May 15, 2013

Why I Can’t Go a Day Without Juicing.

It was a honor to pose as “Miss December” for Jade Yoga’s 2012 wall calendar and print ad in the picture here.

They asked me to do something in the picture that reflected my interests. The bike thing had already been done, so since I’m totally a green juice fiend, we shot the ad in my kitchen!

The urge to cleanse tends to arise as soon as the weather gets warmer and the light lasts longer in the day, but as the title of this blog suggests, any time is a good time to be juicing!

Actually I can go a day without juicing, but I’m definitely not as happy, I won’t be as energized, and my digestion pales in comparison. (Insert a finger wagging: “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”)

Juicing has recently become a popular trend, and for good reason. I’ve been juicing my whole life since my mom whipped one out in the ‘7os. The juicer was collecting dust for the longest time, but in the last five years, juicing has become one of my daily rituals. It is so energizing and cleansing, that I find it hard to live without.

Apparently 98 percent of the nutrients in veggies and fruits are trapped inside the fiber capsules of the plant, and our teeth barely access those nutrients when we try to masticate the fiber, giving us access to only one percent of the nutrients or something silly low.

So when you juice, the fiber capsule is blown wide open giving you access to a much larger mega hit of nutrition. And if you saw the huge bowl of produce I slam through my juicer every morning—it would take you several hours to chew, yet you’re getting the nutrition on a much bigger volume of food, thus the mondo blast.

And yes, I still recommend that you eat other veggies during the day to get your daily fiber intake.

Juicing is not a meal substitute—it is like taking your supplements, only so much more fun, appealing and delicious.

People ask me often how to get started and what to juice, so here is the first of many posts with tips, tricks and recipes to help you get on the road to mega nutrition and vibrancy.

What Kind of Juicer To Use:

Hands down, the Breville Elite 800 gives the silkiest, most quality juice and is a long lasting easy to clean machine!

Don’t skimp and get the model down from the 800! (It is totally not worth the price difference—the motor is not as hardy and the juice does not come out as smooth).

What kind of Produce to Use:

Buy (or preferably grow) produce as fresh and crisp as possible (no soft spots or sogginess!). And definitely buy organic produce since the juicer concentrates everything including pesticides!

Useful Tips:

Always drink the juice within minutes of making. The juice begins to lose nutritional value quite soon. If you have to take it with you, fill up a jar all the way to the top so that the lid touches the juice when you close it—sealing it in with as little oxygen above the juice as possible.

Worried about your teeth turning a little green? Sip your juice with a straw.

The Breville 800 is easy to clean. The only part that can take a wee more time is the mesh filter. I found that a dish brush (the Good Grips kind) actually works better and faster than the one the juicer comes with.

If you use lemon, put it in last—it works as an astringent to pre-clean the juicer!

Avoid juicing carrots, beets or other sweet fruit since anything juiced becomes concentrated and these foods are high in sugar to begin with. Generally I like to drink only green, but in the beginning if you need fruit to make the juice palatable, the following fruits are considered low-sugar: Granny Smith apples, grapefruit and pear.

 Green Turmeric Lemonade

This is a refreshingly tart, liver-cleansing cocktail—great anytime of day, and is especially wonderful first thing in the morning. The turmeric, if you can get it fresh from Hawaii, is a natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-microbial root that looks like ginger only orange! Turmeric is also amazing for smooth glowing skin.

2 small cucumbers or 1 large

3 handfuls of baby spinach

3 stalks of celery

1 head of romaine lettuce (optional)

1 small lemon or half a large lemon

1 green apple or pear

1 inch of fresh turmeric (optional if you can’t find it—best when it looks plump and orange. Looks like ginger, only a bit smaller. From Hawaii is best.)

Put the celery in first and plunge. Put a cucumber in without plunging and fill the space around it with the baby spinach, then plunge. This way the spinach gets juiced rather than spun through the juicer. Do the same thing with the turmeric to help maximize it. Then juice the romaine and apple. Voila!


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Ed: Kate Bartolotta

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Kelly Yamauchi May 27, 2013 8:19pm

Hi Amy,

You look so great in your photo! Anyway, thanks for the useful tips. I also use masticating juicer to make my own version of green juice.

aaron | QP May 16, 2013 9:21am

Rebecca above offers Sage wisdom. The fiber in fruit/veggs is imperative for our bodies to process sugars effectively and keep our bodies flowing.

Amy, as for your recommendation for a juicer. ANY JUICER THAT USES A HIGH HP MOTOR WITH HIGH RPM'S WILL ADD MASS QUANTITIES OF OXYGEN/AIR TO YOUR JUICE. Use a slow masticating/auger juicer for optimal results. As you stated above, "as little oxygen above the juice as possible." That also applies to "as little oxygen in the juice as possible."

The slow masticating style juicers add far less oxygen/air to your juice and preserve more of the vital nutrients. Think of them as "Antioxidant" juicers.

Juicing is a wonderful thing, but as you clearly mentioned the key is to keep it green. If you really love the sweety goodness of fruits, make a Smoothie! That way you'll maintain all that wonderful fiber and the sugars will process more efficiently.

Happy Juicing!

Ozzo Idran May 15, 2013 1:18pm

Great Article:-) And the pic is fantastic, congrats Miss December:-) I love juicing as well though sometimes I have to admit I find that because of the winter months sometimes it tough to find fresh fruits and veggies that are in season…in those cases I add a powdered supplement just to ensure I'm getting all the proper nutrients and antioxidant benefits possible. I agree that you should drink juice as soon as its made to get the most nutrients out of it.

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Amy Ippoliti

Amy is a yoga teacher, writer, and philanthropist. She is known for her innovative methods to bridge the gap between ancient yoga wisdom and modern day life. Amy is a pioneer for advanced yoga education serving both students as well as fellow yoga teachers. She co-founded 90Monkeys.com, an online professional development school that has enhanced the skills of yoga teachers and studios in 43 countries around the globe. She has graced the covers of Yoga Journal and Fit Yoga Magazine and has been featured in Yoga International, Self, Origin Magazine, New York Magazine, Yogini Magazine (Japan), Allure (Korea), Elephant Journal, intent.com, and many more. Amy is a faculty member at the Omega Institute, Esalen and Kripalu. She is a regular presenter at the Yoga Journal Conferences, Omega Institute Conference, Wanderlust Festivals, and The Hanuman Festival. Since the age of 14 Amy has been a champion of all forms of eco-consciousness, animal conservation and more recent forays into marine conservation. Website: amyippoliti.com . Hang with Amy on Facebook: AmyIppolitiPage Talk to Amy on Twitter: @Amy-Ippoliti Pin with Amy on Pinterest and share your pics with her on Instagram.