Green-Smoothie.jpgWeddings are stressful. The litany of decisions that have to be made leading up to the big day is seemingly endless. What font to use on the invites? What colour dress is the bride going to wear: white, almost white, somewhat white, kinda white, not super white but can pass as white, red? What about catering and decorations? Chocolate cake or vanilla cupcakes? What about flowers? The list goes on. And to add even more stress, whether you’re the bride, the groom, or in the bridal party, you’re going to be photographed more in the span of a few hours than ever before, so you know you’re going to want to look your best. That’s where juicing comes in.

I’ve got to be completely honest here … I haven’t always been a fan of juicing, and in fact, it’s only recently that I’ve come to realize that you don’t need to be all hippy-dippy-granola to reap the benefits of squeezing the juice out of your favourite (or not so favourite) fruits and veggies. Juicing is said to increase energy, reduce food cravings, give you mental clarity, and of course, contribute to weight loss, each of which is perfect for the stress-addled bride-groom-bridal-party. So, here’s how to juice to look your best on the big day.

Juice in moderation

I am not a doctor, but I think common sense dictates that no human being can or should live on a juice only diet for any length of time. That’s why it’s my personal opinion – which is supported by myriad websites – that you should avoid “juice cleanses” and instead replace your breakfast and lunch with a nutrient-dense juice and enjoy a well balanced dinner for a couple of weeks prior to your wedding if you want to look and feel your best on the big day. I’ve been part of a wedding where the bride did a full-on juice cleanse and let me tell you, it was not pretty. To call her “Bridezilla” would have been a compliment. The body needs a certain amount of sustenance to function properly, so again, juice for breakfast and lunch, and then have a protein and veggie rich meal for dinner.

Get the right equipment

I think what shaded my initial opinion of juicing was the juicer an ex-boyfriend bought me for Christmas several years ago. I was thrilled at the prospect of juicing my way to a fitter, healthier version of myself, but my first attempt at apple-carrot juice meant 10 apples, half a bag of carrots, a lot of swearing, a giant mess on my counter, a virtually impossible machine to clean, and less than a glass of juice. It’s important that you invest in a juicer that is going to give you the most from the fruit and veggies you put into it. Here are a couple of fantastic options:

  • Breville 1 Litre JuicerBreville-Juicer.jpg
    Breville is actually known for developing a juicer in the late 1990’s that increased the yield you would get from fruits and vegetables by about 30%. Fast-forward almost twenty years and it’s safe to say this juicer is a beast. You can toss whole fruits and vegetables into its extra-wide 3” chute to generate an 8-ounce cup of juice in about 5 seconds. The juice collector itself is made entirely of stainless steel and the motor operates at 13,000 rpm on full speed. Like I said, a beast. And, it’s dishwasher safe!
  • Kuvings Masticating JuicerKuvings-Juicer.jpg
    I remember from high school biology that “masticating” means “to chew” so while it’s an interesting name for this juicer, it makes sense. Similar to the Breville, this juicer features a wide chute so you can toss in whole fruits and vegetables, or if you are juicing large fruits, you only have to do minimal chopping. What sets it apart from other juicers is that it is considered a “slow” juicer. That means it really does slowly chew your fruits and veggies to produce juice that has maximum nutritional content. It also comes with a BPA-free strainer, so if the urge to enjoy sorbet hits you, you can make your own.

Stick to a handful of recipes

It’s easy to get equally overwhelmed and inspired when searching the web for healthy juice recipes. But it’s a good idea to stick to one or two, otherwise you’ll be spending a fortune on a wide variety of ingredients, and likely end up not being able to use them all before they are ready for the produce graveyard. Here are a few fantastically delicious recipes to try (side note, I loathe kale, but it’s not bad when it’s mixed with other delicious ingredients!).

Morning Pick UpJuice.jpg

  • 4 apples
  • 3 carrots
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 2 cups of kale
  • 1 pear

Simple Green Juice

  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 2 cups of kale
  • 2 cups of parsley
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 stalks of celery

 Green Pineapple

  • ½ pineapple
  • 1 small bunch of broccoli
  • 1 long cucumber
  • 1 kiwi
  • Slimming Drink
  • 2 oranges
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 beetroot (no greens)
  • 1 small handful of spinach
  • 5 celery stalks
  • 5 long carrots
  • 1” cube of gingerroot

You really can’t go wrong when you are making juice from fresh fruits and vegetables. Juicing is a great way to shed a few pounds before a big event, and is something that can definitely be incorporated into your everyday diet to promote energy and mental clarity. Just make sure you have the right equipment and that you aren’t depriving your body of much needed nutrients like protein and healthy fats. Health is all about balance and consistency. Now, if only I could go back in time and retake all those bridesmaid photos of me that are floating out there.