Why I Don’t Juice

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Now before anyone starts jumping to conclusions about juicing or thinks “Geez, there is something wrong with everything” (I hate that feeling) – I want to make one thing clear: There is certainly nothing wrong with drinking vegetable juices. But there are a few reasons why I haven’t personally jumped on the juicing bandwagon myself – even after borrowing a friend’s juicer and actually trying it out for a week – which is what I’d like to explain today.

Juice and FiberJuice Is Not A Whole Food

First and foremost, my main dietary goal is to eat whole foods or what I call “real food” (i.e. 5 or less whole ingredients). Did you know that when you drink juiced vegetables and fruits you are not eating the whole food? The first time I saw a juicer in action I was actually a little surprised when I saw all this stuff being spit out the side. It turns out that stuff is the pulp (basically the fiber) and not included in the juice you are about to drink! Now you could technically bake that pulp into a homemade baked good or something (and still consume it), but I am going to tell you right now I would never be “Betty Homemakerish” enough to keep up with something like that. Plus I felt like the kale, celery, cucumber, and other ingredients I purchased to make the juice could have nicely supplemented several meals for the whole family, when instead the juicer transformed these ingredients into 2 glasses (about 10 ounces each) of not very filling juice.
A Glass of Juice

It’s Expensive

If you aren’t careful, juicing could seriously blow the roof off your budget. The first day I shopped for juicing ingredients I spent $13 – on just 2 servings of organic juice! I suppose that wouldn’t be so bad if it could actually constitute a meal, but after drinking our morning juice (my husband tried it with me) we were both still hungry enough for our regular breakfast of homemade granola. So during our week of juicing I found myself buying loads of extra veggies to juice in addition to all the groceries I would have normally purchased anyway. Cha-ching!

It Takes Time

Juicer Parts When you drink a daily green juice in addition to eating your regular meals it ends up taking extra time out of your day. Imagine having to make a fresh juice and clean the machine on top of cooking and cleaning those three square real food meals each day. I say that because a juicer is not just any regular appliance – there are 7 different parts that all need to be washed immediately. Which means unless you are about to start your dishwasher right at that very moment you need to stop what you are doing and wash each and every part of the juicer by hand. Have I ever mentioned that I am not a big fan of hand washing dishes? Well, some days I truly avoid it like the plague – so this is officially reason #3 that juicing is not personally for me.

My Takeaway

Like I said at the beginning there is certainly nothing wrong with juicing, and some say it makes them feel great (we didn’t personally notice a difference). BUT – as with most food choices – I feel that variety is key. That means variety in both what you eat and how you eat it. If you find that you are getting so much more green in your body through juicing then that is fabulous, but I wouldn’t suggest having that be the only way you get your veggies. And that’s because eating the whole food is pretty important as well. Nature actually does a great job of packaging up the perfect combination of vitamins and minerals in each and every whole food. When you start removing parts (like the fiber) it is just not the same. The takeaway I got from my juicing experiment is that – probably like most people – I have room for improvement and could stand to consume more vegetables. So I am glad to be given that reminder.

Now if I suddenly found myself with health issues or was just overall not feeling very well – I would definitely give juicing another chance. At first I wasn’t quite sure what I thought about the taste of a green juice, but it actually grew on me fairly quickly, and I came to enjoy it (and drink it much faster) by the end of the week. But for the foreseeable future I can only see myself being a smoothie girl, and here’s why.

smoothiesWhy I Like Smoothies Instead

I honestly never made (or probably even drank a smoothie) before our switch to real food, but now they make their way into our diet about once or twice a week. If you are new to smoothies or just want to kick things up a notch be sure to check out the “The 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge” by our new friends over at Simple Green Smoothies. They’ve thought of everything when it comes to drinking your greens (the whole food way).

And these are the reasons I like smoothies so much:

  1. No special expensive equipment needed – any old blender will do!
  2. When you blend fruits and vegetables together to make a smoothie you are consuming the whole food.
  3. As a result, I find smoothies to be much more filling than juice.
  4. My kids like smoothies (they gave the green juice a fair chance, but were not fans).
  5. A little bit of veggies can go a long way in a smoothie – when I juiced a bunch of kale it seemed that only a couple tablespoons of juice came out.

Squooshi

Sponsor Shoutout: Squooshi

Fitting enough – I want to make sure you know about our sponsor, Squooshi. It’s no secret that eating food on the go (like smoothies!) in little pouches is a new trend – but rather than springing $1 or sometimes even $2 for a pouch of pureed food (and then throwing it away) why not make your own over and over again in these colorful, reusable pouches? Within moments of getting some Squooshi samples in the mail our daughters (ages 6 and 8) both already had a “favorite animal” they couldn’t wait to try. And we even sent these pouches in their lunchboxes a few times – with no mess involved. With so many filling options (applesauce, smoothies, homemade baby food, yogurt, etc.) these would make a perfect summer snack to take along on a picnic or to the pool so be sure to go check them out!

So back to the topic at hand, given the option what do you prefer…juicing or making smoothies? And why?

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480 comments to Why I Don’t Juice

  • Vinny

    This is an irresponsible article. Juicing Kale, shard, spinach, beats, carrots, cucumbers etc etc in today’s society is sometimes the ONLY way to get people the nutrition and macronutrients associated with them that are truly beneficial. You are juicing LIVING FOODS. You get concentrated amounts of benefit in each glass. And all with minimal calories. This article just makes no sense.

    Watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZLSPmKZchQ&feature=player_embedded#!

    Ort about about this amazing and inspiring movie: http://www.hulu.com/watch/289122/fat-sick-and-nearly-dead

    (Hint, hint: It’s the REVERSE of supersize me. Where very sick and unhealthy people changed their health solely by juicing for 10,30 or 60 days.)

    Just because someone has a blog sure doesn’t mean what they write is worth .02.

    Vinny

  • VJ Miyagi

    I prefer juicing. I have a Blendtec and a VitaMix and an Omega Vert so it isn’t an equipment issue. To juice vegetables in the blender, you must add water. The resulting product, to me, tastes watered down. I do have health issues and since I’ve been juicing, I do feel better. I have a long way to go before I’m “cured” but I didn’t put on 150 pounds over night. I was surprised to read that juice did not fill you up. I find it quite satisfying, but then I use a 24 ounce Ball jar for my juice. I was also surprised you found it expensive. I’m only buying organic produce and seem to get by cheaper than I was previously eating before I wised up and called my inner food police on myself.

    You did say something that might give a clue as to why you did not notice anything from drinking juice that suggests maybe you are already eating a healthy diet and you body wasn’t craving nutrients. Good on you!

  • TemishaYvette

    Cost is usually a concern for those that are trying to eater better. I don’t believe that is a reason to avoid juicing. I recently purchased a juicer (expensive) and made a delicious apple juice with two apples, a small lemon, and a half carrot. This is about the cost of buying the bad stuff at the store. No problem here. I drank it with the thought drinking juice and not as a meal replacement. It met my expectations and therefore I am satisfied. Oh, and the pulp, yep breakfast muffins!

  • Misty

    Good article. You know what juicing is? It’s processing the heck out of food. You are right that fruits and veggies are packaged just right. Fruits and even veggies contain sugars but they are bound up molecularly in such a way our body has to work a bit to get at them. Juicing doesn’t just concentrate vitamins, it concentrates sugar and acid. It’s important to get the soluble fibre at the same time as the sugar because it regulates glucose levels.

    Americans have a much bigger problem with not getting enough fiber than with vitamin deficiencies.

    Plus the human body was designed to chew food. The autonomic nervous system is complicated and the digestive process is triggered by mastication.

  • Misty

    I can show you a video or web site with testimonials showing how just about every diet change under the sun made people feel better. It doesn’t matter what the diet trend, there are people who do it and feel better. I’ve heard it all. Most of the time when people jump in a diet band wagon it involves eating less junk food and processed food.

  • Cheri

    I had the same experience Lisa. Even (or maybe especially) if you’re growing your own vegetables, it seems like you’re wasting the majority of your end product.

    I’m just amazed that people get so bent out of shape when you share your personal opinions – like they’re unimportant when compared to the complainer.

    Just found your blog on Pinterest and I’m loving it.

  • Kirsty

    Would love to see a more thorough blog entry about this. Masticating and Centrifugal juicers are VERY different and do very different things. I would not put greens in a Breville. Just wish there would have been more info in this entry about what kind of juicer you used because I think that’s really important.

  • Lindsey

    I posted before and still no response…. How is the juice any less a WHOLE food than cheese? It’s in many of your recipes so I’m assuming you consider it a whole food. It removes the whey from milk as fiber from the produce with juicing.

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Lindsey. Lisa would agree that cheese is processed and she is choosey about her cheeses. Here, she is simply stating her opinion that the waste and cost make it not her cup of tea. :) ~Amy

  • Alissa

    I feel like some people didn’t read the article properly. It is true we need nutrients and vitamins however by juicing them you remove the fiber however, if you use the same ingredients, with a little extra fluid (water, coconut water etc…) and blend them, you still get all the nutrients and vitamins from things such as kale, spinach, chard etc… but you also get the fiber. This is a very simplistic argument I am making as the benefits of smoothies, particularly green smoothies, are much more in depth than that. I found this video helpful:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW5LUkeVA6s

    Finally, I would like to say that if juicing gets you consuming vegetables and you cannot or do not want to make smoothies, then go for it. Its really a matter of getting it into your system in a way that pleases you. :-)

  • […] colon are adequately evacuated along with any toxins that might remain.” As I learned during my own recent experiment, juicing can be expensive, timely, and also does not provide you with the whole vegetable because […]

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