Matt Forney
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This is Your Life on Juicing

juicing

Yep, I’ve dived on the grenade. Succumbed to the hype. Joined the herd. A few months ago, I started juicing and I haven’t looked back.

The fruits and vegetables kind of juicing, that is.

Like game and the paleo diet, juicing is one of those left field approaches to everyday problems that only makes sense once you’ve tried it. While it’s not the solution to all your health problems, juicing on a regular basis can improve your skin, brain function and provide a whole host of other benefits. Here’s some of the reasons why you should start juicing.

1. Juicing makes your skin look better.

This is by far the biggest change I noticed when I started juicing. Carrots are one of the simplest and easiest things to juice, seeing as they’re cheap (a three-week supply costs me $2 at Wegmans) and even the low-end juicers can mash them easily. Combine ’em with tomatoes and other vegetables and you got yourself a feast.

The first week I began juicing, I did a seven-day juice cleanse, which I broke with a couple of Swallow Wits (I went to an Explosions in the Sky concert in Syracuse, and I can’t enjoy live music without imbibement anymore). After just a couple days, I noticed that my skin had acquired an odd glow; my pores seemed cleaner and my face shinier. Additionally, about a month into juicing, I noticed that the very faint wrinkle that was beginning to form across my forehead was receding.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but I’m not the only one to see this.

Carrot juice in particular is good for the body because they contain carotenoids, organic pigments that give them their orange color. Ingesting carotenoids benefits the skin by improving tone and reducing/preventing wrinkles. Add in all the other health benefits of juicing and it’s kind of a no-brainer.

2. Juicing allows you to get more nutrients faster.

Detractors will point to this post and go “Herp derp! It’s been proven that juicing doesn’t add any nutritional value to fruits and vegetables!” No shit, Sherlock: nobody ever claimed that it did.

What juicing lets you do is ingest nutrients more efficiently.

By taking fruits and vegetables in liquid form, you’re saving your digestive system the effort required to break them down, letting you consume more nutrients in a shorter span of time. Going back to the previous example, one cup of carrot juice (eight ounces) provides the same nutritional value as five cups of carrots. Are you gonna eat five cups of carrots a day? Thought not.

Not only that, juicing can get you consuming fruits and vegetables that you ordinarily wouldn’t bother with, either because they’re too uncommon in regular diets or because you didn’t know they existed. For example, I never ate kale before I started juicing: I didn’t even know what it was.

Finally, juicing makes consuming vegetables tasty.

I don’t subscribe to the idea that something has to taste good in order for me to eat it: that’s something fatasses believe. Nonetheless, I can’t deny that the taste difference makes me more motivated to quaff a jarful of kale juice then actually munch on a stalk of raw kale. Most vegetables are pretty bland when you eat them plain, leaving you with the default option of pouring some fattening salad dressing on them. Juicing them instead is a healthier solution to making your greens palatable.

3. Juicing helps you lose weight.

If you’re looking to shed some pounds, going on a juice fast is the easiest way to do it. One 8 oz. jar of homemade juice can take the place of a meal because it fills you up without making you feel bloated or gassy like a normal meal would. During my first juice fast, I lost about six pounds in one week; subsequent fasts have lost me anywhere from four to six pounds in the same time frame.

It may sound like some idiotic hippie nonsense, but juicing really works.

juicing

So you wanna start juicing? I recommend, as a starter juicer, the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Pro Juice Extractor. It’s relatively cheap (about $50-60 off Amazon) and fast: I can process a whole week’s worth of juice in about ten minutes. The Big Mouth is also easy to disassemble and reassemble for cleaning.

The Big Mouth juicer only really has two issues. Firstly, the centrifugal razor mechanism has some difficulty processing fruits with rinds. Attempting to juice a whole lemon, for example, runs the risk of clogging up the machine; I recommending slicing rind-bearing fruits in half before dropping them in. Secondly, it’s impossible to juice berries with the Big Mouth, as the chopping mechanism wastes most if not all of the extracted juice. If you want to juice blueberries and the like, you’ll need a masticating juicer.

Click here to buy the Hamilton Big Mouth Pro Juice Extractor.

juicing

In addition to the juicer, I recommend you buy a set of canning jars. All of my juicing experiments typically produce more juice then my stomach can take in a single serving. Additionally, plugging in the juicer every time I have a craving is a hassle. With a set of mason jars, you can toss your juices in the freezer and thaw ’em out when you’re hungry. One pack of canning jars will cover a week’s worth of juice.

Note that freezing juices causes them to oxidize, which destroys their nutritional value. To preserve your juices, add a lemon to your recipe; lemon juice will protect your recipes against oxidation. Also, top off your juices with water to minimize the amount of air trapped inside. To keep your juices from overflowing and making a mess of your freezer, lay down some paper towels.

Click here to buy Ball Wide-Mouth Mason Jars with Lids and Bands.

juicing

Finally, here are my two favorite juicing recipes, the staples of my diet.

Joe Rogan’s Kale Shake Recipe

  • 4 stalks kale
  • 4 celery stems
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 pear
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2″ ginger

This is a good juice to drink in the morning, as the blend of pear and kale juice will kick you right in the ass. This recipe makes about a pint (16 ounces) of juice.

Real V8 Juice Recipe

  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 beet
  • 1/2″ ginger
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 handful parsley
  • 1 tomato

This is a good evening or dinner juice, as its nutrient-heavy vegetable content will satisfy your cravings after a long day. I usually substitute the apple with other fruit, including peaches, nectarines and plums, for a slightly different taste. This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) of juice.

Keep in mind that there’s no “right” way to juice. The essence of juicing is experimentation: finding out what works best for you. Hopefully, my post will give you some ideas on where to start. Happy juicing!

Read Next: Life is Short and So is This Book: Brief Thoughts on Making the Most of Your Life by Peter Atkins

  • “Most vegetables are pretty bland when you eat them plain”

    also, try eating meat plain.

    great post.

  • Have a Juicer, stick to the core cheap veggies. The only hard thing is getting cheap lemons here. Need a lemon in every juice otherwise it gets hard to swallow. But if you got a lemon, pretty much every juice tastes fine.

  • Oh, you linked cans for juicing, do you know if the juice nutritional value is lost at all if you can and freeze it?

  • adiaforon

    Go one step further and get a Nutribullet instead of a juicer. The ‘bullet will puree the fruits and veggies into great smoothies, so you don’t have to worry about losing fiber and wondering what to do with the pulp after you juice. It also comes with a milling blade, which is great for pulverizing nuts and oats, and for grinding coffee.

    http://www.nutribullet.com/

  • baguazhang

    Yeah, that’s a load of shit. I have a nutribullet and it doesn’t pulverize at all. All you get a pulpy mess barely better than any other food processor.

    And sure is product placement in here.

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  • Clyde

    thanks.