This whole week, I’ve been talking about making changes to various parts of my skincare (toning and using a cream/milk cleaner) with great success. The primary reason I’ve had to do this is because last month, my skin decided to throw a tantrum. I had terrible acne and clogged pores on the lower half of my face – one of the worst episodes I’ve seen since I got my skin under control. I remembered my previous experience when this happened, where I found that what my food intake can also have an effect on my skin. Over the Chinese New Year festivities, a lot of food was consumed, mostly not very healthy and significantly lacking in fibre and greens.
So when I got home and settled back into my routine, I sat down and decided that I had to do something about my fibre intake and I hit on the idea of making juices with fruits and vegetables. I looked it up online and its a really really huge thing. There are blogs and websites dedicated to just juicing! But I ran into a problem.
I don’t have a fruit juicer! I thought about picking up one, but there were so many things to think about – did I want a slow juicer or a normal juicer? Did I want something that was pricey or could I make do with something cheap? How long could I keep this up for before I fall off the bandwagon?
It was about then that I remembered I had a blender. So I looked up information online and it turns out, blending fruits and vegetables has its own niche and following too! Gosh, is there nothing that no one is an expert on online? :P
For the past 2 weeks, I have been blending a fruit (and sometimes vegetable) drink almost daily and I have to say, I really enjoy it! Not only that, I believe I’m getting health and beauty benefits too :D
I usually do a mixture of about 3 fruits – apples, oranges, plums, bananas, blueberries – anything I fancy from the night market where I pick up my weekly fruit ration. I also read a lot about “green juices” where the basic ingredient is anything green, as they are supposed to be better for health. So I’ve also experimented with broccoli and cucumber.
It isn’t as bad as it sounds actually. I found that broccoli has very little taste and if you add it with a stronger tasting fruit like oranges and a dash of lemon juice, its very palatable. The problem I had was with the texture. You see, I use a blender not a juicer, so I take in a lot of fibre and fruit pulp along with the juice. It is pretty much like downing a smoothie – the “juice” is thick and I can even chew it sometimes.
Broccoli, as I learnt, has a lot of fibre and blends very thickly so it became hard to drink and I ended up having to strain it to get the juice. As I said, it was nice, but I’m going to stick to eating my broccoli from now on. If you have a juicer, you can go ahead and juice the broccoli because what you get is the juice extract and the fibre is strained away.
I don’t usually eat cucumbers (I dislike the taste) but I found that I did not mind them very much in a drink. Using a blender did not render too much pump as a cucumber isn’t a very fibrous fruit (or vegetable?!) to start with. I also found that adding a dash of lemon to a cucumber + apple drink is very refreshing!
So, I’ve been having a lot of fun the past 2 weeks concocting different drinks every evening. I found that adding a banana makes the drink smoother and very much like a smoothie without having to add yogurt or ice cream (I don’t take dairy products) and is also delicious. I read that using avocado has the same effect but I don’t quite like avocado.
I also found that I liked the blended juice. I don’t blend it too smooth so I can have bits to chew on and this way, I feel that there’s no wastage. Using a blender is also much easier and quicker – I only have to wash the blender as opposed to taking apart a juicer. We used to have one when I was growing up and after the novelty wore off, it was hardly used because it was such a hassle to clean. Not so with a blender.
What I’ve noticed in this 2 weeks of this small lifestyle change is quite encouraging:-
- I can eat a light dinner and then follow up with a nice glass of blended fruit and vegetable juice. If you are trying to lose some of that post festive season weight, this is quite helpful. I don’t believe in meal replacement (I enjoy my food too much) so I cut down on my portions instead so I get the best of both worlds :)
- It helped me go to the toilet more regularly mostly due to the larger fibre intake. I don’t eat quite enough fruits and vegetables daily especially when I eat out, so this way, I ensure that I take in some fruits and vegetables daily.In every glass of juice is at least 3 fruits – I couldn’t eat them all whole – it would fill me up too much. However, its easy to down them in a glass.
- My skin is looking better. The mess that was my deformed looking chin that was covered with acne, clogged pores, and stubborn spots is almost normal now bar one or two that have taken up permanent residence. My overall skin too looks better. I think the daily infusion of vitamins from the fruits and vegetables is certainly helping boost skin and overall health.
I think I could quite easily keep this up for the long term :D
Are you a juicing proponent or have you tried it? Do you use a juicer or a blender?
This is actually my first time trying this on a long term basis and as I’ve said, I’ve noticed benefits already in just 2 weeks. I do prefer using primarily fruits although I do add the odd cucumber for the vegetable quotient. I don’t know what other vegetables I could use. If you have suggestions or favourite recipes, please do share! I’m game to try something new :D