Juicing FAQ - Kris Carr Answers 12 Crazy Sexy Juice Questions
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Juicing FAQ - Kris Carr Answers 12 Crazy Sexy Juice QuestionsEverything You Have Ever Wondered About Juicing
I am so excited that my book Crazy,Sexy,Juice is finally available, click here to order and get some fabulous free gifts as well. In addition to having over 100 fantastic juice and smoothie recipes, I have sections on pretty much everything you've ever wondered about the process.
In all of my years as a champion for wellness, I’ve gotten more questions about juicing and blending than any other topic. From digestive dilemmas to weight loss, here’s my response to some of your most burning Q’s.
1. Can juicing or blending help me lose weight?
It sure can. Juices and smoothies are relatively low in calories, especially given how incredibly nutrient dense they are. They’re the opposite of most processed food in America, which is full of calories but devoid of nutrients.
If you’ve been overdoing it on packaged snacks and drive-thru dinners, or struggling to get optimal nutrition in general, then learning how to create an uber-nourishing elixir could be the ticket to a leaner, more vibrant, healthier body.
It’s important to keep in mind, though, that juices and smoothies will be what you want them to be. These aren’t “diet drinks,” and you don’t have to greet them with the shudder you reserve for 100-calorie snack packs. The goal of these drinks is to bring you enhanced overall well-being.
Also remember, if weight loss is your goal, it may be helpful to focus on the less-sweet juices and smoothies, or use the tips in my book for reducing sugar in recipes, since sugar is associated with weight gain.
If you’re just looking to maintain a weight you’re already comfortable with, these drinks are a perfect part of the plan. Trying to gain weight? Smoothies are powerful vehicles for healthy fats and plant proteins that can bring you closer to your goal in a wholesome way.
2. How many calories are in these drinks?
I’ll be honest—I’m not a calorie counter. In my experience calorie counting focuses on restriction and deprivation rather than abundance. Plus, in spite of what you might have heard, healthy living isn’t solely about “calories in” and “calories out.” It’s about the quality and value of the foods we put into our body.
A 150-calorie juice will contain ten times the nutrition—vitamins, minerals, antioxidants—as a commercial snack bar with the same number of calories. (And it’ll flood your body with hydration and clean energy, which is more than sugary and processed snacks can say.) More nutrition means we’ll feel less prone to sugar cravings, more energized, and sharper. This in turn helps us make smart choices, again and again. There’s a ripple effect when it comes to healthy food, and calories just don’t tell the whole story.
3.Juicing is a lot of work. Why can’t I buy store-bought juices, like Naked or Odwalla, instead?
I’m often asked whether it’s okay to skip all of this juicing business and purchase one of those handy store-bought juice blends. My answer? Meh . . . Many of the store-bought juices have unnaturally long shelf lives, typically achieved through pasteurization. Though pasteurization kills bacteria, it also depletes some of the micronutrients and enzymes. Plus, store-bought juices simply don’t taste as yummy and fresh as homemade. More important, they’re usually chock-full of added sugar.
One of the biggest advantages of juicing at home is that you, sweet friend, get to control the quality, freshness, and sweetness of your juicy cocktails.
4.Are juicing and blending safe and beneficial for cancer patients?
Juicing and blending can be a powerful way to invest in your own well-being when you’re a cancer patient (AKA cancer thriver). There are two important things to keep in mind if you do incorporate juices or blends into your healing process: First, keep your drinks low in sugar. Sugar may encourage cancer growth, so for regular use you’ll want to stick to fruits that are lower in sugar. To reduce your chances of having a blood sugar spike, sip your juices with some nuts or healthy fats like avocado.
And, of course, fiber in smoothies will help, too. All these tips will help buffer the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream, allowing you to include more of these overall health-boosting practices into your life. If you’re taking a very strict approach to sugar, you can use the tips in my book for eliminating or replacing fruit in your recipes as well. Second, if you’re undergoing a treatment like chemotherapy, it’s important to be vigilant about washing your produce to reduce your exposure to bacteria.
5.Are juicing and blending safe for pregnant women?
Juicing can be an ideal way to get more nutrition into your belly (and your baby’s belly) when you’re expecting a bundle of joy. (It’s an especially good solution for sneaking in fruits and veggies when morning sickness has you shuddering at the thought of a salad.) Be sure to wash your produce carefully to reduce exposure to bacteria as much as possible. If you’re buying from a juice bar, don’t be afraid to ask about their cleaning, prep, and storage methods.
Avoid commercial, unpasteurized juices for the duration of your pregnancy since you can’t be sure how they’re made, and consider running your juicy plans by your health-care provider before you get started. It’s important not to undertake a juice fast while you’re expecting, so if you are juicing, be sure that you’re also getting plenty of delicious, alkaline, solid fare into your body, too!
Smoothies are also a great solution for adding more nutrition into your diet during pregnancy. There are specific recipes included in my book that are particularly nutrient dense, such as my pH Warriors or Body Boosters. The latter group is full of extra iron, calcium, and protein.
6. Are juices and smoothies safe for babies and kids?
Most experts agree that babies—especially those who are breastfeeding—don’t need juices or smoothies in their diet (yet!). But juicing and blending are absolutely safe for kids, so long as you’re mindful of portion size and sweetness. (Children don’t need any help developing a sweet tooth.)
It’s also important for your little ones to learn to eat their fruits and veggies, rather than just drink them, so serving your kids green drinks while also allowing them to develop a taste for solid fruits and vegetables is best.
Experts say that babies 8 to 12 months old can have up to 4 to 6 ounces of green juice or smoothie per day, and that preschoolers between the ages of 1 and 3 can have up to 8 ounces of green juice or smoothie per day (the equivalent of one serving of fruit and one serving of vegetable). As your kids’ recommended allowance of fruits and veggies increases, they can have more green drinks.
If you’re worried about the sweetness, especially for preschoolers, you can dilute the juice or smoothie with water in a 1:1 ratio at first, and then ease the water out over time.
Before you incorporate juices or smoothies into your kids’ diets, be sure to have a chat with your pediatrician about the particulars!
7. Are juicing and blending safe for diabetics?
Juicing can be safe for diabetics, but it’s important to keep your juices green, green, green. Even low-glycemic fruits may raise blood sugar, especially in the absence of fiber, so vegetable-only blends are often the safest bet. The juices in my “Cleansers” section are, on average, the lowest in sugars, and can be reduced even further by swapping extra cucumber and/ or celery in place of fruit. You can enhance their flavors with a splash of lemon, lime, or ginger. Check out my tips on lowering sugar in juice and smoothie recipes for more guidance.
Depending on your situation, you may be able to enjoy some low-glycemic fruits in moderation. If you do choose to consume fruits, you may wish to focus on smoothies more than juices, because the fiber in the smoothies helps ensure a slower absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. You can also choose to sip your juices—especially if they contain low-GI fruits—with a small amount of food that’s rich in healthy fat or protein (for example, a handful of nuts). This will also help to buffer the absorption of sugar into your blood.
Once again, talk to your health-care provider before you embark on a juicing journey, and pay attention to how your body—and glucose levels, if you use a tester—responds.
8.I have a digestive disease. Is juicing or blending better for me?
Juicing can be an important healing tool in the management of many digestive diseases, but one size doesn’t fit all. If you’re struggling with constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, or diverticulosis, then dietary fiber is your new BFF, and blending might be a better choice. If you have inflammatory bowel disease and are prone to flares, then juicing can be a gentle way to continue getting optimal nutrition without irritating your digestive tract. Chat with your health-care practitioner, and make a mutual decision about what’s best for you
9. I’ve heard that too much raw kale is actually bad for you. Should I be worried?
When you’re cautioned against going over-board with raw kale, you’re probably being warned about one of two things. First, kale (along with all of its crucifer cousins such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage) is what’s considered a goitrogen—a food that can interfere with iodine uptake. In extreme cases of iodine deficiency, our thyroids can become enlarged, creating a swelling that’s known as a goiter. In parts of the world where iodine intake is low, diets that are high in goitrogens may compound the effects of iodine deficiency. This is rarely a case in first-world countries, where most people get iodine through table or sea salt (or by eating sea vegetables!), so kale and other goitrogenic foods aren’t something to worry about unless you have a preexisting thyroid condition. If you do, chat with your doctor before incorporating raw, cruciferous veggies into your juices or smoothies.
The other concern with juicing raw greens is that many of them, including spinach, chard, beet greens, and collards, contain naturally occurring compounds called oxalates. Oxalates can block our body’s absorption of calcium and in some cases may contribute to kidney stone formation (although the evidence is inconclusive and other factors, such as a genetic predisposition, are stronger indicators). Since raw greens contain more oxalates than cooked greens, a little caution about juicing and blending them in excess is reasonable for those at risk of stones.
It’s important to remember that, for most of us, the benefits of incorporating more greens into our diets significantly outweigh the potential pitfalls. As with so many health questions, moderation is everything. Rotate your greens and, when you’re not juicing or blending, cook them for variety.
10.My juices and smoothies are: Just. Too. Green. Help!
Sister (and bro), this is a good problem to have. But if your juices bite you in the face with the taste of straight-up kale, then you may need to scale things back and add more watery veggies (like cucumber), plus a fruit. Zesty ingredients like lemon or ginger can mask the green while adding great flavor. Use our recipe collection as a guide.
11. What do I do with leftovers if I make too much juice?
Well, the best solution is to make smaller quantities. But I personally love making extra. As I mentioned earlier, you can store fresh juice in a mason jar and keep it cold until you’re ready to drink more. If you have a masticating juicer or a twin gear juicer, it
12. My juicer keeps jamming. What should I do?
Are you cutting your produce up into small enough pieces before juicing it? Even centrifugal juicers (which have nice, wide mouths) will jam if you stuff whole beets or apples in them. And remember that greens can give your juicer a hard time, so try to follow them up with something watery, like cucumber or apple (for more on this see). Most jams are caused when we’re simply in too big of a rush. Take your time and don’t force the plunger too hard. Let the machine do the work.
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