(Emerald) green juice is so on trend right now! Seriously, here’s why you should drink some

Yesterday was SO hard. If you’re anything like me, it was the first day back on the healthy wagon after an indulgent holiday. And so it felt a bit strange to not be carb-loading like crazy, having dessert after breakfast or washing it all down with some sweet, sweet alcohol.

Instead I had salad. And green juice!

Which I then Instagrammed.

Green juice Jan 2013 (Emerald) green juice is so on trend right now! Seriously, heres why you should drink some

And then I realized I’ve actually Instagrammed THREE of these bad boys over the last few months…

starting in July

Green juice Jul 2012 (Emerald) green juice is so on trend right now! Seriously, heres why you should drink some

and then October,

Green juice Oct 2012 (Emerald) green juice is so on trend right now! Seriously, heres why you should drink some

prompting the revelations that (a) my Instagram feed really needs to be more exciting, (b) it’s obvious I’ve become a total a green juice freak, and (c) I should probably talk about this stuff with you guys on here. Because no joke, it’s one of the best beauty secrets around. (Heck, even Pantone endorses the colour!)

What the heck is green juice?

No, it’s not swamp water.

It’s juice that’s made with green veggies instead of fruit—and I’m not even exaggerating when I tell you that it tastes yummy, not gross. Think cucumber, celery, broccoli stems, kale… it’s good stuff, dude.

Plus, some vegetables (like the broccoli) can actually taste quite sweet, and once you get used to drinking this stuff you’ll start to crave it. You can mix your greens with apple, lemon, pear or ginger to cut the “green” taste and give your juice a bit of sweetness without spiking your blood sugar.

And speaking of blood sugar, that’s one big reason to consider going green…

Why not drink regular (fruit) juice?

Because fruit juice can make your blood sugar literally go bananas. Sure, the freshly pressed kind is “natural” and the vitamin C is good for you and you’re getting antioxidants, blah blah blah. But it’s STILL high in sugar. (This report says it’s as bad as soda… or as we Canadians say, “pop.”)

Sugar specifically sucks because of a process called glycation. It’s received a lot of attention in the beauty world lately, but it applies to your whole body, too: when sugar molecules hit your system, they end up causing inflammation and connective tissue damage.

For skin—which, being vain, is what we really care about the most—that means damaged collagen, elastin and protein fibres that make complexions look more wrinkled, dull and saggy. And despite all of these anti-glycation skincare products that have come out on the market, there ain’t no cream that can compensate for a high-sugar diet.

So toss out that OJ!

What are the benefits of drinking green juice?

I’m so glad you asked!

Freshly extracted vegetable juice FLOODS your body with kajillions of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll and oxygen. It boosts immunity, improves circulation, decreases inflammation and counteracts those dang free radicals that contribute to aging.

When I drink it, I feel more alive, awake, energetic and like the green goodness is nourishing every cell in my body. It’s amazing.

Also consider that it would be almost impossible—or at least highly undesirable—to eat all of the raw veggies that go into just one glass of juice. By removing the fibre, you get the benefit of all that nutrition while lightening the load on your digestive system. Not that fibre is bad, of course, but if you’re following a good diet already then it won’t matter that you’re removing it from what you consume as green juice.

The Raw Food Detox Diet (Emerald) green juice is so on trend right now! Seriously, heres why you should drink some

In fact, green juice provides so much cellular hydration that you probably won’t need to drink the regulation eight glasses of water each day when you’re consuming it regularly. (According to Natalia Rose, author of The Raw Food Detox Diet, the book that got me into this green juice thing in the first place, the average person needs all that water because they’re consuming dense, non-hydrated foods like bagels or doughnuts.)

When you start to juice, you’ll notice that your body—and therefore your complexion—just feels more hydrated. You’ll look that way too. There IS such thing as a green juice glow.

Don’t believe me? Look who else drinks it:

Alessandra Ambrosio green juice (Emerald) green juice is so on trend right now! Seriously, heres why you should drink some

Alessandra Ambrosio

Karolina Kurkova green juice (Emerald) green juice is so on trend right now! Seriously, heres why you should drink some

Karolina Kurkova

Models know stuff, okay?

Can’t I drink a smoothie?

You can. If you’re down with tossing kale and whatever else in a blender (eeks! I’m not), then go for it. But I’d still recommend consuming more juices than smoothies because they’re packed with so many more nutrients. And without the fibre bogging things down, they get to pass directly into the bloodstream to fuel your cells. (Including skin cells.)

Do I need a juicer?

Yes, and here’s why. Pre-packaged juices, even if they don’t have the aforementioned evil sugar in them, have already lost most of their enzymes. Which is the whole point. Exposed to air—or even worse, pasteurization—they quickly break down and lose their nutritional (and beauty) benefits.

Of course, you can always head to your local juice bar, but that gets expensive. It’s way cheaper to buy your own juicer, stock up on veggies at the grocery store, and then DIY at home.

There are three different types of juicers you can buy (centrifugal, masticating and twin gear) and loads of info all over the internet on which is best. Personally, I use the Omega (a masticating type) and have been really happy with it. Mine has held up for I don’t know, four years or something like that now? I just bought my mom the same brand for Christmas—they’re on Amazon for around $200-300:

Omega 8003 Masticating Juicer (Emerald) green juice is so on trend right now! Seriously, heres why you should drink some

Try to drink the juice within 20 minutes of making it. It’s not ideal, but if you can’t drink it right away then store it in a container with as little air at the top as possible and keep it in your fridge for later that day.

Oh, and for maximum benefits, consume it on an empty stomach and then wait about half an hour to eat solid food. Try it instead of coffee and you’ll be amazed at the energy it gives you!

My favourite juicing recipe

Okay, so there aren’t really any “rules” with juicing recipes—it’s all about experimenting until you find a combo of raw materials, in the right quantities, that tastes great to you. I use an adaptation of Natalia Rose’s “Green Lemonade” recipe the most:

  • 3 to 4 stalks of celery
  • 5 to 6 leaves of kale
  • 1 apple
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger

You can also find a bunch of juice recipes (along with other plant-based goodness) in this wicked new book, Crazy Sexy Kitchen, by another one of my health gurus, Kris Carr:

Crazy Sexy Kitchen (Emerald) green juice is so on trend right now! Seriously, heres why you should drink some

The bottom line

I think it was Kris Carr who made this observation in a blog I read ages ago: if you’re spending money on a bunch of cosmetics and skincare items, but you’re not eating/juicing enough greens… then you’re basically just wasting your time.

I believe it. (It’s along the exact same line as that whole cortisol argument I made last week.)

So now that it’s January, a.k.a. healthy time, will you join me on this green juicing mission? Yes, it’s an investment, and yes, even if you are DIY-ing it’s still a bit expensive. But it’s one of the very best ways you can treat yourself and care for yourself… dontcha think?

Now excuse me while I finish today’s serving (told you I was a freak).

Green juice Jan 2013 2 (Emerald) green juice is so on trend right now! Seriously, heres why you should drink some

Tell me:

Have you tried green juice?
Ever experienced the green juice glow? (Non? Bet you want to now!)
What healthy things are YOU doing this month?

31 Comments

Jaime L. B. Schell
Tuesday, January 8/2013 at 1:47 pm

Oh my heavens, yes! I wrote about this exact thing a few months ago: http://girlgonewell.com/2012/06/20/juicy-couture/. I got a “slow juicer” for Christmas that I’m excited to write about next! If only the things were easier to clean.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, January 9/2013 at 4:35 pm

Awesome! We feel the same way :)

What kind of juicer is your new one?

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Jillian
Tuesday, January 8/2013 at 2:12 pm

I just got a juicer this weekend! I haven’t found the right veggie/fruit combination for me yet. I made a drink yesterday that was 3 celery sticks, a carrot, an apple, an orange and a handful of kale leaves. It had a really strong celery aftertaste that wasn’t great.

I’ve read that juicing with all different colors of fruits and veggies is ideal. Different colors mean different nutrients.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, January 9/2013 at 4:40 pm

Awesome! Maybe try adding a lemon in there instead of the orange – I find lemon has a way stronger ability to cut the green taste. Also I don’t usually mix carrots with greens other than cucumber as it tends to turn the juice an unappetizing colour :) I find the apple is enough to give the juice sweetness without needing the carrot. Carrot is great with cucumber, apple and ginger.

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Sneza
Tuesday, January 8/2013 at 3:19 pm

OK, you have convinced me.

Now, when you say “1 whole lemon” do you mean rind and seeds and all???

I’m not being sarcastic — I’ve heard that these juicers can pulverize anything — so…

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, January 9/2013 at 4:44 pm

Yep wash the lemon and you can throw the whole thing in there. It’s not blending it so you’re not actually consuming the rind/seeds – it’s just squeezing out all the juice and spitting out the remains as pulp. You can even run the pulp through the machine twice if you want to try and get more juice out of it (some machines are better than others).

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Me my best and I
Tuesday, January 8/2013 at 5:12 pm

I’m right with you on the green bandwagon! I got a juicer from hubs for Xmas 2011 (Breville- so easy to clean, just a quick rinse) and have been juicing nearly everyday since. I totally gte the coffee-like energy buzz and my skin and eyes show the difference. Im 8.9 months preganany and had the easiest preganancy and never a moment of nausea or morning sickness (thanks ginger) during the whole time. Hopefully bubby has developed a taste for green!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, January 9/2013 at 4:46 pm

That’s AMAZING – the ginger is a such a great tip for morning sickness… and imagine how well nourished your baby is! Hope the rest of your pregnancy goes smoothly!

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Alyssa
Friday, January 11/2013 at 4:58 pm

Which model do you have? I’m looking for a good juicer to put on my birthday list that isn’t totally crazy expensive!

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Michelle (LipstickRules)
Tuesday, January 8/2013 at 6:39 pm

Thanks for this post Michelle! You’ve inspired me. Just announced to my husband that I want a juicer (he looked at me funny). Going to research the one you recommended.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, January 9/2013 at 4:47 pm

My pleasure! Let me know how it goes (I know how family members can give you the side eye when they see you guzzling down a weird green beverage, haha!)

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Susie
Tuesday, January 8/2013 at 6:52 pm

I’m juicing!

I was on the verge of buying a Vitamix to make green smoothies, but after reading Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Juices guide, it sounds like the juice is more potent.

Plus, the Breville juicer is under $200. I’m going to try the recipe above!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, January 9/2013 at 4:50 pm

Yay! Is the e-book good? I kind of want to get that as well.

I have a Vitamix and I do love it. It’s so powerful and indestructible! I probably use it as much as my juicer, but I’m definitely not a green smoothie person – I use it to make salad dressings, ice cream (out of bananas) and soups.

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Susie
Wednesday, January 9/2013 at 7:16 pm

Yup! The e-book has some good tips for juicing beginners, but there’s lots of information and recipes (both juices and smoothies) for more experienced juicers, too.

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Mari
Tuesday, January 8/2013 at 8:48 pm

Has anyone tried BeNourished on Avenue Rd in Toronto?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, January 9/2013 at 4:53 pm

Hi Mari, Carole did a whole series last year on juice cleanse services – including Benourished. Check them out here: http://beautyeditor.ca/author/carole/

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aemii
Wednesday, January 9/2013 at 3:25 am

i tried on green juice for awhile and it improves my complexion and aids my digestion.

if you not eating your veggies/fruits everyday, then i suggest drink green juice .

here my green juice choices:
bitter gourd
celery
green apple
green bell pepper
cucumber

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, January 9/2013 at 4:55 pm

I’ve never juiced gourd!

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aemii
Thursday, January 10/2013 at 10:06 pm

try it! if you combine the whole greens together, you barely taste the bitterness.

but, you can opt not to add in though. :)

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Sophia
Wednesday, January 9/2013 at 12:30 pm

I don’t really see how juices are “packed with so many more nutrients.” What is different about tossing the same amount of veg into a blender versus a juicer? From what I’ve read, juices are good if you’re only concerned about your vitamin intake from veg, whereas smoothies are a complete food (since fiber is not removed) and are more like drinking a salad. My understanding, therefore, is that juice is to be supplementary to real food, but you can sensibly have a smoothie as a meal.

I can attest to feeling way better when drinking my greens – after just a week of a fruit and veg smoothie for breakfast, I felt more alert and less bloated. I’m rubbish at getting an adequate veggie intake and once I got past the texture, it was a pretty enjoyable and efficient way of consuming the recommended amount.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, January 9/2013 at 5:16 pm

Right, juices aren’t meant to replace meals (like smoothies are) so it’s not an either/or thing. You can do both. Juices give you an instant hit of energy, are more hydrating and contain more enzymes, minerals and vitamins – whereas smoothies are filling (and require more work from your body to digest).

It’s just a volume thing that juice would contain more nutrients – to make one glass of juice you need to put in waaaay more veg than you would put into a smoothie. I would never be able to eat whole what I juiced – the fibre would make you too full.

If a smoothie is the only way you’re able to get in your greens, then of course that’s great! Juicing should be an extra nutritional bonus on top of a good diet :)

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Sophia
Friday, January 11/2013 at 9:49 am

Oh durr, volume of veg and stuff didn’t even occur to me!

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mk
Thursday, January 10/2013 at 2:04 pm

Green Juice, the elixir of the Goddesses!

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Liz M
Saturday, January 19/2013 at 2:59 pm

I juice a lot. Beyond weight loss (yay!), reducing dark circles under my eyes (kale is rich in vitamin K, which constricts the blood vessels under the eyes and takes away the blueness), clearer skin, more energy, it helps me “reset” my tastebuds if I’ve been craving for a lot of sweets and meats.

I actually use a blender (for kale, spinach, all of it) and then strain the mixture myself using an almond milk bag (a very fine mesh bag, maybe $10 on Amazon). The process takes longer but I get more juice out of the same amount of veggies and cleaning a blender is a MILLION times easier than cleaning a juicer.

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Mariana
Monday, January 21/2013 at 8:42 am

I do the same way! And I’m very happy with it! :)

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Dam
Tuesday, January 22/2013 at 10:12 pm

Yes…I did once the Frank Lippman’s diet, the one you just need to avoid sugar, flour and eat more vegetables I did it for one week and my skin was radiant and soft…but is a little difficult to follow it everyday, especially to cut sugar…I will try again to drink more green juices, great article…

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Zari
Sunday, February 3/2013 at 7:38 pm

I’ll try it for sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Green Juice
Saturday, February 9/2013 at 2:09 pm

Great article. I start my day with a glass of fresh green juice. Best thing I’ve ever done. Today I juiced kale, apple, mint, lime and cucumber :-)

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meangirl
Sunday, July 14/2013 at 8:46 pm

green juice sucks. it’s 90s, not “right now”. the juicing trend started 20 years ago and should have already been debunked for the nonsense it truly is. green vegetables are loaded with toxins and bad polyunsaturated fats that will eventually age you and ruin your thyroid. read ray peat to understand why vegetables are severely overrated. he, btw, is the only one who says this and also has never been on oprah or written a book for the big box etc. wake up, it’s garbage.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 14/2013 at 9:33 pm

Hi Meangirl, actually I agree with you! I wrote this article before I came across Ray Peat’s work so I know exactly what you are talking about :) Figuring out the truth when there is so much disinfo in health is a very long and hard process. I don’t really write about him on here because people would freak out if I made a post about how I stopped eating vegetables. Haha!

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Gisele
Thursday, September 26/2013 at 6:09 am

Love my green juice too! It’s completely changed my life, my skin, my energy levels and my overall mood!

One small tip for you – You don’t need to peel that lemon! Buy organic lemons and throw the whole thing in that juicer…you’ll get all the benefits of the extra vitamin C that’s in the skin, and it tastes great in juice too :)

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