I’ve been writing a lot about my love affair with green juice lately, and I’ve been thrilled to hear that many of you share my passion. I’ve also heard from a lot of people who want to try, or have tried in the past, to get into juicing. There seems to be a series of common roadblocks that stand squarely between a person and their glass of fresh pressed juice – I should know, because I have experienced them myself! Here I outline the five most frequent errors people make – and of course, how to remedy them.
1) Too Much Sweet / Not Enough Green: Fresh Juice is incredible because the nutrients are parted from the bulk that binds them. This means the goods are instantly absorbed into the bloodstream, offering a hefty load of vitamins and minerals. BUT, it also means that sugar is on the loose as well. Thus, those folks (like me) who are sensitive to glycemic fluctuations, need to make sure that their juice doesn’t pack a sugar punch. When I first started juicing I would toss in apples, oranges, carrots, and finally a few greens. I’d drink it down and experience a crazy high (whee! cleaning! writing! FLYING!) and then, a horrible crash (boooooh! cranky! tired! anxious!). So not fun. Now I know to center my juice around low-sugar, high-water veggies like cucumber and celery. I always add plenty of greens, and just a little fruit for flavor. A single carrot, the juice of one lemon – that’s all it really needs.
2) Drinking Too Much At Once: Following from above, this is also about managing blood sugar. The first time I made juice, I was so excited. I took out every fruit and veggie in my fridge, lined them all up, and fed them into my Champion. I made over a quart of juice and guzzled it all in under 15 minutes. Well! I was flying high for about an hour, and then I crashed so hard I nearly took the house down with me. I finally figured out that with juice, a little goes a long way. Now, I only ever take about 8 oz at a time. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less, and I drink it slowly. Your own experience will depend on how your body deals with sugar, but it’s good to be mindful – especially at first.
3) “It’s Too Much To Clean Up.” Oh yeah, I’m looking at me here. Guilty! My dear Champion spent over a year (!!!) gathering dust on the counter top, because after the first time I used it, I was like “dang, what a PITA, so much work, grrr graw grumble grumble.” Okay yes, juicers require a little maintenance. They generally need to be cleaned right away, lest you end up with caked and sticky bits. But you know what? It’s less than ten minutes! Now I make my juice and I drink it while I’m washing up. While Waits plays at my feet. And honestly, after I’d done it a few times I realized it’s not so bad. You don’t need to use soap or even a sponge – just rinse under hot water. Toss in the dishwasher once a week (Or don’t. I don’t.) But for goodness sake, you can make the time. Don’t let five minutes stand between you and so much good health!
4) “I Don’t Have A Juicer.” No worries – I got you covered! Done and Done. Next . . .
5) You Make “Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink” Juice: I have to admit something. In life and in the kitchen, I’m sort of a compulsive maximalist. And it’s strange, because I actually most enjoy a minimal aesthetic – minimalist design, absolute “un-clutter” in my space, and simple fresh food. But still, I find myself compelled to add add add, and in juicing as in life, it got me into trouble. My first homemade blend was a crazy watermelon-cucumber-celery-cilantro-carrot-lemon-sangria-stiletto-amaretto concoction. Or something. It was crazy! And it tasted just as confusing. But since then I’ve learned that, while juicing is an excellent way to clear out the crisper, a little editing is essential. I advise new juicers to aim for three ingredients or less. Plus maybe a squeeze of citrus. This goal will also help you to manage quantity (see #2), but mostly it’s for flavors sake. Be nice to your tongue, and go easy on the combos.
I hope that these little tips will help you to see juicing as something that can easily become a part of your life. It’s enhanced my health so much, it truly is amazing. And summer’s right around the corner with all the best and freshest juice that’s yours for the taking!