I fed my kids bottled apple juice constantly when they were little, thinking it was so much better for them than water.
A cup of apple juice has 114 calories and 28 grams of sugar. The bottling process destroys many of the good things in fresh juice–Vitamin C and polyphenols, which prevent heart disease and cancer. The sugar high my kids got from drinking all that sugar was followed by an insulin blast that left my kids hyperactive then tired. Instead of providing excellent nutrition, I was sabotaging my children’s health.
Several years ago, a movie called Fat Sick and Nearly Dead changed my thinking about juice. In the movie, Joe Cross, an intense, high-energy Australian finance guy tells us he is fat, sick and nearly dead. He’s overweight, out of shape, and has a nasty autoimmune disease that gave him random cases of severe hives. His doctor prescribed ongoing steroid treatment and it was making his life a big mess. Of course, he wasn’t doing himself any favors, eating loads of high fat, high carb meals and drinking too much alcohol. He didn’t exercise and worked in a stressful job.
He goes to visit a doctor named Joel Fuhrman in New Jersey and learns a key lesson: Your body is what you put into it. Joel Fuhrman is a physician ‘nutritarian’ who has demonstrated that you can cure many chronic diseases just by eating healthy foods. I think he’s brilliant.
Remember, I told you the guy is pretty intense. I won’t go into the rest of the story (you can watch it yourself for free using the link above), but will tell you he goes on an adventure that’s pretty interesting. I will also tell you that at the end of the 60 days, he is a different person.
I don’t believe in juice fasting, but I love a great glass of green juice as a refreshing snack and supplement to my diet. If you look online, there’s quite a lively debate going on about the value of juicing, juicing vs. blending (to include the fiber in the fruit and veggies), bottled vs. fresh juice, eating disorders and juicing, the cost of juicing, etc. I’ve included some links below so you can read them if you’re interested.
I just like the way juice tastes, and I love the energized way I feel when I drink fresh green juice regularly as a supplement to my diet.
The first juicer we got was a ‘centrifugal’ juicer. You put the veggies into a spinning grater which chops the veggies, pulling the juice away as it spins. We found we wasted a lot of juice using this method–the ‘spoils’ were always quite wet. An advantage of this type of juicer is that it is easy to clean and you don’t need to cut up the veggies to run them through.
Our current juicer is a ‘masticating’ juicer. We’ve been quite pleased with it. It presses the veggies slowly, pushing the juice out. It is very efficient at getting the juice out–the waste is nearly dry. I do have to cut up the veggies more, but it’s not a big deal for me. You take the thing apart to clean it, but I have that down and can clean it fully using some dish soap and the brush that came with the unit in 3 minutes.
You can get your own Omega Juicer here: Omega Juicer
The garden has produced large heads of broccoli that we’ve enjoyed with dinner. When I saw how healthy the leaves were looking, I was excited to see how they tasted in a juice.
I looked through the refrigerator to find some other veggies and fruit to add. Pretty soon I had the ingredients for some awesome juice.
As soon as Chula realized what I was doing, she ran over and yipped, “Hey Mom, did you forget about my carrot?” I’ve never seen a dog so in love with carrots.
Please? Just one more? I’m a good girl, I am!
I got busy and started juicing.
I’ll recycle the waste into next year’s broccoli using our composter!
I handed Rob a glass and we sat on our back porch sipping it slowly and chatting after he finished work. Such a great way to wind down after a busy day.
Here’s what I put into our juice:
Note that there are many more green veggies than fruit. This gives you much more nutrition for the amount of sugar you’re consuming.
Juicing vs. blending and general commentary: Hayley MacMillan in Refinery29
Great commentary on juice fasting (and why I don’t juice fast): Katy Waldman in Slate