Juicing

Hey y'all!
I am excited to post some about my recent journey with juicing! I know some people are just curious as to how and why I do it, and some people are just looking for recipes! Or, if you are considering juicing...I hope this will be an encouragement to you!

Below I will share a ton of juicing recipes (some are posted as pictures, but at the bottom, I have listed a lot more for you!).
I will answer some questions, and I will provide a few resources about this whole juicing thing!

So let's start with a few answers to questions I have had:

Where do you get the recipes?
There are some that I have found other places online, but mostly I have just made them up myself and written down if I enjoyed it! I keep a binder with blank pages in it on my kitchen counter near the juicer, so that if I find one I like, I write it down.  That's been part of the beauty of juicing...you get to be creative and "customize" things to your liking. (For instance, lemonade is basically one of my love languages, so I use a lot of lemon in my juices, or add lemon to any recipe just because I like that taste.) There has been some trial and error (ahem, too much beet is a big mistake), but overall I have had fun coming up with new "concoctions".

What kind of juicer do you use?

We have a Breville Juice Fountain Plus. I love it! Juicers aren't cheap, but look at it as truly an investment. You get a good return: better health.

Aren't juicers hard to clean?

I don't find it that hard. Yes, it def adds to the pile in my sink sometimes, but this is what I usually do to keep it simpler: First of all, ALWAYS put a plastic grocery bag in the pulp-catcher part of the juicer! That way, you can just take it all out in one fell-swoop. Then, after each juice, I just rinse out the parts quickly and let them air dry until I need to make more. After about 4-5 juices made, I run all the parts through the dishwasher. Super easy in my opinion. Maybe other juicers are harder to clean and that's why it seems to be a common complaint.

Why did you start juicing?

Mainly to obtain better health and just feel better, but also for weight loss. I had a baby 6 months ago and have been working to lose the baby weight. My husband also needed to start a journey to health and lose some weight as well. Having 3 littles and working a stressful job can definitely get in the way of taking care of ourselves!  But after talking with some friends about how beneficial juicing had been for them, we decided to do it and jumped right in! My husband has integrated a lot better eating and more exercise and lost a bunch of weight, and I have been juicing and eating better all around and have lost as well!

Do you still eat food?

Yes! I still eat AND juice! I have only done one "cleanse" that lasted 3 days, but normally I make 1 juice a day and am sipping on it all throughout the day. Occasionally, if I am feeling blah or need a pick-me-up, I will make a second juice in one day! Since I started juicing, and my husband and I started making decisions to be healthier a few months ago, I have had to walk away from things I had been munching on all day long before...so yes, there have been some diet changes in regards to food, but nothing too drastic. Just less carbs and processed sugars. Which for me, goes a long way to being healthy!

How was the "cleanse"?

I loved it actually, I lost about 4 lbs in 3 days and just felt rebooted all around. Slept better, more energy, better digestion. It wasn't too hard for me and I stayed feeling pretty full. The key is to just keep drinking it all day long.  Every time I started feeling hungry I put a bottle of juice in my hand until I felt full. And don't forget to drink water too!

What was the cleanse that you followed?

I followed the Joe Cross 3 day Cleanse that was featured on Dr. Oz. But since then, I have done a few just 1-day fasts here and there with my own plan. (I'll share that in the next post!)

How has juicing affected your breastfeeding baby?

It actually has made things better for him. He did used to deal with some gas, but immediately after I did the 3-day cleanse, it got better. Like it rebooted his system too! So great for both of us! And no, it did not affect my milk supply, but I would consult your midwife or Dr., or just keep a close eye on it, because every breastfeeding mama is different!

What benefits have you seen since starting to juice?

Lots! Better sleep, better energy, clearer mind. I have lost about 15 lbs in the last 8 weeks (paired with making better eating choices, but like I said, nothing too drastic). My skin feels glowier (is that a word?) and my body just feels less blah, if you know what I mean. And all those things added up? Equal more peace in my life. In my opinion, the better you feel physically and mentally, the better you can function emotionally and spiritually. It's just been a win-win all around.

Isn't juicing expensive?

Yep, we had to raise the grocery budget a bit when we decided to do this. But our decision felt good because we know our health benefits are worth it! And, I am overall buying less crap now too, so that helps. :) Some people say juicing wastes so much money because you aren't using all that pulp and in a sense "wasting food". I get that point, but to me, the benefit still outweighs the burden. AND, I have heard of people using the pulp remains for lots of things...its great for composting, feeding to animals, or even using in recipes! One of my friends puts hers in breakfast muffins to add extra health and fiber! (here are some great ideas for using pulp!)

How do you know how to juice each kind of fruit or veggie?

I just looked it up online if I didn't know, but my juicer also came with an awesome list of what to peel, what to not peel, etc. So make sure you look for that! You could save yourself some time in the making process if you leave peels on, etc.

How much juice do you make at a time/How do you drink it/How do you store it?

Well, it depends on my goal that day, but usually I make about 20-30 ounces worth, enough to fill a water bottle and also have a glass right then. (and you'll find that different fruits and veggies make different amounts of juice, like, cucumbers or apples make more than berries).

I immediately stir it, pour it in a water bottle (I bought a cheap pack of 4 20-oz bottles at Target), and stick that water bottle in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Or, if I am about to drink it, then I pour it over ice. I like my juice super cold! I usually try to drink my batch of juice within 2 days.

(I have come to love Kale in my juice. I actually like it more than spinach, the texture seems to juice better and I enjoy the taste more! Just don't forget there are other options than spinach!)

What else can you do with juices?

We make Popsicles for the kiddos! They actually love it, and love being part of the making process. (just pouring juice into Popsicle molds). Makes super yummy, healthy treats!

Some people brew, cool, and then add herbal tea to juices to add some caffeine! You could also add coconut water or coconut milk!

You could also make a juice, then add it to smoothies, if you prefer the thickness of a smoothie but want to the added power of a natural juice! SO yummy that way.

What resources do you recommend to look at when starting juicing?

I would def go watch the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. It is eye-opening and motivating! It's on Netflix, and I would also visit Joe Cross' website here.

There is a ton of information and suggestions online and also books in the bookstore. Just pick one up and go for it!

I have not listed out nutritional benefits for each juice here, but there are lots of resources that talk about that more in depth. (like, how much sugar, calories, health benefits for each fruit, etc). But just know this: JUICING IS SO GOOD FOR YOU.

Any final thoughts?

If you have thought about it, or are already a juicer but need to recommit to it...then do it! It's worth it! Not just for weight loss, but for energy, better sleep, better mental capacity, better health all around.

Oh, and I meant to mention Ginger. Fresh Ginger root is so good for you and I think is a key to making this really work, especially if you are needing to reboot your digestive system. Plus, it adds a great taste in my opinion. Ginger has a ton of nutritional benefits. You can always just add a 1/2 inch to 1 inch of it to any juice!

I mean seriously when would I EVER just down a bunch of kale, celery, cucumbers, spinach, or any fruit? (I literally think I've gone weeks without a proper vegetable in the past!). So for me, just getting in the amount of healthy foods this way has been amazing, and so much more appealing than just eating one. more. salad. Know what I mean? It's much more fun!

(my little girls asked for a pink drink...so we made up the Pink Power one! It turned out bright pink, and was so fun and yummy!)

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JUICE CHALLENGE:

Starting Sunday August 2nd 2015, I will be doing another 3 day cleanse. I am not following one particular cleanse, but will just be making several juices a day that I know I like and can drink all throughout the day. Want to join me? Or, if you aren't up for a cleanse, then maybe just start juicing? There's no time like now!

I will be using the hashtag #sarahsjuicechallenge, so join in that way! We can all hold each other accountable to drinking more, and share recipes, encourage, etc. It will be good to do it together! So, join in! (even just anytime after those 3 days, come on in!

(Find me on Instagram @sarah.elizabeth.lowe and look up the hashtag #sarahjuices or #sarahsjuicechallenge)

And, if you don't have your juicer yet, or don't have time to start this time, I will host this again in a month or so! Let's do this!

or should I say...let's JUICE this!! :)

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As promised, below are a bunch more recipes, mostly ones I have made up but also some I have gathered from the interwebs. :) I hope this post was helpful to you, good luck in your juicing journey!!

(and let these be a starting point for you, you'll find things you like, don't like, add to, etc.)

ENJOY!!

JUICING RECIPES:

Pineapple Yum:
3 lg handfuls spinach
bowl full purple grapes
1 whole small pineapple

Green Fresh:
2 bunches Kale
5 carrots
1 cucumber
3 green apples
2 lemons

Berry Goodness:
carton blackberries
1/2 carton strawberries
1 lg cucmber
lg handul spinach

Pineapple Power Up:
2/3 lg pineapple
2 lg handfuls spinach
2 red apples
2 limes
1 cucumber

Morning Refresh:
2 large oranges
6 carrots
3 handfuls spinach
8 strawberries

Kale Love:
1 lg bunch Kale
6 stalks celery
2 lemons
3 cucumbers
6 green apples
(this makes a big batch)

Kale Love with Berries:
(use recipe above but add blackberries and strawberries to make it frutier!)

Tart Stuff:
3 cups cranberries
1 1/2 inch ginger
3 oranges
2 small grapefruits
2 limes

Purple Power:
6 cups purple grapes
1 golden delicious apple
2 inches ginger
1/2 cup blackberries

Carrot Beats:
7 carrots
2 beets
2 oranges
2 lemons
3 green apples

Lemon Lime Apple:
1 lemon
1 lime
2 pears (asian)
2 green apples
2 carrots
1 inch ginger
2 cups purple cabbage

Green Lemo:
1 green apple
3 handfuls spinach
8 kale leaves
1/2 cucumber
4 celery stalks
1/2 lemon

Cantaloupe Kale:
2 red apples
1/2 cantaloupe
1/2 honeydew
8 leaves kale
6 leaves swiss chard

Pineapple Ginger:
1 small pineapple
2 oranges
1/2 inch ginger

Apple Cucumber:
2 green apples
3 cups spinach
6 leaves swiss chard
1 cucmber
4 stalks celery
1/2 fennel bulb
1 bunch basil

Super Cleanser:
4 celery stalks
1/2 small beet
1 cilantro bunch
handful spinach

Mexican Juice:
2 lg cucmbers
4 cups cilantro
1 lime
1 poblano pepper (remove seeds)
1 golden delicious apple

ABC's:
2 asian pears
2 apples
2 beets
2 carrots
1 cup cabbage
6 handfuls chard

Minty Fresh:
2 cups blueberries
2 kiwis
carton strawberries
2 cups mint leaves

Tropical Freshness:
3 carrots
1 papaya
1 mango

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I hope this has been a good resource for you!
Cheers!!