How I learnt to loosen up and love juice

I have always been a smoothie person — see Smoothie operator and I prefer to make my own. Yet since the spring is “almost” here, I have unfathomably drifted into juicing — when you are running around, it’s a simpler, faster source of sustenance. It’s not like I’ve gone and bought a juicer though that is definitely on the agenda but it’s only that I haven’t had the time to shop properly for one.

It’s hard to concede as such a devoted smoothie-fan but juicing as long as it is fresh-pressed with no sugar-added is not too shabby for the skin. I am however not about juicing as a cleanse — that’s fine for people interested in weight-loss but my goals are improving and maintaining muscle mass — see Miss Skinew and you can’t do that without protein in your diet and I like people — I seriously doubt they will like me sans all carbs. I definitely do not see myself Cooler cleansing or living on Organic Avenue —though I did try one a few years ago — I still have the orange bag and hamper but I felt so faint I couldn’t look at another juice for ages.

What I find especially compelling about juice on the run however is that it is almost immediately restorative. When you are in the zone and working intently in a way that makes you forget time and food and family and friends — this I think is what is called flow — an ineffable quality of losing yourself in good work — you emerge to realise that you need something quick, refreshing and light because it’s been hours and hours since that last bag of distracted almonds. And juice hits that spot like a heat seeking missile.

Here are some of the best skin-friendly juices-and cold-pressed means it’s 100% juice no water but I’m not that fussy — I’ll have the Whole Foods juices as easily as Jamba Juice.

  1. Fennel juice — I love fennel especially raw fennel and I can eat a raw fennel salad for every non-breakfast meal in the summer. I overweight it into gazpacho and I even look at stray parmesan shavings hoping they are in fact shaved fennel. As much as I love making my fennel salad (recipe courtesy of Spuntino) it is a hassle to clean a mandoline and fennel juice is a far more exciting way to get fennel that even Serene Skinfusions do not achieve because it’s raw and that licorice-flavor is so yummy. There is nothing better for your tummy and the skin is a reflection of the gut so there’s that.
  2. Parsley — parsley is phenomenal for the skin — stimulates collagen production and reduces redness. It’s hard to remember a garnish has so much to offer skin-wise and pretty difficult to remember to garnish in our informal cuisines so this is one of the reasons I take a parsley supplement but parsley is featured a lot in the vegetable juice milieu and skinterrific.
  3. Celery- this is a very retro-ingredient popular in Bloody Marys (which do little for me see Freetotaller) apart from being a powerful anti-inflammatory and rich in Vitamin K, C and E what I like about celery juice is that it is really great post-workout in replenishing electrolytes — I wouldn’t have known this or experienced how totally bracing celery juice is because there’s fibre and then there’s this celery which seems more suited to cud-chewing animals.
  4. Green juice — now I still think my smoothies at home give me much more green leaves — kale and spinach are my jam and I am often shocked to see a meagre 3 spinach leaves tossed in for the chlorophyll to impress us but I just have to trust that this not a rip off and when hot-pressed for time I’ll resign myself to the cold-pressed.
  5. Beet juice — I like beets — I wish I ate more beets — I use them in an Indian recipe of my own invention — a variation of palak tofu with turmeric and pureed beets along with pureed spinach because outside of the very occasional goat cheese salad when out to dinner, I don’t know much of what to do with beets. I was happy to toss the pre-cooked Trader Joe’s versions into smoothies but I am trying to be less judgy of the beet juice as I feel that the colourful vegetable is easily diluted. (see Betta Carrotan, Not Judge Sunday). They are also rich in folate which is super for the skin.

Well that’s all the juice I have time to review today but I have always loved Mario Batali’s hunger inspiring turn of phrase — check this out —

Passion is what adds so much value to life. And if you think about the things that you do, there’s so much juice potential for them if you do it.