I am a juicing virgin. I drink water, almond milk and the occasional herbal tea and really nothing else. Until now that is.
A couple months ago I was listening to a podcast with special guest Dr.Junger talking about his book Clean Gut. The podcast got me checking out his website, reading and learning as much as I could. I have tried many recipes but I have not read the book yet (it is on my Christmas list!). The information Dr. Junger gives is so radically different in the sense that he wants to find the source of inflammation and disease and not just treat the symptoms and conditions with band aids.
Then a few weeks later, I watched the documentary "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" which is the powerful story of Joe Cross and his quest for health. This then led to the reboot with joe website containing a wealth of information and recipes.
Shortly after, I watched another documentary called "Hungry for Change" (gotta love netflix). This documentary is jam packed full of knowledge from a huge panel of experts. It is a must see.
So, after tons of research on which kind of juicer to purchase (centrifugal or masticating) I ordered the Breville Fountain Crush masticating juicer. I have used it many times now and it has performed beyond my expectations. I also ordered a book called "The Juicing Bible" which is full of recipes and much more.
I have tried many different juices, mostly vegetable, but occasionally the kids want to help and we make some awesome fruit juices. I will continue to experiment but so far have found a routine of "green", "orange" and "red" juices. My 2 most favourite juices are the Mean Green (from the Reboot With Joe) and the Beetalicious (from the Juice Bible). So yummy!
My juicing is in addition to my regular diet as I am not wanting to do a complete juice cleanse at this time. With that said, I often have just juice for supper though. It is just better for me.
Now, I'll get to the good part! The introduction to vegetable juice has made significant changes in me. My complexion is way better, the plumbing is always very regular, I have more energy; not missing the mid-day lull one bit. I am content with less food. To a friend, this made no sense and all I could say was that sometimes having less of something really good is better than having lots of nothing. My body actually craves the greens. It does smell like "garden, hay patch, something green" though and when my mom tasted it, her face really contorted unhappily. She said she thought it would just take a few times of getting used to. The truth or not? Don't know but I do know the first taste for me was blissful.
From a training point of view, the juicing has been very beneficial. I usually drink juice right after running or biking and I feel my recovery improves significantly! My muscles recovery much easier, though they still get tight on occasion and need to be stretched. I guess the juice can only do sooo much! I have been working slowly on heart rate base training so nothing fast yet. Will update you with the effects of juice when speed work comes into play in the next month. Got big plans for 2014!! So excited. I will post about it soon but (it involves me, my guy, a pier and a few miles).
As far as time goes, I usually plan to make 2 or 3 recipes at one juicing. I wash and peel/chop ingredients for each recipe (which I usually double) and put each recipe into a separate ice cream pail. When one recipe is complete, I do the same for the other(s) and then when I start juicing, I have all my pails ready to go. I start with the green juice, move to orange then end with red/purple. I usually cut the produce into smaller pieces as I am feeding them into the chute and I rotate through the veggies. I use an apple slicer, don't know what it is really called but divides apples into 8 sections and removes the core. Usually, a double recipe makes enough for my husband and I to each have a large glass of juice and the rest I pour into a glass quart sealer jar. Fill right to the top and get the lid on and store in the fridge for later or tomorrow. Not as much oxygen with little headspace so the juice doesn't oxidize quickly. So, if I make 3 recipes, double of each, then I end up with at least 6 jar fulls of juice for the rest of the day and tomorrow. If I make juice each evening then I am good for the two of us for that evening and tomorrow and sometimes left over to start the next day. Depends on how much we drink. I like to drink the green (green apples, kale, ginger, celery, cucumbers) or orange (carrots, oranges, green apples, parsley) in the morning, the opposite at lunch and then the red/purple (beets, celery, garlic, spinach, ginger) juice for supper.
Clean up isn't hard at all. I put a bag in the pulp bin ( I compost pulp) and take apart the other pieces, rinse under hot water and let air dry. There is one component that requires some extra effort with small brush (is included) but it doesn't take long. Making 2 or 3 recipes, double of each with prep and clean up is max 1 hour. Probably more like 45 min.
So, if you were thinking of giving juicing a try, want to fill your body with the micronutrients it needs, want an edge with your workouts or looking to detox- I encourage you to get yourself a juicer and give it a try. I would not trade it for anything. The only problem is figuring how to take the juicer with me when I travel.