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I've always been a fan of juicing but recently I've really gotten into it again to help my training. No, I'm not talking about steroids. I'm talking about actual fruit and vegetable juice. Juicing at home allows you to get most of the nutrients out of fruits and vegetables. Juice in the store has to be pasturized (heated to 160 degrees F) before it can be sold. That heating destroys a lot of vitamins and enzymes. Consuming lots of vitamins and minerals is important for getting strong and feeling good. Recently my roommate (Irontstrong Name ButtflapComics) got a masticating juicer. It runs at only 80 RPMs, so the juice is not heated at all and most of the vitamins are retained. It also does an amazing job at extracting juice from leafy vegetables, which I honestly didn't think was possible until I saw it in action. I have a juicer myself that runs at super high speed. The result can be warm juice which has lost some of its vitamin content. Now don't get me wrong, it's essential to eat whole fruits and vegetables as well. You need the fiber from them for digestive health and probably some of the nutrients in the fruits and vegetables don't come out in their juice. But juicing allows you to get a super vitamin and mineral boost on top of your other food. For myself and I think many others, getting down a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables every day can be a challenge. And frankly some vegetables aren't all that palatable raw (I'm looking at you Bok Choy) even though they're super healthy. Think of the fruit juice as a vehicle to get the vegetable juice in your body. When I make a juice cocktail it usually winds up being about half vegetable juice and half fruit juice. So that means putting a whole lot more vegetables than fruits through the juicer. If you're new to juicing I highly recommend getting a book to ensure that you don't overdo it on certain vegetables that have properties that can rob your body of vitamins and minerals if you have too much of them. Some of you may be wondering, "Vegetable juice? Like V8? That stuff tastes terrible!" It doesn't have to be that way. You can have vegetable-oriented juice that tastes sweet and delicious. Here are just a few that I've used in the past few days. I'm not going to include quantities because each person has to find what works for them. A good rule of thumb is that apple, carrot and celery go really well together. Use oranges if you are worried about bitterness from any of the vegetables. Always wash your produce thorougly with cold water before juicing it. Super Green Juice: spinach celery (not too much) Bok Choy Carrots Apple Orange Super Purple Juice: Red Cabbage Spinach Beets Tomato Celery (not too much) Carrots Apple Orange Strawberry Super Brown Juice: Throw everything you have in and see what happens. It's usually good. If not you can still probably choke it down. Try adding herbs like cilantro, parsley and their relatives as well. I hear ginger is really good too but I haven't tried it yet. These are just some basic ideas. I usually just go to Costco and buy up whatever they've got and then see what I can come up with. The only time I've been dissapointed with the taste of my juice is the time I tried juicing sweet potatoes. Their bitter, chalky flavor overpowered everything else. As with any new food, don't consume a huge quantity the first time you try it. Rule of thumb: if the plant is bitter don't have too much, but a small amount is probably a really good idea. Juicing is a tastey and fun way to add some much needed nutrients to your diet. It's expensive to buy all of these fruits and vegetables but buying wholesale can help with that. One final thing: excess fructose (fruit sugar) is no good. So don't overdo it with the sugary fruits. I think the best time to consume juice, just like any simple carb, is post-workout to take advantage of the window when your muscles need to refuel. Juicing will also vastly improve the structure and density of your eyebrows, just ask Jay Kordich! Even Jim Carey knows the power of juice!