I have digestive problems – can I still juice?
YES! Unlike food, juices are, for the most part, digested and absorbed in the stomach. They are fantastic for people with digestive problems because the digestion is actually being done for you. Provided that you can drink and absorb water, you can drink and absorb fresh juice.
How soon after juicing do I need to drink the juice? How long will it last before going off?
I recommend that you drink your juice as soon as you have made it. In this way, it is not subjected to oxidation (combining with the oxygen in the air and losing some of its nutritional value). If you use a juicer with magnets in it, such as the Green Star Elite, the juice is quoted to last 24 hours if kept refrigerated, so this is great for people on a juice fast who want to make up a batch of juice to use throughout the day. In general, the longer your juice sits around, the more likely it is to degrade, and the levels of enzymes, vitamins and phytonutrients drop. I like to go by the “6 minute rule” for most juicers –drink your juice within 6 minutes of making it for maximum nutritional benefit.
I don’t like the taste of green juice – what can I do?
The green juices are the most nutritionally potent, so it’s good to develop a taste for them! Initially though, for the beginner, they can be a bit daunting because we are not exactly used to drinking those ingredients. How about juicing with a pear, apple or half a lime? Maybe try a little fresh pineapple, or perhaps some sweet vegetables, such as beetroot, carrot or red pepper? Although this will give you a juice that has a higher glycaemic index, which is not ideal, it will help you to get started. You can then gradually reduce the quantities of these ingredients as you progress, until your taste buds adapt to the green juice “straight”. This is what you’re aiming for – straight green juice that you’ll enjoy every day.
I’ve got diabetes/candida/ cancer/blood sugar irregularities – can I still juice?
Yes. In these instances, your juice needs to be very green, contain the protein-dominant sprouts such as pea shoots and sunflower greens which will balance your blood sugar, and contain no fruit or sweet vegetables at all. A great juice for people in this situation is wheatgrass juice, followed by celery, cucumber, pea shoot and sunflower greens juice. Avoid carrot and beetroot juice, and any fruit juices. The green juices that incorporate sprouts such as pea greens and sunflower greens give you the greatest nutritional potency and are far superior to and standard vegetable juice.
I love juicing; can I live on juice alone for any period of time?
Yes, up to a point. Extended juice fasts can be conducted, but ultimately we have a digestive system that is designed to eat food and not just juice, and we need some fibre to make the digestive system work properly. Extended juice fasts can be conducted very successfully by following the right principles, but it is essential to maximise the nutritional intensity of the juices. More information on this subject can be found in my e-book Successful Fasting for Health and Vitality.
Can I give green juices to my children?
Absolutely. Children thrive on nutritionally dense juices. There are no contraindications for giving juices to children. If using sweeter juices, I recommend that they are diluted 50:50 with filtered water to ensure that they do not cause a spike in blood sugar levels, and therefore an insulin surge. Children can even grow to love the stronger-tasting green juices, and by getting them into juicing, you can be sure that you are setting them up with a fantastic health-habit that will give them a stronger immune system, more energy and better concentration. What could be better?
Is there a particular time of day that is better for juicing?
I generally recommend that if you are only juicing once a day, you do it first thing in the morning and have that juice as your breakfast (or, for my athlete and “fast-burner” clients, first breakfast). This is what I personally do, and find that it fits in easily with most people’s daily routine. If you are facing serious health challenges, and are juicing 2 or 3 times daily, I suggest that you do wheatgrass at 8am, then green juice at 8-30 to 9am, then green juice again at 11am, then green juice again at 4pm. These are just suggestions, and it will depend on your routine. Whatever time of day you have your juice, keep it away from your meals by having it at least half an hour, and preferably one hour, before eating. For athletes, I recommend green juice either half an hour before training, or immediately after, to replace lost minerals and electrolytes, and to maximise recovery.