Dad and I have a deal for my birthday. He gives me a check and I buy what I want. (I remember all too well some of the presents – like a hedgeclipper – that he gave Mom so I’d rather select my own.) This year, I decided to gift myself with a juicer.
My decision was based on the rave reviews that my friend, Brenda, posted to her Facebook page. She received a juicer as a Christmas present and quickly became hooked. She said her body could quickly tell a difference when she started juicing. She became more energized and also dropped almost 10 pounds by substituting juice for one daily meal.
And I got further jazzed about the idea when I went to lunch at Pondicheri in Houston recently. This Indian restaurant offers a variety of juices to enjoy. I was waiting for a friend to join me for lunch so I asked the server which she recommended. Her choice (which I tried and enjoyed) included beet, carrot, orange, ginger and turmeric.
Turns out I’m not alone -- I’ve found more and more people are becoming intrigued by juicing and making blender smoothies. Here are a few friends who were willing to share their thoughts:
Falling Fast for Juicing
“I just started after watching the documentary ‘Sick, Fat & Nearly Dead,’ which was fascinating to me,” said Sondra. “I love fruits and veggies, and for years have tried to squeeze as many different varieties into my diet as possible, especially for the preventive benefits, but also for taste and because they keep you feeling light & energetic. I'm trying to replace more of my daily calories with fruits & veggies versus carbs, especially manufactured carbs. Juicing helps to accomplish all of this. Right now I am trying to replace at least one meal per day with juice and hope to go on a juice fast for a week this summer.”
Juices – and Pulp Dog Treats!
“I do a little juicing, but I'm still interested in knowing which is better: smoothies or juices. I personally love a juice with apple, carrots, celery, beets, lemon and spinach. A little parsley is also good,” Monika said. “If it wasn't so messy, I'd juice more often. In fact, I'd love to be able to juice at work; I find it gives me more energy than coffee. One other point to add: when I do save the pulp (rather than compost it), I dehydrate it with peanut butter and make dog treats. I always check to make sure I'm using fruits and veggies that are safe for my pooch, but she loves them and they're very healthy.”
Smoothies (and Cocktails), Anyone?
“I have recently switched from straight juicing to now dropping everything in a blender to make fruit and veggie smoothies. I did this because I felt like I was missing out on the fiber content of the whole fruit or vegetable. And I felt like I was wasting all the pulp that was leftover in my juicer,” said Kaye. “So now my favorite recipes are pineapple/mango/banana/carrot/spinach and green apple/cranberries/pear/spinach smoothies. It's an easy way to sneak in a couple servings of fruits and veggies without even noticing. That being said, though, nothing beats a cocktail made with freshly squeezed juice. And it makes me feel like I am drinking something healthy!”
Since I’m really new to juicing, I’ve been following the recipes in the manual that came with my juicer. I’ve been surprised by how easily and quickly the variety of goodies – oranges, ginger, apples, carrots, celery, pears, and strawberries -- have been made into juice. Thus far, the clean-up hasn’t been bad. And the juice itself has been wonderful. (Even Dad – who has a very conservative palette – likes these concoctions!)
I haven’t moved yet into greens, although I’m definitely thinking about it. I’m also looking for new ideas of how to juice better. For instance, one friend recommended adding a bit of lemon juice in order to bring out the flavors of a lot of juice blends. And recently I saw a recommendation for thebook, “The Juice Generation” by Eric Helms with Amely Greeven. I purchased it and have found it to be a treasure trove of new combinations to try as well as a valuable resource on what type of juicer to buy, how to transition your tastebuds to greener juices and ideas for using the pulp.
If you’re hesitant about making the jump, try going to a juice restaurant to try the different combinations. Your taste buds will get a nice treat – and you’ll be surprised at how good you feel! You, too, may be juicing soon!
Published On: April 15, 2014