Back in 2008, I was invited to a nutritional seminar by a guy called Peter Pure. It must have been around January 2008 and I had travelled to Marble Arch in London’s West-End on a very cold, morning questioning whether this was good use of my time. It turned out to be a very good use of my time, because in that seminar, I learnt and became super inspired about juicing.
When you talk about juicing, most people think about juicing fruits which is packed full of sugar as you lose the fibre that helps to slow down the release of sugar into the blood. Check out my book Sugar: Sickly or Sweet if you want to know more. When I think of juicing, though, I think of juicing vegetables, particularly greens. Green leaves are nature’s medicine, helping your body be stronger, cleaner and more flexible, have better immunity and feel more alert. There’s so much debate in nutritional circles about what to eat for health, but one thing that everyone agrees on is that greens are good!
Juicing is a good way to get your greens. This simple habit is tasty, easy and a great way to reward your body with vitamins, minerals and powerful nutrients.
At that January seminar, I remember Peter asking the audience a couple of key questions:
‘Who here juices?’
Two hands went up in the audience.
‘Why don’t more people juice?’ was the next question, and guess what the most popular reason was?
You guessed it – cleaning the juicer – which isn’t fun, I have to admit. But what Peter said next, convinced me to prioritise juicing to support my wellness and health. They were powerful words of persuasion which certainly worked with me.
‘Better to spend 10 minutes cleaning a juicer, than hours in the doctor’s’.
Those words resonated with me hugely and led to my juicing ritual. For me green juice is a daily habit. If you’re feeling sluggish, tired, no energy, lack of sleep and want to get into better shape, read on.
In practice, every morning I juice a range of green vegetables: cucumber, celery, kale, wild greens from the garden deepening on the season. I’ll then add pear or apple for taste, plus some powdered supplements for that extra boost.
Its an amazing way to start the day. Heather, my wife, and Samson, my son drink it too – although perhaps not quite as enthusiastically as I’d like!
To help you get started with juicing greens, here’s a step-by step-guide which gives you a great recipe to get going. Of course, a part from the greens, you will need a juicer. I use a Greenstar which is a fabulous, cold-press juicer, which means it retains more nutrients in the juice and will juice the toughest of leaves. It’s not cheap, but worth every penny. In fact, I have become so dependent on it, I even took it in my luggage when we moved to Australia!
When you first start juicing greens, it can be confusing to know what to juice. Over time, i have got used to drinking the most bitter green juices, but if you want to share the joy, I’d suggest creating a recipe that tastes good. You’re looking for the surprise look of delight when someone tastes it, rather than a look of horror followed by them spitting it out all over the kitchen, which happened to me once and taught me about the importance of taste!
- Start with a Base like celery, cucumber or romaine lettuce, high water content vegetables that will make your green juices taste better. I particularly like the taste of celery, but it isn’t for everyone. Cucumber has a more gentle flavour.
- Add Leafy Greens like spinach or kale or broccoli. These tend not to contain a huge amount of juice and it can feel depressing when you see how much is wasted. An alternative is to blend the whole leafy greens with your base to create a slightly thicker juice which will contain more fibre.
- Add Some Herbs. Go wild and add a handful of parsley, basil or coriander. These herbs are great for helping your body to cleanse and get rid of toxins.
- Add some fire. Ginger is a great addition for taste and also for its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Add Lemon which is rich in vitamin C, helps boost your immune system, helps remove toxins from your body and also helps keep your body’s pH in an alkaline state.
- Add a pear or apple to sweeten it up if you want to. Most commercial green juices will contain at least 60% apple juice, so beware when you buy green juice as not all green juices are equal in nutrients. Many are simply apple juice with a tiny amount of green leafy vegetables.
It can be tough munching through a big plate of greens, so here are three further reasons why you should adopt a ‘green juice’ habit:
- you will give your body a boost of calcium, magnesium and iron
- you will cleanse your body and increase your body’s ability to process oxygen
- you’ll alkalise your body and supply huge amounts of anti-ageing antioxidants
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