Main Squeeze - Albuquerque Journal

Main Squeeze

Have you ever seen a bag of carrots and thought, “Hey, I’d like to take a sip of that”?

If not, you’re probably not one of the health-conscious New Mexicans who have embraced juicing fresh fruits and vegetables for a jolt of vitamins and minerals. Some use juice as a supplement, others use it as a meal and still others use juice during cleansing fasts, believing it will help rid their bodies of toxins.

But don’t buy a juicer yet, especially if you’re tempted to replace your breakfast with a glass of beets. Juice can be part of a healthy diet, dietitians and holistic believers say, but it’s important to educate yourself before taking the plunge.

One of the biggest trends in the juicing world is detox fasts, says Angie King-Nosseir, dietitian, owner of the local nutrition counseling service Gourmet Healer and a Journal columnist. Some nutrients do help remove toxins from the body, but she says it’s best to incorporate nutrient-rich food into an everyday diet.

“I’ll work with people on the juice detox, but my biggest message to people is that this is a daily thing, it’s not a two-week or three-day thing,” King-Nosseir says.

Juice fasting works, she says, but it’s very intense and, for most people, probably isn’t practical. Also, because juice eliminates fiber (the fruit and veggie pulp left behind when you fill your glass), it’s not ideal for your body’s natural detox methods. Your liver needs fiber to bind toxins and flush them from your system.

She says some people do very well on juice fasts, including those who use Ayurvedic philosophy, but she doesn’t recommend fasting more than three days, and even then only after consulting with an integrative registered dietitian or holistic health practitioner.

Pros and cons

Dani Little, healthy eating specialist with Whole Foods Market, says the vast majority of juicers are health-conscious folks who use the juice to supplement an already healthy diet. Juicing at home is popular, she says in a phone interview from company headquarters in Colorado, but so is buying fresh juice from vendors.

If you’re thinking of taking up juice, here’s a list of its biggest pros and cons:

PRO: Quick nutrients. Because juice is a liquid of water, water-soluble vitamins and minerals, fruit and veggie nutrients enter your system faster than they do as whole foods, Little says.

That’s one reason Susan Faithe, holistic food expert and co-owner of World Wellness in the Northeast Heights, recommends juicing to people whose stomachs can’t handle solid food. She advises diluting the drink to one part water and two parts juice.

Especially in the fast food age, when it comes to vegetables, “any way you can get it in, get it in,” King-Nosseir says.

CON: Missing fiber. King-Nosseir says that, not only is fiber essential to a good detox, it’s essential generally.

“One of the keenest benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is the fiber.

“I would do more smoothies than juicing, honestly,” she says, because smoothies leave in the fiber.

Little says she’s heard some people mix fiber powder into fresh juice. “Just eat the whole food, because it already comes in the complete package, the perfect matrix of fiber, vitamins, minerals and water.”

King-Nosseir says juices (and smoothies, too) can pack an extra punch by using a base of antioxidant-rich tea or adding a drop of an essential oil like citrus. Also, you can use the leftover pulp from juicing in quiches or other foods.

PRO: Sweet deal. If you juice strong-flavored veggies like carrots or beets, you can make the drink easier to swallow by juicing a sweet fruit, King-Nosseir says.

Just be sure you don’t add too much fruit, Little says, advising about three veggies per one fruit. Faithe says she only puts lemon in vegetable juices.

“Not all are great tasting, but just know your body is loving it,” she says.

CON: Blood sugar. Curtis Falkenberg, deli manager at La Montanita Co-op in the North Valley, can’t say for sure, but he thinks that many of his juice bar customers drink juice in place of breakfast.

For most people, that’ll cause problems, King-Nosseir says. The juice is liable to spike your blood sugar just before crashing. “It’s not going to sustain you as long as a full meal,” she says.

“I think juicing is a wonderful concept,” Little says, “but it shouldn’t take the place of eating fresh, whole foods.”

Even Faithe, who does regular fasting twice a year, doesn’t substitute juice for a meal. Every other day, she drinks a juice in the morning and eats her real breakfast about an hour later.

Edgewood resident Lorina Moores says she likes to juice seasonal fruits and veggies in the morning to go with her oatmeal.

PRO: Holistic health. Many holistic practitioners hold that certain combination juices do wonders, like combat aging and vanquish some medical conditions. Faithe says that she was a “sick kid” with asthma and food allergies, until her mother introduced her to juicing at 10, “and that’s what healed me.”

Faithe says she believes live enzymes in fresh juice aid digestion.

Live enzymes in juice are important, Little says, but she says they’re more important for plants than people; we already have the digestive enzymes we need.

CON: Machine and mess. There’s no way around it: Juicing fruit and vegetables at home can be messy, Faithe says.

It also can be a lot of work, Falkenberg says, and that’s why customers order juices at the co-op rather than make their own.

If you’re going to make your own, make sure you know what’s in store, King-Nosseir says. It may seem like a quick and easy way to add nutrients to your diet, but “it’s actually pretty time-consuming and difficult to fit into an everyday routine.”

And it means you need a juicer, she says. A regular blender is fine for smoothies but won’t make juice.

Plus, even at the co-op, making between 10 and 15 juices a day (more during the busy pre-flu season and early summer months), Falkenberg says he often must replace parts on his juicer.

And that’s stainless steel. Most of the juicers at the store are made of less-sturdy material, though Faithe swears by some home juicers, saying that being willing to pay a little more upfront can mean the difference between a juicer that breaks down right away and one that lasts decades.

If you want to give juicing a try, here are some tried-and-true juice mixes from Susan Faithe. Just place the items in your juicer and let ‘er rip.



Makes one serving.

1/4 bunch parsley

1/2 cucumber

1/4 unpeeled beet

2 stalks celery

2 carrots

Add ingredients to juicer and mix well.



Makes one serving.

1/2 cucumber

3 stalks celery

2 carrots

Mix all ingredients in juicer.



Makes one serving.

1/4 bunch parsley

1/4 unpeeled beet

4 carrots

1 tablespoon olive oil

Mix ingredients together in juicer.

Cutline – Juicing can create various combinations of drinks like these, available at the La Montanita Co-op on Rio Grande. These juices are, clockwise from the top, Summertime, Superjuice and Ginger Slammer.

Home » Food » Main Squeeze

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Cirque Italia brings its maritime-themed show to Albuquerque
ABQnews Seeker
Cirque Italia's latest adventure is called ... Cirque Italia's latest adventure is called "Water Circus" and will start a two week stand in Albuquerque beginning next week.
Rainbow Ryders renews contract with Balloon Fiesta to remain ...
ABQnews Seeker
The new contract between Rainbow Ryders ... The new contract between Rainbow Ryders and Balloon Fiesta is for two years with two optional one-year extensions.
Where did all those Chihuahuas come from? Test your ...
ABQnews Seeker
Take the Journal's weekly news quiz ... Take the Journal's weekly news quiz below for a chance at the warm, fuzzy feeling that only comes from knowing you're well-informed on your ...
Steak dinners and ski passes: As lobbyists spend to ...
ABQnews Seeker
About $285,000 in spending was reported ... About $285,000 in spending was reported by lobbyists and their employers over a nine-week stretch, though more detailed filings are expected in May.
Whimsical fountain at botanic garden may be removed
ABQnews Seeker
Multi-colored fountain, located prominently near the ... Multi-colored fountain, located prominently near the entrance to the Botanic Garden, has physically deteriorated to the point where it is now being considered for ...
National Puppy Day: Here are the good boys and ...
ABQnews Seeker
Which of these 34 pups is ... Which of these 34 pups is the cutest?
New Mexico to offer free virtual tutoring this summer ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Public Education Department is offering ... The Public Education Department is offering free tutoring in reading for early elementary school students and in math for sixth graders, areas that were ...
Man sentenced to life plus 2½ years in shooting ...
ABQnews Seeker
Izaiah Garcia was sentenced Thursday to ... Izaiah Garcia was sentenced Thursday to life plus 2 1/2 years in the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old Sandia High School student in 2019.
UNM is talking contract extension, but is Pitino receptive?
Richard Pitino’s current six-year contract has ... Richard Pitino’s current six-year contract has the 40-year-old coach earning about $800,000 per year, plus incentives.
Getting news behind bars: How it works at Metropolitan ...
ABQnews Seeker
A Journal reader asks: Can you ... A Journal reader asks: Can you get the paper in New Mexico’s largest jail?