Juicing!

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Some months back my husband and I watched the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. It is about a man who has all sorts of health problems. In an effort to improve his health, he decides to go on a juice fast. For 60 days, he consumes nothing but the fruits and vegetables that he juices. As a result, he loses weight and his health problems go away.

Ever since watching the documentary, my husband and I have been discussing whether or not we want to purchase a juicer and give juicing a shot. We finally decided to purchase a juicer when we were traveling and we stumbled upon one for an outstanding price.

I have to admit I have my reservations about juicing. First, fruits and vegetables do contain a lot of essential nutrients, but I wonder if our bodies are able to assimilate these nutrients as easily if the fruits and vegetables are juiced instead of eaten raw (with skin and pulp intact) or cooked.

Secondly, how does a person get adequate amounts of healthy fats and protein from an all juice diet? Since I am breastfeeding, this was/is a major concern of mine. Most fruits and vegetables have few, if any, calories and/or protein. So, in order to reach an adequate amount of caloric intake while juicing, one would need to consume an incredible amount of fruit/vegetable juice (as in drink it all day long and even then it might not be enough).

Thirdly, fruits and vegetables contain significant amounts of natural sugar. When we compare an apple’s sugar content to a candy bar’s sugar content, the apple would obviously have less sugar and would be healthier for us overall. Usually when we eat an entire apple, we feel satiated because of the consumption of the skin, pulp, and so forth. But, if we were to juice an apple, we would only get maybe a 1/4 cup or so of juice, which is not as filling. So to reach the same level of satiation (e.g. fullness), we would need to juice many more apples (four or so to get a full cup of juice), which means we would also be getting four times the amount of sugar. This is why one serving of juice (especially commercially processed juice) can have just as much, if not more, sugar in it than a commercially manufactured candy bar.

So there you have my primary concerns about juicing. However, juicing does provide some awesome benefits that are worth mentioning. First, a person is able to consume many more fruits and vegetables (and their healthy nutrients) than s/he would typically be able to consume in one sitting or day.

Secondly, it is delicious! A person who may not enjoy the taste of raw or cooked fruits and vegetables may enjoy them juiced.

Finally, for those people who primarily eat unhealthy/processed foods and who desire to “detox”, a juice cleanse (nothing but juice for a short period of time) may be worth a shot.

My husband and I decided to take two different approaches to juicing. He is going more of the detox route and substituting in juice for one or two meals a day as much as is feasible. On the other hand, I am juicing to simply add more fruits and vegetables to my diet. I admit, I would love to try to do a juice detox regime for seven to ten days, but I do not feel comfortable doing it while I am breastfeeding since my body needs a significant amount of calories and protein right now for milk production. So, for now at least, I am sticking with juicing as a snack/healthy beverage to enjoy throughout my day.

Here are two yummy blends to juice if you have a juicer!

Recipe One:

  • 1/2 of a yellow squash
  • 1 apple
  • 1 orange
  • 2 carrots

Recipe Two:

  • 2 carrots
  • 2-3 beets
  • 1-2 cups of swiss chard
  • 1 apple
  • 1 orange

Enjoy!

*This post is shared at Monday Mania and Real Food Wednesdays!

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4 thoughts on “Juicing!

  1. Jim Firaben says:

    Grace
    We too have a juicer but I have yet to use it. Kay has tried it in the past. I did how ever decide to add fruits and veggies to my daily smoothie. I figure its a good way to get more veggies plus its quick and easy. I was able to lose a few pounds as well. We have been hitting the local farmers market on the weekends and love the fresh fruits and veggies. I started taking canalope and watermellon to work as a snack. I love this time of year! I took Kay’s juicer out from under the sink and will have to give it a try. I know a good friend of mine used to juice and he loved it. He said he lost weight and had excellent energy. He did it on and off because of his active life style on the run all the time it was hard to maintain. Plus the cost and inconvenience of having to buy large amounts of fresh product. Have you ever read the book “Why Christians Get Sick”? The authur had terminal cancer and was told he would die. He changed his diet to all fresh fruits and veggies and started exercising and is cancer free. He is close to 90 year old I believe and is still doing great. If he listened to the doctors he would have died 30 years ago. Pretty amazing story of God’s awesome designed human body! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hello! I found you on the Real Food Wednesday Blog Hop.
    I have recently become interested in juicing as well, but have yet to buy a juicer. By nature I am slightly anti-juice. But as I have read about the role of potassium and salt in maintaining proper fluid balance in the body I have gotten interested in juiciing. Juice retains much of the potassium of the original food, making it possible to ingest more potassium and better regulate fluids. HOWEVER, you are right. In too great a quantities it can be really high in sugar. But vegetable juices pose little problem. It is the fruit juices that are problematic.

    That being said, I don’t think anyone is suggesting that an all juice diet is a stable diet for the long term. No doubt a severe reduction in calories would help somone lose weight and juices would give one great nutrient density. But you are right, they are unbalanced, and should not be drunk exclusively, unless you are on a short term fast (better know as a detox). Especially since you are breastfeeding, I really wouldn’t limit your calories below what you would normally eat. I used Weight Watchers (and just ate real whole foods) to help me establish HOW MUCH I should be eating, and I never had any problems losing the weight. I just looked for a 1-2 pound weight loss each week and adjusted my eating based on the previous week’s progress. Too fast weight loss can lead to your body leaching toxins into the breatmilk. So watch what you eat, but don’t push yourself too hard.

    Nice Blog!

    http://thetableofpromise.blogspot.com/2011/04/im-all-juiced-up.html

  3. I’ve been considering juicing to help my fruit and veggie hating daughter consume more of the things she’s missing. I could always add some coconut oil or other fats to it, too, especially since the fats are essential to helping absorb all the fruit and veggie goodness!

    Nourishing Traditions is big on blended soups, which is kind of like juicing with broth!

    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com has a series written by a friend who did a raw milk only diet for a while and her take on it.

    Oh, I always wanted to suggest Bulk Herb Store, too. You can subscribe to her newsletters and learn about all sorts of healthy ways to detox, cleanse, etc.

    Another great (and safe) way to cleanse during breast feeding is to add lemon water to your diet. Whenever you drink water, add some freshly squeezed organic lemon juice to your water.

    This is also a great time of year (especially in the north east) to start building up your immune system. Cold and flu season is just around the corner. As soon as children start going back to school, it seems an epidemic starts up! I’ve got the children and I on immune booster supplements. I’m also on extra vitamin C, garlic and echinacea. I’ve added more yogurt and a probiotic to my diet as well to strengthen my guts.

    Please let us know how the juicing goes!

    Kate Scott

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