I’m a big fan of juicing, and have been for a long time.
The biggest thing I’ve noticed in myself is that it gives me amazing energy, clarity, and the ability to gradually let go of things in my diet that aren’t good for me. I’ve been juicing for years, but decided to take the plunge and buy a really stellar juicer this year at the post-holiday sales.
And due to limited counter space, I had to make a choice on what of my many appliances deserved a spot on the counter permanently. I decided to replace my espresso machine’s coveted spot with my new juicer. That’s when my love affair with juicing rocketed to a new level. And…when I let go of my daily morning latte.
Why juice? Well, it’s an easy, efficient, and tasty way to get tons of fruits and veggies into your diet. It’s not a substitute for healthy eating, it’s a supplement to it. You still need to eat whole fruit and veggies. You still need to rock out your salads and broccoli. Juicing is something you add to what you’re already doing. That way you still get all the fiber and goodness from the foods you chew, but by adding juice to your daily routine you literally bathe your cells in enzymes, phyto-nutrients, and the power of the sun.
Here’s a few fun facts I’ve gather over the years to help you take your first sip of the Kale-Aid:
What’s the difference between juicing and smoothies?
Good question. The main difference is that juicing removes the insoluble fiber from the fruits and veggies, while making smoothies retains the fiber. I know your next question. But don’t we need the fiber? Yes, we do! That’s why juicing is something that you add into your diet. It’s like the best quality, best tasting, most delicious vitamin pill in a drink! You will still continue to eat your salads, fruits, and veggies and simply add in juicing for vibrant health. I personally like to use smoothies and juice in my diet.
What kind of juicer is the best?
That’s a very individual question, and one that depends on your personality, budget, and tolerance for cutting and cleaning. The two main types of juicers are Centrifugal and Masticating.
The centrifugal juicer, like the well-loved Breville, grates and spins the fruit or veggie separating the juice from the pulp. These babies are fast and easy, and don’t require much pre-cutting or lengthy cleaning. You can fit an entire small apple right down the chute! On the downside, you must drink the juice within 20 minutes or it begins to loose it’s nutrient value, due to the fact that the spinning gives the air more opportunity to oxidize the juice. Centrifugal juicers will set your wallet back about $80-$200, depending on the model.
The masticating juicer simply grinds and squeezes the juice out of the produce. It’s a slower process, and requires a bit of cutting to get the pieces small enough to fit through the feed tube. While the process is more time consuming, the end product is of higher quality, quantity, flavor, and nutritional value. And depending on the model of masticating juicer, the juice retains it’s nutrient value for up to 48 hours. There are several types of masticating juicers, and they run from $180-$1,000. There’s even a two-step juicer that is a whopping $2,500.
What juicer do you have?
I started out with a re-conditioned Breville that cost me about $100. I used it for about four years, and loved it. After much research, I decided I wanted to upgrade to a juicer that was better with juicing kale and other greens. That’s when I upgraded to a masticating, twin-gear juicer. Through my research, I concluded that the two best juicers for my money were the Omega 8006 (about $280-$300) and the Super Angel 5500 (about $900-$1100).
I decided to go Super Angel, even though it’s clearly more expensive, after watching countless YouTube videos and comparisons. The Super Angel gave the best output for your produce than any juicer they tested. And, it’s all stainless steel parts. The downside to the Angel is that it does take about five minutes to clean, while the Omega is a bit easier and quicker to clean. So really it comes down to budget, what you’ll be juicing, and how much time you want to spend cleaning.
What should I juice?
The truth is, you should be juicing more veggies than fruit. The real magic of juicing is the ability to sneak in some more green veggies into your diet. Fruit juices just don’t offer as many health benefits as veggie juices, and they contain more sugar. So, my recommendation is to have about a 50/50 ratio of veggies to fruit in your juice to begin with. Then, gradually ramp up your veggies each week until you get to more of an ideal ratio of 70/30. As intuition will tell you, juicing green veggies is the healthiest thing you can squeeze. So add small amounts into all your juices, working yourself up to a healthy amount of green each day.
Green Lemon-Aid: (see video below)
2 green apples with the skin on (although any apple will do)
3-6 celery stalks (start with 3 and work your way up to 6 over the next month)
1-2 inches of fresh ginger (optional, but delicious!)
1/2- 1 peeled lemon (start with half a peeled lemon, and toy with the amount you love)
3-8 leaves of kale (start with less, and gradually increase your greens ratio – using romaine or spinach is more subtle for newbies)
2 apples with the skin on (any kind will do)
2 leaves of kale (or romaine for a more subtle flavor)
1-2 celery stalks
1/2 a cucumber (peel if it’s not organic)
1/2 a beet (peel if it’s not organic)
1/4 lemon OR 1 inch ginger (optional, if you like a little zing)
Go Ahead, Drink the Kale-Aid
About the Author:
For Carole Westerman, yoga and music go together like organic fair-trade dark chocolate, and freshly ground organic raw peanut butter. Each one brings out the magic of the other. Well chosen music can create an emotion-filled atmosphere, common vibration, and a general bhava (mood) to a yoga class just like a good soundtrack elevates a movie to the next level.
In addition to music, Carole’s other passions include, yoga, and juicing. She strongly believes in the mind-body connection, and uses her years of experience in the field of Psychology to help bridge the two through heart-centered teaching; weaving together body, breath, and mind through the power of movement, and the vibration of music.
Carole is a happy and joyful member of Shiva Rea’s Prana Flow® Yoga Tribe, and is a mentor in her Teacher Training Program as well as an assistant for both Shiva Rea and Twee Merrigan. Carole is also currently in Teacher Training with Noah Maze, adding to her already over 1,000 collective hours of Yoga Training in various styles of yoga.
Find out more about Carole’s favorite music, resources, yoga workshops, juicing, and general musings at her website: www.CaroleWesterman.com.