To Juice or Not to Juice —-

5 years ago

That is the question.  

I have kept my silence on the topic of juicing because so many around me are just plain passionate about it and as we know, passionate people are just that.  Common sense doesn’t matter.  You just have to move out of the way and let people have their field for play.

Getting the equipment

To become a juicer, first you need to have a unit to whirl up your food.  Juicing equipment ranges from a id="mce_marker"00 plus version to several hundred dollars or even more for the cadillac version.

Great food = Great juice?

And what are my friends juicing?  All kinds of concoctions that they swear by –kale, cucumbers, apples, carrots, pears, avocado — Ugh.  I know it is meant to be incredibly nutritious, but it’s just never been that appealing to me.  I love the sensation of eating my food, chewing and absorbing the creaminess of the avocado, the warm egg on top of the steaming dark leafy greens with a base of those high protein, high fiber lentils.  I’ll just leave it there.

Then, one day I was presented an opening.  

Our exercise guru, Julie, came to class ready to talk. Julie was juicing as an overall plan to get in better shape for a pending tropical vacation.  She had been describing how great she felt from daily juicing – an amazing amount of energy, she said.  She was working out, running three miles a day and gaining a pound per week!

What changed?

When Julie analyzed what had changed in her diet to cause this weight gain, she realized that it was the juicing.  So, she went online and googled the topic.  Sure enough, Julie’s juicing was jump-starting her extra pounds.

Portion sizes matter

Julie learned that her portions were too big.  She was drinking between 10 and 20 ounces of juice daily!  Think of all that sugar – which was giving her energy AND excess calories, too.  So, Julie went back to the drawing board.

Now, Julie juices every other day and has cut her portion size to about 6 ounces.  She’s focusing more on eating nutritiously dense whole foods instead, increasing her fiber intake and decreasing the amount of sugar in each drink.

The results 

Within 3 days of this new regimen, Julie reports that she’s reversed the upward scale trend and actually lost weight.  She’s put juicing in perspective with her overall diet and is looking at the nutrients in all the food she eats — juiced or not.

Whether it’s the avocado or grapefruit diets, high protein/no carb, or the smoothie fad, remember to first answer two questions:

1.  What’s good (nutritious) in this food for me?

2.  Is this change attainable and sustainable?

For Julie, the idea of juicing was to focus on nutritional foods.  It just got out of balance.  But, the pendulum swings back and forth until each of us finds that sweet spot that works.

I personally have never liked the idea of throwing away so much of the good ingredients when people juice – that is, the amazing fiber that most often gets left behind in the process.

So, whatever new fad or behavior you’re going to try, use this filter — if it makes good common sense, then bravo;  If it requires an infomercial – think twice.

If I can do it, you can too.

                                                         Susan Levy
                                           Publisher, Well-Fed Heart

This week’s featured recipe:

 Family Night Fish Taco’s 

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