SPRING IS HERE and as we emerge from a cocoon of winter woollies it is time to think about getting in shape for summer. Squeezing into the latest fashions and flaunting it on the beach requires more than shaking off a few excess kilograms. If you want to look your best, you have to look good inside and out. And that means getting healthy. Forget the fad diets and starve-yourself-thin regimes. The best way to get in shape is to exercise and have a balanced diet. Fresh juices are a cheap and easy way of getting your daily dose of vitamins. Half a litre of fresh vegetable juice provides the same amount of vitamins and minerals as two large salads. Fresh is best. Bottled juices lose many of the nutrients during processing, and fruit drinks in cartons are packed with sugar and offer very little natural juice. Next time you reach for a soft drink, try grabbing a fresh juice instead. You can either start juicing at home, or pick up a $10 cup of your favourite combo from a street vendor. Roadside juice stalls were around long before The Mix (G/F, Standard Chartered Bank Building, 3 Queen's Road Central, tel: 2523 7396) opened two years ago and made them a hip place to hang out. The Fruit Shop on the corner of Pottinger and Lyndhurst Streets has been running for more than 25 years. Tang Kwok-keung, who took over the shop from his father, has created a highly nutritious vegetable juice drink made of a blend of celery, green pepper, cucumber, beat melon and a whole lemon. 'If everyone had one of these every day, there would be no need for doctors,' said Mr Tang, who will create healthy drinks depending on your needs. His is one of the few stalls that will add ginger to your juice combo, which helps boost your immune system. Green Cottage (15A, G/F, Main Street, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma, tel: 2982 6934) has an exotic juice menu. In addition to the usual choice of fruit and vegetables, juice-lovers can add high-energy pick-me-ups such as organic brewers yeast and alfalfa sprouts. The store has been so successful that it has opened another outlet in Causeway Bay (G/F, Sogo). Juicing at home is easy. All you need is a juicer (about $800) and a heap of your favourite fruit and vegetables. Do not be afraid to experiment with flavours, but there are a few ground rules to remember: - Wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly to remove waxes and pesticides. - Do not juice the skins of oranges and grapefruit as they contain toxic substances. Lemon peel can be left on. - Apple seeds contain cyanide, so remove them before juicing. Seeds from lemons, grapes, limes and melons are harmless. - If any juice needs sweetening, just add apple. Apples are rich in iron and are good for the digestion. Do not peel apples because the vitamins are near to the skin. Carrot juice is a gold mine of nutrients and has been called the 'miracle juice'. It is one of the richest sources of vitamin A, which helps strengthen the eyes. It also contains other vitamins, especially B complex ones, and is rich in minerals. Grapes contain cancer-fighting, cholesterol-lowering chemicals, as well as calcium, potassium, zinc and vitamins A, B and C. Grapefruit is rich in vitamin C and potassium. Guavas are good for digestion and intestinal problems and for flushing out toxins. Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C which can even help fight cancer and prevent cardio-vascular disease. Pineapples clear the digestive tract and the respiratory passages. Rich in vitamin C and manganese, they are a natural fat burner.