Did you ever think of a healthy habit that you wanted to try but was a little afraid of it at the same time? Green juicing was that habit for me. I’ve heard and read a lot about it but could never master up the will power to try it. One of the main reasons I never gave it a try was because I didn’t know where to start.
- What vegetables should I use?
- What juicer should I buy?
- How much green juice can I drink?
- How can I make green juice taste good (the only time in my life that I could stomach a simple tomato juice was during my pregnancy, all other times the very thought of it makes my stomach turn.)
Fortunately, a blogging friend of mine – Farnoosh Brock of Prolific Living – has done the hard work for me and published the Comprehensive Guide to Green Juicing. I asked her to answer the most important questions about green juicing and share her favorite recipe that all of us can try this week. Bon appétit!
1. Farnoosh, why did you decide to try green juicing? What are the most appealing benefits of it?
Anastasiya, I got turned on to green juicing by watching a Jack Lalanne infomercial! Two funny things about that: I never ever watch TV and I certainly don’t make life-changing decisions based on what I watch…. so it’s ironic how that commercial led me to buy a juicer – an Omega juicer, not a Jack Lalanne one! – and to start experimenting. It was really driven mainly by curiosity. I was also starting to get seriously back into great shape and top health in 2007, after my Dad’s bouts with cancer and with the pressures of my declining and stressful career, and juicing just agreed with me.
I am amazed at how delicious the green juices can be so that’s just great to know but as for the most appealing benefits, the way your body feels after drinking juices. You are fully but happy and satisfied, and you have less cravings for bad food. You are also fully hydrated; it works much better than water. And it really helps your body come back to balance through detoxing, getting rid of waste and bringing your inside organs and cells back to life. It’s an inside process that you truly feel on the outside. Plus, great skin! Who doesn’t want that?
2. How would recommend to start a juicing habit? I am sure it takes some time to get used to the taste of green juice (especially if you’ve been drinking only OJ or soda your entire life.) Do you have any secrets to stay on track?
Starting is the hardest step and the most important one. Yes, if you do not have a lot of healthy traits right now as to what you consume, then this will be more drastic than if you do. For me, I was already relatively healthy – I chose to give up coffee, I chose to start drinking Oolong tea, and I chose to also experiment a lot with raw food diets – not completely, but partially – and so all of those just combine really well with green juicing. If your body is not used to raw foods or healthy foods, then you should start slower.
The best way to start is to actually stop your other habits or tone them down. Say you drink soda, well, ditch it for a week. Say you drink alcohol, ditch that for a week too. Say you drink dozens of cups of coffee, ditch that too. And try to get your body in better shape *before* you start juicing. Then the second week, add some green juices to your diet. Start with very simple recipes such as carrot-celery-apple or orange-celery-spinach, those are both sweet and delicious and not as hard on your stomach. And drink small quantities, say one cup a day. Then increase to two cups a day for the second week and just watch how your body reacts.
The secret to staying on track is two fold: First, to forgive yourself truly and completely when you fall off and believe me, all of us fall off. And second, to have a schedule, say Tuesday mornings you juice at 8am or 10am. If you put it on the calendar like all other things and treat it like a meeting or an appointment, as long as you are reasonable – juicing daily is very intense work! – then you will be able to stay on track much better.
3. Will anyone benefit from green juicing or should some people stay away from it?
Good question. Would everyone benefit? Based on all the books and websites I have read, everyone can benefit from it but to their own ideal measure. For instance, children would enjoy orange juice or citrus juices and green juices are probably going to be better for them if they are older.
I haven’t heard any warnings for pregnant women or senior citizens to stay away from juicing but if you have doubts, and if you have any health conditions, please check with your doctor.
Also, if you know you have allergies to some fruits or vegetables, naturally, stay far away from those. Most of all, just listen to your body and watch how your body reacts. Start slow and small but be steady and consistent.
4. How can we make green juicing budget friendly?
Last month we’ve been focusing on healthy eating on a budget here on BalanceInMe. Fresh vegetables can sometimes be pricy especially if you are buying organic. Do you have any tips or special ingredients that will remain budget-friendly no matter what?
Great point, Anastasiya. Juicing can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. For instance, you don’t have to buy organic or from Farmer’s Market or Whole Foods. I do on occasion but I certainly don’t make it a rule. If you want to buy something organic, try to get your dark leafy vegetables organic but other fruits and vegetables are fine either way. Because you won’t be using or at least drinking the pulp, some of the vegetables and fruits are wasted so don’t worry about getting the very finest.
I can tell you that for my taste buds, it makes little difference if something is organic or not but it makes a huge difference if it’s not fresh. Go for freshness. Go to your local grocery store and get the freshest looking fruits and vegetables that are on sale that day. I also have noticed that Trader Joe’s, if it’s available in your city, is more reasonable than these large health-store chains so that also helps.
After a while, you will find out what to get from where, and you will find your own system. For instance, some leafy vegetables are far more expensive than others but the nutritional benefits are about the same.
Collard greens are very cheap but Kale and Swiss Chard can be slightly more expensive.
Apples are a wide range of prices so buy the cheaper priced ones; they will give the same sweetness to your juices.
I hope this helps!
5. In your guide you share 10 delicious green juice recipes. Can you share your favorite one with us and tell us why you like it the most?
Oh I have so many favorites but forget the 10 green juice recipes for a moment. I’ll give you something better. I discovered a new green juice recipe recently that is not even in the book so you guys are the first to hear about it. It is my current favorite, even though I love the ones in the book.
½ to ⅓ Pineapple
1 Large Red Apple
4-5 Kale leaves
3-4 Swiss Chard leaves
1 Large Italian cucumber
A handful of fresh mint
Delicious. This makes several cups or a medium jar that gives you at least 4-5 servings. Enjoy!
6. What are your top tips on keeping your health in balance no matter what?
Oh this is such a relevant question to my life right now because I am working so hard. You know, I think that it varies. Some weeks I focus on stretching, others on juicing and yet others on daily meditation. To do everything everyday is really challenging. Now I am in the hard-core cardio mode with yoga. I believe more than anything, I drink my water, my tea, and some raw foods every day in my diet, even if I am just eating a kale leaf or a swiss chard leaf or a raw carrot!
I also try to stretch at least a few minutes daily and sit still just for a few minutes.
And I focus on love. I make sure that I am mentally happy and in a good place and if not, my husband helps me come back to a place of inner peace and that has the greatest affect on my health, and I am sure on yours too.
Learn more about green juicing and the benefits that it offers by checking out Farnoosh’s Comprehensive Guide to Green Juicing.
Do you have any questions or have you tried green juicing before? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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