By Evonne Varady |
A juice is the liquid of a plant with all of the plant’s fiber removed. Juices, in our minds, are healing drinks – “vitamin and mineral infusions.” Juicing removes all of the fiber and some of the protein from the plants. This means your body does not have to do any digestive work to extract the nutrients. You can use any plant that has juice. Fruits, vegetables and herbs are the most common.
and … To Blend
A smoothie is a drink composed of blended foods that have been broken down into liquid form but still retain all of their fibers. Your body still has to do some digestive work to digest your smoothie, but not as much as if you ate whole produce. You can think of your smoothies as being pre-digested for you. Smoothies are more versatile because of the range of ingredients that work well: greens, other veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, superfoods, protein supplements, herbs, spices… really anything that you can dream up, you can add to a smoothie!
Juices are amazing healing drinks, good for people with damaged digestive systems, those who have difficulty digesting vegetables, or those with illnesses. Removing the fiber releases all of the nutrients without your body having to do any work. Juices are great when you want to do a cleanse, because your body doesn’t put any effort toward digestion, and its energy can be directed to ridding the body of built up waste and toxins. Juicing allows the body to focus on healing, while still containing nutrients that would not be present during a fast.
Smoothies are awesome for a quick meal on the go. They make a great meal before or after a workout because they won’t weigh you down, but are substantial enough that you won’t feel hungry in 15 minutes. You can pack them full of ingredients to help with your workout recovery. Smoothies are also great for those who are coming off of a fast of any kind, as they help to re-introduce your body to solid foods in a gradual way. Smoothies help to cleanse your colon because the fiber helps “sweep” out your intestinal tract by binding to toxins and ushering them out of your system. Smoothies are also amazing for introducing more raw foods into the diet. You can hide a number of less popular ingredients like dark greens and superfoods under the sweet taste of fruit in a smoothie.
Foods to Avoid Juicing
Too much fruit – It’s best for your body, and your liver in particular, to avoid juicing large amounts of fruit. Fruit is best processed in our bodies with its natural fibers; otherwise the sugars present are released too quickly into the bloodstream, and your liver has to work extra hard to filter them. It is best to keep your juice fruit-free, or limited to small servings of green apple.
Spinach or Chard every day – Spinach and chard are high in oxalates which can cause kidney stone issues in those people who are susceptible. You should use spinach and chard only every other day, as opposed to every day.
Avoid Blending these Foods
Starchy, hard-to-digest veggies – Avoid really starchy veggies like sweet potato or regular potato, as well as root veggies like beets and carrots. These ingredients are hard for your body to break down, even in blended form. Stick to water-rich veggies and leafy greens.
Too many ingredients – It can be very easy to get carried away, wanting to add an abundance of nutrition to your daily smoothies. There are lots of superfoods, powders, potions, herbs, fruits, veggies and leafy greens out there, but you do not have to put them all in every smoothie that you make! Keeping your smoothies on the simpler side (2-6 ingredients) will be much better for your digestion. Otherwise it may do more harm than good, and calories can be racked up quickly.
Try These Tasty Juice & Blend Combinations:
Key lime smoothie: 3/4 cup lime juice, 1 scoop vanilla protein, 3/4 cup almond milk(vanilla can be used) 1 cup of ice and a pinch of salt.
Healthy Mary: 2 tomatoes, 4 stalks of celery, 1/2 cucumber, 1/4 cup of cilantro, 1 seeded jalapeño, 1/4 lemon.
Evonne Varady is co-owner of Clean Eatz Cafe located on Racine Dr. in Wilmington, NC. From being too skinny, to being overweight, to placing first in the North Carolina State Show, she has been through most of it. In 2013, She and her husband opened Clean Eatz to create a cafe that supports any healthy commitment.