Unless you’ve been living under a rock (binge watching Gilmore Girls counts too), there’s a high chance you’ve heard of the ever so popular juicing trend. From 3-day cleanses to concoctions that make consuming ginger without gagging possible, it’s safe to say that juicing has taken the world by storm—the RGV included.

Whether you consider yourself health conscious or not, it’s time to take a second look at juicing. While some trends can do us more harm than good (Snapchat filters, I’m talking about you), luckily, that’s not the case when it comes to juicing. Plus we have the added benefit of living in the RGV which is not only the primary source of citrus in the state of Texas but also has an abundance of locally grown vegetables. How can we not consider giving it a try?

There’s no denying the fact that juicing has the potential to revolutionize our health. Even if you are a healthy eater, it’s nearly impossible to get the recommended 6-8 servings of fruits and veggies your body needs each day. Juicing enables us to efficiently get the nutrients we need with the added benefits of energy, brain power, weight loss and a supercharged immune system. Of course, this could also mean that you can indulge in that burger you’re probably thinking about right now without all the guilt! Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?

In order to get past juicing’s ‘trendy’ facade, it’s important to look at the basics. While you might be thinking that juicing is as simple as throwing the contents of your refrigerator in your Jack LaLane Power Juicer, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye:

1. Read On

A word to the wise, do not, I repeat, DO NOT attempt to juice using a blender. While some blogs may try and convince you otherwise, all you’ll end up with is a soupy mess. Not exactly ‘trendy,’ right?

In order to get the most out of juicing, it’s crucial that you have your own juicer. Whether you want to opt for something high-end or a device you found on sale at HEB, more power to you. Now onto the main point: reading is very important when it comes to operating a juicer. No matter what type you decide on, it’s vital that you read the manual carefully and proceed with caution as you get to know your juicer, so that you’ll be able to juice efficiently and create concoctions you love.

2. Start Prepping

Like anything else, the first couple of times you juice won’t exactly be a cakewalk. As you get into the swing of things, you’ll need to prepare and find recipes that meet your health/nutritional needs. When shopping at the grocery store, try and buy enough produce for 2-3 different recipes so you don’t get overwhelmed.

As great as overly sweet juices are, it’s important that you practice the 80/20 rule when juicing so that your body benefits from your efforts. When it comes to creating a balanced juice that’s going to give your body the fuel it needs, think 80% vegetables and 20% fruits.

When juicing, don’t forget to:
Remove inedible parts of fruits and veggies like seeds, pits, etc.
Drink your juice fresh and fast (juice loses its nutrients as it oxidizes)
Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container (juice will perish after 24 hours)
Drink your juice on an empty stomach (the nutrients will be absorbed right away and won’t compete with other foods during digestion)

3. Have Fun

If you have yet to embark on your juicing journey, it’s important to note that it can actually be fun and educational (I mean it). There’s no better feeling on this planet that feeding your body properly and experiencing the wonderful changes that coincide when you do so. Experiment and try not to take things too seriously. Learn your tastes and find recipes that suit you!

If you’re looking for some inspiration, here’s a great green juice to get you started. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, why not try this ginger-beet creation?

Let’s Be Real

Of course, it’s silly to think that with our crazy busy lifestyles that juicing is a possibility every morning. Plus, sometimes you just need that mid-day healthy pick-me-up. Lucky us, we live in the RGV and the juicing trend has arrived. In addition to our countless healthy eateries, there are a few juicing hotspots that serve up delicious and nutritious cold pressed juices.

When you crave those healthy sips:

Head over to The Juicy Joint3400 N. McNoll Rd. McAllen
Tucked inside The Healing Center, this quaint spot truly believes in the power of juicing. From their extensive menu to their commitment to quality and freshness, if you’re in need of a mid-morning pick-me-up, this is the place to go! Click here for more info.

Check out Juice Up4000 N. Jackson Rd. Pharr
If you’re new to juicing and are in need of a little guidance, Juice Up is the ultimate destination for you. From their endless cold pressed juice options to their detox and cleansing packages, there’s no excuse for not treating your body to some good old fashioned nutrients with their help! Get the full scoop here.

Make The Health Nut your main squeeze1701 W. Dove Ave. McAllen, 1615 E. Griffin Pkwy. Mission, 60 FM 3167 Rio Grande City
The Health Nut is a popular destination for protein shakes and fresh fruit and vegetable juices. The friendly staff help you figure out the best blend for your taste palette and your body including nutritional “boosts” and revitalizing “shots”. RGV favorites include the Mango OMG and the Mean Green Detox. Check out the full menu here.

Feel Groovy with Groovy Smoothie5800 Padre Blvd. South Padre Island
This is the way to wake up on SPI. Get your groovy on with juices, smoothies or coffee at this neat outdoor smoothie bar. Island locals swear it has the best coffee on the island, awesome tropical atmosphere and a must try “PB&J” smoothie. You can also follow their Facebook page for special offers.

Jump over to Juiceology Juice Bar210 E. Jackson Ave. Harlingen
The fun staff at Juiceology encourages customers to “drink your greens” from a mason jar. They focus on taking all the health benefits from the best nature has to offer and making it delicious to drink. Customers love the emphasis on healthy lifestyle and there’s lots of buzz about the “curious george”, the spiked watermelon and the peanut butter cookie! Check it out here.

As you can see, there’s no time like the present to set aside your hesitations and give juicing a try. It’s all over the RGV so jump on the juicing train now!