Why I stopped juicing every day, and what I have learned is better for my health

 
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I absolutely loved the idea of being one of those women who juice every day. I pictured my tanned, lean body motoring through kilos of fresh vegetables every day. I could see my glowing skin and hear the soundtrack to my happy and upbeat life.

Juicing was going to change my life.

Afterall, it’s done that for so many others hasn’t it? So I set to getting prepared. I needed the tools, the equipment and the books. I happen to be one of those people who turn a high value purchase into an intensive and laborious research task. I compared, I read reviews, I drew up spreadsheets. And when I finally drove myself dilly with all the analysis, I made a decision.

In this instance, I settled on a kick-ass Breville Juicer. I was aware that I was probably compromising on a bit of nutritional value compared to a slow juicer, but I was good with that. My thinking was to opt for speed and convenience and actually do this with some degree of frequency. I knew a laborious process in any way whatsoever was a confirmed one-way ticket to eBay.

This thing is the bomb. I still revel in watching it devour an entire cucumber in seconds. I love that I don’t have to chop up a thing. I relish the zesty smell of a lemon winding its way through the blades.

Just watching it at work makes me feel healthy. 

When I first started, I juiced every day. I suppose that’s the way most people start isn’t it? The initial juices were a frantic concoction of anything green; a somewhat desperate attempt to fill up on all the goodness I felt I had been missing out on over the past years. Broccoli? It’s in. Lettuce leftovers? That will do. Cucumber? A must. My boyfriend obliged. In fact, he took really well to the early-morning feel-good factor and gulped down his greens with glee.

And then the greenness turned gross.

It all got too much. One morning he phoned me midway through his 40-minute commute to work, sheer panic in his voice, wondering what exactly he was supposed to do with a digestive system that was staging a green juice intervention.

Enough, it was saying. 

One more stinking leaf of spinach and the traffic will be the least of your problems.

We had crossed the line from healthy habits to crazy obsession.

We had forgotten why we were doing it. In a desperate attempt to fill the juicer with every green I could find, the flavour had become an afterthought. I had allowed guilt to creep in when I missed a day.

I couldn’t do it anymore. I stopped. Completely. Never again.

This is what happens when you take things too far.

As a way of restoring order, the body swings the other way. From everything to nothing. From crazy to quiet.

It took a bit of time to find the balance again. 

I found my way back to the centre. I took it easy and I tried new things.

I've since started juicing again. I've rediscovered what it can do for my day. I know on the days I juice, my body feels clean and I am less likely to crave anything sweet.

But it’s not daily.

If I feel like juicing I do, but I never do it because I feel that I “should”.

 

This is what I have learned about juicing:

 

  • If you love juicing daily, juice daily. If it feels like a struggle or you have the tendency to get controlling and obsessive about it, keep it light. Juice when you feel like it. A few times a week is still plenty of nourishing goodness
  • Keep it simple. Don’t throw everything in there. 3 to 4 main ingredients keeps it light and digestible
  • Vary your flavours. Remember when you told your mum you liked peanut butter on your sandwiches and you got it every day for the rest of the year? Our bodies, and minds, love variety. Mix it up a little. You are far more likely to create and maintain a good habit this way.

 

Here are some of my favourites to get you started:

 

The cleanser

- 1 cucumber
- 1 green apple
- 1 whole lemon

The Energizer

- 2 beetroots
- 4 carrots
- 1 apple
- 1 big chunk of ginger (I love the zing of ginger – but adjust to taste)

The Refresher (thanks to choosingraw.com)

-  2 cucumbers
- ½ lemon
- 1 pear
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 handful fresh mint