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Living the Juice Life

Recently I introduced a Juice element into my daily diet. Dieting for me focuses on inclusion, not exclusion. My aim has always been to include as many fruits and vegetables as I can to aid my immune system and energy levels alongside protein to maintain my weight. Taking things out of my diet just doesn't work for me, tell me I can't have something and I want it more than ever so I stick to the basic rules of treats now and again, an increased fruit and vegetable intake and the swapping out of junk for healthy alternatives. If you're looking to introduce a juice element to your diet here are my top tips for beginners, things I've learnt through hours of research and trial and error. I use the Philips Viva Juicer HR1867/21

My tips for juicing:

Use organic fruits and vegetables, do not put unnecessary pesticides and toxins into your body, if you can source your fruits and vegetables from a farm shop or market then do. Keep it fresh and seasonal and don't use unecessarily expensive or exotic ingredients as this is unsustainable over time, stick to the basics. Try to work up to a 75/25 Vegetable to Fruit ratio to avoid a sugar build up in your body. Admittedly the build to this ratio takes time for your taste buds to adapt so at the moment I am working on a 50/50 ratio with an aim to improve over the next week or so

Make sure that you thoroughly wash your ingredients prior to use and clean your juicer immediately after use. I know this sounds really time consuming but your juicer will really suffer if you leave it uncleaned for a long period of time, as will your nose. You can cut down on prep time by pre-washing your ingredients the night before and I usually run a sink of hot soapy water prior to starting my juicing so that I can place my juicer components straight in to soak afterwards. I've got my routine down to about 20 minutes now so it's workable in my morning routine

Drink your juice immediately. The nutrients within the juice will start to oxidize and deteriorate as soon as they contact the air. Drinking the juice immediately will give you the maximum benefit but you can store it in a glass container for later if you need to. Do not store you juice in a plastic container, the acids in the juice will erode the plastic and introduce chemicals into your juice 

Some example recipes

2 carrots
2 oranges - 1 peeled 
2cm square of ginger

Half a cucumber
4 celery sticks
1 pear
1 kiwi

1 betroot
1 carrot
1 apple
1 pear

Do not brush your teeth for at least one hour after consuming your juice. Common sense, I know but I have had to rejig my morning routine slightly to accommodate the new order of things. The natural sugars in your juice will sit on your teeth for up to an hour after you've consumed it, softening your tooth enamel, brushing them will erode it and weaken your teeth

Do your research, there are a lot of unexpected things that you can put through the juicer but there are  a lot of things that don't work at all. Soft fruits for example and things like banana. You will also need to adapt the things you juice to fit with the type of juicer you have whether that's centrifugal or cold press. Centrifugal juicers use a blade and mesh to spin the ingredients whereas  a cold-press uses a pressing and squeezing action to extract the juice. There are a lot of ingredients that can be juiced with the skin on as that is where they hold most of thier nutrients but there are some that are harmful, for example orange peel contains an oil which irritates the digestive system so this needs to be limited

I don't personally use juice as a meal replacement as I'm not trying to lose weight, I have however rejigged the placement of my meals throughout the day to get the most out of my juice. Most of you will know that I eat a standard Yoghurt, fruit and chai seed combination as a pre-gym breakfast. I have now switched this to a 750ml of fresh juice as pre-gym breakfast for two reasons. The first reason is that fresh juice needs to be drunk on an empty stomach to aid absorption into the body. The second reason is that my cardio work was compromised by the weight of food sitting in my stomach during my work out. By juicing instead I get an instant energy hit without the stitch and can sustain a much longer cardio session. Given this change I've now moved my yoghurt combination meal to post-dinner to curb my evening sweet cravings and combat my need for junk food as I usually let myself down on a day of healthy eating as the day ends 


So there are my tips, which I'm sure I'll add to. Good luck if you're starting your Juice journey and please feel free to ask me more questions if you get stuck or are considering trying juice

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