Juice Worth the Squeeze

This story appears in the Summer 2013 issue of Eidé Magazine. Read it here, or click to read it in the issue below.

The time has come, nature is in bloom, the colors are vibrant and you're ready to officially trade in sleeves for skin and boots for bikinis.

But does your energy level match the season? Maybe those extra hibernation pounds that kept you so cozy during the colder months have gotten in the way of your post-winter wardrobe. There are many beliefs on how to look good and be healthy for the summer but the trend on the forefront of health fads is juicing.

To get down to the pulp of it, I caught up with New York based juicing master Deborah Smith, owner of Green Pirate Juice Truck.

Smith started Green Pirate seven years ago, prior to the rise in popularity of both juicing and food trucks. The first juicing truck of its kind, Smith and Green Pirate aimed to bring health awareness and nutrients to the busy, overworked people of New York City. With a degree in integrative nutrition, Smith has a modern take on the “to juice or not to juice” debate.

Right from the start, Smith addresses the juicing naysayers by recommending that juicing should be a lifestyle, a daily way to get tons of nutrients. “It doesn’t replace getting fiber out of whole, solid, raw foods,” she says, they are equally important for optimal health. Juicing infuses your body with nutrients, which can jumpstart a healthy lifestyle, she explains, by helping your mind and body observe existing eating habits and break free from them; such as “putting down the coffee and picking up the juice.”

While you can juice any water-rich produce, consuming “green juice” (juice primarily from green vegetables) is the type of juicing Smith stresses will attribute to an array of health benefits including stimulating a healthy cell wall, strengthening the integrity of muscle tissue and increased energy. She describes how sunshine and the process of photosynthesis is captured within leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, and that when we juice these veggies that energy is transferred into our body, reviving it.

Leafy greens are among those foods classified as “super foods” because of their nutrient content. Some might be dissuaded by the prospect of a green colored drink but Smith says a large part of incorporating juicing into your lifestyle is psychological and to first “try it before you decide you don’t like it.” With that you can cater juicing to your taste buds, incorporating different fruits and vegetables to your personal palate (pineapple, apple and orange are great fruits to add as natural sweeteners).

You'll also want to consume your juice during the day, in between breakfast and lunch while being cognizant of how your body responds to it, asking yourself: Are you less hungry for lunch? Do you feel more energized?

To help kick start your summer juicing campaign, Smith shared with me her personal favorite juicing recipe that yields 16 ounces of juicing power:

Green Pirate Recipe

GREEN PIRATE

1 CUP OF FRESH SPINACH (OR KALE) 2 STALKS OF CELERY 1/4-1/2 CUCUMBER 1/4 LEMON SIZEABLE CHUNK OF GINGER 1 GREEN APPLE (FOR A SWEETER FLAVOR, ADD A FIJI APPLE

Whereas an apple a day may keep the doctor away, Smith says, “a green juice a day will elongate your life.”