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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


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 Meal Plans for Health 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!


Food Babe's Lemon Lime Green Juice

Prep Time:
5 mins
Cook Time:
0 mins
Total Time:
5 mins

Serves:  2


  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 2 cucumbers
  • ½ bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 whole lemon, peeled
  • 1 lime, peeled
  • 1 green apple


  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.


  • Instead of spinach, try collards, chard, kale, dandelion, or one of your favorite greens.
  • 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!


Food Babe

P.S. Ready for a 3-day juice cleanse? It’s the ultimate way to break the cycle of consuming processed foods! Check it out here.



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737 responses to “Are You Making These Common Juicing Mistakes?

  1. One large carrot has 3 grams of sugar. If I juice 7 carrots that’s 21 grams. A medium sized apple has 21 grams of sugar. A cup of blackberries and a medium banana equals 21 grams of sugar. All I’m saying is, if someone didn’t eat their daily apple or equivalent fruit, but instead drank a cup of carrot juice these are all the nutrients they’d be gaining:

    Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate and Manganese, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Potassium. The humble carrot packs a powerful punch.

    Dr. Norman W. Walker, the investor of the Norwalk Press, witnessed countless people healing themselves of disease after taking in a moderate amount of carrot juice every day. Green juicing is amazing, I just don’t think people should fear a little sugar from their vegetables. Please correct me if I’m wrong though, it doesn’t help anyone having misconceptions running around.

    1. so you saw the video, now your an expert on juice..ahhhh welcome to the internet generation..

      1. What does the phrase correct me if I’m wrong mean? I believe it means correct me. I’ll never understand people like you. They make one blanket comment that doesn’t really have anything to do with the original post; they choose to take the path of insulting vs giving a helping hand.
        I’ve been researching health for years, I don’t know where this one video came from you mention. When you assume you make yourself look like a child, never assume, always dig a little deeper for the truth. Reply back with something informative or don’t send anything at all.

    2. The key is that it should be a LITTLE natural sugar, not a LOT. Keep in mind even natural sugar spikes insulin if the fiber is removed so that is where this article is coming from. Seems like you missed the point.

    3. Years ago I was an advit juicer and therefor were my family. A few things I decided as time went on. The first few years we consumed alot of carrot juice and our weight was and remained perfect. We never caught colds or flu. Aside from having a slight orange tinge, we were healthy.
      However, I found that juicing should probably be done with normal eating amounts or a reasonable amount above of what you would normally eat per day. Our body gives us subtle hints on what it needs by providing uncomfortable feelings and reactions. So I started thinking a bit more of what my body was telling me rather than me assaulting it and not communicating with it. I said all of that to say, for instance, three medium carrots with a ring of pineapple and 3 or 4 celery stalks would not seem to overwhelm our livers, kidneys, etc. with bloating, headaches, and would be utilized comfortably. I realized it should always be chased by water and whenever possible 20 minutes of rest followed by light stretching. This way the body can look forward to this nutrient schedule once or twice a day. This seemed to work very nicely for me and my family and our body’s response to it.

    1. We use an Omega NC900C masticating juicer. It looks a bit like a meat grinder, with a horizontal auger. We think it is great because it is so versatile, even more so than the Omega vertical auger models.

  2. So is it better to take out the fiber? Or better to use a vitamix type blender and drink the whole vegetable? Thanks!

    1. The fiber is quite healthy and necessary… However, the purpose of juicing is getting the vitamin/mineral benefit of MANY more greens/veggies in one glass (without the added fiber to make the amount way too much to consume in one sitting…fiber is quite filling). So, you can do a smoothie with some necessary fiber for one snack…and juice lots of yummy veggies for another snack or refreshing drink while you are prepping your next meal. 🙂 Hope that helps! 🙂

  3. All of your juice recipes say they make “2 servings” – how much do you actually drink each day? Both of these servings or just half of it?

    1. Nancy, I read that as if you are part of a couple – so you each have a glass. If you’re solo, then you would consume the 2 servings, but not all at once. Keep in tightly sealed container in the fridge – and drink anytime later in the day.

  4. Great info but where I live the amount of organics is very limited. As far as greens go Kale, chard, celery and collards are all that’s available.

  5. Hi,

    Thank you for you posts. I recently bought your book (Kindle form) and am working my way through the book. I am interested in the juice guide but am limited on funds at the moment. Is there any samples to get me started in the right direction towards a juice cleanse? Thanks.

  6. I usually add about about 6 different veggies and one fruit. Or in place of fruit I use Simply OJ instead of water. I also add all ingredients to the blender at night, close tightly, refrigerate overnight, then blend in the morning (to save on time). Does this affect the smoothie? Am I affecting the nutrients or benefits of the veggies?

    1. James keep doing what you are doing. And kudos for trying something new for your health! Vitamixes are great. If you want less bulk, add coconut water and half the recipe to make it more juice-like. Bottom line, we should all do what we can within our income limits but if you are doing something, its wonderful.

  7. I hope your not saying I made a mistake buying a vita-mix.I am drinking my first green smoothie of my life. I am 74 years of age, I live on a fixed income so this is the way I decided to go. It was a green smoothie and I really enjoyed it. I have you book and I enjoy it very much . You are a class act. Wish you all the best .Happy every thing is going so well . Take care


    1. Hi James.
      I believe that whole foods are the healthiest and I’ve been using my vitamix for years. Love it and truly believe it provides me with great organic smoothies that taste good and are good for my family. You made a good choice.

      1. Lol juicing is much healthier than blending. It’s not even close. You get nutrients and minerals basically through IV. You will get less than half of the nutrients/benefits blending. I’m not saying blending is bad but just giving you factual information so you don’t spread misinformation. Have a good day

      2. Lol juicing is much healthier than blending. It’s not even close. You get nutrients and minerals basically through IV. You will get less than half of the nutrients/benefits blending. I’m not saying blending is bad but just giving you factual information so you don’t spread misinformation. Have a good day

  8. Listen here: When you are DIABETIC, you have to be EXTREMELY careful! Man, get a load of what happened to ME! ( And and BOY is this ever “classic!” ) I figured I’d start juicing to improve my health and detox. My blood sugar went through the roof!!! But I ( stupidly ) thought that the grogginess and the prickling sensation in my feet and fingertips was the result of DETOX!!! I thought that I was experiencing DETOX when in reality, I was sending my blood sugar all the way to the fkn MOON!!! I could have DIED!!! All these “juicer promoters” never do tell you that when you are diabetic, there are simply things that you can NOT juice without sending your blood sugar through the damn ROOF!!! Instead, they promote juicing the “irresponsible way” by saying that juicng is the “cure all to beat all” regardless of what your medical conditions may be!!!! That’s STUPID! That’s highly NEGLIGENT!!!

    1. If you’re a diabetic, you should be educated about nutrition and should have known that (of course) juicing fruits and vegetables doesn’t remove the sugars and make them safe to drink without raising blood sugar levels.

      I know that, and I’m not diabetic.

      Stop blaming others and become more educated.

    2. It’s not hard to understand that basically shooting a sugary fruit into your bloodstream will raise your blood sugar. Are you really this dense? The fact that you are also trying to blame “juice promoters” for your own idiocy is pathetic. Own up to being a moron lol

    3. You legitimately have the IQ of a toddler lol if this comment isn’t sarcasm, you likely need help getting dressed in the morning. Blaming “juice promoters” for having he awareness and intellect of a toddler? Just yikes. Go back to second grade to work on your critical thinking skills dude

  9. Do you lose nutrient value if you freeze kale juice or any greens juice right after you juice it.

    1. Yes 100% but it won’t make that much of a difference. Oxidation just kills enzymes and potentially grows bacteria but not in the freezer. You will lose nutrients and enzymes regardless if you don’t drink it right away

  10. can you rejuice kale or other greeens right after you fill up your ohh so big 1/2 glass they make the first time. I found chuncks of kale in the dump bin. I figured I could put it through again with some pulp???

  11. Hi, I have a couple of questions.
    First, if I juice spinach, Apple, carrots, lemon and celery and then i take that juice and blend a banana, spirulina and honey into it, am I ruining the nutrients that juicing provides. Because this is pretty much the only way I can get my kids to drink it.
    Second, I am confused about the whole oxalate problem. I have no idea how to alternate these veggies. Do I juice an oxalate for 1 week and no oxalate the next week. I’ve seen other people suggesting alternating but everyone is so vague, I have no idea what to do.
    Help and Thank you

  12. I agree that people get too hung up on kale and spinach. Not EVERY juice needs to have greens in it! There are plenty of other “super foods” that provide a wide range of benefits, such as beets.

  13. There is no evidence that oxalic acid causes thyroid problems. Oxalates are implicated in stone formation, primarily kidney stones. A slight suspicion was raised because of the interaction between oxalic acid and calcium.I The Oxalic foods are:
    Oxalic acid is found in COCOA, CHOCOLATE, COFFEE, and BLACK TEAS, and Greens of the Amaranthaceae family such as spinach, Swiss chard, beet tops, lambs quarters and amaranth plus sorrel, parsley, purslane and rhubarb. It imparts a sharp taste to beet greens and chard that is felt in the throat. Oxalic acid generally increases as foods mature, producing increasingly bitter vegetables. Young, fresh vegetables such as baby spinach are less likely to have much oxalic acid.

    Other foods high in oxalates are almonds, cashews, buckwheat, unhulled sesame seeds, tea, coffee, chocolate, beets.
    Oxalic Acid can be reduced by high heat cooking but precious nutrients are lost in the process, including cooking by steaming and boiling.

    LOW OXALATE greens are lettuce, celery, chickweed, watercress, escarole, asparagus, dandelion, and the members or the brassica family or cruciferous such as kale, bokchoy, collards, mustard greens, turnip tops, cabbage and arugula. There is no supported evidence that these pose any health effects even in their raw state.

    It is the Barassicas that are goitrogenic; affecting thyroid function:

    These are the goitrogens:
    Slightly cooking defeats the goitrous property as does, cold cooking /slight pressurized fermentation in the presence of a small amount of complex sea salt.

    : Bok Choy
    Brussel sprouts
    Mustard and Mustard greens
    Soy (anything) Soy in all forms is a Superfood, even Medicinal, for Blood Type A individuals, Fermented Soy should be avoided by persons with yeast infections, and should be limited to the products, Tempeh and Miso. Fermented soy sauce contains unwanted add-ons; eg: gluten, sugars, earth salt, caramel color, and other deleterious additives and by products.
    Wheat and other gluten containing grains.

    Foods with lesser goiterous effect include:
    Bamboo shoots
    Pine Nuts
    Sweet Potatoes
    Juicing can result in complete meals and an easy way to control the desirable formula of consuming more protein early in the day and less later in the day.
    Smoking and other recreational drug cessation is much more easily accomplished during a therapeutic period of liquid meals.
    Juices are too concentrated in their whole state for regular consumption and are more assimilable when cut 1/2 and 1/2 with pure untreated deep well or spring water.
    Dr. Norman Walker, who wrote the uncontested JUICING BIBLE, and Inventor of the unparalelled NORWALK JUICER, consumed only juices for the last 47 of his 100 + years, working his usual 10 hours at his practice and cooking dinner after that for 27 friends hosting Dr. Hauser’s 98th birthday party, on the last day of his life. He and Hauser then swam 98 laps of Norman’s Olympic sized swimming pool to celebrate Hauser’s life. Bernie Jensen, a mere child of 76 that year ended up having to walk , with his lovely wife, some 13 miles after their car failed. No brain cancer causing cell phones in that day…
    Bernie perfected the ultimate juice cleanse, 1 dozen each, lemon, lime, grapefruit, and oranges, mixed with 2o times water by volume and blended with 12 heads of greens, Romaine, Collards, Chards, Dandelion, Kales and a 1/2 pound of Nova Scotia Dulse, adding more water as necessary. The mixture would stand for 12 hours and be consumed, 8 oz tid, hs. Vitamins, Minerals and electolytes galore.
    Some say it is almost as nutritious as a Death in a Glass GATORADE – BOOST chemical cocktail…. huma inserted heahrah……

    1. Yes maybe true, But _ nowadays
      What exactly, are we juicing?
      How much more poison is in everything- even though it may be organic or ‘ washed’,?
      Norman Walker’s , Jenson, etc.
      May have looked and actually been good veg . Etc grown in good soil
      Take a look now, it’s worrying.

      1. Just buy organic vegetables. It’s that simple. It’s heavily regulated and there’s no chance of chemicals/toxins, they are tested. The nutritional value of organic vegetables is the same as it was 20-30 years ago don’t let these fear monger doomsdayers convince you otherwise

  14. I am a juicer fanatic. I have been using many juices from last 8 years to till now.
    I know but i have to know more What juicer do you recommend for green juicing ? Can a diabetic man take juice per day??

    Thanks for your great post.Hopefully all will be benefited by it.

  15. This is all so confusing…and other article I read was definite in that some greens like kale collards bok choy and broccoli should not be put raw in smoothies….so do not know who to listen too….

  16. Great tips and reminders! But to my knowledge, most of the green veggies mentioned here contain oxalic acid, so I’m unclear on how rotating them would help prevent its build up?

  17. I use a champion juicer and have been known to drink 1 gallon of carrot/celery juice a day….the celery balances the sweetness of the carrot. I NEVER use soy in anything….soy is gmo and it has a natural poison benzine….I also drink other vegatable juices…but carrot is my catalyst for all other juices! I follow Dr. Norman W. Walker’s formula’s and I have been healed of my chronic bronchitis of which I have suffered for years….I also follow “The Mucusless Diet” by Arnold Ehret…You have a very good article.

  18. Taking greens daily, is it safe? I read some articles that say they are harmful due to high oxalate content. I’m scared that I will end up with kidney stones. Kindly clarify. One more thing, can beets be juiced or they too contain high fructose?

    1. You’re sacred to eat the most nutritious plants on earth? Not sure if you have the IQ of a child or are just deluded and believe everting you read but the oxalate is not a risk or a concern it’s completely overblown. You’d need to eat pounds and pounds of greens a day to get any adverse effects from the oxalate.

  19. Someone told me that lemons are actually incredibly high in sugar despite their sour taste. Perhaps because one would use so little in a juice then it wouldn’t matter.

  20. Hi dear, thanks for sharing these useful tips. I love taking my green juice but I didn’t know it was best taken on an empty stomach. Your blog clears lot of doubts.

  21. how do you get any nutrients from juicing kale if it mostly goes in the shoot? I understand celery, cucumbers and even bok choy..but kale isnt moist….i feel like its a waste..?

    1. Kale creates plenty of juice. It doesn’t need to be “moist” on the outside to have juice lol have you even tried juicing it? Why would people be recommending it if it didn’t juice? Use your brain cells

  22. Hey Vani, I used to drink my smoothies and fruit juice in one gulp, but quickly learned it’s better to take it slowly and chew whatever chunks have been left by the blender, what was I thinking, duh ;-). Thanks for the great tips, though.

  23. Hello,

    Have you reviewed any of Hurom cold pressed juicers?
    Want to compare them. with other masticating juicers, you have mentioned.

    Thank you,

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