It is now common knowledge that the benefits of juices and smoothies for good health are in abundance. Whether for a short intensive cleanse or detox, or as an addition to your daily meals, our bodies are so nourished by this liquid diet. My personal journey with juicing has brought me a long way. A fresh orange juice was always something I enjoyed so much, and was never a fan of the Tropicana versions – pulp or no pulp! But I slowly became aware of the difference between a sweet juice like that, which was to be enjoyed in moderation, and the mighty green blends that were so good for our health we’re supposed to have one on a daily basis. There’s a big misconception with green juices; I was one of many in thinking that pure green juices were bound to taste of that grassy bitterness, leaving you with the damp after-taste of pond water… not a fan. I’ve definitely made of few of those myself, before getting the right balance of sweet, bitter and acidic, which is essential with a green juice in my opinion. A green apple, or a squeeze of lemon or lime goes such a long way, especially when you’ve over-done the spinach or celery!
Once I got the hand of juicing and I really started to not only appreciate the flavour, but also the way the made me feel, I knew I was ready to take juicing to the next level with some sort of cleanse. My intention was to monitor the effect of the short diet on the platelet levels in my blood, which are at a steady low, and see whether a week of juicing would have any affect. I kicked off the cleanse with a 24hr full fast, where I drank only water, and then onto 7 days of just juices and smoothies. The difference between the two is simply whether the pulp is being removed or not. So with a smoothie, you tend to blend the whole fruit, receiving more fibre, and with a juice you are separating the liquid from the fibre and getting a concentrated dose of the good stuff. It’s always best to blend your fruits and juice your greens, exactly for this reason. Sugary fruits should be taken with the skin, pulp and all, for the fibre to slow down the intake of sugar into the blood. Whereas greens, which are far less sugary, can be juiced and taken without the need of the fire in the pulp. Not such a scientific explanation, but just remember, juice your greens, blend your fruits, and you’ll be just fine. So after a week of juicing and blending, I tested my blood and as I had hoped, my blood count couldn’t have looked better, so much so that even the doctors were shocked, and couldn’t believe a simple juice cleanse had such an affect.
Obviously a complete liquid diet is just not sustainable, although I have never felt better, it’s just not practical to do long term. However, I make a point to do a cleanse like that on a regular basis, because my body just feels so great during, and for a long while after, that I feel like I must. My high energy levels and greater capacity for concentration were two results I noticed most, but also my complexion; I had a sort of healthy glow that felt and looked great.
I got a lot of interest from others while doing the cleanse, so I thought it might be helpful to share some useful tips on juicing and cleansing from someone with a whole lot of experience; the face and talent behind Nude Juices and one of our very own home-cooks on The Home Deli – Karla Eminyan.
Firstly, what has inspired you to make juicing such a big part of your life, and business?
It started as a project, where I wanted to create a brand which focuses on eating clean and inner health. At that point I was into juicing and I did my research on which juicer to buy and started to create my own. I really tasted the difference when using organic and fresh produce. And this is why I started Nude, to cater for that niche market (that’s growing) who are looking for organic juices.
What is the message that you would like to share with this community about the benefits of juicing?
I believe there are many benefits of juicing and you can find a lot of research that is for or against it. I think when people think of a juice cleanse they focus on starvation and weight loss. This is why I want to shift this mindset towards a more positive and healthy one. I try focus on benefits like better digestion and improved gut health. As I mentioned before Nude is about inner health, and the gut is one of our main importance. With a healthy gut comes a stronger immune system and proper nutrient absorption, which will lead to endless benefits to the whole body.
It’s important to prepare your body beforehand, by reducing caffeine, sugar and increasing your greens and water. This will help your body ease into the cleanse. So I believe if you do a juice cleanse with good intentions your experience will be so much better and you will want to continue eating clean, because thats ultimately the whole idea behind a juice cleanse.
Do you do cleanses or detoxes yourself? And how have they worked for you?
Now that I started doing cleanses with this mindset, that of seeking inner health, I believe they work better. I don’t stress about my weight but focus on feeling more energised during the day, clearer skin, and sleeping better.
What are your top three ingredients to juice, and why?
I tend to go through phases of using different ingredients, depending what’s in season and what I read about. At the moment I’m juicing celery because of the digestive benefits. I sometimes add lemon (with skin) and ginger to soothe the bitter taste.
But if I had to chose my top three would have to be apple, ginger and lemon. They are a tasty combination and you can add any fruit to add sweetness or vegetable for a more earthy taste.
Do you think there are certain times of the day for certain juices, and why would that be?
I believe consuming juices at any part of the day is beneficial. But I think the most important is the moment you wake up because you’re breaking the fast with nutrients that will help your body, especially your digestive system, throughout the day.
Which juices from your range would you put together for a one-day cleanse, and why those?
I always have the staple juices that I always include like Queen of Green, In the Raw, Finest Roots and Innocent Dreams. Then I usually see what is fresh and in season at the time, like at this time of year I would use oranges and grapefruit.
I think it would be great to share a go-to juice recipe, a favourite that we can try at home!
I’m fond of beetroot juice because of its earthy taste and obviously its many benefits. Juice it with apple, lemon (skin included), ginger and turmeric and you have a finest roots.
Karla is the latest addition to the Home Deli team! These juices and many more are available for order from our website via Karla’s profile. You can also have her put together a special juice cleanse package to be delivered to you as regularly as you would like. Don’t miss her selection of delicious nut mylks too!