The Beginner’s Guide To Juicing
Its time for you to make the first move on your journey to health. Juicing is an incredible first step on this voyage! Why juice? Well, juicing has a myriad of health benefits that we’ll get into here! It has had a profound impact on my health and the health of many others that I have coached. I know it will lead to great success with you too!
In The Beginner’s Guide To Juicing we’ll cover benefits of juicing, how to juice, what to juice, how to incorporate juicing into your daily lifestyle as well as lots of tips to make it easier.
Once you’ve mastered the basics of juicing, you’ll be ready for more advanced strategies such as going on a juice feast! This is the best strategy that I have found to cleanse, regenerate and transform your body to amazing levels of health!
What Is Juicing?
Juicing is the process of removing the juice from fruits, vegetables, herbs, greens and sprouts. This process is done by using a juice extractor or juicer. The process of juicing separates out the bulk of the fiber from the produce leaving behind the nutrient dense liquid juice. This juice is then consumed to realize the amazing benefits that fresh, raw, living juice offers.
There are tons of different types of juicers with which you can easily make fresh juice at home. To learn how to select the best one for your needs, read How To Choose The Best Juicer – A Simple Guide!
What Are The Benefits Of Juicing?
The juice that is extracted from produce that you run through a juicer contains all the same nutrition that was contained in the original produce. The difference is that the majority of the fiber has been separated out. By separating out this fiber, we have created a version of the produce that is ultimately easier to consume and absorb into the bloodstream. This gives us the ability to take in a very high amount of nutrition in a way that is very easy for the body to digest.
Here are the key benefits of juicing:
- Juicing allows us to consume a very high amount of nutrition in a very easily absorbable and digestible format.
- Removing the majority of fiber allows the body to receive an incredible amount of nutrients while giving the digestive system a break from digesting fiber. This gives the stomach and intestines a chance to eliminate and rest. By removing hard to digest fiber, the body spends less time and energy in digestion and re-focuses energy on elimination and healing.
- Consuming juice allows us to get the nutrition of a very large amount of fruits, vegetables, herbs and greens that we wouldn’t normally be able to eat. For example, it would be impossible to eat 1 bundle of kale, 1 bundle of chard, 1 bundle of parsley, 1 bundle of cilantro, 4 apples, 4 cucumbers, 1 head of celery, 1 knob of ginger, 5 beets and 1 lemon in a day. But we can drink this juice in a day without any problems! In this juice, we receive all the nutrition in an easily digestible liquid!
- Juicing is very anti-inflammatory. The concentrated phytonutrients in juices are extremely beneficial in reducing inflammation throughout the body.
- Consuming juice (particularly during periods of consuming juice only or juice feasts) creates conditions in the body for healing of many diseases and health conditions.
- By drinking fresh juices, we boost the immune system. There tons of antioxidants in fresh juice that aid in the prevention of illness. Also, consuming juices helps change the pH of the body from acidic and disease fostering to alkaline which prevents disease and promotes health.
- Adding fresh juices to our dietary lifestyle allows us to maintain a healthy weight. In addition, consumption of fresh juices promotes glowing skin, healthy hair and bright eyes.
But Isn’t Fiber Good For Us?
Yes! Fiber is amazing for us. That said, most of us have been fed non-stop since the day we were born. We’ve been encouraged to “clean up our plate” or “eat all that we take” all of our lives. Also, there are messages being broadcast that we might need to eat several times per day or that a “big breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” We’re overfed and undernourished.
Our systems rarely if ever are given a break from solid food. Fiber is awesome for sure. But if you want to spend some time giving the digestive system a break so healing can occur, juicing is great because it removes the fiber that takes extra metabolic energy to process. This allows concentration of nutrition, hydration as well as allowing the digestive tract to empty out.
Juicing Vs. Blending
One common question that comes up with people new to juicing is the difference between juicing and blending. Most households have a blender or food processor, but it is not as common to have a juicer. So it’s understandable to think “Hey! I can use my blender for the juice cleanse!” That isn’t the case unfortunately. While blending fruits and veggies in the blender to make smoothies is a great way to get wholesome fruits or veggies into your diet, it has one main difference from juicing. Blending doesn’t remove the fiber. While fiber is great for your healthy lifestyle routine after you have focused on healing, juicing is much easier on your system.
As we mentioned above, fiber slows down the digestion and metabolism of the fruits and veggies that you are consuming. In the western world, we have a habit of eating more food than we should. Consequently, our digestive systems never get a break from processing solid food. Often times our entire digestive tract is completely full of undigested, backed up waste products. Thus, by eliminating the fiber by juicing, the liquid is easily absorbed into the system rapidly. Without any solids, the body then has time and energy to begin moving these waste products out of the digestive tract. Once the digestive tract is open and empty, the real magic can begin. The body will then have the time, energy and SPACE to begin dumping cellular waste that has been backed up in the system and move it out of the body through its organs of elimination. This is where true healing can and will happen. Give the body time and it will begin to heal itself!
Blending and juicing are both awesome for health, but both serve different roles. My recommendation is to focus on fresh juices primarily with blended smoothies being a part of the lifestyle once true healing has occurred.
What Juicer Should I Get? Is My Current Juicer Good Enough?
Masticating. Cold-Press. Centrifugal. Triturating. Hydraulic Press. Single Auger. Twin Gear. Horizontal. Vertical. There are so many juicer options! What’s the best one? That is a great question and it really depends on what your goals are with juicing.
In order to best pick the best new juicer, or if you already have a juicer but want to level up, read through How To Choose The Best Juicer – A Simple Guide! to make your decision super simple. I’ve used a ton of juicers and this guide not only teaches you the different types of juicers, but gives you my recommendations in each category.
Top Tips For Getting Started:
Everyone is at a different point on their health journey so it’s important to consider what your current health condition is and what your lifestyle was before you were called to juicing.
What has your food intake lifestyle been like?
- Fast Food?
- Processed Food?
- Animal Products?
- Junk Food?
- Plant Based?
- Cooked Food Vegan?
- Raw Vegan?
What has your exercise lifestyle been like?
- Minimal Exercise?
- Some Walking?
Do you have any preexisting health conditions?
- Cardiovascular Disease?
- Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes
- Auto-Immune Disorders?
- Skin Conditions?
- Brain Fog?
The lists above are not meant to be all encompassing, but meant to help you assess where you’re at with your health and how best to proceed with your juicing journey. Depending upon what your current health condition is and for how long you have had poor lifestyle habits can determine how long it might take you to regain your health.
This is different for everyone. Don’t feel bad that you are in the situation you are in. Its OK! Be gentle to yourself and realize that you are now ready to take the steps necessary to improve your health. It will take time. Be patient. Juicing is the key!
Blood Sugar Sensitivity
If you have had a poor dietary lifestyle consisting of animal products, fast food, processed food, etc, you need juicing more than ever. However, there is a chance that if you have had limited fruit and vegetable intake, you’ll have a sensitivity to straight fruit juices.
This is not the fault of the fruit, but a direct result of poor dietary choices and your subsequent poor health. If this is your situation, it is best to start out primarily with green juices as they have a lower glycemic index. As your health situation improves, you’ll be able to add in fruit juices. Those with good health will be able to consume fruit juices no problem and will not have any ill effects from it. On the contrary, they will thrive!
What Should I Juice?
When starting out, keep it simple. Juice the fruits and veggies that you enjoy. Don’t over complicate it. Start out with basic, easy to find, delicious ingredients. Carrots, apples, melons, cucumbers and celery all make great tasting and healthy juices.
Here is a simple, classic juice to start with:
“Everybody’s Doin’ It”
- 8 Carrots
- 4 Apples
This recipe makes 32 OZ or 1 Liter of juice! Simple. Delicious. Nutritious. This is the first juice recipe that I ever made!
After you’ve spent some time, maybe a few weeks, making simple juices from those ingredients, seek out more medicinal ingredients. By “medicinal”, we’re talking about greens, herbs and roots that might have different flavors than what you’re used to, but add in incredible health benefits. Think about kale, chard, collards, parsley, arugula, cilantro, mint, basil, ginger, turmeric and beets. By adding these items into the mix, you’ll not only be taking the juice flavors up a notch, but these ingredients pack an incredible nutritional punch!
How Much Juice Should I Drink?
My recommendation as you get started is to listen to your body. Start out slowly and ease your way into the juicy lifestyle. In theory, you should be able to drink unlimited juice. However, your body should be able to receive it without any discomfort. As you drink your juice, your stomach and entire system should be calm without any gurgling or churning. If you experience this, it’s a sign that your system is not quite accustomed to the juice yet. Take time to introduce small amounts and gradually work your way up as your system gets acquainted with the juices.
Try having your first juice on an empty stomach. Start with 8-16 ounces. Drink it slowly over the course of 30 minutes to an hour. See how your body reacts. If you don’t have any issues, you can begin adding more volume at a time. For example, you could try having 32 oz at a time.
If a particular juice gives you some discomfort, reduce the amount to a level that doesn’t cause any stomach issues. Then you can gradually build the volume up over time.
For me personally, green juices were the juices that gave me stomach issues when I first started juicing. Over time, however, my system adjusted and now I can drink as much as I want without any discomfort.
One other recommendation is to begin taking a daily probiotic. This helps to populate your system with beneficial gut bacteria which will help your system digest the amazing juices you are consuming.
As your juice consumption picks up gradually, you’ll be able to drink whatever healthy juice that you crave, whenever you want it, in whatever quantity you desire!
What Should I Expect When I Start? – Detox
As you begin to flood your body with superior nutrition as well as empty out your digestive tract, your body will begin to eliminate old stagnate waste from throughout your entire system. Thus begins process of eliminating old cellular material and toxins and replacing it with new healthy tissue.
During this process, your new intelligent body will begin processing these toxins and waste out through the bloodstream and organs of elimination. They have been tucked away and dormant waiting for the opportunity to exit and now you are finally giving your body a chance to do exactly this!
As these toxins make their way out of the body, it is very common to experience detox symptoms. These are normal and will pass. Taking into consideration your current health condition, previous lifestyle and toxicity level will determine how intense these detox symptoms will be or how long they will last.
Here are some detox symptoms that you might experience:
- Fatigue and Brain Fog
- Skin Breakouts
- White Tongue or Tongue Sores
- Muscle or Joint Aches & Pains
- Gas & Bloating
There are various ways to cope with these detox symptoms. The main ways to assist, however, are to make sure that you are staying very hydrated, keep your stress levels low and make sure to get plenty of deep, restorative sleep.
If you are experiencing any of these detox symptoms, don’t give up! Just know that your body is working to rebuild itself. You are working on building a brand new you. Take the opportunity to rest your body and prepare it for the healthier new you that is on the way!
Should I Only Juice Organic Produce?
If one of our goals is to remove as many toxins that are stored in our bodies as possible, it should also be a goal to put no more toxins back into our system. Although it is nearly impossible in a modern world to completely eliminate coming into contact from chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides, buying organic is one way to assist with this.
Organic produce has become more readily available in recent years and the pricing has even come down as well. If you have the financial capability to purchase organic produce when juicing, I recommend making it a priority. If it is not in the cards for you, remember that juicing is still providing you with all the benefits of increased fruit and vegetable nutrition. Juicing conventional fruits and veggies will be better than not juicing at all.
One way to consider how to prioritize organic vs. conventional is by not purchasing conventional fruits and veggies from the Dirty Dozen list. This list is compiled by the Environmental Working Group and consists of 12 of the most highly chemically sprayed fruits and veggies. Opt for organic on these 12 items if they are available to you.
If faced with juicing conventional produce, a baking soda water soak can eliminate some surface residue from chemicals. Mix baking soda at a ratio of 1 teaspoon per 2 cups of water and soak your fruits and veggies for 12-15 minutes. There has been some research that has shown that this is the most effective way to eliminate some residue on your produce.
Do the best that you can and get organic when you can, but remember that juicing conventional produce is better than not juicing at all.
Can I Make Juice In Advance And Store It?
Nutritionally speaking, it is best to drink your juice as soon as you can after making it. As soon as you juice the produce, the clock starts ticking on the nutritional value of the juice. When you juice produce, it is exposed to air and light. This creates oxidation which is what causes the nutrition to decrease. Our goal is to flood ourselves with as much nutrition as possible so we want to preserve the nutrition for as long as we can before we drink the juice.
If you have a slow, masticating style juicer you can keep the juice topped up and sealed in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you have a centrifugal style juicer, you can store it, also topped up and sealed, for 24 hours. The centrifugal style juicer oxidizes the juice because of the super fast spinning blades so its doesn’t retain its quality as long. If you can’t make juice every day, I recommend making enough juice for 2-3 days every other day. It really helps to optimize the time spent prepping, cleaning up, etc.
The best way that I have found to store juices is in 32 oz (1 liter) glass canning jars with leak proof lids. In order to prevent oxidation, fill the jars up as much as possible to eliminate the air exposure between the top of the liquid and the lid. Store the juice in a refrigerator until you are ready to drink. By being stocked up, you’ll be much more likely to choose a juice rather than a snack that doesn’t fall in line with your health goals!
What About All the Pulp?
A common question from new juicers is what do you do with all the pulp? Isn’t it wasteful? Absolutely not! For some things, like citrus peels, these typically wouldn’t be consumed any way. In addition, you can compost these peels as well as the outer rinds of other produce items. This will turn the “waste” into valuable garden soil that you can grow more food in!
For the pulp leftover from the juice, however, you can also compost that in your compost pile or worm composting bin. Or, better yet, you can make delicious fruit and veggie pulp crackers! All you need is a dehydrator (or even your oven on the lowest temperature setting).
Here is a simple recipe to make juice pulp crackers
RECIPE FOR JUICE PULP CRACKERS:
- 4 Cups Juice Pulp
- 1/4 Cup Chia Seeds
- Approx. 2 Cups Water
- Stir the pulp well to make sure all the different components are well mixed.
- Sprinkle in the chia seeds. Add half of the water and mix well. The pulp should be wet but not so wet that water is standing in the mixing bowl. Add as much of the remaining water as needed to get a thick, spreadable consistency.
- Scoop the pulp onto a teflex sheet on your dehydrator tray. 4 cups is enough to perfectly fit on a standard 15”X15” tray.
- Using a spatula spread the pulp evenly out on the tray until the pulp is 1/4 inch thick.
- Gently score the pulp with the edge of the spatula marking the size that you would like your crackers to be when dry.
- Place the tray in the dehydrator for 10-12 hours at 105 F.
- When the cracker is just dry enough to peel off the teflex sheet, take the tray out and place it on your counter. Take another teflex lined tray and flip it upside down on to the cracker tray. Now take both trays, flip them over & take off the original tray bottom then gently peel the original teflex sheet off of the cracker. Place the tray back in the dehydrator for 3-4 hours or until they are completely dry.
- Once dry, break the crackers apart at the score lines.
- Pack in an air tight glass container and store indefinitely in your cupboard.
These crackers will store well, but trust me, they are so good that they won’t last long! Top with your favorite raw dips, nut cheeses, fruits or veggies and enjoy!
Make Sure To Clean Your Juicer!
Sometimes after a big juicing session, we might be tempted to not clean our juicer until the next day or even the next juicing session a couple days later. Just as it’s important to clean our other food prep equipment / utensils, it is just as important for us to clean our juicer immediately after use.
If we don’t, the residual juice and pulp left on the juicer will grow yeast, mold and bacteria. These critters will ultimately be transferred to your next round of fresh juices if you make the juice on a dirty juicer. When present, they can cause the juice to spoil and it will definitely not be good for you to drink.
Most juicers really don’t take much longer than 5-10 minutes to clean. Take this short window of time and get your juicer ready for the next juicing session. While cleaning the juicer, take the opportunity to focus on how amazing, delicious and life-giving the juice will be that you just made. You’ll begin to associate the cleaning with these positive thoughts and not the time or the effort that it takes to clean it.
A clean juicer is a happy juicer!
OK! Let’s Get Juicing!
I hope you have found this Beginner’s Guide To Juicing helpful! It may seem like a lot of info to process, but after you juice a few times, you’ll begin to get the hang of it! As you progress, make sure to come back to this guide and re-visit the basics. Each time you look over the Beginner’s Guide it will begin to make more sense to you.
Also, if you have any questions at all, leave them in the comments section and we’ll answer them right away!