As always, I’m a bit late to the party. It seems everyone around me is drinking fresh-squeezed juice concoctions, talking about juice fasting/dieting, and there are juice bars popping up everywhere! I know drinking pure juice isn’t “new,” but in the last year, it’s become very mainstream–at least in Southern California. I am not usually one to jump on the bandwagon–I like to wait and see what it’s all about before deciding if it’s for me. My husband teases me about this, as I was reluctant about Facebook, the iPod/iPhone/iPad…you get the picture. So when my son’s sitter showed up at my house with a travel cup of watery green slime, swearing it is “amazing” and that I should try it, you can guess what I said: “No, thank you!”
My sitter wasn’t the only person pushing their juicing beliefs on me; my friend was looking to shed a few pounds of water weight and detox for a cruise, and gave me the low-down on juice fasting/dieting. Again, I was not into it; but I did become curious, and a few months later, I requested a Black & Decker juicer for Christmas (thanks, Kristin!) Well, I’m not gonna lie, that juicer stayed in its packaging until February, but, when I was out with a friend and decided to pony-up $6 for a 20 oz. concoction, I fell in love. Not only was my first juice delicious, but it kept me from snacking on crap all afternoon, and gave me energy to survive the second half of the day (usually, I’d be having my 2nd cup of coffee by then); and you Mommas know, energy is more important than ever these days!
Which brings us to these last few weeks, where I am finally motivated (borderline addicted!) to use my juicer on an almost daily basis. I had already been in the habit of making a Sprouts-run for produce at the beginning of each week, and now that I’m juicing, I stock up on extra greens like kale, spinach, and celery, and like to have extra apples, blueberries, grapes, carrots, and citrus fruits on-hand. If anything, these are items that will not go to waste–even if I’m too busy to make juice–because Bubs and I will eat them. Oh yeah, that’s another thing, my toddler LOVES any juice concoction I prepare or purchase (it’s a combo of the juice, AND getting to drink out of a straw!) It’s a sure-fire way to sneak extra veggies into his daily diet!
Thinking about getting into the juice trend? Here are a few key pointers for beginners:
- When making your own juice at home, be sure to wash produce thoroughly, and keep protein-rich skins when juicing produce like apples, sweet potatoes, and pears
- Try to strike a good balance between fruits and veggies, perhaps even try to include more veggies than fruits in your concoction–this will help reduce sugar intake, and give you the most sustainable energy for the day.
- It is recommended you drink your juice at room temperature, and within an hour for maximum nutritional benefit
- If you plan to share with your kiddo (as I often do) a sip here and there is fine, but when you give him/her their own sippy of juice, it’s advised by many online resources to add a little water when acidic veggies are included (spinach, tomato, etc.) Also, remember to ration your toddler’s juice intake–no matter the concoction–their little bodies may handle it differently.
- It is also recommended to sip juice slowly! Swish it around in your mouth, and savor the nutrients. It is said that this will keep you satisfied longer, plus, keep you from getting any sudden cramp or belly ache (if your body digests the produce too fast).
What are some good beginner combos?
Through my brief at-home juice experimentation, I have come up with a few staple recipes. I even named them!
1. Serene Citrus Green – apples, kale, spinach, celery, mandarins, and carrots
2. Berry Green Apple – strawberries, blueberries, grapes, celery, spinach, kale, and apples
3. Green Carrot Pear-adise – spinach, kale, celery, pears, and carrots