I’ve recently had a few people ask me about juicers/blenders/the nutribullet because they are interested in making juices or smoothies and wanted to know what I recommend. Over anything else, I recommend the nutribullet.
A quick note about juicing: Juicing does have some really great health benefits, like fueling your body with micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and giving your digestive system a break. This is extremely helpful because our bodies expend A LOT of energy breaking down and digesting our food. Think about it. We generally eat 3 meals a day and maybe 1 or 2 snacks. That’s what I typically do, but it depends on the day, my workout, and how early I wake up. Regardless, we give our bodies a lot to digest EVERY single day. [Unless you fast, which is a whole different conversation so I’m going to sidestep that.] Juicing enables your body to receive nutrients, the kings and queens of nutrients, while eliminating a big chunk of the digestion process. You’re still putting something into your body, your stomach, and through your digestive system and it is in the most easily digested and absorbed form. That way, your body spends LESS time and energy digesting and MORE time healing. Those micronutrients–the vitamins and minerals–are passing easily through your system, being absorbed, and enabling your body to heal. THAT is why juicing is beneficial. If you really want to learn more about juicing, I HIGHLY recommend watching the film Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. In this film, Joe Cross went to an extreme, for sure. But he was in a very extreme and unique situation. What I love about this film is that is doesn’t only cover Joe’s journey, but two other people that tried juicing as well. One of those people is Phil. He was a truck driver in a very similar, almost exact in fact, situation as Joe. Phil started out with a 10 day juice fast and decided to extend it as time went on. He took it step by step. Another person was a woman who just did a 7 day juice fast. So if you see the appeal and are interested, you don’t have to go to extremes. You could try a 3 or 4 day juice fast, a 1 day, or just replace 1 meal or snack a day with a juice. Have your juice on an empty stomach and wait til your next meal to eat solid food. HOWEVER, If you are about to start a juice fast, please consult your physician first and make sure you are in good enough health to do so. I do enjoy juices from time to time, but I buy them at local organic cafes/juice bars. If you buy a juice in a store/market/cafe, make sure it is fresh and made on-site or organic and cold-pressed. I drink my juice on an empty stomach and use it in place of a snack. If you DO invest in a juicer and make your own at home, PLEASE save the pulp! Use that good stuff up! You could use the pulp of your greens to make a sauté or add the veggie and fruit pulp to muffins or bread! Just PLEASE do not throw it away! You will be throwing away fiber, nutrients, and food! And that shouldn’t go to waste.
Now onto the smoothies and nutriblasts (aka nutribullet smoothies).
I used a standard blender from Walmart for years until I got my nutribullet, which was a Christmas gift–the gift that keeps on giving. The nutribullet is very affordable for what you get (It’s on sale a lot for $99 and you get the motor, 2 blades, 3 or 4 cups, tops, and a few books/guides). You really get a lot for your money, and I guarantee you will use it every single day. So, the nutribullet is my number ONE recommendation. However, if you are like me–usually broke or saving your money–a $15 Hamilton Beach blender from Walmart will be perfectly sufficient for your smoothie needs, there will just be some slight limitations but nothing detrimental. What are these limitations? Here’s the difference between a standard blender and a nutribullet (FYI: This does not apply to blenders like a Vitamix and other high performance blenders)
The Nutribullet vs a standard blender:
- The nutribullet emulsifies EVERYTHING: I mean everything. It is all broken down: skins, nuts, seeds, etc. Meaning, you are left with a smoothie that gives you the benefit of a juice–a completely broken down drink that can be easily absorbed by the body. This includes ALL of the nutrients, including the fiber.
- The blade design is unique, mixing and emulsifying everything top to bottom.
- You can add vegetables, nuts, seeds, and superfoods that don’t break down as well in a standard blender: carrots, celery, lettuce, almond, flaxseeds, chia seeds, goji berries, etc.
- Build your nutriblast: a handful of greens + close to the max line with fruit + top with superfoods and/or 1 scoop of protein + fill to the max line with choice of milk or water
It really breaks down to the break down, for two reasons: health and pleasure. Health–you are ingesting these foods in their most digestible form. Pleasure–you aren’t sipping on pulp and chunks of skin or seed… gross.
So with the nutribullet I would say mix to your heart’s content. But with a blender stick to these smoothie building principals:
- Start with greens that are easily broken down, like baby spinach
- Avoid using ice
- ^ Use frozen fruit instead of ice
- Avoid seeds like whole flaxseed, chia seed, oats or whole nuts
- ^ use the ground versions of these foods: chia powder, ground flaxseed meals, nut butters, seed butters, oat flour, goji berry powder, maca root powder, etc.
- Avoid hard-to-break-down veggies like carrots, broccoli, celery, etc. Anything you see getting stringy, chunky, or mealy
- Stick to fruits that blend well: bananas, mango, berries, apple, pear, melon, grapes, anything that isn’t too stringy or seedy
- ^ Avoid the more stringy, mealy, and seedy fruits like oranges, clementines, coconut, pomegranate and lemon (can use the juice for the citrus fruits)
- Build your smoothie: a handful of spinach + 2 fruits + your choice of milk or water + a teaspoon of grounded superfood and/or a scoop protein powder
*Note: I am very picky with protein powders. I only recommend using: 100% organic whey, like Tera’s Whey or OrganiGrowth; Hemp Protein; Perfect Fit Protein by Tone It Up, PlantFusion brand Protein OR Phood (all different links), Vega Protein Smoothie or Soy-Free Veg Protein Booster. Lots to choose from, take your pick! The PlantFusion Phood comes in vanilla and chocolate/caramel… yum. Other than superfoods and quality protein, I do not use supplements. Not even a multivitamin. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” That’s what I live by.
Want to see some of my creations? Check out the smoothie section of my blog for all my smoothie-related posts. Here are some of my favorite smoothie posts:
- 14 Smoothie and Nutribullet Recipes
- Hemp Protein Smoothies — Chocolate and Pistachio
- Green Recovery Smoothies with Vega
Good food. Good tips. Good moves. Good for you.
xo Kim, Running on Good
P.S. If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy this post from my blogging friend, Ribas with Love: Detoxing and Anti-Inflammatory Juice!