Juicing mistakes aren’t a subject that’s discussed often. But they’re as important to know about as the benefits of juicing are.
After all, they’re so easy to make. Especially if you, like me, love to juice. As you know, I’m an avid juicer and I juiced any which way I pleased for a really long time. That is, ’til I learned that as simple and enjoyable as juicing is, there are several little rules that can enhance a juicing experience – like avoiding the most common juicing mistakes that can cripple the health benefits of juicing.
9 Most Common Juicing Mistakes
Below you’ll find a list of juicing mistakes I’ve made and learned from as well as juicing mistakes I’ve noticed other juicing friends make. So if you’ve noticed weight gain from juicing or another unpleasant juicing side effect like nausea and gas – chances are, you’ve been guilty of one of the below juicing mistakes.
The good news is that once you know what’s up, they’re simple to correct and will make your juicing journey that much more enjoyable!
Here’s how to NOT juice…
Loading Up On the Sweet Stuff
This is by far the most common juicing mistake and it’s so easy to make since, well, sweet is yummy. Which is why most of us start our juicing journey with the sweetest produce we can get our hands on. Like tons and tons of fruit. And the sweetest of the vegetables like carrots and beets.
While these sweet fruits and vegetables have nutritional benefits, by juicing them, we are removing the fiber which paces how quickly we’re able to consume the sugars found in these sweet foods. This means you can quickly end up drinking more sugar than is good for you.
Natural sugars, like those found in fruit, are not as bad as processed sugars, but sugar is still sugar and too much of it is not beneficial for your health nor your waistline.
How to Solve It: Use sweet fruits and vegetables to your advantage by adding just a bit of it to sweeten low-calorie, low-sugar, high-nutrition vegetable juices. That little it of sweet fruit goes a long way to please your taste buds! Also, there are a bunch of delicious low sugar fruits you can take advantage of to keep sugar at a minimum!
Juicing the Same Old Stuff
A wise woman once said, Routine is the route to boredom.
Okay, I said that. But it is quite true.
Falling into a routine, especially with what we eat, is a surefire way of selling yourself short on nutritional benefits and putting a damper on what could be a very fun and experimental juicing experience.
Yet, it’s so easy to fall into juicing the same old things, which is what makes this one of the most common juicing mistakes that absolutely every juicer has made at some point in their juicing journey.
Diversity is key to healthy juicing as consuming a wide range of fruits and vegetables ensure you’re getting the unique benefits of each kind of produce and supplying your body with a balanced profile of vitamins and minerals. Not to mention that juicing the same old stuff over and over again could lead to not-so-great consequences like turning orange or overdoing it on alkaloids or other phytotoxins.
How to Solve It: Rotate your fruits and vegetables!
Drinking Juice After You’re Full
This is probably one of the most common juicing mistakes. I used to do this. After all, since fruit and vegetables juices are so healthy, why shouldn’t I have them before and after my meals, as both an appetizer and a dessert?
Because it leads to indigestion and occasionally even heartburn. Plus, drinking fresh juice on a full stomach handicaps its nutritional powers.
How to Solve It: Drink your fresh juice on an empty stomach. This ensures that the vital vitamins and minerals in the fresh juice can quickly be absorbed into your bloodstream rather than sitting atop undigested food residue in your stomach, waiting to be processed and dying a slow death.
Downing Your Juice Like a Shot of Cheap Tequila
Or vodka. Or any liquid you’re trying to ram down as fast as possible without tasting what it has to offer.
Fresh juice is worth tasting! And swishing around in your mouth. Not only does this give you time to savor the fresh taste of fruits and vegetables, but it also gives your saliva enzymes the chance to start digesting your juice before it works your way into your stomach.
How to Solve It: Remember that digestion begins in the mouth and be sure to let your saliva get to work on your fresh juice! Swish it around and then swallow. That simple step will maximize digestion and ensure you get all the key nutrients from your precious juice.
Drinking Only Juice Instead of Meals
Fresh juice is damn tasty. And easy to make. And super nutritious. But it is not a meal substitute – it’s more of a supplement.
Fresh fruit and vegetable juice contain tons of vital vitamins and minerals, but the truth is, your body needs more than that. It also needs protein, fiber, and healthy fats – which fresh fruits and vegetables usually can not provide enough of on their own.
How to Solve It: Unless you’re on a short juice fast or juice cleanse, don’t treat juice as a long-term meal replacement. Instead, use it as a potent health supplement by drinking fresh juice in the morning to provide your body with a nutritional energy boost.
Or drink a cup of fresh juice 20 to 30 minutes before a meal to give your body ample vitamins and nutrients and help cut down on cravings during your actual meal. You’ll end up making smarter meal choices and even eating less.
Choosing the Wrong Juicer
This is such a common juicing mistake since most of us don’t know what is the best juicer for us until we actually start juicing (usually with the wrong juicer)!
And choosing the wrong juicer can take so many different forms: buying the cheapest juicer when you’re concerned about juice quality, buying a top-of-the-line slow juicer when you’re perpetually short on time and looking for something convenient, getting a juicer more suited to soft fruits when you’d prefer to be juicing leafy greens, opting for a convenient centrifugal juicer when you don’t have time to juice daily and want to store your juices for at least a few days, and on and on it goes.
How to Solve It: Do a little poking around before you invest in a juicer machine. But instead of reading about all the various bells and whistles of a juicer or perusing complicated comparison charts, start by asking yourself what you need in a juicer. Here’s an easy guide to help you pick the best juicer in 5 minutes or less!
Skipping the Cleaning After Juicing
You prep, you juice, and you drink. So easy and fulfilling, but what’s that? Clean the juicer? Eh. It can wait.
I cannot recall the number of times I’ve done the above. I enjoy the juicing process, but cleaning up is not something I’m too fond of. Yet it must be done, as I learned the hard way.
How to Solve It: A simple rinse after juicing takes virtually no effort and will save you that load of time you’ll have to spend later scrubbing dried-up food residue off the nooks and crannies of your juicer machine.
Here’s some time-saving cleaning tips for those of us who enjoy juicing a lot more than cleaning:
- When juicing on a time crunch: Fill a basin with clean water a half cup of vinegar and toss all your juicer machine parts in there to soak. When you find time, all you’ll have to do is rinse the parts and you’re done.
- Get an easy-to-clean juicer machine.
- Pre-wash and prep all your fruits and vegetables in advance.
Not Drinking Your Juice Straight Away
The oxidation process begins as soon as you juice your fruits and vegetables. Your juicer machine breaks down the cell walls of these nutrient-rich foods and the vitamins, enzymes, minerals, and phytonutrients are exposed to air. Thus begins the oxidation process.
How quickly your fresh juice will oxidize and lose its valuable nutrients and enzymes depends on the type of juicer machine you’re using. Centrifugal juicers cause the fastest degradation to juice so if you’re juicing with one of those, plan to drink that juice as soon as possible, within a few hours.
For those juicing with slow masticating juicers, twin gear juicers, or Norwalk press juicers, the story is a little different since these juicers don’t disturb the cellular structure of the produce being juiced and thus, do a better job of preserving enzymes and nutrients from oxidation.
‘Though juice is always best consumed as fresh as possible, you can actually store fresh juice made from slow masticating or twin gear juicers for up to 24 to 48 hours and juice made from press juicers can last up to 72 hours. It’s not recommended to store juice made from centrifugal juicers.
How to Solve It: Drink your juice as soon as you can! If you plan making a batch of fresh juice and storing it for a few days to come, make sure you get the best juicer possible.
Juicing Too Much, Too Soon
This one is particularly important, especially when you’re transitioning over from a diet full of mostly processed foods. When a colleague of mine first found out about juicing, she was positively juiced (no pun intended). In her new fervor, she started shopping at farmer’s markets, buying cartons of fresh produce each time. She was glowing, happy, and energetic.
But pretty soon, her beautiful skin began to breakout. Badly. She was nearly 40 at this time and couldn’t believe she was re-living her puberty skin!
The thing about juicing is that it supplies your body with a huge amount of vital nutrients, vitamins, and enzymes – stuff that your body is not used to when you’re transitioning from a life of mostly processed foods. You can experience detox symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and even acne during this period while your body tries to purge itself of accumulated toxins.
How to Solve It: Some people can experience various detox symptoms when transitioning from a processed-foods diet to one of fresh fruits and vegetables.
While unpleasant, these symptoms are usually short-lived. The key is to take it slow when you’re first starting to give your body a chance to acclimitize to the new nutrition provided and listen to your body to gauge whether the symptoms you’re experiencing are detox-related or indicative of something else, like sensitivity to something you’re juicing or an underlying health condition.
Start slow, start small, and then juice your heart out!