Juicing & Living Foods Questions & Answers (check back periodically for updates)
Q: What is the difference between juicing and blending?
A: A Blender is used to make smoothies. The entire plant is used which keeps the fiber in tact. The blender will break apart the fiber as it blends your fruits and vegetables into a thick liquid substance–thus you have a pre-digested beverage which is less work for your digestive system. The fiber helps to create a slow even release of nutrients into the bloodstream, thus avoiding blood sugar spikes. Smoothies tend to be more filling because the fiber is left in tact and they’re faster and easier to make, for most. Smoothies are a great morning breakfast for adults and children alike.
–Juicing dates back to the ancient Egyptians–they would spend hours using a mortal and pestle to extract juice from plants. They realized early on the medicinal value of this liquid gold. I call it going to the essence of the plant.
Juicers separate the fiber from the plant leaving you with a concentrate liquid which is richest available food source of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. It’s much easier to drink your vegetables than to eat them. The liquid juice goes directly into your bloodstream which delivers them to your living cells–bathing them with nourisment. This is why most people get an instant burst of energy after drinking veggie juice cocktails. I call it a “Natural High”.
Remember you will your get the necessary fiber by eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and a variety of salads. Juicing is meant to supplement your daily food intake and should be an integral part of your daily regimen.
Q: There seems to be a juice cleanse craze going on now. What exactly is a juice cleanse and the benefits of doing a cleanse?
A: Fresh vegetable and fruit juices have been used for centuries in ancient civilizations for their therapeutic benefits, so this is a new phenomenon for western society–like most other things it likes to believe it ‘discovered’.
Juice Cleanses or what I like to call Juice Therapy is meant to give your digestive tract a much needed rest. Juice Therapy promotes healing, provides abundant energy and protects against disease. A three day juice cleanse will help curb cravings for salt, sugar and trans-fats and make you feel light and energized while flushing toxins from the body. The juices will even help to regulate your eliminations. A side benefit of juice cleansing may even be weight loss. A cleanse will make you more mindful of what your putting in your body.
Use your intuition and do what is ideal for your body and nutritional goals.
Fresh vegetables and fruits should make up at least 50% of our daily food intake and everything else should be eaten in moderation. Living Cells require Living Foods! This is great balance! Remember all you are doing is “drinking” your vegetables instead of chewing them.
Do not spend your time and energy focusing on calorie counting or trying to determine how many grams of fat, sugar, protein or carbs are in my foods. Instead keep it simple by eating foods provided in abundance by mother nature. Eat a high raw plant based nutrition and everything else in moderation and life will be beautiful!
Q: Rejuvenista sells many organic market items and wholesome prepared foods. I’m assuming you must be vegetarian, vegan or raw foodists’?
A: I, (Jo Anna) am not but some of our past staff are vegan or vegetarian. I always tell folks “been there done that”. I was a vegetarian for five years, a vegan for two years and went raw for a few months while living in California and Puerto Rico.
Based on my experience with these three eating styles and other eating styles (pescatarian, fruitarian, lacto-ovo, omnivore, flexitarian, etc.), I have concluded that one should not have to belong or subscribe to food categories or labels to be healthy.
Drop the labels and experience how freeing that is psychologically! For the type A’s out there (we all have some of these tendencies) “Get out of your head” and stop trying to analyze, rationalize and compartmentalize everything; there are so many more productive ways to use your time and energy.
My philosophy on eating is that if we all consume a high raw diet (fresh fruits and vegetables, salads, fresh juices, some green smoothies) along with legumes, whole grains, lightly steamed vegetables, sprouts, and everything else in moderation we would be a much healthier and happier nation.
It’s sad that most medical schools in our country do not offer classes on Nutrition or Alternative Medicine and refuse to acknowledge a direct connection between nutrition and disease. Obviously the big pharmaceutical companies would not be as profitable if this were the case. Some of my customers are medical doctors and medical students and realize this sad disconnect.
My advice to you is to take responsibility for your own health and well being, eat wholesome, nourishing foods, and life will be beautiful!
I am a firm believer that you really are what you eat and it shows both inside and out.
Q: There are so many juicers on the market. Centrifigual, masticating, triturating, hydraulic, cold press…. I’m totally confused. Which one should I buy?
A: First and foremost don’t be dissuaded by all the hype or you will never start a juicing regimen. Marketing is a very powerful tool and often times misleading.
I started juicing nearly 20 years ago and purchased my first juicer (a Krups I believe); it cost $19.99 from the cellar at Macy’s. The thing vibrated up and down on my countertop but it yielded me some freshly made juice. After juicing daily for the first two weeks, I began to notice a big difference in my energy level; skin flaws starting clearing up and I felt light and happy.
After my first juicer burned out I purchased another one of the same model and kept upgrading from that point forward. My favorite juicers for home use are Omega, Champion and Breville.
Masticating juicers chew and grind food into a pulp; when you chew your food your teeth are a great example of mastication in motion. Once the juicer chews and grinds the pulp the juice is expelled. Masticating juicers work at lower speeds and tend to juice produce more efficiently than centrifugal juicers but they are a lot slower as well.
Centrifugal juicers are the most common juicers on the market. Centrifugal means moving or directed away from a center or axis. It spins at high speeds and grinds the produce to a pulp. The spinning motion forces the juice away from the pulp and out comes your juice.
A hydraulic cold press juicer can juice just about everything and yields at least 50% more juice than other juicers. The juice is extracted from the pulp without heat. This is a two part process that first grinds the produce and then presses the ground veggies gently on the hydraulic press. The process is amazing to watch.
Some say the high speed action of a centrifugal juicer produces too much heat which damages or possibly kills the enzymes in the juice. Having used many centrifugal juicers over the years I cannot confirm or deny this statement, but I can tell you that I have gotten some pretty amazing results from those centrifugal juicers and haven’t felt the need to take vitamin or mineral supplements regularly for years.
Therefore I believe that most of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other nutrients are still in tact. In the big scheme of things, so what if the motor kills off a minuscule amount of the enzymes. Your energy is better spent (we only get a certain amount per day during our lifetimes) just drinking the darn juice regardless of what type of juicer is used to yield your freshly made unpasturized-live juice.
Juice for thought! Regardless of what machine your juice is made, the longer your unpasturized raw juice sits in a pretty bottle on a shelf, the more nutrients it loses, until eventually its dead-lifeless juice. (old expired juice makes great plant food)
Q: What juicers and blenders does Hawthorne use?
A: Great question! We are a juice bar so we have a variety of juicers. Our commercial juicers are massive in size and take up lots of counter space so I do not recommend them for home use.
At our Juice Bar we have the following juicers:
Nutrifaster: This American made centrifugal juicer is high powered and can juice many juices back to back before we have to stop and clean it—which we do several times a day since pulp collects around the screen basket. The Nutrifaster is fast and able push out freshly made juice in a matter of minutes.
Nutriextractor: Seems to be a knock off of the Nutrifaster but I’m not as impressed with it as I am the Nutrifaster. (made in China).
Omega upright masticating juicer. We use the Omega primarily for juicing wheatgrass and ginger root. This juicer has a commercial motor but is ultra slow compared to the Nutrifaster. This would be a great at home juicer.
Wheateena: This juicer is at least 12 years old and only juices wheatgrass which we grown in-house when we have time.
Santos Citrus Juicer: As the name indicates this citrus juicer is used to juice our citrus fruit: lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit.
Champion: Our champion is a masticating juicer with a commercial motor. It has a small feeder so produce must be cut in smaller pieces to fit into the mouth of the juice machine. This is another great juicer for home use. I have used the Champion over the years when I have conducted my Juicing 101 workshops.
Breville: We have 2 “juice fountain compact” models on site. These are not ideal in a commercial setting but great for at home use or conducting workshops
Norwalk: We have both a Norwalk 270 model and the latest Norwalk model 280. These are both hydraulic press juicers that not only make amazing juices but can also turn fresh nuts into nut butters, grind coffee beans, chop cabbage into cole slaw and more. It’s like having a juicer and semi-food processor built in one. The Norwalk is grandfather of all juicers. It was designed by Dr. Norman Walker, a leading expert in the field of raw juice therapy. It is the oldest juicer on the market, celebrating over 75 years in business.
Vitamix: This amazing blender is made in the USA in Ohio. We make all of our delicious smoothies in the Vitamix. I believe it is the best blender in the world. It can blend and grind coarse leafy greens into a creamy liquid smoothie. It can grind and blend nuts, and you can even make cold or hot soups in the Vitamix. We absolutely love our Vitamix.
Q: So….what type of juicer should I buy?
A: First of all make a commitment that once you purchase a juicer you will actually use it on a regular basis. Secondly, set a budget. How much can you realistically spend on a juicer? If your price range is $100-$200 I would recommend a Breville. $250+ Champion or Omega. I have owned two champion juicers and they both lasted for many years. The feeder (where you put the produce) is small so you will have to chop a lot of your produce into smaller pieces; this is the same for the Omega. The big difference between the Omega and Champion is that the Omega juicer will juice wheatgrass in addition to fruits and vegetables. Omega does make a model with a wide mouth that a whole apple could fit through. If you are short on time and just want to rinse and juice your veggies, clean up quick (juicing can be messy) then get a juicer with a wide feeder. Breville also has many models where you can feed carrots, apples and other produce whole. If you are an avid juicer and consume lots of raw living foods and you have lots of disposable cash then go all out and purchase the Norwalk. It’s a fine piece of machinery.
Q: Any advice for those who like and choose to eat meat.
A: Meat is not a dirty word; Industrial farming is the culprit. I tell my clients if they eat meat then consume small portions like most other cultures. Most importantly, know the source of your meats. Buy from reputable purveyors that raise grass fed cows, free range chickens, and if you choose to eat pork buy it from a farm that allows the pig to roll in the mud outdoors as nature intended. Check out Polyface Farms in rural Virginia and watch with amazement how they treat their animals and the land with integrity and practice sustainability. I eat very little meat but if I choose to do so or I am in the mood for some “meat” then I will eat some meat! Bottom line is that its not neither my place, nor yours to judge another persons’ eating style.
Q: What are some experiences you have had with raw foodists, vegetarians, vegans, etc.
A: I applaud folks for any healthy decision they make when it comes to eating foods that nourish their mind, body and spirit. Again a high raw diet is the key to optimal health and wellness, along with other contributing factors such as physical activity, mental, emotional and spiritual well being!
I spent over one year not only traveling up and down the coast of California and visited many states across the USA checking out various juice bars, smoothie joints, vegetarian and vegan restaurants. I also hosted health and wellness retreats in Puerto Rico.
I know folks who struggle to fit and remain in certain eating styles and they are not happy.
I spent time out West with an all raw family a few years ago. The husband thrived as a raw foodist but his wife struggled and told me how she would “sneak” out to eat vegetarian tacos with her children. A couple of their children thrived on this diet but a couple of them looked malnourished and in need of some solid cooked foods. Is this balance or happiness?
I also know vegans that are severely overweight or just out of balance mentally and emotionally. The overweight folks believe that since they don’t eat meat or dairy that they can eat everything else in large quantities, especially sugar. Some eat lots of processed meat substitutes and microwave most of their meals. A lot of vegetarians I know seem to be more balanced with their eating. Now don’t get me wrong, there are folks that do well with various eating styles but for most folks it’s yet another psychological burden to bear. Life is meant to be enjoyable!
Q: Should I buy organic only produce?
A: First and foremost always try to buy your organic produce from local family farmers. This ensures you are getting the freshest produce possible. Produce that is shipped across the country or from abroad is harvested prematurely since it ‘ripens” in transit and loses lots of its nutrients. We’re lucky if 40% of those nutrients are still in tact once it’s placed on the dinner table.
However, please do not snub your local family farmers who are not all USDA certified but offer fresh, quality wholesome produce. Many of these family farmers use organic standards in their farming practices.
If you are in a situation where you have to purchase conventional then do so and take the extra time to peel and clean the produce thoroughly. This is way better than settling for some dead fast food or consuming overcooked low quality, nutrient deficient food.
I initially started out purchasing both organic and conventional produce but over the years I only wanted to juice organic. When I could not find organic I sought out transitional or settled for conventional—I figured the benefits outweighed the risks. Sometimes I wonder if it’s better to keep a little of those “chemicals” from those conventional fruits and vegetables in my system to keep my immune system strong Similar to how the flu shot contains a strand of the flu virus which supposedly will ensure you won’t catch the flu. The same works for vaccinations…which also contains a small amount of the actual virus they are trying to prevent you from contracting. Science!
Organic only produce contains no pesticides or herbicides. Go the the UDSA’s website and read their criteria for USDA organic certification and be sure to read about their stance on genetically modified foods (GMO’s). The FDA allows biotech chemical manufacturers to submit their own research on the safety of genetically modified foods. This is very scary since the research will always come back slanted in favor the the corporate billionaires creating these Frankenstein foods. This is not food; they are edible food-products and I’m convinced they cause cancer.
Q: Should I buy produce from the Farmers Market. I worry about pesticides and chemicals and I only want the best for myself and my family?
A: Go to the farmer’s markets and talk to these family farmers and ask how they treat and harvest their crops and ask about pesticides and other concerns you have. Most are friendly and honest and will gladly answer questions and concerns. Most likely you will meet the farmer, his family or small staff who took the time to plant, nurture and harvest your food for you and your loved ones.
Q. Hawthorne not only serves organic juices and smoothies, vegan and vegetarian meals but also have roasted turkey, albacore tuna, and local organic free range eggs on the menu—I’m a vegan and worry about cross contamination. How do you keep items separated in your kitchen?
A: We use this amazing technique called “common sense”. I have attended a few food handler certification classes over the years and teach my staff the same health sanitation rules. We constantly wash our hands throughout the day and we wear gloves when necessary. (be careful of establishments where staff never change their gloves and touch not only the food with gloves on but everything else in their surroundings—they touch the money, cash register buttons, customers hands, etc with the same gloves on and think its okay…)
Our cooks have worked in the food service industry for years, including myself. We have various food stations/prep areas dedicated to various juicing/food tasks.
We have one station dedicated to our Norwalk juicers. Since juicing with the Norwalk can be a messy process food handlers must wear gloves at all times when juicing on the Norwalk.
We have another station dedicated to food prep. Our station where food is actually made is wiped down after each meal is prepared, especially during breakfast when eggs are involved.
How do you handle cross contamination in your home kitchen—probably the same way since many of us have only one kitchen and limited counter space. You clean your counters and appliances as often as possible and use separate utensils and dishes for various food items being made.
Q. I just “discovered” kale; came into the juice bar and ordered a mostly kale juice but was told this would cost a lot more, why is that?
A. That is the same as going to the “bar” and ordering a margarita but asking the bartender to give you mostly tequila. Most of us know that tequila is expensive and asking for an extra shot or two costs extra money. We treat our kale and seasonal greens as our “tequila”. We’re lucky if we can get a gallon of juice out of one case of kale. Kale is nutrient dense but yields very little juice. Overdosing on Kale and other leafy greens because you didn’t know about them until recently will not make up for the years missed. We price our juices based on wholesale prices we are charged for our produce. We are always happy to customize a juice blend and happy to give extra greens. However, when a customer wants mostly kale or seasonal greens we are happy to oblige as long as the customer is willing to pay the extra cost.
I grew up on collard, mustard and turnip greens since both of my parents are from the south and this is what they grew and ate. I “discovered” kale when I started juicing. It’s not that serious. Just eat a variety of dark leafy greens and everything will be ok.
Q: A lot of stores and markets use the word Organic and a few places use the words 100% Organic. What does this mean?
Stores such as Whole Foods, MOMs Organic Market and other health food stores use the word organic in their signage. This however does not mean that every single item they carry is organic.
We are an organic juice bar and prepared foods market. Most of our ingredients are organic not just at our juice bar but we strive to use organic ingredients in our homemade soups, sandwiches, wraps, smoothies, prepared foods, and grocery staples.
I operate my juice bar the same way I live my life. I’m an optimist but also a realist. Organic is a way of life for me. Does this mean that every single thing I eat or purchase is organic, No. What it means is that the majority of what I consume is fresh, organic and wholesome.
A business that advertises 100% organic is guaranteeing that every single ingredient and item they offer is organic; this includes outside foods purchased from vendors and artisans.
Since we sell a variety of items including, natural snacks and beverages, smoothies, freshly prepared juices, fair trade coffee, herbal tea, grocery staples, and prepared foods, locking into 100% organic for us is ideal but extreme and not always realistic. Our menu and philosophy is to provide fresh, wholesome quality ingredients; offering a mostly plant based menu using produce sourced from local organic family farmers.
Unfortunately we have become a nation of hoarders, (30% of food produced on earth is never consumed) depleting the earth’s resources at an alarming rate.
It would also be great if the USDA subsidized organic farming instead of providing subsidies for the dairy, meat, and other industries that have a blatant disregard for our environment.