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Juicing cleanses gaining popularity for improved healthy eating

Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO)


June 04--Judging by the number of customers streaming through the doors of the new Nourish Organic Juice store and caf? juicing is as popular as ever.

"A huge part of what we see with people coming to our store for juice is that they want to feel better," co-owner Nicole Martinez said.

Driven by health and nutrition, Evelyn Steel started the business with Martinez in 2011 after years of juicing and making blended drinks to supplement her own diet.

Steel envisioned opening a wellness center with a juice bar but couldn't swing the investment of a storefront so she opted for food trailer. They parked their truck at farmers' markets to peddle their bottles of freshly squeezed raw vegetable and fruit juices. Before long, they had a list of juice addicts who faithfully stood in line for a fix, looking to cleanse their systems, supplement their diets or trim their waistlines.

So the pair opened the business at 303 E. Pikes Peak Ave.. For $30 per day, Nourish Organic Juice prepares four (16 ounce) juices for customers to replace either breakfast and lunch, or breakfast and dinner for three days.

For Martinez, juicing makes her feel better and provides an easier method for eating the required number of recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

"Juicing raw veggies will allow you to consume more of them," she said.

Steel added: "The vitamins and antioxidants are more rapidly absorbed in your body."

Marleen Swanson, a dietitian and department chair of culinary nutrition at Johnson & Wales University in Denver, cautioned that juicing isn't a cure-all.

"Like many practices, a little may be good, a lot may be detrimental," she said.

Swanson acknowledges that consuming the recommended daily allowances of fruits and vegetables might be difficult for some.

"Adding juice as a snack or simply an addition to a full diet may be helpful," she said. "But completely juicing has limitations."

Swanson went on to make several other points:

- If the juice is high in fruit, there likely will be a high intake of sugar. A medium piece of fruit has 60 to 75 calories -- the same as a half cup of fruit juice. And apple juice goes down much quicker than an apple, so you might actually gain weight from the ease of consuming excess calories.

- Juicing is not filling as most of the fiber has been removed. Thus, it lacks in satiety.

- As a meal replacement, juicing has limited protein, meaning that individuals get hungry more quickly.

- Juicing proponents claim that nutrients are better absorbed from juice, which gives your digestive system a rest, helps remove toxins and assists in weight loss. However, there is no sound scientific evidence that extracted juice is healthier than juice attained from eating a fruit or vegetable.

Bottom line, Swanson said, is to include some whole fruits and vegetables for fiber if you juice, and to stabilize your blood sugar levels with protein.

Heather Mitchell, who operates Change Personal Chef Services, prefers drinking smoothies made with a Vitamix as a healthier option than juicing.

"By blending the whole foods, you are able to benefit from the fiber that helps to balance out the simple sugars in fruits and vegetables," she said.

When it comes to juicing and juice cleanses, as Swanson says, "moderation is the key to good health."

JL Fields, a vegan cookbook author who does two- and three-day cleanses once or twice a year, likes to drop by Nourish for a fresh juice or smoothie.

"The Perky Pants juice is one of my favorites," she said. "It's a blend of carrot, apple and lemon juices with ginger."

Some other menu choices include Clean Machine, a combination of pear, cucumber, celery and spinach juices, or Get the Glow, juice from apples, kale, beets, carrots, lemons and ginger.

Another option available at Nourish is the Juice Cleanse for $48 per day. You get six (16 ounce) bottles of juice picked from menu and consume the juices for one to seven days.

"You need to prepare your system for a juice-only diet," Martinez said. "About a week before starting a juice-only diet, stop red meat, bread, caffeine and alcohol. Eat clean. Most people do fine with a three- to five-day juice cleanse."


Contact Teresa J. Farney at 636-0271


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