Juice it up!

Of all the food crazes that have come and gone in the last 10 or 20 years, there's one that's showing no sign of going anywhere anytime soon and that, my friends, is the juicing phenomenon. You can't open a newspaper or a magazine without a gorgeously dewy-skinned model telling you that the secret to her other-worldly glow and fabulous figure is all down to raw food and vegetable juices.
It used to be considered ultra-healthy to throw some fruit and yoghurt into a blender to whip up a smoothie, but now that fruit is getting a bit of a bad rap for containing too much sugar, we're all about the kale and the beetroot, with fruit too - albeit a little bit.
If you know your acai from your cacao, then you're probably throwing such health-inducing goodies as spirulina (if you can stomach the flavour) and coconut oil into your vegetable juices already. Susan Jane White, our own LIFE magazine health nut, who boasts the most ethereal glow of all, not to mention a samurai-like spring in her step, is a fan of juicing, but not, she stresses, to replace meals; this, I believe, is the key.
I love my juices during the week. After exercise in the morning, a freshly whizzed-up glass of bright green or magenta-coloured goodness, with a poached egg on the side, keeps me firing on all cylinders and ready to take on the world. However, at the weekend, I'm an entirely different creature, devouring sausages, rashers, black pudding and the rest. Everything in moderation, as my mum has always wisely said.
The one thing I always try to achieve when whipping up a juice is to make it really delicious and vibrant in colour. Sounds obvious, but if it doesn't look and taste great, this is not a good habit that you will stick to. Get yourself organised; put your supplies into one drawer or area of the fridge, so that they're all easily at hand, and then you don't have to think twice before juicing yourself fabulous!
This gorgeous grass-green juice is supposed to be great for your tummy, your gut, and all things digestive.

Rachel's tip

To get the maximum goodness from your juice, drink as soon as possible after it's made.

Rachel Recommends

There are a few different types of juicers and extractors. The most common used to be the centrifugal juicer, which separates the pulp from the actual juice, meaning you throw quite a lot of the fibre into the bin. It's also said that the heat that this type of juicer generates destroys some of the healthy enzymes in the fruit and vegetables. The more expensive masticating juicer crushes, then presses, the fruit or vegetables, giving a higher yield, and, because of the cooler temperature, a higher nutritional kick too. Then there's the pulveriser-type of extractor, which every second person seems to have recently. A friend of mine overheard someone working in Cork's Brown Thomas before Christmas saying they were selling about six NutriBullets every hour. NutriBullets, at one stage, were harder to  get hold of than the Elsa doll from Frozen, though, luckily, there weren't  any catfights at the BT counter - Prada bags at dawn and all that. . .  I love my NutriBullet Pro. I love that there's hardly any washing up, because there's just the cup part and the blade. It's small enough not to take up a huge amount of space on the worktop. And it's ultra-fast too.

Shaneod Apr 20, 2015 News