I never thought I’d drink one of these:
Juicing is not a new thing, but before David and I started our own daily juicing my experience with vegetable juice was…well it was probably that V-8 back in the 70’s! A few years ago my son, Michael and his then-girlfriend went through a bit of a juicing phase and I really wasn’t curious about why they were doing it or how they felt about it. I think I had a hard time imaging that something this color (it really is a gorgeous shade of green) wouldn’t taste super-“earthy”–like grass. I never imagined it could taste delicious. But it absolutely does. More on that in a minute…
The idea of juicing got going for us while we were in Mexico. During our down time in our room we watched lots of movies on our Kindle Fire and the first one was this:
This is the story of entrepreneur, Joe Cross, an Aussie who went on a 60-day juice fast while traveling across the United States and filming his interactions with the folks he met along the way. His reason for embarking on this was to both lose weight (he was over 300 lbs at the start of the fast) and clear up a debilitating autoimmune skin disease. His juice fast accomplished both, and he has since helped thousands of people “reboot” (pump up their nutrition) with juice. You can link to his website here. I recommend this movie–it’s both very entertaining and informative.
For me, the most compelling part of this movie was the disappearance of Joe’s autoimmune disease. I believe in the body’s ability to heal itself if cleared of toxins and given proper plant-based nutrition. Juicing helps with both. By juicing, it is possible to consume lots of the amazing micronutrients in vegetables and fruits without needing to consume baskets of food. Admittedly, you are leaving out the fiber, but I consume plenty of fiber in my vegan diet. I can struggle however, to get enough dark leafy greens, even with my nightly salad.
So David and I decided to treat ourselves to a good quality juicer and we chose this Omega:
Kind of cute, no?
Breville and Omega are the two most popular brands of juicers. There are pros and cons to both, and after watching lots of side-by-side demos on youtube we decided to go with the Omega, mostly because it handles the leafy greens better and has less air so the juice is a bit denser/more nutritious. It does take more time than using the Breville because you have to cut up your veggies into smallish pieces rather than jamming the whole lot down a chute. Surprisingly, clean-up is very quick and easy. If you’re in the market for a juicer, I recommend taking a look at some of these comparison videos.
If you’ve never juiced you may be wondering about the process, so I thought I’d take some shots of today’s juicing. The recipe for the green juice you see above ( the Joe Cross “mean, green” juice) is:
4 celery stalks
1 large cucumber
6-8 kale leaves (I like Tuscan)
2 granny smith apples
1/2 lemon (peeled)
1 inch piece of fresh ginger
Here’s the pile of veggies, washed, cut and ready to go:
I did peel the lemon before juicing. The cucumber was organic so I didn’t bother peeling that. The juicer can pretty much handle anything. After about 5 minutes of feeding the veggies into the juicer the set up looks like this:
The (very dry) pulp is pushed out while the juice drops out the bottom. There’s a mesh dish on top of the juice that further strains the pulp:
And here’s the daily output (I refrigerate David’s until he gets home) :
This green juice is so refreshing- a bit sweet and a bit tart. And the more I drink, the more I crave. There’s no question that the mix is exactly what my body needs. This amount of veggies makes about 24 oz of juice which David and I share. I could easily chug down the whole thing myself!
I am continually learning about ways to bump up my vegan nutrition, and adding one good “infusion” of juice a day feels like an important addition to my diet. I have my juice mid-afternoon, my prime noshing time. I’ve noticed that I feel less hungry and have more energy after drinking the juice. I can’t think of a diet (vegan or non) that wouldn’t be improved with some good quality green juice.
If you’re not sure if this is for you, Whole Foods has a juice bar and they offer a similar green juice plus some other brightly colored options. If your experience with juice is as limited as mine was, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised, both by how the juice tastes and (more importantly) how you will feel. Definitely worth a try.
Since I’m a juicing newbie, I haven’t ventured beyond this basic recipe but I’m always interested in recommendations. If you are a juicer and you have a favorite blend I’d love to hear about it.
So down the hatch and here’s to our good health. Cheers!