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


Abigail O'Neill's Model Chocolate book

5 recipes for chocolate lovers

Who doesn't love chocolate? Lonneke Engel and her fellow contributors shared their love of chocolate with you in these 5 recipes for chocolate lovers. 

First of all, did you know that Organice Your Life® contributor Abigail O'Neill even came out with a recipe book all about (raw) chocolate called "MODEL CHOCOLATE" ?

Model Chocolate

Whether it is Valentine's Day or not, here are 5 recipes for chocolate lovers you must try to make for the ones you love. (or just all for yourself!).

1. Chocolate Eco Block by Abigail O'Neill

Abigail O'Neill made this delicious piece of chocolate that should be a staple in your household!

Chocolate Eco Block recipe by Abigail O'Neill.

abi's chocolateee

2. Vegan black bean brownies by Lonneke Engel

This bean based vegan black bean brownie is delicious and a great snack for when you crave chocolate, or when you are just hungry! You might not even realize there are beans in it!

Vegan Black Bean Brownies recipe by Lonneke Engel


3. Healthy Brigadeiro by Carolina Fontaneti

Brazilian beauty Carolina Fontaneti tried to make a healthier version of the famous Brazilian Brigadeiros. Delicious!

Healthy Brigadeiro recipe by Carolina Fontaneti.


4. Raw chocolate fondue by Abigail O'Neill

Many people like any ingredient just better if there is a layer of chocolate melted on top of it. Abigail O'Neill gives some tips to maken amazing chocolate fondue!

Raw Chocolate Fondue recipe by Abigail O'Neill

Model Chocolate Raw Chocolate Fondue

5. Frosty Fruity Chocolate by Abigail O'Neill

Another favorite by Model Chocolate Author Abigail O'Neill: Yummy fruits mixed with chocolate are always a good idea!

Frosty Fruity Chocolate recipe by Abigail O'Neill

Frosty Fruity Chocolate


Team Organice Your Life®

Candle Cafe

Lonneke's favorite 10 vegan friendly NYC restaurants

I always loved to eat fruits and vegetables. I always loved vegan food. These are my favorite 10 vegan friendly NYC restaurants, which offer a nice selection of vegan food. Keeping a restaurant or take-out place open in New York City is very difficult, especially if it is a speciality restaurant like vegan friendly NYC restaurants. Another reason to support local restaurants so they have more chance of staying open for you and other vegan friendly people!


1. Candle Cafe

. Together with the sister restaurants Candle Cafe West and Candle 79, I am always amazed by the warm filling nurturing delicious dishes they come up with. Full of many veggies, they are a treat and I keep coming back. The restaurants are completely vegan restaurants and located uptown in the Upper East and Upper West side.  Favorites: anything really. I am drooling just thinking about it. And especially the dishes with seitan. www.Candlecafe.com

2. Juice Press

Juice Press has juices, salads and other vegan rawfood dishes and soups. They have many different locations throughout New York City. A lot of people like their foods to do a detox. www.juicepress.com

3. Dr. Smood

Has many vegan options for juices, salads and sandwiches for lunch or to take out for dinner. I like their pastries for dessert as they are chocolate based! They call themselves "probably the Healthiest Cafe in the City", and there are many locations in NYC. www.drsmood.com

4. Quartino

This cute & romantic Italian restaurant serves delicate homemade healthy pasta and offers many vegan and even gluten free dishes. They also serve a fish of the day. They have a delicious selection of wine, and their extra virgin olive oil is lovely. Located on Bleecker street in NOHO. Favorites: shaved artichoke salad, fresh-made gnocchi and spelt dishes.  www.quartino.com

5. Caravan of Dreams.

A hole in the wall, this eclectic restaurant is dark and cosy, and a perfect place to take your friends for a vegan meal. Everything is vegan, organic and even kosher. They also serve a lot of raw food dishes. They have live music almost every night of the week. Favorites: all salads are amazing! I like the house salad dressing a lot, and the mediterranean salad. Also the smoothies are great, and i like the ravioli of the day with sautéed greens, garlic tomato sauce and avocado. The raw brownie for desert is delicious. www.CaravanofDreams.net

6. Peace food Cafe

the menu needs a bit of help navigating, but this mostly raw and vegan cafe has delicious meals. I like to take the plate with 3 kinds of sautéed vegetables of your choice. Also delicious are the desserts. www.peacefoodcafe.com

Peacefood Cafe 2

7. Mamoun's Falafel

Falafel is made of chickpeas, so it is a good vegan choice. This place is known for great take-out falafel salads and wraps. Not expensive, which is great too! Also many locations in NYC, I like the one on St. Marks Place. www.Mamouns.com

8.Bare Burger NYC

This restaurant has made 50% of their menu vegan! That means there are so many options for burgers, sandwiches and salads for you to choose from! www.BareBurger.com

Bare Burger dinner
turkey burger with gluten free bun and sweet potato fries at Bare Burger

9. Spring Natural

They have daily changing menus, with a lot of vegan and vegetarian options. On top of that they try to get organic and local ingredients where they can. Think of this place as an American healthy diner. The salads are huge and their stir fry with veggies and rice can never go wrong. Located at the corner of Lafayette and Spring street. www.SpringStreetNatural.com

10. Chipotle

The restaurants of Chipotle are literally all over the city. It is cheap and delicious and!  Even though they don't advertise it, their motto is to have everything organic, and you can taste it. They have the best guacamole. I order a simple bowl with different beans, rice, vegetables, lettuce, tomatoes, and guacamole and you have delicious vegan meal on the go! www.chipotle.com


Love, Lonneke

First published in 2014, updated in 2019

Interview with raw vegan ironman triathlete Brendan Brazier

Organice Your Life is a place where I feature interesting people from all walks of life and in all fields of expertise. 

Interview with Brendan Brazier

Lonneke Engel interviews Brendan Brazier, Ironman Triathlete, plant-based nutrition expert and Vega founder. The location is  Candle Cafe West in NYC a delicious vegan restaurant!

Check out Lonneke visiting vegan sister restaurant Candle 79

Check out Lonneke's 10 vegan friendly restaurants in NYC featuring Candle Cafe. 

Read more about Brendan Brazier





first published in 2012

Asian raw food salad

I recently bought a Gefu Spirelli spiral slicer and I am obsessed with it. I use it to slice vegetables in long pasta-like ribbons.

This is a simple recipe for an Asian raw food salad is made in minutes; it's delicious and crispy.


Love, Lonneke

Asian raw food salad

Cuisine: rawfood
Recipe type: starter/lunch
Serves: 2

Prep time: 
Total time: 

  • 2 large carrots
  • ¼ of cabbage
  • 1 large zucchini
  • pine nuts
  • tamari sauce
  • toasted sesame oil

  1. Slice the cabbage in thin slices.
  2. Slice the zucchini and carrots in a spiral slicer
  3. Add the pine nuts.
  4. Add a bit of tamari sauce and sesame oil.
  5. Mix it together well.
  6. Serve on a plate.

I use the Gefu Spirelli spiral slicer.