Avoiding the Most Common Juicing Mistakes

Photo by: Paul Downey

Will Rogers would say, “good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”

In hopes you might not have to repeat some of the mistakes I made when I first started juicing, I’ve compiled a list of the common pitfalls you might encounter.

Juicer Selection

You might have to be a little psychic to get this one right.  First, you need to know what types of items you plan on juicing most, before selecting the best juicer for your needs.

Of all the different juice machines available, not one will do exceedingly well at juicing everything you throw into it.  Some machines will consume apples whole, while others will require you to cut them up into smaller pieces. Likewise, the best apple juicer might perform poorly with lighter items such as wheatgrass and leafy greens. Knowing what you plan on juicing will help you choose the best equipment. Reading all the reviews might be helpful when deciding what juice machine to buy. Noise, appearance, juice quality, ease of use and ease of cleaning are all things to consider when selecting the right machine. Shop carefully, and you might be able to buy your second juicer first.

High speed vs Low Speed Juicers: How you plan on consuming and storing your juice matters too.  A low speed “masticating” juicer will slowly press the juices which allows for some refrigerated storage.  A high-speed “centrifugal” juicer, while excellent at producing juice quickly, will also likely oxidize the juice more, which will cause your fresh juice to degrade quickly. You can easily see how fast apple juice starts to oxidize and turn brown shortly after it comes out of a high-speed juicer.

Noise: If you plan on juicing at odd hours, be aware that some high-speed juicers sound similar to a fighter jet getting ready to catapult from the deck of an aircraft carrier. If you live with others, this could be a problematic situation, especially if other household members are sleeping.

Cleanup: The art of juicing definitely requires extra attention to preparation and cleaning. Even if you think found the perfect juicer, if it takes you twenty minutes to clean it each morning, those with hectic lifestyles will probably end up shelving the unit and going back to microwave breakfast sandwiches. If you lack patience – or —  time, look for juicers with easy cleaning features.

Appearance: My first juicer was an Omega 8003. This was the juicer I decided would be the best overall for my primary use.  And it’s a good juicer! Unfortunately, my wife, who takes no part in juicing, is all too happy to regularly point out its “hideous” appearance (her words, not mine). Moreover, being only concerned with functionality, I picked out the wrong color juicer. Half of our mixed-bag kitchen appliances are white and the other half are black. So, I never gave color a second thought.  Wife says “stainless or black would have looked better.” Get your significant other involved in the selection process before you have to deal with that later. At $249 dollars, I’ll have to live with the color and its melamine auger.

 

Buying Too Much Produce

At first, I went overboard stocking up with different things to juice. There was leafy green stuff sticking out of every square inch of my refrigerator. It was overwhelming, and most it went to waste.  I found that it’s best to make a simple grocery store juicing list and stick to it; at least in the beginning, until you figure out what works best. I now make more frequent, quick trips to the store instead of trying to keep everything on had at all times. Unless it’s a really good bargin I keep my inventory of perishable goods down to a minimum. I’ll let the grocery stores warehouse all my fresh produce for me. I wrote a brief article about juicing on a budget, where I detail what I always include on my shopping list, and why.

Drinking Too Much Juice

I’m a big believer that too much of anything can be bad for you. Juicing after all is a form of highly concentrated nutrition. Let me preface that by saying if you believe food is nutrition and nutrition can be medicine, than it would be best to seek the advice of a qualified nutritionist or doctor before introducing changes to you diet.  Obviously there are things in food that can be beneficial to the body, but likewise, there are things that can be detrimental too. This is especially true if you take certain prescription medicines or have certain conditions that would be amplified by consuming greater amounts of certain types of food.  That said, I think it’s best to start out slowly and let your body get adjusted to your new ways. Start with a couple ounces at a time and work your way up.  It is not necessary to drink mass amounts of juice to gain the benefits.  With variety, just eight ounces of juice a day can provide an excellent nutritional boost to your diet.  While eight ounces does not seem like much, consider the following example. When you process a carrot through a juice machine, you unlock approximately 90% more beta carotene than if simply ate one raw. So, in terms of beta carotene, one raw carrot becomes ten when you juice it. As good as our digestive systems are, vastly larger amounts of nutrients can be is extracted through juicing.

Juicing Too Many High Sugar Fruits and Vegetables

After I jumped on the juicing bandwagon, I shifted primarily to a juice based diet. Two weeks later, my co-workers noticed that I was gaining weight.  Sure enough, stepping on the scale verified this. Friends joked that it was because I had stopped chewing my food. Well, all those delicious sweet juice drinks that I was consuming throughout the day were loaded with natural sugars. After I reduced the amount of root vegetables I was juicing like carrots and beets, and reduced the quantity of high sugar fruits in my juice, my weight returned to normal. Lesson learned.

 

About Chris Bede

With great interest in health topics, I research the latest trends in nutrition. Besides juicing daily, I'm currently a fan of the paleo diet. I may be the second largest consumer of grass-fed butter. You can follow me on twitter @cbede.