6 Ways Juicing Can Help Persistent Acne

Green Juice!Have you tried everything for your acne, but still seem to struggle with consistent breakouts?

I did too.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at me today- but I struggled with terrible acne for over 15 years!

I tried everything under the sun to clear my skin until one day (after a particularly awful dermatologist appointment) I decided to throw everything out that I had learned about acne and I decided to heal myself, from the inside-out.

I embarked on a healing journey; I became a fitness instructor with a focus on nutrition and I researched everything I could about the mind/body/food connection. After a lot of studying and trial and error- I was finally able to clear my acne naturally. I’ve been acne free for almost 5 years now, and I want to help you heal as well!

As I learned more about the food/body connection, I discovered 3 of the biggest causes of acne were blood sugar imbalances, digestive imbalances, and hormonal imbalances.

I wanted to address these imbalances head on, so one of the first things I did was to start drinking green juices. It worked wonders for my skin and I want to tell you why!

Here are the 6 ways that juicing helped clear my acne and how it can help you clear yours!:

1. Juicing helps to keep your blood sugar levels normal.

In the typical American diet, we start off our normal day with a bagel, cream cheese, coffee with milk and sugar. While this might be tasty, this breakfast causes a huge spike in your blood sugar. Blood sugar is intimately tied to your acne; higher blood sugar in your body means more of the hormone insulin. More insulin means excessive cell growth at the root of all of your hair follicles- which is part of the sequence of events that causes acne in the first place.

So, what can you do? Start your morning off with a super low sugar green juice instead – try my morning green juice below – to avoid such a huge blood sugar spike first thing in the morning.

2. Juicing helps to get your digestive enzymes flowing.

So many people that I see with acne have some type of digestion problem. It’s usually one of two issues; either they’re not using the bathroom enough and their body is in toxic overload or they’re using the restroom way too much and their body isn’t absorbing nutrients from their food.

What can you do? If you’re having problems with the, ahem, “flow of things”, grab a green juice with beets in it. It’ll start things “movin’ “, (if you know what I mean :), and help to remove toxins.

3. Green juices are super anti-inflammatory.

Our bodies function the best when there is an even balance between acid and pH. However, when our body is more acidic it tends to show up everywhere and usually in our skin. One of the best ways to bring more pH into our bodies is by adding in more veggies.

What can you do? Besides drinking a veggie juice every day, add ginger into the mix as well. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and can also help to boost your immune system. This way you’re getting two for one: the anti-inflammatory properties of the veggies plus the ginger.

4. Juicing helps you stay hydrated.

When you have acne you’re most likely putting creams on your face and using medicines that completely dry your skin out. The result can be an itchy dryness that can sometimes even make you break out more, and can slow down the healing process after a breakout.

What can you do? Try a juice with 1-2 cucumbers (peeled if they’re not organic). Cucumbers are made of mostly water and as a result, can help your skin stay hydrated.

5. Juicing helps to balance hormonal levels.

Hormonal acne is one of the most common types of acne that there is and as a result, everyone wants the “secret recipe” to healing. However, hormones are one of the most complex systems in your body and require a delicate balance of many bodily systems.

What can you do? As long as you’re grabbing one green juice a day, you’re on your way. Your hormones are deeply affected by your blood sugar and digestion. And since juicing helps both of these stay normal, you’re good to go!

6. Drinking green juice help you create better habits.

This was one of the most important ways that drinking green juice helped to clear my acne. Once I started every morning with a green juice, my day felt different. I felt more energized and didn’t have such a huge sugar craving at around 10:30 (sound familiar?!) when my blood sugar was crashing. I felt more focused and tuned in. This felt good, so I started to change up other little habits throughout the day which eventually led to bigger and more important healthy habits that led to more acne clearing.

What can you do? Start one good habit today (drink a green juice!). Just one though, don’t overwhelm yourself because you’ll get burned out. Start with one habit today and watch little habits over time become big ones.

After going over all of those amazing reasons why juicing is great for acne, I figured you could use some juicing inspiration. I have a ton of green juice recipes over here.  Below are my two favorite recipes for acne healing. Try one today!

My 2 favorite juices for acne healing:

Jill’s Morning Juice:
1 green apple
1 bunch kale
3-4 stalks celery
1 cucumber (peeled if not organic)
Juice of 1 lemon
Handful of parsley
½ inch ginger peeled

Jill’s Summer Lovin’ Juice:
1 handful kale
1 handful spinach
1 green apple
2-3 pieces of pineapple
Blend with avocado.

I truly believe that green juices were the key to healing my acne and that they can help you clear yours. I hope these recipes inspire you to start your own acne healing journey.

Jill Therese Jill Therese is the founder of Heal Your Face With Food and is dedicated to helping you heal your acne naturally, from the inside out. Download a free guide here to help you determine if you have hormonal acne, stress acne or dietary acne + the steps you can take to heal!

 

Why It’s Important to Rotate Your Greens

Why Rotate Your Greens?
Photo by Rachel

I write a lot about green smoothies and the benefits of drinking green smoothies. I’m also a huge advocate of juicing your greens. But one of the important aspects of drinking your greens is the rotation of plants.

Let me explain.

When you consume the exact same variety of green leafy vegetables, your body is always getting the same nutrients. Each variety of plant will give you different nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants.

But it goes even further than that. You see, each plant has a self-defense mechanism to keep animals from completely devastating their favorite plant. For example, if monkeys loved spinach and decided to eat all the spinach around then the plant could not procreate and it would die out.

Nature’s system is so smart because it knows that it’s important to keep greens around (hello! most nutritious food pound for pound!). So green leafy plants actually have a minute amount of alkaloids, which act like a poison if ingested regularly.

That’s where rotating your greens comes in! If you switch between different types of green plans, your body’s immune system is actually getting a boost because it is working on different alkaloids all the time.

So my recommendation, backed up by Victoria Boutenko is to switch between at least 10-12 types of greens. You can have say two or three days on one green like spinach, and then two or three days on kale, then two or three days on gai lan, you get the picture.

This actually ties in well with the Traditional Chinese Medicine system of hot and cold foods. Some people do well on certain types of greens, while others are better off with different types.

I think it’s super important to swap greens regularly! Oh, and the reason we don’t need to focus on swapping fruit as much as greens is that fruit were designed to be eaten and spread by animals. Greens would rather grow, and have their seeds blow in the wind or be pollinated by insects.

Greens are the most powerful healing foods out there, so it’s great to make them a staple part of your diet!

List of Greens to Get You Started

Your best bet is to go to a farmer’s market and look a the vast array of colorful greens. Pick some up, smell it, ask the farmer what it tastes like, and give it a try! If you’ve got the space and inclination, I’d highly recommend you start a garden. Plant a few of these vegetables and see which ones you like!

  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Kale
  • Bok Choy
  • Gai Lan
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Mustard Greens
  • Carrot Tops
  • Yu Choy
  • Sunflower sprouts (sprouts in general)
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Buttercrunch lettuce
  • Boston lettuce
  • Arugula (Rocket)
  • Collard greens
  • Cabbage
  • Watercress
  • Purslane
  • Sorrel
  • Tatsoi
  • Turnip Greens
  • Radish Greens
  • Beet Greens
  • Basil leaves
  • Coriander / Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Mint leaves

What other greens do you enjoy?

There are literally hundreds of different green edible plants out there. Which ones are your favorites and what have you tried that you didn’t quite like?

Love, Nathalie

Blender or Juicer: Is it better to juice or to drink smoothies?

Are you overwhelmed by the number of accessories and machines “Raw Food Gurus” tell you are needed to make eating a raw food diet successful? With the help of this guide you’ll be able to decide whether you should invest in a blender or a juicer, and figure out which one is more likely to give you the biggest nutritional bang for your buck.

Juicing vs. Blending

The Benefits of Blenders and Smoothies

1. Smoothies keep longer in the refrigerator than juice does.

Smoothies contain all of the fiber that the fruits and vegetables initially came with, albeit in a blended form. Because everything is still in the drink itself, you can actually store smoothies longer without losing too much nutritional value.

To preserve a smoothie you simply need to put it in a glass container like a mason jar filled to the brim. This keeps the air out, so that the smoothie will not oxidize. Seal the jar and drink it within 24 to 32 hours. You might need to shake it if the water separates.

2. The fiber of a green smoothie acts like chimney sweepers.

Smoothies have a cleansing effect on the bowel. Since smoothies still contain all of the fiber from the fruits and vegetables, you get a chimney sweeping effect. One of the reasons I’m so fond of smoothies is that they keep me regular, and cleanse my body on their way out.

3. Sugar is absorbed slower because of the built-in fiber.

Green smoothies allow you to have fruit without experiencing the aftermath of a sugar spike and crash. The fiber will keep the flow of sugar regular as your body digests it and it enters the bloodstream. Fruit smoothies will have the effect as eating whole fruits, so you may experience a bit of an up and down, but nothing compared to fruit juice. (By the way, store bought fruit juices are the worst, and I don’t recommend them at all.)

4. Commercial smoothies are “tainted”.

Most store-bought or juice-bar smoothies are less than ideal. These smoothies are made with frozen fruit, with store-bought sugary juices and liquors for added taste. Most store-bought smoothies are packed with sugar so that they taste extra yummy. These smoothies also tend to include dairy of a questionable quality and source.

Though commercial smoothies are tainted, commercial juices are even worse. Bottled juices are almost pure sugar with very little nutrition at all. They are also high in calories, and just plain bad for the health.

5. Blenders are easy to clean.

A blender is easily cleaned by running it under the tap. Or adding a bit of water and soap to the blender and pushing the clean cycle button for a few seconds. Because blenders are so easy to assemble and clean a lot of people gravitate towards blending instead of juicing.

6. Fruit smoothies are great tasting for the whole family.

Smoothies are great for making fruit-based drinks because it contains the whole fruit. They are also great for green smoothies because you can mix and match to please the taste buds of anyone in your household. A little extra fruit, or maybe a spoonful of cacao for an added twist.

7. With a blender you can make sauces, salsas, and dips.

Blenders are great for making sauces and dips. With a blender you can make all kinds of different things aside from smoothies, like salsas, guacamole, sauces, and soups. Though you can most certainly make soups with a juicer, blended soups tend to be thicker and creamier.

Get the Vitamix Blender

8. You can easily add supplements and superfoods into smoothies.

When you’re making a smoothie you can add a spoonful of hemp protein powder, spirulina, maca root powder, and so on. You wouldn’t necessarily add these supplements to a glass of juice, either because of the taste or the texture. That makes smoothies ideal for superfoods and giving yourself a nutritional edge.

My Recommended Blender of Choice

If you’ve got the means then I definitely recommend you go with a Vitamix blender. Otherwise, Amazon has a nice selection of mid-range blenders like the Oster Professional Series Blender.

The Benefits of Juicing and Freshly Squeezed Juice

Many long time raw foodists (ugh there we go with labels again!) state that their success is in part due to juicing.

1. Fresh juices are the shortcut to pure nutrition.

Freshly made juice gives you all the nutrients without any of the associated digestion. A freshly made juice bypasses your need to digest through the fibers before you get all the nutrients of the fruits and vegetables. This is ideal for people who have digestion problems and who need to heal themselves before they can absorb nutrients from whole foods. This ability to bypass your digestion and go straight into your nutritional system is important for giving your body a break and allowing it to heal itself fully.

2. Juice is ideal for cleansing and healing.

Many people have healed themselves and undergone complete transformations by following a supervised juice fast or juice feast. The idea is to drink only freshly made juicer for an extended period of time to allow your body to take a break and work on deeper issues that require healing. Remember to consider the benefits of organic produce when you’re juicing, especially if you aren’t peeling your produce.

3. Juice vegetables, but eat fruits.

Jay Kordich (The Juice Daddy) believes that you should juice vegetables and eat fruits. Vegetables are better juiced whereas fruits are better eaten whole. Fruits need all of the fiber in order to slow down the absorption of sugar in your blood stream. The exception is that of mixing apple juice with vegetables. Vegetables contain less sugar and therefore don’t need as much fiber to slow down the absorption. This goes back to the idea that store bought fruit juices are not a healthy drink.

4. Juice gives you an instant energy boost.

When you’re drinking freshly made juice, you’re getting all of the energy right away without waiting for your body to digest through it. Whenever I drink freshly squeezed vegetable juice I always feel energized and more alert.

5. Even without fiber juice is a great way to flush your system out.

Even without all of the fiber of smoothies, juices are a great way to give your body a chance to expel things via bowel movements. If you “chew your juice” as recommended, you give your body a signal that begins peristalsis and gets your bowels moving. That leads to a bowel movement and you are cleansing your body even without eating the fiber.

6. Cleaning a juicer can be quite a task.

I think it’s a tossup between making juice and making a smoothie in terms of time. For a smoothie you need to cut the fruits that you’re going blend, and for a juice you might need to cut apples or carrots if they don’t fit in the juicer.

A juicer definitely requires a little bit more time for cleanup. Although I’ve been able to time myself and make an entire batch of juice in less than 15 minutes, I think all of these things come with practice.

7. Juices don’t make you feel full.

After drinking juice you might be satisfied for 30 minutes to an hour. After drinking a smoothie, you might be satisfied for two to three hours. So I see juice more as a way to add nutrition into your day, and not as much as a meal like a smoothie might be.

8. Juice allows you to juice almost any produce.

You might never put a beet or a carrot in one of your smoothies, but you can definitely make juice out of these ingredients. Interestingly enough, you can disguise bad tasting vegetables with other better tasting vegetables and apples to make juices that contain a larger variety of ingredients. Not necessarily so with smoothies.

9. The debate over unlocked nutrition in juice and smoothies.

It’s still up for debate whether juice or smoothies unlock all the nutritional value in fruits and vegetables. Some juicer and blender manufacturers say that all of the nutrition is unlocked and is therefore superior to eating the fruits and vegetables themselves. This would potentially lead to increased absorption of nutrition. This is certainly the case for the elderly, or people who have a hard time chewing through foods properly.

While I cannot quote any scientific studies, I can definitely vouch with my experience that it is very easy to digest smoothies and juices.

My Recommended Juicer of Choice

Earlier this year I bought an Omega Masticating Juicer, and I’m so pleased with it! There are also some great mid-range juicers available like the Breville Juice Fountain.

Watch the Cliff Notes Version via Video


(Watch the video here if it’s not viewable.)

Is Juicing Better for you than Smoothies? Or vice versa?

I think it really comes down to what you’re more likely to use on a daily basis. The blender might work better if you’re in a rush and you need a very filling meal. In this case I definitely recommend making lots of blended green smoothies.

If you have a lot of produce from your garden or from a weekly produce delivery service and you don’t know what to do with all of it, I definitely recommend a juicer. Remember not to mix fruits and vegetables in the same juice except for apples and to some extent lemons. Though it is preferable to make vegetable juices over fruit juices.

When I first went raw I bought a blender and a juicer. If I had to do it all over again I would have just bought a blender. Now I have both a blender and a juicer and I’m definitely making good use of my juicer because of all the produce in my garden.

If money is an issue then I definitely think a blender is a better investment because you’re not wasting the fiber of the fruits and vegetables that you’re blending.

I do think that juice have an advantage in terms of nutrition because it simply gives your digestion system a break.

Have your say…

So if you were starting over with raw foods, or if you’re in that place now… which one would you recommend to others in this situation? A blender or a juicer? Let us know in the comments!
Love, Nathalie