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Is Green Juice the New Coffee?

In hopes of jumping on the New Year’s resolution bandwagon, I started to reflect on my last year and what improvements I hoped to make. But, to be honest, my quest actually fell short this year. And no, I know what you are thinking… she is so very perfect all the time she has absolutely NOTHING to improve on! Well that is certainly not the case. This year was actually a year of plenty of “cheat” days; indulging in extra sweets, a few too many pieces of pastries and breads, an extra glass of wine here and there, and of course, my ultimate vice… coffee. Wait; let me be more specific, lattes.

The only difference about this year in compared to years past, is that all of these decisions were made fully consciously, and without guilt or self-loathing. And for me, that was HUGE. Talk about a new found sense of freedom! Because ultimately, if we are able to make decisions consciously, and therefore are aware of our motives in addition to the so-called consequences or outcomes, and still feel GOOD about it, then we are talking about having cultivated EMPOWERMENT. The more empowered we are, the more control we have over our life, and most importantly our HAPPINESS.

 

Is Green Juice the New Latte?

Is Green Juice the New Latte?

 

So while in 2012, my “cheat” days were integral to my happiness, and to be honest, my survival (so many life changes in 2012), I am deciding to embark on a new path for 2013… and it starts with the Latte.

Real life changes happen with the small little things, for those are the building blocks that enable us to remain stable in our journey through the natural ebb and flow that we call LIFE. Therefore, for 2013, I have chosen the latte to be my focus of improvement.

Latte Out, Green Juice IN.

If you have been following the health realm for the past couple of years, you have begun to see what a force JUICING has had over the industry. Now an 8 billion dollar industry, fresh pressed juice has even made Starbucks nervous, so much so that they opened their own juice spot in Washington to test the waters…. Now that MEANS something.

Now is Juice, and more specifically Green Juice, just a craze, or is it really here to stay?

 

Healing Green Juice

 

In my own personal experience, juicing has been an excellent addition to my weekly routine, and especially to my frequent cleansing endeavors, but, to really make this challenge official, I have completely traded in my morning latte, or coffee, for green juice. And so far, soooo AMAZING. Every morning I throw together a quick green juice (recipes and crazy concoctions can be seen on my Facebook and Instagram), and drink it before I eat any breakfast. And I must say I have actually felt fabulous. Now let’s see why…

 

Farmers Market Greens

Juicing

Juicing is the most efficient way to add fruits and vegetables into your diet, and therefore vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients, in a highly digestible and absorbable form. This is very important because although we may be eating fruits and vegetables, we are NOT always digesting, and therefore absorbing, their important properties. So by juicing, we are ensuring an efficient way to actually RECEIVE their healing power. Think about it as a direct hook up to an IV.

One vital aspect of juicing is the intake of enzymes. Enzymes are only present in large amount in raw foods, and their absence in most people’s diets is a critical reason why chronic disease and illness is so rampant. Enzymes are essential for almost every function in the body, not just that of digesting. All cells require enzymes to survive and function – enzymes are your body’s workers. They are responsible for constructing, synthesizing, carrying, dispensing, delivering, and eliminating the many molecules and chemicals our body uses in its daily business of living. As for phytonutrients – these guys are the ones that act as antioxidants and combat any toxins that our cells come in contact with. Therefore, they are powerful anti-aging and rejuvenative agents.

Fresh Pressed Farmers Market Juice

Green Juice

Green juices are a bit different than fruit and non-green vegetable juices in that they are rich in chlorophyll and low in sugar. Chlorophyll is a magical biomolecule, which allows plants to absorb energy from light. Yes, I know how COOL is that. Therefore, chlorophyll is HIGHLY energetic, which is why it is such a valuable supplement to our diet since most all foods are completely VOID of any life energy at all! Yes, if the food has been cooked, or has been manufactured, it is a DEAD food.

Chlorophyll’s ability to make us buzz is not the only thing it’s good for though. With a molecular composition very similar to hemoglobin, chlorophyll helps to purify the blood, build red blood cells, detoxify and heal the body, not to mention provide us with a quick source of energy. In addition, green juices often contain powerful detoxifying agents such as cilantro, which have even been shown to impact heavy metal toxicity. Therefore, the GREENER the BETTER – richer in nutrients, antioxidants, and cleansing properties.

Green Cleanse Juice

Health Effects of Green Juice

  • Bright and Glowing Skin
  • Increased Energy
  • Amazing Head Buzz
  • Clear and Bright Eyes
  • Better Bowel Movements and Digestion
  • Reduced Cravings for Sweets, Caffeine and Refined Carbohydrates
  • Improved Mood and Self-Esteem
  • Leaner Body
  • Relentless Desire to Eat Healthier and Live Happier!

* I have only listed the benefits that I have personally noticed. Pretty Amazing Huh!?

The thing about drinking Green Juice first thing in the morning is that it sets the stage for the rest of your day. You get an extra boost of nutrients that alkalize your body, therefore giving you a head start to healthy living for the day. Typically people find that by adding just this one little change, they are able to stay motivated the rest of the day to make great choices. You try and let us know.

Kale Klean Skin and Body!

Well, what about Coffee?

The simple (okay, yes I know… actually not that simple of a choice) switch from your morning coffee to a green juice is one that not only brings in the extra nutrients, cancer-fighters and anti-aging fairies, but it also spares your body from the dehydrating effects of coffee. While there have been plenty of studies indicating that coffee contains properties that benefit your health, none of those seem to override its dehydrating and acidifying effects. Let’s check out the pros and cons…

 PROS

  • Effective Short-term Energy Booster
  • Improved Mental Performance
  • Increases Thermogenesis
  • Stimulates the Nervous System and Heart Action (although this can be a con as well)
  • Improves Athletic Performance
  • Relaxes Smooth Muscles in the Digestive Tract and Blood Vessels
  • Contains Antioxidants
  • Feeds our Addiction 🙂

CONS

  • Can cause Heart Palpitations, Jitters and Nervousness
  • May Reduce Fertility, especially in Women
  • Can cause Congestion of the Fibrous Tissue and Cyst Fluids – Increasing PMS
  • Influences Breast Fibroids
  • Triggers Hot Flashes in Menopausal Women
  • Disrupts Brain Wave Patterns – causing insomnia
  • Causes Blood Sugar Swings
  • Causes Adrenal Fatigue: low energy, hormone imbalance, low resistance to stress, poor inflammatory control
  • Creates an Acidic pH, body environment: sets the stage for cancer, chronic disease, illness
  • May contribute to Heart Disease
  • Raises Blood Pressure
  • Stimulates Gastric Secretions leading to Heartburn
  • May cause Headaches
  • Dehydrating: loss of fluids leading to fatigue, kidney stress, skin ailments, wrinkles and rapid aging
  • Contributes to Bone Loss
  • Non-Organic contains Pesticides: hormone imbalance, toxic liver, cell death
  • Addictive
  • Excess Calories, Hydrogenated Oils and Sugar (if taken with creamers, milk etc.)

Coffee beans

All and all, the list of the Cons outweighs the Pros, especially if we are looking at the long-term effects. While coffee does have high levels of antioxidants, we can always get antioxidants from other sources such as fruits, vegetables and of course… our green juice, WITHOUT the negative side effects.

Bottom line is that coffee is highly acidic and dehydrating. This state causes an exorbitant amount of stress on the body, which leads us down the path of rapid aging and degeneration. An acidic body allows pathogenic forms (virus, bacteria, parasite, fungus) to set up shop, while lowering our immune system, decreasing our ability to detoxify, and causing an underlying vibration of disease. Not to mention, if you are void of minerals and water, there is no chance that you are going to have the glowing skin, hair and eyes that you are all looking for.

Therefore, let us all take a small little baby step of switching our morning coffee for a glass of Green Juice to just see what happens… Why not go out on a limb?  Isn’t that where the fruit is? 

 

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23 Comments

  • Reply Stefanie January 11, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    I just recently switched from coffee to green juice (or a green smoothie) in the morning as well! So I was nodding my head through this entire post. I have not given up coffee completely as I still am enjoy a cup later in the day. However, I am absolutely loving that morning boost that only greens can give. 🙂

    • lauren
      Reply lauren January 11, 2013 at 9:03 pm

      Great timing! I know just the simple switch really seems to make a great difference. And that way, if you have coffee later in the day, you are most likely more hydrated and alkaline by then. Much easier on the body 🙂

  • Reply Amanda January 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    I am so glad to have found your site! I have been reading up on many of your articles. I study nutrition and nutraceutical sciences currently but plan to go the holistic nutrition route after graduating this spring!

    For Christmas I got my very first juicer and couldn’t wait to try all the juice ideas I have been reading about! When I feel really hungry and just want to grab something without thinking, I have been trying to add a small green juice, I feel calm, energized, and able to make good choices with food, very awesome, not to mention I love the taste!

    As for coffee, I have been working to reduce my intake. I got some delicious alternative tea to ease me out of it with many less of the harmful side effects, I have only had 2 in the past few weeks and I feel wonderful! Your timing is perfect on this post!

    Keep up the awesome incredibly knowledgeable and well written posts!

    Keep

    • lauren
      Reply lauren January 17, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      Hi Amanda! Love your tactic. Just by getting in the habit of adding juice into the diet for a snack is a fabulous practice. As for tea, I always found that a great way to work on reducing coffee intake. Plus teas can offer so many health benefits too!

  • Reply Bridget January 15, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Hi Lauren, Thanks for your blog! I really enjoy it. Re: juicing—what are you thoughts of the loss of fiber? This appears to be the biggest critique of why making smoothies maybe better or just eating the veggies as is. Best, Bridget

    • lauren
      Reply lauren January 17, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      Hi Bridget, juicing is not a replacement for eating fruits and vegetables, just an adjunct to a healthy diet. It is a great way to increase your nutrition intake, but it is still vital to consume plenty of fresh and organic fruit and vegetables. I think including juice and smoothies is important, because as you mentioned, fiber is very important to a healthy diet and body and juice does not have fiber in it. I also like to add chia seeds to my smoothies to help with healthy bowel movements, similarly to the effects of fiber.

  • Reply Buffy January 15, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    I love green juicing its awesome and definitely agree with all the benefits above. But I also love my daily latte too and don’t think anyone should deprive themselves and completely eliminate food groups if they achieve some sort of happiness and satisfaction from them. Deprivation often leads to binging behaviour and disordered eating unfortunately (sad face) 🙁 How about instead of saying you will never allow yourself another latte again, instead we focus on the more positive affirmative action goal of trying to include 1 green juice in each of our days! I personally have a green juice most mornings, AND a mid morning latte (organic if possible), and really think this is the best of both worlds 🙂 happy beverage drinking people!! Xx

  • Reply Rich Donahue January 17, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Hi Lauren,

    Good article and just what I’ve been thinking. For me anyway, green juice does replace my coffee in the morning. I’ve found that green juice just makes me feel better and now coffee isn’t appealing like it use to be. I still have coffee, but I don’t make it in my home anymore. My juicer took the coffee makers place on my countertop. Thanks!

    • lauren
      Reply lauren January 17, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      Absolutely Rich! Just by getting in the habit of making it at home makes such a difference. A great way to wean yourself off 🙂

  • Reply Ashley Anderson January 18, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this! I’m a holistic nutritionist (in training 🙂 ) and a certified personal trainer. I’m going to print this post and take it with me to the gym so that all my personal trainer friends can read this… especially the part about COFFEE!!! I love how you charted the pro’s and con’s of coffee and green juicing. I think you’re really onto something here and I absolutely am on board! We’ve gotta get the content in this article out – its fabulous and right on track. Great post 🙂

    • lauren
      Reply lauren January 19, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      Thank you so much Ashley! It is very important for everyone to make their own choices, which are always best made when educated. Hopefully this will help some people make the best choice for them as well!

  • Reply Lila February 8, 2013 at 3:26 am

    I live in the Kona coffee belt in Hawaii – overlooking an organic coffee field- and believe me, I LOVE my freshly roasted, freshly brewed coffee! Every year I take a break from it – at least a month- but never seem to kick the latte addiction all together. However, this year my new morning pick-up is my Oma’oma’o (green) Juice: a big handful of organic kale, 1/4 of a golden pineapple, an inch of fresh turmeric root, and a couple sprigs of fresh mint… Juiced in my good old Omega juicer. OMG! I’m addicted! I can’t wait to drink it in the am. It makes me feel calm, hydrated and energized…a much different kick than my morning Kona.

    • lauren
      Reply lauren February 10, 2013 at 2:59 pm

      Oh I LOVE that juice idea! Sounds very similar to my Kale Kleanse juice, minus the Turmeric. I completely agree about feeling calm, hydrated and energized. While I LOVE LOVE coffee, and I can only imagine how delicious the coffee in Kona is, there really is nothing that compares to how you feel after a large glass of green juice in the morning. It is worth the effort to switch and see how you feel!

  • Reply Maria February 8, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    I love love LOVE your blog and all the great info you provide us with! Love this post, but have a question. What about smoothies? green smoothies that is? Do you only juice? and which one do you prefer? I drink green smoothies every morning, and wonder if I should juice instead. Thanks again for all the amazing tips!

    • lauren
      Reply lauren February 10, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      Hi Maria, I LOVE green smoothies as well, but first thing in the morning, I think there is great benefit to juice, since it does not have the fiber. Therefore, it is easier to digest, and it is just like a huge nutrient boost or IV. I then drink my green smoothie about an hour or so after my green juice as a breakfast replacement. I add a bit of sunwarrior sprouted vegan protein to the smoothie and it keeps me full till lunch. I have been loving this routine, since it helps keep your bowel movements regular, your blood sugar stable, and further promotes cleansing of the body. Try it and let us know!

  • Reply sandra September 8, 2013 at 3:56 am

    I noticed a few people have mentioned kale.I am brand new to juicing.I’ve been making delicious juices that always include kale (then I add a bunch of other wonderful stuff!)However, I have just read an article about the dangers of adding Kale to smoothies because of its high content of toxic-producing substances. Possible bad effects include lowering thyroid function (which truly concerns me now). The article also mentioned that kale must be taken with calcium carbonate and magnesium oxide.It also said that the curly Kale has a higher toxicity capability.Could it be that juicing is less toxic than making smoothies?

    • lauren
      Reply lauren September 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      What you are referring to is Kale’s oxalic acid content. Oxalic acid in SOME individuals can stress the kidney, leading to kidney stones. This is dependent on a few factors including your bacteria in your gut, your ability to absorb the oxalic acid, the clearance rate of the kidney, and how much kale or similar veges high in oxalic acid is. For the majority of people eating kale everyday is fine and will not cause stress. You only need to be concerned if you have had kidney stones (calcium oxalate in particular) previous, and/or you are consuming very large quantities of kale daily.

  • Reply Toni January 15, 2014 at 1:28 am

    Hi Lauren

    I blend green smoothies every morning and I love them. However I find it really hard to go without coffee. I should not have coffee for many of the reasons you listed above, it makes me very anxious and increases my heart rate. I feel more aggressive and self-conscious. However it is so hard to resist it because it gives me more instant energy than greens and I feel happier when I have it.

    Do you have caffeine from any other source such as tea? Do you ever miss coffee?

    • lauren
      Reply lauren January 19, 2014 at 7:45 pm

      Hi Toni – it is a hard transition and it will take time for the body to adjust and to recover. Know that in the long run you can get back to a place where you can feel energized and awake without caffeine, although it may take some time to get there. There are other ways to help improve energy such as B vitamins, and herbs that support the adrenal glands. You also may want to check out my kidney cleanse because the kidney is oftentimes the root cause of low energy. If you are going to be drinking caffeine, only drink organic coffee beans, with filtered water and organic homemade almond or coconut milk in it. Organic tea, or yerba mate is another good option. Just try to wean of these and increase your water intake while consuming. If after a month to 6 weeks you are unable to feel energized without it, I would consider working with your MD because there could be a deeper underlying issue such as anemia or hypothyroid. Good Luck Toni!

  • Reply Lisa Magoch Johnson April 1, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Thanks for this article. I drink coffee for medicinal reasons. It really does help me focus my ADD. Was looking for something I can try for the hot summer months. Especially since I am not a fan of iced coffee. I tried juicing, last year, but the recipes I was using ended up having the opposite effect, because fruits have too many sugars in them. So, I will give the green juice some thought and give it a try.

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale
      Reply Lauren aka The Holy Kale April 13, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      Great Lisa! I think you will find it a good alternative 🙂

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