While juicing has been around for some time, these past couple of years it has squeezed its way back into the mainstream thanks to celebrities and their love of juice fasts. Though I’m a big fan of juicing, I’m not necessarily big on juice fasts. Being that we’re all biochemically unique though, I do acknowledge that for some there may be a time and a place where juice fasting can be beneficial, this just all depends on aspects like your constitution, current health status, activity level and age. However, like any type of detox or fast, it should be done under the guidance of a health care practitioner.
Is Juice Fasting for Everyone?
If you’ve ever seen the film Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead – a Joe Cross Film – you may have been in awe over his inspirational and uplifting journey on how he went from being overweight with compromised health – to taking control to regain his health back while losing that extra weight on his way. While this charming film does its job in motivating others to take the necessary action needed by encouraging people to take control of their health, he does so in a controlled matter. Unlike these juice fasts that have gained popularity, he was monitored by health care practitioners throughout, and once he finished his fast, he made an effort to eat consciously and remain active – something that these publicized fasts never seem to give much attention. Now, the juice fast he did was extreme (I believe he did it for 60 days), and though he’s a great example of how a juice fast worked, juice fasting is not for everyone.
The Key Nutrient You Might Be Missing
The idea behind juice fasting is that you are still able to get the nutrients from the vegetables, but since the fiber content has been removed, it is quicker for your body to absorb and use nutrients since it requires less work to digest. Juicing can be a great way to help move things along in the GI tract, beat sugar cravings, aid in weight loss, and clear skin – but these things can be achieved just by incorporating juicing in your regular regime, you do not have to fast to get these benefits.
The controversy behind juice fasting is that because the fiber content has been removed you are not getting the full nutritional benefits. While it can be refreshing to sip on some green juice, we need fiber. Juicing, no matter how beneficial, does not replace eating your greens.
And What Are you Juicing?
Since the fiber content has been removed, it’s also important to look at what you’re juicing – fruit juices would have higher levels of sugars, and though it’d be coming from the source naturally, since there is no fiber to help control the rate of digestion this can be problematic for people with blood sugar issues. Ever hear of - drink your greens and eat your fruit? Well, it’s a good rule of thumb for juicing, which is why when it comes to fruit drinks I prefer to save them for smoothies where the fiber content is still there.
With all that said though, I am a regular juicer – having one every morning, and sometimes again later on in the day during the summer months - I just make sure that I am eating as well. For newbies, the green juices can take some getting used to – so it’s often recommended to add a couple of carrots or an apple or pear to the mix and slowly cut back on them as you work your way up to more greens.
When I first started juicing my favorite mix was the classic apple, carrot, beet and ginger mix, which is a good starter.
Now, my favorite juice is a mix of cucumber, parsley, cilantro, dandelion greens, ginger, and burdock root with a shot of E3 Live (a flash frozen blue green algae).
Is Juicing For You?
If you can’t decide if juicing is for you or not, it’s best to check out a health food restaurant/store and get a fresh juice made there. Ordering these juices overtime however can add up financially speaking– so if you find your body wanting more it might be worth investing in a juicer; just make sure to do your research as not all juicers are created equal. Also juices bought in the freezer section – or boxed section – at the grocery store do not count, as they contain additives to make them shelf life stable, and enhance their color and flavor.
At the end of the day, juicing is an added bonus. If you’re a regular juicer like me, then you’ve probably already fallen in love with the feeling and affect juicing has; but can you get by without juicing – for sure! It’s not a necessity by any means, but it’s definitely a fun investment that can add variety and flair to your meals with a fun nutritional boost.
Sometimes we like to make smoothie juices instead of pure juices. Here is a recipe for a smoothie juice, which is a great way to have super liquified nutrients with the added benefit of fiber.
Juicy Cherry Love Smoothie
1 small beet, chopped 1 (fresh or frozen) cup cherries, pitted 1 small ripe apple or pear 1 cup of water 1 Tbsp hemp seeds
* You will want to use a high quality blender or Vitamix.
- Blend the beet with water for 1 minute.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend.
Want to try more recipes like this?
The Alkaline Challenge is a great program to specifically incorporate juices and smoothies in- because veggie juices and veggie smoothies are super alkalizing (prevent development of disease and cancer and make you feel more energized than you could imagine).