This is my new juicer…it is a centrifugal. I was deciding between this one and a masticating. However, Hubs knows me well. My schedule is hectic & juicing every morning for both me & the Brownboy Superheroes before walking them to school can already be a challenge. The extra ten minutes it would probably take me to wait for a masticating juicer to finish juicing & to wash the contraption could be the difference between getting them to school juiced up on time or receiving lots of tardies. And that’s no bueno. So I have used the Breville the last couple mornings & I am in LOVE! If my old juicer was a pair of reliable Nine West work pumps my new juicer is a brand new pair of YSL f___ me stiletto platforms by comparison. Fellas, think stepping up from a Honda Civic to a Mercedes CLS 550. It’s a sleek, sexy head-turner & better yet, it cleans up like a dream. I recommend stainless steel, even in the more price friendly models because it cleans up much easier than plastic. Even after a good bleaching a well-used white plastic juicer is going to be impossible to get shiny & new. Plus, it’s a good idea to keep your juicer on your countertop for easy access & stainless will look much nicer. It may seem trivial but it’s a psychological thing. My old juicer wasn’t quite so aesthetically pleasing so I kept it in the cabinet below the counter where I juice. Some days, I literally pictured myself lugging my juicer out of the cabinet like it’s this ginormous, energy-sucking feat requiring at least two people. That’s dramatic, right? Well, that’s me! But honestly, this thought has stopped me from juicing on more than one occasion. Lame, right? I know, but it’s real. So just something to think about when choosing a juicer. However, don’t let the aesthetics outweigh the functionality.
Today I just wanted to quickly take you through my morning juicing so you can get a better idea of the basics. In Part 3 of this series, I will talk about the foods that are best for juicing & blending (some can be juiced but not blended & vice versa) & what other foods are important to creating a plant-based diet that works for your individual lifestyle. In the final post of the series, I will discuss three tiers of detoxing so you can pick/adjust the one that is most realistic for your personal goals. This should put us in a great place to start the juice feast October, 1. Now remember, juice feasting by my definition does not require you to drink strictly juice. However, you will be cutting out a lot of unhealthy stuff, so start preparing NOW. It will help your detoxing process. If you need a refresher or you’re just joing us, look back at my posts recalibrate: getting my mind & body back on track, setting goal & planning, & poor planning for an overview.
If you look at the picture at the very top, you can see that I use a bag in the catch basket to help expedite clean-up. I love the produce bags best because they fit perfectly, they’re something I get more of every week & they’re free.
This is what I juiced this morning… In the colander I have 2 apples–1 Fiji, 1 Granny Smith–2 large handfuls of spinach, 3 leaves of kale, 3 leaves Swiss chard, a handful of parsely, 1/4 of a pineapple & a whole cucumber. Can you imagine eating all of that? Even half of that for breakfast? This quantity made me 32 oz of fresh juice to which I added distilled water at about a 4:1 juice ratio.
If you are familiar with kale, you may be used to seeing curly kale. Pictured above is dinosaur or lacitino kale. Try them & decide for yourself. Curly kale is more common & much easier to find. I prefer dinosaur but sometimes I don’t have a choice. Regardless, kale is an excellent source of Vitamin A & C (anti-oxidants). It provides over 500% of the former & 200% of the latter RDA (recommended daily allowance). Vitamin A supports healthy mucus membranes & skin and is essential for vision. Foods rich in vitamin A also offer protection against lung and oral cavity cancers. (You can get a better idea of what vitamins support what body parts by looking at the link beautiful foods on the menu bar.)
The second picture is Swiss chard. This is green but it also comes in red & multi-colored stalks including white. The red may muddy your bright green juices & aesthetics would be the only reason not to use them. So if you are having company & serving green juice–no, this is NOT a crazy idea! It will make for great conversation & maybe you will make a friend in the struggle to get healthy. 😉 An option would be to pair red chard with beets and serve it in a wine glass. It contains about 33% of your RDA for vitamin C & a whopping 700% of your vitamin K! It also provides vitamin A & B-complex vitamins. Regular inclusion of Swiss chard in the diet has been found to prevent osteoporosis, iron deficiency anemia, vitamin A deficiency & it is believed to protect against cardiovascular diseases, colon & prostate cancers. So men, go out and buy some chard too!
Lastly, a little parsley will take you a long way. The same goes for ginger & garlic so don’t overdo them. Parsley is a powerful little herb so next time you have some on your plate, don’t toss the garnish to the side, it eat! I remember when I was little & I would go out to eat with my Aunt Marie, she would tell me to eat my parsley because it was good for me & would make my breath smell good. I thought this was crazy. She lived to be 95. Enough said. Parsley is rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals. Although in juicing fiber is 86ed, when eaten otherwise, the dietary fiber in chard helps control blood cholesterol levels, prevent constipation, protect the body from free radicals & cancers. It has been rated as one of the plant source with highest anti-oxidant activities. It is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids, helping control heart rate & blood pressure by countering the effects of sodium. Iron is essential for heme production inside red blood cells. And check THIS: It is probably the richest of herbs for vitamin K, providing 1366% of recommended daily intake! I talked about vitamin K in swiss chard but it’s important to know, vitamin K has been found to have a potential role in bone health by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones. It also has an established role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain. There is so much more but you get the gist, right? So EAT IT!
Now for a lil’ lesson in technique. Greens should be passed through the juicer first because you can use your harder fruits and veggies like celery and apples to push everything through. I like to pass greens through, then a couple slices of apples, another softer fruit or veg & then more apples to keep things moving through smoothly. When you are juicing leafy greens be sure to load them in manageable handfuls, pushing them down through the chute. You will get a very concentrated amount of dark green juice & it may not seems like a lot but don’t underestimate their powers.
When adding apples or anything else with a seed, I prefer to chop them into quarters & seed them however, most machines can support the seeds. I just figure they dull the blades & it only takes a second to remove them. Fruits & veggies like pineapples & cucumbers can be passed through in long slender chunks. Apples go in every juice I make. They’re typically inexpensive, provide a good amount of sweetness & are low on the glycemic index. I use green apples the most because they fall lower on the glycemic index although red varietals are known to be higher in anti-oxidants, fiji being one of the highest. *Note: If you are blending or eating them whole, they aren’t as high in fiber as some other fruits or vegetables but the the fiber found in apple may combine with other apple nutrients to provide you with the kind of health benefits you would ordinarily only associate with much higher amounts of dietary fiber. For example, they help prevent absorption of dietary-LDL, or bad cholesterol in the gut. The fiber also saves the colon mucous membrane from exposure to toxic substances by binding to cancer-causing chemicals inside the colon. Pineapples contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain that digests food by breaking down protein. Bromelain also has anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting & anti-cancer properties. Have you noticed how all these fruits & veggies have cancer fighting powers? Also, studies have shown that regular consumption of pineapple helps fight against arthritis, indigestion & worm infestation. Don’t even get me started on worms! Like all the fruits & veggies I’ve discussed, pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is required for the collagen synthesis in the body. Collagen is the main structural protein your body & it is required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps body protect from scurvy, develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity) & scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals you body.
That sounded pretty scientific for a chick who almost failed Physics for Artist in college, huh? True story. Hey, C’s get degrees! Just kidding, don’t tell my kids I said that! Well, if you haven’t fallen asleep yet, I wanna let you know I will be posting a few more recipes over the next few days for both juices & smoothies so when October 1 rolls around you will all be pros. And no excuses people! My hubs is on a Navy ship full of manly Manwich eating men, blending smoothies daily in a Bullet. And he used to be one of those Manwich eating men. If he can get it done, so can you! FYI–Manwich is not “the taste that makes everyone smile.” 😦 Stay tuned for Juicing 101-Part 3. Until then…
Love & Light,