5 reasons why juicing is bad for you

Juicing is very hot these days. You read about it everywhere, everybody is drinking (green) juices as they are said to have many health benefits. 

is juicing bad for you?

It is true there are a lot of live enzymes, vitamines, minerals and antioxidants in raw juices juiced using a slow juicer. For a lot of people it is good to drink them on a regular basis. But there are a few things you need to keep in mind when making the decision to start juicing. Because it is better to know these things before you buy an expensive juicer. Next to all the benefits, I give you 5 reasons why juicing is bad for you. This is good to know for every one of you, but especially for people who like me suffer from an autoimmune disease and have weakened immune systems. I suffer from hypothyroidism which means my thyroid is working too slow to manage all the normal systems like digestion, breathing and thinking. I take medication, but I also had to completely change my habit of drinking raw juices. I tell you why I had to stop and why maybe it is affecting you too:

5 reasons why juicing is bad for you

1. Juicing is done with raw vegetables

Many people cut up fruits and vegetables completely, skin and all, and juice it. This means that since the fruits and vegetables are not cooked, they can contain bacteria. Some people who juice raw a lot, have an increased chance in getting a bacterial infection in their gut or stomach. While most people have a strong immune system, and good bacteria in the gut to fight these harmful ones, people who juice all the time, and people with a weakened immune system or a chronic immune disease should be careful. When you have a bacterial infection in your gut, some experience discomfort. But also when you think everything is o.k., you can suddenly experience panic attacks out of nowhere. A healthy gut and stomach is important for a sane mind, as they are linked to one another. So make sure you take in enough good bacteria during the day to balance the bad ones out that you will likely get in your gut at some point during the day. You can do this by taking a daily probiotic, or by eating yoghurt, fermented vegetables or other fermented foods. That's why I prefer to cook my vegetables and choose a warming soup over a juice these days. Also if you juice, always make sure you go for organic veggies and wash them thoroughly. This will give you the least chance of getting harmful toxic chemicals in your juice that are sprayed on (conventional) veggies and fruits to make them grow better and withstand bugs and diseases. You just don't want these toxic chemicals in your juice and in your body.

2. A lot of fruits and vegetables contain sugars

When you juice them, you remove all the fibers which are good for your gut and digestion, but you drink a lot of pieces of fruit/vegetables at once, which means a lot of sugar. This is not great for your teeth obviously, and it can give you a spike in your sugar levels. Not to mention drinking many calories at once, although they are healthier calories.

3. Grapefruit juice acts as a an amplifier to your body

It increases the efficiency of whatever you ingest around the same time you drink grapefruit juice. So some health freaks drink grapefruit juice before a meal, so the nutrients get absorbed better. But this also means it affects medication that you need to take for your health issues, and it especially affects chemotherapy. Grapefruit juice is said to increase the impact of medication and chemotherapy. So discuss with your doctor the medications you are taking and only drink grapefruit juice when you are safe to go, to avoid a medication overdose.

READ MORE: Grapefruit juice

4. Juicing can affect your daily medication

A lot of people swear by fresh lemon juice in the morning on an empty stomach to detox and start the day bright and clear. But if you are like me and suffering from a chronic disease, you don't want to do this in the morning if this is also the time you take in your daily medication. It does affect the way your body absorbs the medication if you drink certain raw (citrus) juices around the same time as when you take your medication.

5. Juicing can negatively impact chronic diseases

f you suffer from a disease like myself, you also need to rethink eating or drinking raw foods. Many green juices contain kale and/or spinach, and raw kale and raw spinach are said to be slowing down the thyroid due to the presence of "goitrin" which is said to interfere with the normal thyroid function. So if you already have as slow working thyroid, you might want to avoid raw kale, spinach and other raw cruciferous vegetables including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and more.

I am sure you never thought about juicing this way right? Now you do. :)

READ MORE: That time I did a 1-day juice cleanse

Basically, if you suffer from a disease, I suggest you discuss your diet with your doctor, and research more online about juicing, and certain foods in general, and how they affect your health. Even small intakes of certain raw foods can affect your health. 

Love, Lonneke

First published on February 25th 2015, updated in 2020

That time I did an 1 day juice cleanse

I once did an one day juice cleanse. All the way with the cheesy "I kiss my juice" pictures as proof.  I had a bit hangover from just drinking 2 bellinis at the Operation Smile Ball the day before. So when you don't feel so great, what do you do? Exactly you take care of yourself! Eating really healthy is your own medicine. So I decided to visit Organic Avenue.

About Organic Avenue

Organic Avenue was a vegan and rawfood chain in New York City. It was founded by Denise Mari, and back in the day I did an interview with her. There were so many new Organic Avenue Locations popping up around town at one point. To me it seemed they had a lot of success, but they also seemed to grow too fast. After a few years Denise sold the company, and from what I've read, she came back on board to run the company.  OA incorporated different foods into the menu besides cleanses (the vegan chicken and waffles was great!) but eventually they went out of business :( . Sad story of a vegan health food store I enjoyed so much in NYC! I notice many of my favorite restaurants have gone out of business, it is just part of doing business in New York City.

Organic Avenue Soho location
Organic Avenue Soho location before it closed

Now back to the juice cleanse story: There used to be an Organic Avenue Location in Soho, close to where I live, and I decided to do their one day cleanses.

The 1 day juice cleanse

I received 7 bottles of juice. 1 small one to start the day with chlorophyll, and 6 juices.  You were told to drink water in between..

1 day cleanse from Organic Avenue
1 day cleanse by Organic Avenue

8.30 am

Let's start this juice cleanse! I woke up tired and had my first juice at this time. A chlorophyll shot that made my tongue green! It has a specific taste, but it is not bad. Chlorophyll comes from plants and is an "extremely important bio molecule, critical in photosynthesis, which allows plants to absorb energy from light."- Quote from Wikipedia  

chlorophyll shot
chlorophyll shot

10 am

My first real juice is a nice simple orange juice. A great way to start a morning with some sweet citrus fruit juice.

orange juice
orange juice

12 pm

Green Love juice. Cucumber, celery, chard, spinach, pear, collard greens, kale, romaine, parsley, lemon juice. This one is a bit hard to drink due to the large amount of greens in this juice. So it took me a bit longer to drink this juice!

Green Love juice
Green Love juice

2.30 pm

Turmeric Tonic,  lemon juice, ginger juice, purified alkaline water, coconut sugar, turmeric, cayenne pepper, black pepper, cardamom, himalayan salt. This one was spicy but I actually liked this juice! It tasted a bit like something from the Middle East because of the spices. I drank it quite fast.

Turmeric Tonic
Turmeric Tonic
Lonneke & Turmeric Tonic
Lonneke & Turmeric Tonic


Veggie Vibe: carrot, cucumber, beet, celery, chard, spinach, ginger, parsley, lemon. This one is hard again! Took me longer time to drink. But you feel really healthy drinking it.

At this point I felt really energized and fit! Getting so many minerals and vitamins in, plus water is really doing good for your body, right?

6.30 pm

Spicy Avocado Soup: avocado, purified alkaline water, spinach, lime juice, celery, cilantro, garlic, Himalayan salt, jalapeño, cumin. This is my least favorite. maybe because of the garlic and that it is thicker. It took me some effort to drink it.

Lonneke & Spicy Avocado Soup
Lonneke & Spicy Avocado Soup


Last juice of the day! Fresh, sweet coconut juice. I love ending a day like this with something super yummy!

Although some people do cleanses a few days in a row, I think it was nice to just do a one day cleanse. This way it does not "shock" your body while still replenishing your body with the essential nutrients. It is also a great that for that day you have a plan, and the 7 juices keep you on track. You don't have to think what you are gonna eat or what's for dinner at night. The cleanse is telling you that already so it relieves stress that way as well!

Why a one day juice cleanse might be good for you

Because you drink the whole day so you are very much hydrated.  And you don't have much time to feel hungry. Right when you feel hungry, you have the thicker Spicy Avocado soup that is filling. I think anyone can do a 1 day cleanse to just feel better and get rid of toxins or indigestion, if you don't get tempted by any food! So do this during a rainy day when you are likely to stay at home, or if you are stuck at the office with no food in sight, that's my recommendation.

You start to appreciate food more while on a cleanse, that is for sure!

Why juicing might not so good for you

You notice there is a lot of parsley added to the juices. This is because parsley contains lots of Vitamin K, a lot of antioxidants, which helps our bones and strengthens our nervous system.(that's good!) But I only learnt later that Parsley, other green leafy vegetables and beets contain a lot of oxalates and goitrogens. I will go into that some other time why that is actually not so good for some people like myself (oxalates can form crystals in your body and can cause kidney stones, goitrogens slow down a thyroid). Not to mention the high sugar intake which research suggests due to the lack of fiber that helps release sugar slowly into the blood system, a juice is causing a sugar spike. And juices that are not pasteurized, can bring harmful bacteria to your gut which can cause a whole other range of issues.

Maybe, just maybe, juice cleansing was a hype from 2006-2016, and now people just have one juice once a while and are onto another fad, like Keto or Paleo?

Related: Why no one does juice cleanses anymore

Organic Avenue used to offer their juices in glass bottles, but they were more expensive as there was a fee for returning the bottles. Now they serve the juices in BPA- free plastic, I thought that was a nice thing! Of course with the demise of Organic Avenue, their bottles are gone too. (I just kept one as a souvenir).

If you want to do a cleanse, there are many places in New York City and beyond to get a juice from, including Juice Press, Pressed Juicery ,Blueprint and Juice Generation

Related: 5 cleanses that get delivered to your door in the USA

p.s. for my readers in the Netherlands: you can order from Sapmeesters.

Final thought on cleanses: You should decide yourself what works for you! I will now enjoy a small juice once a while!

Love, Lonneke

First Published on May 6th 2012, Updated with new insights in 2019


5 ways to hide vegetables in food

A lot of people don't like to eat vegetables or beans, even though they know they are good for you. Kids are really good at that. So here are 5 ways to hide vegetables in food, and no one will ever know because they taste so good! Why don't you try these 5 recipes?

1. Zucchini Banana Bread muffins

Baking is a great way to add vegetables into your baked goods. These Zucchini banana muffins are so good!

Zucchini Banana Bread muffins Recipe by top model Lonneke Engel


2. Super Power Smoothie with baby spinach

A simple smoothie with fruits and a handful of vegetables is super easy to make and does the trick!

Super power smoothie with baby spinach recipe by top model Abigail O'Neill


3. Black Bean Brownies

A healthier version of the famous brownies, but these actually taste better than the "real" ones in our opinion!

Black Bean brownies recipe by top model Lonneke Engel

4. Immunity Booster juice with bell pepper, celery & cucumber

Juicing is another great way to mix in vegetables in your sweet juice.

Immunity booster juice recipe by top model Valentina Zelyaeva


5. Pumpkin pie

Baking is our favorite way to add vegetables to our diet. This pumpkin pie recipe is so delicious!

Pumpkin pie recipe by top model Abigail O'Neill

Pumpkin Pie



Beet Pineapple Cucumber Juice

If you have been reading my posts, you know that I’m all about smoothies, juices and raw food recipes. I love to be creative in the kitchen and raw vegetables and fruits are huge inspiration to me.


Sometimes I go to supermarket without knowing what I want for dinner, I just buy what’s in-season and look for fresh ingredients. I don’t remember last time I bought something that is canned, bottled or frozen… Anyways, back to my veggies :)

When I get home, I simply put my produce on the table and start creating my meal: it can be blended soup, big salad, a smoothie, raw pasta made with zucchini, or just simple juice.

One morning I made a beet-pineapple-cucumber juice. WOW! It came out so incredibly delicious! It’s a real treat!

Before you run to your juicer (I hope I inspire you so much, that you have to “run” to make my recipes) I must warn you, that after juicing all the ingredients, my kitchen turned out to be  a crime scene - deep red color with drops of blood aka beet juice everywhere! Even on a ceiling.

But trust me, the mess is so worth the result!


Beet Pineapple Cucumber Juice
a light juice to enjoy at any time of the day

Cuisine: rawfood
Recipe type: juice
Serves: 2

Prep time: 
Total time: 

  • 1 beet root
  • ½ pineapple
  • 1 larg cucumber

  1. Run all ingredients through a juicer. Serve in a tall glass cup to enjoy the gorgeous purple color!


photo credit Valentina Zelyaeva

First published July 24th 2011, updated in 2019

Juice top 5 for hot weather

When the weather is hot, you need to cool down! Below is my simple Juice top 5 for any hot Summer day. (no sugar added)


1. Fruit flavored water /ice tea

Add slices of lemon, lime & mint to your cold water with ice cubes. Any other fruit like fresh berries is delicious too! You can also make this an ice tea version by making hot tea and letting it cool off and adding it to the water.
Coconut Water

2. Coconut water

This is my nr. 1 favorite cooling down drink. It's delicious, but coconut water is also a great sports drink and rehydrates your body like no other drink (the PH values of coconut water are the same as of your blood!)

3. Cucumber juice

Yes try it: juice 2 or 3 cucumbers and cool this drink for an hour. It is so simple and delicious!
Watermelon Juice Gui Valente 2

4. Water melon juice

This is sooo good! Also, juice half a melon and you have a delicious, nutritious juice!

Gui Valente (black belt Jiu-Jitsu) loves watermelon juice too!

5. Mint & pear juice cocktail

Blend a juicy pear,mint with crushed ice. don't forget a (glass) straw! It is so refreshing


Stay cool!

Love, Lonneke


UTI & Cranberries

You may not see a connection between these two right away so let me explain!


Cranberries have a very wintery image. They are used in compotes for the Thanksgiving meals, and in other winter warming dishes. But did you know the juice of the cranberry is very good for you not only for the high antioxidants? The pure juice is very sour and bitter if not sweetened. But this juice has special properties and that's why doctor's recommend it sometimes to take it, as a preventive supplement, or in liquid form of a juice.


Cranberries are supposed to help you prevent getting a urinary tract infection (UTI) or help you get rid of it.

What is an UTI ( Urinary Tract Infection)?

This is an infection in the bladder, caused by bacteria. You feel like you have to pee the whole time, and when you do, you get a burning, very uncomfortable sensation "down there". There are many ways you can get it, not only from being "Unclean". For more information on Urinary Tract Infection go here.

For women:

My tips to prevent/help get rid of an UTI:

  • Pee right after sex to make sure all bacteria stay out of the urinary tract.
  • Shower right after sex (and peeing)
  • Drink enough water during the day to flush out toxins and bacteria.
  • Take a rest when you get an UTI so your body can fight the infection.

To me a UTI is the most annoying and painful thing I have (so far) ever experienced. I probably experienced a bad one I must say, but I have broken bones in my life and nothing beats the pain I had from an UTI. So I like to believe eating cranberries can help prevent it from ever happening again.

There is a study that I found on Oxfordjournals.org now that says there is actually no difference in people taking cranberry juice compared to women with a bladder infection taking a placebo, you can read it here. This study also states:

"Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most commonly acquired bacterial infections in ambulatory and hospitalized populations. Approximately 11% of all women aged ≥18 years in the United States have a UTI each year. The incidence of UTI is highest among women aged 18–24 years, approaching 1 of 5 infections per year [1]. Although the risk of bladder UTI (cystitis) progression to pyelonephritis is negligible among otherwise healthy women, cystitis has a propensity to recur. Among otherwise healthy women aged 18–39, the 6-month risk of recurrence following a first UTI is 24% [2]. Approximately 5% of women with an initial UTI have multiple episodes within a year. Major risk factors for UTI among women aged 18–39 years are engaging in sexual intercourse and having a history of UTI."

And men don't feel left out: You also have a chance of getting an UTI. Even though you have a smaller chance getting an UTI than a woman, you still have a chance, and the same thing: preventing it is better than treating it. I found a nice article on drugs.com with a picture showing how and where this UTI develops. Also if you know your partner frequently gets UTI's, you can do little things to help this from happening. This article also states those tips.

I really think cranberry juice helps me though. I feel really good when I eat them! But if you are lucky to not get UTI's, there are other ways to incorporate cranberries in your life:

Cranberries, when sweetened are a nice additive to salads and in other recipes to add a bit of sweetness and a nice taste. Try it yourself!  And what about a Vodka-Cranberry like a Cosmopolitan?

So I think that Cranberries can save your day (or Night!)

Love, Lonneke

Lonneke on De Dino Show

Philippe, Lonneke, Jandino & Adje

Hi everyone!

Yesterday was my first time being on a tv show ever, showing how to make juices and smoothies and mentioning Organice Your Life®! It was the talk  show by comedian Jandino Asporaat, "De Dino Show"  which is very popular amongst young people in the Netherlands.

I could not stop laughing while I was there! Jandino and the other two guests: Philippe Geubels (a Belgian comedian) and Adje ( A Dutch rapper) were so funny! I hope to be back sometime in the future and I hope to do more of these shows too!

I showed 2 recipes:

*A Juice, juiced with the Versapers juicer with: kale, apple, carrot and ginger. To find more juices  on our website that you can make with your chosen juicer, go HERE.

*And my famous Banana, spinach and almond milk shake. If you want to know how to make a smoothie with these and other ingredients, find the article I wrote for this site about that HERE.

Smoothie Dino Show 1
Pouring in Almond milk into the blender.
Smoothie Dino Show 2
Blending the banana, almond milk and spinach.
Dino show smoothie 3
I poured the drink into the glasses...
Dino show drinking smoothie
And everyone tried the smoothie and thought it tasted good!

 The last one they loved the most!

If you live in the Netherlands, you can watch the tv show below through Uitzending Gemist.

Philippe, Lonneke, Jandino & Adje

Otherwise see a short clip here on a news website.

Love, Lonneke

Fruit Juice by Joey

Choose your JUICE!

One day in October 2011, I quit drinking alcohol. I quit after the worst hangover E-VER.

The day before this hangover, I had a great party, and drank some beer. I didn’t drink too much, but my hangover on Sunday was terrible. My headache was so painful, and I couldn’t get out of bed.

Joey as ugly duck at Fairy tail Party
Joey as ugly duck at Fairy tail Party @ the 29th of October

I realized I did not want that feeling anymore.

It’s not that I drank every day. I only drank when I went out. I think the amount of alcohol was sometimes too much. And I think getting older is also not helping…

A lot of people ask me why I do not drink anymore. Some think it’s really brave of me, some do not understand. You don’t have to. It’s my own choice.

I didn’t have to quit drinking, but at that moment I thought it was the best.

After 307 days I have to say it’s hard not to drink. It’s not that I miss it, but everywhere you go it’s all about alcohol. When you visit a friend, when you go out, when there’s a celebration, when you’re having dinner, with holidays like New year’s Eve, and so on.

Everybody seems to be into alcohol, everybody’s offering you a glass. Here in the Netherlands it’s so normal to drink that it’s rare when you’re not drinking. Strange world.

I know I can try to drink one or two glasses, but I can’t. When I drink, I want more. And after more alcohol, I might get a hangover. And I don’t want that feeling anymore.

I want to live healthy, and I want to have control over my body. I want to prove myself I can do this.

So I choose not to drink alcohol anymore. Just to see how it feels, and if I could do this. And it feels awesome!

I try to change my life, and not drinking alcohol was one of my goals. If I could do this, I could change my life a bit more. Quiting alcohol was step one. Trying to get in shape was step two. I’m going to write about my fitness experience the next time.

Next step: the perfect body!
Next step: the perfect body!

What I’ve also changed is my thought about alcoholism. I’ve always been surrounded by alcoholics, and I always had one thought. Just stop. Just stop drinking. How hard can it be?

Well, now I know. It’s hard. If it’s hard for somebody’s who isn’t an alcoholic, how would it feels like for an alcoholic? I stop being prejudiced. I stop being like everybody else. I want to be different.

I’m not saying I am never going drink again. But I hope I’m strong enough not to go back in time.

So… what I’m still looking for are some new healthy juices I can drink when I go out!

My favorite right now is cranberry juice. Very refreshing, and it tastes great!

At home you can make your own juices (see all the healthy juices here on Organice Your Life), but going out it’s so hard to find some fine non-alcoholic healthy juices! Isn't it?


Fruit Juice by Joey
Fruit Juice by Joey

My favorite juice (or smoothie, whatever you call it) @ home: fresh strawberries, 1 banana, coconut water, pinapple juice. Just put in in a blender and mix it!

So I wanna hear what your favorite non-alchol drinks are! What do you prefer?

Can’t wait to hear from you: surprise me!




green juice

Green Spice Juice

Hi Everyone,

This is my first post as an OYL contributor!

First up: I love having a green juice a day.

Once a week I go to the market and stock up on whatever greens and fruits I can get . For me its very important to get in as many greens as possible. Every day I make green juice for the day. I use the Breville juice fountain Elite juicer to make the juice.

This green Juice I call Green Spice because it has ginger and cilantro in it.

To make it I use:

  • kale
  • collard greens
  • Fennel
  • cilantro
  • cucumber
  • ginger
  • celery
  • lemon
  • about 3 apples

green juice


Kisses, Teresa

Healthy Foods

Valentina Talks Healthy Foods

Healthy FoodsI'll share with you some tips and tricks how to choose right food that will leave you satisfied, without bloating or putting on extra pounds. Just a few ideas that you can do at home or when you have time to eat out in the restaurants with your friends.

My tips:

  • Start your day with big glass of warm water with fresh squeeze lemon juice.
  • Always have green salad before your main course.  Ok, honestly, who wants salad after a bowl of pasta?!
  • Have fruits for breakfast and try to snack on fruits until the lunchtime.
  • Drink your water!  The moment you think you are hungry, drink a glass of water and then ask your self, "Am I still hungry?"  It happens to me all the time when my body is just asking for water.
  • Replace cow milk with almond milk.  I make my own almond milk at home, and I add it to my raw granola for tasty breakfast, I add almond milk to my smoothies and many other recipes.  It is delicious vegan alternative to animal or other milks.
  • Replace white sugar, brown sugar, all kind artificial sweeteners with stevia, Agave, yakon syrup or coconut palm sugar!
  • Snack on RAW nuts and seeds: when you snack on roasted nuts (or baked or in any other way cooked) they can cause acne.  Nuts are very dense and highly fatty food. When you eat them in raw state, those fats are extremely healthy for us, but once nuts been heated above 105F they become rancid - not a beauty food you want to put in your body!
  • Choose sweet yam potatoes over regular white potatoes.
  • Choose vegetables and fruits that are still attached to there roots and vines, because they have more nutrients: for example tomatoes on the vines, fresh herbs in pots, carrots and beetroots with their tops attached etc..
  • Eat whole foods rather than pre packed, pre cut, preserved, pre made... Avoid frozen ready-to-eat microwave dinners, avoid those canned corn, beans, tuna..  Buy whole watermelon and cut it fresh at home rather then get it already cut in pieces (and think of the waste you create when you get your sliced fruits in plastic wraps).
  • Always have a (protein) bar with you in case of emergency. Idea is to choose the right one; I like Vega Whole Food Raw Energy Bar.

I wish you a happy meal!

Love, Val

Coconut water, Capoeira and Juice - Greeeeeeeen Coco

Last night I met my friend at the job, and we both decided to go to capoeira class, because it's been too long since we saw each other plus we both needed a good work out!

After an hour of an intense class, I was craving for coconut water. It is one of the best post-work out drinks because it supercharges your metabolism and promotes weight loss.


  • Contains more Potassium then bananas and other sport drinks
  • Contains perfect amount of sodium. Enough to replenish electrolytes.
  • Contains high level of Calcium, Chloride and Magnesium
  • It re-hydrants better then water
  • Contains ZERO cholesterol

Unless you are in Brazil, it is kind hard to find a great tasting coconut water in the City. I have tried a few different brands, but the one that I particular like is from company “Exotic Superfoods”.

Another way I use coconut water is I mix it with a green juice. For example, this morning I made a juice from collard greens and pineapple. To make it taste good I mix it with coconut water and it was absolutely delicious!


Immunity Booster - Juice with cucumber, oranges, celery, pepper

Made this juice the other day, and it tasted so good! I called it “immunity booster” cause this juice is full of vitamin C, which helps us to fight colds and flu. Drink this when u feel a little “off”. No medicine ever tasted as good as this recipe :)

  • *1 large cucumber
  • *3 oranges
  • *3 stalks of celery
  • *1 red bell pepper