Eat Well: Drink Your Veggies

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, mom!
My doctor recently prescribed a no sugar, no gluten, no fruit diet…which could alternatively be called the NO FUN diet. (I’ll let you know why when I finish getting the results of my tests back.) Removing sugar and gluten from my diet is hard enough, but I am a FRUIT MONSTER and love all fruits in every form. Normally in a given day I probably have three or four pieces, not to mention dried fruit in my morning groats. On my new regimen, I can have an occasional apple and a few strawberries once in a while as well as limes, lemons and grapefruit in moderation, but summer is almost here and that means bounties of plums and peaches, melons and apricots. I am depressed just thinking about a summer without them.

What I can have is vegetables…the more the merrier. And I am supposed to have fresh vegetable juice every day (without carrots or fruit). After a week of spending 6 dollars a glass at my local organic grocery store, I bought myself a juicer. I figure it will pay for itself in a few weeks. And I actually look forward to my juice—it’s the sweetest thing I am allowed to eat all day!

There is a lot of information out there about the benefits of juicing vs. blending. When you blend, you get all of the fiber, which is great for you, but it also fills you up so you don’t get as many vegetable vitamins as you do with juicing (it takes longer to digest the fiber). Also, a smoothie made from 100% vegetables is not that tasty. All the smoothie recipes I have found call for either fruit juice or fruit as the base with a few vegetables slipped in for more vitamins. Fruit smoothies are yummy but they are high in sugar so they’re banned from my diet, at least for now.

Vegetable juice, on the other hand, can be delicious without any added fruits. I like to start with some cucumber or a couple of stalks of celery as the base (an apple works great, too). These are high in water content so they add volume to your juice. You can add any vegetable you want. I can’t add carrots or beets because of their high sugar content but they are delicious in veggie juice. Remember that gigantic cabbage I had last week? It’s almost gone because I have been juicing it! It turns out that cabbage is fabulous to juice. It’s sweet and flavorful and amazingly good for you (it can cure a lot of gastric diseases including ulcers, colitis, IBS and even help people with Crohns disease). Parsley is great for your liver and adds a lovely flavor. Other veggies I like to juice are kale, spinach, Swiss chard, and dandelion greens (these are a little bitter but are great for you, especially if you are detoxing). And I always add a slice of ginger or a ½ a lime to my juice. They give it a kick and add more flavor. It’s fun to experiment every day with a new blend. What is great about juicing is that you get the vitamins immediately into your system…no digestion required. And vegetable juices cleanse and detox your body.

If you want to make your own juice at home, buy a juicer with a wide chute. I bought the Breville Juice Fountain Plus and I love it. It’s easy to use and clean. You can use the leftover fiber to put in soups or to thicken sauces, or add it to ground nuts or beans for a meatless loaf. (If you eat meat, you can add it to your meat loaf.). You can also add it to cakes and muffins. Or, you can compost it in the garden. I have a composter but if you don’t, just dig it into the ground. The fiber is so fine that it will decompose quickly and add nutrients to your soil.

Juicing requires a lot of vegetables, so if you have a garden, it’s an ideal way to use your bounty. If you are buying, it’s best to use organic vegetables since you are juicing the entire vegetable. Make sure all produce is washed well, and in the case of root vegetables, scrubbed. Only make enough juice for one day. Vegetable juice doesn’t keep well.

Wendy’s Favorite Vegetable Juice blend 

2 stalks celery
1/3 of a cucumber
1 hunk of cabbage (2-3 cups)
½ apple (more if sugar isn’t an issue)
½-1 inch hunk of fresh ginger (or ½ a peeled lime)
½ bunch parsley
2-4 kale leaves (or mix and match with chard and spinach)
(optional: 1 beet or 2 carrots (or both))
Juice the cucumber, celery, apple, and cabbage and ginger on high speed (all of the hard vegetables). Roll parsley and soft leaves into a ball before juicing and juice on lower speed if your juicer has that option. Push slowly for these softer vegetables.
Makes about 16 oz of juice.
There’s lots of room for experimentation in this recipe. Your taste buds will tell you what combination works best for you! Happy Juicing!



Beth | 5:50 PM

I'm juicing too, with the same juicer. I've been lining the pulp container with a bag to cut down on clean up - nice when I'm in a hurry.

I love me some fruit juices, but I try to work the veggies in as well - love a green juice of spinach and green apples.

Hope you get some answers to your health issues ASAP! It is no fun to be on a restricted diet.

Andrea | 6:13 PM

Hope your test results provide clarity. Fingers crossed.

avb | 6:29 PM

I have a kale, apple, lemon, chard juice every morning in addition to my no gluten, low-no sugar clean eating plan. I love my juice and I'm getting used to the plan. Like you, the juice is the highlight of my day. I sometimes make one in the afternoon that has kale, chard, avocado and blueberries (a small amount of which are allowed on my plan). It's delicious and the avocado makes it a little creamy.

Wendy Woolf | 7:05 PM

Avb....thanks for the avocado tip! I will try that tomorrow!

Red Stethoscope | 8:13 PM

I hope you're feeling better very soon! I know you are so creative and always have a positive spin on things, but this must be such a hard diet restriction! I'm a fruit fan too, so I was having sympathy pains for you. :(

Monica | 10:33 PM

See, I think you should blend it so your body gets the fiber.

Monica | 10:36 PM

I see... re: juicing vs. blending. I would still want to blend a couple times a week.

Anonymous | 3:02 AM

Wendy please think about doing a cookbook. Seriously. I keep everything you write here and your recipes/tips are fabulous. Everything is so yummy!

Re juicing - I have a Champion juicer (not my favorite to clean but invested enough I'll keep it) but would love a go-to book on great juice recipes and why each is beneficial. Can you recommend one please and thank you?


Get The Measure | 6:03 AM

Thanks so much for the tip on using the pulp to thicken soups or sauces, I always felt so guilty throwing it away :)

Clandestine Road | 7:16 AM

I hope your tests come back great.

Juicing is my favorite. Kale, grapefruit, and ginger is what I love every morning.


lisatravels | 7:43 AM

I use dates to sweeten my veggie juicies, would those work for you?
Thanks for the great info!

lisatravels | 7:44 AM
This comment has been removed by the author.
Martha | 8:35 AM

The pulp can also be fed to dogs with their food. The theory is that in the wild dogs and wolves consume vegetables that were partially digested in the digestive tracts of their prey--the pulp from juicing replicates that. We feed our dog a raw diet and incorporate veggies that are ground up in a food processor to simulate those conditions. If I ever start juicing that's how I would use the pulp! I'm still skeptical of juicing, I guess. Just haven't seen a reason to do it--I'd rather eat my veggies. But I've heard so many people rave about it lately!

Dranrab | 8:39 AM

Yay! SO glad you did a juice-ing post!

I really hope everything works out and you are able to eat fruits again. What a sad sad day without peaches, bananas, or berries.


Priscilla Edwards | 9:01 AM

I recently started juicing and I'm anxious to try your recipe. Try making your grandchildren apple juice, it is heaven in a glass. I look forward to your posts and wish you
luck with your test results.

Wendy Woolf | 9:06 AM

Martha...thanks for the dog food tip! The theory around juicing is that it is an easy way to get more vegetable isn't a substitute for eating veggies. I still eat the same amount of vegetables, but now I am getting so many more by juicing once or twice a day. And, since your body doesn't spend the time digesting, you get the goodness immediately into your body. Plus, the juice is raw.

Marie-Ève | 9:37 AM

Thank you for this post. I am also relatively new to juicing, and still in the experimenting phase. I have two young kids and if I want them to actually drink the juice, it has to be sweet somehow, so I'm doing at least half and half veggies and fruit, and I use carrots and beets a lot.

I love your comments and ideas. I have some questions : can you put the avocado through the juicer directly? Or do you need to blend it first then add it? Because I know that you can't juice bananas, and avocados are roughly the same texture.

Same for dates. Do you have to mash them separately beforehand?

Wendy Woolf | 9:57 AM can't juice dates...they need to be blended...but I have read that you can juice an avocado if you put it through the juicer first, before there is pulp in the sieve. I haven't tried it though. I will let you know when I do!

Michelle R | 10:09 AM

I have to say that I love these posts but I'd never get anyone else in my family to drink something green!

You can win one of these juicers here!

Wendy Woolf | 10:28 AM

Michelle R....put some beets or carrots in it and it won't be green! :)

Sascha LaCoss | 9:45 PM

Wendy, it's tough the "no fun" diet, but I hope you find it helps what you are trying to help. I love Kimberly Snyder's Glowing Green Smoothie, you may have to have it after you can add fruit back, but it's a great tasting green smoothie. The recipe is here Kimberly Snyder's book "The Beauty Detox Solution" is a fabulous read. I love your weekly posts!!

Meg | 10:33 AM

yum! makes me want to get a juicer rich now!

FYI- for nursing mamas- skip the parsley since it can put a damper on your milk supply.

Nursery Design | 4:06 PM

I've been wanting to start juicing for some time now. I bought a juicer about 6 months ago after watching Fat Sick and Nearly Dead but have yet to start juicing. I did try a few times but it was a lot of work and there was SO much waste. Do you use the pulp and skin for anything? i've thought about making a compost bin, but wanted to know if anyone had any good recipes or ideas.

Molly | 10:51 AM

I want to try cabbage juice to see if it helps my husband's health, but I don't want to buy a juicer right away before we've given it a shot (or even had a chance to taste it!). We don't have any organic juice bars aroun here. Is there a way to make this juice with just a blender? Any way to let it sit and let the fiber separate? Let me know. If we can try it that for a few days and we like it, then we'll think about buying a juicer!

jillian | 10:32 AM

I am on a very similar diet (brutal at first, but gets easier). This post was great! I hope your mom writes more about her experience and juicing!

Wendy Woolf | 3:21 PM

Molly..I don't think you can strain it. A juicer is basically a centrifuge so requires the high speed spinning to get out the juice. Marie-Eve..if you have a dog, you can give the pulp to the dog. Also, my juicer came with a bunch of recipes for the can also look online for recipes. Otherwise, bury the pulp in the garden to amend your soil!