My definition of juicing up until the last 5 years was V8, Tropicana, or Juicy Juice. Juice is juice, right?
In college, me and 2 girlfriends even tried a “juice cleanse” for 3 days…which consisted of Juicy Juice, Jamba juice-like smoothies, and unlimited cafeteria Chrystal Light. Freshman 15 does crazy things to your judgment….
While I don’t remember experiencing any benefits, except an excuse to spend my puny college budget on $6 smoothies, I can’t help but think of that experience when people say they’re doing a juice cleanse now.
Juicing…all the craze and slowly making its way to middle-America.
Truth is, 95% of people I meet that are “juicing” are actually doing more harm to their bodies than good. So, actually yes, I am for “it” AND there’s a right and wrong way to juice.
Some guidelines and the why…
1. Not all juices are created equal. Liquid goodness all around, no?
Not even close. Just like Juicy Juice, juices you buy in general grocery stores, like Odwalla, Bolthouse Farms, and Naked Juice, are almost always pasteurized (heated to high temperatures to kill off bad bacteria and lengthen shelf life). That means all of those “good” vitamins and minerals are slashed in half, if not more, and the good bacteria (think healthy gut) are killed. So… what are you left with? Sugar bomb baby (see #5).
2. Side order of pesticides, please? No! You wouldn’t order pesticides, but unless your juice is 100% organic, you’re getting a heft dose of ‘em. An average fresh pressed juice contains 3 lbs. of produce – basically concentrating whatever pesticides were on those 3 lbs. into 12 oz. glass serving.
3. Protein & fats. In order to truly cleanse (or really just have your body operate optimally), we have to have protein and fats. Bottom line.
No fat means you don’t absorb vitamins A, E, D, and K. All necessary for hormones, skin, heart health, strong teeth/bones, and more.
No protein means you can’t support phase 2 of detoxification which means you can’t bind with toxins and actually get them out of your body (i.e. they recirculate, making your symptoms worse than before). Yes, there is protein in plants, but often people juice the wrong ingredients and don’t get ANY protein.
4. Gotta know YOUR body. If you’re dealing with adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues, diabetes, or taking anti-blood clotting medication… juicing or juicing large amounts of certain vegetables can be dangerous and cause more harm than good. Too much spinach and kale can change how anti-blood clotting medication works. Too much raw juice can cause strain on your adrenals and make you tired, jittery, and/or have headaches. Too much fruit in your juice can cause your blood sugar to skyrocket.
5. Sugar. This is hands-down my biggest concern with juicing – at least the wrong kind of juicing. Carrots, beets, apples, and every other fruit DO have vitamins and minerals AND they have a crap ton of sugar. Most people lean towards the juices that are heavy in the sugar because, well, it tastes so good.
You may say, “But Katie, it’s natural sugar?!” I don’t care if it’s straight from mother nature’s teet, that much sugar is straight up trouble. It causes your blood sugar to rise, insulin to be pumped out, and shortly after a crash in energy… only to leave you reaching for more food, sugar, or caffeine to boost you back up. If done for long periods of time, the sugar can also build insulin resistance (meaning you start to pack on pounds around the middle, increase wrinkles, and decrease immunity).
In fact, some of these popular juice cleanses contain 6 juices a day with anywhere from 8 to 45 grams of sugar in 1 bottle! That means you may be consuming 270 grams of sugar/day… over 1 c. of sugar in ONE day!
6. Decreased Metabolism, starvation mode. If you aren’t consuming enough energy (i.e. calories) for a length of time, you may lose weight at first, but after a short amount of time your body actually goes into starvation mode. Then it conserves fat and burns muscle, decreasing your lean muscle mass (boo!). Then, when you start eating food again and increase your calories, you’ll build more fat cells as it’s your bodies natural defense mechanism thinking that you are going to face starvation again soon and generally pack on more weight than before you started.
Don’t get me wrong… I’m not against juicing at all. I’m against juicing the wrong way.
3 Ways to Make Juicing Worth Your While
1. Add fats. Add flavored fish oil, a tablespoon of coconut oil, or avocado to the juice and blend in blender. Or eat a small handful of nuts with your juice. This helps to keep your blood sugar level stable and increase the absorbability of nutrients.
2. Reduce sugar. Keep you starchy vegetables and fruits to at least 1 serving or less per juice. That means 1 carrot or beet, or 1 pear, peach, or apple (green is better than red for sugar content). Try to refrain from high sugar fruits like pineapple all together. Still need a little more sweetness, add a couple drops of liquid stevia and you’ve got yourself an awesome recipe. Anything more than that and you’re asking for trouble. Check out my favorite recipe below.
3. Drink 1 juice a day. Eat the rest of your vitamins. Juice is a great addition… like a vitamin, but it can’t replace food, energy, and sustainability. Adding a juice to compensate for eating crap isn’t going to do you much good. Similarly, consuming straight juice for 3-10 days isn’t going to do you much good long term. Make it easy on yourself, love. Eat good tasting food. Add the extra. Feel amazing.
I’d love to know your experience with juicing, fav recipes, and/or additional tips you could provide. Leave a comment in the comments box below.
P.S. You can save your pocket book and your blood sugar from stress AND still get all the wanted benefits from juicing simply by learning how to eat and easing up to let your body cleanse a little bit with the right kinds of foods. Check out the 21-day REset Cleanse starting Oct. 19th. Real food. Real desserts. Over 300 women have already done it…Increasing their recipe stash, shedding the excess, AND loving life at the same time. Early bird registration for the 21-day REset Cleanse is open until this Friday (or until spots are filled).
Katie’s Green Lemonade
1 broccoli stock (florets removed)
2 stocks celery
3 kale leaves
4 leaves romaine
½ green apple
½” piece ginger root
5-7 drops liquid stevia
1 T. coconut oil
Directions: Juice all ingredients except stevia and coconut oil. Add juice to blender and add coconut oil and stevia. Blend for 5-10 seconds and enjoy!