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Juice craze: Why is everyone drinking dinner?

June 29, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
One of the hottest trends in health is drinking meals instead of eating them. While many health experts say our bodies have all the systems they need to detoxify or clear the body of negative things, why are so many people jumping on the "juice cleanse" bandwagon?

"I started doing a juice cleanse three days a month, actually," says Venice resident Amy Stanton.

"I lost weight, my skin looks better, I have more energy," says Marjan Sarshar, owner of Kreation Kafe.

"This is a great chance to get in touch with your body," says Jay Boyer, Paleta Catering.

Organic cold-pressed juice appears to be the hottest nutrition ticket in town, like Paleta's Sonic Tonic of collards, spinach, celery, cucumber and pear. Kreation Kafe has chia seed and khak shir. Moon Juice has fennel cucumber, basil and green apple.

"Everyone's drinking their foods these days," says Craig Weiss, owner of Local 1205.

Weiss jumped on the juice bandwagon, adding juice boosts to his juice selection at Local 1205.

"We've got maca powders, whey, grass-fed protein powders, we've got ginger shots, we've got the E3Live Brain On, so a little additive, an extra little boost," says Weiss.

Paleta meal delivery service has core, green tea or root detox plans that provide a day of six juices, two waters and Magic Milk for $99 per day and 1,100 calories.

"I love the fact that I lose a few pounds in just a few days and you end up feeling like everything's really been cleaned out of your system," says Amy Stanton.

Stanton loves dessert, wine, and real food. She says yes, you have to stay close to the bathroom, but it's worth giving her body the food break.

And while the contents are clean and nutritious, experts day there are some things to consider.

"You can't have a whole bunch of carbohydrate, you need to make sure you're getting your protein, you want to get a variety of colors, you want to make sure you're getting healthy fats," says registered dietitian Ashley Koff.

Liquid or solid, Koff says rules are the same. She cautions that carrots, beets and yams are natures sweets while nut milks don't offer much protein, so be careful.

There are also safety issues.

"These are raw, they're un-pasteurized," says Koff. "You don't want to leave them in your car, or leave them on your desk at work or go back five days later and have a juice."

Those who've tried juicing say the $7 to $10 you'll spend per beverage is worth every penny.

However...

"For somebody who doesn't have that money, do like what I do, which is go get the bag of organic frozen vegetables and cook them up on a regular basis. And that's totally fine too," says Koff.


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