It’s officially a new year and we’re all thinking about our New Year’s Resolutions. Whether you’re hoping to lose weight in 2014 or simply wanting to embrace a healthier lifestyle, we know how you feel! Which is why we are embracing one of Salma Hayek’s favorite health tricks: juicing! Whether you’re new to cleansing or are a seasoned lover, we have the best tips and tricks to embracing more fruits and veggies this year—all while trimming your waistline in the process. Here is the Juicing 101 that you need to know for your new favorite health trick!
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Why Salma Hayek Loves It
Growing up, Salma loved the aguas frescas and horchatas of her native Mexico. She discovered juicing in her mid-twenties in California, and “it was love at first sip.” She embraced healthy eating and writes in The Juice Generation: “I believe eating well, and with people you love, is about feeding your body, heart, and soul—I used juicing to ensure I covered my nutritional bases every day, and as a tool to restore inner balance if my body needed a break from too much indulgence.” Now, as a mother, she also wants her daughter to “grow up learning to love all the benefits that nature offers.”
Juicing vs. Smoothies
There’s two major ways to get more fruits and veggies into your life: juicing and smoothies. Juicing requires you to put the ingredients through a juicer, which then squeezes out the juice and deposits the pulp, seeds and leftovers in a separate compartment to throw away. Smoothies are typically made with a high-powered blender, like the Ninja Ultima Blender, and everything is combined together. The main benefit of juice is that nutrients get absorbed into your body much quicker. Meanwhile, smoothies are more filling thanks to keeping all of the fiber. Both are great choices.
Whether you’re juicing or making smoothies, investing in high-quality equipment is key. Do your research, ask around and shop before buying one. A good juicer should be made of sturdy stainless steel, quiet when it extracts juice, and most of the removable parts should be dishwasher-safe. We like the Breville Juice Fountain Elite ($300, amazon.com). Meanwhile, a good blender should be able to quickly process everything from ice to whole fruits and turn it into creamy smoothies with no grit. We’re fans of the Ninja Ultima Blender Plus ($260, BedBathandBeyond.com)
How to Prep for Juicing
In order to prepare for your juicing adventures, first go to your local grocery store and buy a variety of organic produce. Start with some of your favorites (bananas, mango, pineapple) and then add some of the green stuff (spinach, kale, lettuce, celery) and some more fruits and vegetables for flavor that have high water content (lemon, cucumber, watermelon). When you get home, wash and prep your ingredients by peeling or cutting off odd ends when you need to. And then you’re ready to juice!
Fruits, Veggies & Recipes
What kind of fruits and vegetables should you be buying? Whatever is to your heart’s content! Include more greens, and simply start experimenting. If you’re new, go for sweeter juices and milder greens like spinach. If you’re ready to jump in, go for the kale. Some suggestions: mango, banana, plantain, guava, mamey, chayote squash, papaya, apples, oranges, grapefruit, lemon, limes, pineapple, watermelon, cilantro, mint, parsley, broccoli, radishes, carrot, lettuce, fennel, cucumber, celery, lettuce, swiss chard, kale, collard greens, beets, avocado, spinach, berries. To start, check out The Latin Kitchen’s A Juice Cleanse Guide.
More Tips & Tricks
For more on juicing, including great recipes from celebrity fans, check out The Juice Generation: 100 Recipes for Fresh Juices and Superfood Smoothies by Eric Helms (with a foreword by Salma Hayek). If you’re still afraid to try your hand at making your own juices, find inspiration in the 5 diet cleanses that stars love. And now, get juicing!