There are a few tricks to working juicing into your daily life. It can be hard to start a new thing and stick with it. But I promise if you make juicing a part of your life you won't be sorry!
Selecting your juicer.
This is the first step in you juicing career. There are HEEEEAAAPS of juicers on the market. Ranging from cheep and tacky, to moderate and pretty good, to insanely expensive and grunty.
It really depends what you are after. If you are unsure of juicing, I'd say start small. If it works out you love it then go bigger. I first purchased a cheapy juicer and I used it so much it started to juice it's self! Clearly it was no match for my juicing prowess. That's when I took it back and used my refund to upgrade to the Compact Breville Juice Fountain. A modest but efficient model. I was tempted to go for the next one up (The Breville Juice Fountain Plus) but I am actually glad I didn't. For one, we have a tiny kitchen with limited bench space. The juice fountain is great for us because it just fits on our counter nicely, which means we don't ever put it away in a cupboard. If we did, I doubt we'd juice half as much. Out of sight really is out of mind!
Some things to consider when you buy your juicer:
Take note of the shoot size - Some juicers have such tiny shoots that you must chop every bit of veg or fruit into teeny tiny portions. This takes time. And when things take too much time we (humans) don't like them.
Look for good wattage - The higher the wattage the more grunty your juicer will be. This means that you can chop through hard veg will ease also extracting more juice from your produce.
Think about size - If like us you need to keep things in your face to use them then consider getting a juicer that you wont have to put "away" after use. It just makes it much easier to work juicing into your daily life. If you have a big huge kitchen (I hate you) go nuts! Get a nice big juicer with a huge shoot and a separate pulp basket.
Metal is stronger than plastic - when it comes to juicers it pays to go for metal when possible. It just means it will last longer and perform better with large loads.
Beware of citrus juicers - they are cheep but only juice citrus, which you shouldn't really be juicing much of anyway.
Dishwasher safe parts - check if the pulp mesh basket is dishwasher safe, it's great to have the dishwasher as a clean up option!
N.B: If you're juicing for medical reasons and you plan to do so many times a day, then I'd recommenced going for a very good quality machine.
The fibre debate
There are those who diss juicing. They say things about all the fibre that you are missing out on when you juice your veg instead of eating it, and so on. While I don't disagree with those claims, my reasoning is simple. Will I eat all that kale? Will I eat kale at all? Will I really eat a whole bag of spinach, and a whole silver beet and a beetroot? The answer simply is "no". But If I juice these things along with a cucumber, some ginger, an apple and half a lemon, suddenly these unlikely veggies find their way into my bloodstream. Magic! Yes I may be wasting their fibre, but fear not! I am still getting plenty of fibre from all my other meals.
It's true. When you juice you do spend a bit more on vegigies than you normally would. But if you head down to your local farmers market you'll notice not only how much cheaper it is to buy your greens but also how much better the quality is! Most market growers don't freeze their produce for longevity, I can't say the same about super markets. Far too many times I have purchased cold and flowery apples and bananas.
What you pay extra for in veggies you save on Doctor's bills!
Juicing is a magic bullet for fighting off colds. I swear by it. When I'm feeling low, I whip up a juice with plenty of lemon and ginger and if I'm feeling game I add some garlic as well. It may taste a little feisty but it does the trick. More often than not it shows my potential cold or flu the door.
Beware of hidden sugar.
There is one thing to remember when you're juicing though. Limit fruit. Fruit is very high in sugar. Namely fructose. Yeah I know it is natural sugar, but it's still sugar. Don't get me wrong. Fruit isn't a baddy. But fruit juice is a baddy when consumed too frequently. Why? Basically fruit in it's natural form contains just enough fibre to help all that sugar travel through the body without doing too much damage. As soon as that fibre is gone all you are left with is sugar, which will peak your blood sugar super quick and then drop you down even quicker. Sugars (like fructose) also wreak havoc on your liver and your teeth. So basically, go easy on the fruit in your juices. When I juice, I restrict each load of veg and greens to one apple and half a lemon (between 4 of us it is plenty of juice and plenty sweet). And remember if you can't eat seven oranges in one sitting, you should never be drinking the juice of seven oranges in one sitting!
Juice does not keep well. As soon as that stuff is squeezed out of it's host it starts to turn. Make it fresh and drink it fresh. Don't bother trying to keep it for later - unless it is only an hour or so. Stale green juice is no fun. It turns bitter very quickly and also the nutrients start to fade not long after extraction. This is also the case for green juice in a bottle. Sure you could buy a bottle of green juice from the store but it's probably got some sort of preservative in there to keep it fresh. Also, the nutrients in the bottled juice are minimal compared to fresh made juice.
Juice in style.
Kris Carr of Crazy Sexy Wellness recommends drinking your green juice in a wine glass. I've taken her advice and I must say it does make the juice taste better, as does an ice cube or two! It's fun to be a little fancy.
Keep it clean
Always, always clean your juicer out before you start drinking your juice! Not only is it a heck of a lot easier to clean if you do it right away but once it's done it's done. There is also the fact that if left unwashed the mesh pulp basket can rust very easily with all that acid on it. There is nothing more feral than an unwashed juicer that has been left to fester for days! I don't know what is worse. The stench of rotting mulch, the flies that hover around it, or actually having to scrape said rotting pulp out of the juicer with your hands. Ew. Just clean it. Straight away!
Know your produce
You should always clean all produce before juicing. But also get to know the dirty dozen and the clean 15. You don't have to be a total organics snob. In fact in all honesty, I rarely buy organic produce. When I find some at an affordable price I go for it, but I only buy the things that are on the dirty dozen list. But because of this I always peel my cucumbers. Why? Because most of the spray remains on the skin of the cucumber and very little penetrates into the rest of the fruit (or veg?). Get to know your produce. Learn what to worry about and what to let slide. Realistically, juicing does become a bit ridiculous if your mulching expensive organics! Always remember: Eating conventional produce is better than not eating produce at all.
N.B: If you are juicing to cure illness, definitely go organic whenever you can!
Have a routine
Set a time to juice. If it helps, juice with your partner or friend. Me and the Lover-Man juice every night about an hour before bed. It wards off night hunger and helps us sleep deeply. It's just become part of our routine so we keep doing it.
I hope these tips help to get you into the juicing spirit! Go on have a go. You never know you may just become a juice junky like me!
Kale Kapow - A hearty brew with a bite.
One bunch of kale
Half a lemon - peeled unless your juicer can take it.
A knob of ginger
One cucumber - peeled unless organic.
A small bunch of spinach.
Silverbeat Slammer - A Refreshing Savoury Swill
Four - Five large leaves of Silverbeat
A Small bunch of parsley
A small bunch of spinach
Half a lemon
This juice goes nicely with a little salt and if your game, a little cayenne pepper.
Red Ninja - A feisty red drop.
One small beetroot.
One large carrot
One whole lemon.
A knob of ginger