Like detox baths, juicing also helps detoxify the body and is thus an integral part of the GAPS program. Juicing is beneficial because juices are fiber-free, meaning that your body is able to absorb the nutrients from the fruits and vegetables much more quickly than normal. Juicing also provides a concentrated source of nutrients, since you can consume far more fruits and veggies in juice form than you would ever be able to eat whole. We do, of course, still eat whole fruits and vegetables on GAPS, but juicing provides the body with an additional source of nourishment.
My Experience with Juicing
I have to admit that I have not been very good at juicing regularly. As I shared in my New Year’s resolutions post, I was pretty good at the beginning of GAPS but have really fallen out of the habit as GAPS has progressed. I just don’t really care for the juicing process. The juice tastes great, but I don’t like actually making the juice and then having to clean everything up. I do think that it’s important, though, so I’m still trying to work on getting better. I think my body could definitely use the detoxifying it could get from regularly juicing.
To juice, you need some sort of juicing appliance. Most people buy a juicer. I can’t comment on good juicers because the only one I have I no longer use because I hated cleaning it so much. There’s been a lot of discussion on good juicers on the GAPShelp yahoo group. If you’re looking for a juicer, I’d recommend searching the archives there.
If you don’t want to buy a juicer, you can also make juice in your blender and then strain the juice through a nut milk bag. This is how I make juice. I use my Vitamix, but I think any powerful blender would work.
How to Juice with a Blender
To make juice in my Vitamix, I wash the fruits/veggies then cut them up into smaller pieces, usually about two to three inches long. I put everything into the blender, add a few inches of water, then blend on high until everything is pulverized. I then pour the mixture into my nut milk bag and use my hands to squeeze out the juice. I find that it works best to strain into a medium sized bowl, as you’ll want to have a large-ish area underneath your hands to minimize drips on your counter. After you’re done squeezing out as much liquid as you can, throw the pulp away and pour the juice into glasses to drink.
What Should You Juice?
You can juice nearly any kind of fruit or vegetable. Some good choices are: apples, carrots, celery, beets, cabbage, oranges, lettuce, and various greens like spinach, parsley, kale and chard. Experiment with different combinations to find a juice you like. Personally I usually stick to celery, carrots and lettuce; sometimes I add an apple or part of a beet.
(Note: I do not recommend juicing green onions. I once juiced several as part of a juice I was making for Jesse. My rationale was that he likes spicy things, so maybe he would like onion juice, but I probably got a bit overenthusiastic because I wanted to use up some of the CSA onions we were being inundated with. Although they only made up a tiny portion of his juice, the onion-ness became extremely concentrated and Jesse ended up just lying on the floor for about half an hour because he felt so sick. Unlike me, he is not prone to digestive distress so this was quite alarming. So just take it from me – skip the green onions. Or, I suppose you’d probably be okay just doing one, instead of the six I probably did. :))
Timing and Frequency
I think it’s probably ideal to juice every day on GAPS, but like most things I’d just try to do the best you can. It’s best to have your juice on an empty stomach, so first thing in the morning or sometime in the afternoon (at least two hours after eating) are good times for most people. Drink your juice as soon as possible after you make it, as the nutrients degrade quickly when exposed to air.
Do you juice? What tips to you have to make it quicker or more enjoyable? I know I could certainly use the help.