A Pledge to Juicing.

Photo from 101 Cookbooks.

 “I pledge to press fresh produce into a glass of juice everyday.” This may have been the greatest pledge of all time. Freshly pressed juice is a luxury. There’s nothing like it. Waking up to the endless flavours of fresh produce was more of a daily reward than a daily commitment for me this month. The only downfall of this pledge was it’s highly addictive benefits. Juicing will not end for me with the start of a new pledge next month, this is something I will continue to take the benefits from for as long as I can. A glass of freshly pressed produce is that magic ingredient we’ve all been looking for. The one that makes our hair shine, our eyes sparkle, and our skin glow. I really can’t express how much I love the vibrant beverages that come out of my juicer.

Since I’m not a carrot juice fan, I stuck to mostly green (chlorophyll rich) blends. If you’re not familiar with Chlorophyll, you can think of it as basically plant blood. It has a rich green colour in appearance and it allows the plant to survive by absorbing energy from the sun and turning it into glucose as fuel(photosynthesis). But what good is plant blood to us mere mortals? I asked the same question. Chlorophyll actually acts as a blood cleanser and blood builder for us. The high oxygen level in chlorophyll increases our red blood cells ability to carry oxygen throughout the body, making it harder for any sort of disease-promoting bacteria to live. Chlorophyll also has an alkalizing effect on our blood, helping us to fight off disease while increasing red blood cell count and enhancing overall energy levels. The health benefits of chlorophyll are nearly endless. Here are just a few of chlorophylls’ superpowers: natural anti-inflammatory, detoxifier through the binding and removal of toxins such as heavy metals, rich in enzymes and amino acids, and a natural promoter of healthy intestinal flora. I know right, all this from simply the green pigment of plants? Yes!

I’ve had my green glowing vegetable juice with me at work on more than one occasion throughout the month, and I’ve had a lot of questions from coworkers that I thought would be good to share with you. First of all, a lot of people asked: Why juicing? Why not just blend vegetables into a smoothie? I thought fibre was supposed to be good for you? This is very true, fibre is great for you, and definitely something you need in your daily diet. Juicing extracts purely the liquid from plants, and discards the pulp and bulk from the fibers. This makes it much easier on your body to absorb the vitamins and minerals directly into your bloodstream. I don’t consider drinking a glass of vegetable juice replacing my vegetable intake though. It’s simply an enhancement to my diet. I think of it as an added multivitamin or a mid morning energy drink. There is no way I could eat the equivalent amount of vegetables in one sitting that I drink in one glass, I would be far too full. Juicing allows me to extract all the best benefits from the plant without having to exhaust my body through digestion. This leads me to the next question: Isn’t that a waste of food then if you’re not eating all of the fruit or vegetable your juicing? It can be a lot of waste, but there are lots of great recipes out there including vegetable burgers, smoothies, loaves, and more that use the leftover pulp from fruits/vegetables. You can also run all the pulp through the juicer a second time to really extract all the goodness from the vegetable before discarding the leftovers fibres.

If you’re thinking about trying juicing yourself, there’s no right or wrong, be creative, have fun! Fruit juices are delicious and fun on a summer day, but when it comes to a daily juice, try to use more vegetables than fruit (as the sugar content is very high in fruit juice). As a little rule of thumb I try to choose a base, a sweetener, a bulk, and a flavour. My bases are usually cucumber and celery, my sweetener is an apple or a pear, my bulk is usually a variety of spinach, romaine, and kale, and my flavour is either ginger, mint, lemon/lime, or any other kicker (like fennel)! There are a ton of juicing recipes on the web right now if you feel stuck for ideas, but start with vegetables that you’re comfortable with and work your way into new and exciting produce! I’ll leave you with a simple recipe, one of my favourites.

Pear, Mint, & Lime (A classic refresher, great for summer):
1 cucumber (peeled if not organic)
3 stalks celery
1 pear
1 large handful of mint
1 large handful of spinach
1 small head of romaine
1/4 lime

I’ll be honest, juicers are expensive. But they are an investment that you will cherish for a lifetime. I’ve had my juicer for over 5 years now, and I don’t imagine it will break down on me anytime soon. Plus, you can use your juicer to make almond milk, nut butters, ice-cream, and more! Kris Carr, one of my favourite Queen Juicers, offers a great list of different juicers and which one may be the best for you. She’s tried them all, and has lots of good tips and tricks to buying the right juicer. I use the Champion and I love it. However, I bought it over 5 years ago, and there are lots of new juicers on the market now. If you have any questions or ever want to chat about juicing let me know and I would be more than happy to.

Thanks for reading! Photo taken from 101 Cookbooks.

Why am I doing a monthly pledge for 2013? Read about it here.
Also find: JanuaryFebruaryMarchApril, May, & June.