Juices or Smoothies: To juice or to blend?…is a question that I get a lot from clients, blog readers and Facebook friends.
What’s the difference? Which one is healthier? What kind of machine do I need for what? Does it require a lot of complicated piecing together and cleaning of equipment? Don’t these pricey machines just clutter up the kitchen? Does anyone actually use them?
Let me tell you a little story: My journey began with juicing. My brother Charlie lived with me a few years ago and had bought himself a super duper expensive juicer (designed by Porsche I believe. Go figure). I was happy to sip on any juice he made but drew the line at making my own as he lost me at step 2 of the clean up process. Things that need to be plugged in usually cause me some sort of increased heart palpitation or brow sweat, especially if there’s more than 1-2 steps to the whole process. Anyway. Charlie went on holiday one day and when he came back, I declared “I’ve made friends with the juicer”. You should have seen the proud smile on Charlie’s face. I don’t know how we became friends, who made the first move etc, but the result was that I learnt to LOVE juices. Charlie moved out, taking said juicer with him. My love, Dominic moved in. We bought our own juicer . Not as expensive as the Porsche cousin but still does the job nicely 2 years on. We also bought a blender. My loyalties are split. No favouritism in this household. We tend to juice more during the Summer and Spring and prefer to blend more in the Autumn and Winter. Personal choice and there’s no real hard and fast rule about it.
So you see, I know what it’s like to hesitate for ages about trying something new and finally incorporating it as one of THE most sacred parts of your daily routine.
Here’s the low down on the benefits & differences of juicing and blending so that you can get started:
juicing is the method by which the juice (funnily enough) is extracted from fruit / vegetables. The pulp and fiber are discarded (you can use these in veggie burgers, as pizza topping etc)
pure juice means that there are no solids for the digestive system to break down, making the nutrients immediately accessible to the body – a shot of health in a glass
juicing is the most efficient way to fast-track a boost of nutrients into your body in one go
juicing allows you to ingest a lot more fruit and vegetables than you otherwise would in one day, let alone one sitting (imagine chewing – properly – on the amount of fruit and vege that you pop in your juicer – e.g. 2 green apples, 3 stalks broccoli, 1/2 fennel, cauliflower greens, 1 inch ginger, 1 stick celery . If you have a job, a family to look after, or even just a life and things to do, it’s impossible)
blending basically breaks up the whole fruit/vegetable including the fiber and pulp
Fiber acts like an internal janitor – sweeping your bowels of debris so that waste leaves your body rather than hanging around, fermenting and causing all sorts of trouble
blending basically pre-chews the ingredients for you by breaking up the cellulose membrane that you would otherwise have to spend hours chewing (properly, like a horse or a cow, properly grinding it with your molars) so that you have better access to the nutrients and these are more readily absorbed by the body
You need a juicer (on the left) to juice and a blender (on the right – all in one with food processor) to make smoothies. These marvelous pieces of equipment cannot be interchanged (ie. you cannot make a smoothie in a blender and vice versa). You can see from our blender that you don’t need to start off with super duper equipment. Ideally you want a blender that is made of glass to avoid as much contact with plastic as possible. However, whatever you have is fine.
If you’re after extra fiber or a super healthy energy filled snack, breakfast or occasional meal replacement, smoothies are the way to go.
If you’re after a shot of energy and nutrients or some deeper cellular cleansing, juices are the beverage of choice.
Note: juice is basically just water and sugar so if you have blood sugar issues you probably want to stick to smoothies. The fiber in smoothies slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, helping to stabilise blood sugar levels. You could also dilute your juices with pure water.
Both are a wonderfully healthy additions to a healthy lifestyle.
Most of us don’t chew our food properly which greatly reduces absorption of nutrients. Both juices and smoothies are easy ways to get a boost of nutrients in your bod pod on a daily basis in a way that is easy for your body to utilise.
You still need to chew both juices and smoothies. It might look a little daft but there’s a good reason: digestion begins in the mouth. Swirling and chewing these beverages gets your digestive juices going both in your mouth where they begin to break the nutrients down and by sending a message to the rest of the digestive tract to get ready by secreting enzymes that will break the nutrients down further. Skip the chewing step and you’re placing extra work and strain on the rest of the digestive tract.
Yes, it’s fine to drink both on one day. Every day.
If you’re still none the wiser as to which to begin with, perhaps consider cost. Buy either a juicer or a blender and get friendly with it. Leave it out so you actually use it. Then see, perhaps you’ll then be motivated to buy the other cousin and give that a go.
**If you’re interested in taking part in a mini 3 day cleanse of your own, or with a group of friends, from the comfort of your own home, wherever you are in the world, contact me to schedule in your 3-Day Fully Guided Virtual Cleanse (scroll to the bottom of the page)**
Has this post inspired you to begin juicing / blending?
If you’re a seasoned juice / smoothie drinker, did you learn anything new?
Do you still have questions about juicing / blending that I can answer for you? Please add your comments or questions below (I get asked about this topic so often – your questions and experience will be helpful to others. Without a doubt).
Did you find this article useful? Please share it with your friends, family and neighbours so that step by step each neighbourhood body becomes a little bit greener, a little bit cleaner and a whole lot happier and healthier!