Juicing is no different than any other new activity - there is a learning curve and mistakes do happen. The great thing is that these mistakes can easily be avoided with little effort. If you are brand new to juicing, or even if you've been juicing for years, you should keep an eye out for these 9 most common mistakes.
1. Juicing the Same Ingredients Over and Over
The number one mistake made is falling into the habit of using the same recipe over and over. Repeatedly using the same ingredients limits the variety of nutrition you could be consuming. At best you are simply missing out on new tastes, and at worst you could actually cause health issues. Always try to mix up what recipes you use.
They say diversity is the spice of life, and that couldn't be more truthful when it comes to diet and juices.
2. Juicing Too Many Fruits
We all know fruit juice is delicious, but it's easy to forget that all the sugar is why we love it so much. Natural fruit sugars are far better than sugars from candies but they still need to be kept in check. Those who have little tolerance for green juices can benefit from extra fruit in the beginning but ensure this practice doesn't carry over long-term. Too much fruit in juices elevates blood sugar and can lead to a crash, much like too much candy can.
3. Juicing Too Many Greens
Similarly to juicing too many fruits, it's possible to juice too many greens! This mistake is also common among new juicers, often those that are overeager to jump into the deep end. There is nothing worse than excitedly trying out a new recipe just to end up wasting your precious juice because the green flavor it too much.
Greens have a surprising strong flavor so if you're new to them, add only about ¼ of what the recipe calls for, moving up from there as your taste buds get used to it.
4. Using the Wrong Type of Juicer
Not all juicers are created equal, so take the time to carefully shop around before buying one. Buying the first juicer you see in stores will often leave you with subpar quality juice or end up being a waste of money. There are a few styles available, with cold press juicers being the best. This type gets the most juice from the produce and reduces oxygen mixing into the juice, meaning your juice will have a longer shelf-life (about 72hrs with proper storage).
5. Treating Juice as a Meal Replacement
Confusing juicing with blending is an easy error to make, but one that can negatively impact your health. While thick, diverse green smoothies can be a meal replacement, juices are not. Think of juices as more of a meal enhancer - something to drink and enjoy before eating your actual meal.
Since juices are stripped of fiber and reduced down to a liquid, you are missing out on certain aspects of consuming whole produce.
6. Not Using Fresh Produce
The quality of your juice is directly reflected by the produce you use. Old, stale vegetables or frozen-thawed fruits will not give you what you need. Strive to use only fresh-from-the-store produce. Even better, try to use as much organic fruits and vegetables whenever you can.
7. Storing Your Juice in a Plastic Container
It is always best to only juice as much as you will drink in a sitting to ensure maximum freshness, but sometimes that isn't possible. If you are a busy person and need to take your juice with you, think twice before pouring it into just any container. A common mistake is using a plastic container or bottle. Always use a glass container with a snug, air-tight lid. Try to use container small enough that you can fill it almost completely full to minimize oxidation. Once opened, try to consume all of the juice. If need be, fill a few small mason jars with juices for throughout the rather than one giant jar.
8. Not Cleaning Up Right Away
One of the worst things you can do to your juicer is not clean it immediately after use. A juicer is an investment that will give you many years of use, but only if cared for properly. After you make a delicious juice, take a moment to thoroughly wash out the juicer before enjoying your cup.
Pay special attention to getting any pulp and other particles out of the mesh screen (this applies for centrifugal juicers). Dried pulp on this mesh can be nearly impossible to remove later on. Wiping down the entire machine with an antibacterial wipe after every use is a great idea as well.
9. Not Juicing At All
It may seem like a strange mistake but a surprising number of people are guilty of it. This is because many people approach new health habits with an "all or nothing" mindset. They may go to the effort of investing in a juicer but it only ends up gathering dust because they are waiting for the optimal time to start a juicing regimen. Sadly this often gets put on the backburner and the procrastination leads them to never juicing at all. Remember that irregular juicing is better than no juicing, and the best time to start juicing is right now!
Juicing is an easy and fun way of getting more variety into your diet. It supports overall health and allows you to tailor recipes to fit specific health concerns you may have. All it takes is a little preparation to get off on the right foot. Keep an eye out to avoid these common mistakes and you'll be well on your way to enjoy delicious, raw juice everyday!
Zoey is a part-time blogger and a full-time nurse. She is the founder and editor of juicingjournal.com an avenue for sharing her passion about juicing, plant-based diet and living a healthier lifestyle.
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