I woke up this morning in one of those tired fogs. You know, the kind where you don’t have any energy and all you want to eat are sugary foods (which just make the feeling worse)? Yeah, well my guess is of the cheese and sugar that I ate last night are to blame. So following that with a morning of bread, kettle corn, a cinnamon bun, and a peanut butter/chocolate granola bar just added to the fluctuations my blood stream was already facing.
By 1PM, I needed greens. Feeling so gross, I was even more inspired to get myself out of my apartment and venture to Target. After buying Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet book about her change from a processed foods lifestyle to one of eating raw and vegan foods all of the time, I’ve been reflecting a lot more on what I’m putting into my body and how I feel once I’ve eaten it. This past week I noticed that having salads for lunch led to an increased energy throughout the afternoon at work. The dreaded 3:30 slump? Gonzo.
After reviewing a few different juicers online and in Kris’ book, learning about the different types of juicers, and once I took a look at my budget (ugh) I realized that the cheaper $50 juicer was the one I should get to start with. It is a centrifugal juicer that had decent reviews for being on the cheaper end of the spectrum. Buying a fancy twin gear juicer will be a long term goal of mine, for now.
So, I bought a Waring Pro Juice Extractor, AKA: centrifugal juicer for the feeling-poor-at-the-moment individual.
(Image Source: Here)
So when I got home I got to town and made my first green juice drink!
In the juice: (yield about a cup)
- 1/2 lemon, peeled
- 1 honeycrisp apple, washed and cut into segments
- 1 cucumber, peeled (since it was not organic)
- 2-3 cups spinach
- thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
Now, I know half of you are thinking, “I’d definitely be willing to try this! It looks super healthy.” and the other half of you (especially my mom) are thinkin, “Gross. Why would you want to blend a bunch of vegetables together and drink a nasty, frothy, green concoction?”
Why? Well, here are a few reasons…
- Many of us don’t get the number of servings of fruits and vegetables that we need on a daily basis. And, many of us eat a large number of processed foods. Not all, but many. They are hard to avoid.
- Juicing vegetables takes out all of the pulp (fiber) and condenses the vegetables so that you can ingest all of those healthy vitamins and minerals and enzymes. By breaking down the fibrous part of vegetables in the juicing process, you are essentially gaining more nutrients. Enzymes, the backbone behind the raw foods movement, are good for you and assist your body in all metabolic processes.
- It would be hard to eat the number of vegetables that creates 16 ounces of juice (an average juicer’s serving) without feeling stuffed all day long, and the fiber (see above) holds many nutrients that aren’t broken down the same way when eaten rather than juiced.
- It is thought that the chlorophyll found in plants helps your body in transporting oxygen to your cells more easily.
- There have been studies that show the phytochemicals that you ingest when drinking green juice may help protect your cells from damage (i.e. making it harder to get cancer, or to get cancer-causing substances).
“ The list [of veggies containing healthy phytochemicals] goes on and on: bok choy, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, collards, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, rutabaga, turnip greens, red beets, peppers, garlic, onions, leeks, and chives are but a few of the vegetables that appear to have cancer-preventing phytochemicals.” Source: www.living-foods.com
Etc., Etc., Etc., You could google this stuff allllll day long so I won’t bore you. The point is that adding more fruits and vegetables in your diet can’t do much harm. We haven’t heard any doctors telling us to eat less of them lately, have we?
The juice I made was surprisingly delicious. I know most of you won’t believe me. When I went to take the first sip I actually think I cringed prematurely, expecting it to taste bitter and gross. However, it didn’t (I promise). By adding in some lemon, ginger and apple the bitterness of the green veggies was cut down.
Twenty minutes later? The brain fog was gone. Now, who is to say this was directly related to the juice? No one. I could have just been excited about buying the juicer and reading the directions manual. Maybe that stimulating nonfiction was enough to shake me right out of the daze. In my opinion though? Doubtful. Green veggies all the way.
For those of you wondering about the cleanup process, it was also rather easy. All pulp from the fruits and veggies is spun to the outside edges of the pulp collector. In the center of the collector is the grating device used to take the juice out of each fruit/veggie. These two pieces come apart, along with the lid and veggie pusher downer (haha) and they get washed and are as good as new.
Some people go so far as to use the pulp for other recipes, or for composting. For the time being, my garbage can is also the compost bin …maybe that can change in the future.
So for the rest of the week I’m challenging myself:
to wake up, drink some water with lemon in it, wait until I get hungry and enjoy some green juice.
If I’m hungry an hour later, so be it, but drinking green juice on an empty stomach is ideal and is the best way to allow your body to absorb all of the nutrients in the juice.
Have any questions about juicing? Do you juice? Do you feel healthier when adding regular juice into your lifestyle?