Juicing offers so many incredible benefits…if you do it right. I’ve witnessed very common juicing mistakes that can prevent us juicers from maximizing its benefits. But know that like my favorite juice, I was green once too! As a newbie to the practice, I made some of these same common errors. To help you achieve expert-juicer-status, I’ve put together this handy little guide of common juicing errors and quick fixes to get the most out of the juicing process.
Mistake # 1: Not using organic fruits and veggies.
I believe in using only organic produce for your juicing. This is ESSENTIAL! When you make fresh juice, you are not only concentrating the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes – you are concentrating any pesticide residue left on the plants. If the unlabeled produce is genetically engineered, who knows what you may be concentrating! Some people will say not to worry about this because the juicer naturally filters out pesticides, and since they are water-soluble your body can eliminate them easily – but I disagree. You just don’t need added grief when you are trying to cleanse and purify your lifestyle.
Mistake #2: Not drinking green juice on an empty stomach.
Drinking juice on an empty stomach allows the vitamins and minerals in your glass to be absorbed straight into your bloodstream. If you already have a meal being digested there, your body is too busy to absorb the green juice! A great rule of thumb is to wait at least 2 hours after a meal to drink a green juice, and wait 30 minutes after a green juice to begin a solid meal.
Mistake #3: Waiting TOO LONG to drink it.
As soon as your fresh green juice is exposed to the air, the live enzymes within it begin to degrade, which lessens the nutitional content. For this reason, the live enzymes of a fresh juice will give you an immediate burst of energy, while older juices lack that intense boost. To get that ideal energy, drink as soon as you make it.
If you can’t drink it right away, make sure that you store it in an air-tight container, and refrigerate until you’re ready to enjoy it. When raw, unpasteurized juices become warm, it allows for the growth of bacteria, which is a potentially harmful thing you definitely want to avoid. Remember, fresh is best!
Mistake #4: Choosing too many sweet fruits & veggies.
Sweet fruits and vegetables (such as carrots, watermelon, pears, and beets) can be nutritious when full of fiber in their whole, raw form. But when we remove the fiber by juicing them, you are at risk of adding far too much sugar and fructose to your diet, which you don’t want.
Even too much natural sugar from plants can spike blood insulin levels dramatically, and when that happens, we suffer from cravings, stomache aches, headaches, energy crashes, and weight gain.
I recommend keeping the sweet plants to one serving – a green apple, lime, or lemon can offer that desirable sweetness, while still keeping your sugar level in check, and your energy sustained over time.
If you are just beginning to juice, and still reorienting your palette to the taste, start out with two sweet servings (an apple and a lemon, for example), and then slowly decrease those inclusions to one serving.
ONE LAST CAUTION REGARDING FRUIT JUICES: It is very tempting to use a lot of fruit juice for beginners – it’s so easy and sweet! But that might be your addiction talking, or maybe the voice of the hungry candida yeasts coursing through your bloodstream. But you can get all the sugar your body needs without any fruit at all.
Mistake #5: Juicing too many veggies with thyroid-attacking goitrogens.
Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, collards, and watercress have high goitrogen content. Goitrogens are naturally-occurring substances which cause enlargement of the thyroid gland. Frequent consumption of these greens can slow down our thyroid function, putting us at greater risk for hypothyroidism.
To keep your juice green and your thyroid healthy, make use of healthy, risk-free exceptions like romaine, parsley, dandelion greens, cucumber, celery, and fennel.
Mistake #6: Treating your juice as a complete meal.
Unless you are on a juice fast, you should be drinking a juice as a snack or a supplement. Consider it the best multi-vitamin around! Using juice as a prelude to a complete meal with help you in several ways. First, it will help you better absorb the nutrients in the meal to come, and will curb sugar cravings, so that you choose a healthy, plant-rich meal, over something heavy or processed. It will also help your hunger be satisfied with a smaller portion of solid food.
If you want to MAKE IT A COMPLETE MEAL, you can add 1 Tbsp. of chia seeds, protein powder, or supergreens powder. You can also add 1/4 cup of fresh pressed coconut to make it filling. A handful of sprouted nuts & seeds, or a 1/2 of an avocado 30 minutes after your juice will also be enough sustenance to make it a meal.
Mistake #7: Forgetting to chew.
It is so important to actually chew your juice. It may sound crazy, but there is a perfectly sane reason to this habit. When you chew, you release digestive enzymes in your saliva that are crucial in delivering key nurients to your cells. These enzymes will also be released by swishing the juice around in your mouth for a few seconds. Whichever you prefer, make sure you add it to your juicing routine!
Mistake #8: Leaving your juicer dirty.
When your juicer is left uncleaned, you invite bacteria growth as it sits. Not to mention how much harder the juicer is to clean if you procrastinate. To avoid this, I recommend cleaning it immediately after use. But I know how busy we all are – so if that’s not an option, try soaking in water until you can return to clean. This will make the process so much simpler, prevent bacteria growth, and also encourage you to juice more often. If you always have a clean juicer ready to get juicin,’ you are so much more likely to use it whenever the spirit moves you!
Mistake #9: Abandoning juice for smoothies.
So often I hear that people have ditched their juices for smoothies. Smoothies are a healthy and delicious addition to your diet, and I’d never suggest leaving them out of your lifestyle. However, the greatest benefit of juicing is the ability to pack so many vital micro-nutrients, minerals, and vitamins into a drinkable serving. We would never be able to chew through all of those fruits and veggies in one meal without being exhausted and overly full! Juice’s power is unparalleled in its ability to nourish us more than any other single serving. Sorry smoothies, juice can’t be beat. So enjoy a smoothie here and there, but keep your daily juicing regimen.
Mistake # 10: Forgetting to brush your teeth after your juice.
Many fruits are loaded with citric acid. Though a weak acid, it actually can corrode your teeth if you drink a significant amount of juice. So, to protect your beautiful enamel, remember to brush your pearly whites after enjoying your juice!
Follow these simple tips and you’ll max out the benefits of juicing. Cleaning that juicer will be far more worth it. Cheers to getting the most out of your healthy habits!