The Jenninator goes healthatronic

I’ve been wanting to use the word ‘healthatronic’ more ever since I coined it one fateful, vegetarian night.

And now, I am. Because I am engaging in a veeeeery healthy endeavor these days: juicing!

One day, as the story goes, a free juicer showed up in the mail. I cackled with glee, took it home, and it sat there for at least a month . . . my excuse is that I was in Alaska.

Alaska, Alaska . . . always putting a wrench in things.

But let’s rewind and go back to the very beginning of the story. How did this ‘juicing’ thing even come on to my radar? Well, it all started one summer evening at our church’s summer women’s Bible study. As we sat around a table munching on Caesar salad and cupcakes, our pastor’s wife, Traci, started talking about how juicing had helped calm her arthritis many years ago (along with going gluten-free). She described how much better she felt when she was juicing, and recommended that if we were interested in learning about the health benefits, we should watch a documentary called ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’ (on Netflix instant play last time I checked).

Then I got the free juicer, and went off to Alaska without ever using it. Thankfully, soon after our return, our church had a community lunch. And as I talked to the ladies, it turned out the the juicing fad was spreading like wildfire in our small church. All the cool kids were juicing. Hearing my friend Sarah describe a morning juice made of apples, pears, and a slice of ginger, my desire for fresh juice was again reignited. It was time to delve into this juicing thing and put that machine to use!

So that night, I queued up the documentary, popped some popcorn, and ordered my husband to join me on a pile of pillows. He was skeptical about the documentary, thinking that it was just a sales pitch for a juicing company–but by the end, he was saying “So let’s talk about the lunch that I take every day–is it healthy? Should I substitute something else for the lunch meat?” and deciding that he didn’t need an egg over his lentils because we eat too many animal products as it is. I love that man. Open-minded, kind, smart–he’s the whole package. But I digress! Micronutrients, people! That’s what we were after.

That very night, after watching the documentary and carefully reading the instruction manual for the juicer, I juiced an apple. Then I juiced a carrot. And I was addicted.

Have you ever had fresh carrot juice? Becuase you will soon be addicted, too.

The following day involved a late night trip to the grocery store, where I purchased two bags full of fresh stuff: apples, pears, 5 pounds of carrots, ginger, oranges, lemons, grapefruit. That night we tried the apple/pear/ginger combo, and I decided I was a true convert. I love fresh juice. It tastes so dang good. It delivers micronutrients to my body. It makes me happy to be alive.

This ain’t no advertisement: I love juicing. And after approximately 1 month of operating it, I love my juicer. I love life, I love bunnies, and I also love small and fuzzy kitties. Oh, and that baby James.

A couple notes about the pros and cons of juicing:

-You gain the benefit of the micronutrients of a whole whoopload of fruits and veggies without eating that much (and thus feeling full). So there’s a higher micronutrient to calorie ratio, as I understand it. In other words, by the time your stomach says “I’m full!” you will have consumed a lot more nutrients than if you were just eating the fruit and veggies directly.

-A direct cause of the above: it’s expensive to juice. Instead of eating one or two carrots, you juice eight of them. So it costs more money to fill your stomach. You’re reducing a lot of fruit and veggie weight into a small cup, so more money–but again, more micronutrients.

-Eventually I’d love to do a 10-day juice cleanse–but maybe when my husband and I can do it together. Like, during his summer break, when he can have access to the juicer for his lunch as well.

-If you start juicing hard core, it can cause some . . . ‘action’ in the stomach/intestines. So Traci recommends ramping up to it instead of jumping in no holds barred. Especially if you use kale (I haven’t gone there yet), which apparently makes things ‘move.’

-One of my concerns was how long it would take to clean the juicer. I’d always heard those things were a pain in the butt to clean–and it has to be done right after using the machine, since the vegetable waste will discolor the machine if left sitting too long. So I timed myself cleaning it at a regular speed (not hurrying, and dawdling a little as I am wont to do):

Five minutes. And that’s counting the pauses to take pictures of the cleaning process. I could probably get it down to three if I were a little more focused.

Most of the parts just need a quick rinse–there’s very little scrubbing action.

I’d love to get up earlier and juice every morning, and then have a small juice at night after dinner for my ‘dessert.’ The problem is, I am a sloth in the mornings. Things that seem absolutely worth getting up for just don’t have the same sheen at 7-something a.m. Know what I mean? So we’ll see. My plan B is to convince my boss to get a juicer for the office, in exchange for sharing my juice-making skills. Then I can juice for breakfast and lunch, and eat a regular dinner.

And see that fish oil there in the background? Yes, I’m now taking those little capsules daily. I’m telling you–totally healthatronic, man.

Anyway folks, this juicer was in the $60-70 range, and I’m quite happy with it. I’ll keep you posted once I try the Big Kahuna: kale.

Have any of you all tried juicing? And has it made a difference in your general health and energy levels?

33 thoughts on “The Jenninator goes healthatronic

  1. kate

    I am still dubious but I want to watch that documentary with my husband. Yes I do. He’s already a daily smoothie type of guy. On another note, you have the same calendar as I do!

    Reply
  2. Jennifer Beach

    Fresh juice is pretty tasty, but one thing you have to be careful of is that some juicers leave all the fiber out of the juice. Sure your left with vitamins and minerals, but you’re also left with a lot of sugar. Fiber is a wonderful thing, especially when sugar is involved because fiber slows down the digestive processes and thereby slowing down the absorption of the sugar so you don’t end up with a sugar high. There are other wonderful things about fiber, like lowering your cholesterol, but I won’t keep going on. I’ll just leave you with this: Fiber is your friend! Don’t leave him behind.

    Reply
    1. Jenna Post author

      So right you are! That’s exactly what my Mom asked–“aren’t you losing the fiber?” (I paraphrase). I’m not exactly sure how that works–which juicers leave it? Which juicers let it through? And which do I have??? I don’t know.

      Reply
      1. Twinky

        …just eat a spoonful or 2 of the fibrous residue after juicing…. eat it BEFORE letting yourself drink the delicious juice: I believe that is called DELAYED GRATIFICATION which you happen to be more than an expert at!!

      2. Jenna Post author

        That’s a great idea Mom! Yes–I’m addicted to delayed gratification.
        Though I suppose there are worse things I could be addicted to.

  3. Layla

    Yeah don’t shy away from Kale! I know recently Josh and I tried kale chips, and even though I made them incorrectly…we could still taste potential, and know that if I made them right, and followed directions, we would like them, since we liked the taste even though I kind of ruined them; that says a lot!

    What happened with the kale chips is I just poured the olive oil over them before baking, which made most WAY too heavy in the oil. Next time I’ll coat them evenly and use less olive oil, so basically I’ll follow the recipe/directions.

    I’m sure they’ll taste great in the juicer too. I’m surprised the cost of that is reasonable, I’ve seen ones that cost a lot more, and read reviews of many types online, and never bought one since I was so overwhelmed and afraid of getting something, paying a lot… and it not lasting.

    Reply
    1. Jenna Post author

      Oooh, kale chips! I’ve heard about them before (all good things), and now I REALLY want to try them! Thanks Layla.

      Reply
      1. Jen

        I am a huge fan of kale! And what a fabulous thought that you can make chips! I’m looking up a recipe right now.

  4. Sarah K.

    Woohoo! I’m glad you like it so much! I agree with the fiber comments. Plus, I tend to get into digestive trouble easily and a lack of fiber does not help! I like the idea of eating a spoonful of the pulp. I wonder what that would be like to add a couple spoonfuls back into the juice. As far as I know the main difference between juicers is the centrifugal kind, which you have, or the masticating kind. The masticating kind doesn’t whip as much air into the juice and leaves more fiber in there. They’re more expensive though and I’ve never tried masticated juice. I have the centrifugal kind and have been really happy with it.

    We also use kale pretty frequently in our morning mix. My advice with that is to ramp up like Traci said, but also combine with at least half a lemon and maybe a granny smith apple. The tartness balances the smell and taste of the rather potent kale. Our breakfast blend (makes 2 big glasses of juice): 2 granny smith apples (or 1 apple & 1 pear), 1 cucumber, 1 carrot, half a lemon, 2 kale leaves, and 2 stalks celery. The combination is subject to change based on what’s in the fridge, but that’s the basic recipe.

    Reply
    1. Jenna Post author

      Oooh, thanks for sharing your recipe! So–how does it taste? I’ll have to buy some of that stuff this weekend and give it a whirl. And try adding some “pulp” back into the juice too, why not.

      Reply
  5. Eric

    “…if we were interested in learning about the health benefits, we should watch a documentary called ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’.”

    Maybe I’m missing something, but those don’t sound like health benefits to me….

    😉

    Reply
    1. Layla

      LOL! Maybe “fat, sick, and nearly dead” WERE the health benefits, and they were even originally worse off than “fat, sick, and nearly dead” before hand…? :o)

      Reply
      1. Jenna Post author

        Now THAT’s a though–maybe they were actually dead and juicing has resurrection powers? (wait, let me check my theology on that . . .)

  6. Tyler

    I’m so jealous you have a juicer! I’ve been wanting one for a while. I make smoothies every day in my blender, but I’d like to try juicing.

    Reply
    1. Jenna Post author

      I think you’d probably love it. I guess you could just come visit and then you can use mine to your heart’s content. =) (hint hint)

      Reply
  7. Kelsey

    Kale takes a little getting used to buy its great! We had roasted kale at work the other day. It was fantastic. A little like steamed kale and a little crunch like a kale chip.

    Luke also adds spinach to our morning shake. It’s no kale but is a step in the green direction. :)

    Reply
  8. Giselle

    I’m so intrigued. I’ve never been big on juice, so I’m not sure what to think! And I guess I’m confused – if you have to drink more calories to get full than if you just ate the fruits/veggies.. how is that better to fix the ‘fat’ problem? I guess really, who ever got fat b/c they ate too many fruits and veggies? So probably cutting out the cheese and steak and flour and all that is really what would make you less fat. Ok I probably answered my own question.

    Reply
    1. Jenna Post author

      I’m not big on processed juice (so much extra sweetener–yikes), but fresh juice is a different story, and I feel like I could drink it all day long. And I think you did answer your own question–though I’m no nutritionist, so for the full story I’d watch the documentary. I think it’s not that you’re drinking more calories than what you would eat, but that there are more nutrients per calorie in the juice (as opposed to ’empty calories’ in foods that add calories without giving your system the good stuff like iron or vitamins or whatnot).

      Reply
  9. Veronica Miller

    I was wondering why you asked the Fairy Hobmother for a juicer! This is so interesting. Juicing is something I’ve been thinking about off and on recently b/c, like you, I was thinking of doing a juice fast. I’ve been eating much more unhealthily (or unhealthatronically, if you will) for the past couple months and I was thinking a juice fast would help get me off to a good start on a more healthy diet. We have a juicer that we made carrot juice with twice (I love it too!) and never used again. I’m going to talk to my hubby about this. I worry about putting him on the fast too since men need more calories to sustain themselves, so I need to do some research. (P.S. I love the same thing about my hubby too–he’s so openminded, kind and smart! We are so blessed!!!!)

    Reply
  10. Dawn King

    I tried the kale chips, not such a success…but I do use it in soup where it is excellent and doesn’t wilt too badly. Juicing sounds interesting…though I’ve been thinking about downsizing and don’t really want any more ‘stuff.’ I think I”ll watch the documentary and see what I think after that.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    Reply
  11. Veronica Miller

    The power of suggestion! We just went grocery shopping tonight and when I saw some Naked juice at Aldi (do you have an Aldi? They have pumpkin puree for $1 a can in Wichita!) I just HAD to have it. It’s mango puree, orange juice, apple juice, and banana with some lemon. It is SO good and I feel so healhty just knowing the good stuff that’s going into my body. It was $4 for a 32 oz bottle, which seemed like a lot, but I bet it would cost that much to make with all the fruit that went into it.

    Reply
  12. Food Jaunts

    Honestly I’ve been interested in juicing more for that exact reason but then there’s all those books that say to not juice since you tend to consumer more calories? Gah, I hate how confusing something simple should be (i.e. drinking delicious juice)

    What’s your take on it for people who are more calorie conscious?

    Reply
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