My Top 20 Tips for Juicing – updated to 25!

imagePoor Thalia of Backpacking (and eating) my way around the world was suffering with a nasty flu-like virus and we chatted about juicing to try to clear her sinuses.

(Here’s my daily Morning Glory juice to help prevent and treat colds and hayfever).

One thing that came out of the conversation was that she had got out of the habit of juicing since going on her travels and her juicer was away in a cupboard.

Thalia had broken the number 2 rule for juicing (see below) and so I thought I would revisit my Top Tips for Juicing. There are several posts in the blog Menu with tips for juicing success both as part of Juicing Programmes and for everyday juicing, but I thought I would try to condense it all into one post. So here goes:

  1. Choosing a juicer: if possible, ask a regular juicer what they recommend. Most regular juicers have started with a fairly cheap one to see how they get on with juicing and have progressed through the brands and prices, so will know the difference between a fast, centrifugal juicer and a slower, masticating or cold-pressed juicer. My advice is buy the best you can afford so you won’t be put off juicing from the start by a machine that breaks down/can’t manage celery/leaves or doesn’t extract enough juice. (See Which Juicer? and my review of the Retro Super Juicer for some suggestions).
  2. Always, Always keep your juicer readily accessible! If you have to get it out of a box/cupboard every time you need it and reassemble, it won’t get used. So not only have you wasted your money, you won’t get into the habit of juicing daily or reap the benefits of adding healthy juices to your menu. If you need to create space, get rid of the microwave/toasted sandwich-maker/ice-cream maker/ waffle maker. image
  3. Read a Juicing Book/Watch a Juicing Film to inspire/motivate/help you understand why it is worth doing, how the food and pharmaceutical industries work to manipulate your food and health choices, how juicing works and to explode all the myths put out there by so-called ‘experts’. If your family or friends start questioning or making fun of your attempts to improve your health and fitness, you’ll be better equipped to rebuff their comments! I like Jason Vale’s books/apps and his SuperJuiceMe! documentary (click here to watch for free). He has a light, down-to-earth style, makes you laugh while you learn and has dealt with every question thrown at him by the sceptics by proving time after time that juicing works. (See How I Juiced My Skin Clear and  Juicing: How To Begin to read my own experiences). Joe Cross aka Joe the Juicer also has books, juicing programmes and several inspiring films based on his own experiences of being ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’.
  4. To avoid any potential side effects like headaches, try not to jump into a full-on juice programme without preparing your body first. Spend a couple of weeks to a month cutting down, then cutting out, processed foods especially those laden with sugar and unhealthy fats – ready meals, takeaways etc. – fizzy drinks (even so-called energy drinks are usually chock full of sugar, chemicals, additives, artificial sweeteners and caffeine), coffee and of course, tobacco and other artificial stimulants. Introduce a juice a day and you’ll feel the benefits in no time at all. (See Do As I Say Not As I Did!)
  5. If possible and affordable, juice organic vegetables. If not, choose local produce where possible. Always wash and scrub well before using. Research the fruits and veg in your country that are the most highly sprayed with chemicals, pesticides, fertilisers, fungicides etc and try at least to buy organic versions of these. Grapes, strawberries and potatoes often fall into this category, for example. Above all, please don’t think juicing is a waste of time if you can’t buy organic. Any fruit and veg are better than no fruit and veg. Just make sure you wash before use.
  6. If organic, you can leave the peel on (except for oranges and grapefruit, and pineapples if you have a juicer that can’t manage the skin).image
  7. If you peel citrus fruit, do it as thinly as possible leaving the pith where the micronutrients are.
  8. Don’t let excuses get in the way. If time is an issue, make your juice/s the night before and put it/them in the fridge for the following day. They are best used fresh but a few hours late is better than not at all.
  9. Keep juices in the fridge, preferably in glass or metal containers to keep them away from the light and from chemical-laden plastic, or in a cool box with ice packs if you need to transport them.  If you’re going to drink them soon after making, glass jars are good to store them and you can drink from them too. We save jam jars for this. image
  10. Keep hydrated. You still need to drink water/herbal/fruit teas in addition to juices. I made this mistake and suffered symptoms of dehydration during my first juice challenge.
  11. Metal Straws are great for drinking juices: no plastic or waxy chemicals, no landfill; they can be used over and over and go in the dishwasher. They come with a tiny brush to clean the inside.  image
  12. Try not to treat juicing as a form of dieting. It is all about adding healthy nutrients to your body in the most accessible and digestible form to optimise health, increase energy levels and improve chronic conditions. Weight loss is a bonus, it comes naturally when you introduce fresh home-made, nutritionally-balanced juices into your daily routine.
  13. All juices are not equal! When I write about juicing, unless I state otherwise, I am referring to freshly-made juices not commercially-produced juices bought in supermarkets. They have generally been pasteurised and stored, often contain added sugars and come in single-use plastic bottles. They don’t have the same nutritional content as home-made juice produced and consumed on the same day and shouldn’t be used as regular meal replacements or for longterm juice challenges.
  14. Beware of adding too much fruit to your juice. This is usual when new to juicing, but as you get used to the flavours and combinations you should gradually reduce the fruit in favour of more vegetable content, especially leafy greens, broccoli etc.
  15. Adding a slice of lemon to a juice helps slow down the oxidation and deterioration of the juice, improves the flavour of green juices and adds its own nutrient content of course.
  16. Rotate the leafy greens so you’re not consuming the same ones every day. This varies the nutrients but also ensures you don’t consume too many oxalates which can lead to kidney stones in those who are susceptible. I alternate kale, spinach etc with romaine and other kinds of lettuce. (Did you know that romaine has good protein content?)
  17. You don’t need to become a juice fanatic to be a juicer. Juice whenever you can. It’s not a competition. There’s no winning and losing, no succeeding or failing. If you miss a couple of days or even a few days, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Just don’t put your juicer away. Get right back on the juicing wagon as soon as you can.
  18. This is a contentious one: some say always wash your juicer straightaway (I am one of them), while others say, if you’re in a rush, leave it till you get home. For me, it’s a question of health and safety. If you leave it, the pulp dries and is really hard to remove properly. This can lead to harmful bacteria developing and the last thing you want from a healthy juicing regimen is food poisoning! Also, it can reduce the efficiency of your juicer, even damage it. At the very least, empty it and give it a quick rinse through or leave the parts soaking until you can get to it. For me, there is nothing worse than being faced with dirty pots several hours later.
  19. Try to use the pulp rather than throwing it away. You can use it for burgers, nut roasts and so on, we compost it and our daughter fed it to her chickens! It is full of fibre and still contains some of the original nutrients.
  20. Lead by example. Let your progress do the talking when confronted by naysayers. Don’t let them put you off doing something you find beneficial. I started juicing entirely on my own. It was suggested that it would harm my health, that I was losing too much weight, that neither the juicing nor the weight loss or health improvement were sustainable – that was 3 years ago. Everyone who sees me now compared with 5 years ago remarks on how well I look and how did I do it! Now all the family juice and many friends/acquaintances have bought juicers and not looked back. Here are some of my before and after photos:
  21. If you’re on your own and need some support, advice, inspiration, there are many groups on social media who will be happy to help and you may make some new like-minded friends as I have done.
  22. Jason Vale, Joe Cross, the guys from Food Matters TV and Neil Martin (Natural Juice Junkie) all do regular free juicing reboots/programs/challenges/detoxes if you’d like to join in, get free recipes, apps, coaching etc and share experiences with fellow juicers.
  23. If you want a more substantial juice, blend it with 1/4 avocado. This will add essential fats and make a more satisfying juice, you will feel fuller longer. It is not ‘cheating’, it is providing you with what your body needs and will help prevent random snacking on less healthy foods. Your body needs healthy fats to metabolise certain vitamins, balance hormones and keep your brain functioning healthily.
  24. If ‘super-juicing’ and you have a lot of weight to lose, adding avocado to your juice occasionally can help prevent loose skin.
  25. Finally, REMEMBER NOT ONLY TO USE YOUR JUICER, BUT ENJOY IT TOO. You are not being punished, you are not doing penance. Enjoy getting creative. Enjoy its benefits. You have spent time, energy and money researching your purchase, you made a commitment, it’s not there to decorate your counter or impress your friends and family! You resolved to take control of your diet and health.

Go on…Just do it!

Oh, ps Nutribullets and their ilk are not juicers, they are super-blenders, they do not extract juice.

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Jason Vale’s website

Reboot With Joe

Food Matters TV

Natural Juice Junkie

Copyright: Chris McGowan

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Super-Juicing: Day 13, Does It Have To End? Plus Tips on Preparing for a Juice Programme

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Here we are, the penultimate day of my Super Juice Fortnight and I don’t want it to end! I am loving the Sweet ‘n’ Smooth Veggie Blend for breakfast (see Jason Vale’s Super Juice Me! Plan*), despite the ever-present parsnip in the list of ingredients – and of course it was very swiftly replaced by a sweet potato!

It’s become so much of a routine now that my husband’s cooking no longer bothers me – not even the melted cheese! (see Super Juicing Day 6: Melted Cheese and Spicy Teacakes).

I am so full of energy and have been very productive, writing new blog posts and recipes, editing old ones, making cards and participating in a Blogging 101 course.

None of the usual January slump.

My brain is firing on all cylinders, I’ve made decisions I’ve been putting off for ages, I am bursting with ideas for writing – my body can’t keep up!

Many people find January a difficult month to do a juice cleanse due to the drop in temperatures, others find it an ideal time after all the Christmas over-indulgence, when they are full of New Year resolve.

Spring isn’t too far away – I have crocuses out already in the third week of January and daffodil buds that have been bursting to open for a couple of weeks now – so if you didn’t manage to join in the January Juicing, but have seen the stunning results achieved by others who have:

Why not plan to do it in February or March?

Here are some tips on how to begin:

  1.   Begin by reducing your intake of processed foods, sugar, coffee and alcohol while adding fresh veg and fruit. This will reduce any withdrawal symptoms you might experience in your first few days of a juice cleanse.
  2. At the same time as you are preparing yourself physically, prepare yourself mentally by reading a book or watching a film about juicing and how to go about it.*
  3. Make sure you use a nutritionally-balanced plan.
  4. Buy the best juicer and blender you can afford. Seek the advice of regular juicers, read my reviews and those of other bloggers/consumer sites. If you’re reluctant to splash out until you’ve given it a try, you can often find secondhand juicers at car boot sales and on eBay.
  5. Introduce one juice a day to get into the habit and get used to the preparation, timing and consuming of it.
  6. Find a good local source of organic fruit and veg if possible
  7. There will always be people around you who are sceptical, arm yourself with the knowledge you need to commit to your goal, don’t try to engage them, let them see your results.
  8. If possible, recruit some like-minded friends, or find support online, there are Facebook juicing groups and lots of juicers on Twitter who will provide support and advice.
  9. See your doctor before embarking on a cleanse, have your BP, cholesterol, blood sugar and so on tested, then again later on.
  10. Don’t just weigh yourself, take your measurements too. It is usually these that are the most startling if you need to drop a size or two.
  11. You don’t need to juice just to lose weight. Do it for your health!

You will be so pleased with the improved condition of your skin and your hair, your eyes will shine again, you will have more energy, feel more alert. Many people experience improvements in aches and pains and chronic conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, as well as more balanced hormones and a resetting of your taste buds!

You will discover which foods irritate your digestive system, produce mucous, make you feel tired and which make you feel more alive.

You will be flooding your system with all the nutrients it needs and it will thank you for it!

NB You don’t need to do a cleanse to beenfit from juicing, just adding one green juice a day will make a difference to your health and sense of well-being.

I have one more day of my Super Juicing and I am so looking forward to the shakes for tonight and tomorrow night’s meal – they both have home-made almond milk in them (see Nut Milks, Shakes and Smoothie Recipes). Yum!

*http://www.juicemaster.com for Jason Vale’s Juicing Plans

You can watch Super Juice Me! The Documentary free on YouTube here:

*Joe Cross’s website also has juicing plans and resources while his film Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead is another inspirational tool when considering juicing.

http://www.rebootwithjoe.com

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Which Juicer? – Where to Begin?

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I have been juicing regularly for 3 years and whenever people see me after a long time, they tell me how well I look. They comment not only on the weight loss and the fact that I’ve kept it off, but on my skin and general all-round brightness and positivity.

Many become interested in having a go at juicing themselves, but often feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the range of juicers available – and the cost.

In the past, juicers were clunky, complicated and required a lot of cleaning – and they didn’t go in the dishwasher! Fruit and veggies had to be chopped up and and it was all terribly time-consuming. The cheap one I had when I first tried juicing years ago was hard work and couldn’t cope with pips etc. So, it was consigned to the back of a cupboard and later donated to a charity shop.

Nowadays, there are juicers with wide chutes so that you can fit a whole apple in. They cope with pips, peel and larger portions. Some are a lot quieter too!

 (Tip: It is always an idea to ask a regular juicer what they are using and if there are any to avoid).

GRAB YOURSELF A CUP OF (HERBAL) TEA, HERE ARE SOME SUGGESTIONS BASED ON WHAT I AND OTHER REGULAR JUICERS USE:

In Jason Vale’s early videos, he uses a Philips 1861 and so at the time did my nephew who was working on Jason’s SuperJuiceMe! documentary.* He sent me a link and I ordered it. Everyone I know who has ever had this model has liked using it – including Hanna Sillitoe at BeyondFitUk* and Mark Beddoe of Explore Juice.* (see Mark’s photo below with Philips 1861).

It is a great centrifugal – fast – juicer and everyone is mystified as to why Philips stopped selling it. It is a real workhorse and lasts years. It has a larger capacity than many centrifugal juicers so you don’t have to empty it as often. It has a wide chute. But it is a bit noisy. I only stopped using it because I wanted to step up, it is still in use (I gave it to my daughter), and my son has one too. I sometimes see them on ebay or Amazon secondhand and you can still buy spare parts on ebay.

(Tip for using the Philips 1861: place a small glass under the spout as soon as you remove the juice jug so it doesn’t carry on dripping onto your work surface).

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Fusion Juicer

After a few months of juicing, I knew I was in it for the long haul so I stepped up a bit and bought Jason Vale’s new Fusion juicer. It is a bit more powerful and the pulp is a bit drier than with the Philips.  We found this easy to use, it has a wide chute too but it didn’t take as much effort to push down the veg. With the Philips, you fill the chute and then push it through, with the Fusion you put them in one at a time. You get into a rhythm and it is quick and easy. We also found it a little easier to dismantle. We loved the non-drip articulated spout which was a refreshing addition after the drippy Philips! The cord comes from the middle of the back so there isn’t a problem siting it in relation to sockets.

It is sold on the Juicemaster website* (as I write it includes a recipe book and the SuperJuiceMe dvd). We used it for a year and it is still in good working order, it is mothballed at the moment waiting for someone to try it out or as a back-up in case – fingers crossed – my current one faints from overuse!

(Tip for using the Fusion: It has a useful handle so that you can tip up the juicer to drain the remainder of the juice, less waste).

Earlier this year I was very kindly given some money and told to spend it on myself. Right, I thought, time to hit the big time! I had long wanted to progress to a masticating juicer but they are very expensive. They produce more, better quality juice that keeps longer in the fridge. The pulp is practically dry. In the long run, you get more juice for your money. And they are quieter! Sometimes I’ve felt like I should be wearing industrial ear defenders!

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Mark Beddoe with his collection of Optimum Juicers and Blenders, his first juicer, the Philips 1861, is at the back, right

Neil Martin, the Natural Juice Junkie* and my Twitter friend Mark Beddoe of Explore Juice* favoured the Optimum 400 and more recently the Optimum 600 sold by http://www.froothie.co.ukThese have all the bells and whistles as they also make nut milks. They even manage pineapple with the skin on!

Everyone I know who has one of these thinks they are the bee’s knees! They produce excellent quality juice. On their recommendation, I ordered one and was very excited about the prospect of becoming a serious juicer and joining the big boys.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be too heavy, we couldn’t move it. This is a big problem with slow juicers. If you have a weak back or you are elderly or frail, they can be on the heavy side. It was also too tall to sit on the counter under my top cupboards, so it would have to be stored in a cupboard and brought out every time we needed it.

(Tip: A juicer that is stored away will rarely, if ever get used. It needs to be in position, ready for use or you will get tired of having to set it up and it will just gather dust).

My other problem with the Optimum is that the cord was on the wrong side to fit in my sockets and it was too short to reach. So, sadly, I had to send it back.

However, it is a reliable brand and Froothie have excellent and responsive customer service. (Unable to find the dimensions and weight of their blenders on the website, I received a call from Bernard who took on board my suggestions and promptly added this and other info to the specs on the site).

The Optimum 600 has a 10 year warranty on the motor and 2 years on the parts. 

(I did choose one of their blenders and I am very pleased with it. More on that in a later post).

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My Retro Juicer

Eventually, I was seduced by Jason Vale’s latest model, the Retro Cold Press masticating juicer. Not only does it look good and come in several colours – including Union Jack! – it does the job easily and relatively quietly.

My version doesn’t do nut milks, it is solely a juicer – I got it on special offer and it didn’t have that accessory, but other full-price Retros do. They also make sorbets. It is easier to manoeuvre and the veggies easily go down the wide chute. It produces great quality juice and dry pulp. In fact, we used to use a compostable bag to collect the pulp with the other juicers, but this pulp is so dry you just tip it straight into the compost bin and there’s hardly a trace of it left in the jug! Some people have problems with celery, but we find if we cut it up and feed it through near the end with other veggies it is fine. This has a non-drip spout too.

It has a massive 25 year warranty on the motor and 5 years on the parts.

(Tip: If you pour a glass of water through the juicer at the end you will get more juice and less waste).

And finally: Joe Cross*, aka Joe the Juicer of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead fame, always uses a Breville juicer in his films and videos. It has a wide chute and juices quickly and efficiently. It is a reliable brand and although I have never used one of their juicers, I have a Breville Blend-Active blender which is excellent.

(Tip: Clean up as you go! It keeps your working space clear if you wash and prepare all your fruit and veg, clear away the debris, juice them and then rinse out your juicer straightaway. It is much easier and quicker to clean it out immediately before you have your juice and it is also more hygienic, less risk of bacteria developing).

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UPDATE: Retro have just brought out their new Retro Super Fast Juicer, a centrifugal juicer, which really looks the business, matching both the Retro Cold Press Juicer and the Retro Super Blend, both of which we own and use on a daily basis. I think my husband would leave home if I suggest buying another juicer (we have 3!), so I can’t comment in detail, but the thing I like immediately is that it is ambidextrous. Some juicers have the plug on one side which means you can only use them in a certain position on the counter and in my case this was an issue because of the position of the sockets in our kitchen. I also like the large pulp container, meaning you can juice continuously. Jason Vale recently did a comparative juice-off with the favoured old stalwart, the Philips 1861 and found that the new Super Fast Juicer produced slightly more juice. The Retro Super Fast Juicer is now available from Retro and Juicemaster.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE! I did buy the Retro Super Fast Juicer (of course I did!) and I think it’s great. It is easy to assemble and take apart, very easy to clean and use. It is light and clean-looking. One word of warning: you can’t put a glass of water through this at the end to push the remainder of the juice through, it will flood your counter, but you can tip it up when it’s switched off to drain it.

I would recommend this model for anyone new to juicing.

See also: Juicemaster Retro Super Fast Juicer: Review

My Top 20 Tips for Juicing – updated to 25!

Juicing: How to Begin or Do As I Say, Not As I Did!

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There is a saying amongst regular juicers: the most expensive juicer is the one you don’t use.  My advice is to make a mental commitment to juicing, get the one you can best afford and look on it as an investment in your health: think of all the potential prescription charges you might save! As you become more adept and more interested in juicing for health, you will probably want to move up the scale from a centrifugal – or fast – juicer to a slower but more nutritionally efficient masticating juicer.

In the end though, as The Juice Junkie says: Any juicer is better than no juicer!

I hope this has helped you sort the wood from the trees and good luck!

(Final tip: USE YOUR JUICER!)

PS Nutribullets are not juicers.

*http://www.thejuicemaster.com  https://m.facebook.com/ShayanScottFilm

http://www.beyondfit.co.uk

Natural Juice Junkie Home

Mark Beddoe: @explorejuice

http://www.rebootwithjoe.com

Copyright: Chris McGowan