Smoothies VS. Juices
What's the difference?
Smoothies are used with a blender. You blend fruits and/or vegetables with water to get a smoothie. Juices are used with a juicer - an appliance that separates the juice from the pulp of fruits and vegetables. My experiences have led me to be a Blender/Smoothie Girl, although I do make juice now and then. I'll explain why I am, but first let's take a look at the Pros and Cons of both methods.
Fast: You place chopped fruits/vegetables and water into your blender and let it run for a few minutes. Then, you rinse your blender and you are done!
Simple: Since you are using the whole fruit/vegetable, you can only fit so much into your blender. When it is full - you are ready to blend! And there is usually only one component to clean with a blender, the canister that holds the smoothie.
Inexpensive: If you blend one apple with water, you can get up to 8 ounces of smoothie. The cost of that apple is minimal and the water is usually free = inexpensive drink/meal.
Fruity: You can enjoy tons of fruit in your smoothies, since the soluble fiber slows the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream into an even increase of energy.
Longevity: Since you blended the whole food, the fiber helps to protect the fragile nutrients, which means that it can last longer without losing nutrition. I usually recommend that you drink your smoothie in 36 hours of less, if it stays refrigerated.
Convenient: Making a smoothie full of fruits/vegetables is far faster than sitting down and chewing the same amount of produce.
Easier To Digest: Solid food needs to be broken down. Even if you chew your food remarkably well (and most of us do not), you still may not break down the fiber or cellulose of the green leafy vegetables as well as a blender does. Blending does the work that our jaws should do and the nutrition is available immediately. You receive more nutrition to absorb and your digestive system has far less to do. Instead of breaking down large chunks of food, it simply is absorbed, assimilated, and passes through.
It's Great For Children: A blended smoothie that tastes like fruit but has hidden leafy greens gets more nutrition into your children that may not have eaten a salad with spinach.
Satiety: All that fiber and juice combined in your belly keeps you full longer. While it slows down digestion slightly, it helps the hungry feeling stay away.
Blender Quality: makes a difference. In order to have a smooth texture, a high speed blender will do the best job. The Vitamix is my personal favorite (See the bottom of this post for the best deal!) and is the best machine I've used so far (I've already written a blog about it here: http://www.livingrawbygrace.com/1/post/2012/07/vitamix-vsblendtec-vs-healthmaster-vs-ninja.html)
Drink Slowly: If you drink it too fast, it will sit and ferment in your belly/gut, causing gas and bloating. Take your time, chew while you drink,
Texture: Some people find that the texture of smoothies is difficult to palate - too thick or pulpy. I usually tell people that they need to add more water if this is an issue, but I hear it every now and then.
Even Easier to Digest: Due to the lack of fiber in the juice - there is little to nothing to digest and your body can utilize the nutrients even easier.
Even More Nutrition: You get very large amounts of vitamins and minerals, due to the amount of produce that goes into the juice. You would not be able to eat this much produce in anywhere near the same amount of time.
Convenient: This is a great way to get the most amount of nutrition into your body without having to eat all the food all day long. It's difficult to put away several pound of green leafy vegetables in one sitting, but very easy to drink them and get the same nutrition.
Healing: Due to the high amount of vitamins and minerals - you are able to get nutrition where your body needs it most. Green Cabbage juice has been shown in studies to heal stomach ulcers on contact!
Expensive: Due to the amount of produce needed to create juice, you can spend a lot of money on one glass of juice. Quality Juicers are also expensive as well.
Time Consuming: Each piece of produce needs to be fed through the juicer separately, which takes time. Cleanup is also a lengthy procedure, as there are multiple pieces of the juicer to take apart and clean. Cleanup needs to happen immediately or the juicer will begin to degrade over time.
Spike in Blood Sugar: The soluble fiber of fruits and vegetables slows the absorption of sugar into your blood stream. Juicing, unlike blending, removes that fiber so when you drink a juice that is high in fruit - your blood sugar will spike and then crash. When juicing for yourself, make your juices vegetable heavy, with small amounts of fruit. Your body will thank you later.
Short Shelf Life: The soluble fiber in your food also helps protect from oxidation and degradation. When you juice fruits and vegetables, you need to drink that juice almost immediately. The more expensive the juicer, the better it preserves nutrition. There are a few juicers out there (usually commercial grade) that preserve the nutrition so the nutrition is still available 2-3 days later. That being said, always try to drink your juice as soon as possible - you'll simply get more nutrition.
Wasteful: All that pulp that was extracted? Yeah, most people just throw that away. There is good nutrition in there, but after you juice...there is no purpose for it. Now there are recipes out there that you can use the pulp in...but that's a lot more work
Soooooo....should you juice or should you blend? I say, both! I juice on occasion and blend nearly every day. I will always be a blender girl simply because it's faster, cheaper, easier, and sweeter. I definitely have a sweet tooth! That being said, I absolutely adore a fresh juice now and then. My husband prefers the taste and consistency of juices so he consumes more, and he also needs less sweet than I do.
Now, if you are looking to begin blending, I recommend the Vitamix. It simply is an amazing machine for the money. I always recommend reconditioned machines. You get a brand new container with a motor that has been refurbished to be like new for half the price of the new ones. You can get a 64 oz container & base for $329. If you put in this code when you check out, you get free shipping ($25 savings!): 06-005351.
As for juicers, I love my slow masticating juicer. It takes a little longer, but you get a better juice than centrifugal juicers and you get less waste - I love not throwing away a ton of pulp. I started with a Breville, but have since moved onto a Hurom. Love it! Here's a blog I wrote about my adventures in juicing: http://www.livingrawbygrace.com/1/post/2013/06/my-juicing-adventures.html
While I juice now and then, I'd much rather just buy some fresh, cold pressed, raw juice. I found an amazing local company does all the work, buys all the ORGANIC produce, uses an amazing juicer that preserves the nutrition for several days, AND figures out how to make it delicious every time. Sounds like a steal! Local Organica - AND they deliver! :) http://www.localorganica.com/
I hadn't orginially planned on doing The Juice Cleanse with my clients, but my husband REALLY wanted to do it and I wanted to support him, and it's always easier to Cleanse/Detox with someone. It helps that I teamed up with LOCAL ORGANICA (a local juice company) to provide the juices for the cleanse. Two of the reasons that I'm not an avid juicer are the time and expense. Having the juice already prepared for me saved me at least an hour a day of juicing - yay! When it comes to making juice, I use cheap ingredients because it takes so much to make so little juice. Having a provider use local organic produce to make my juice = dream come true. I'm pretty sure I would have spent more on produce for those three days if I had bought all the produce organic on my own. I'm sure they have wholesalers and can buy it at cost. AND - they make this amazing nut milk that I designed for the dinner "juice" to fill up and provide the protein that people so desperately crave. Bonuses left and right!
So If I'm going to Cleanse...I need goals. If you have no goals, then when the going gets tough - you give up. My goals for this week are to lose 5 pounds (the holidays are hard on everyone! ;), get back into running (holiday hiatus was longer than originally intended), fit into clothes better (some of my pants are a little more snug than they should be), less bloating (my digestion has been all off for weeks!), more energy (the afternoon slump has come hard lately), shinier hair (it's been dry lately!) and skin (need lots of lotion lately - although that could be just winter).
The first day of The 5/3 Juice Cleanse is a Green Smoothie for breakfast and then delicious raw recipes to ease into the 3 days of juicing. Since I created the program and I'm a Raw Chef...my husband is spoiled because I can make anything I desire. I picked relatively easy recipes for the program so that anyone can make them.
Unfortunately....I ran out of time because I had to teach a class tonight. So my intake for today was 64 ounces of smoothie, 5 cuties for lunch and I ran out of the house before I had a chance to make dinner....so my husband made us a salad. Oops! That's okay, he makes wonderful salads and I had a couple bananas with some Almond Bliss for my dessert. All in all - great day. Well, kind of normal for me. ;)
I ran for 2 miles today - yay!
Weigh in: 119.3
Juices are different for me, I'm such a Green Smoothie Girl, that this something to look forward to. I don't really enjoy the juicing process, so having them in the fridge rocks. Six juices each day is perfect, but juicing six times each day?! No thanks!
The Green Juice is amazing - definitely woke me up this morning. Local Organica has really great blends. There is no way I'd get that much green leafies into a juice...so expensive and time consuming! "Get Your Motor Running" - deliciously pineapply. Lemon to the Aid - ouch! This is the hardest to get through...the lemon juice is tough on my system. The Beet Juice was refreshing, and I LOVED the Nut Mylk. Those who are doing the Do-It-Yourself 5/3 Juice Cleanse don't have this amazing privilege. I wish I could teach everyone how to make nut milk for their dinner...its such a refreshing change and tastes so good!
I was high and crashing all day - lots of energy, no energy - most likely due to the sugar content of some of the juices. I'm sore from my run yesterday, but worked out anyway.
I swam 12 laps today - yay! My kids get to play and I exercise without feeling exercisey. :)
Weigh in: 118.0
Starting to get hungry and miss food today. I'm so glad I made this only three days of juice - I cannot wait for solids on Friday.
I get so much energy after the Green Juice. It feels like a straight buzz! If caffeine had any serious effect on me, which it doesn't, I think it would feel like this. I might have to order some "It's a Green Thing" from Local Organica during the week just for this amazing feeling! The "Lemon to the Aid" is tough to get down - I didn't finish todays. I tried to space it out today, mixed up the order, but still tough to drink it all. I'm not sure if it's the lemon juice or the cayenne pepper but it seems to be just me. My husband loves it and one of my clients thinks it is her favorite.
Speaking of clients - I love that I can share my experiences with them while we all go through this together. A lot of my group for this Cleanse has done the 7 Day Green Smoothie Detox with me before so we are old friends and they appreciate the Juicing difference as well. I love hearing their enthusiasm and excitement about how they feel and how delicious the juices are and how much they can't wait to share with their friends and family.
Unfortunately, because I didn't originally plan to go through the detox personally, I had to teach a class tonight.
It was my FAVORITE class of all time and I couldn't eat any of it. That was tough. That being said, I was strong, I drank two juices while there, and other than the desire to enjoy what I know is delicious...it didn't have the pull I was expecting. The bonus side? I brought some raw Strawberry Swirl Cheezecake home to enjoy on Friday when I'm eating solid food again, and I have all the components for my amazing Nori Rolls. Yay!
I did 60 squats today!
Weigh in: 116.2
I knew that I had been having problems with the Lemon to the Aid so I didn't even try them. I didn't drink my Beet from last night as I was full enough, so doubled that instead. It worked out perfectly! I did what I'm always telling my clients - give it a go for a few days and if you still have problems, make adjustments. Done!
Today my mental clarity was amazing. It's the one thing I only get with juicing. The third day of juicing truly is amazing. I couldn't stop working, ideas were flowing perfectly, I got so much done and didn't want to stop! When I do my 7 Day Green Smoothie Detox I get more mental clarity - but nothing like this. This is a whole new level. This can be addictive! ;)
I ran 3 miles today - awesome!
Weigh in: 115.1 (This is the weight I find healthy for me. I could stop here, but I know that there is a pound or two of water weight to take into consideration)
Yay! Solid Food Day!
My smoothie was so filling this morning! I usually drink at least 64 ounces of smoothie a day. Today it took me from 8am until 1pm to drink all of it. Usually I'm done and ready for solids around 11am. When I realized how small my stomach had become, I knew that my plans for the day (Nori Rolls & Cheezecake) would need to be pushed back. I enjoyed some water rich fruit for lunch - grapes, oranges, and pineapple. Yum! I chewed as much as I could to help my body process it better. I'm usually an inhaler of food so it took some serious consideration to chew as much as I could.
Dinner was just one Nori Roll cut into five pieces and a small sliver of Cheezecake - awesome and totally worth the wait, by the way - and then I was stuffed for the rest of the night. Whew, shrunken stomach!
No work out for the day. Just a day of rest. :)
Weigh in: 114.4
Ahhh, now that was a pleasant, easy, fast week! Usually cleanses/detox programs seem to inch by. I'm looking forward to doing that again in a few months! I usually detoxify my body quarterly. I still eat food covered in pesticide and herbicides (I wish I could do all organic, but I'm not rich and famous yet!), drink Phoenix water and breathe Phoenix air, wear toxic makeup, am in places where they use toxic cleaning chemicals...toxins build up in my system no matter how clean I eat.
So, how was the week for me? Were my goals realized? You bet!!!! I lost 6 pounds - perfect - I'll gain at least 2-3 back just from water weight within the first couple days. Ahhh, the joys of being a woman. ;) My clothes fit better but could still be better - I think that was more my haitus from exercise than my diet, though...gotta get fit! Bloating, gone. Energy, increased! Hair and skin are glowing - I've had three people remark on them, so I trust that they have improved. Yay! Things I hadn't expected - increased mental clarity, emotional stabilization, better lung capacity, and a new friend in Local Organica. :)
I also, like many of my clients, love a body that I've put effort and expense into cleaning out. So...keeping it clean - let's do that! ;) Wonderful experience! I love my 7 Day Detox Program - so easy and inexpensive. I love my 5/3 Juice Cleanse - so delicious and quick. What a great opportunity that I wish everyone would take advantage of.
About the Blogger
Haley is passionate about Raw Food and how God has used it to heal her. She loves to share what she knows with anyone who is curious, and finds herself talking to everyone around her about her lifestyle.