Many people have asked for my opinion on juicing, so I would be remiss to exclude it from this blog. There’s a lot of misinformation about juicing and weight loss, but it really is best to think of juice as more of a supplement than a meal replacement. It is also more nutritious to drink freshly made juice rather than from a bottle that has been pasteurized. Pasteurization is the process of heating a product to a certain temperature for a certain number of minutes or seconds prior to packaging to kill bacteria. This process destroys beneficial plant enzymes and heat-sensitive vitamins (vitamin C, for example). This is why cold processing is the preferred method of juicing. Since many of us do not have the ability to cold press our fruit and vegetables, any type of juicer you own should be sufficient.
When deciding to juice, there are a few things you need to remember:
- Juice does have calories, so if you are trying to lose weight, limit yourself to one glass per day.
- Dark, leafy greens are the most nutritious things you can add to your juice, so include as many as you can tolerate.
- Apples add sweetness to the juice, making it more palatable for those who aren’t used to the flavor of greens.
- Lemons add acidity, which also cuts down on the green taste.
- Produce with a high water content and few calories adds water and nutrients without making the juice too caloric (think celery and cucumbers).
- Unlike smoothies, juice lacks the beneficial fiber found in fruits and vegetables. This is why juice should be considered a supplement rather than a meal.
- Juice is a great way to consume concentrated nutrients without being limited by the bulk of the whole piece of fruit or vegetable. For example, you can easily sit and eat an apple, but are you going to eat an apple, lemon, 3 sticks of celery, and a bunch of kale? Probably not, but you can get most of the nutrients from all of those in one glass of juice!
This leads me to my favorite go-to juice recipe: Green Lemonade!
Makes one large or two small glasses
- One large, sweet apple (I like pink lady or gala apples)
- One lemon, rind removed and discarded (do not compost)
- 3-4 sticks of celery or one large cucumber
- 1/2 – 1 bunch of kale or any dark greens
Wash all produce well. Remove lemon rind, cut apple into quarters, and cut celery sticks in half. Turn on juicer and add each ingredient in any order, wrapping the greens around the celery sticks before inserting them into the juicer. Turn off juicer, pour juice into a glass, and enjoy!
Note: Leftover pulp is great for composting.