If it seems like juicing is taking over the world these days, maybe it’s because juice bars have popped up in just about every city, more Americans are jumping on the juicing bandwagon, and you can pick up a cold pressed bottle of the nutrient-packed stuff everywhere from your local grocery store to the airport.
So now that juicing options are officially dizzying, how do you ensure you’re making the right choice and getting the most nutritional bang for your juice buck? Suzanne Barber, a holistic nutritionist who teaches The Power of Juicing class inside Two Bunch Palms’ restaurant Essense, shares her top tips for getting your juice on.
Know the Benefits
The more you realize just how amazing juicing is for you, the more you’ll want to do it on the regular, says Barber, who recommends juicing three times a week. “When that liquid hits the belly, it goes into the blood stream within 20 minutes and it’s getting nourishment to every cell in the body,” she explains. “You’re getting real nutrients, you’re going to feel better, and you’re going to feel more energetic. It can do everything from lowering heart rate to helping with cholesterol to relieving you of cravings.”
Think Veggies Over Fruit
Some lemon or a bit of apple is fine, but you’ll get much more out of vegetables, which will make the juice lower on the glycemic index and lower in calories. Plus, the end goal is to start training yourself to like (or at least get used to) the taste of straight veggies, if you don’t already.
Don’t Make it a Meal
While some juice fanatics insist on slurping the stuff in lieu of breakfast, Barber is against the idea. “I don’t consider anything a meal unless it includes a carb, protein, and a fat,” she says. Think of juice instead as your “liquid vitamin,” and try it later in the day for a change. “We crave caffeine or sugar in the afternoons. A little juice will do the same trick but you won’t drop afterwards.”
Reach for These Powerhouse Ingredients
Ginger Root: It fights off nausea and helps relieve aches, pains, and arthritic conditions by bringing nourishment to sore areas. And since that nourishment happens from the inside out, your skin will get a boost, too.
Greens: Spinach and kale top the nutrient-dense ingredient list and are loaded with iron and chlorophyll, serving as a blood cleanser, among other important gigs.
Celery and Cucumber: When you’re really dehydrated, straight water alone may not get the job done. Instead, you probably need electrolytes, which are naturally occurring in celery and cucumber. “They help flush the kidneys and the bladder and the whole urinary tract,” according to Barber. Bonus: Cucumber is cooling and helps combat inflammation in the body.
Look to Essense’s Body Cleanse for Inspiration
The healing juice blend that gets mixed up at Essense’s own juice bar has 10 different ingredients as its base and is the go-to concoction that Barber shares in her class. If you want to customize a juice at home, try mixing and matching a variety from the Body Cleanse – densely packed with carrots, beets, cucumber, ginger, kale, celery, parsley, spinach, red apple, and lemon – including some of their rinds (which are full of anti-bacterial and anti-fungal essential oils). That recipe, however, is just a suggestion. “I really encourage clients to mix it up and try different juices and different ingredients to figure out what’s best for what specifically ails you,” she says. “People who come to the class range from 19 to 90 and people come back to Two Bunch and tell me, ‘Because of you, I’ve bought a juicer, I’m juicing, I’ve lost 10 pounds.’ I love knowing that they were inspired. Once you get used to juicing you’re just going to feel better.”
- Story by Lizbeth Scordo