Erin Stanczyk |

Take Your Health To the Next Level With Smoothies + Juices Part 2: What's In My Kitchen

Food + Nutrition, EatErin StanczykComment

* If you haven't already, check out Part 1: Blending vs. Juicing of my 5 Part Series on Smoothies + Juices!


Invest In Your Health: Quality Appliances

Investing in your health through quality food and kitchen appliances is one of the best forms of life insurance. My dad always jokes, saying things like you don't get any points for being in pristine condition when you're in a casket, or, statistics show that the death rate is 100%. I just have to laugh it off, because I know that he gets it, but he still insists on giving me a hard time about being such a health nut. 

While I know that he brings up two very good points, I'm not trying to cheat death or be the first person to live to 150 by living a healthy lifestyle; I just want to feel good NOW, and in 10, 20, 30 years, and so on! It's not about quantity—how many years you're around, but quality—how well you feel each and every day into old age, so that you can continue to do the things you love to do and want to do! The foundation of health starts with what we eat!

The goal is not to uncover the fountain of youth, rather, it’s to build a solid foundation of health that will allow us to age with grace!



I never knew what all of the fuss was about before my Vitamix, but now that I have one, I know! I was using a basic, cheap-o blender for only about a year before it decided to completely quit on me. I had to decide whether to run to the store and drop $200 on the exact same model, or roll up my sleeves and do a little bit of research. While the cost of a Vitamix blender is fairly steep, starting at $400 and going up to $800, your smoothies will be one super-smooth consistency, and they're versatile and heavy-duty enough to blend almost anything! Think of it as an investment in a superior product that will last you a lifetime, rather than one year!

What's in My Kitchen:  

I have the Vitamix Professional Series 500, which is one of the C-Series classic models with variable speeds.  I use my Vitamix for more than just smoothies—it also works great for frozen "nice" cream, dressings, soups, salsas, and so much more! The variable speed feature is awesome! There are several speeds to choose from, as well as 3 presets for commonly blended items: hot soups, frozen goods, and smoothies. I also love that there's a pulse button for things like salsa! I would recommend picking up a thin spatula to assist in scraping every last bit of your blended creations out of the pitcher, and a filtration bag if you want to strain and make my own nut milks! Homemade almond milk with fresh vanilla bean is the best (hmmm recipe to come?!).

Reasons to Invest:

Higher Quality

  • Before, I was drinking chunky smoothies (what an oxymoron!), but now every last little chia seed gets blended up! Achieving one smooth consistency will make your smoothies easier to digest, and the taste is so much better!


  • Would you rather spend $200 every 2 years or $500 once?
  • Your Vitamix will come with a 7-year full warranty.


  • 2-Horsepower, yes, Horsepower, means these blenders can blend virtually anything into one smooth consistency!


  • The heavy base won't bounce around, the heavy-duty blades can chop through virtually anything, and the quality fan keeps it from overheating. The 64oz pitcher is also of superior quality and allows for blending at high volumes!

Variable Speeds + Versatility

  • The variable speeds and pre-programmed settings are key! You can literally select the smoothie setting, hit blend, and walk away, and it will blend for a preset amount of time and stop on its own! Also, the hot soup setting will not just warm your soup, but make it hot!


  • S-Series - the cheapest model, starting at around $400, due to smaller capacity and slightly less power
  • C-Series - this is the classic model you really can't go wrong with
  • G-Series - the newest model with the same power as the C-Series
  • Vitamix offers reconditioned blenders that are over $100 less, and include a 5-year warranty
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design |



Again, quality is key! I went from not juicing at all, to juicing with a quality Omega juicer, so technically, I don't know what lesser quality ones are like. However, I do know that there are several types of juicers and it can get tricky if you don't know a thing about it! First, there are both vertical and horizontal juicers. I like my vertical simply because it takes up less space. Second, there are centrifugal and cold press (masticating) juicers. Centrifugal juicers contain a metal blade that spins against a mesh filter, which generates heat and oxygen, causing the active enzymes to diminish and the juice to oxidize, as well. Cold press juicers first crush and then press the fruits and veggies, yielding maximum juice output. Trust me—your pulp will have virtually no juice left in it! They also run at a lower speed, so no heat is involved, and your juice will maintain more nutrients. A masticating juicer is also ideal for processing nuts, which a centrifugal won't do. On top of all that, masticating juicers are also quieter, and there is no difference in speed between the two types. Although they may be a bit more expensive ($250-$700), again, I'll say it's a worthy investment! Aside from all of the dollar signs, juicing can be an efficient way to deliver a load of nutrients to the body and help to improve health!


What's in My Kitchen: 

I have the Omega VRT330S, which is a vertical, low-speed, masticating (cold press) juicer. I would say it's on the beginner end of the spectrum in terms of price, but you really can't go wrong with any of the Omega masticating juicers. I really love that it's able to juice almost any kind of fruit or veggie, and it's quiet and fast. The only thing I recommend is that you clean your juicer regularly! Next up on my list of things to try out is making my own nut milks and nut butters with my juicer—I'll keep you posted on how they turn out!


Higher Quality

  • Because cold press juicers are lower speed (rpm), and less heat is involved, there will be less oxygen exposure, less foam, and less juice separation. All of this means that the nutrient and enzyme integrity is not as compromised. So, you will be getting a more nutrient dense, higher yield juice, that will also keep longer in the refrigerator (generally up to 48 hours).


  • While the initial cost of a cold press juicer is more, you will get up to 35% more juice each time than you would with a centrifugal juicer. This means that in the long rung you will get more bang for your buck when buying produce that you intend to juice.
  • Omega VRT juicers come with a 10-year warranty.


  • Unlike centrifugal juicers, cold press juicers are able to juice leafy greens, grasses, herbs, and even nuts to make nut milks! You can also use the leftover pulp in recipes like veggie burgers and baked goods!

Low Noise

  • Cold press juicers are much quieter than centrifugal juicers due to the 'chewing' rather than pulverizing.

Bottom Line

Being that my husband, Dusty, sells insurance on the side, he has taught me everything there is to know about how important life insurance is and investing in your future. I feel that the best life insurance policy—the best investment you can make in your future—is to take care of your body! There are so many disasters that can happen to us that are out of our control; instead of adding unnecessary stress to the body, take charge and do what is within your power to eat healthy and thrive!

Stay Tuned for the juicy goodness in Part 3 of the 5 Part Series on Smoothies + Juices, where I will share my go-to, 'Morning Buzz' green smoothie recipe with you! If you don't already have a blender or juicer, and you're looking to take your health to the next level, I recommend starting with a blender! If you want to go full-throttle, Vitamix is the way to go! You won't regret it!


Designed For Your Lifestyle,


Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design |