Are You Making These Common Juicing Mistakes?

I love green juice so much that I would marry it if I wasn’t already married. When I see families, especially children, drinking green juice, my heart melts on the floor, but when I see people drinking juice in a less than stellar way and making common mistakes, I get crazy concerned and want to help. That’s why I want to go over common juicing mistakes I have personally witnessed, so hopefully I can put my crazy concerned look to rest.  It’s important to remember – we are all learning in this big bad world of processed foods, and juicing is better than not juicing at all, even if you make these mistakes.

juicing mistakes

TOP COMMON JUICING MISTAKES

Not Drinking Green Juice On An Empty Stomach - Recently a blogger friend of mine tried juicing for the first time, and when she finished her first juice she proclaimed to me that it gave her heart burn. Immediately, I asked her if she drank her juice on an empty stomach, and she said “No, I had it after breakfast.” Fresh juice should only be consumed on an empty stomach. The whole point of drinking juice is diminished if you don’t, and can end up giving you digestive issues like my friend experienced. Drinking juice on an empty stomach allows the vitamins and minerals in the juice to go straight to your bloodstream. Having fiber or a meal already in your stomach prevents your body from quickly absorbing the nutrients from the juice. A good general rule of thumb to follow is to wait at least 2 hours after a meal to drink a green juice and wait 20 mins after drinking a green juice to consume a meal.

Waiting Too Long To Drink Your Green Juice - As soon as your freshly made green juice gets exposed to air, its live enzymes begin to degrade, therefore decreasing the nutritional content. I can immediately tell the difference in how I feel after drinking fresh juice vs. an older juice. The live enzymes of a fresh juice give me immediate energy – where as older juice just doesn’t give me the same boost. For this reason, unless you have a slow masticating juicer, twin gear or Norwalk press juicer, I recommend always consuming the juice fresh and within 15 mins of making it.  This is especially important if you make your juice without a juicer using a blender and strainer. For slow or twin-gear juicers, I recommend storing juice in an airtight container (filled to the top with no air gap) for up to 24-36 hours, and for a press juicer up to 72 hours. If you decide to store your juice, remember to keep it refrigerated at all times before consuming. This is also important to keep in mind when you buy pre-made, raw unpasteurized juice because as soon as the juice becomes warm, bacteria can begin to grow that could be harmful. Always keep your juice in the fridge or a cooler if traveling if you don’t drink it right away. If you notice your favorite juice bar keeping juices longer than 72 hours, make sure they are using high pressure pasteurization technology (like Suja Juice and Blueprint Cleanse) – otherwise, they are getting away with selling you lower quality and nutritionally degraded juice.

Using Too Many Sweet Fruits and Vegetables In Your Green Juice - Sweet fruits and vegetables like watermelon, apples, pears, and carrots are very nutritious when consumed whole, but if you consume too many of them juiced, the amount of sugar and fructose you are adding to your diet could be over the top. If a juice has too much natural sugar it can affect insulin levels pretty dramatically, causing cravings and other not so pretty things to happen, like gaining weight. This is why I recommend keeping the sugary fruits and vegetables in your green juice to a maximum of 1 per serving. For example, in the juice recipe below you can add one green apple for a bit of sweetness. It’s important to keep sugar in check to be able to sustain steady and consistent energy levels. I personally do not add any fruit to my daily green juice any longer, but I still love the occasional carrot (for their eye lash enhancing properties) and beet (for their detoxing capabilities). Exceptions to this rule are lemons and limes that are naturally very low in sugar and do not spike blood insulin levels like other fruits. (One caveat – if you are trying to get your children switched over to green juice, you can start by adding 2 fruits per serving, but then slowly decrease this over time as they become accustomed to the taste.)

Treating Green Juice Like A Meal (unless on a fast or having it as a snack) - Juice isn’t a meal replacement, rather it is a meal enhancer or snack. Juicing is nature’s vitamin pill and should be consumed like a supplement within 20 mins before a complete meal. It’s really hard to eat the amount of vegetables recommended by most experts (6-8 servings) in a typical day. It’s rare to see Americans eating vegetables for breakfast, and at lunch a typical vegetable serving could be as small as a piece of lettuce or tomato on a sandwich, making it probable that your target amount of vegetable servings for the day will not be met. It takes a few pounds of vegetables to get a 12-ounce glass of juice – which gives you an entire day’s serving in one glass. Juicing should be like taking a vitamin but of course it’s a billion times better. Additionally, drinking juice before a meal (like I recommend in the Eating Guide Program) reduces carb and sweet cravings and completely changes your taste buds to want something plant-based versus something heavy or processed. Juicing allows you to absorb many more vitamins and minerals than you would otherwise by consuming smoothies or eating fruits and vegetables with the fiber. The only time I wouldn’t consume a meal after juicing would be during a juice fast.

Not Chewing Your Green Juice - Juice (and smoothies) are food and should be chewed. It’s important to swish around the juice in your mouth or move your jaw up and down for a couple of seconds before swallowing it to release saliva that contains important digestive enzymes. The digestive enzymes are crucial in delivering key nutrients to your cells. When I visited with Dr. Mercola for lunch, it was fun witnessing him doing this when he drank his green juice – he swished it back and forth quite energetically! I personally like to use less of an obvious gesture and keep the juice in my mouth a few seconds before swallowing it.

Leaving Your Juicer Dirty - I know juicing can take time and life can get busy, things like cleaning your juicer right away can get pushed to the side, but let me tell you, cleaning your juicer (at least rinsing it off) will save you and your knuckles a lot of scrubbing later. If I know time is going to be tight, I’ll often throw all the parts of the juicer in a sink and let them soak with water and a little soap – that way, when I get back to cleaning the juicer, it will be much easier. Also, to save time when I juice in the morning, I’ll pre-wash the vegetables the night before, eliminating this step the next day, and allowing me more time to clean the juicer right away. I’ve gotten my juicing routine down to 20 mins using a 2 step press juicer, which is pretty darn good if you ask me! When I use a centrifuge or another type of juicer, my timing is usually around 15 mins from start to cleanup.

Juicing Spinach or Kale Over and Over Again - Variety is the spice of life, and it’s key for juicing correctly and safely and to avoid hormonal issues. Remember to rotate the greens (kale, chard, spinach, mustard greens, collards, dandelion, arugula, etc.) in your juice each week to prevent build up of oxalic acid (which can affect the thyroid gland) and provide a balanced amount of different vitamins and minerals for your body.

You Stopped Green Juicing Because You Heard That Drinking Smoothies Is Better (or maybe you never started) - For the record, I consume both smoothies and juices, but I also know there is no other way to get the extraordinarily amount of powerful nutrients trapped inside green vegetables than to juice them. Drinking juice has the power to make you feel like you have never before – it’s quite magical and something I wouldn’t give up for every smoothie in the world. Our soil is nutritionally depleted due to the use of pesticides, genetically modified seeds, and conventional farming practices, drastically reducing the amount of many vitamins and minerals once abundantly available to us. Eating a piece of broccoli now vs. 20 years ago does not yield the same amount of nutrition. It’s crucial that we try to compensate for this fact by juicing. Juicing allows you to get the extra boost you need much more efficiently than trying to chew an unachievable amount of vegetables all day. When I started drinking carrot juice, my eye lashes immediately started to grow longer within just a couple of weeks. Feeling the extra energy boost is one thing, but seeing the results in the mirror can be quite dramatic and make you a firm believer of the powers of drinking juice. Drinking juice reduces the amount of energy your body uses for digestion, giving your cells a chance to repair and rebuild. It’s the ultimate preventative medicine when it comes to avoiding disease. Don’t wait until you are already sick or trying to get better to consume juice, it’s about creating a healthy body from within now so you never get sick in the first place.

With all this juicing talk… I have to share my most recent concoction which includes both lemon and lime. This juice is so tart and delicious and perfect for a hot Summer evening!

IMG_8600

4.5 from 35 reviews
Lemon Lime Green Juice
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of any green of your choice (collards, chard, spinach, kale, dandelion)
  • 2 cucumbers
  • ½ bunch herbs like parsley, cilantro or mint
  • 1 lemon with peel removed
  • 1 lime with peel removed
  • 1 green apple (optional for added sweetness)
Instructions
  1. Wash all vegetables thoroughly and place into a large bowl
  2. Juice each vegetable in this order – greens, herbs, lemon, lime, cucumber
  3. Stir mixture before serving
  4. Rinse and clean juicer immediately
Notes
Please choose all organic ingredients if possible

 

Do you know someone who might be making these common juicing mistakes? Then please share this post with them. I want everyone to feel the ALL of the magic of the juice they are drinking!

Cheers,

Food Babe

P.S. If you have any juicing questions, remember I’m here to assist, ask away!

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514 Responses to “Are You Making These Common Juicing Mistakes?”

  1. Brittany

    Umm I’m sorry but to say that drinking that fruit will make you gain weight is a bit ridiculous.

    Reply
    • Kara (to Brittany)

      I’ve also heard that eating a lot of fruit will make you gain weight. It makes sense if you watch what animals eat before winter or hibernating.

      Reply
    • Kelly (to Brittany)

      Fruit contains fructose, which is SUGAR. Eating or juicing fruit in excess can indeed make a person gain weight. This is common sense, Brittany. Just because you don’t know some fact doesn’t mean it’s not true or ‘ridiculous’. Open your mind.

      Reply
      • Jim (to Kelly)

        Have you heard of Dr Graham’s 80/10/10 lifestyle? I’ve read his book and been following it. I have lost weight and feel great. Also, FreeLee the banana girl on Youtube has shown me how she blends and eats fruits all day and keeps slim. It opened my mind.

    • Elle7 (to Brittany)

      I use more fruit in mine too. I go running and to the gym afterward and it gives me the energy I need for my workouts since I don’t like to eat beforehand.

      Reply
  2. Kelly

    Is using a vitamix blender ok? You consume all parts not just the juice. Wondering if it would be better for you??

    Reply
    • Rowena G. (to Kelly)

      I also would like to know this. I do not have a juicer but have used my Ninja to blend fruits & veggies with water and a little ice to make a smoothie/juice. Is this as nutritional and beneficial? Thanks!

      Reply
      • Christine (to Rowena G.)

        I am wondering the same thing. I have a Vitamix and make Green Lemonade every morning. Does it have the same nutritional value as juicing?

    • Don Blackburn (to Kelly)

      She addresses that in the article in the next to last paragraph titled You Stopped Green Juicing Because You Heard That Drinking Smoothies Is Better.

      Reply
  3. Vanessa Gonzalez

    Hi thank you for all this awesome information. What do you suggest if unfortunately I don’t have organic fruits and vegetables within 10 miles from my home, I do however have organic berries that are frozen and maybe sometimes the local grocer receives 1 or 2 organic fruit, but never organic greens or vegetables.
    I desperately need a juicing routine, please help, Thank you Vanessa from NY

    Reply
  4. Renee

    What are your favorite veggies to juice?

    Reply
  5. Melanie

    Your lemon lime juice recipe looks great. The only thing I am wondering about is what would be a good recipe for nursing moms. I know parsley, sage and mint will take a hit on a mom’s milk supply and cucumber will make a baby ultra fussy (gassy). Any suggestions. I also add coconut water because I know it has a good source of lauric acid.

    Reply
  6. Bedad

    Hi,

    Wondering why you get super thirsty after drinking juices in the morning. Also is the amount of sugar drank in a juice something to be worried about.

    I have kale, lemon, carrot, ginger, beets and 1 apple for juice almost every morning.

    Reply
  7. Randy

    Also, if you are diabetic you need to be careful of the sugar content of the vegetables and fruit that you choose to juice.

    Reply
  8. MIchelle

    Love your website! When it comes to juicing, can I add spices as well?

    Reply
    • Christine (to MIchelle)

      Michelle – definitely! Turmeric, cinnamon, ground ginger, and cayenne pepper are my top four. :)

      Reply
  9. sue good

    I have seen a few juicer infomercials that encourage people to add the entire fruits and vegetables including seeds,stems and the stem scar.I cringe when I see this suggestion because there could be high levels of cyanide and arsenic in them.

    Reply
    • Emily (to sue good)

      You are being unnecessarily alarmist. You just need to say that pits from stone fruits such as apricots, nectarines, and peaches should be juiced.

      Reply
      • sue good (to Emily)

        I would think it would be redundant to suggest to people not to attempt to throw in apricot, nectarine, and peach pits in their juicers as I think common sense would prevail for them not to attempt it. But as I mentioned ,I have seen the practice of throwing in a whole tomato and apple with seeds ,stem and the stem scar., tomato leaves and stems contain solanine that is toxic if ingested, causing digestive upset and nervous excitement. I am stating a fact and hope that if someone is doing this from seeing it on TV they know not to do it. There are many plants that have a poisonous part to them and many people are not aware. Why do you see me as an “alarmist” for passing on information ? Why are you a minimalist?

  10. Juan

    Can you please check the recipes here? http://Www.nutriliving.com/recipes. A lot of the recipes there are ones I follow and most if not all contain 2 or more servings of fruit in each recipe.

    Reply
  11. Tammy Steed

    Im doing a low carb diet full of protein. Im in need of vitamins and nutrients. I recently had a weightloss surgery and have a hard time getting my vitamins since I cant eat much. Im not able at this time to do dark green veggies with vit K due to some blood thinners Im on…so do u have a rwally good receipe that mayb i can add protein powder to? I dont do much fruit cause its loaded with CARBS

    Reply
  12. Tanya

    You have to be careful of the sugar content of your juices.
    http://www.teatopia.com.au

    Reply
  13. Matt Lalonde

    Hi food babe! I have a ninja professional blender and I was wondering if that is OK to us for juicing? It’s what I have been using but this really keeps the fiber in the juice. It does break it way down though. Should I get an actual juicer?

    Reply
  14. Denise

    I guess the one question I have is the whether to drink a green superfood smoothie on an empty stomach or not. I currently take Green Vibrance as my chosen green superfood powder (for a few years now). I take it straight with some juice or almond milk and have always taken it on an empty stomach with no problems whatsoever. However, I just read on article from them where they advise: “Simply mixing them into water or a smoothie or a favorite juice is sufficient. In the case of Green Vibrance, more probiotics will survive the digestive process if the product is taken 30 to 45 minutes AFTER a meal. At that stage of digestion, food from the preceding meal has diluted stomach acid, raising pH to a level that will not degrade the probiotics in Green Vibrance.” So what do you think about this? Is this true? Do less probiotics survive the digestive process when taken BEFORE a meal as opposed to AFTER a meal? This stuff can get so confusing! Green Vibrance currently supplies “25 billion friendly probiotics from 12 strains”. (Is that like a crazy amount??) Thanks for any clarification you can provide. And keep up the great work! You’re a wealth of information!!

    Reply
  15. Lynda Westlake

    Thank you for all the hard work you do, would you please do an article on the dangers of all the additives in toothpaste? It is something we all need to use, but it is full of poisonous dangerous chemicals including aspartame. Thank you

    Reply
  16. Anca G.

    I have a juicer and a blender, though I don’t really use the juicer as much. I use the blender every day due to my needs, I work out 5 days/week lifting heavy, building for fitness figure competitions. I need my whey, creatine and complex carbs and those are hard to consume by themselves or if not mixed properly. I always throw in there a whole beet, banana, a hand full of whatever berries I have and organic mixed baby greens along with hemp, chia, ground flax seeds and a teaspoon of coconut flour. For me it is a meal replacement and I sip on it for a couple of hours. I’ve shed quite a bit of body fat and increased muscle mass, currently at 9% body fat. I’m energized all day and recover v quick after each intense workout. I understand very well the insulin sensitivity especially in more active individuals like myself, but I absolutely stand behind my theory that depending on the type of sugars ingested and the amount, to little or too much can be just as bad. I also don’t eat any veggies, or use any veggie powder supplements 2 hours before and 2 hours after a workout due to the high ORAC values which, by producing such great amount of oxygen are in the detriment of building muscle mass. There’s a reason why during intense exercise lactic acid builds up in our muscles. Just my two cents in here, but appreciating your hard work, a lot of good info regardless. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  17. Kristine

    Hi Food Babe, I have just started juicing and I love the idea of how healthy it is going to help me become :) I basically love everything I have read thus far about green juices, and this post was very helpful, thank you. There’s just one thing: seeing the amount of pulp to throw away after making just one glass of juice makes me wonder how much nutrition I am actually getting… I mean, the amount of vegetables I see before juicing is A LOT and if I ate all that, I could easily say I’d gotten several servings, but when I just consume the juice and throw away all that pulp – how “many servings” are left in my glass? Wish you a wonderful day!

    Reply

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