Starting a new healthy habit is exciting. And juicing is certainly up there with cool, trendy, healthy habits. But just like beginning any new project, properly starting a juicing regimen requires a reality check. It is imperative that you weigh everything to determine if this is for you.
A juicing reality check includes these six elements: time, money, space, motivation, people, and preparation. Let’s examine each one in detail with these six things to consider before you begin juicing.
For maximum nutritional benefits, you should make your juice close to the time of consumption. Working from home or staying home with children makes this easier than if you leave for school or work.
If you must leave each morning, you will need to get up earlier or prepare your fruits and greens the night before, and run the juicer in the morning. You can make extra quantities and bring it with you to work or school or gym. But you will want to make sure you have time to clean up the juicing operation before you leave, which can take an extra five to fifteen minutes.
Juicing will stretch the grocery budget
Besides the cost of a new juicer ($100 to $1500), your grocery budget will be stretched a bit. Even if you are in the habit of buying lots of fresh produce, the sheer volume of apples, kale, and cucumbers you will need may stagger you.
After a while this will even out as your new healthy lifestyle spends less money on packaged foods and other health remedies. I was able to cut out the cost of prescription medications (about $75 per month).
Do you have enough space in your kitchen?
The obvious space consideration is where will the new juicer go? Where will you store it, or will it be one more counter appliance? Mine sits out all of the time on my center island. It took some time to get used to it being there, but keeping it out reminds me to keep juicing.
Less obvious but equally cluttering is where the large amounts of produce will be stored. Some fruits can’t be refrigerated. Foods such as kale, Swiss chard and watermelon take up a lot of space. You’ll definitely want to clean out your fridge before you go shopping. I dedicate one shelf for all of the greens, and one drawer for everything else. I also keep a large bowel on the island for those foods that shouldn’t be refrigerated.
Finally, where do you have room to wash vegetables and fruits and the knives and strainers and cutting boards that go along with juicing? You may need to clear space on your counter tops.
Motivation is key
Why are you considering juicing? Is it part of a well thought-out plan towards a healthier way of life? Has a doctor told you that you are in danger if you don’t change your ways? Are you seeking weight loss, energy, better sleep or more balanced digestion?
Any of the above reasons are terrific, but you owe it to yourself to be quite clear as to why you are starting juicing. You may need to draw upon these reasons when you feel deprived or choose to avoid social events while you are learning to juice. I’m not going to lie. Juicing regularly (especially fasting) is not easy. You will need to draw on every ounce of motivation you can muster.
Will you have support?
Speaking of social events, how will your juicing affect the people around you?
Will you be able to fit juicing in around your family’s mealtimes and kitchen space? If you are the main cook for your family, will you be able to graciously prepare their meals and be satisfied with drinking your own juices? (I do this, and while it is very possible to balance this part of life, you need to consider your own situation.)
Do your usual activities require gatherings that involve meals? Will you be able to bring your juice bottle with you?
Are you prepared?
Should you decide to attempt a longer term juice fast (more than 2-3 days), know that you won’t be able to just jump into that without notice and be successful. A fast of this magnitude takes preparation — both physical and spiritual — as well as trip to the grocery store. I wrote about this previously, so be sure to click over to Preparing for a Juice Fast to learn everything you need to know to get ready.
This reality check was not meant to dissuade you from juicing! Rather, it is meant to help you plan for things you may have not considered. And it may help you decide to what extent you want to start juicing: breakfast only, replacing one meal a day, or an all-out juice fast.
Tomorrow, I’ll share some tips for how to choose a juicer!
Recipe of the Day
For many people (like me), one sweeter juice a day is a must when juice fasting. Some days, I begin my day with this juice, some days I end with it. But be sure, if I’m fasting, like now, I will have this juice almost every day.
- 4 large carrots
- 2 apples
- 1 orange
- 1/2 in piece of ginger
- 1/2 in piece of turmeric
- Wash all produce well
- Peel the orange and core the apples
- Add all ingredients through juicer and enjoy (I recommend Breville)
Yield: 20 oz