As I sit here, at my in-laws house, after Thanksgiving #1 with my family and Thanksgiving part duex with Marc’s family I’m looking forward to Monday. It’s not what you think; we’ve had a great time. I am excited because we’re testing out a cleanse from my favorite juice truck The Squeeze. With juice on my mind, I thought about this question I received from a client.
What is the difference between smoothies (drinking the roughage) and juicing (no roughage) in terms of my diet?
I was posed a similar question for a Refinery29
For starters, smoothies are made in a blender (for me that means Vitamix
) and juices in a juicer (love my Breville)
. My client who posed the question was correct. With smoothies the fiber from the fruits, vegetables, herbs or spices are retained. Whereas when you juice the pulp (which contains fiber) is extracted leaving just the liquid behind. Fiber has such a healthy reputation that there can be a rush to judgment that higher fiber has to be better but it’s not that simple.
Juice and I’m talking primarily veggie juice, with the bulk removed, enables quick energy. Juice doesn’t play hard to get and your body doesn’t have to “unwrap” or digest in order to access the nutrients. For those of you who enjoy spinning, juicing is akin to riding with little resistance (fiber) so you can go (or get your nutrition) faster. Eating a salad or drinking a smoothie is more like riding with tension or resistance. You’ll go more slowly perhaps in a more controlled, even manner.
There’s also the issue of quantity. When I juice in the morning I cover a large cutting board with greens, ginger, lemon, pear or whatever I have on hand. You’d have to eat 9 cups of kale to get the potassium, calcium and iron in two cups of green juice. I think of a daily juice almost like a multivitamin. Smoothies, on the other hand, don’t require as much in terms of quantity. My typical smoothie is approximately 1 cup of frozen fruit, a handful of greens, protein powder and then other random ingredients (cacao, yacon, coffee extract are current favorites). I digress, the point I’m making is that there’s a fraction of the produce in a smoothie versus a juice. From a calorie perspective, green juices hover around 150 per 16oz. Smoothies made with fruit, protein, some sort of liquid (almond milk or coconut water) and a little good fat can be double but you’ll get more staying power.
I think I answered the “what’s better?” question in the most annoying manner that is saying “it depends” but it really does. I hate to be “bi-vegetable” but there are benefits to juicing and “smoothing”. Juice is a megadose of nutrients and smoothing is better for satiety, better for post workout recovery. Most days I’ll have one of each. So if you’re in the market for a Vitamix or a juicer, I can’t sway you either way. It’s like choosing between my family and my in-laws and let’s just say diplomatically that I’m “thankful” for both.
Do you juice or “smooth”? Which do you prefer? What are your current favorite ingredients? And after a holiday weekend, how was your eating? Parents or in-laws?