After years of juicing one thing is clear to me: it is not so easy to start. I get so many emails and questions on our Facebook page about juicing that I thought it was time to write a basics guide for my friends, family and of course you– reader and soon-to-be juicing aficionado. So welcome to my Juicing Basics Guide.
If you haven’t already, please subscribe to my juicing newsletter, where I share a ton of information all about juicing and get a 20+ page e-book on how to jump start your juicing career and my top 10 recipes to treat common ailments such as:
My sincerest wish is that juicing and living a healthy life will change everything for you. I know this may not come immediately after reading
or buying your first juicer.
But believe me it will happen!
Fruits and vegetables contain everything the body needs: macronutrients,
, enzymes, vitamins and minerals.
After juicing your first few glasses, you’ll feel better and more energetic. And be ready for a life full of energy to work out and resist the foods that are bad.
Remember candy bar cravings that won’t stop until you’ve eaten every last bite? They’ll be gone and your health will improve with their absence. So, remember to bookmark this page for when you need actionable advice on juicing.
What You Need to Know to Get Started
Sometimes it’s hard to write an article like this, because people have different backgrounds and different health situations. However, I wanted to compile a list of basic juicing tips that would help anyone who wants to start improving their diet.
In this post, I’d like to tackle the
Who of juicing.
If you already know that you want to start juicing, but don’t know which juicer to buy, look at my
Juicer Buying Guide
. Because I won’t be covering the intricate details of different juicer machines in this articles.
Should you or should you not start juicing? This is a tough question to answer, but I’ll try my best to lay out various scenarios, along with the various pros and cons of juicing–so you can make up your own mind.
You're not going to get healthy just from juicing
I know there are many fitness and juicing gurus out there who proclaim that to become healthy and agile, just with drink a couple of juices in a day.
They’re also busy selling their fitness products, e-books and supplements to you, to help in finally become healthy. Unfortunately, getting healthy just from drinking juice it’s not so easy and deep in your heart you know it.
Eating burritos, burgers and chocolate cake all day long, and drinking three glasses of healthy juices on top–simply isn’t going to work.
What you need to do is think about eating and living a healthy life.
is a great start if you’re looking for healthy recipes.
The good thing about juicing is that it can help you be more conscious about your daily intake of crucial macro and micronutrients. Many people do have their macros well covered (mostly through eating a higher carb diet, but proteins and fats are also well covered) but ignore the power of micronutrients (sometimes called phytonutrients).
These elements are responsible for your whole body’s functionality: hormone control, insulin, etc. If you don’t get enough micros, your body can’t live up to its full potential and might even get ill.
Juicing can help get the necessary fruits and veggies in your body needs in one go. And it’ll help with the occasional cravings for high carb, fatty foods.
If suffering from certain illnesses, pay close attention to what you juice
Either people believe they’ll get lean by drinking fruit juices or they think they’ll get fat. Neither is true. Drinking fruit juices will result in a higher intake of sugar – and you have to be careful not to exaggerate such an intake. But what’s makes you fat is a bad overall diet. Not fruit juices.
If you are a diabetic or suffer from any type of sugar or fructose related illness, I highly advise not to consume any fruit juice. Instead try to juice vegetables like cucumber, broccoli and kale– which don’t result in insulin spikes.
If on a very tight budget, juicing might not be for you
Yes, juicing is relatively speaking expensive. First you need to buy a juicer, then you need to buy produce for the juicer (which is usually more than produce used for cooking).
Also, I highly
advise buying organic produce
. Organic food provide a lot more phytonutrients and are of better quality. But, organic can be more expensive.
So, if you’re on a tight budget, I wouldn’t recommend juicing for the time being. Instead, try to overhaul your eating habits and prepare your own meals with a great variety of veggies.
There are certain types of people who, in my personal experience, just won’t benefit from juicing or will quit it right away. Believe it or not, human beings can be fit into “personas”.
Personas are fictional characters that represent a person from a certain demographic and social background. I find it helpful to think of my readers as certain types of personas.
Who knows? Maybe you fit into one of these?
Babette is busy. She’s a marketing executive at a Fortune 500 company and generally works 60h+ per week. Which means there’s little time for friends, family or food intake.
Babette somehow finds the time to workout several times per week because she needs this to relax and let her mind wander. Babette has just ended a semi-satisfying relationship with her ex-husband Danny. Of course, there was never time for kids, let alone intimacy.
Babette is very intelligent and well versed in terms of which foods are good. In her youth, she has co-authored a student newsletter and had her own health column. So, Babette knows she needs a lifestyle change.
Is juicing something for her? Let’s see:
Why she should start juicing
Juicing can help her get the necessary nutrients she lacks in her daily diet. Instead of coffee, she she have a juice in the morning. That would go a long way.
If prepared in advance, juicing can actually save her some time. But she needs to work on a thorough plan for grocery shopping and food prep.
By adding one juice per day she can use the time to "cool down" from her regular job and be more productive.
Why juicing might not be for her
Juicing takes time. She may be better off just chopping a few fruits and veggies and pack it as a quick lunch for the office
Juicing takes time! Somebody needs to do the shopping. It takes even more time if you go through a farmer's market and select the produce carefully.
This is Overweight Oliver. Oliver is…well, little overweight. Oliver works at an IT firm, so most of his day is spent at his desk or computer. When he’s home he feels weak and exhausted, and likes to watch his favorite TV show: Big Bang Theory.
Oliver also has a little snacking problem. His desk’s upper drawer is full of crackers, sweets and soda. He knows perfectly well that it’s bad for him, but he can’t resist the temptation. The craving is just too strong and work too boring.
He has tried some diets, but to no avail. One or two weeks into them and he quits, depressed with himself. His weight control problems result in all sorts of other health issues: high blood pressure, mood swings and back pain. He despises working out and going to the gym.
Is juicing something for Overweight Oliver?
Juicing might help Oliver get a couple of the nutrients into his body that are currently missing.
Juicing can help Oliver bring his energy back and balance those mood swings. He might even like to go to the gym or workout.
If Oliver starts to juice I'd recommend him a masticating juicer and going green. He should juice veggies, such as kale and cucumber which help with high blood pressure.
Why Oliver shouldn't juice
First and foremost, Oliver should start making some minor changes to his lifestyle. He may start going for a walk a couple of times a week or work on a standing desk.
Juicing could add an additional layer of complexity to his life which might result in analysis paralysis and stop him from becoming healthy.
He may juice too many fruits which could result in over consumption of sugar. This, in turn, go straight into body fat. So Oliver, veggies only!
Student Sally is a 20 something college student, so there are very busy phases in her life, while some moments are more tranquil where she’s got plenty of time on her hands. The only problem is: there is no money. A big, voracious student loan has eaten up all her savings and created a hole into her bank account.
Unlike Oliver, Sally’s on the other end of the spectrum: she has a hard time getting enough calories in. She’s slightly underweight, often has a pale complexion and is lactose and fructose intolerant– which limits the type of foods she can eat.
She knows she has to do something to get her minerals in, but she doesn’t like the idea to buy pills and supplements. Besides: she has no money and supplements are expensive. So should Sally start juicing?
Why she should start
Juicing will help her get all the micronutrients she needs. She doesn't need to eat much, instead she just needs one juice a day.
Juicing can fit her schedule. If she's more time on her hands she can juice, and in times of stress she can just eat the raw fruits and veggies.
Juicing can help her get a more rosy complexion because juicing helps to bring more oxygen to the cells.
Why Sally shouldn't juice
First, she needs to buy a juicer. While there are cheap models, even $100 maybe unaffordable at a student's salary. Plus, she needs to buy a lot of fresh produce.
There maybe not enough space in her dorm for a juicer and a centrifugal juicer (the only model she could afford) tends to be quite loud.
Say hello to Family Frank! Frank is a stay-at-home dad in his forties. His wife Mona works in management at a consulting firm – so he’s home almost all the time. He takes care of their three kids (4, 6 and 8 – 1 girl, 2 boys).
As a careful and attentive parent, he’s always looking for the best nutrition for his kids and family. He has lots of time on his hands when the kids are away – so he reads a lot about nutrition and healthy food. He just stumbled upon the “juicing craze” and wants to know if he can get more out of his already healthy organic food diet.
Money is not an issue. He earns a few dollars here and there from his Internet side business, but most of the income comes from Mona. So he already knows he doesn’t want to be cheap if he decides to juice. Frank sincerely hopes that juicing could help his kids eat more veggies because they just don’t seem to like veggies very much.
Why Frank should start juicing
Frank is lucky! He has time and money. Both great for juicing. You can buy a decent juicer, get great organic produce and also have time to prepare it. I wish I was in your shoes!
Believe me, your kids are going to love your veggie juice if you mix it with an apple or a pear. Promise!
Why he shouldn't juice
It's hard to come up with reasons not to juice in his situation. He just needs to make sure he juices enough veggies and tries things like sweet potato or even garlic.
Keep in mind that a juicer needs space in your kitchen. If you're already overwhelmed by your bred baker, dehydrator, blender, Kitchen Aid and what not, a juicer might have a hard time to fit.
Some of you may know Joe Cross. He has been an inspiration for many people around the world to start a better, more healthy life. With his documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” Joe showcased his transformation from being overweight, to healthy and fit– all with the help of juicing.
Juicing has tremendous
, which I have discussed in an earlier article on BestJuicer.net.
The Benefits of Juicing
especially when juicing veggies
Juicing is a great way to ingest more fruits and vegetables than you would normally. For example you don't like to eat them or just don't have the time.
Juices are soooo delicious and you can create great smoothies, too. Or even some healthy nut milks. Yummie!
With a certain routine and plan, juicing can be a quick process if you have the right juicer. If you have a masticating slow juicer, you can even store your juice for more than a day in the fridge or take it to work as a meal replacement.
If you want the fiber, add some it back to your juice and put it in a blender.
Homemade juices are so much more healthy than store-bought. Who wants to drink a juice that has a shelf life of over a months or even longer. Not me!
You can use the leftover pulp for cakes or quiches but it's also great for broths.
Remember Family Frank? Kids love fresh juices even if they contain a lot of veggies.
Making your own juice can have a meditative effect on your body and mental health. It's great to relax and drink something that you've made yourself (and mother nature, of course)
I know so many people who excitedly purchased their first juicer and
ramp up a couple of fruits and vegetables to start juicing
and a couple of weeks later, their beloved juicer collects dust in the attic. I don’t want this to happen to you because juicing can be the opportunity of a lifetime to get on a healthier path without having to diet or count calories.
This is why most people fail, they just feel trapped in their daily routines and feel they can’t make more room for yet another life changing miracle. I don’t say that juicing is a miracle cure for everything, but I guarantee once you’ve started, there’s no looking back.
But, you need to know what kind of fruits and vegetables to juice in the first place and in what quantities.
Many people get overzealous when they first start juicing. They start drinking 2 liters of fruit juice every single day thinking that all those vitamins must be good for the body, right? And two weeks later, they wonder why on earth they’ve managed to pack on additional pounds; instead of becoming the muscled hunk they had envisioned.
You see, vitamins are not the problem (vitamins don’t make anyone fatter), because the body just gets rid of access vitamins and minerals it doesn’t need to survive. The big problem is sugar. Fruits have a very high level of fructose (which is natural sugar), or a monosaccharide. Now the good part is that fructose is insulin independent and thus can be stored without the need of insulin. Therefore, you won’t get those nasty insulin spikes that result in sugar being stored immediately as body fat.
while fructose is still better than glucose
(another type of sugar) from industrial sugar (white sugar) it still can cause insulin insensitivity and obesity if consumed in access.
The advantage of juicing can also be a major drawback: while you can consume a lot of the nutrients without having to eat all day long, this also provides a gateway for fructose to enter the body. Which is a mistake. So, when you start juicing, make sure you take it easy in the beginning.
The Health Benefits of Juicing
and why veggies are good for you
Juicing Vegetables & Leafy Greens
and why it's good for you
So, we already know that consuming too much fruit juice is not a good idea (too much sugar). So, how can we deal with this sweet issue: obviously, by juicing less fruit but more veggies.
It just happens to be that everything that’s green and edible is perfectly suited for juicing. It’s difficult to “over-juice” on greens. Yet extremely easy to overdo it with fruits.
So, what I want to teach you today in this little e-book is how you can get in shape, melt body fat and finally detox your body from everyday life’s gunk. I guarantee a huge transformation in the way you eat, breath, feel, workout and live. The experience will be so much better and more intense than anything else you’ve ever experienced, compared to detox pills, cleansing miracle and phony diet plans.
In fact, I don’t want you to diet at all. I want you to change your lifestyle and incorporate one healthy juice per day. That is enough to catapult the body into much better shape (internally).
In the following section, I’d like to introduce you to the 5 superstars of juicing. These vegetables are the real heroes when it comes to making you feel better. I try to get them into my juices whenever I can, to make sure I have the best start to the day as possible.
The good part about these five is they are readily available all year-round – so no excuses, head to the next (organic) supermarket and buy them.
Cucumber is my base. I always have at the very least 3 cucumbers at home. Cucumber consist mainly of water without sugar. It’s also great for infusions, if you’re not up to a juice.
You can juice cucumber plain and add a bit of lime juice and you have a healthy, delicious, simple mix that’ll gives you a lot of the most important nutrients the body need. It’s rich in Vitamin K, which helps bones to get stronger. So, if you’re into strength training and/or weightlifting, cucumber’s the juice for you.
I know there are many people who don’t like Broccoli. But try juicing it with cucumber and sweet apples– you will love it! Broccoli is an incredible vegetable. I’m always amazed how nature find ways to make foods so nutrient dense foods that you could live off them rest of your life–like Broccoli.
It contains high level of fiber and is a great Vitamin C source. Believe me when I say: you don’t need any vitamin supplements if you eat enough Broccoli.
Also, eating Broccoli is apparently linked to decreasing the risk of cancer, provided it isn’t cooked too much. Good news: Broccoli can be juiced raw, so all the best nutrients are still well and healthy – ready to be consumed.
I must confess Kale is for more advanced juicers who want to take their health to the next level. It has a far stronger taste than broccoli and is equally nutrient dense with great fibers and vitamins, antioxidants and it’s great for cardiovascular support.
I highly recommend juicing kale with a masticating juicer, because of the high yield quantity.
I have successfully juiced kale with a centrifugal juicer, but make sure you mix the order up; so once leaf of kale, then a piece of cucumber, another leaf of kale and pineapple etc.
Mixing up the order of produce juiced will give you the best results and your juicer the ability to extract more juice from the leafs.
Fresh ginger helps your body with the absorption of nutrients. If you make the effort of juicing, then you want to make sure your body is up for the nutrient splash it’s getting.
But that’s not enough: I absolutely love the light spicy taste it leaves in my juice. Don’t worry, it’s not the burning sensation same burning sensation jalapeños have (I’ve done that, too, not recommended, though).
Ginger has a very good reputation, especially when it comes to gastrointestinal distress. I always chew on a slice of ginger when idling on a boat or plane. If you happen to be pregnant and suffer from nausea, ginger might be a great way to find natural relief.
There are many more benefits that make ginger an absolute must have for juicing.
I know many people think of Popeye when they hear Spinach. He loves eating Spinach. Ever wonder why Popeye loves spinach so much? It’s because the majority of its calories comes from protein and we know protein equals good source of calories, because it doesn’t make us fat. So when thinking about mixing up your next whey protein shake, maybe try drinking some spinach juice instead. Also, it’s a great source of iron and potassium which is a mineral that helps to keep the heart, kidney and muscle tissue healthy. Spinach has a lot of health benefits such as diabetes management, asthma prevention, lowering blood pressure and many more.
You cannot juice Spinach using a centrifugal juicer because the yield is just terrible. A masticating juicer will be needed for this task, so that the you can extract the most out of spinach. If you’re really want to get the best out of fruits and vegetables check out the Greenstar juicer.
Asparagus has a peculiar taste that not everybody likes, so it might take some time getting used to drinking its juice. I have come to love asparagus in my juices for both taste and health. One of the disadvantages of asparagus is that you need to consume it fast, or it will lose its nutrient value quickly.
Asparagus provides a truly unique combination of anti-inflammatory nutrients
. Also, Asparagus provides high levels of Vitamin C, beta-carotene and Vitamin E and also minerals like zinc, manganese and selenium
Ever heard about the benefits of anti-oxidants? Well, asparagus contains a lot of them too. Anti-oxidants reduce the risk of chronic health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.
Check out this healthy green juice recipe!
Amazing Kale Juice Recipe
basil or parsley
Wash your kale leaves thoroughly. Some juicers may require you to cut it into pieces. I added mine to my Omega just as is and it worked fine.
Cut the cucumber in half and put it into your juicer. If your juicer has a large enough mouth you don't need to cut it any further. The Omega 8006 requires a bit more work. You can absolutely use the whole cucumber if you like.
Wash and cut the apple. You can juice the entire apple - no worries.
Peel the lime and make sure to leave a lot of the white on it - that's where all the beautiful nutrients are located and we want them all in our juice.
Add the basil to your juicer. You should consider rotating the basil with the cucumber to get better yield or blend the basil with your juice altogether.
If you have any of the questions above, fear not, as I’ll give straight and simple answers.
The good news is that juice can be drunk any time during the day or even at night. However, there are certain benefits to drinking a fresh glass of juice just after getting out of bed:
As your stomach is empty after a good night’s sleep, it is more than ready to absorb of all the nutrients contained in a glass of juice– early the morning.
I like to drink a juice made from a cucumber, add a little bit of lemon zest and some celery; a concoction which will boost energy during the day. Try to drink a glass of juice each morning after waking up and pile on a good breakfast a little bit later.
If you’re up for a little more calories in the morning, prepare yourself a nice smoothie, that way you don’t even have to “eat” in the morning if you’re having trouble getting anything down early.
We live in a world of abundance. Just hop around the corner and you’ll find a great selection of fruits and vegetables all year long. This availability comes at a price though. The food that we buy in the supermarket on a daily basis is treated with pesticides and herbicides, which make the produce resistant against vermin and fungal infestation. While it’s nice to have good looking and fresh food all year long, the bad news is, an average human being is exposed to those toxins and there a numerous studies that blame them for all sorts of cancer.
So, when I buy my produce, I try to get organically seasonal food from the market. Yes, it is more expensive and time consuming, but when you think about long term benefits, it’s well worth it. Especially if you’re an athlete and have specific nutritional requirements (lots of protein, for example), it’s important to get high quality foods.
Try to get food as fresh as possible from a local source, if you can’t do that, make sure to thoroughly wash your produce before juicing or eating it. Too little is known about the side effects of pesticides – so better safe than sorry.
This is it! What's next?
Congrats! You’ve made it through the beginners guide! I really hope I could help shed some light on the topic of juicing. If you still have any questions, shoot me an email or post something on my Facebook page.