A beginner's guide to getting started with juicing
Think about a healthy beverage. You're probably thinking about juice (since you're reading this), or maybe a smoothie. If anything with the word 'diet' in it just crept into your mind, you better keep reading.
Let's start off with a few things that beginners should know...
Is juice the same thing as a smoothie?
No, these are two very different things. They're both very healthy for you, and one isn't better than the other, necessarily.
A smoothie is made in a blender. It's blended, not juiced. With a smoothie, you retain the pulp (which is insoluble fiber). This can be either gross or good depending on what you're blending. A blended drink yields a lot more because of the pulp, and some people like that, but others find it difficult to drink all of it.
Juice is juiced with a juicer. Juicers 'juice' your produce and separate the pulp (the insoluble fiber) from it. You discard the pulp and drink the juice. You still get fiber in the form of soluble fiber. I know, crazy, right? You just learned something new today.
Juicers are things like a Breville juice fountain, Omega VRT350, Omega 8006, etc. Not a nutribullet! A nutribullet is a blender that blends. Those blades chop things up like every blender works. It has pulp in it no matter how much you blend it. It can't turn into juice unless you separate the juice from the pulp or you apply magic to it (like their marketing team does).
If you only have a blender and still want to juice, you still can! If you get a cheese cloth or something similar, you can strain your blended drink and turn it into juice. It's a little more work and wont yield as much as a good juicer, but it's something.
If you want to read more about juicing vs blending, take a look at our blog article on Juicing vs Blending
There's nothing wrong with smoothies. We love those too, but there's just something about juice that keeps us making it daily and enjoying the entire process. This isn't a battle of "what's better? Juice or smoothies?", it's a battle of "what do you like best?"
My friend said juicing isn't healthy because you don't get any fiber.
Fiber is what helps move food through the digestive system, but it's not digested. There's two types of fiber: 'soluble' and 'insoluble'.
When you juice, the pulp you see in the 'pulp bin' is mostly the insoluble fiber.
You're still getting plenty of soluble fiber in your juice. Even if your juice gave you 0 grams of fiber, it would still be very healthy for you.
It's like saying that your water isn't healthy because it doesn't have fiber in it. Juice is a healthy beverage and shouldn't be relied on for your insoluble fiber.
What's the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber?
Insoluble fiber is the left-over pulp after juicing. Only a small amount of this makes it to your juice. If you were to mix insoluble fiber in a glass of water, it would sink to the bottom, absorb the water and puff up. If you imagine that moving through your body, you can picture what it does for you. It's beneficial to help get things 'moving' and prevents constipation.
Soluble fiber will make it to your juice. Soluble fiber is 'soluble' in water. Soluble fiber (like gums and pectins) will partially dissolve in water and form a type of gel. Soluble fiber absorbs digestive bile made by cholesterol, which creates even more digestive bile, which then helps to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Soluble fiber also can help moderate your blood glucose levels because it helps sugar to be more slowly absorbed, which is why some diabetics report juicing to be helpful to them.
We personally love the consistency and the great flavors we can make with juice. We can put weird things like sweet potatoes in our juicers and create a delicious dessert-like juice, but we sometimes feel a bit limited with flavors in our smoothies.
What's the easiest way to get started juicing?
Answer: Take the 30 Day Challenge.
The 30 Day Challenge was created by us to make this whole juicing thing as simple as possible while still allowing you to challenge yourself to get into a healthier habit/lifestyle of juicing. It's not a juice fast, it's just a challenge to drink a minimum of 1 glass of juice a day, every day, for 30 days.
The reason why it's suggested for a beginner, is because we supply you with the shopping list each week and we tell you which recipe to make every day using that shopping list, so we've taken a lot of the thought out of juicing so you can just focus on enjoying the lifestyle.
After 30 days, you'll have a new sense of how flavors come together in your juice and you'll be able to start experimenting with your own recipes. People have also reported losing weight and feeling great after going through the challenge. Give it a try!
Also known as "Cool stuff that a juicer would love!"
First, you definitely need a juicer if you don't have one yet, which usually comes with the question...
Which juicer should I get?
This depends on your lifestyle and budget. We have a blog article on this called 'Which Juicer Should I Get?'
We currently use the Omega VRT350.
If you have a juicer, these should look fun!
Frequently Asked Questions
Questions we get asked quite... frequently about juicing
Can I store my juice?
The popular belief is that juice can last for up to 72 hours in the fridge, in an airtight container. Yes, nutrients are lost overtime, but it's a very slow process. We're talking fractions per hour, here. You're going to hear "you have to drink it right away!", but just let those people do their lifestyle and have their beliefs, and you do yours. Don't let people scare you away from storing your juice. You can juice with any lifestyle.
Sources72 Hour Fresh Juice Stability Study (1/2)
72 Hour Fresh Juice Stability Study (2/2)
Who's this Tracee person I keep seeing all over the site?
Answer: Tracee is our juicing expert.
Tracee has been juicing long before it was 'cool'. She beat the 'incurable' disease, lupus, along with cancer with the help of juicing, which she only found because of the lack of medical insurance at the time.
You can read more about her on Tracee's About Page.
Do I have to do a juice fast to be healthy?
You can enjoy just 1 glass of juice a day and feel the benefits of it. A juice fast is a bit extreme, especially for a beginner. If you're new, try out the 30 day challenge first, which challenges you to juice one a day for 30 days and supplies all of the recipes and shopping list for you.
Am I supposed to replace a meal with juice?
Answer: No, unless it's a lot of juice (32oz).
(this doesn't apply to people on a juice fast)
We're finding that way too many people are replacing multiple meals with just 1 glass of juice, and "feeling light-headed for some reason". Being healthy and losing weight doesn't mean eating less, it means eating right. Anyone can lose weight by starving themselves. Don't do this, no one said to do this. Alright, maybe fad diets say to do this, but they're terrible and that's why they're fad diets.
Incorporate juicing into your life as a snack or beverage.
Even when you're on a juice fast, you have to drink a ton of juice daily (~80oz depending on the person).
Juice has a lot of calories, right?
Answer: They're healthy calories!
Don't be concerned about getting fat off of juice because you looked at the back of a potato chip bag and saw it has similar calories. A juice calorie isn't the same as a potato chip calorie. These are very healthy calories, and if you're worried about juice calories, you're in the wrong mindset to being healthy.
Look more at the nutrients inside.
But the sugar, that's gotta be bad, right?
Answer: Natural sugar isn't the same as refined sugar.
A gram of refined sugar from coke is no where near what a gram of natural sugar is. These are two very different things.
The nutrition labels in America will be changing to include "Added Sugars" (refined sugar) within the next few years instead of lumping it all in "Sugars", because the USDA recognizes that this is a problem and common misconception.
Can I add the pulp back into my juice?
You can, but that sounds like you're just making a smoothie the hard way. Why not just blend it all if you really want to drink the insoluble fiber?
Should I peel ____?
Answer: Usually, no.
This is a tough one to answer because there's hundreds of different fruits and vegetables. The general idea is to use common sense and if the skin is edible, you should be fine to juice it.
Here's a few tips that we've learned:
- Peel oranges (the peel has an oil in it that tastes really bitter and gross). It's edible, but everyone only makes this mistake once.
- No need to peel lemons/limes. The peel gives off an interesting flavor. It's up to you!
- We think you should peel mangos because the skin isn't edible. Also, there's a giant seed in them that will destroy your juicer, so de-seed that.
Do you have an app?
Answer: Not yet.
It's tough building all of our site's functionality into an app, but we're working on it. We want to make something really great and unique instead of just trying to make a quick buck off of our name.
For now, though, we made sure our site looks beautiful on mobile devices.
Do you have a recipe book?
Answer: Not yet.
Most recipe books you see out there are a picture with a name and ingredients, we want to go a bit further and add our health benefit/conditions in with our juiced nutrition facts to blow all of them out of the water. Again, it's one of those things that we don't want to just make a quick buck on and we want you to love it. It's proving to be a bigger project than we thought, but it's being worked on.
Can you give me medical advice?
No one here is a doctor. We don't know what that thing is on your foot, stop sending us pictures of it.