Here is my juicing FAQ that contains the top 10 questions people ask me about juicing.
- What is juicing?
- Isn’t that the same as blending?
- Can’t I just eat it?
- What about all the wasted fibre?
- Are juicers hard to clean?
- Juicing sounds expensive!
- What about protein and calcium?
- Why do a 7 day juice fast?
- Will I feel a little rough when detoxing?
- Does the fruit and veg have to be organic?
What is juicing?
Juicing is the process of extracting the natural juices contained within fruits and vegetables by using a juice extracting machine.
Isn’t that the same as blending?
No… let me make this point loud and clear before we continue… A BLENDER IS NOT A JUICER! I repeat… A.BLENDER.IS.NOT.A.JUICER!… and neither is a Nutribullet before you ask.
A blender (or smoothie maker, they are the same thing, a smoothie maker is just a blender with a tap on it) will have a few blades that dice up the whole fruit and veg, whilst retaining all the INSOLUBLE fibre. So you are effectively drinking the whole fruit or vegetable.
A Juicer on the other hand, separates the natural juices from the INSOLUBLE fibre, whilst still retaining all the SOLUBLE fibre. This can be done with 2 types of juicer:-
1. A Centrifugal juicer
This is the most common type of juicer that people use, especially when starting out as they are usually the cheapest and fastest kind of juicer to use. Most centrifugal juicers have a fast spinning circular cutting blade with teeth on it, kind of like a circular cheese grater for all you cheese addicts out there! Coming up from this blade is a metal silver mesh that, as the blade spins and cuts the food, pulls the juices from the fibre and then slings the remaining fibre to the back compartment of the juicer, so all you are left with is the juice and no “bits”.
I used a centrifugal juicer for over 4 years of my 5 year journey and I had amazing results, losing 8 stone in weight and getting rid of a host of illnesses. See “My Story” for more on that.
2. A Masticating juicer
A masticating juicer is a much slower, less heat friction causing juicer that crushes the food rather than slicing like a centrifugal. This crushing method means that much more nutrients are retained in the juice because oxidation is not formed from the fast motion and no heat is generated on the food so no enzymes are killed off. These juicers are usually more expensive than a centrifugal, which, personally I think is perfectly justified as since I brought my masticating juicer, I noticed that the taste, yield and quality of the juice was much better. With a masticating juicer you can store a juice overnight and drink the next day (more on that to come on the site). The downside to a masticating juicer is that they are much slower at making a juice than a centrifugal, but personally, if there is one thing in my day I never rush it’s my juicing.
In my opinion, a centrifugal is absolutely fine for any newbie to juicing if you’re unsure of paying too much for a juicer. As I said above, myself and many other keen juicers I know have achieved some pretty awesome results by just using a centrifugal, but if you’re happy to go straight in for a masticating juicer then great.
Can’t I just eat it?
Of course you could just eat the fruit and veg, but there is just one problem… you won’t!
Juicing allows you to consume a lot more fruit and veg than what you would actually be able to eat in one sitting, plus it’s raw, so you are retaining 100% of the nutrients and enzymes in the food! Another plus with juicing the fruit and veg is that, if you are like most people in a western country, you have eaten a western diet for most of your life, so the chances are that your digestion has taken a battering over the years from crap food, alcohol and maybe things like cigarettes. Juicing makes absorbing these nutrients much easier than even if you was to eat the food raw, but more on that on the site once I have written it.
What about all the wasted fibre that is contained in the pulp?
There are 2 types of fibre, SOLUBLE and INSOLUBLE. Juicing still retains the soluble fibre and gets rid of the insoluble fibre that you would “waste” anyway. It is ONLY THE JUICES CONTAINED WITHIN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES THAT FEED THE BODY, the rest of the fibre goes to waste. Juicing allows us to absorb much more nutrients so not having that fibre, which you will get from other foods won’t be a problem. You can always include a Avocado to your juices to add some fibre and healthy fats if you feel the need.
Are juicers hard to clean?
Not at all, when I clean my juicer I just rinse all the parts under a hot tap apart from the silver mesh and blade that I either use a scouring sponge or a cleaning brush that most juicers come with. If you’re making a juice using a centrifugal juicer, it shouldn’t take you at an absolute maximum, more than 15 minutes to start juicing and to have washed up. How long does it take to cook and wash up after a roast dinner!? It is always a good idea to wash up IMMEDIATELY after you have made your juice, if you let the pulp in the juicer dry then it can be like cement! It also helps to put a small bin bag in the pulp waste bin so then all you have to do is lift the bag out, one less thing to clean. I will make a video on how to make a juice AND clean your juicer soon.
Juicing sounds expensive!
It depends on how you look at it, if you still buy all your usual crap food, and then juice on top, then it will feel like an added expense. If you replace all the crap food, say like a £3 microwavable pizza, with a few bags of 49p apples from Aldis, you’re getting A LOT more nutrition and servings for the same cost as that one serving chemical s**t storm pizza! Also, when you start to get well, you will be having less time off sick, will be buying less paracetamol for that headache that you won’t be getting anymore, and you will notice that, if you’re smart about it, you can find really cheap fruit and veg. People (and myself in the past) would spend money on a new pair of trousers, mobile phone, Playstation without a seconds thought, even if they couldn’t really afford it, but when it comes to buying a human invention, that really does benefit your body and the environment without any side effects, people have a problem with it.
What about protein and calcium?
This question always makes me chuckle, and is probably the most common question I get, especially down a gym. When I was 18 and a half stone, at the top of my BMI, with a tonne of illnesses that were getting more severe, nobody cared about my protein and calcium intake, but when I started to juice, eat healthy, lose weight and start to reverse the illnesses, suddenly everyone has a PHD in nutrition and started spouting stuff like “but if you don’t get enough protein you aren’t going be able to, ya know, lift all those really heavy weights down the gym, and if you don’t get enough calcium you will get that osteoporosis that my nan has, even though she drank milk her whole life”.
If you eat a VARIED DIET CONTAINING MOSTLY ORGANIC FRUITS AND VEGETABLES, SOME FREE RANGE MEAT, WILD CAUGHT FISH, NUTS, HERBS AND SOME SEEDS, you will be getting plenty of protein and calcium in your diet. Protein and calcium are important yes, so too are Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Potassium, Vitamin C and all the others that I can’t be bothered to type right now.
There are plenty of alternative protein sources to meat and Whey such as Spirulina, Avocado, Chia Seeds and nuts. If you are a body builder then yes, you will probably benefit from some extra protein to repair the muscles, and if you really need to add a protein supplement then you could try a hemp protein or pea protein powder, these will be a much less taxing alternative on your gut than Whey protein.
Why do a 7 day juice fast?
You don’t HAVE to do a juice fast, I know of a lot of people, including my Dad that have achieved great things by just juicing and eating healthy. But if you are like how I was when I first started, that is, very toxic from years of Food, alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse, then you’re very likely to have a lot of those toxins stored in your body, especially in the fat cells, liver, kidneys etc. Your body stores them there when it is literally flooded with toxins. When you start to eat healthy, you will stop feeding the body toxins and it will start to feel like it’s safe to start releasing these toxins back into the body so that they can be eliminated through the bowels and other parts of the body (more on elimination on the site). When this happens you need to help the body to be able to eliminate these as quickly as possible as it’s not good to have these toxins floating around the body. Juice fasting allows you to flood the body full of liquid gold that basically helps you to flush these toxins out through the bowels and replace the deficiency that was caused by years of a high calorie, low nutrient diet.
Will I feel a little rough when detoxing?
Most people do get some kind of a “detox headache” and may feel a bit sluggish for a few days, it seems to vary person by person. When I first ever did a detox, I had a massive headache for around 4 days as well as having to go to the toilet…a lot! But after those few days I started to feel amazing. As I got more healthier and improved my diet, the detoxing effects got much better and now whenever I do a 7 day fast I don’t even get a headache or anything because I’m not toxic anymore.
Does the fruit and veg HAVE to be organic?
No. I always advise people to buy organic as much as possible, but it doesn’t have to be organic. Although conventional fruit and veg may be lower in nutrients than organic, we need to remember that juicing allows us to consume them in large amounts so in my head that makes up for it. The other thing to consider is the pesticides, herbicides, wax etc that the conventional produce may have. I achieved my results with mostly non organic, it’s only now that I buy organic, just do your best each day, relax and make improvements as you go along.