Around this time 3 years ago I decided that it was finally time to do something positive about my diet. I never cooked for myself, always ate out, and my health was paying the price. There was nothing drastically wrong with me, I just felt lethargic and out of energy by the end of the day. I knew that something had to change and so I made a New Year’s resolution to improve my lifestyle. I knew I needed to eat better, improve my nutrition, and even exercise a bit more.
This is when I first started doing some research on ways to improve my situation. I had a friend who had always tried to get me into juicing, but now I was actually open to the idea. I knew this was my opportunity so I went out and got me a shiny new juicer machine and never looked back. Within a month I had noticed a stark change into the way that I felt, especially at the beginning and end of my day. I had energy, I wasn’t as out of gas, and I was generally surprised with the results. I wasn’t overweight when I started, but I had even managed to drop a few pounds. Ever since then I have been a huge proponent of juicing fruits and vegetables and have tried to get others to make the change.
Juicing has plenty of benefits but it is not any better than eating whole foods. It is, however, more convenient and will take up less of your time. The amount of nutrients that your body will be getting from drinking a glass of freshly made juice will drastically improve the way that you feel. You should still eat your veggies and some fruit as the fiber they contain are beneficial to your digestive system. Think of juicing as a supplement rather than a complete replacement.
Where To Start?
If you are in the same situation I was once in and are looking for a means to elevate your daily habits to something a little more healthy then juicing may be the right answer. Below are some of the basics that we have put together in an effort to help get you started in the right direction.
Buying A New Juicer
You are going to need something to extract that wholesome juice from the pulp and this is where having a juicer comes into play. There are basically two different methods of juicing and types of juicers that most people use in their home. Many people agonize about whether to get a masticating or centrifugal juicing machine. Here is a quick break down on the differences between the two.
These types of juicers are extremely fast. Their speed does produce a lot more noise than a masticating juicer. They are great for hard foods like carrots, and they are less efficient with leafy foods like spinach. Centrifugal juicers are typically very simple to use and to clean. These types of machines are generally less expensive as well.
This method of juicing is going to be a little bit slower and requires a bit more patience. It will be a lot more quieter to operate which is one of the advantages of juicing this way. These types of machines are also great for leafy greens and get a lot more juice out of these types of foods. They are going to be a little more expensive as well.
There are trade-offs for both of these types of juicers. If you are unsure if juicing is something that you will make a daily routine and don’t want to spend a lot, we suggest you get a centrifugal juicer to start. You can get a decent model for between $100 and $150. Don’t go cheap as you will instantly regret it. Cheap juicers wobble, don’t provide adequate juice yield, and they are generally a waste of time and money. You can get both centrifugal and masticating juicer reviews on Veggie Files that cover all of the current top name brands.
If you find that you enjoy juicing regularly you can always upgrade later and give your current machine to a friend or family member and pay it forward. You can also sell your old juicer on Craigslist to help pay for your new one.
The Types Of Foods That You Juice
Now that you have a juicer it is time to start using it. The produce section of your local market may have been a section that you haven’t spent much time in the past, but now it is going to be somewhere to linger. Finding fruits and vegetables that will both benefit your health and taste good in the process is going to be a major part of your weekly routine. This also happens to be one of my favorite parts. It is almost a new past time. Finding recipes to try and getting the ingredients together gives me a sense of being more in control of my overall nutrition.
If you want to maximize your nutrient intake then making green juice is the way to go. While masticating juicers are better at this centrifugal juicers are still capable of juicing leafy greens. You may have to rerun the pulp through the juicer again, but if you are just starting out and don’t have a lot of money to spend then don’t let this stop you.
Food like kale and spinach provide an extremely concentrated dose of important vitamins and minerals that can have a substantial impact. The taste of straight up green juice can be kind of powerful so you should always look to mix them with other ingredients. Carrots, apples, berries, and lemon are some of the most popular fruits and veggies that people use to cover up the strong taste of green juice. They also add their own nutritional benefits that make them worth using.
If you find later on that you would like to juice more greens and juicing is something that you enjoy, then it may be time to replace your centrifugal juicer with a masticating model. These are going to be more efficient for you and less will go to waste. It will also help reducing oxidizing the juice and will let you store it for longer in your refrigerator.
One of the positive aspects of juicing is that there are plenty of recipes out there to keep it from getting boring. Experimenting is fun and it is a vital part of being up to keep up a routine. The less work it seems like the more likely you are to use your juicer every day so it is vital to keep mixing things up.
Is It Worth All The Effort?
If you ever looked at what is recommend that you eat every day to maintain a healthy diet you will realize just how much of your time is going to be spent eating. If you are not a big salad eater then this is all going to seem like a big chore. Juicing, on the other hand, will help you condense all of the fresh foods you should be eating daily down to just one glass. A few minutes juicing can save you hours later on. It might take work at first to develop a love for it as well as a routine that you can get into, but the positives will outweigh the negatives if you can stick with it. This is something that has the potential to improve the quality of your life as well as lengthen it. It is something that has changed my outlook and is definitely worth the effort.