Which one suits your lifestyle, and why they are different?
When I used to run a smoothie and juice bar, I often got asked things like: What is the difference between the two, aren’t they the same thing? What do you need to make one, what should you use, equipment wise?
They are Different
Juicing requires a masticating or centrifugal juicer. Both types extract the “juice” out of your fruit and vegetables, leaving aside the fiber and the pulp.
Blending involves putting whole ingredients into a blender, adding some type of liquid, and blending into a smooth, thick liquid is formed. You consume the whole fruit this way.
Is One Better Than the Other?
Juicing provides the benefit of immediate nutrient absorption, directly into your blood stream within 15 minutes. This speeds up digestion, by eliminating the need for your body to extract the fiber (which then becomes waste), before absorbing the nutrients contained inside. In general, juicing takes a little longer to do time wise (prep, juice, clean up), and requires more ingredients. The equipment will cost a bit more than blending and it does require more produce.
Blending involves the whole fruit, fiber, skin, pulp. The blender breaks down the cellular wall of the fruit and greens, which again, allows for better absorption. Think of how many times you would have to chew that to properly break down the cell wall? Blending has the benefit of being inexpensive; you don’t need many ingredients to make a filling smoothie!
I use them interchangeably. If I drink juice, I also eat a lot of whole fruit (and chew it well), if I drink a smoothie, I make sure I drink slowly and swish it in my mouth (you want to use your saliva to stimulate digestion). Fiber is the “cleaner” and Greens are the “rebuilder” so you definitely want a mix of both.
Just juicing alone all day without eating can make you constipated if you don’t also have a lot of fiber in your diet.
Blending breaks things up so finely, if you drink fast, you might not even register you are full, and are at risk of over consuming calories if you aren’t mindful.
How Can You Get the Benefits?
Juicing is perfect for the things you don’t like the taste of. Think nutrient bomb! You can put a lot of greens in your juicer which equates to very little concentrated juice, but that juice contains tons of vitamins and minerals. I put loads of kale, sprouts, cucumbers, celery, cilantro, lemon and lime, ginger, turmeric and sometimes add in green apple or pear. Cheers to health!
One of my favorites includes peach, banana, hemp seeds, swiss chard, sorrel, and mint. The greens stabilize the direct hit of sugar from the fruit, and you actually do feel more balanced and level headed. I aim to put as much as possible of the greens because the fruit covers it so well. My daily smoothie really keeps my regular, if you know what I mean.
How Can You Get Started?
Juicing ideally requires a juicer. You can get a very basic inexpensive one for $150-300. But make sure it is being sold as an either a centrifugal (basically just spins the greens in a circle around a blade to extract), or masticating (twin gear, squeezing between two gears) juicer. Pro tip would be the more expensive twin gear juicer. It gets the best bang for your buck out of the greens, more efficient, less waste.
Blending- you can start with any blender you have. NutriBullet is really popular and its only $60-80. It’s only a problem if you want to make a really big smoothie (which I do). In which case, the Vitamix is my top choice. Any home blender will do, but if you are making a green smoothie, most don’t have sharp enough blades to do the job. And if you have a chunky smoothie, you will never want one again.
If all else fails and you hate what you create, Green Hopping App lists loads of juice and smoothie bars where you can get a delicious drink!
Is the creator behind "Beautifully Wild" an online platform designed to inspire women to reconnect back to their true nature and live life on purpose. She is plant-passionate and a big believer in eating intuitively, seasonally, and locally and following what feels right, versus what is suggested. She is a Nutritionist, and the curator behind the former "Pure Raw Nature" Smoothie and Juice bar, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
When she is not in the kitchen creating, she is seeking inspiration outside, in the abundant forest behind her home. Writing for her blog Beautifully Wild, and using her unique nutritionist background combined with intuition to help clients from all over the world awaken to their radiance by cultivating practices in self-love, natural beauty, and eating from a place of connectedness.