Juicing Basics

The first phase of the New Year-New You program, let's just call it NY2 for simplicity sake, consists of a 3 day juice fast.  I know, I know, you're afraid.  I am too-but we can do this.  Half the battle is the preparation and the foreknowledge of what we are getting in to.  I have done this juice fast in the past. It. Was. Hard.  Let me be upfront with you, the worst part of the fasting portion is the caffeine withdrawals.. Words simply cannot prepare you for this if you are a caffeine addict like myself (I know, shame on me).  But I will say, I did experience quite painful electric shock type pain that would fire off from my neck into my jaw for 2 days.  I swore I would never become addicted to caffeine again, and well, here I am, back at square one.  Was it worth it?  Of course, I'm back for another round.

So juicing basics.  To start, let's discuss what the needs will be.  

1. The Juicer:  To get the juice you either need to purchase a juicer or obtain the juice locally-likely almost daily-as it must be extremely fresh to carry the potency worth being hungry for 3 days straight.  To purchase there are two major options, centrifugal and masticating. Centrifugal juicers run around $100 and masticating a usually $250 and up.  The reason the latter is more costly and better is because it does not heat the juice while juicing, preserving more nutrients and allowing you to juice extra and store it for a day or two.  Centrifugal must be juiced fresh for each meal. Read up on the comparison if so desired.  Basically, if you want to make juicing a lasting part of your life and can afford it, the masticating juicer is worth the investment.  If you are planning to buy juices locally, research local places in advance and be sure they are "cold-pressed." 

2.  How to make it: There are some general guidelines for juicing and from there you just wing it.  Each juice must have the following:  -a base juice: something to give it the water content. For this I use cucumbers, celery, and romaine lettuce.  -dark green leafy vegetables: spinach (quite a lot of this can be used and still taste great), kale, Swiss chard, and really any other fresh green that is in season (these have more potent flavors, so use less).  -a dash of pleasant flavor: this is what will make actually (over time) enjoy your green juice.  My favorites for this are a 1/3-1/2 of a green apple or a half of a lemon (both per person), or even both together.  Really anything that will add a dash of sweetness but has low sugar content.  Green apples fit this description perfectly. 

3. Side notes: I know what you're thinking and the answer is yes, you must buy organic for this portion.  At least for the majority of ingredients.  Part of the reason juice fasting is so beneficial is that the nutrients are so easily absorbed because there is no fiber or roughage blocking the absorption process.  Unfortunately, this also facilitates the unobstructed absorption of pesticides and chemicals from non-organic foods into our bodies.  This can, at times, make things a little tricky.  Cucumbers for example, can be more challenging to find organic yet at the same time are one of the most pesticide and toxin-heavy vegetables.  At times buying non-organic is inevitable.  In these cases, be sure to look into The Dirty Dozen and download there app for grocery store trips.  

I think that about covers the basics needed for planning. Check back for recipes and grocery store lists.  I am excited to share this journey with each of you.  Please feel free to post any questions below.