Why I Don’t Juice

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

A Glass of Juice

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.

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.

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.

So what do you prefer…juicing or making smoothies? And why?

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520 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Juice”

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  1. 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.

  2. 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 :)

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

      1. LeeLee, Shannon is sharing what she does. She is on topic and her sharing could be useful for someone else looking for another way to get more nutrition into their diet.

  5. I think that for healthy people, smoothies are great. But for many that are ill and deficient in nutrients, juicing is the way to go. The nutrients are easily assimilated. I personally never felt any difference with smoothies, but juicing made me feel better.

  6. I am a huge smoothie fan! I LOVE my Blendtec and the fact that they have a “whole juice” option so I can “juice” my veggies (but keep all the goodness of the pulp and fiber)! I would pick a smoothie over a juice any day.

  7. I like & make both. I replaced my morning coffee with a glass of green juice & have noticed an increase in my energy. I do not like to eat early in the morning so it is a nutritious way to start my day. I add the pulp to my compost bin but like the idea another reader gave about adding it to a smoothie later. I’ll have to give that a try.

  8. I tried juicing when it was popular back in the late 90’s. I was a bit shocked at how much food I threw away after juicing and what amount of juice I got for it. While I think it has it’s benefits, I’d rather have a smoothie or just eat the food in whole form myself. Smoothies and real food are just more economic for me and I don’t feel hungry. (could be a great Snickers commercial…a group of hungry juicers running around grumpy and snippy lol)

  9. I agree with this 100% and whoever says it’s one sided is correct because most opinions/experiences tend to be. It’s not one sided in a bad way it’s what worked for their family and that’s good. Juicing can have side affects. I was juicing for about 3 weeks. Eating whole foods and replacing one meal with juice. I started getting sick to my stomach and it got bad. I ended up at the doctor’s and they told me.to stop juicing. Juicing was eliminating the fiber my body needed to digest food and run the tract properly. They even put me on Prilosec for a month that’s how bad it got. Juicing is not meant for everyone’s body. Kudos if it works for you and have a smoothie if it doesn’t : )

  10. Hi,
    I seem to be a bit confused by the terminology that is being used lately. This is nothing new for me. I understand from the article that when you refer to juicing that you are using a machine that literally makes juice mostly without the pulp. There are machines that will create it with more pulp in it which is still considered juice.
    I use a blender to make my “drinks”. I use vegetables and fruits. I never put dairy in mine. So now I am confused, is a smoothie a drink with dairy in it or are my veggie/fruit concoctions considered a smoothie?
    I tend to agree with the article in the sense that you are taking the time to make the drinks in the hope of getting more nutrition into your diet. Fiber is an important part, but some people have texture issues and if they do the juice at least they are making an effort to improve their health, it just isn’t for me.
    Good health to all this Labor Day Weekend, may we all strive to be open to new ideas and take what we can from those that are presented.

    1. Kathy – your concoctions are definitely smoothies! A smoothie is a blend of whole fruits or veggies and a liquid base made in a blender. Like you, I prefer non-dairy milk such as almond milk, coconut water or just plain tap water.
      I do enjoy juicing but I enjoy my smoothies more. I find them more filling and you can add in some nutritional superfoods such as chia seeds or flaxseed which is hard to do with a juice.

  11. I did a 10 day juice fast with my boyfriend. While I did lose weight and towards the end I felt great buy that was after I started blending in a banana or an avocado to make it more filling. But before I did that I was constantly hungry. I actually felt horrible for at least 3 days. And my bodily functions were way out of wack. I don’t think I did number 2 until day 4 or 5 of the fast. And since the fast I have done a lot more research and I have come to the conclusion that a juice fast is quite unhealthy. A smoothie fast would be better. You are consuming the entire fruit or vegetable which means you not just getting the micronutrients but also the micronutrients. The body needs both.i also ago that I is time consuming. From have to prepare all the veggies to the actual juicing and then clean up. I feel that that is entirely too much work with very little to show for it. I like this post I whole heartedly agree with it. But I can gladly say that I tried it before I judged it.

  12. We have recently started juicing. We have a masticating juicer which results in a “pulpy” juice (fiber). It is a nice balance between a centrifugal juicer and a blender. It doesn’t heat up like the blenders do and leaves more nutrients as compared to the centrifugal juicers. To bad your post didn’t cover the different types of juicers and it’s benefits. It was pretty one sided but I guess this is your blog so do as you please! Since introducing juicing to our lives, both of our health has improved drastically and our food choices in addition to a juice a day is MUCH better. It doesn’t matter to me that it cost us a little more and takes a little time, which by the way is as much time as any other food prep and clean up. It actually takes longer to clean my blender. But anyways, it was a “gateway” for better health and lifestyle changes so I am very grateful for jiucing.

  13. I’ve come to the conclusion that the people so offended by this post are mad because you’re challenging the nonsense they’ve been talked into believing. If you challenge something we’ve been brainwashed into believing, we’ll have to start thinking maybe there’s something not quite right about it. I drink pure juice occasionally just for the heck of it, but in no way do I think it’s superior or more nutrient packed than blending the stuff. It’s no different than people who are righteously Christian, then get all weirded-out when someone dares to believe something else. If you were really so sure yours was the only way, someone else’s system wouldn’t bother you so much. Especially since it has no reflection on your own life. I find the more people scream that theirs is the only way, the less intelligent that person is. And the easier that person is to be led in any way you want-for good or bad.

  14. I’m always surprised when I find people insisting that eliminating half of what makes a fruit or vegetable what it is, is the healthier way to go. I can’t believe someone thinks using the whole food, rather than the extracted juice is worse for your health. I know people claim it’s more nutrient dense, or some other such nonsense, but it’s not. You are supposed to consume a certain amount of fruit and vegetables every day, and juicing removes part of what makes them healthy for you in the first place. The people who lost tons of weight with juice only did so because they drastically reduced their calorie intake, and most will likely end up gaining it all back. It’s no different than a liquid diet. It isn’t practical. I watched the Fat, Sick.. movie too, and I was impressed with what he accomplished, but not eating actual food is a horrible idea. If he continued to only drink juice, I’m pretty sure a whole new set of health problems would face him. Nobody knows whether he has any health problems now, just because he looks good. And he also, if I remember correctly, supplemented this liquid only diet with actual produce in whole form.
    Just because someone makes money off of a book by convincing you that their way is the only way, doesn’t make it so. People also believe in “oil pulling” and for a while believed in magic foot pads. Guess what the magic foot pads did? They contained vinegar so when they got damp turned a shade of brown. They weren’t pulling toxins out of your body via your feet. They were a scam, as with most of this “detox” nonsense.
    Eating healthy is not detoxing your body. Your body detoxes itself despite your diet. That’s why we’ve got all those goofy organs inside us.

  15. Also how cheap would it be if you bought/leased property(because I assume you are an adult) and maintained your own fruits/veggies

  16. The fiber is only waste if you throw it away…I use my carrot/apple fiber to make power snacks(just add honey and ball it up). It’s about being innovative, not making excuses.

  17. @Alissa Oh so I guess nobody here understands how nutrients decay. Light/Heat exposure. Cold press fools, the blender is destroying your Vits/Nuts

  18. Sloth is a sin :)You can definitely still eat all that fiber… And if you are above that, feed it to the animals. If you aren’t able to take ten minutes out of your day to use and clean your juicer, I believe you should write an article titled “Why I can’t manage my time properly”

    Here is my response

    Reasons to juice instead of blend
    1)You won’t damage the Vitamins/Nutrients (with the right juicer)

    2)Juicing allows your body to absorb Vits/Nuts at a much faster rate. Also less waste means less energy will be used(digestion)

    3)The difference in time between cleaning a blender(scrubbing) and a juicer is negligible.

  19. 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. :-)

  20. 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.

    1. 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

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

    1. YES. Thanks so much for posting this. Juicing is rendering the fruits and/or vegetables less healthy. I don’t know how this juicing fad got to be so popular. Its one thing to have a glass of OJ now and then because it tastes good, but to pulverize the heck out of these wonderful foods, because you think you need to concentrate 5 pounds of them into one glass is the worst take on “more is better”. I was disappointed to see juice included in the foods allowed on this 100 day challenge, as they are processed foods.

  25. 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!

  26. 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!

  27. 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

  28. You have to buy a real juicer to be able to see the real benefits of juicing. Only then can you give advice to people. I also made my juice experiment and I can tell you that after drinking a cup of juice, you do not get hungry that fast and that you feel absolutely satisfied for at least 3 hours. Try and then tell me about juicing.

  29. You are right that it is hard to know just what is right when there is so much conflicting information out there, this is evidence just in reading through the comments, everyone thinks they know what is best, to juice or smoothie, which juicer works, which destroys nutrients. When researching juicing, or smoothying, or veganism, or raw foodism etc etc there will always be evidence to support these nutritional lifestyles. Claims that a certain type of juicer heats up the juice can be refuted by tests that have been done to prove this isn’t the case. Ask the doctors and one will tell you juicing as part of a diet is ideal and even juice fasting for detox and healing is highly recommended … another doctor will tell you the exact opposite.

    What I do know is that for anyone who decides they want to get back to clean eating, organic, nutritionally dense diets, increased costs and increased time spent in the kitchen preparing, or in the garden growing food is inevitable. I get the impression from reading through comments on this post and other similar sites that time and cost is the real challenge for us these days. It’s the fast and cheap convenience of food that is making us sick and tired. Sure it can take me time to make up juice and clean my juicer, but it also takes me a long time to put together well balanced healthy solid foods too.

  30. Buy a Vitamix Juicer. Expensive, but will last you for a very long time. It breaks down the ENTIRE veggie or fruit, pulp and all, so that you are drinking the WHOLE THING! Think of the added cost as your TRUE health insurance ; )

  31. When you were born you were not Fat. Food does. I will like to see the physical body of everyone how’s writing a comment here. Juicing is the remedy to loose pounds. Smoothie is to keep the form. Making exercise a little bit everyday is the balance. The most important: Enjoy your life and fell good everyday. Easy to say, very hard to do.

  32. As someone that consumes and supports a whole-food plant based diet… You really should do your research on the benefits of juicing. There are health benefits to both. We have to remember that we are not all made the same way and what works for one person may not work for the next..due to the realization that we all have different health needs, different health statures, as well as health profiles. Juicing can truly help many people commit to a life-style change of a whole-food plant based diet. I think that these types of articles that are written are a detriment and may defer people that are on the fence about consuming a whole-food plant based diet; especially for those individuals that haven’t been in favor of eating fruits and vegetables in the past. Juicing can help bridge that gap…Instead of separating diet fads and detoxes that focus on consuming more vegetables and fruits.. lets focus on the detrimental effects of animal-based proteins and encourage people to consume a plant and fruit based diet in any way that they need to get them to the next level.

  33. One thing I have learnt about juicing and blending is if you don’t own a slow cold press juicer then always throw in a few ice cubes in to keep the temperature low as the heat from the friction in the juicer and blender will kill of the nutrients and you don’t want that… especially if you’re buying organic…
    the Hurom slow juicer is suppose to give the best amount of juice and it preserves the nutrients as well whilst juicing. :) Haven’t tried it yet but it’s definitely on my list of things to get…

    1. Vivian, you are right. The Hurom slow juicer is great! We upgraded from a centrifugal juicer and have noticed more juice and a more nutrient dense taste. Its really easy to clean too. Plus with the model we have, the HH premium juicer and smoothie maker, there is an option for how much pulp stays in the juice. Definitely get one if you get the chance!

  34. And as someone who cannot digest whole raw veggies and some fruits as I have no teeth they were all pulled because of exxescive cavities, root canals and more it is inpossible to eat a hard raw veggie like carrots broccoli, lettuce and more. Juicing is great for when it’s hard to make those ingredients into a smoothie.

    1. Raw veggies aren’t actually that great for you because there is a lot in them that you can’t break down thus become waste. Cooking them is optimal. Try softening them with boiling. Are you saving up for dentures? That should allow you to chew up softened veggies.

  35. Im on Day 119 of straight fruit and veg juice (made at home in the juicer that I handwash everyday) and have lost 77 pounds. Best part? I actually DO feel awesome, though the first ten days or so are rough. But I say…do whatever works for you to make you healthy!

  36. I couldn’t agree more with you. I am a holistic nutritionist and I suggest smoothies most of the time for clients and for my own family. This is for every single reason you mentioned. Lord I thought I was the only one in the health field that thought this way. Thanks for validating me! I don’t feel as bad now about not jumping on that juicing wagon.