Juicing. Seems like everyone's doing it, and not just the rich and famous. Going to the grocery store or the gym, more and more branded bottles are for sale, and brick and mortar juiceries keep opening up. It's as if the thirst can't be quenched. So, to help you--the home cook--get going, we put together our own juicing story with easy-to-follow tips to get you going. Also, we've gathered some of our favorite juice cleanse recipes, including several from New York City's Juice Generation and Southern California's Ritual Cleanse.

So other than the initial cost of equipment and ingredients, why should you try juicing? Well, here are several reasons that I personally find compelling.

1. Drinking fresh-pressed juices can increase your daily consumption of fruits and vegetables. Now, I love to eat fresh fruit and vegetables. The taste, texture, smells--they're unique and add variety. But there are those days when taking in the recommended 1 1/2 cups of fruitand 2 1/2 cups of vegetables is really hard. The quick fix? A mixed fruit/vegetable juice.

2. Sometimes, you just can't eat but you still need the nutrients. If you've experienced dental woes like me (wisdom teeth! cracked tooth! root canal!), you know that chewing food--even something as innocuous as a clementine or an avocado--can be painful. And isn't it often the case that when you most need the energy and nutrients, you really don't want to eat? So, thank goodness for liquid diets!

3. It's not as costly (relatively speaking) as I thought. If I had the counterspace and wanted to juice frequently (daily or go on 3-day detoxes), I'd get myself a juicer. I've been eying a masticating one (quieter, lower temps that won't break down the enzymes) but they're not cheap. And yet, when I think about how much money I've put into drinking coffee at home, making the jump to a juicer doesn't seem so crazy. Besides, I know it's something my husband would use, too. Pending the space issue, I make my juices with an appliance I already own: a blender. Are my drinks as smooth and pulp-free as a store-bought one? No, but I'm ok with that. I'm still getting the nutritional benefits, and that's the most important aspect for me.

 

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