Yesterday, I showed you three basic juice recipes I used when introducing Lauren to the magic of juicing. Today I try to answer some of Lauren's questions about juicing, and hopefully it will help you as well!
OK, admittedly it looks like green scariness...how can it possibly taste good? Honestly.
When it comes to juicing, my primary intention is to fill my body with the nutrient-dense goodness of raw green vegetables, so the flavor of the juice comes second. That being said, if my juice ever tasted bad, I wouldn't keep coming back for more! But I will admit that juicing definitely takes some getting used to. Your taste buds need some time to transition away from your usual (like, for instance, your usual morning Starbucks vanilla latte). I highly suggest starting your juicing routine out with mild vegetables like cucumber and romaine lettuce. Once you get used to that, you can add in the more intensely flavored things like kale and parsley. In the words of my juicing idol Kris Carr,
"your green drink practice should make you shine, not shudder."
What should I always include? Is there a standard "base"? Is there a good "gateway" combo that I am sure to like as a novice juicer?
There are no real "rules" to juicing, as far as I know. But I've been following a 3:1 ratio of veggies to fruit in my 2 short years of juicing. I do this to keep my drinks alkaline
. Typical alkaline bases for my juices are usually cucumber and celery (packed with electrolytes). Then I add some sort of leafy green (usually kale), and a little something extra on top. Romaine lettuce and spinach are milder, so I recommend using those leafy greens when starting out.
What should I avoid - are certain fruits, veggies better or worse?
From my research, I've found that it's best to avoid sweeter fruits, as they contain higher glycemic level
. Lower glycemic levels equals more fiber, and fiber slows the digestion of sugars in your body. High glycemic fruits include mango and pineapple. Low glycemic fruits include apple and pear. Here's a full Glycemic Index to check out
Why not just have a salad or eat the ingredients raw? Why is juicing better or different?
When you juice organic fruits and vegetables, you are hydrating your body, reducing inflammation, and drenching your cells in life-giving nutrients in the quickest way. When we drink veggies, the chlorophyll (the blood of the plants) works its magic on your system – increasing oxygen into your bloodstream and strengthening your immune system. Gone are the toxins, sugar cravings, addictions, and premature aging, and in with infinite energy, glowing skin, improved digestion, and health and happiness. The variety and amount of produce you can pack into a glass of juice beats eating a salad, hands down. It takes over a pound of veggies to make one juice. My average day of juice takes a head of romaine lettuce, one bunch kale, 2 cucumbers, 1 apple, 1 bunch of celery, and 1 lemon. There’s absolutely no way I would have the patience to eat all that in one sitting (or even 2)!
This seems like a lifestyle, how often should I juice?
As much as you can! It's best to start off your morning with a juice boost as your body has essentially been "fasting" all night while you sleep. Drinking vegetable juice first thing in the morning extends this fast, and allows your body to continue all the repair and cleansing it was busy doing while you were sleeping. We are also more acidic in the morning (due to the process of metabolic waste and repair). Drinking a cup of acid-filled coffee first thing may be tempting, but adding an alkaline filled glass of juice to your body instead will conquer the inevitable caffeine crash and brightens your day from the start.
Do you ever add anything besides fruit or veggies?
Yes! I love to add a little knob of ginger (a little bit goes a LONG way, remember), peeled lime and lemon (so refreshing!), a few sprigs of mint, or even some sprouts. The magic of juicing is all the experimentation!
How long does it last, can I make it for a few days? If so, what is the best way to store it?
The very best way to store your juice is in an airtight container, like a mason jar.
Since the enzymes in juice begin to break down immediately, it's best to drink it within 20-30 minutes, but I rarely have that kind of time every day. So just fill your jar to the very top, and keep oxygen out of it as much as possible since oxygen eats away at the enzymes and nutrients in the juice. I'd say don't leave your juice for more than 48 hours and, if it is stinky or turns brown, it's time to dump as you have rotten juice!
Can I mix the juice with anything? What would you recommend?
I like mixing my juice with a little homemade fizzy water, and drinking it out of a cocktail glass. Oh so chic!
Any other juicing tips or questions? Let me know!