How to choose the BEST juicer + 4 Low Sugar & Keto Friendly Juice cleanse recipes to get your health on track!
Juicing has been a part of my life as far back as I can remember! In the 90’s my dad was struggling with “chronic fatigue” which I’m sure was actually adrenal fatigue but at that time that wasn’t a thing people were really aware of. There were not supplements available or things to take to turn that around. I remember him being exhausted all the time.. and so my parents being the way they have always been (very much ahead of their time on the healthy eating front) ordered a champion juicer and turned to juicing as his cure. It totally worked. I remember them doing a juice cleanse that looked horribly gross to me as a kid! Especially their beet juice. I also remember seeing my dad perk up and feel better as the days went on.
From that time on my mom made juice religiously for our whole family. All the way through my senior year of high school she handed me a cup of freshly made juice to drink on my way to the bus.
Then- in 2007 when I graduated from college with an Art Degree I found a job at a stained glass studio..which changed the path of my life forever. In that year - 5 days a week I was touching and breathing in scary amounts of Lead. There were no safety protocols - no special clothing to protect us. The ventilation system was broken most of the time. Being young and dumb I didn’t even realize how dangerous this was or what it was doing to my health.
At the end of that year- my health begin to spiral out of control. My thyroid tanked..then my adrenals..then I ended up with an autoimmune disease. It took me 7 years of working hard to figure out what was wrong with me..and seeing far too many doctors before I finally figured out that I had serious heavy metal poisoning. We finally figured out that I had lead IN all of my red blood cells. That story and healing journey is a long one and I intend to post from a-z everything I have done to turn my health around. BUT- what I want to discuss today is juicing as it was one of the major components to reducing pain and getting through my hardest / sickest years of chronic pain. Without Green Juice I don’t know what I would have done.
With heavy metal poisoning came a weak immune system, Unfortunately in my case my immune system will never just bounce back. I have to stay on top of doing things to keep it strong (which I will also cover in another post). Anytime an immune system is compromised we become proned to developing candida and parasite issues. Every living person has a mix of good and bad bacteria in their digestive tract. A healthy immune system keeps that balance right where it needs to be and does not allow the bad to override the good. But then theres people like me- with a weak immune system that isn’t keeping up with that- and this is where a LOT of peoples chronic health issues start. Almost every person with an active autoimmune disease has poor gut health!! About 80% of your immune system lives in your gastrointestinal tract - so you can see why poor gut health leads to a wonky immune system!
When your immune system is weak- bad bacteria, candida and parasites begin to grow out of control. In my case it becomes systemic. Doctors have seen yeast and parasite overgrowth in my blood both through bloodwork and by examining my blood under a microscope! That causes chronic inflammation and leads to all kinds of health issues! . In my case this issue made my liver unhappy, made my adrenals go batty, and its the number one trigger for my autoimmune disease (Hashimotos).
The way to healing is bringing back balance. Getting that bacterial and fungal overgrowth under control. As you do that the body begins to balance back out and your energy returns. But the process of doing that isn’t fun or easy. A lot of times you feel way worse before you feel better as you push out the bad. When you kill candida/ parasites it causes a herxheimer reaction. The Herxheimer Reaction is a detoxification reaction in the body. When dying pathogens (parasites, bacteria or yeast) release toxins, they overwhelm the body and the liver can have a hard time keeping up with clearing them out. As this happens it is not uncommon to experience flu-like symptoms including headache, joint and muscle pain, body aches, sore throat, general malaise, sweating, chills, nausea, skin breakouts or other symptoms. Your main health issues tend to flare during this process too (so for me that means I get hashimotos symptoms). I found that green juice supported my liver through that process and helped decrease the amount of time that it took to recover.
I felt relief with so many of my symptoms within 30 minutes of drinking my fresh juice most days. It becomes a natural pain killer for me. I could feel the inflammation levels in my body coming down every time I had a big glass. My joints pain lowered..my energy came up. My Sleep improved, my skin began to glow and clear up. At that time my adrenal fatigue was so bad that it had made me pre-diabetic.. I found that drinking my juice would balance out my blood sugar. It also helped with my digestion (which was a HOT MESS at that time.) It is not the only thing that healed me- but it did act as a major support to make that time in my life a bit easier to get through.
This week we ordered a new juicer! ( Our 3rd one in 14 years!). I have done a lot of research on different brands and types- plus tested out a variety of machines and even juiced with a blender. I wanted to take a moment to share my experience on the pro’s and cons of different machines and types to help you make an educated decision on what to purchase for yourself.
Pros and Cons: Centrifugal / Masticating Juicers / Blender Juice
When it comes making juicer you essentially have 3 options. You can purchase a Centrifugal Juicer, A masticating juicer OR you can use a powerful blender such as the vitamix. There are pros and cons to each.
Centrifugal juicer is probably the most purchased juicer. It uses a type of motor that uses centrifugal force. It creates juice by using a blade which chops up the produce and then spins the produce at a high speed.
They work VERY fast. You can have a glass of juice ready in 5 minutes.
You usually don’t have to cut veggies down much. Typically you can stick whole carrots, celery, even a whole apple (if it fits down the tube). If any chopping is required it minimal.
Very easy to assemble.
Cleaning can be done fairly quickly too- if you rinse the machine parts right away. (as juice sits it begins to stick and dry and becomes harder to clean off- but if you rinse right away you wont even need soap or a sponge). You can also stick a plastic bag in the pulp bin and then throw that straight in the trash- which is one less thing to clean. The only part you will need to take a moment to scrub every time is the strainer/filter. A brush is included to clean that and as long as it doesn’t sit for a long time dirty this will only take a moment.
You can juice a wide variety of fruits and veggies. Delicate lettuce can be juiced as well but need to be layered or wrapped in with other sturdier fruits/vegetables.
The juice is typically very smooth!
This is the most affordable type of juicer available.
The Fast-spinning generates heat, which destroys SOME the enzymes.
The heat created as a result oxidizes SOME of the nutrients, resulting in slightly less nutritious juice (compared to a masticating juicer). BUT I believe this is minimal- juice never comes out of the machine warm. We are talking 1-2 degrees warmer at most.
Your pulp will have some moisture in it.
Your juice may have some foam. (Though some juicers come with a pitcher that strains that out)
When these machines start to kick the bucket you will notice there is some pulp in your juice!
My personal Experience:
My very first juicer was a centrifugal Breville and I LOVED it. I used it every day (sometimes more than once a day) for YEARS. It was fast, efficient and the juice was nice and smooth! While i’m not in love with the fact that the pulp isn’t totally dry- I do love the ease and speed. I find myself reaching for the machine often- knowing its not a big ordeal to use and clean up. That alone means Im getting more juice into my body more often- even if its slightly less nutritious than the juice from the masticating juicer. I experienced all the health benefits using BOTH machines. I recently bought a second Breville (almost the same model as my first one). and i’m THRILLED to have this machine again!
Best machines to buy:
Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor. (This is a FABULOUS juicer!!)
Breville RM-800JEXL Die-Cast Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor (Certified Refurbished). ** This is the same one and you can save some money getting it refurbished. Amazon offers a 3 or 4 year inexpensive protection plan that can give you further peace of mind.
Breville BJE430SIL The Juice Fountain Cold. *This is the one I have and LOVE. You can buy it refurbished and save some money! It works incredibly well.
The masticating juicer crushes the fruits and veggies after they pass through the chute. After that it separates the pulp and the juice by slowly squeezing your fruits and veggies. This type of juicer is kind of considered the be all end all- it super desirable - because it produces less waste and doesn’t raise the temperature of the juice at all.
You can juice quite a few different fruits and veggies.
Works decently well with leafy green vegetables. (Though you still have to wrap them or later them with other vegetables)
You get slightly more juice per vegetable compared to a Centrifugal juicer since the pulp is super dry.
Higher quality juice – Since the juice isn’t heated there is less oxidation and the nutrients are better preserved.
The machines tend to be easier to clean.
The juice from these machines stays fresh just a bit longer since less oxidation has occurred.
There is little to no foam produced.
Assembly varies from easy to tricky. My machine was a pain to put back together- getting the pieces to line up just right took time.
You have to put in extra time to really cut your vegetables down.
You have to be careful about the order that you put things in- even still I was often battling the machine getting jammed up. I would have to take it all apart and find the one veggie that had gotten stuck. There is a learning curve to this.
These machines make juice a lot slower. You have to be willing to put in the time and be patient. I spent up to 30 minutes some days trying to make one cup of juice.
The cost of these machines can be doubled the price of centrifugal juicers.
My experience: When my breville eventually needed replacing after years of heavy use- I splurged and went out and bought a $300 masticating machine. The reality of using the machine- was that it was very very different from my breville. I honestly HATED the machine. As careful as I was it was always getting jammed up. I spent so much time taking it apart and removing chunks of vegetables. While the pulp was really nice and dry- and the juice was perfectly smooth- the amount of time it took me to make one glass of juice was frustrating. I ended up not wanting to bother with it- and I sold the machine when we moved. For me- slight increases in nutrition and getting a bit more juice out of each vegetable was not worth the time and hassle I experienced. If you have never juiced before, all these things may not bother you because you haven’t experienced a more powerful machine that works much faster.. I had and found the masticating machine extremely annoying and time consuming.
I had a conversation with @lindsaythenutritionist who had some great advice! This is what she said: “I had to give a shout out to the kuvings whole slow juicer. It’s a masticating juicer with a wide mouth shoot, so the prep time is about the same as a Centrifugal Juicer. It is on the higher end budget wise. I had previously had an omega and it drove me nuts like you mentioned cause I had to chop everything into a million pieces. You don’t have to chop things small. The chute is wide enough to fit whole apples. The only time I chop is if I have really big carrots and it rarely ever jams! I’ve had it jam a handful of times if I feed the celery in too fast cause of the strings, but you can reverse the motor and it fixes itself. I’ve never had to open it to clear out a jam. And yes, the motor is faster! The kuvings has a 240w motor and the omega has a 200w motor. The major differences between the omega and kuvings juicer is faster prep and juice time, ease of use, and its easier clean up “
So- if you have a bit more cash to spend it sounds like the Kuvings juicer is a bit more powerful than omega with less prep time! I have linked to the machine she uses and loves below. BUT- if you want to spend less and masticating is important to you Omega and Aicok are still good options- but just know they come with a bit more prep time.
Best machines to buy: If you have the time to dedicate to a masticating machine and getting the most out of your veggies is important to you these are the best brands and machines:
Kuvings BPA-Free Whole Slow Juicer Silver B6000S with Sortbet Maker, Cleaning Tool Set, Smart Cap and Recipe Book
Omega Juicers NC900HDC Juicer Extractor and Nutrition Center Creates Fruit Vegetable & Wheatgrass Juice Quiet Motor Slow Masticating Dual-Stage Extraction with Adjustable Settings, 150-Watt, Metallic
Juicer Masticating Slow Juicer, Aicok Commercial Juicer Quiet Motor & Reverse Function, Cold Press Juicer Easy to Clean with Brush, Juice Machine for Vegetables and Fruits
Making Juice In a blender
When you use a juicer you remove the fiber from the fruit/veggie which allows for quicker absorption in your body..BUT that may not be a huge benefit. You will absorb the nutrients no matter how you eat them! I dont think it really makes a big difference whether you juice them, blend them, or eat them whole. Fiber from fruits and veggiess also beneficial for your digestion. So for me it really comes down to preference. You get benefits from juice wether it has pulp or not!
I find that juice from a juicer just tastes better. Compared to blender juice its really smooth..so thats my preference! BUT I have juiced using my blender from time to time. It does come with limitations as it works for some fruits and vegetables but not all. The blender you use will make a big difference too- some wont barely break vegetables down while others do a much better job.
How to make juice in a blender:
Place your fruit/veggies in the blender with some water and blend until smooth.
Put a nut milk bag (you can also use a cheesecloth) on the top of a bowl or large mason jar and pour the juice through it. Squeeze with your hands until all the juice is pushed through it. (This step can be skipped if you find your juice is smooth enough straight from the blender!)
Serve immediately OR store in a sealed jar/container for about 24 hours in the fridge.
A lot of fiber is left in your juice
Due to the fact that theres more fiber- the juice itself will help make you feel more full.
There is little to not waste. You strain some out (or you can leave it all in). But in the case of blending you are drinking most of the vegetable vs juicing which removes the fiber..
Having fiber in the juice plays a role in helping to control blood sugar levels when the veggies/fruit you are using have sugar!
Juice made in a blender is usually REALLY foamy.
Depending how long you run your blender to get it totally smooth you are heating up the juice some destroys SOME nutrients and enzymes rendering slightly less nutritious compared to a cold press juicer.
The amount of nutrients PER serving compared to juice from a juicer will be lower. -When you use a juicer it requires MORE vegetables and fruits to make a cup of juice than you would if you are blending them up.
Using a blender is more cost efficient as you’ll use far less produce compared to a juicer.
The texture of the juice is less appealing.. you wont get quite the same smoothness.
Best blenders to buy:
I own both the vitamix AND the Blendtec. Both blend veggies enough to break them down. The blendtec even has a build in juice setting! BUT side by side-we feel the vitamix outperforms the blendtec. It just feels more solid- we like the design better too. Either machine however is a solid choice. You wont be disappointed with either one.
Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender with Wildside+ Jar (90 oz), Professional-Grade Power, 10-speeds, Black (Certified Refurbished) This is an older model of the blendtec. Its the one I have (and its solid!) You can save a lot of money by getting an older model.
Blendtec Designer 725 Blender with WildSide (90 oz) and Twister Jar (37 oz) Bundle Professional-Grade Power, Self-Cleaning, 6 Pre-Programmed Cycles, 100-Speeds, Sleek and Slim, Stainless Steel/Black. *This is a NEW fancy- dancy model with the best accessories!
Vitamix Explorian Blender, Professional-Grade, 64 oz. Low-Profile Container, Red (Certified Refurbished) This is a solid older model that is refurbushed- so therefore you can get it at a good price. Its a very good machine- all the bells and whistles of the newer machines are fun and nice to have- but if you prefer to spend less- this machine will work like a dream fo you!
Vitamix Professional Series 750 Brushed Stainless Finish with 64-Oz. Container * This is the vitamix that I have and it was worth the splurge. Its gorgeous to look at.. so well designed and it honestly does outperform our blendtec. We LOVE it and will for many years to come.
Addressing the Celery Juice Global Movement
I would like to also take a moment to address the whole “Celery Juice Global Movement”. Because I have been seeing it everywhere. Here’s the deal- Im am THRILLED to see that drinking green juice has become popular because it is SO good for us. Most people will see positive changes in their health as a result of adding freshly made juice to their daily routine. Celery juice does have nutrition (vitamins A, K, C. B vitamins. beta-carotene ,phytonutrients , calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium.) But at the same time celery is also 95% water. It is not the be all end all- healthiest vegetable you can juice. YES, it has its benefits but you can get more when you add it in with other low carb green veggies. Spinach for example contains several vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B6, B9 and E. It is an extremely nutrient-rich vegetable. It contains high amounts of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron and calcium. Much higher levels that Celery. Celery is known as one of the LEAST nutrient dense vegetables..
I believe fully in including it in your juice recipes- its a really good filler as it has so much water so it helps fill your cup up without having to spend a fortune. But all on its own..it just doesn’t hold a candle to what other vegetables can offer! The medical medium makes claims about celery juice that have NO scientific backing. None. He has NO credentials in medicine or nutrition. I am a very intuitive person and I do believe in connecting with the spirit world (which is his whole thing)- but I don’t buy his claims just because he has said them. I personally have experienced so much health improvement from drinking a VARIETY of vegetables.
He also encourages a LOT of fruit and carbs (and he pushes the vegan diet). I totally respect the vegan diet and those that choose to eat that way! But.. if you battle chronic health issues - and in particular have bacterial overgrowth of any kind, Lyme disease, blood sugar instability or diabetes- eating high sugar fruits, potatoes and grains in excess are going to send your health in the wrong direction. I know a number of people who have gotten very sick from his protocols. His followers encourage you to stick with it at any cost- they say that any bad symptoms you experience are always detox. The confusion and trouble with this is that- health declining and detox CAN feel similar- so it can be easy to confuse the two. Working with a doctor through this process is the safest way to go so that you can see through bloodwork and testing what is truly helping you get better. I find people ignore their intuition because they are desperate to feel better (Which I empathize with- I have been there myself!!).
I believe in eating real food!! The more the better and I’m all for people feeling inspired to do so- I agree with that portion of his message. But when I see people eating giant bowls of oranges in one day based on his suggestions- I can’t help but feel concern.. because with all the good vitamins coming from that fruit is also a boat load of sugar. We know sugar isn’t good for us! It’s been proven that sugar causes weight gain, it can lead to heart disease, it increases your risk for diabetes, it reduces your immune system strength. Those are just a few examples! Sugar is sugar no matter where it comes from. Sugar in fruit does come with fiber and that helps the body process it with less insulin spikes- but candida/parasites use sugar in any form to grow.
Fresh Juice has been a tried and true healing method for decades.. he has simply found a way to “rebrand it” into his own movement (which is very savvy on a marketing front). But many of his claims do not have any backing. For example his “theory” on cluster salts. There is no such thing as cluster salts.
Don’t even get me started on his heavy metal detox smoothie. While it has SOME good ingredients that act as natural chelators , it also includes 2 bananas and a cup of orange juice . That is ludicrous to me. Having heavy metal poisoning (as I do!) most likely means you have a compromised immune system. Which means you likely have candida and bacterial overgrowth. Bananas and Orange Juice are VERY high in sugar and it feeds the yeast and bacteria supplying them with food to make them worse.
Bottom line- including freshly juiced veggies in your diet IS BENEFICIAL. Including more fresh fruits and veggies period in most cases will improve your heath. We know this. If his movement has inspired you to buy or break out your juicer again thats wonderful! But- I encourage you take take his theories with a grain of “cluster salt”. .. The best way to heal is to find your own path. This takes a lot of work, time, effort, patience and trial and error. Try things out, but listen to your body. What is bringing you relief? What is bringing improvements? I always recommend to people that they do an elimination diet to pinpoint exactly what foods are problematic for them and what foods make them feel their best! Because there isn’t one way or one diet that works for everyone across the board! It is never wise to just give up certain foods because some trendy diet tells you to do so. Find your own path!! Your body deserves it. If you want to try celery juice- go for it. Its harmless, and you may see improvements in your health! But I encourage you to not immediately write off so many other nutrient dense vegetables that could play a role in good health too!
Another thing worth noting— is that I think celery juice on its own tastes gross! HA! Not that that is the be all end all- but I prefer making juice that I can enjoy. I can't deal with the green juices at most juice bars..they make me gag. I expect what I'm drinking to taste really good even if its healthy.. So I put in the time to make sure these recipes were extra tasty. Usually I hate beets and swiss chard in juice.. So I found ways to 100% hide their flavor.
If you have adrenal issues, blood sugar instability or thyroid disease please be careful with doing a juice cleanse in which you fast and only drink juice. If you have health issues from my personal experience I think that adding healthy low sugar/low carb juice to a clean diet is the best way to go. Be gentle with your bodies- doing anything extreme isn’t usually beneficial to healing! If you have candida issues or are trying to stick to a keto diet- you’ll want to stick with the two green juice recipes below (Lemon & Ginger Green Cleanser and the Mojito Cleanser). Carrots, Beets. Sweet potato and Apple do increase the carb count! Thought they are chock full of nutrition too- so if you aren’t concerned with trying to keep your carbs super super low- give them a try too! The fall in a glass recipe is probably my favorite! 😊😅
Each one of these recipes makes roughly 20 ounces of juice (this amount will range depending on your juicer)
2 1/2 cups of baby carrots (or chopped carrots)
1 small beet
8-10 red swiss chard stalks (I reserve the leaves for another recipe_
1 grapefruit peeled (or lemon juice to taste)
Stevia to taste to sweeten.
Lemon & Ginger Green Cleanser (keto friendly)
Swiss chard leaves from 1 bunch.
1 small bunch of celery
1 heaping handful of baby spinach
beet greens (from one bunch of beets)- optional.
2 tbsp of lemon juice.
1 inch of fresh ginger
Stevia to taste.
Mojito Cleanser (keto friendly)
1 extra large cucumber
3 heaping handfulls of baby spinach
1/2 of a small bunch of celery.
1/4 cup Fresh Mint Leaves
2 Tbs of Lime (or lemon) Juice
Stevia to taste.
Fall in a Glass
3 cups of baby carrots (or 3 cups of regular carrots chopped)
3 small sweet potatoes (skin and all- just wash and slice them)
1 small beet
1 inch of fresh ginger
A dash of cinnamon (to taste)