Recently I asked you, my readers to submit questions about juicing so that I could better help you in your juicing journey. I received many great questions -thank you- and I’ve compiled them into the top 10 most asked questions.
Juice Cleansing FAQ
Q. Do I leave the peel on my fruits and veggies when juicing? And what about the seeds?
A. Generally, if you buy organic produce you can leave the peel intact. Non-organic foods should be peeled or at least washed thoroughly. You can make your own vegetable wash with this recipe. Citrus fruits should be peeled because the rind tastes bitter and may contain pesticides, but you can leave the white pith. Many seeds can be left in the fruit and put through the juicer. Hard “pit” seeds such as peach, plum, and cherry must be removed first. Apple seeds do contain a small amount of a cyanide compound, which the body can easily detox in small amounts. Juice machines do break open the seeds which can release the compound. If this is a concern for you, then you can core the apple before juicing.
Q. Can I make a pitcher of juice and store it for the day?
A. The vitamins and nutrients in juice can oxidize or decrease over time so it is ideal to drink the juice right away. The presence of light and oxygen speed up this process, but you can slow it down by keeping the juice in the refrigerator. Be sure to use an airtight container (preferably opaque or dark in color) that is not much larger than the amount of juice and store it for up to 24 hours.
Q. How many days do I have to drink the juices?
A. If you are attempting a juice cleanse (juice fast) and have never done so before you may want to try a 1-day cleanse. It’s a quick way to get your body used to the schedule of fasting. The most common cleanses last 3, 5, or 7 days. This is plenty of time for your body to eliminate standard toxins built up in the body. You can do these short cleanses periodically throughout the year. If you would like to attempt a longer cleanse, please enlist the help of a health professional to monitor your health and progress for safety reasons.
Q. Do I drink the juice all day or can I eat something such as raw foods when I get hungry?
A. The reason for not eating during a juice cleanse is so that the colon does not use energy to digest new foods entering the body, but instead removes the built up foods and toxins that have not previously been absorbed by the body. The reason for drinking juice is to give the body nutrients without digestible material. There are some modified versions of the juice cleanse which allow minimal amounts of food, but this would be considered more of a maintenance diet and not a true fast.
Q. Can I use a blender?
A. A blender is different from a juicer. Blenders do not remove the fiber from the juice, therefore your body is digesting food. The point of a juice cleanse is to relieve the body from digesting for a few days. I recommend buying a juice machine, however you may blend your foods and strain them through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth to manually remove the fiber.
Q. Can I use just one recipe for my entire cleanse or should I mix in different vegetables and fruits?
A. It is best to mix up the recipes for a couple of reasons. First you may get bored drinking the same juice all day for several days. Also your body requires a lot of different vitamins and minerals to maintain optimal health. By trying different veggies and fruits in your recipes you’ll be giving your body balanced nutrition.
Q. Is it possible to do the juice cleanse with a majority of fruits instead of veggies?
A. I recommend a vegetable based juice cleanse. Fruits can be great in limited quantities, but fruits speed up the detoxifying process and can make your cleanse symptoms (shakes, headaches) feel worse.
Q. How do you get enough liquid from the leafy vegetables?
A. Some of the leafy vegetable just don’t have that much juice in them. However the juice that is there is very powerful so don’t dismiss them altogether. To get the best yield out of the leafy greens try rolling them to compact the leaves or wrapping them around a cucumber or carrot. Making them “bulkier” may help to get more juice. If you are getting serious about juicing you may want to check out a masticating juicer. This type of juice machine “chews” the food at slower speed and may work better on the leafy vegetables. Check out my juice machine guide for more info.
Q. If I went on a juice cleanse, where would my protein come from?
A. Vegetables DO contain protein. For example spinach has about 1g of protein per cup and broccoli has about 2g per cup. Typically as a society we consume too many proteins and we’re conditioned to believe that we will not survive with less. You will. But if you are concerned about proteins you can add a powdered spirulina/wheatgrass type supplement to your juice.
Q. How much weight will I lose on a five day juice fast?
A. You may lose some weight during a juice fast. The amount will vary per person but the average is about one pound per day on a five day fast. Much of this is simply retained water and built up food matter in the colon. To maintain the weight loss it is important to stick to a routine of healthy eating, exercise, and periodic cleansing.