Happy Easter, Bunnies! I hope everyone spent some quality time with loved ones today.
A lot of things in this life are transient and fleeting - jobs, cities that we live in, people we meet, shows that we watch, fashion trends, etc.
But we each have specific things that ARE certainties in our lives – our parents, our siblings, our pets, foods that we will always love no matter how bad they are for you (does anyone love PIZZA like I do?!?).
One of my BIGGEST certainties and obsessions everyday is making and drinking my own homemade GREEN JUICE.
I don’t have one particular recipe for my green juice. I like to change it up based on how I am feeling and what nutrients I feel that I need in my diet. If I need more fiber, I use my Vitamix to make a thicker green juice, more like a smoothie, that includes all the pulp. And if I’m just craving a light juice, I choose between my high-speed Breville centrifugal juicer that tears up the pulp, and spins all the juice out of my fruits and veggies to give me my light, water-like green juice or my Omega Juicer that calmly squeezes the juice out without the noise.
Keep in mind that when I talk about green juicing, I am NOT talking about juice fasting. Just because someone is “juicing” does NOT always mean they are fasting.
Juice fasting denies your body of hard food for a certain number of days and just relies on liquid nourishment from pulverized fruits and veggies. Although fasting is part of some religions, die-hard health fanatics have come to use the juice fast in non-religious, fanatical ways that end up being less healthy for their bodies than they started with. I have come across too many people who have tried a juice fast on their own and now have stomach or metabolic issues. Don’t mess with the natural way of your digestion or stomach mucosa! Fasting will absolutely do a number on your internal system.
The BEST way to incorporate juicing into your life is to start off by having one green juice a day. If you can’t make your own or are not ready to invest in a juicer nor spend the time grocery shopping for the necessary ingredients, you can always head to your neighborhood deli and have one freshly made. Here in NYC, many delis have pre-made juices that cost about $6. Keep in mind these are not cold-pressed nor pasteurized. So we are usually not sure how long ago they were made. Instead, I would opt for the place that makes fresh juices right then and there, like Juice Generation or Juice Press.
We are in the midst of a HUGE green juice craze. Google “green juice” and every blogger, company and website has a recipe for it. Every nutritionist has got a green juice recipe (ie. Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie GGS. I LOVE her by the way! She is not only beautiful and talented but so humble and down-to-earth).
Everyone is jumping onto the commercial juice bandwagon from NYC to LA to SF – BluePrint, Suja, Kim’s GlowBio in LA, Pressed Juicery, Kreation, Juice Crafters, Juice Press, Roots Juicery in Las Vegas, Juice Truck in Vancouver and more!
You can definitely pick up a $10 commercial, pre-made juice but it’s actually SUPER easy and cheap to make your own juices. It will only cost you $3 for a 16 oz juice if you make it yourself. Invest in a good juicer with a good warranty and $10 of fruits and veggies can make you six 16 ounce green juices! You will also reap the health benefits by drinking your homemade green juice immediately after making it. The enzymes, vitamins, and minerals won’t have time to oxidize. All of these commercial juices use expensive hydraulized machines that allow juices to last longer, but the best juices are homemade, just like most of the food that you should want to put into your body.
Yes, I know. We are all busy.
I’ve had clients tell me they don’t have the time to make their juices and really don’t want to have to deal with the clean-up. But juicing can become second-nature – as quick and automatic as scratching an itch on your back. TRUST ME! Juicing now is something that I do without a second thought, almost robotically. And you can adopt this healthy habit too!
I automatically pull out ingredients from the fridge without needing to measure and either use my centrifugal juicer or masticating juicer, or my Vitamix, depending on the type of green juice I’m in the mood for (listed in order of juice thickness from least to most). I can make a green juice while still half awake in the mornings .
And can make a 16 ounce juice within 10 minutes. Done. Bam.
Imagine that only 3 years ago, I didn’t own ANY juice machines… nor did I really participate in the juice craze. The healthy habits that work best with your body will stick around because once you see and feel the benefits, it gets healthily addictive :). Juicing is a BIG part of my life and my daily routine. If you are a guest in my home, you will always get a homemade green juice . Juicing has made such a difference on my energy levels, my skin clarity, my mood, and my body. I am the fittest and healthiest and happiest I have been in a LONG time. Can I attribute it to my daily green juice? ABSOLUTELY.
One certainty with my health coaching program is that I introduce homemade juicing to each and every client. It is something I truly believe can benefit every single person, no matter what body type or food allergies (although certain fruits and veggies can be excluded depending on individual sensitivities).
I have seen positive results and garnered positive feedback from EVERY client who has tried homemade juicing. From increased energy levels to weight loss to clearer skin. To being able to detect unhealthy ingredients in foods better due to the green juice habit.
The best way to change your life and eat healthier and to look healthier is to CROWD OUT bad habits by replacing them with GOOD ones. Going cold turkey with anything never really works out. It may for a short while but most people tend to revert back to old, ingrained bad habits. So if you want to kick your caffeine addiction or your alcohol habit, keep everything status quo and just add one green juice a day to your routine. The bad habits will eventually fall away naturally.
So if you are new to juicing or want to start making your own homemade green juice to save money and be healthier, here are some tips on how to get started:
1) Buy a juicer.
You can get one for $100 or less and have it FOREVER. I would suggest starting with a cheaper juicer just to see if you will stick to the routine of actually making one every day. Once you’ve established the habit, you can then invest in a better, more expensive juicer. Another thing to consider is to get a juicer that makes your clean-up a snap. Some juicers, particulary the ones with blades, will require you to scrub the pulp from the blades with a brush. Other juicers, like the cold-press juicers, only require a quick rinse.
2) Make room in your fridge for all the fruits and veggies you will be buying.
Actually, you should designate one entire shelf for your juicing ingredients. Keeping a visual reminder to make that juice in the morning rather than reaching for your milk for your cereal, will keep you on the juicing habit. Make a list (and check it twice ) of all the ingredients you would like in your green juice. Keep in mind that you may want to adjust the taste along the way depending on how sweet you like your juice and what nutrients you need. Make time in your schedule, like on a Sunday afternoon, to stop by a farmer’s market or your grocery store to stock up on your week of juicing ingredients.
3) Buy a portable container to hold your juice.
We want this daily green juice habit to stick and the best way to guarantee that is to have one container that you use to put that green juice in so that you can drink it on the go. I love the lead-free mason jars with handles, lids, and straws. So convenient, cool, and keeps the juice nice and cold. Or you can get a BPA-free plastic water bottle and put your juice in there. Designating one container for your juice will get you in the habit. You don’t want to have to search for a container every morning. Just seeing that container will visualize “green juice” in your mind . You can even give him/her a name .
4) Get a cutting board and a ceramic knife.
This duo together will make the prep fast and easy. Ceramic knives slice and dice so smoothly! No fighting with celery sticks to get them to fit into your juicer! And always designate a cutting board for fruits and veggies and another for meat and fish, if you are not a vegetarian. Never use the same cutting board for both because of potential contamination from bacteria.
5) Keep garbage bags nearby to catch all the pulp.
Depending on which juicer you buy, most of them will have a separate container to catch the pulp and another to catch the juice. I like to put a plastic bag in the pulp container so that once I’m done, all I have to do is pull out the bag, tie it up and throw it out immediately. Leave the pulp sitting around you will risk having fruit flies all over your apartment! Make clean-up quick and easy so that you are likely to stick to your daily green juice routine.
Finally, the last tip is to commit to it. Make one green juice for yourself everyday and replace a snack or a meal with it. Over time you will be able to taste processed foods more clearly and eventually not want to eat them. Happy Green Juicing, lovelies!