Hi FitKit readers! My name is Victoria and I blog over at Reluctantly Skinny (www.reluctantlyskinny.com), where I try to prove that healthy living isn’t a chore, but something that can be fun and rewarding. I’m extremely conscious of what’s going into my body, and one of my favorite ways to ensure that it remains nutritious, clean, and functioning is to juice.
Juicing, while it has gotten a lot of controversy over the past few years, has done a world of good on my body and I believe it can for you, too!
Pros and Cons of Juicing
To start, juicing is the most efficient way to consume fruits and vegetables, especially if you’re not a fan of eating them on a regular basis. It also provides a quick alternative to throwing out close to expired produce (the food group Americans waste the most money on annually).
Fresh juices provide an optimal amount of certain nutrients that are necessary to remain in good health. Because the fruits and vegetables are predigested, or liquefied, maximum absorption of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants takes place.
On the contrary, there are certain nutrients that aren’t fully retained or provided through juicing. Lack of protein seems to be the biggest complaint when it comes to juicing. Despite what we may think, however, plants are rich in protein, too, especially broccoli, whose calories come mainly from protein. Compared to 100 calories of steak, 100 calories of broccoli contains almost 5 grams more protein. The difference comes in the amount of broccoli you’d have to eat compared to the steak to reach that amount of calories. With a steak, though, a majority of your calories are also coming from unnecessary fat.
Plants are some of the most nutrient dense food. But, some of these nutrients are in the fiber, which is left behind in the juicing process in the form of pulp. Not all of the fiber is extracted, like many believe, but a good majority, unfortunately, is. The only way I know of to retain all of the fiber is to purchase a Vitamix, which is pretty darn expensive! Juicers aren’t cheap; they range from $100-$400 dollars, which is a lot to spend on an appliance with a single function.
Personally, I think it’s money well spent. Homemade juice is a far better alternative to store bought juices, which are full of added sugar and preservatives. Store bought juices are pasteurized, which means they’ve been heated to a specific temperature, then immediately cooled to slow spoilage. Unfortunately, this process also kills the living enzymes that you’ve most likely consumed the produce for in the first place. Though fresh juice doesn’t have the shelf life of supermarket juice, it’s perfectly fine to make a batch a week and store in air-tight mason jars. Fresher is always better anyway, if you ask me!
Juicing to Detox
I first got into juicing as a way to detox, or flush out the toxins in my body, without having to use a buy-online program ridden with chemicals. Rebooting once or twice a year can be extremely beneficial for your mind, body, and spirit, but it’s necessary to still consume nutrients, which juicing provides, to function and stay alert.
My detox period usually lasts about three days and I typically consume about four to six juices throughout the day. Juicing during the detox period will provide much needed energy, remove any feeling of lethargy, and provide an amazing sense of clarity. I actually use this period to mentally recharge and sort out any lingering issues, thereby detoxing my body and my mind.
Juicing for Life
Juicing is, in no way shape or form, a permanent replacement to all solid foods. Once the detox period is complete, it is wise to adopt a diet of clean, unprocessed foods, and supplement with homemade juices.
In general, I create a batch of juice a week and add them to my morning or afternoon meals to continue to reap the benefits. Since I began juicing regularly, I have noticed an increase of energy level, a significant change in my complexion, and an overall sense of just feeling healthier.
So go ahead…drink up!
And in case your wondering…here’s my favorite juice recipe;
4 carrots, 3 apples, 4 celery stalks, 1/2 lemon, 1 inch ginger