My last blog post Juice, Juice Baby referenced a couple of my friends who were starting out the first few days of the Reboot Cleanse. Well, happy to report that J & L are still on track to make it through the entire 15 day program. WOOT! WOOT! Way to go you two. J is down more than 15 pounds and L is down 5 too (although she does not have any to lose!)
A few of my readers, who know I own a beloved Vitamix, commented, “What about blending?” So I wanted to take a few moments to share a couple thoughts about blending as well and how it differs from juicing. (By no means is this a comprehensive analysis of both!) Blending and juicing are very beneficial in different ways. Here is an ultra quick comparison of the two:
Juicing is a process which extracts nutrients and water from produce and discards all the “skins” and pulp, which contain the majority of the fiber. Without a lot of fiber, your digestive system doesn’t have to work as hard to break down the food and absorb the nutrients. The nutrients can be easily assimilated directly into your bloodstream in a short period of time. This is especially helpful if you have a sensitive digestive system or illness that inhibits your body from processing fiber. Fiber helps slow down the digestive process which results in a steady release of nutrients into the blood stream. When you remove the fiber from fruits and veggies, the liquid juice is absorbed into your blood stream all at once causing a spike in blood sugar. Unstable blood sugar levels may lead to fatigue and energy loss, mood swings, shakiness, memory problems and more. Fiber is what helps to fill us up – without the fiber in the juice, you will be hungry again quickly.
Blending is the process of chopping up the entire fruit or vegetable, skin and all, to produce a smooth consistency. Fiber is retained in a blended mixture. This helps create a slow, even release of nutrients into the blood stream, avoiding spikes in blood sugar. The fiber in blended smoothies also helps you feel full longer. By including the fiber in your smoothie, the volume will increase. You can pack more servings of fruits and veggies into a single serving of juice than you can into a smoothie.
Personally, I favor blending over juicing because of my past issues with insulin resistance. I follow a very low glycemic diet and juicing tends to rapidly boost my blood sugars and leave me feeling a bit shaky a couple hours later. Blending, on the other hand, gives me the fiber I need to stabilize my blood sugars. However, juicing is a wonderful treat for me. I tend to juice only low glycemic fruits and veggies and when I drink the juice I may have a high fiber/protein combo along with the juice. When I blend, I don’t need to worry about this. For those of you following a low glycemic diet, blending may be the way to go. (My Vitamix is also capable of making nut butters, soups, and flour…something my juicer cannot do.)
If, on the other hand, you have major GI sensitivities and issues, juicing may be of more benefit for you.
We are all individuals living with our own bio-individuality. Juicing and blending both offer pros and cons. Learn to know your body so you can make informed choices regarding which may be a better fit for you. (Of course you can contact me if you need help with this.) Choose the one that is right for you and continue enjoying all those great veggies and fruits!