You may think that all you need to start juicing is just a juicer and some fruits and vegetables to juice. But if you’re going to take juicing seriously there’s a little more to it than that. There are many questions to ask yourself like why are you juicing? What are you trying to achieve? How long are you looking to juice? How much do you want to spend on juicing?
If your budget is limited juicing is still very possible. The availability of cheap juicers has meant there has never been a better time to try juicing on a budget. Many people think that they need to buy a juicer to start juicing but it’s possible to juice with a blender if you already have one.
But you will need to strain the juice with something like a nut milk bag. These are available at most good health food stores or online. Of course a juicer makes juicing easier since it’s a dedicated appliance just for making juice.
What Type of Juicer?
What type of juicer you buy with largely depend on your budget. If your budget is less than $200 you’ll probably end up with a centrifugal juicer. This is what most people start with. But if you’re more serious and have a larger budget you’ll want to look at masticating juicers.
centrifugal juicers work by shredding and tearing produce with a spinning disc. Masticating juicers use a rotating auger to crush and squeeze produce. Centrifugal juicers generate more heat and don’t extract as much juice as masticating juicers. That means that masticating juicers produce a higher quality juice with more enzymes and micronutrients. So it’s worth considering a masticating juicer if you can afford it and are thinking about making juicing a regular part of your life.
Storing your Juice
You’re probably also going to need something to store juice in. Of course it’s best to consume juice as soon as you make it but there will be time when you want to store it or have excess juice. The best thing to store juice in is a glass jar (mason jars work well) with an airtight lid or a glass bottle with a airtight cap.
Juice will keep in the fridge for a short time but don’t plan on storing it for too long. I never store my juice longer than 24 hours and I normally consume within 12 hours of juicing if I can’t drink it right away. Fresher is better when juicing. You want to read my other post, “How Long Can I Store My Juice?” for more information about storing your juice.
Fail To Plan & You Plan To Fail
Before you start juicing you will also need to have a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve and how to achieve that through juicing. There are many different reasons for juicing and how you approach juicing will depend on your goals. For example you may want to lose some weight by using juice as a meal replacement. Or you may just want to detoxify your body by juice fasting.
Your goals and approach to juicing should determine how often you juice, what you juice, how long you juice for and what (if anything) you consume alongside your daily juices.
It’s especially important to plan out your juices if you’re fasting as this is all you will be consuming. Making a juicing diary will help you plan out what you need to buy ahead of time. This makes trips to the produce section or farmers market a lot easier because you already know what you need to buy.
A Few Words About Health
If you have some health issues that you want to address with juicing it’s important to know which fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices can be used to best benefit you. But even if you don’t have serious health issues it’s always advisable to consult with a doctor before making changes to your diet.
It’s important to mention that juicing although mostly beneficial does have its own risks and things you need to be aware of. Anyone with kidney problems for example will want to be careful when juicing dark leafy greens like spinach, broccoli and kale.
The reason for this is these contain something called Oxalic Acid. If you consume too much Oxalic Acid and don’t drink enough water it can lead to kidney problems. For most people it’s not a problem but if you have a history of kidney problems you’re going to want to limit your intake. Again I must stress that consulting with a doctor prior to juicing is really very important.
Juicing and Blood Sugar
Another potential problem with juicing involves those who are diabetic. If you’re juicing a lot of fruit the juice with contain a lot of natural sugar. That’s not as bad perhaps as refined sugar but it’s still enough to spike blood sugar. Juicing removes a lot of the fiber contained in fruits and vegetables which can help regulate blood sugar levels.
If you’re worried about your blood sugar you can try adding back some fiber or blending green smoothies which contain lots more fiber. Remember that the sugar is concentrated in fruits and that the more fruit you use the higher the sugar content will be. Always try to use more vegetables than fruits in your juices, especially if you’re diabetic.
Less Fruit More Vegetables
We know that fruit tastes good but don’t let your juices be all about fruit. Vegetables are more nutrient dense that fruits. That means you want plenty of vegetables in your juice. Fruit may make your juices taste great but it’s not all about taste is it? You’re juicing for your body and your health, so don’t hold back with the vegetables.
Stay Focused and Expect Challenges
Juicing is rewarding but it can be hard, especially if you’re used to eating whatever you like whenever you like. If you’re juice fasting it can be quite a challenge especially at the beginning. Just remember your goals and expect to be challenged with cravings for things you should be eating. Don’t give in and don’t give up even if you do give in. If you fail remember that tomorrow is another opportunity to start again. Don’t be too hard on yourself but also don’t allow yourself to give in too easily.
I hope you found at least some of this information useful and you start your juicing journey soon. Remember that juicing really is a great way of getting and staying healthy. Good luck and leave me a comment to let me know how your juicing is going!