Have you noticed the cold case in your grocery store being taken over by a rainbow of cold-pressed juices? How about all the juice bars that are popping up around town? You're not alone! There has been quite a buzz around cold pressed juice in the past few years. So what's all the hype about?
You already know that diets packed with fruits and vegetables reduce your risk for developing chronic disease and play a key role in weight management. If you are one of my clients, you have definitely heard me say that we all need at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day. Unfortunately, most Americans don't get that. In fact, I read a recent statistic that only a third of US adults eat two-plus fruits, and about a quarter get three-plus veggies daily. Yikes. Juicing can be a good way to close some of those gaps by helping you pack more nutrients into your day.
So what is juicing? Juicing involves a process where the natural liquid, vitamins, and minerals are extracted from raw fruits and vegetables. This process strips away any solid matter from the fruits and vegetables and you're left with liquid only. Except this liquid isn't just any liquid. It's loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Still, it's not as simple as "chug juice" to get healthy. Juice does not have a significant source of fiber or protein, so it is important to eat whole, solid foods in addition to juice. Here is some additional info you should know:
1. Use juice to supplement: Juicing can offer a low-fat, nutrient rich jolt when added to already healthy, balanced diets. I prefer to drink juice as a way to include different nutrients into my diet in addition to the foods I already eat. As much as I love veggies and greens, you won't find me chomping on Swiss chard and kale allll the time. Sipping on green juice is a fantastic way to get an extra punch of all those green nutrients.
2. Pick the right ingredients: If you are looking to watch your calories or carb load, it is important to choose a juice with the majority of ingredients from vegetables. Veggies are naturally lower in calories and carbs and extremely nutrient dense. Juices made from mostly fruits are typically higher in calories and carbohydrates which is totally fine at times, especially if you are using juice as more of a meal replacement. Just be aware of the difference.
3. Find the perfect mix: Warning - straight up vegetable juice might not knock your socks off at first, so you've got to experiment. Start with two cups of greens, which can taste bitter, balanced by one or two pieces of fruit. Then, play around with the ratio. Lucky for you, Zest juice has figured out the perfect combinations!
4. You don't necessarily NEED to do a juice fast or cleanse: You don't have to engage in "juice fasts" where you only drink juice days on end (which I don't typically recommend) to get the full benefits of juicing. You can simply incorporate it into your daily diet as a fun and nourishing snack or first thing in the morning when you wake up. Having said that, juice fasts can and may be beneficial for some individuals. Play it smart and meet with a trusted practitioner before you start a "cleansing" program. The bottom line is that juice can be a healthy addition to a well balanced diet.
Now let's talk about ZEST! Zest Juice is my neighborhood juice bar and I love it. The owners are so incredibly friendly and approachable and their products are top notch.
Zest uses the cold-pressed method which means the nutrients and enzymes from the fruits and vegetables remain intact. Their juices contain no preservatives or additives - only real, fresh produce.
Some of my favorite juices that Zest makes are Beets by Zest, Sherlock, Cashew Milk, Vitamin CBUS, Elementary, Kaleidoscope, and Juice for the People....although who am I kidding....I have not had a juice that I don't like from Zest. Sherlock is a super green juice and is often my go-to when I want a big punch of nutrients.
The Cashew Milk deserves it's own little paragraph. Holy crap, this milk is good. I can't seem to stop drinking it. I have been putting it in my smoothies, coffee, and just chugging it by the bottle. The ingredients are filtered water, cashews, vanilla, coconut oil, dates, and Himalayan sea salt. Folks, if that doesn't sound like heaven in a bottle than I don't know what does.
Aside from juice, Zest offers delicious smoothies, tonic shots, salads, snack bars, kale chips, and pour over coffee. I'll take one of everything, thankkksssss.
Are you in Columbus and want to win some free juice?! You have the opportunity to win TWO FREE JUICES (available for people in Columbus, Ohio only)!
Follow me (@wholelivinglauren) and Zest Juice (@zestjuiceco) on Instagram and comment on this blog post to tell me which two flavors you want to try from Zest Juice! A winner will be chosen at random on Thursday May 1st.