Saturday, April 21, 2012

Getting Juicy

Raise a glass to Ma Nature for creating these awesome flavors!

I have a new toy that I absolutely LOVE! It's a Breville Juice Fountain, and I have been using it to create lots of healthy, delicious vegetable and fruit juice.

What happened is that I saw the movie Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, about two guys who were overweight and unhealthy, but turned their lives around with a 60 day fruit and vegetable juice fast.

I'm not planning to give up solid food or anything, but there was some logic to the idea that juicing the produce concentrates the nutrients. You could never eat a bunch of kale, a whole cucumber, some celery, two apples, and a lemon, but you can get most of the good stuff from the juice. Beth juices too, and says, "If I make some juice in the morning, I feel like I can do anything after." Our friend Kristi just got a juicer and she says she feels great. So I thought I could try making a little juice every day and see how I feel.

Really, how could you NOT feel good after drinking this?

So I don't know exactly what all these "toxins" are that I keep hearing people talk about, but they must be a thing. The first few days of juicing I was super tired and achy. Then suddenly I felt great, with lots of energy. The explanation from the movie is that the "toxins" hurt coming out more than they did going in. I would have thought I was low toxin- I eat lots of organic produce, mostly avoid processed food, and exercise regularly.  But when I thought about it, I realized that I live in a condo complex that sprays insecticide every month, and probably uses chemical fertilizer on the lawn. I run outside and sometimes get a face full of diesel exhaust from the buses. Sometimes I microwave food in plastic containers. And let's face it, there are lots of things in our food that aren't exactly food.  So I probably have some extra stuff to get rid of.

On work days I get home at about 8pm. I walk the dog, take a shower, and then I'm ready for dinner. It used to be a bowl of pasta or something equally starchy, accompanied by a glass (or two) of red wine. I knew that I didn't need that many calories so late in the evening, but it's really hard to have any willpower when I'm exhausted after a 12-hour day.

Now that I have my juicer, I have been making a glass of Mean Green Juice, which was featured in the movie, and drinking that for dinner. The juice is actually very filling, so I don't miss the solid food. It's also got a really strong flavor (I'm getting used to it), and I don't want wine with it. I think I'm sleeping more deeply and feeling more energetic during the day. Also, I have lost 3 pounds in the past 10 days!

So here are some of my favorite juice recipes:

Mean Green Juice- as featured in Fat Sick and Nearly Dead
*I got this off a blog called My Juice Cleanse, which has the best tag line ever: "Because Fruits and Vegetables Love You Back.

6 stems of kale
1 cucumber
4 stalks of celery
2 green apples
1/2 lemon
1 piece of ginger (I usually cut about a 1 inch piece)

Wash all of the produce, slice the end and the yellow rind off of the lemon (it's OK to leave the pith), cut the apple into chunks. Juice the kale first and then everything else.  Serve right away over ice or cover and refrigerate for later.

Carrot-Beet Juice
*Modified from this recipe I found on Food.Com

6-8 carrots
1 small beet
a 1 inch piece of ginger

Trim the ends off of the beet (no need to peel), and the tops off of the carrots. Juice half of the carrots, the beet, the ginger, and then the other half of the carrots.

Photos sans makeup are all the rage right now!

Morning Glory Juice
*My own concoction. I love it after a morning run

4 carrots
2 Granny Smith apples
a handful of strawberries
a 1-2 inch piece of ginger

Rinse everything well. Trim the tops off the carrots, cut the apples into chunks, and pull the leaves off of the strawberries. This stuff is like orange juice on steroids- sweet, tangy, and zippy from the ginger.

A quick word on produce- most of the websites that have juice recipes really encourage using organic produce. I can understand the logic, because if the pesticides are really harmful, then you concentrate them by juicing. On the other hand, it hurts my inner cheapskate to grind up a three dollar cucumber and produce a half cup of juice. So I'm going with a 50/50 strategy. Organic lemons and celery aren't much more expensive than conventional. I found some local organic kale at Wards (my very favorite local business), and it was the same price as the regular kale at Publix. It won't be in season much longer, so I'll probably go back to Publix when Wards stops carrying it. I always buy organic apples after hearing that they are the most pesticide-sprayed fruit, and anyway the organic ones taste much better. Organic carrots aren't too pricey. But conventional cucumbers are about 75 cents each and the organic ones are $2-3, so guess what goes into my juice? Ditto strawberries- I bought local berries this week but the organic were twice the price.  Organic ginger is pretty expensive, but you use such a small amount that it's worth the splurge.

By the way, don't toss the rind that you trim off the lemons. Add it to water or tea for a nice lemon flavor.

Ladybug optional, but adds protein

So long for now, KISS (keep it simple stupid), and try adding some extra produce to your day!


  1. Is that a personal-sized juicer?

    Also, I read that anything with a thick rind (like citrus) wasn't as important to buy organic unless you're using the rind, so maybe you could go with conventional on that stuff?

  2. No, it's pretty big. That glass sitting next to it holds about 18 ounces.
    I have heard the same thing about things that you peel. I use the lemon rind, but I do buy conventional grapefruit.


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