So I sit here writing this blog with the theme of Star Wars playing in my head…..a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…….. I know, I am so strange……..could be because Disney just bought out LucasFilms for 45 quadrillion dollars, such a travesty, I am hoping Disney doesn’t murder the franchise.
Anyways, to fill you all in on my juicing saga:
First of all, let me say that this Breville Juicer is AMAZING, really it’s absolutely incredible! My juicer is The Juice Fountain Plus, get it on Amazon.com with free shipping and it’s the best price you can probably find. This thing is so powerful, it turns fruits and veggies into dry powder (think sawdust here people). It is so powerful that even on low, it too strong for soft fruits like citrus. It sounds like an airplane lifting off when you turn it on, and it puts out so much force that unless you are hanging on to the food pusher, the food pusher will almost levitate right out of the feed chute!!!!!!!
The one and only thing I do not like about the juicer is having to clean out the fine mesh basket that houses the blades. Thank goodness Breville includes a long handled brush specifically for cleaning the basket, which works fairly well, but even then sometimes I stand there and mutter death threats to the juicer as I am cleaning the basket. You do have to take the time to clean it extremely well each time, if you do not, it will be too clogged for the next time you juice and the machine will not work well at all. I have found that letting it soak for a while in the hottest tap water you can get does help soften all the pulp that has been shoved into the mesh.
***Just a disclaimer notice: I am in no way endorsed or compensated by Breville or Amazon.com. Neither of these companies know I even exist, and they never will I am sure, BUT I have to tell you of course which model of juicer I got, and where I got the best deal from!!!!***
So the very first full day of juicing, I juiced 32 ounces of juice for breakfast, and the same amount for lunch. By 3 pm I had a SCREAMING headache, and had to have some cheese and lean protein to snack on. We had dinner plans that evening at a friend’s house, so I ate a regular dinner.
The next day, I juiced for breakfast and I juiced for lunch, and the headache came back again. That’s when I decided that there was no way that I could do the full on juice-only fast, and expect to go to work and be able to function in such a way that I would get to keep my job and not be fired!!!
I am doing a modified version of the total fast: 32 ounces of juice for breakfast, then some lean protein and maybe some dairy for lunch. My lunch break at work isn’t until 2, and I either go home at that time and make another 32 ounces of juice for the afternoon, or I wait until dinner, and have my protein and carbs with 32 ounces of juice then.
I have no idea if I am losing any weight or not, I have not weighed myself since starting. I know what I weighed before I started juicing (and NO, I am not telling you what that was or else I will start crying) but I have a doctor appointment in 2 weeks, and will weigh again there and let you know. I know that I have more energy than I used to, I feel good about finally getting lots fruits and veggies added into my diet, and my body seriously craves the juice. I missed one full day of juicing and I noticed such a difference in my energy levels and I just felt something was missing.
I have basically cut out all snacking except for drinking my juice. If I am going to have something sweet, I am trying my best to only have it at dinner after my meal.
Now, as far as juice recipes go, I really should have started doing this juice thing before the summer fresh produce season was up. Of course, during the fall, winter, spring, your options are somewhat limited.
As far as veggies go, I juice a TON of carrots and celery as my veggies, sometimes I throw in some spinach. I have been putting in kale the past 2 days and yuck!!!! It is so bitter! Once I use up the 2 bunches of kale I bought, I don’t think I will buy it again, it is just too much for me to handle. It adds such a funk to the juice, I can’t handle it. Cucumber is really yummy with the carrots and celery too. I would love to try some beets, but they are just so expensive at our grocery stores here! I have been trying to think of other ideas for veggies I can try, maybe some sweet potatoes might be interesting. Not quite sure how much juice I will get from them, but they are relatively inexpensive and super good for you. I can’t stand tomato juice, so I haven’t gone there yet, and can’t bring myself to juice them yet. I try really hard to keep at least 50% of my juice volume as veggie juice each time I make a bottle of juice.
The best way to juice softer veggies, like kale or spinach, is to put them in the feed chute with the firmer veggies like celery or carrots. If not, even a high quality juicer may kick the leafy veggies into the disposal bin without ever juicing them, and that’s just a huge waste.
Now fruits are easy of course, who doesn’t love fruit, right? My juice always consists of apples, they are relatively affordable, and buying my favorite granny smiths in the small size in pre-measured weight bags seems to be the way to go. The smaller ones fit in the 3 inch feed chute of the juicer without any cutting, and the small apples seem to be more reasonably priced. Why, I don’t know, unless it has something to do with America’s obsession of size over quality……..anyways, I digress. Apples are great, use any kind you want, whatever is your favorite.
Oranges, lemons, and limes are good, just make sure you peel them first or else the oil in the peel can totally overwhelm the juice and make it really bitter. Tangerines are in season right now, so I have been using those too. Same thing as the other citrus, just make sure you peel them first. I love, love, love red grapefruit, and would love to use it in my juices, but one of the medications I take does not mix well with grapefruit so I really can’t have it. I find that if you are going to add citrus fruit, put a hard fruit in first like an apple, then citrus, press down the food pusher to feed them throw then repeat as needed.
Pineapple is awesome, I cut the top and bottom off, stand the pineapple up and go around with a small knife taking the exterior layer off from top to bottom. Then just cut into 4 vertical wedges, then cut those in half and you have enough for 4-8 juicings. I use an 8th of a pineapple at a time, with all the other fruit, it adds just enough pineapple flavor.
I have even juiced some cranberries, those were pretty darn tricky. My juicer is so powerful it was kicking them out of the feed chute as I was pouring them in, I felt like I was in a drive by shooting and dodging bullets!!!! Julia Child would have been passed out laughing on the kitchen floor if she had been there. What a mess, I was chasing rolling cranberries all over the kitchen floor……. So the best way to juice something like that is to put another fruit in first, like my handy dandy reliable apple, pour in cranberries on top of that, THEN push everything through together with the food pusher.
Another thing I have been adding to almost every juice is some ginger root. I am totally addicted to ginger, and have been for a long time, so I just love the flavor it adds to the juice. You should try it some time, take a 1 inch piece of ginger root, some apples, celery and carrots and juice them together. It’s awesome!!!
I am looking forward to next summer with all the berries coming back into season and getting some fresh produce at the farmers market. I can’t wait!
I carry my juice around in a translucent 32 ounce Nalgene bottle with a screw lid. This works great for carting my juice around everywhere with me, but one word of caution: DO NOT try to drink any of your juice while driving down a bumpy road. Depending on what you have in your juice, it can stain clothing and car interiors pretty badly, and I would recommend avoiding that, or else more death threats will be directed towards your juicer, and these might be yelled, not muttered under your breath.
That’s all for now…….HAPPY JUICING EVERYONE!!!!!