I’ve never been a fan of juicing. Well, that is to say, I’d never actually tried juicing until recently. Being a health-seeking, diet-conscious, “crunchy” mom, I have definitely heard lots about juicing and even know about the myriad of health benefits. It just wasn’t for me. That was until I tried it. On a recent visit with a friend, I politely and delicately drank the concoction she bought for me at Whole Foods: kale, chard, celery, beet, and apple. It was surprisingly good. It did have a noticeable “earthy” undertone, but I’m not picky and thought it might do my travel-weary body some good. Fast forward two hours later, and let’s just say my digestive system got a good clearing. A clearing that continued about every 2 hours for the rest of the day. When my friend suggested we juice the next day, I obliged and shared another juicy concoction. With each cup, the cleansing effect lessened but was still effective. I arrived home after 3 days of having just one cup of juice per day, and I was shocked that I had lost 8 pounds!
Thus the hunt for a juicer of my own began. I easily found one second-hand that will do to get me started. I researched recipes online but mostly decided to just buy a bunch of veggies and “wing it.” And after only one week of juicing one time a day, I’m seriously hooked. I have lost another 4 pounds and I already see a difference in my complexion as well. I’ve also noticed a decrease in sugar cravings, I’m sleeping more soundly without waking at night, and of course it keeps me very regular. I love that I am getting a full day’s worth of a variety of vegetables in one serving. What I’ve found is that some vegetables that are hard to get in every day or just are not my favorites, taste just fine when combined with other veggies.
So if you have ever thought about juicing (or even if you never have but are now curious,) take advice from this skeptic and give it a try. There are tons of health food stores and restaurants that can introduce you to the world of juicing, or ask around and you surely have a friend who would loan you a juicer for a time. Here are a few beginner tips from this beginner:
- Only buy certified organic produce and wash well. You don’t want to spoil your efforts with nasty chemicals and pesticides in your juice.
- Start slowly. You don’t want to start with a full-on juice fast if you’ve never even tried it before. One cup a day will have so many healthy benefits without keeping you in the bathroom for days.
- Go easy on the fruits. Remember that most fruits are loaded with natural sugars. If you are trying to kick sugar cravings or shed some pounds, concentrated fruit juice will not help you.
- Keep it simple. Start out with 3 or 4 fruits and veggies in a serving and build up from there.
- If you don’t like the taste of your concoction, throw in 1/2 an apple. I have found that just a half apple greatly improves the taste of even some of the “earthiest” creations I have come up with.
- Add 1/2 lemon or lime (with the rind) for an energy burst as well as a zesty flavor.
- Don’t be afraid to try fruits and vegetables that you don’t normally care for. Not a fan of beets? Neither was I, but I am shocked at how delicious they are when combined with carrots, green leafys, and my half apple.
I hope I’ve inspired some of you to enter into the world of juicing. Whether you scour the internet for recipe combinations or just “wing it” like I did, I hope you come up with some juices that will please your palate. Your body will thank you for sure!