The Only Way is Juicing
The Only Way is Juicing
An introduction to juicing
Juices are a delicious, quick way to nourish and hydrate your body, boosting your energy levels and giving your skin a healthy glow. The best juices are organic, cold-pressed green vegetable juices, since these are highest in nutrients and low in sugar, as well as being alkalising for your body (most of us eat a diet that is overly rich in acidic foods such as meat and dairy products). However, if you are not used to juices then it is best to start with a blend of fruit and green vegetables. This is especially true if you are pregnant or breast feeding, when it is important not to put your body into a heightened state of detoxing.
The recipe below is an easy juice to start with. It is particularly good for pregnant women, on the days (mostly the mornings!) when you just can't face eating anything. If this happens, drinking a fresh juice is the simplest way to boost your nutritional intake. It contains ginger to help with nausea and some greens to avoid spiking your blood sugar levels too much. Aim for a serving of approximately 250ml of fresh juice daily.
Apple, Celery, Fennel and Ginger Juice (serves 1)
1 medium apple
2 large sticks celery
1/2 fennel bulb
1cm root ginger, peeled or scrubbed
Cut the ingredients into small pieces and then feed through your juicer. Stir together and drink immediately. As you get more used to juicing, add in a handful of super nutritious spinach, kale or other dark greens leaves.
A few points to bear in mind:
1. Your own freshly made juice is far superior to anything you can buy from a shop. Pasteurised juices (i.e. cooked juices) have vastly lower nutritional content than a cold-pressed juice.
2. Buy organic produce if you can. If you can’t buy 100% organic, try to at least buy the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” organic. These are the fruits and vegetables that are grown with the highest pesticide use. For more information visit http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/
3. Choose your juicer carefully. Masticating juicers will give you a better quality of juice than centrifugal juicers. Visit http://www.ukjuicers.com/knowledge/choosing-your-juicer#fruit for a good guide to getting the right juicer for your needs. (At Radiance Cleanse we use the best juicer available worldwide, a Norwalk hydraulic press - but it’s rather more than most people need at home!)
4. Juices are different to smoothies. Smoothies are made in a blender and still contain the fibre of the fruit or vegetables that you’re using. They are a whole other topic!
When and why to do a juice cleanse
While adding a daily fresh juice to your diet can make a world of difference to your health, there are times when it can be worth doing a full juice cleanse - in other words drinking only fresh juices for 24 hours or more. At Radiance Cleanse, we offer a 3 or a 5 day juice cleanse (with 2.5 litres of certified organic cold-pressed juice per day) as well as a single day juice fast (with 3 litres of juice per day), which is not so much a cleanse as a regular booster day.
The idea behind a juice cleanse is to give your body and mind a break and allow your body to heal itself as nature intended. It gives your digestive system a rest from a constant intake of food whilst ensuring that you are still nourished with juices made from fresh fruit and vegetables. It allows you to step back from your normal diet for a few days, to cleanse your palette and get back on a healthy eating track. It is much more than simply a weight loss diet.
While you should never do a full juice cleanse during pregnancy or if you are breast feeding it is well worth considering one to help prepare your body for pregnancy. You should be aiming to be as healthy as possible before you conceive. Also, a juice cleanse can be a valuable health re-set once you finish breast feeding and no longer have such an excuse to eat cake all day!
Personally, once I had finished breast feeding and taken some additional time to recuperate, I felt ready to do an all-liquid cleanse to help get my body back to being strong and lean. A 3-day cleanse based on organic fruits and vegetables, such as the Radiance 3-day Signature Cleanse, is an ideal starter programme for most people. It also contains a dairy-free nut milk for protein, which helps to keep your energy levels up.
How to get your children involved in juicing
As I’m sure you already know, children love juices! It really isn’t hard to get them involved. And it’s a great way to get nutrition into their growing bodies. The more colour the better and do let them try out their own ingredient combinations.
One challenge with juicing can be buying large quantities of fresh produce and lugging it home with a little one in tow. So consider ordering online from your supermarket and having it delivered. Or, another good option is Abel & Cole’s juicing box: http://www.abelandcole.co.uk/fruit-veg/fruit-for-juicing
The recipe below is one that most children will like.
Pink Panther Juice
1/2 small beetroot
1/2 lemon, peeled
Cut the ingredients into small pieces and then feed through your juicer. Stir together and drink immediately.
Here are a few tips on juicing for children:
1. If they are under 3, dilute the juice 1:1 with water and don’t give them more than 150ml per day.
2. As with adults who are new to juicing, don’t go overboard with the strongly cleansing green vegetables like spinach, watercress and kale.
3. Make sure you wash all raw produce thoroughly.
4. In the summer you can either blend your juice with ice to make a slurpee or freeze it into ice lollies.
Christina Agnew, BSc Nutritional Medicine, co-founder of Radiance Cleanse and mother of 1