May 15, 2013

Why I Can’t Go a Day Without Juicing.

It was a honor to pose as “Miss December” for Jade Yoga’s 2012 wall calendar and print ad in the picture here.

They asked me to do something in the picture that reflected my interests. The bike thing had already been done, so since I’m totally a green juice fiend, we shot the ad in my kitchen!

The urge to cleanse tends to arise as soon as the weather gets warmer and the light lasts longer in the day, but as the title of this blog suggests, any time is a good time to be juicing!

Actually I can go a day without juicing, but I’m definitely not as happy, I won’t be as energized, and my digestion pales in comparison. (Insert a finger wagging: “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”)

Juicing has recently become a popular trend, and for good reason. I’ve been juicing my whole life since my mom whipped one out in the ‘7os. The juicer was collecting dust for the longest time, but in the last five years, juicing has become one of my daily rituals. It is so energizing and cleansing, that I find it hard to live without.

Apparently 98 percent of the nutrients in veggies and fruits are trapped inside the fiber capsules of the plant, and our teeth barely access those nutrients when we try to masticate the fiber, giving us access to only one percent of the nutrients or something silly low.

So when you juice, the fiber capsule is blown wide open giving you access to a much larger mega hit of nutrition. And if you saw the huge bowl of produce I slam through my juicer every morning—it would take you several hours to chew, yet you’re getting the nutrition on a much bigger volume of food, thus the mondo blast.

And yes, I still recommend that you eat other veggies during the day to get your daily fiber intake.

Juicing is not a meal substitute—it is like taking your supplements, only so much more fun, appealing and delicious.

People ask me often how to get started and what to juice, so here is the first of many posts with tips, tricks and recipes to help you get on the road to mega nutrition and vibrancy.

What Kind of Juicer To Use:

Hands down, the Breville Elite 800 gives the silkiest, most quality juice and is a long lasting easy to clean machine!

Don’t skimp and get the model down from the 800! (It is totally not worth the price difference—the motor is not as hardy and the juice does not come out as smooth).

What kind of Produce to Use:

Buy (or preferably grow) produce as fresh and crisp as possible (no soft spots or sogginess!). And definitely buy organic produce since the juicer concentrates everything including pesticides!

Useful Tips:

Always drink the juice within minutes of making. The juice begins to lose nutritional value quite soon. If you have to take it with you, fill up a jar all the way to the top so that the lid touches the juice when you close it—sealing it in with as little oxygen above the juice as possible.

Worried about your teeth turning a little green? Sip your juice with a straw.

The Breville 800 is easy to clean. The only part that can take a wee more time is the mesh filter. I found that a dish brush (the Good Grips kind) actually works better and faster than the one the juicer comes with.

If you use lemon, put it in last—it works as an astringent to pre-clean the juicer!

Avoid juicing carrots, beets or other sweet fruit since anything juiced becomes concentrated and these foods are high in sugar to begin with. Generally I like to drink only green, but in the beginning if you need fruit to make the juice palatable, the following fruits are considered low-sugar: Granny Smith apples, grapefruit and pear.

 Green Turmeric Lemonade

This is a refreshingly tart, liver-cleansing cocktail—great anytime of day, and is especially wonderful first thing in the morning. The turmeric, if you can get it fresh from Hawaii, is a natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-microbial root that looks like ginger only orange! Turmeric is also amazing for smooth glowing skin.

2 small cucumbers or 1 large

3 handfuls of baby spinach

3 stalks of celery

1 head of romaine lettuce (optional)

1 small lemon or half a large lemon

1 green apple or pear

1 inch of fresh turmeric (optional if you can’t find it—best when it looks plump and orange. Looks like ginger, only a bit smaller. From Hawaii is best.)

Put the celery in first and plunge. Put a cucumber in without plunging and fill the space around it with the baby spinach, then plunge. This way the spinach gets juiced rather than spun through the juicer. Do the same thing with the turmeric to help maximize it. Then juice the romaine and apple. Voila!


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Ed: Kate Bartolotta

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