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?