One of the reasons I decided to come back to blogging and to start up the facebook page is to address the many calls, email, texts and messages I get every day about juicing, weight loss, wellness and healthy eating. I am more than happy to share all I have learned and continue to research so I can be a better version of myself and have my friends join me! In order to get the ball rolling I would like to answer some of the most frequent questions and comments I receive. I will do my best to answer in simple terms and will be as precise as I can. This is not medical advice. This is my experience and my opinion only.
First thing everyone wants to know is, "Do you juice every day? How many times a day do you drink juice? Do you drink juice in addition to or instead of meals?"
When I was actively trying to lose weight I often juiced as a meal replacement or as a large part of my meal. I would juice for breakfast and lunch, have snacks during the day that consisted of organic soups and proteins and a very few fruits and nuts. I would eat a dinner of protein and vegetables. I didn't limit the amount of juice I would drink in the same way I wouldn't have limited the amount of salads I would eat in the past if I was particularly hungry one day. I would still eat those salads, by the way. The sensation of chewing was something I had to experience or I was in danger of breaking loose and raiding the pantry!
Now that I have lost most of the weight that I was hoping to and my energy level and health have improved, I juice once a day. Usually this juice is my breakfast, unless my run or workout is in the morning than I drink my green goodness afterwards.
As for what juicer I recommend and use, I will tell you right off the bat that I adore, no... LOVE to the point of obsession, my Omega VRT350. It is a "masticating" machine which means it imitates the chewing process and what that means for me is that the nutrients do not get oxidized by the heat of a fast juicer and I can store juices for up to 72 hours in the refrigerator. It is a pricey machine at $379 at www.amazon.com. It can be purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond with their popular 20% coupon too. The selling feature that finally pulled me in was the 10 year warranty.
Are there cheaper or less expensive machines? Of course. Most of those are centrifugal machines and that means they extract juice at a high speed. Due to this speed and the heat produced, these juices need to be consumed within 30 minutes. The cleanup is fairly easy from what friends have told me and these juicers usually come with a warranty of anywhere from 90 days to 1 year. My second choice when I was shopping and researching was the Breville Ikon. It is $195.00 at www.amazon.com and is also available at Bed Bath and Beyond with that same 20% coupon.
"What do you juice exactly and what recipes do you follow?" When I first started I felt I should follow recipes and add measured amounts of ingredients. I loved the book, The Big Book of Juices and Smoothies by Natalie Savona. ( http://www.amazon.com/Big-Book-Juices-Smoothies/dp/184483266X).
My kids still use this book to pull out some of their favorites and it is great for inspiration when I'm tired of the same old thing and want to venture out a bit in the produce world. Most of the time though, I just use combinations of what is fresh and available at my local markets. I always use a base of kale or spinach and add cucumbers, celery and/or romaine to add volume. I love fennel and beets though not everyone in my house is a fan and I have learned from experience that lemon, ginger and parsley are ingredients to use lightly. A teeny bit packs a wallop. To add sweetness apples, carrots and grapes are popular choices though fruit is something I, as a diabetic, restrict greatly. A general rule of thumb for me is if I like it I add it freely. If it something I know I do not like I will try only a small amount to test my taste buds and see if maybe juicing it will be a different experience. When I find something new, and this is often still, I will add modest amounts until I figure out if it is something I want more of.
I hope this brief gathering of information is enough to get you on your way to a healthier lifestyle. Please let me know what you think and share your experiences! I would love to build a community here and you are a big part of it. Thank you,