Hopping from Easter to a post-chocolate cleanse?
I hope you all had a holistically healthy holiday yesterday but if chocolate and sweets jumped their way onto the menu, you may be feeling in need of a little reboot today! A great place to start is to increase the amount of vegetables and leafy greens you consume to alkalinize the body and provide valuable fibre to push out the toxins. But what if you already feel pressed to incorporate enough into your diet on any given day? One of my favourite holistic life hacks to increasing your intake of greens is through green smoothies and juices, which leafs us with this week’s Ask Eden and one of the questions I’m quite frequently asked from clients;
“Which is better; juicing or blending?”
The answer? I love them both! Both are beneficial when applied properly.
Saturday morning, for instance, I blended a large smoothie for a quick breakfast on the go as my best friend and I set off for a mini road trip.
A blend of; banana | coconut water | chaga | cinnamon | spirulina | acai | cacao (I love chocolate as an energy boost!)
Last night, on the other hand, I was spoiled with a buffet of delicious food and veggie trays at my grandparents’ house in the country and woke this morning not feeling the need for a big meal. Instead of reaching for my regular green smoothie, I dusted off my juicer and pressed my favourite sunrise juice of orange, carrot and ginger and added romaine lettuce and lemon. The orange being graciously supplied by the Holistic Easter basket left for me with equal parts Giddy Yoyo dark chocolate and fresh fruit!
So what is the difference? Is one more beneficial than the other? And how do you eat them to reap the most benefit from them?
It’s not the first time I’ve had this question asked and it’s a great one so without further ado, this is
your quickie guide to smoothies vs juices:
The WHOLE story
- When you eat a smoothie, you are consuming the whole food and keeping the fibre intact to reap its full spectrum of benefits.
- When you juice, you extract the water and nutrients and discard of the fibre. This allows you to make the nutrients more readily available to your body in much larger quantities. For instance, you could easily use an entire head of lettuce in a juice as opposed to a few leaves you might pack in your smoothie. However, you lose the beneficial properties of the fibre.
Smoothies are full of it
- The fibre in smoothies will help to fill you faster and keep you satiated for longer as it provides bulk. This makes smoothies filling and suitable as a light meal. It is also the fibre that will bind to toxins to excrete them from the body when cleansing.
- Without the fibre content in juices, you are likely feeling hungry faster. However, this makes a juice an ideal snack or addition to a meal when consumed 20 minutes beforehand (drinking too close to your meals will dilute your natural digestive juices).
- Smoothies are fantastic for digestion as they do much of the “breakdown” for your body. Blending your smoothie with a powerful blender (I use a Vitamix), breaks down the cell walls and pulverizes the food, taking a load off of your system which means more energy for you to go about your day. The high fibre content of a good smoothie will also help to regulate your bowels that may be compromised from poor diegstion.
- With the fibre removed from juicing, it’s that extra step to make it even easier on your body to digest and absorb the nutrients making it an ideal, energizing option when digestion is sluggish (after a delicious Easter dinner perhaps?).
The Nutrient Zap
- The fibre in smoothies assists in slowing the digestive process to steady the flow of nutrients that hit your blood stream.
- Without fibre, juicing creates a rapid surge of nutrients straight to the bloodstream so that you get the instant nutrient zap. The warning: this means that without the fibre, fruit will rapidly spike blood sugar and must be balanced with greens to avoid the potential jitters, mood swings, energy slumps and so forth that may result from imbalanced blood sugar.
Pressed for time
- With smoothies you simply blend and go with only the need to quickly wash out your blender.
- Juices take more time to cut veggies and funnel through the nozzle into the blade. Then comes the washing of all of the separate parts, including the mesh cylinder.
The above is this morning’s sunrise juice and the official sign that spring has sprung in our flower garden!
To Juice or to Blend, That is the Question!
My main beverage of choice? A smoothie! Quick, filling, and a whole food, smoothies are a staple of my diet and my number one go to through busy days. However, if I need a big dose of greens or my digestion is feeling a little sluggish, I will pull out my quality juicer and give it a go.
The key to blending or juicing? It is all about the right time, for the right person, in the right amounts.
A few keys:
- Juices must, I repeat MUST be organic! Without the fibre to steady and bind to the toxic pesticides, you are absorbing those straight into your bloodstream. Be very careful of this when going to juice bars.
- Because of the ability to jam pack juices with nutrients, it can be easy to overdo it on a given nutrient and aggravate certain conditions of the body. Be aware of this and practise moderation and variety.
- Juices should be consumed ideally within the first 15 minutes of being made as light and air will destroy the vulnerable and valuable nutrients.
- Smoothies MUST be chewed as drinking makes the body think that there is nothing to digest. The act of chewing stimulates the entire digestive system to prepare to digest food.
So, to juice or to blend, hopefully this post answers that question and whichever you choose for today, I wish you all an Easter Monday packed with green leaves and green hikes full of spring’s budding blooms!
Hopping into a juicy post Easter cleanse,