What's the difference between a smoothie and a fresh pressed juice? Is one better for you than the other?
I love kale smoothies. True commitment to the leafy green came when after years of buying delicious smoothies from a local shop every day, I felt confident to make my own and bought my first Vitamix. From there on, I've been making smoothies with fresh, organic, seasonal produce. The Vitamix is amaaazing for a million healthy reasons - like soup! and sauces and desserts - and it's VERY easy to clean up.
When it comes to the morning routine and getting ready for school and work, I confess, I don't always have time to make a smoothie. I often end up making smoothies on the weekend, when things aren't so rushed. During the week, it's just easier to leave ten minutes early and belly up to the local smoothie bar.
As far as the juicy facts about green juices, make sure to enjoy yourself and the many delicious flavors out there - but remember to read labels, check for sugar content, and switch it up by enjoying both FRESH juices and smoothies so you can get as much FIBER out of the whole fruit and nothin' but the fruit!
The F-Word: Don't forget the fiber! Make sure to mix it up and alternate between smoothies and juices. Our body absorbs liquids faster than solids and some juices can cause a more dramatic spike in insulin levels than when we are just eating a whole fruit. When we consume just the juice we lose valuable fiber that fills us up and slows digestion just enough so that our body isn't overloaded all at once.
How can you stay GREEN when you're on the road and in the fast lane? Some times we're all super-organized. Some times we're not... and some times, we are just soooo far behind on practically everrrrrything, but no matter where you are on the trajectory of preparedness, don't sweat it. Just do your best. Here are some simple ways to do that:
Make the time. Before travelling to a new city, google "organic juice and smoothie bars" then visualize and set the time aside in your out-of-town morning commute to explore a new neighborhood, a new route, a break in the hum-drum routine of your personal hamster wheel. Enjoy the Breathing Room! It's fun to discover new places and experience how different places prepare and present their juicy craft. I love it when other people make juices and smoothies for me...what a treat! Plus, we share health tips and engage in the larger dialogue of Healing and Wellness and how we can all help each other find new ways to Health and Happiness.
Take it slow. Life is full and fast these days. Inevitably, we fall behind on things and end up in the position to "take what we can get." Try to create the time and space for a hand-made juice or smoothie but don't stress over it if you're on the road and can't find anything "pure and honorable." Just accept it for what it is - no need to create a "first-world" dilemma. Simply make the best choice you possibly can in the moment and relax: you are not going to die if you don't get your special, organic, fresh-picked, fresh-pressed, super nutrient dense, smoothie or juice. Worst case, drink water ;)
Ask for what you need! Most places are totally happy to adjust recipes and make you whatever you want...I usually order a Pina Kale-ada and love a few fresh chunks of pineapple but I need to keep the sugar content down, so I ask to leave out the bottled pineapple juice and add extra home-made coconut milk. Then I pay extra for add-on scoops of Green Vibrance and Hemp.
Try new things. I recently found myself in a Starbucks - a rare occasion - and in the absence of a fresh-pressed juice bar, I tried Evolution brand cold-pressed bottled juice. Whatever we may personally think of Starbucks, the addition of cold-pressed bottled juices to its menu is a step in the right direction. Starbucks is helping to build an awareness of the importance of daily fruits and greens and right now, Americans are NOOOO where near the recommended daily dose of 4-6.5 cups of FRESH fruits and veg.
Starbucks is poised to grow with an ever-evolving business model - no wonder they named the juice "Evolution" - but are Evolution cold-pressed juices any better for us than a home-made smoothie blended with a Vitamix? Probably not. because NOTHING beats FRESH and nothing is better than knowing first-hand what goes into your body, but that doesn't mean that it's all bad.
Evolution's Essential Green tastes great and is made with celery, spinach, romaine, kale, lime and parsley. Plus, it's s pacKed with Vitamin K which helps the body absorb calcium and contributes to healthy bone health. If you are on a low glycemic diet and need to watch your sugar intake then you might not like the 6g sugar in every 8oz. It's your body, your choice, and isn't it nice to have a choice?!
What's so great about fresh cold-pressed? The process of cold pressed uses high pressure pulverization [HPP] instead of traditional heat pasteurization to kill off microbes and extend shelf-life. Many contend that this process delivers more flavor, vitamins and nutrients. The down-side to a bottled juice is that the "extended shelf-life" you get from the bottle automatically negates the FRESH.
I whole-heartedly subscribe to the practice that when juice is made fresh it needs to be consumed fresh. Otherwise, it loses its nutritional healing properties after one hour when enzymes are no longer active. Not everyone agrees with me - there are many who believe that if the jar is tightly sealed then those enzymes are protected and thriving and may, in fact, be multiplying.
If you're going fresh cold-pressed [I believe] it's better to watch it being made FRESH, just the way you like it. That said, a bottled juice is still super-healthy and is a far better choice than a carbonated beverage or sport drink. Some times, bottled juice is the best and only option you might get and let's face it, having options is a good thing. so don't sweat it.
Another layer to juicing and nutritional benefits is that food science researchers agree that cold-pressed delivers on flavor but not always in terms of delivering on its promise of more vitamins and nutrients. The nutrition of some fruits and vegetables could be increased or decreased after they've been heated or pulverized so it's relevant to factor in whether or not a vegetable is better consumed raw or cooked. My oft-quoted and favorite go-to source on this very subject is Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson.
Wherever you are, mix it up and Say Yes! to the juicy truth and enjoy the whole fruit and nothing but the fruit.