Topic of the Day: The Best Masticating Juicers (Guest Post from Deb)

Juicing has been a popular way to add more fresh fruit and vegetable nutrition to your diet for many years, but has become even more popular in the last few years.  This is thanks in part to more people realizing that a healthy, well-balanced diet is one of the best ways to manage weight and give our bodies the fuel they need to work efficiently.  This trend towards healthier eating is a result of more and more of us being overweight and generally in less-than-ideal health combined with a growing concern over the number and amount of artificial ingredients in so many store-bought food and beverage items.  Juicing has also become much more popular as technology has advanced enough to make high-quality juicers less expensive, easier to use, and better at extracting maximum amounts of juice.



I think it’s important to note the difference between whole-food juices and whole-food smoothies.  Juices are the liquids contained in fruits and veggies that have been separated from the solids.  Smoothies are generally whole fruits and vegetables that have been liquefied and therefore contain all of the nutrients present in the whole foods.  Eating (or drinking) whole fruits and vegetables is still the best way to go since you’ll get more of the fiber and other body-essential nutrients that juicing can leave behind.  That being said, if you just can’t bring yourself to “do” enough whole vegetables and fruit to meet your minimum daily requirements, juicing is absolutely the next best thing.  Juicing is also a terrific way for those who are good about eating plenty of fresh produce to get even more of the vitamins and minerals we all need.

When it comes to juicers, there are a couple of specialty varieties, including citrus and wheatgrass juicers, which are named aptly based on their intended use.  Among general-purpose juicers, there are centrifugal and masticating models.

Centrifugal juicers chop produce into very small pieces and spin those pieces around with enough speed to separate the juice from the pulp.  They generally produce less juice than a masticating model and can sometimes generate enough heat to warm your juice a little, but not nearly enough to destroy nutrients (as some claim).  Because they aren’t the best performers, centrifugal juicers tend to be much less expensive than masticating models.  In addition to a lower price tag, centrifugal models also tend to have a larger intake chute than their masticating cousins, making it easier to prep produce for loading.  On the negative side, many users find that the juice from centrifugal models just doesn’t taste quite as good as that from masticating machines, possibly due to the fact that the spinning action allows a little more oxidation (introduction of air) into the juice and/or the fact that the masticating process (more about that below) may be better at extracting more flavor from the pulp and skin of fruits.



Masticating juicers are usually more expensive, but with good reason.  They work by pressing and grinding produce (much like our process for chewing food) rather than chopping it up and spinning it.  This actually allows for a greater yield (meaning the same amount of produce gives you more juice) and an even greater rate of retention of nutrients.  Their method of extracting juice also makes masticating models better at handling leafy greens than their centrifugal counterparts.  So, you spend more on the machine, but can get more juice with less produce (which saves money) and get more nutrition in what many users who’ve switched from centrifugal models believe is better-tasting juice.  Masticating juicers also tend to be easier to clean, which is another plus since you will have to thoroughly clean the juicer after each use.

In the end, if you’re serious about getting the most nutritional bang for your buck, you should opt for a masticating juicer if you can afford one.  The higher yield, better taste, and easier cleaning make it more likely that you’ll stick with juicing and be one step closer to a healthier lifestyle.

Visit this page from for reviews, including pros and cons, of several top masticating juicers.

Topic of the Day: How to Keep Your Kids from Growing Up Too Fast

In today’s fast-moving world, it seems that kids are growing up faster than ever.  They’re more tech savvy than any of us were, which is part of the reason they’re exposed to so much more grownup “stuff” than we ever were.  More TV channels combined with endless content via social media gives younger kids more access to content once reserved for much older kids (and even full-grown adults in too many cases).  Clothing manufacturers seem intent on creating kids’ fashions that are more like miniature adult outfits than anything else.  All of this means that many grade schoolers are now faced with the kind of pressure to be grown up that didn’t used to show its head until the teen or immediately pre-teen years.  This can be confusing for kids and parents alike.  Below, we’ll look at a few things parents can do to help keep their kids from growing up too fast because, while we all want our children to grow up to be confident adults, we don’t want them to abandon their childish things and ways before they’re really ready.

Know what they’re watching



Since many shows that are geared towards 7-10 year olds feature teen stars, many younger kids have to come idolize these teens.  Show creators and advertisers have latched onto this as a way to market products and ideas that once would have been geared toward actual teens to much younger children.  This means that your younger child might be watching content that you don’t feel is truly age appropriate.  Taking the time to watch some of his favorite shows yourself, either with him or on your own, can give you the best insight into the type of content that is shaping his world.  If you decide that you’re not thrilled about what your child is watching, your best bet is to discuss your concerns with him rather than just outlaw the programs altogether.  Explain why you don’t believe this content is an appropriate representation of the real world or why you disagree with the behaviors being displayed.  At the end of the day, you’re still the parent, which gives you the absolute right to control what he watches on TV and online.  Sharing your reasons with him helps to further the values you want to instill and, whether he realizes it or not right now, lets him know you’re looking out for him.

Understand their body image issues

teenage girl in her bedroom putting on lipstick


Since younger kids are bombarded by so much content once reserved for teens and adults, many children start worrying about how their bodies look well before puberty.  There even seems to be real evidence that more kids are going through the beginning stages of puberty earlier than ever.  It’s important not to dismiss your child’s concerns about his or her body.  Girls are more likely to be concerned about body hair and breast development, whereas boys may wish they were taller or more muscular.  If your child shows signs of becoming overly self conscious, take the time to hear her concerns and treat them the same way you would if she were older.  Explain that we all develop at different rates and that who we are on the inside is always going to be more important than how we look.  Remind her of all of the things that make her unique and special as an individual.

Find balance



While it’s important to let young children explore the world and their own talents and passions, don’t let their search for independence keep them from being kids.  Encourage family activities like game nights and crafting projects.  These activities reinforce your family’s values while teaching your child creative and independent thinking.

When it comes to keeping your kids’ behavior as age-appropriate as possible, your most important action may be to never miss a moment to hold them close and remind them that no matter how old they get, they’ll always be your babies.