Thoughts on health, happiness and sustainability

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The Joy of Juicing

At the beginning of this year we went to stay with some good friends of ours in Lyon and had a great weekend combining our passions for extremely healthy foods with extremely naughty French foods.

One evening we watched the documentary Food Matters, which arguable was a film preaching to the converted, but it talked a lot about juicing which is something that none of us had ever really done.  Pierre got incredibly fired up and by the end of the film had already researched juicers and ordered a masticating juicer online.  He does not hang about!

The next morning, not yet having a juicer, he made us a broccoli and apple smoother in the blender.  Now to me a broccoli and apple smoothy doesn’t sound like something that I would ever want to drink, least not for breakfast, but it was actually pretty good.  What really got my attention though was that none of us ate anything at all until nearly lunch time and we all felt fresh, super energised and none of us were hungry.  That was until we arrived at “the best bakery in Lyon” to stock up on french baking.  Damn were those pastries good.  We even found chocolate bread!!  But after eating at the bakery we all felt sluggish and bloated, a feeling that lasted for some hours afterwards.  This message was simple, what you put in your body affects the way you feel in your body.

Before the day was out, we had also ordered a juicer online, to be delivered soon after we got back home.

It has been 6 months now and the novelty sill hasn’t worn off, with the juicer getting used almost every day.

We tend to juice a combination of fruits and vegetables, sometimes nice and sweet and sometimes pretty hardcore, depending on what needs using up in the fridge and what mood we are in.  So what are the pro’s and con’s of juicing?

Benefits of juicing

  • Feel fresh
  • Increase you dosage of vitamins and beneficial plant nutrients
  • Get some much needed enzymes into your digestive system
  • Discover the real flavours of raw fruits and vegetables
  • Enjoy a wider range of juice varieties than you can find in the shops
  • Drink less shop bought juice, which often isn’t that good for you
  • It is really satisfying to make your own juices
  • You can use up fruits and veges that you might not otherwise eat

Downsides of Juicing

  • It can be time consuming, especially if you use a masticating juicer
  • You have to clean the juicer, though this is really easy with a masticating juicer
  • Juicers can be expensive

There are some arguments that juicing is bad for you because you ingest too much sugar and that you should be eating you vegetables instead of juicing them.  However, in practice these arguments are flawed for the following reasons:

  • If you juice is mainly vegetables then the sugar content is low, and certainly a lot lower than most store bought juice
  • Drinking home made juice reduces your consumption of store bought juice, which has far lower nutritional content and normally higher sugar levels
  • Most people don’t juice food that they were going to eat. They buy extra and juice it, or use scrap food to make juice (e.g. broccoli stalks)
  • You normally cook the vegetables that you eat, whereas juicing gives you raw nutrients and enzymes

Basically, if you can afford a juicer and have the patience to use it then juicing can be a really enjoyable and healthy addition to your life.


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