Juicing: If it’s good enough for Gwyneth Paltrow…

Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Ritchie, Demi Moore, Beyonce, Olivia Wilde, Blake Lively,Owen Wilson, Colin Farrell, Josh Duhamel.

What do these celebrities have in common?

They’re all advocates of the latest nutrition phenomenon known as juicing.

And while juicing actually started in the early 1990s, some Ontario nutritionists and families are jumping on the healthy smoothie bandwagon.

Stefanie Senior, a registered private practice dietitian, works at Athletic Edge Sports Medicine in Toronto. She says juicing is a convenient way to receive nutrients.

“I think that when people go and live on their own and they’re busy adjusting to school and work, I think that smoothies are a very easy way to get a quick breakfast,” Senior said. “They can throw all this stuff into a blender.”

There are special blenders that you can buy for your juicing needs if you want to get the most out of your fruits and vegetables. The is the NutriBullet, which Senior uses herself, or the Vitamix. Both blenders grind and extract the fruits’ and vegetables’ pulp, giving you all the nutrients that you need.

Apparently after a 2010 documentary on juicing, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”, from Australian director Joe Cross, which featured the Breville juicer, the international appliance company saw their sales doubled.

Kate McMurray, the holistic nutritionist at The Big Carrot on Toronto’s Danforth Avenue, said there are definitely a lot of benefits to juicing, as long as people remember one key aspect.

“Variety is really important for juicing. So really try to get a variety of fruit and vegetables,” McMurray said.

“Variety is really important for juicing. So really try to get a variety of fruit and vegetables,” McMurray said.

She cautioned the over use of such leafy greens like kale or spinach, especially for people with certain health conditions.

“A lot of the leafy greens are really fantastic, they’re full of vitamins and minerals, but they are part of the cruciferous family of plants,” McMurray said. “So what that means is that they contain what are called goitrogens that suppress thyroid function. And thyroid functions are often low in women, so for example a woman who has a low functioning thyroid that has kale juice every single day, could actually be doing a disservice to her body.”

Stephanie Monk, 29, is a working mother who lives in Stirling, Ontario, and is a fairly recent juicer. She is allergic to wheat and to gluten.

“I got involved with juicing about four months ago when I was creating a new menu plan to accommodate a long list of food sensitivities and allergies,” Monk said.

Monk said she just needed something simple to help with her busy life.

“The main factor for trying juicing was the simplicity of it all. I could throw some fruits and vegetables into a blender, push a button, and have a meal prepared in minutes,” Monk said. “I also knew exactly what I was putting into my body.”

Sako Khederlarian, 27, works as the orientation coordinator for Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. He was looking for something healthy in his daily intake before his morning meetings.

“I started reading a lot of books about the health benefits of detoxing. I also saw some great information on daytime television, like Dr. Oz, which explains the health benefits of juicing and drinking smoothies,” Khederlarian said, admitting he didn’t eat regularly and was feeling unhealthy. “I thought I would try it out.”

Fruits and vegetables are a very important part of our daily intake – three to five servings of fruit or vegetables per day, according to Health Canada.

Fruits and vegetables are a very important part of our daily intake – three to five servings of fruit or vegetables per day, according to Health Canada.

Sometimes it can be hard to fit it in those daily requirements. Other times, there are food allergies or sensitivities. With juicing, because it’s been broken down by the blender, it’s easy to take, which can benefit someone who has digestive issues.

“You’re getting a direct delivery of key nutrients to the system, so because there’s no fiber, the juice doesn’t require a lot of breakdown by the intestinal tracts, so those nutrients get absorbed right into the body, so its kinda like a liquid multivitamin,” McMurray said, in an interview at The Big Carrot, a Toronto health food landmark. “Its especially good for those who have digestive issues and maybe can’t deal with all the fiber.”

Khederlarian said that his morning smoothie consists of a handful of kale, a banana, five strawberries, a green apple, almonds and almond milk.

Monk says that her favourite blend is pineapple, mango, spinach and avocado.

“I occasionally also add a tablespoon of sprouted chia seed, sprouted flaxseed, and sprouted broccoli seed for extra vitamins and minerals,” Monk added.

Nutrionists including Senior caution that while convenience is great, eating whole fruits and vegetables is always better.

“Because some people find that they do get hungry fairly fast after having it in a liquid format, so it is better to get it as a whole,” she said. “It’s digested and absorbed more slowly and therefore people will be more full and satisfied afterwards.”


  • Pinterest, the social media website, has 45 “pinners” who specialize in juicing only. They are pinning their recipes, knowledge and different products for those who are interested.
  • YouTube has approximately 176,000 videos about juicing, including recipes.

About this article

By: Erin Cassidy
Posted: May 7 2013 12:12 pm
Filed under: Arts & Life Food

2 Comments on "Juicing: If it’s good enough for Gwyneth Paltrow…"

  1. Great article about juicing, Erin! I love the convenience and health benefits of juicing. It is the easiest way to increase nutrient intake. And I don’t worry too much about the loss of fiber. Only the insoluble fiber is lost. The soluble fiber is still in the juice. I simply add back some of the pulp to get the benefit of that part of the fiber or use the pulp in other ways when baking or cooking.

  2. Great story Erin, and at the end of the day, as long as you do NOT look at juicing as a “quick fix” or do it as a cleanse or a fast, there is no better way to pump your body full of nutrients on a daily basis then fresh veggie juicing. Also, if you take the approach of not using it as a meal replacement and rather supplementing your diet, then you will achieve the health benefits that I did which included portion control and eliminating my cravings. That is what helped me lose 5 pounds without even trying, and bring my cholesterol down from 234 to 168 in 4 months, no kidding!

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