To juice or not to juice? That is the question that Dr. Theresa Nicassio addresses today, because you asked!
After recently watching the movie Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead I decided that I want to start to juice. I am really excited to take this step for my health, but feel a bit overwhelmed and not sure where to start. I would really appreciate if you can offer a few tips to help me.
Ready for Health in Vancouver
I am happy to share some tips to help you with your journey back to health for the New Year. Here are some juicing basics, common challenges, and solutions to make it easier for you to “live your dream” as my daughter Alex would say.
If you watched Joe Cross’s movie, you are already ahead of the game, by realizing how potent juicing can be. As I discuss in my book, drinking green juice is one of the most powerful ways to maximize your absorption of the nutrient content from the food. By removing the insoluble fibre from the fruits and vegetables, most of the vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, and enzymes go directly to your bloodstream. It also helps flush out toxins from the body and nurtures the microbiome by feeding the good bacteria. Because the insoluble fibre that can irritate the lining of the gut is removed, your gut can get an opportunity to rest and heal. Anyone with IBS, Crohn’s Disease, or Colitis knows what a relief that can be!
Risks of Juicing
Whenever you consider making any dietary or other lifestyle changes, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider to ensure the changes you make are safe for your body. In particular, keep in mind that juicing can be very detoxifying for your body. Detoxification can be a wonderful thing, but it can also have potentially problematic implications, depending on your unique health needs.
The other thing to keep in mind is that while the nutrients go straight into your bloodstream, so too does the natural sugar content of the produce. Because of this, keeping the bulk of the juice mostly sourced from savory vegetables and less fruit-heavy can help keep the sugar content lower. I’ve also heard that adding a bit of lemon juice to the mix can also help reduce the glycemic index of the juice a bit as well by slowing the conversion of the food to sugar.
Challenges of Juicing
Cost, Time & Mess
Juicers can be very expensive. However, there are some that are more affordable. That said, you can usually get great deals on very high quality machines that have barely been used for sometimes well under $100. The great news is that even if you do not have a juicer, you can use my fine mesh strainer method that I describe in more detail in my book. Basically just puree produce in a blender then squeeze it through a thin dish towel or nut milk bag.
The process of cleaning the juice machine and the kitchen after making juice can also be a hurdle to actually making the juice. Because of this, when making a small amount of juice, our favourite method is to make the juice using the fine mesh strainer method, so that we do not have the additional step of cleaning the juicer. To save time and money, you can also make a lot of juice during peak harvest season and then freeze it in individual servings, with very little nutrient loss from freezing. If you do this, make sure to avoid overfilling or sealing the jars, since this can break the glass it is in. I sure love to have these potent immune-boosting gems on hand during cold and flu season!
Where to Find Great Juice in the City
There are times when it is great to have juice made for you to more easily stay on track. Here in Vancouver we have some wonderful cold-pressed juiceries who will often even deliver juice right to your doorstep! A few of our family-favourites are: The Juicery Co, Glory Juice, The Juice Truck, Heirloom Juice, The Juice Box, and The Green Moustache. When visiting Las Vegas over the holidays, we were thrilled to stumble upon Cleanse on our way past the Mirage – how perfect was that?
Ask Theresa Nicassio PhD questions about health, psychology, life, food, parenting, wellness and whatever else you need advice on, by emailing her at Theresa@TheresaNicassio.com, with “BECAUSE YOU ASKED” in the subject heading. Feel free to sign your submission with a pseudonym of your choice (e.g. “Sleepless in Seattle”).