Monday, July 13, 2009

Did You Have Your Juice Today?

One of the lovely readers wanted more info about juicing not that I need an excuse to wax evangelical about juicing, here goes. I'll review my best juicing information and tips and then I'll provide some links for more information. Here's a link to my blog posts with the label "juicing for health."

I use the Jack Lalanne Power Juicer. I got it at Costco for around $90. I love my machine and buying it at Costco makes it risk free because of their fantastic return/replacement policy. The Power Juicer is easy to use, easy to assemble/break down and easy to clean. Of course there will be an adjustment period but it's so part of my routine now that it really only takes about 5 minutes, if that, to clean. I always save the produce bags from the market to line the receptacle. That way I never have to clean it, just toss the bag of pulp away or save it for baking. I use hot running water and a soapy sponge for all the parts and give the basket a quick brushing with a soft brush.

I buy the best produce I can afford. Sometimes organic, sometimes not. There is a weekly cost associated with buying pounds of produce but the cost of not getting them into your body is far greater. Lisa says that it's money she and her husband won't be spending on doctors and prescription medications in the future. Damn straight! The juicer also helps me to waste nothing. Any fruit or veg that didn't get eaten when it was supposed to goes right in the juicer even if it's a bit over its peak. Just trim off anything that looks suspect and in it goes.

I make about 32 ounces of juice per day, that's one 16-ounce glass each for me and my husband. It took me awhile to figure out the proportions of how much produce will yield that much juice. And sometimes I end up with a little more or less depending on the actual fruits/veg.

Dark leafy greens are the foundation of my juices. I buy pre-washed spinach, kale or turnip greens for convenience though you can get greens at farmer's markets very cheaply if you don't mind washing them yourself. If I buy beets to cook or juice, I'll use the greens in the juicer, they are delicious and loaded with health bennies.

Once a week I soak all the produce in the sink with produce wash and water. I give everything a good scrub, a good rinse, then I divide it up into the bags. This 20-30 minutes once a week saves me much time in the morning. I just grab the bag, juice it, drink it, wash up and go.

Here's what I buy in a typical week:
3-4 large bags of greens
5 pounds of carrots
2 bunches of celery, not hearts, the whole bunches
7 large or 14 small apples (whatever is on sale or looks best)
7 lemons or limes
about a pound of root ginger
and this varies: beets, zucchini, fennel, summer squash, cucumbers, bell peppers depending on my mood and what looks good.

What if it doesn't taste good? (Grow up, this isn't pre-school, not everything has to taste like marshmallow peeps and chocolate muchkins.) Ahem, I tend to avoid anything that's too cabbage-y which can cause the juice to be bitter. If I use cabbage or broccoli, I use very small amounts, but you'll learn what you like with some experimentation. Add an apple, a whole lemon or lime (rind, pith and all) and lots of root ginger and I guarantee your juice will taste light and refreshing. Freshly pressed juice is loaded with nutrients that your body and mind will feel it.

Is it easier to just open a bottle and pour your juice? Sure it is. But why bother, you're only getting empty calories and God only know what else. The small time investment of juicing fresh whole vegetables and fruit has a payoff far greater than a few minutes a day. V-8 or Tropicana will not give you the same health benefits and vital energy and freshly pressed juice.

Buy a juicer and start juicing on weekends only. My juicer came with some good information and recipes. Buy just the produce needed for a couple of the recipes and try it out. Keep trying recipes until you find out what you really like or try out the recipes for any particular health conditions you'd like to remedy. Twice a week is better than none and then branch out and gradually build up to 5-7 days a week. If you're not eating your nine servings of fruit and vegetables a day, juicing is the fastest, easiest and best tasting way to get the nutrition into your body.

Juicing: your key to radiant health. If you're not getting Dr. Mercola's newsletter, you're really missing out. Sure he's a bit radical for me, but the bulk of information on his site is priceless.

Can juicing really lead to happiness? I say hell to the yeah, but read the article for more info.

Cherie Calbom is the juice lady. I'm currently reading her Juicing for Life book. I'll post a proper review when I get back into it (my boss gave me her copy of the latest in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, so everything else is on the back burner.)

If you took time to read the above novel, I thank you. If you have any questions or comments, as always, feel free.


  1. wow, this is great--good stuff! ask and it is given!! :) i read the entire post, but plan to revisit tonight to read through all the links. i really appreciate the time it took you to write this, and for including the picture -- it's great to have visuals. :)

  2. Today was my first day back to juicing after almost a month off of it! I feel better already! Extra ginger today!

  3. It was my pleasure, lL!

    Booch, is that you? Always have to have the extra ginger!

  4. Hi Andra,

    Thanks for the juicing tips. I normally by V8 vegetable juice but now you have me thinking about creating my own juices. I'm Hua, the director of Wellsphere's HealthBlogger Network, a network of over 2,000 of the best health writers on the web (including doctors, nurses, healthy living professionals, and expert patients). I think your blog would be a great addition to the Network, and I'd like to invite you to learn more about it and apply to join at Once approved by our Chief Medical Officer, your posts will be republished on Wellsphere where they will be available to over 5 million monthly visitors who come to the site looking for health information and support. There’s no cost and no extra work for you! The HealthBlogger page ( provides details about participation, but if you have any questions please feel free to email me at


  5. Just wanted to follow-up and let you know that I'm dusting off the juicer this weekend, and going to Sam's Club to pick up my produce! (Thanks so much for the detailed list of items that I'll be needing!!) I'll let you know how it goes, but I'm really hoping to have some yummy green lemonades to drink every morning next week. I also bought one of those Blender Bottles from WFM that I've always had my eye on--just for a little more motivation. Woohoo!!

  6. hi andra... i just found your blog and devoured it. i'm currently 218 and wishing to get back to my prepregnancy weight of 160. my child is almost 2!!!! just the word diet seems to make me binge. after your blog i have ordered the jack lalanne juicer and its due at the end of the week. i was wondering if you could put some exact recipes up to try. i hate to saw i'm unfamiliar with some veggies.. beets, ginger. very new to me. i LOVE your approach to weight loss.. being healthy.. NO DIETS! great job!

  7. Andra, was wondering, wouldn't it be more beneficial for our bodies to eat the fruits and veggies? the benefit of all that raw fiber in our system? I'm really tempted to start juicing after reading your blog posts about it..... i LOVE me some raw carrot juice!

    as for putting a bag of spinach in the juicer, I love me some spinach. Shouldn't I just eat the spinach instead of juicing it? Could you write me back and let me know, either at or commenting here. Thanks so much for your help Andra!! :D