more pulpy product (which is a plus for some). On the low end, you can get a decent centrifugal juicer for between $50 and $100.

There are also types of juicers designed specifically for citrus (oranges, lemons, limes), soft fruits (strawberries, grapes) or leafy greens (kale, spinach). Masticating juicers, which press the juice out instead of using the grating-spinning process of the more common centrifugal juicers, are slower and more expensive, but get more juice out of greens and soft fruits, and often can be used for nuts as well. 

Build your own recipe

When you first start juicing, it may seem difficult to come up with a good recipe and you might wonder which veggies and fruits go together for the best taste.

For me, it helps to think of colors, if I want a green juice filled with antioxidants (vitamin E, folate, and other great minerals) I will think of adding only green stuff. Green apple, celery, and kiwi, for example.

If I want vitamin C, I’ll use oranges, carrots, sweet potato and tomato.

In the summer, it is great to create your juicing concoctions by using a bunch of fresh veggies and fruits. Some people prefer to use a blender and make smoothies instead of juicing because it contains the skins and fiber of the fruit and vegetables, plus there is a creamier texture. Personally, I’ll add a couple tablespoons of coconut milk or almond milk to make a green juice a little creamier.

Benefits of juicing

One of the biggest benefits of juicing over just eating fruits and vegetables raw is getting several servings-worth of vitamins and nutrients in a few sips.

Put another way, imagine sitting down to eat four carrots, two apples and one sweet potato in a single sitting. It’s not easy on your jaw and it’s not easy on your tummy. 

All said, adding a nutrient-dense drink to your diet — whether it’s from a juicer or a blender — can boost your health immediately as long as you use fresh, natural and healthy ingredients. 

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