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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512 comments to Why I Don’t Juice

  • Celeste

    A friend juices but then he takes the pulp and makes vegetable soup out of it.

  • We juiced for awhile and the cost time and energy was too much. But we found a better way with Juice Plus to bridge the gap between how many vegetables we eat and how many we need to eat every day. Juice Plus is fruits and vegetables that have been juiced and dried and come in a capsule or chewable form. Smoothies are great but we often don’t get the variety on a daily basis.

    When Juice Plus crossed my path my first thought was I don’t need that we eat cleaner and fresher than most people and are conscious about our food. What I learned for me is that adding Juice Plus to my already clean diet increased my energy and our family does not get sick.

  • Bree

    How are the squooshi pouches to clean? I’ve considered getting something like this but I feel like I would dread cleaning them and they wouldn’t get used as much as I would like.

  • Andrea

    Just wanted to comment that I liked your article. Health is a personal thing to all of us and obviously what works for some people doesn’t work for others. All of your points on why you like smoothies over juicing are completely valid and might save someone the trouble of investing the money in a juicer when a blender might suit them better. I recently had weightloss surgery so juicing works well for me because I’m able to get more nutrients from fruits and veggies than I can by eating. Also for that reason smoothies don’t work we’ll for me right now because I can’t get it all down. I have a cheaper juicer for now and save the pulp because I hate the thought of throwing it away, even if half ends up in the compost that works for me. I also like getting my produce at restaurant supply stores or a business Costco for the savings, but I also have a second fridge to store it in. Whatever you do, any step towards bettering your health is a good one in my opinion, even if it’s a small one :)

  • Karen

    I would strongly recommend trying juicing again, but with a really good blender so all the goodness stays inside the container. It’s less expensive and much easier to clean. Since I bought my blender (Ninja) this past summer, I have upped my vegetable intake tremendously. Now I easily have 2-3 servings of vegetables in my stomach before I leave the house in the morning. I have no trouble getting my recommended amount of fruits each day, but vegetables have been more of a challenge. Problem solved! It IS a more “chewable” juice as opposed to a traditional juice, but I am loving it.

  • Angela H

    We make smoothies with a Vitamix. It truly blends everything into a liquid, no gritty or chunky in it. Just the way I like it. :) Still not a fan of kale, but it is not too bad all hidden in a smoothie. lol

  • Vyvienne

    I have a VITAMIX which gets used several times per day! I also have a Jack LaLanne Power Juicer which also gets a lot of use! My nutrition plan is mainly a liquid diet so I have both juices & smoothies! I don’t c that u should have 1 or the other as I have both. But if u only have a blender then smoothies is obviously the way 2 go 4 u. But then the same can b said of the juicer. If u only have a juicer then juicing is the way 2 go 4 u. & remember that u can always use the pulp from the juicer. Vegetable pulp is a healthy addition 2 home made soups. There r numerous sites which have recipes that include pulp from ur juicing. @~{}<.

  • Betty W

    I prefer smoothies over juicing too. Juicing was more expensive, took more time and sometimes I had to almost gag the concoction down plus I hated the clean up. I make a smoothie every morning and it’s quick and easy. Spinach or baby kale, fresh fruit ( favorites are black plums and fresh peaches) then add frozen pineapple, banana, blueberries or grapes and top with chia seeds or hemp hearts. I love it! And I use a blender I’ve had for years with no problem.

  • Julie Calcao

    Juicing can be expensive but for someone with health issues it can make a big difference in getting healthier the natural way. I recommend people to watch any documentary on the Gerson Diet and it basically explains how juicing is beneficial in healing the body and that the fiber is not needed. Apparently the body needs a lot more fruits and veggies than the recommended dose. If we were to eat what we really need — well it would be impossible. First, the fiber would make us feel full too fast and then we could never chew down that much. Juicing brings the nutrients needed to you without having to brake anything down. But for a person that is not sick, I don’t see the benefits of doing so. I get a glass a day for a snack and I am happy with it. If I ever get sick and would absolutely try a juicing healing diet as opposed to pills. Pills can get expensive too.

  • Jean

    I love juicing but it does get expensive!! I solved that issue by growing most of the veg myself. I include juices in my everyday diet rather than living solely on juice. I also do smoothies in my Vitamix. It’s amazing how much of a difference in energy levels I have and I would recommend to anyone to try and include it into your lifestyle.

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