Juicing/Smoothie 101

Tips, Links, Recipes, and Videos

You want big changes in your body and health? It's time to HUG your blender and KISS your juicer! Green juice and green smoothies knock it out of the park! The first thing I want to tell you about green juicing is that it tastes delicious! Yes, really it does! I know you think it will be like forcing yourself to eat a cup of bitter grass, and making a horrible face, don't you? I am happy to tell you homemade vegetable juice is very sweet! In the beginning just add an extra apple to your recipe, to make the transition to going more green easier. In a few months you will be dropping that extra apple, adding a bit more dark leafy greens, and loving the mean green taste! The other thing I want you to know is... you do not have to do a juice fast to get healthy. It has been two years and I have yet to do a fast, although I would like to do a juice fast one day for the excellent benefits. 

I lost 76 pounds, and regained a wonderful quality of life by drinking 1-2 daily glasses of home made juice. I recently added green smoothies in the morning, and I am also following the organic food changes I list on my 'Getting Started', 'Substitutions'. and 'Avoid' page tabs above. I feel lighter, and able to move my body now. Be sure to watch some of the documentary food films on my "Inspiration page" and take advantage of following some of the links on this blog, and do your own research, about why these changes are so good for your overall health and vitality. It is worth the time and effort to start green juicing and consuming green smoothies everyday! At least try to do it a couple days a week. You will be taking better care of you, and your loved ones!

Use mostly organic foods in your juice and smoothies. Do not let the cost of organic foods keep you from regaining your health! Organic foods are not subsidized, and the farmers must buck the system to get you these more healthy options. Support your local farmers and CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture Shares from a local farmer) in their efforts to bring us organic non-GMO choices. It is cheaper to pay the farmer, than to pay the doctor, the hospital, and Big Pharma. Eating the cheap unhealthy subsidized food "stuffs" will only bring on disease, and obesity. Buy the beautiful organic vegetables and fruits. Eat plants and get healthy! It's that simple. Some of your choices can be non organic if need be, for example some cucumbers, but you absolutely must peel them before juicing them.

To Begin Green Juicing: 

The first thing you need to do is purchase a good sturdy juicer, since you will be using your beast everyday! Which one? There are different schools of thought, so I have provided a video at the bottom of this page, and two other links to help with that decision. Also included are juicing demonstration videos, how to select your produce for juicing, and juice recipe links. If you already have your juicer, or just want to know the details of using a juicer, I share the basics of juicing, and how to take proper care of a juicing machine after you make home made juice. Now let's get to it!

We were inspired by the documentary film 'Fat Sick and Nearly Dead' as well as the documentary 'Simply Raw' to start juicing everyday. There are many juice machines out there, and most are cheap and flimsy. There are also juicers that cost $2400.00 and that is just not happening for us. There is debate over masticating vs. centrifugal. When we watched "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" and saw that the Breville worked just fine for those involved, we felt that machine was a good middle ground for us. It's quick, easy, and a beast! We are very happy with the results.

When you start juicing, as well as going mostly plant based for your meals, there are two other items that will be your new best friend. A chopping board, and a really good knife.

Our Breville juicer is fantastic! We love it! (We bought the 'Dual Disc' model which is like the 'Elite' just with an extra attachment for smoothies.The unit is heavy! I would now recommend not getting the model with the smoothie attachment. Get the cheaper Elite. When I make morning smoothies I use a blender! After two years the machine is still going strong and we only had to replace the inside filter unit. We are back to getting drier pulp and less of it!) The three inch opening where you place the fruit is the largest on the market. Less chopping needed!  So cool to press down whole cucumbers, carrots and celery! The machine is fast! We checked out the other well known brands you find in stores and they are lightweight and not worth the money. Spend a little extra to get a good juicer! Your health is worth it!

Buy organic when possible. Wash and dry veggies. Make sure to remove all skins from any non-organic fruits and vegetables. You do not want to be juicing pesticides! Chop out any bad spots on your fruits and vegetables. Be sure to core apples and pears. (Apple seeds are toxic) Cut away the rind on lemons and limes, although leave some of the white pith. Scrape off the outer layer from your chunks of ginger root. You can start out following juicing recipes, but soon you will get a feel for what goes well together. I basically make four different color juices. A green juice, an orange color juice, a red colored juice and a combo which is brown. Sometimes I add a teaspoon of "Green Magma" barley grass powder to the green juice for added boost, especially when I am running low on greens. We usually have 1- 2 glasses a day of one of our homemade juices. (Gerson Method for people to cure themselves from cancer gives clients 13 glasses a day of apple/carrot juice, along with other mixtures.) After I buy my organic vegetables, I usually make a green juice for the first three days, and then the next three days as my greens start to be used up, I start making the other flavors, till I can get back to the market for fresh greens.

Read the directions in the Breville book to put your machine together. Watch some of the videos on using the machine. Save those lightweight clear plastic bags your produce comes in from the store to line your pulp bin. I keep a bunch right inside the pulp container. You will never have to clean your pulp container if you follow this practice!  Take a clear plastic bag and stretch the top edges down over the pulp container to the bottom. Then be sure to tuck the pulp container under the rim of the Breville. This is so the power of the Breville does not suck the plastic into the cutting filter. Turn on your Breville and check that the plastic is not getting sucked into the machine before you add your veggies. 

As soon as you have your veggies chopped and ready, start up the machine, and add your veggies one by one.  Be sure to cover the opening with the plunger so nothing shoots out at you or your walls!  

Press down lightly and slowly. Start with the leafy greens and finish with the harder vegetables such as celery and carrots, as they push through the leaves and the soft apples. When you have finished adding all of your greens and veggies you must take a few moments to clean up the machine before you drink your juice! Make this your routine, as dried up veggie matter can mess up everything!  Have a clean area of the sink ready and a dry mat or towel ready on the counter. If you cannot get to it immediately place the mesh strainer in a bowl of water, till you get back to cleaning.

Take each piece apart and run under water. A brush is provided to use just with your Breville. The handle has a scraper end just for that one tight area where pulp gets stuck on the cover piece over the pulp extractor. 

I like to tip the juicer parts so any drops of juice drip back into the pitcher container below. Do not want to waste any of this precious elixir!

Be gentle with the mesh filter, and brush it under the running water on both sides till clean. Lately I additionally sit the strainer in a bowl of clean water while I drink my juice. Then I lightly brush it again, as this is the key part of your juicer. Hold it up to the light and make sure you got everything off. Place all parts on your drying area to air dry.  We rarely need to use soap on the parts, occasionally we use 'Dr. Bronners Sal Suds' or lemon juice water.  

Put your leftover veggie cutting scraps into the pulp, which will be in the plastic bag with which you lined the pulp container.  You can watch this video about cleaning juicers here.

You can tie and discard this bag of pulp and vegetable matter, or even better save your scraps and pulp to add to your backyard composter and make great soil for your garden.  Then you could grow your own organic vegetables! Some cooks use the leftover pulp in bread's or in dehydrated snack items. Keep a compost bucket in your kitchen.

Enjoy drinking your fresh juice full of the enzymes and 100% vitamins and nutrients that you can only get by juicing.  You could never sit down and eat all the vegetables you just chopped up and turned into juice!  Cooked vegetables have no enzymes and only 20% of the vitamins and nutrients. After you finish drinking your glass of juice rinse it out or fill the glass with water to soak. You can clean it easily later. Dishwashers cannot clean dried up veggie juice from glasses.

My husband and I both feel mental clarity has improved since we started juicing. I am amazed at the improvement to my intestinal problems. They just do not happen anymore! The eliminations of toxins regularly from your body is so important to your health. My intestinal system is now running perfectly, and better than I have for my entire life. Constipation, diarrhea, and IBS symptoms were a daily part of my existence before and as a child. Eating out was something I paid for later, and for days. I have no problem eating out now. I am so grateful to this big improvement to my life.

Links About Juicing

Watch the documentary "Fat Sick and Nearly Dead" about two peoples journey into juicing.  You can watch it for free here or on Netflix streaming. This site Join The Reboot was started because of the film. It has a wide variety of info and recipes.

Breville 'Juice Fountain Plus' is what Joe Cross used in the film. Unfortunately it is often out of stock. Click here to buy Breville Juicers from the Breville website. Watch the videos about each juicer after clicking on  "more info." Williams Sonoma carries Breville products too. Keep checking around at other department stores including Amazon. Learn about the movie. Fat Sick And Nearly Dead

Joe Cross from the movie Fat Sick and Nearly Dead using the Breville Juicer in video below. Note: If you are not buying organic produce, you have to peel your produce first to remove the pesticides completely. Core apples as the seeds are toxic.

Joe Cross talks about the nutrition gained from Juicing

In this fantastic video below, John Kohler explains what vegetables to juice, and how to buy the best produce! Remember to peel anything you buy that is not organic. (For people with thyroid issues do not juice Kale, Chard, Cauliflower, or Bok-choy as they are goiterogenic.) You can substitute dandelion, or beet greens for the dark greens. Dandelions picked from your yard are extremely bitter. I tasted them. The big ones sold at the market are sweeter. Only use small amounts of parsley and cilantro in your juices. As always use cucumbers, celery and Romain lettuce as your bases.

Juice Recipes:
Since people beginning to juice vegetables are afraid of the dark leafy greens, or in their enthusiasm they put too many kale leaves in their first juice, I am putting an easy beginner juice recipe on this page to get you started. It is best if your first juices are sweet with some apple and carrot. You can build up to the dark greens gradually as you learn recipes. After you try the following combination go to the various sites below to view a variety of juicing recipes. 

First Timers Newbie Green Juice
1 whole cucumber (peeled if not organic)
3 celery stalks
3-4 leaves of Romain Lettuce
1/2 lemon peeled
2 apples cored (peeled if not organic)

Place into your juicer and drink up! Be sure to clean all your juicer parts immediately. 
You can eventually omit one apple once you learn to love green juice.

Recipes and Info from Jay Kordich

John Kohler speaks below about what fruits, vegetables, greens, and herbs, to juice. Yes, you can achieve weight loss from juicing everyday. The juicer John is using costs around $100.00 and comes with an amazing ten year warranty. Such a deal for a good machine which to start out on your adventure!

Learn About Different Juice Machines

Omega vs. Breville Juicer
Harvest Essentials Juicer Buying Guide
Harvest Essentials Juicers
Healthy Living Advice from Eco Juicer 

If you cannot afford full price for a juicer check craigslist for deals. I have seen new Breville's go for $80.00. Do you have the money to buy the very best juicer? Say $2500.00 dollars baby?!! If you do, here is a video about using a 'Norwalk Juicer.' This is the Rolls Royce of juicing.

Detox With Juicing

Our bodies are filled with toxins that have accumulated over the years. Your body cannot heal itself fully until these toxins are released. There are recommendations from many doctors to juice certain vegetables, as well as also doing coffee or chamomile tea infused enemas, which will clean out the intestines, along with other body systems. The liver and the intestines hold a large amount of these toxins, and must be cleaned. Go to this page and watch the videos, then read the information, about the four things you can do to detoxify your body every day. 

To Begin Blending Green Smoothies:

It is best to purchase a high speed quality blender such as a Vitamix or Blendtec. You will use the machine everyday and it needs to handle the work load. Having said that, I began my first year of blending using a 25 year old regular speed Osterizer blender. I had to blend my smoothie in three parts instead of all at once. It was not as creamy as the high powered results of my current Vitamix. Eventually the old girl was making a sad grinding noise, but she hung in there until we saved up for purchasing our mighty new Vitamix 5200. If money is an issue some people have luck with the Nutribullet brand. You can also save money and get quality by purchasing Blentec machines refurbished for much lower than the usual cost, (check out the ads on my blog side ad column). If you plan on starting out with a low level blender, just know that many people burn out the motors on the lesser brands of blenders when using them everyday. I now have a VitaMix and my daughter has a Blendtec. We both love our versatile and powerful blending machines!

Since most people know how to use a blender, I will not go into that here. I recommend you check out my list of smoothie recipes here to see how it's done. This Papaya Smoothie recipe shows my little old blender getting the smoothie job done. This Acai Berry Smoothie recipe shows a peek of my Vitamix blender. Smoothies virtue are they are full of fiber, fast to create, and easier to clean up after. Just put hot water in the pitcher afterwards and blend on high to help with the cleaning. Please do not engage in making fruit only smoothies... you know the pretty ones all whipped creamed up like the processed frappuchinos. That is not a healthful smoothie. Your smoothie should also have green leaf veggies, berries, and superfoods. It should be a nutrition bomb! Think liquid salad. Some fruit and berries will hide the flavor of any greens and herbs you may not enjoy. If you like the smoothie cold use some frozen broccoli, or coconut water ice cubes to the mix. Be creative and nutritious.

The Frequently Asked Question: 
"Should I Be Juicing Or Blending?"

Some people are confused about which to do, or what is better. Juicing OR Smoothies? Fact is... that you need to do both, as they each have their own benefits. I feel that because of the success of the Breville juicer sales, due to the film FS&ND, some blender companies are now claiming that blending is better for you. That is not the situation at all. Yes, blending is fantastic and healthy. Beginning your day with blended smoothies is a fun way to get important fiber, along with nutritious greens and fruits. We do both. That being said...there is no way you can blend the amount of vegetables that you can fit into one glass of fresh made juice, created from a juicing machine. The difference in the amount of nutrients you are receiving is huge! Plus the enzymes from pulp free juice, go directly into your body at a much higher speed thereby having important detoxifying and healing effects on your body. Fiber slows things down. Be sure to make your juices green and very little fruit so you do not get high blood sugar spikes. Making smoothies is quicker, more filling, and may work well for many people starting out their work morning, and who also have sugar resistance problems.

Be sure to drink your juice or smoothie within 15 minutes of creation when possible to get the most nutrients, although it is fine to take it along to work and drink within a few hours. Any green goodness is better than none. Green smoothies and green juices keep you from eating items that have no nutrients at all. Those empty calories from processed junk and fast foods end up depleting your body and health. Overweight people can be malnourished. Junk foods, fast foods, and sugar makes fat. Really, that dead chemicalized stuff should not even be called food.

To recap, in order to have a healthy balance, you need to do both... blending to make smoothies, and juicing to make fresh veggi juice. And by the way...have a salad for eating too! Blend On! Juice On! Crunch On! ...and get super healthy! Video below shows another King besides my hubby! Who knew...

The video below by John Kohler explains the need for both juice and smoothies, plus he shows you why it is true. Be sure to read Dr. Joel Fuhrman's article here on juicing and/or blending for your health.

"How Long Can I Store My Juice?"
An Article by John Kohler In Link Above

Yes we busy modern folks... sometimes do not have the time to juice. We all have to figure out a plan to incorporate juicing into our daily lives if we want to get healthy, and perhaps that may involve storing our juice in the refrigerator and drinking it later for some people. Although some nutrients may have disappeared, it is still better than a soda! The reason we are juicing is for nutrient density, but maybe there are some ways to make juicing some fresh veggies fit better into our routines. We each need to create a new routine. John Kohler has a vast amount of knowledge about juicing, and he shares some options, and the hour limits ticking away on that fresh made juice, in the article link above. 

Are you having trouble juicing before going to work? Personally I find blending smoothies in the morning a better option... because I am a zombie (but you knew that!), and blending is far easier than juicing. Blending is quick, and I can just sit the empty blender pitcher in the sink with some water. Because there are no filters involved the pitcher still going to be okay. 

I prefer to do my juicing in the afternoon or evening when I am able to handle the chopping, and the immediate clean-up needed for the machine and filter parts. Since at this point in my life I only have a Breville juicer, this is the only juicer I know about. The clean up for the Breville is supposedly easy compared to other juicers, although still you have to do it right when you are done making your batch of fresh juice. On the times when I do make a big batch of fresh juice, I will store it in a mason jar. I fill the jar to the tippy top (to keep the oxygen away), screw the lid on tightly, and place the jar in the fridge. Some people bring their green juice jar with them to work, drink from it all day, storing in a fridge or a lunch bag lined with ice packs. All in all, I like to drink the juice right after I make it, so it is the freshest, most nutrient dense, and filled with enzymes super-fab juice that it can be. For me the trouble comes on the weekends during my husband gigs, and we are on the road. We just do the best we can under the different circumstances... which is why I wish there were more juice bars in the world! Everyone's life is different, so be sure to click on the link above to get a detailed view of this subject, and see if anything there works for your situation.

Here are my two favorite You Tube Raw Vegans in one video! Go DTM and John! Isn't that screencap thumbnail photo funny?

A wonderful juice video below from Dan The Life Regenerator, about the energy of life. Watch it all and be inspired to regenerate your life force!

Will Fruit In Juices Be Bad For Me?

If you have blood sugar intolerance, it is best to watch the high glycemic loads to the body. So then try to keep your green juice at least 70% green most of the time. If you are doing a simple 'carrot apple juice' just try doing it in the morning, and cutting it with some water, then drinking it over the course of the day. That will spread out the high sugar load on your body that fruits and root vegetables contain. Please do not be afraid of fruit, because fresh organic fruits are some the best foods you can eat on the planet! Way better than candy bars since fruit and root veggies have fiber. You could do green smoothies with fruit in the morning, as the fiber in a blended smoothie will slow down the absorption of the sugars. Then do a mean green juice in the afternoon or evening. Warnings about fruit juice have to do with the processed fruit juices you purchase at the store like orange and apple juices and do not apply to real green juice. Also beware of the smoothies sold in cafes and stands. Be sure they are making them from real ingredients in front of you and not using some concentrate that contains stuff you don't even know. Those things are sugar bombs. You want real green smoothies that have some fresh fruit. You want nutrient density not sweets.

Juicing Links