I often get the question from clients whether they should be juicing or smoothie-ing.
And my answer is BOTH.
They both have their benefits, and they both have their time and place. It’s kind of like your date outfit and your work outfit. You wouldn’t want to wear you killer black dress that shows a bit of what your mama gave you to your work meeting, now would you? Well, same thing goes for juices and smoothies.
When to juice:
Juicing is great 30 minutes to an hour BEFORE you eat. Yes, eating real food is kind of important, that is why (unless you are on a juice fast, but to be honest I’m not a fan of those) you shouldn’t rely on juice for all of your nutrients.
Juicing allows your body to soak nutrients directly into your bloodstream, as all the fiber has been removed. But because the fiber has been removed, the glycemic load is super high, meaning the sugar is quickly absorbed by your body and raises your blood sugar levels. That is why you often get a high after drinking a glass of juice. Because of this, juice can be (in moderation) a great alternative to caffeine. That said, you don’t want to juice all day long because it will keep your blood sugar levels up which can throw your hormones out of whack. Which brings me to another point, and it’s really important so listen up:
When juicing, you should focus on the veggies. Save the fruits for the smoothie or for a snack.
However, it is okay to juice a few low glycemic fruits to sweeten the taste of your veggie juice. The golden rule is 1 part fruit to 3 parts vegetable. An example would be an apple with celery, kale, lemon, beet, and ginger root (click HERE for a list of low glycemic fruits).
As for veggies to juice, think rainbow foods. I recommend as many dark green leafy vegetables as possible. Beets, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli stems, ginger root, and celery are excellent as well. Buy your produce fresh and juice within three days. A great way to keep your leafy greens fresh is to rinse right before consuming. Another trick is to line your refrigerator’s crisper drawer with paper towels to absorb excess moisture, which will keep them fresh longer.
Click HERE to read all the benefits of juicing.
When to get your smoothie on:
Smoothies are great for meals. Eat one for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and if made correctly they can give you everything you need. Because you are blending, all the fiber stays in tact to your fruit and vegetables, so you are still getting all that precious fiber.
Many times I have clients telling me they have a breakfast smoothie in the morning, but it just doesn’t fill them up. I ask them what they put in their smoothie, and the answer usually is something like this:
Lots of fruit, more fruit, dairy- free milk, ice.
Ummmm yeah. I can see why that is not filling you up. Plus, holy sugar! I’m sure they’re buzzing after their brekkie, but then crashing super hard after an hour.
To make a smoothie a well-rounded meal it needs these 5 things:
- A healthy fat- Think avocado, almond butter, coconut oil.
- Fiber- chia seeds, ground flax seeds, or a fiber powder.
- Protein- I’m a fan of Vega Sport Vanilla, but there are tons on the market. Just make sure they are not full of franken- ingredients, soy and sugar.
- Dairy free milk, water, or coconut water for the base
*Bonus if you put something fermented in there like kefir or yogurt!
Okay guys, now that you know what’s up in regards to smoothies and juices, start juicing and blending to your heart’s content! And remember, go green!
Health Coach Jenna