The Connect Project

The Best Juicers to Buy for Your Health

Juicing has long been seen as a great way to get more vegetable and fruit nutrition in your diet.  While juice shouldn’t been seen as a complete replacement for your recommended amount of fresh whole produce, it can be a significant step towards a healthier lifestyle.  If you’re considering buying yourself a juicer, you might feel overwhelmed by the numerous different makes and models, all claiming to be your best bet.  Understanding the differences between different types of juicers and knowing what to look for to find your ideal match is the best way to sort through the hype offered by so many manufacturers trying to catch your eye.


The first thing to understand is that a juicer is not the same as a blender.  There are a number of gadgets out there that will turn whole fruits and veggies into drinkable juices or smoothies.  In reality, these are just powerful blenders.  If you have a “regular” blender that’s great at making frozen drinks, there’s a really good chance you already have what you need to make whole-food smoothies and drinks.  Juicers are different in that they actually process your whole fruits and vegetables in a way that separates liquids from solids.  You drink the juice and toss out the pulp.

When searching for a new juicer, you’ll see two main types:  masticating and centrifugal.  In addition to these two types of all-purpose juicers, there are models designed specifically for citrus fruits and others made for wheatgrass.  The wheatgrass models also usually handle some of the softest fruits and veggies.

A masticating juicer mimics our chewing action in that it crushes and presses the food you put into it to separate the juice from the solids.  These models tend to be more expensive and a little noisier, but do typically yield more juice.

Centrifugal juicers chop produce into pulp and then spin that pulp fast enough to separate the juice.  Centrifugal models are usually the least expensive and quietest, but tend to extract less juice.  Also, the spinning action tends to warm the juice up.

All juicers have some sort of intake chute.  This is where your fresh produce is loaded into the machine.  A larger intake chute will mean that you can put larger chunks of fruit or vegetables in; a smaller chute means you’ll have to spend a little more time cutting produce into smaller pieces.  

All juicers also, naturally, have a reservoir that holds freshly-made juice.  Make sure to look at any prospective candidate’s reservoir capacity.  If you want to be able to make juice for the whole family (or for yourself for a few days) in one single juice-making session, make sure you find a model that has that capacity.

Another capacity issue to consider has to do with the wasted pulp.  Some machines hold more than others, so be sure you know how much juice you’ll be able to make without stopping to empty the pulp receptacle.  Obviously, different fruits and vegetables contain different amounts of pulp, so you’ll want to know what volume your new machine can handle.

When it comes to motors in juicers, more powerful motors generally do produce more juice faster, but, again, make sure you know what the various capacities are.  Is it really worth the extra money that more powerful motors usually cost if it takes you two or three times longer to get as much juice as you want because you have to keep stopping to empty and reload the unit?

Juicers come in enough shapes and sizes that you might want to take a closer look at any prospective model’s footprint and weight if your counter space is limited.  The juicer will definitely need to sit squarely and securely on your countertop or table.  If your juicer can’t have a permanent countertop spot, make sure you find a model that’s light enough that you can move it around easily.

The last thing to know about any juicer you’re considering is how easy (or difficult) it will be to clean.  Your juicer will need to be thoroughly cleaned after each use, so make sure you know what that will entail.

Interested in reading the best citrus juicer review? Find it on and make sure you have complete information before you decide on which model or brand to add to your shopping cart.

How to Connect with Nature

In today’s busy world, it can be easy to forget how beautiful the outside world is.  The real outside world that you have to be outside to appreciate.  Nature has so much beauty in so many forms, great and small, that we’d all do well to spend a little more time appreciating the beauty that’s there for us all.  Taking some time to unplug–really unplug–from the hustle, bustle, and technology of our everyday lives can help us to clear our heads, focus our thoughts, and remember that there are places where digital beeps and electric glows are replaced by the sound of crickets and a night sky full of stars.  If you think that reconnecting, or maybe connecting for the first time, with nature is something that could work for you, there are few things to keep in mind that will help you make the most of your time away from “civilization.”


Commit to it

Don’t just say you’re going to spend more time outside when you get a chance.  Find a way to carve it into your schedule.  If your job or your location makes it impossible to spend weekends away, that’s okay.  If you can find an hour or so a week, take it.  If you live in a very urban area that doesn’t have a ton of green space, that’s okay.  Find a park or hiking trail.  Obviously, you want to be safe, so don’t stray too far from marked paths or wander so aimlessly that you get yourself lost.  If you’re concerned about safety, you can carry a whistle or air horn with you.  You can even bring your phone–but turn it off!  It’s only there in case you really, really need it.

Do it alone

While it can be great to share experiences with friends and loved ones, make your nature excursions a solo gig.  Communing with nature should be about you and your surroundings, and having a friend along will probably lead to more chatting between the two of you and less of a conversation between you and the environment.  Being alone gives you a better chance to really see the trees, flowers, and other plants.  Being quiet means you’ll be able to hear the birds and bugs and other sounds of nature.  In short, only by being alone will you really be able to appreciate what being unplugged really means.

Take it in

While taking a hike might be the best way to get to nature, don’t keep walking right through it.  Stop and sit for a while.  Look around.  Really look around.  Notice what makes one tree different from the next.  See how some flowering vines climb up the trees while others stay low to the ground.  Maybe you’ll find features that somehow remind you of the course your own life has taken or even things that remind you of family and friends.  Maybe a tree looks like it started growing in one direction but has had to adjust its path to keep from being overtaken by other things in its way.  Maybe you’ll see a flower that reminds you of someone you’ve lost or just haven’t seen in awhile.  Maybe you’ll hear birds that you’ve never heard before.  Whatever you see or hear, you’re bound to be reminded that the “outside world” is still there, still beautiful, still bigger than our everyday workaday world, and still the best place to relax, unwind, unplug, and reconnect.

This is Why You Should Put Down Your Phone

In today’s world, we’re more connected than ever to pretty much everything.  Friends, family, and our jobs can communicate with us in an instant.  News, sports scores, politics, and other current events are in our faces every time we pick up our smart phones.  In a world where staying connected is key and where more information means more knowledge which, we’re told, leads to greater power and productivity, it can be easy to get completely tied to our devices.  More and more though, many are realizing that there might be such a thing as being too connected.  Sometimes, we can actually be more productive by making sure we have some down time every now and then.  Sometimes, the key to being truly connected is to disconnect from tech every once in awhile.  A number of recent surveys and studies have found that our nearly compulsive need to stay connected is having a negative impact on our stress levels and relationships with those around us.


Most of us can’t resist the urge to check our phones the minute we get a notification and/or can’t go more than an hour without checking our phones.  The worst part of this is that we’ll stop whatever we’re doing to get our fix.  Worse yet is that most people admit that this compulsive phone-checking behavior actually makes them feel worse, not better.  These negative reactions can come from seeing news coverage that’s depressing, posts from friends that can lead to feelings of annoyance or even jealousy, or a message from work that could have waited.  Some people even report feeling aggravated or distressed by checking for updates and not finding anything worth noting.  All of this adds stress to our already stressful lives, which is why many people actually list their phones or other always-handy devices as major sources of stress and negativity in their lives.

In addition to making us feel worse, staying too connected to the world of technology has led more and more of us to spend more time online and less time in our own lives.  Our friends and loved ones are our best support system and our best weapons for helping us deal with stress.  So, adding more stress to our lives while squeezing out those who help us deal with stress is a recipe more even more stress, which is no good.  

So, if you’re thinking that you’re one of the millions who might be doing yourself more harm than good, there are some things you can do to help unplug.  Or at least give your devices a longer leash.  First, honestly evaluate how you feel the next time you interrupt a perfectly good time to check your phone.  Do you actually feel like you accomplished something, or did you just satisfy a compulsion?  Chances are, you’ll recognize that you’ve lost more than you gained, which can be a step to helping you “Just Say No” when the urge strikes again.

The next thing to do is make yourself take a moment before reaching for your phone the next time it calls your name.  What are the chances that you’ll learn anything that’s important enough to interrupt what you’re doing right now?  Are you really having such a bad time right now that you’d rather have the stress that tends to come from looking at your phone?  Probably not.  If it can wait, let it wait.

Lastly, try making plans that involve spending time with friends and family in the real world.  While it may not be practical to leave all of your devices at home, you can, as a group, make a pact to keep your phones out of sight for a few hours.  Reconnecting with the world you actually live in can make it easier to deal with the stresses of the rest of the world.