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The Dark Side of Juicing: Why Too Much Juice Can Get in the Way of Your Health

I’ll be the first to admit that a glass or bottle of fresh juice is a delicious treat. I’ve been known to order a green juice after yoga class or a beetroot juice before bootcamp. In fact I’ve even followed 1-day juice fasts with both Blueprint Cleanse and Cooler Cleanse.

But I’ve long wondered just how healthy the juicing cleanse trend was. After all, once you strain away the healthy fiber of fruits and veggies you’re left with a lot of nutrients (pro) and also a lot of sugars (con). People claim to feel lighter and “detoxed” after drinking these fresh blends, but regular juicing never sat right with me. After all, nutritionists regularly steer clients away from juice because of its high concentration of sugars and calories, recommending whole foods like salads and pieces of fruit instead. Why would a diet of just juice be good when a glass of juice is often considered bad?

juices

When I read a recent Opinion piece in the New York Times, about how Jennifer Berman’s health habits—including juicing—were having the opposite affect, I wasn’t all that surprised.


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Detox in the New Year with a Juice Cleanse

The jury’s still out on the long-term health value of following a juice fast. Sure, a single serving can contain a ton of vitamins and nutrients, but when you eliminate much of the fiber found in a fruit or vegetable you get rid of a lot of the digestion benefits too. However, a brief juice cleanse can act a short-term solution,  mentally and physically allowing you to reset your health habits after, say, an overindulgent holiday season.

juices

Most full-day juice plans contain about 6 juices and a total of 1,200 calories, well below the typical caloric intake of an average adult. Following such a plan for 1 to 3 days may help you lose weigh and reset your tastebuds to crave healthy foods.


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Pineapple Agua Fresca is the One Summer Drink You Must Try

When it comes to beverages I’m usually indifferent. Between drink and food, I’ll always choose the latter for my calorie splurges. But when a healthy indulgence comes along in liquid form I’ll at least consider giving it a shot.

After testing four agua fresca recipes this week – yes, four –  pineapple agua fresca was the clear winner; the absolute best! This leads me to believe if there’s one fruity drink you indulge in this summer, this simply must be it!

Pineapple-Agua-Fresca
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Starbucks Trades in Java for Juice in 2012

Starbucks has closed a $30 million dollar deal with Evolution Fresh to launch a chain of juice bars this year. Starbucks Corp purchased the California-based juice maker with plans to move into the health and wellness market by offering fresh, healthy juices and snacks completely seperate from the coffee shops we are used to on every street corner.

Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz hopes that buying Evolution Fresh, sold in a few health retailers including Whole Foods, will lend credibility to the bars for their health-conscious consumers. Evolution Fresh, which was started by the founder of Naked Juice, uses a heat-free, high-pressure pasteurization process they claim retains more nutrients compared with using conventional heat pasteurization.

Starbucks has been quiet about how many bars they plan to open and the name of the chain, but do say they hope to open the first around the middle of this year. It is also unknown is they will keep their famous mermaid logo, which recently dropped the word “coffee” from its design.


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How to Safely Start a Juice Cleanse At Home

There are a number of juice cleanses available that promise fast, foolproof results. From the Blueprint Cleanse, which promises no uncomfortable side effects to the Zen Cleanse which aims to flush toxins from your body.

With juice cleanses becoming more mainstream than ever, it’s important to do your homework and research what kind of cleanse is right for you before you begin. While some cleanses include whole foods and offer nutritional benefits, others suspect that cleanses and fasts are little more than diet hype.

“A juice cleanse is very safe and easy to do. One of the best ways to start gently detoxing the body is to add fresh vegetable juices to a good diet,” said Cherie Calbom, MS, author of The Juice Lady’s Turbo Diet and Juicing for Life. “This will start the body on a gentle detox.  Then you can progress to a day or two of vegetable juice fasting where you give your digestive system a rest.  This helps your body rejuvenate and repair damaged areas.”


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