Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Juicing vs Vitamix Smoothies

      Carrot~Apple~Celery~Beet Juice from my Breville Juicer
                              making a smoothie in my Vitamix VitaPrep 3 horsepower                                

I received a letter I wanted to share with you today...
Dear Loni

I read some of your blog once and thought your juices looked so good.

We are just getting into juicing and I thought you would be the best person to ask a few questions about it . . . an enlightened balanced perspective . . .

Is it better to use something like a Vitamix and also eat the pulp or is it better to just have the juice.  One could also make juice and also take all or part of the pulp after juicing ?

Can a Vitamix really finely puree things like kale, broccoli, or other more dry and tough veggies?

Are there other mixers that will do this better than a Vitamix ?

If juicing, what is the best kind of juicer?  We are thinking to go the Dr. Mercola route of more leafy greens, celery, etc. and less of the sugary things like carrots, apples.

It seems a juicer that produces less heat is also preferable.

Thanks so much for your help. It is deeply appreciated.

And here is my response to her:


Thanks for writing! I am very passionate about this subject!  To answer your questions...

We have the Vita Prep 3 (which is a 3 horse power version of Vitamix- which is just 2 horsepower).  But most of my friends have the Vitamix (only 2 horsepower) and are fine.  I know that the other "blender" that compares well is the Blendtec.  I would compare prices on the Blendtec and the Vitaprep 3 and see what you find. Either one would be fantastic!  But in reality, a kitchen needs both a high-power blender AND a juicer, because they do very different things.

In terms of which way, it depends on the desired effect, and also how much you want to put into it (literally)...


In other words, for a daily, simple way to lose weight, get more fiber, using the VitaPrep 3 (or Blendtec) is great because you are eating the entire item, so there is no waste. You will find that a simple "smoothie" can fill you up for hours. At our house, we regularly put in 1 or 2 apples and oranges (peel removed), 2 or 3 bananas, 3-5 leaves of kale (if the ribs are very firm some people remove them, but I don't), any berries on hand (especially blueberries because they improve the color and taste so much). If you have organic lecithin you can add a tablespoon or so to make the entire thing creamy. You may need an inch or so of water to facilitate blending, or even ice if you prefer, to keep the heat down in the blender.  It is fun to experiment. Just put whatever fruits and veggies you have and keep blending and tasting until it tastes good!  Adding a few dates or raisins (soaked or regular) helps naturally sweeten. I have seen Vitamix demonstrations at Sam's Club and Costco where they put in zucchini or broccoli and yes, it gets blended up!  And don't ever be fooled by smoothies being sold anywhere- they are usually pre-made sugar/dairy packs, and rarely have any raw fruit.


If you are facing health issues, or just want to have a quicker cleanse and an increase of powerful vital micro-nutrients, then juicing is important. With juicing, you are receiving a mega-dose of micro-nutrients all in one glass (because you wouldn't normally sit down and eat a gigantic amount of raw vegetables!)  This repeated dose of micro-nutrients can literally heal your body from many things.  (My father is fond of telling how his brother cured himself of cancer by doing a juice fast for a month.)  As for my juicer, I have a Breville right now and like it, though the pulp is a bit wet (meaning it isn't removing all the juice.  I was using the Champion before and I still have it and like it too- the pulp is much more dry.  My friend who inspires many people to become Vegan has an Omega juicer and it has very dry pulp also. My husband and I and some of our children (whomever agrees) have been drinking fresh juice for breakfast for almost 2 years, (ever since we watched the wonderful documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead-- I know it's a bad title, but it is such a sweet and inspiring movie!)   http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com/

As far as what you put in the juicer, you are correct, as with any way of eating, the more green the better!  There is a simple, green recipe in the movie I just mentioned that is all veggie except for 1 green apple.  I just think  that if you haven't juiced before, adding more fruits is actually a great way to make it palatable which will ensure you will WANT to do it.  Here is what we usually juice:  about 8 carrots, 1 beet, 2 ribs of celery, 2-3 apples, 1-2 oranges (peel removed), and about an inch or two of ginger (no need to peel).  A lemon added is nice too, but my husband does not care for the lemon, and prefers if I leave out the ginger.  Recently we have been adding the top part of fennel (supposed to be great for mood) and it makes it interestingly sweet in a different way, yet it is green.

 No matter what you put in the juicer, you will have a lot of pulp.  I save the carrot (or carrot apple) and put it into carrot cakes, carrot muffins, etc.  You can use a lot of pulp for making "crackers" in the dehydrator, but so far in my family I am the only one who likes them!  Still, juicing is a very powerful way to get concentrated nutrients.  If you are facing any kind of disease, or health crisis, juicing is absolutely the way to go.  I did a 10 day juice fast (as did my husband) and although I never thought it would be possible, it was fantastic. We both lost a pound every day, and after the first few days I had plenty of energy and felt great! The weight as stayed off, and I found that I crave HEALTHY foods now, instead of sugar/starch/salt.

The best juicing book I have seen recently is The Juicing Lady's Guide to Juicing for Health  http://www.amazon.com/Juice-Ladys-Guide-Juicing-Health/dp/1583333177   but there are lots of colorful juicing books out there that are GREAT for inspiration. On our 10 day juice fast, a favorite for me was honeydew melon-strawberry. Personally, I wouldn't be worried about fruit. I have even heard of people in the early stages of diabetes that have done juicing and it has helped, even with fruit.

Honeydew Melon ~ Strawberry Juice from my 10 day Juice Fast

Finally, the biggest point for me, which is emphasized in another great documentary with David Wolfe, called Food Matters  (  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1528734/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1a )    is that the more raw food you consume, the better, specifically any amount over 50% raw will show benefits.  There is a lot of research on this, and many great documentaries. It is not necessary to be all raw to reap the benefits. I started my family of 6 by making half of each meal raw, literally half the plate. And then I added in more fruit smoothies as snacks, to tip the balance over 50%.

I generally eat about 80-90% raw every day and that works for my body. In other words, I have either juice at breakfast, and then a big fruit snack before lunch, or I have just a big raw smoothie which keeps me full until lunch.  Lunch is usually a big salad, incorporating whatever fresh, raw, organic veggies I have, (as well as hemp hearts for omegas),  and a bit of apple cider vinegar, so it is all raw except for maybe the chickpeas and black olives I put on it. And dinner is sometimes another salad, or sometime  the salad with a cooked side dish or entree I made.  I am very easy about it, meaning if my family is going out to eat, and they don't have salad, I just eat vegan cooked food. I have found through trial and error that if I eat two cooked meals, and only the raw breakfast, that I don't have much energy. However, if I eat mostly raw (that is two raw meals, and some raw snacks - no more than one partially cooked meal) then I feel fantastic and have tons of energy. One other important thing- if the cooked meals have dairy in them- my energy is zapped.  I don't know if everyone will have this experience, but I keep trying to have some cooked food, and some dairy, and the dairy just wrecks any progress I have made in feeling energetic and healthy.  So I eat Vegan almost all of the time.  It just feels good, and it is a kind way to eat, since the dairy (like the meat) industry is such a nightmare.

I hope what I said helps, that I answered all of your questions, and I look forward to talking to you again, and hearing your experience. In Fairfield, I have lots of friends who are experimenting with healthier ways of eating and it is so fun to contrast and compare what we have learned together!  We also use the Vitaprep 3 to make amazing, raw vegan "cheesecakes" that are incredibly beautiful and decadent- made out of soaked cashews and other nuts.  I have helped other people begin to juice or use smoothies, as well as help other people who are interested in becoming Vegetarian or Vegan.  Even the climate where you live is important because it affects what your body needs to eat. Some people need more heat in what they eat, others do not.  I still think listening to your own body in terms of constitution is very important. When I was on the last day of my 10 day juice fast, I was craving heat, and I put spinach and tomatoes in the VitaPrep 3 with a dash of cayenne pepper and it made a drink that was amazing to me, but my husband (who has a different constitution) didn't care for it. I find my knowledge of Ayurved helps with nourishing my family as long as we incorporate enough raw foods (since cooking foods removes most of their nutrients) and do not do dairy.   I am working on transitioning myself to do healthy lifestyle coaching more of the time, because I love helping people so much! Good luck with your journey!

Lonica Eisenbraun



click on the RAW "Cheesecake" to see the recipe!


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