Journey into Juicing

I’m all set and ready to start juicing! Seriously though – this decision has not come lightly!  There’s a lot to consider: health, cost, equipment. I’ve been looking into it for a long while now and I thought why not share with you my own questions, research and answers – because if you are anything like me, you’ve been wondering about it too…

Here’s the thought process that went on in my head:

appleandkale

Wait! Why remove the fiber?

I already drink green shakes, where you blend together fruit and veg, retaining the natural fibers removed when juicing. Fiber is a big issue and we’re not just talking about constipation. Fiber does the important task of hauling out the body’s trash. It helps to move food through the tract – cleaning out and detoxifying your body as it goes. Otherwise these toxins are being recycled back into the body, which leads to inflammation – the root cause of so many diseases. Yet, most of us are not getting enough fiber. Adults should be eating an average of 30 grams of fiber per day and if you consider that a cup of vegetables has about 4 grams of fiber and a slice of wholemeal toast about 2 grams, you can see how hard it can be to reach that number. So then, why juice and remove all of that vital fiber?

Here’s my take on it – juicing should never replace a meal, a whole food or even a green shake. It’s is an addition to the diet – a really easy and delicious way to get in raw fruits and vegetables with all the nutrients, minerals and hydration that you would not otherwise be getting.

appleandchard

What are the benefits of juicing?

One juice can help you meet your daily needs for certain nutrients. If you’re not big into eating 3-5 servings of fruit and veggies everyday, it can definitely be a great way to get them in. Again, juice should never replace whole food – but here’s how it can be helpful:

  • You receive a rapid delivery of nutrients that your body can absorb easily
  • Juice offers an abundance of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients and antioxidants – which improves the body’s use of oxygen so that our muscles are energized and our brain is alert.
  • Because you remove the fiber, you can consume more amounts of vegetables in a juice
  • Vegetable juices help to improve the gut flora in your system
  • Depending on what kind of juice you make: It can be very alkalizing, which helps to balance out what is for many, a mostly acidic diet (meat, processed foods, alcohol..)
  • Many of the compounds in juice help to reduce inflammation in the body, which has been linked to strokes, heart disease and cancer.
  • Eating nutrient dense foods like juice improve our over all health, helping us to feel better, lighter and more energized. People report better sleep, more energy and a more balanced mood.

carrotsandcelery

What about all of the sugar?

Yes! What about it? Juice is pretty much sugar water – really nutritious sugar water, but sugary nonetheless  This was a big issue for me, because I’ve have had issues with candida, which feeds on sugar. Because there is no fiber in juice to help slow down the digestion of sugar, juice can drive up your blood sugar rapidly. So, it’s important not to fill up on fruit juices or you might be taking in more sugar than your body can handle. This had me on the fence with juice…

But then, I learned about the world of green juices. That got my attention! – made mostly of leafy greens and herbs with maybe one apple, carrot, lemon or pear to sweeten it – you get all the benefits of juicing, without the concerns of added fruit sugars.

This is going to cost me a bomb!

It is. But, once you decide to make the investment into your health you see it just like that: as an investment. Choosing to buy better foods and the tools we need to prepare them, helps us take control of our own health, to feel our best and to stay out of doctor’s offices. When it comes down to it with food and health: you either pay now, or pay later.

I’ll be sharing my tips for making juices as economically as I can: buying, storing and using the pulp in creative ways… but the first decision I had to make is which blender to buy

Which blenders are best for juicing?

I’ve read a million reviews (which often confuses you more) I’ve watched my favorite raw foodist talk about their favorite juicers and I’ve shopped around a bit. Here are my findings:

Lequip

L’equip 10.5 or 215 XL . This a big, wide-mouth juicer, great at juicing hard fruits and veg like cucumbers, celery, apples, carrots, oranges… It’s high speed and fast because you don’t need to cut things up into small pieces, but it’s not good at juicing leafy greens.

omega

Omega 8000 series. If want to be a hardcore leafy green juicer, you might prefer this machine. It’s the best at extracting the maximum amount of juice from green leaves, wheatgrass and herbs. It doesn’t handle soft fruits as well, so if you plan on doing a mix, you might prefer the Omega Vert 350 HD. It’s also pretty heavy and larger in size, but it does run very quietly. It’s a slow juicer, which is great for getting out all of the nutrients, but you’ll need to have the time to prepare your juices. You will need to cut up your fruit and veg into small pieces and feed it through the machine slowly. It’s much easier to clean than the Omega Vert 350 HD and you can also make your own nut butters, nut milk, your own coconut oil, as well as frozen fruit desserts and baby food.

hurom

Omega Vert 350 HD (also called the Hurom Juicer). Great for small kitchens, this is a  vertical juicer and takes up less space than the Omega 8000 series. This juicer is easier to use than the Omega 8000 series in that you don’t have to sit there feeding the fruit and veg one small piece at a time. It’s also more versatile in that it handles softer fruit and leafy greens. This juicer is reported to sometimes get clogged up when juicing green leaves, whereas the Omega 8000 series does not – but this is a much more versatile juicer in that you can juice a wider range of fruit and vegetables from root vegetables, to soft fruit and greens. This juicer does produce more foam and produce a pulpier juice than the Omega 8000 series, but you can easily strain it away if that bothers you.

I’m leaning towards the Omega 8000 series because I want to focus on leafy green juices. For me, I would rather blend my fruit into fruit shakes and retain the fiber, than to juice it and take in all that sugar. But, if you want the option of making fruit and vegetable juices, then you may prefer the Omega Vert 350 HD. If you want to make quick juices, with mostly things like apples and celery, then you may like the L’equip 10.5 or 215 XL.

Have you tried any of these juicers? What are your thoughts? Hope this helps some of you and I’ll let you know how my journey into juicing goes!

p.s. Singapore, all of this produce (and lots more) came in my weekly farm box from SGorganic

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