I remember being a beginner at juicing. It was a wonderful experience, and I was so stoked about the fact that I’m doing something good for my body and soul. But the matter of fact is that I made tons of rookie mistakes that had set me back. Don’t get me wrong – from the first day, I have felt incredibly stronger, healthier, and more energetic, but if I had avoided these mistakes, I would get the benefits of juicing that much faster.
Of course, whatever it is you do, you’ll make some mistakes along the way. But juicing has a mild learning curve and it’s not difficult at all – for as long as you pay attention not to make these crucial mistakes. Let’s jump straight in.
1. Waiting Too Long to Drink Your Juice
Juice is wonderful – at least while it’s still fresh. Once too much oxidation happens, your juice will inevitably lose its color and taste, as the nutrients slowly disintegrate.
It’s simple – store-bought juices can wait for months stored on a shelf, but there’s a reason for that. These juices are processed and pasteurized, which destroys some of the precious nutrients. It also makes the juice bland, which the juice manufacturers make up for with added sugar (and you can guess how this can be a pitfall).
If you make your juice in a centrifugal juicer, you should always drink it right away, or in the first few hours from making the juice. In case you use a masticating juicer, you can wait up to three days if you store your juice in an airtight container in the fridge. However, even if it still looks good, chances are that the nutritional value of your juice declines with every passing hour. That’s why it’s always a great idea to drink your juice straight away.
2. Using Too Many Sweet Fruits and Veggies
I mentioned that juice manufacturers use too much sugar in their juices, and you should be careful not to overdo it too! Even though fruits are great for your health, you should keep in mind that they’re a natural source of sugar. Don’t get me wrong: I’d take the fructose and glucose from fruit over the HFCS they put in sodas any day. But when it comes to fruit, sadly, there can be too much of a good thing too.
Sugar causes spikes in your insulin levels, and, if you don’t spend as much energy as you take in, it can be a quick way for weight gain. Though different types of sugar are processed in our bodies differently, and you definitely have more leeway with fruits than with sodas and candies, you shouldn’t neglect the fact that in the end, sugar is sugar.
You should only put as many pieces of fruit in your juice as you would eat whole. For example, it’s unrealistic to expect to eat two apples, ten strawberries, a banana, and three pears all at the same time without feeling too full and maybe even a bit sick. So why would you want to try gulping them down in the form of juice?
A good rule of thumb is to add one sweet fruit per another less-sweet ingredient. For example, if you have a good masticating wheatgrass juicer, you can combine wheatgrass and ginger (your two non-sweet ingredients) with some carrots and pineapple (your two sweet ingredients). It’s obvious that pineapple has a lot of sugar, but you shouldn’t underestimate the sugar content in carrots (and beets), even though they’re veggies.
A Sugar-free Tip
Hey, if you’ve been overdoing it with sugar, don’t despair. Here’s a hot tip for you: Lemons and limes can make almost any juice recipe so much tastier, and these fruits are super low in sugar!
3. Using Too Many Ingredients
That being said, you shouldn’t mix too many ingredients in your juice in the first place. Trust me, I’ve made this mistake and had to throw my juice out because of it so many times it’s not even funny.
Here’s an example of my thinking process from back then:
So, what should today’s juice be? I feel like blueberries… And what goes well with blueberries? Well, bananas of course. And perhaps a few raspberries as well. You know, peaches and raspberries go weirdly well together. Maybe I should add some spinach, just to get some extra iron today? Oh look, this is the last cucumber in the fridge, let’s use it up and add it to the shopping list.
Do you know how the juice ended up? Yep, you got it right – in the trash. It tasted absolutely horrible.
The problem with this way of thinking is that I only considered the last ingredient I added, not all the ingredients as a whole. That’s why I couldn’t predict whether the juice will taste nice or give me nausea. A good rule of thumb is to go for three ingredients per juice, four if you’re positive it’ll work out. Anything more than that is a recipe for disaster.
4. Not Consuming Whole Fruits and Veggies
Juicing can get you almost everything you need from your 5-a-day. The keyword there is ‘almost’. Juices are a great source of carbs, vitamins, and minerals, but you pay for the conveniently nutritious glass of juice with fiber. Man, do I wish I could go back in time and warn my young, inexperienced self of what happens when you disregard fiber in your diet.
Fiber is literally what it sounds like – the fibrous material in plants. When we chew, we only break some of it, and it goes down our GI tract without a problem. In fact, fiber both helps your stomach handle and absorb other nutrients, and it keeps your bowel movement regular and, well, firm. A lack of fiber in your diet is easy to notice in the bathroom.
To make sure your intestines are healthy and happy, make sure to consume at least a couple of portions of whole fruit and vegetables per day. It’s as simple as that.
5. Not Washing Your Juicer Right Away (Eww)
I know you’re excited to drink your juice right away, but you should NEVER skip washing your juicer. You can put it off 10 minutes, sure, but don’t leave it overnight, trust me.
So you just finished preparing your morning juice, and you’re ready to sit back and enjoy your morning social media session, but leaving your juicer unwashed will only set you up for a disaster. It will take a lot of scrubbing and elbow grease to remove the pieces of skin and fiber off the walls of the juicer, and don’t even let me start on how disgusting the pulp chamber becomes.
There’s a trick though – even if you don’t have the time or the energy to wash your juicer right away, simply rinsing it with clean water will make a huge difference. It works because rinsing removes the big pieces that would otherwise get dry and stick to the plastic or glass. Trust me when I say that washing the pre-rinsed juicer, later on, will be no hassle at all. Cleanliness is godliness and all that!
Now You’re Better at Juicing than the Rookie Me
Seriously, I really wish I knew this stuff back when I got started. It would not only make my juices way more nutritious, balanced, and tasty, but it would also spare me a lot of frustration and almost-giving-up. So, since I can’t turn back time, I hope this article helps you avoid these common juicing mistakes!
Bonus: Omega NC800 vs Omega NC900