Everyone seems to be juicing nowadays. I heard someone say that it’s the new milk tea in Manila. Not a week goes by that I don’t spot a glass of green, orange, or purple juice on social media. And, I hate to say it, because I’m not a big fan of fad diets (well, I’m not a fan of FADS or DIETS, for that matter), but I’ve joined the juicing bandwagon and I’m loving it.
It’s been two months now since I started juicing and I’ve been juicing like crazy for myself and the kids. I’ve also been doing a lot of research on juicing and juicing recipes and here are some basics I’d like to share with you should you be interested:
CHOOSING A JUICER
You don’t need to purchase the most expensive juicers around to make your own fruit or veggie juice. There are various brands available in the market.
Having said that, if you do want to invest in the best brands, I learned, after much research, that the top two brands to consider are Hurom or Breville. Breville is endorsed by Joe the Juicer who visited Manila a couple of months ago, just about the time I was considering one (It was a sign! LOL). One day, while I was on my knees praying to the high heavens for a juicer to fall from the sky, the hubby came home with a Breville in tow nonchalantly saying: It was on sale so I got one. I stand corrected; it was fate!
THE GOODNESS OF JUICING
Juicing has a lot of great benefits for the body. It’s a good way to get nutrients from veggies and fruits into your system. This works best for people who don’t normally eat a lot of veggies and fruits (or those who freak out once they are served some like my kids!)
– Halloween “Treat” for myself and the kids made of apple, pineapple, and carrot –
Juicing advocates say that juicing is actually even better than eating veggies or fruit because all the nutrients are absorbed by your body almost immediately as opposed to eating the veggies or fruit which takes quite some time for your body to digest and your body only gets around 40% of the nutrients by that time.
Juicing is said to clear the body of toxins and hardened deposits in the body hence the bandwagon for detox diets through juicing. Doctors say there is still no scientific proof for this though.
For me, I take a veggie juice the following ways:
1) as a meal replacement for dinner on those days when I feel bloated from overeating,
2) for extra nourishment on days when I feel a cold is coming or I feel weak,
3) as recovery during breakfast the day after a long run to replenish lost nutrients, or
4) as a healthy snack instead of junk food.
THE NOT SO GOOD SIDE OF JUICING
There’s a whole lot of good to juicing, but experts will tell you—and juicing advocates may disagree– that it is still better to EAT and not drink the veggies and fruits. Juicing gets rid of the pulp from the fruit which has all the good fiber for your body. You won’t feel as full drinking an apple rather than eating it.
If you want to lose weight, juicing is a restrictive diet that isn’t realistic nor sustainable. I’m not a big believer in “diets” to begin with. If you do lose weight on a juice diet, you eventually need to learn to to eat properly and exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Otherwise, any weight lost through a juice diet will just return.
DO’S & DON’TS ON JUICING
Here are some tips on juicing that I’ve learned from Nutrition School, research, and personal experience:
(1) DO use more veggies than fruit. I limit fruit to 1 piece of either red apple (my fave), green apple, orange, pineapple, or any other fruit in season. Some fruits are high in sugar and a large quantity may increase calories so you want to limit this especially if you wish to lose weight. The rest of the drink is composed of veggies such as swiss chard (love this!), kangkong, spinach, cucumber, lettuce, carrots (not too much because this is high in sugar too), ginger, etc. Add a twist of lemon for a punch.
(2) DON’T wait over 30 minutes to drink the juice. Juice starts to oxidize beyond 30 minutes and you lose the live enzymes and vitamins in it. I always drink my juice as soon as it’s made.
(3) DO experiment with veggies and fruits in season. In the beginning, you will want to follow juice recipes online or in books. But, you don’t need to! Go to your local market and experiment with the freshest greens and fruits in season that you can get your hands on.
(4) DON’T try a Juice Diet while training for an A-race. With juicing being the biggest fad diet nowadays, it’s best to consult a doctor before you try a juice diet, especially if you’re currently training for a run or triathlon. Juice diets are low in protein and may make you lose muscle mass.
(5) DO continue to eat your veggies and fruits. Just because you’re drinking your green juice, it doesn’t mean you can eat less healthy food. Continue to fill your plate with vegetables and fruits.