I have been wanting to share this with you for months, but wanted to make sure I had some practice under my belt before I wrote about our experience with juicing.
In January, Matt and I decided we needed to make some changes to our diet. After Thanksgiving and Christmas, we had just about reached our limit with indulgent foods. Another catalyst was that we went to the mall to spend our Christmas gift cards and both left the stores grouchy and defeated because our normal size clothes were a tad too snug. Ok... I lie. They were not just a tad too snug but rather "I can't even pull these pants over my a$$" too snug. Time for a change.
The health benefits of juicing are no secret and I had been reading up on the topic for months. I just needed an excuse to pull the trigger and get a juicer. After many hours of research, we ended up selecting the Hurom Slow Juicer and we are thrilled with our purchase. Since it is a slow press juicer, it gently squeezes the ingredients through a fine mesh strainer, preserving the vitamins, nutrients and flavor.
Since we have been juicing, I have lost about
16 28 pounds and Matt... wait for it... 35 47 pounds! Granted he lived on a diet of chocolate and pizza prior to his adoption of clean eating but he looks like a new person! This juicer has changed our taste buds, eating habits and ultimately our lives. Below, I am going to share what we have learned over the past few months through our experience with juicing.
Our daily juice normally consists of 2 carrots, 2 ribs of celery, 1 apple, 1 grapefruit, 1 lime, 1 lemon, 1 cucumber, a knob of fresh ginger, a knob of fresh turmeric and a crap-load of leafy greens. Based on what is available, we switch it up from time to time, adding sweet potatoes, beets, lettuce and berries at times.
A general rule of thumb is if you can eat it, you can juice it. You wouldn't eat the skin of a pineapple or orange, so don't' juice those.
It is very important to rotate your greens. Right here, I'm using spinach and baby kale but we also incorporate dandelion greens, collard greens, parsley, cilantro and Swiss chard into our daily juice. Variety is the spice of life and you don't want to get into a juicing rut, using the same ingredients over and over.
When juicing, you can never have too many greens in that fridge. After drinking my green juice, I feel like I could run a marathon and mind you (due to my "artificial" knee that I have as a result from the surgical removal of a giant cell bone tumor in my femur), I am not a runner. It gives me so. much. energy.
Prep all of your ingredients first. That means washing your veggies, peeling your citrus, ginger, turmeric and carrots and chopping everything else into large chunks.
Look at that color. An important thing I learned is not to overload your juice with too much fruit. Citrus is fine because of it's low glycemic and alkaline properties but you see here that we are only using one apple for 32 ounces of juice.
Here's how I normally feed the machine. First I start off by adding all of the citrus, ginger and turmeric. After those are all gone, I rotate handfuls of greens and follow them with the firmer fruits and vegetables like carrots, cucumbers and apples. When I do this, the firm vegetables help push the delicate greens through the strainer.
Did you see the foam on top in the last picture? We spoon that off because we feel like the juice is where it's at. I'm not sure if the foam is good or bad for you, but it's just our preference to spoon it out. You can also see that we made a whole lot of juice here. Over 32 ounces to be exact. Matt and I have religiously been drinking 8 ounces in the morning and 8 ounces at night (normally about 30 minutes before we have light dinner). You can also see the citrus juice in the bottom and all the green goodness on top. When finished, stir it up to combine.
Also, you see all of that pulp? I once tried to make homemade falafel using the juice pulp but it turned out awful. There are other recipes out there to make homemade juice pulp crackers, cookies, etc., but I have yet to try them. What I plan to do, when it gets a bit warmer, is to throw it in a compost bin and use it to make mineral rich soil for our garden.
Time to jar. Because we have a slow press juicer, we are able to save our juice for 24 hours. With a centrifugal juicer, it is best to consume the juice right away.
Keep a paper towel underneath because this will get messy.
It is always best to drink your juice right away but the entire process can be a bit time consuming, so we choose to make all of our juice once a day. If you are going to consume the juice later, pour it into a mason jar all the way to the top, just about overflowing. When jarring, you don't want to leave any air because as the air hits the juice, the live enzymes begin to degrade, decreasing it's nutritional content.
You can see here that I as put the cap on, the juice began to spill over the sides. That is perfectly fine because that means there is no air in there. Rinse off and immediately place in the fridge for later.
You may be thinking that juicing has to be so expensive but, we have actually cut down on our grocery bills since we started. By committing to our 8 ounces each morning and evening, it has completely changed our cravings to more of a plant based diet. We don't crave bad/processed foods as much and make healthier choices throughout the day when we start off our day with a glass of green juice. Sometimes, I will be so exhausted when I get home from work that the 8 ounces is all I need for dinner.
Now I'm not saying that we never cheat. We have days that we fall off the wagon and go out for a nice dinner or an indulgent brunch to treat ourselves. But I can tell you that we feel guilty afterwards and most of the time, uncomfortably full. When we slip, we get right back up and this juice helps us get back on track.
And because we have all this energy, we have been exercising more. Granted we do not have a gym membership and it has been brutally cold, but we have been doing what we can with the small equipment we have in the house.
If any of you are on the fence about taking the big step and getting a juicer, I hope this information helped. I can honestly say that this juicer has changed our lives and we have never felt better about ourselves and our health!
Now go get juicy with your bad self!