Should You Drink Juice?

I get this question all the time:  “Should I drink juice?”

The answer is two-fold.

100% fruit juice has a lot of the nutrition components of actual fruit.  You are getting various vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  If you love juice then you should stick to 100% fruit juice – avoid any fruit drinks and fruit cocktails that are artificially flavored water instead of actual juice.  There’s nothing wrong with 100% fruit juice…you just have to be mindful of calories!

Calories in 8 oz of Juice:

  • Orange Juice: 110 calories
  • Grapefruit Juice: 100 calories
  • Apple Juice: 120 calories
  • Cranberry Juice: 140 calories
  • Grape Juice: 160 calories

Juice is fabulous for athletes and those looking to gain weight because you can add in a lot of extra calories without filling up.  However, juice might not be the best choice for those looking to lose weight or those with diabetes or other sugar sensitivites.

Juice does not fill you up as much as fruit will.  Why is this?

Juice is missing the fiber that the fruit has! So the next time you have the opportunity to choose orange juice or an orange for breakfast, choose the fruit.  You’ll feel more full and have consumed less calories!

Calories Saved If You Choose Fruit over Juice

  • 1 medium orange instead of a 1 cup of juice: 50 calories
  • 1/2 grapefruit instead of 1 cup of juice: 60 calories
  • 1 medium apple instead of 1 cup of juice: 25 calories
  • 1 cup cranberries instead of 1 cup of juice: 100 calories
  • 1 cup grapes instead of 1 cup of juice: 60 calories

There’s a good chance you will save even more calories because it’s easy to drink more than 8 oz of juice!  But you probably won’t sit down to 2 or 3 oranges at a one time!

If you have a really hard time giving up juice, my recommendation is to lighten it up.  Take 2 oz of juice and mix it with 8 oz of water or seltzer.  You will get accustomed to the less sweet taste over time.

Do you drink juice on a daily basis?

European Continental Breakfasts

On our trip to Europe, some of the places we stayed included a continental breakfast the next morning.  These were always well appreciated before driving to our next destination.  Breakfasts such as these can be very healthy or the complete opposite.  Since most of our dinners included heavier foods, I tried to keep breakfast simple yet healthy and satisfying.

Manoir de la Roseraie offered a complimentary continental breakfast.  The spread included meats, cheese, breads, pastry, yogurt, fruit, and cereals.

Here’s my plate:

Manoir Breakfast

For me the pastries and meats are not worth it.  However, I did want another bite of the fresh goat cheese that I enjoyed thoroughly at dinner the previous night!  That must have been about 1/2 an ounce of cheese and I ate it on the small slice of whole grain baguette.  I mixed the muesli cereal (oats, dried fruit, nuts) with the plain yogurt and had the fruit on the side (nectarine, apricot & dried fig).  I ate everything except 1/2 the nectarine, it ended up being a bit too much.  This breakfast kept me satisfied for hours!  It was definitely the winning combo of fiber (mueseli, fruit, and whole grain bread) with protein (yogurt, nuts & cheese) with some fat (cheese & nuts).

The next time we had a similar breakfast was in Valpolicella, Italy at a place called Villa Giona.  This was one of the most fabulous places ever!  The gardens were breathtaking, the building dated back to the 11th/12th century, there was a vineyard on the property, and a gorgeous infinity pool.

Villa Giona

Breakfast was served on their patio, and they had set up a beautiful spread for us.  Again there was a plate of meat & cheese in addition to pastries that I didn’t touch.  I had the multigrain cereal which had some dried fruit and nuts in it with plain yogurt and some fruit salad on the side.  I tend to skip the juice if there is fruit, since the fiber helps fill me up!

Villa Giona Breakfast

In Venice, our hotel also offered us breakfast.  Unless it was included we didn’t eat at the hotel because it was generally very expensive.  I chose a nice mixture of cereals: all bran & muesli with plain yogurt & fruit.  Dan & I split the fruit plate that is pictured.

Venice Breakfast

Look at the view we had while eating:

Venice Breakfast view

Not too bad, huh?  It’s really nice to have a gorgeous view while you’re eating and sit down, relax and truly enjoy your food.  I think we rush so much and never actually enjoy our food.  I have to tell you it’s much easier to not finish all your food, when you eat slowly, think about what you’re eating and take the time to recognize your fullness.

We had a few more breakfasts that I didn’t get pictures of, but they were all very similar.  Everywhere I went had plain yogurt, some sort of whole grain cereal and fruit, and it was always a great start to the day.

How do you deal with continental breakfast buffets?

A Day in Versailles

Versailles Gardens:

Versailles Gardens

For our 2nd day in Paris, we decided to visit the Palace of Versailles.  It was truly an incredible place to visit, we were there all day!  Before heading on the subway to Versailles, we decided to get breakfast in Paris.  Our hotel’s breakfast was very expensive so we found a small cafe around the block.  There was one option for breakfast – eggs, baguettte, juice & coffee.  The waiter immediately put a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice on our table, it was about 4 oz (served in a small wine glass), I’m not a huge juice drinker as I would rather eat the fruit but there was no option for fresh fruit here and it was delicious!  I asked for my omelet plain and had 2 tiny pieces of baguette, maybe 1 ounce in total.

Breakfast in Paris

As for my coffee, I got the cafe au lait, and this time asked for low fat milk and I was surpirsed that they had 2%.

Cafe au lait

This was not my typical breakfast, since I would normally eat whole grains (not white), fresh fruit (instead of juice), and 1 egg plus whites cooked in cooking spray (the omelet was probably 2 eggs and cooked in some butter).    But since the portions were very small, I felt satisfied after the breakfast and it held me for about 5 hours.

We stopped midday to eat at the cafe in Versailles.  Most options were very heavy (think pasta, quiches, etc).  During this trip I tried to keep breakfast & lunch on the lighter side so that I wasn’t eating heavy foods all day long.   There was one entree size salad, they called it a chicken caesar salad, I asked for my dressing on the side (at this point I figured out how to ask for it in french!).   It was a simple romaine salad with grilled chicken, tomato, a hard boiled egg, anchovies, and croutons.  I used a little of the vinaigrette they gave me on the side.  It wasn’t a typical caesar salad: no cheese and no caesar dressing.

Lunch in Versailles

This is what was left at the end:

Lunch in Versailles

Clearly I don’t like anchovies (but they are healthy for you)!  I also left the egg yolk, my husband helped me with about half of the croutons.

We spent the rest of the day walking around the Palace and the gardens, some how we ended up walking 10 miles!  We were exhausted when we got back to the hotel.