I’m Juicing!

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I’m so excited about this post!  For years I’ve wanted to “juice.”  I’ve given it a lot of thought… I’ve researched the benefits… I’ve contemplated how to integrate it into my life.  Finally… it happened!

There were two synergistic influences that gave me the gusto to start juicing.  First, I attended Dr. Brian Clement’s lecture.  He was very inspiring in his discussion of the importance of getting as much live foods into our daily diet to prevent illness.  I was so inspired that went home and reignited my juicing research.  I also researched juicers.  I like to check out reviews online and youtube reviews, and I came across this video from a gent named Virgilio:

He was so honest in his review of juicing!  After years of my own research, I thought he was really on point!  And I thought… if he could do what he did, I can do this, too!  Thanks for being such an inspiration Virgilio!  You Rock!

(And… Check out his little containers of wheat grass growing on his counter-top!  Love it!)

I’m most interested in green juices (i.e. pure vegetable juice).  There are a tremendous number of protective benefits offered by drinking green juices.  The juice from green vegetables and wheatgrass is rich with minerals, vitamins, enzymes and other disease inhibiting phytonutrients and it doesn’t raise blood sugar.  Green juice helps to fortify the immune system, detoxify the body, energize the body, alkalinize the blood and reduce sugar cravings.

When consumed immediately the concentration of nutrients is higher in a “live” green juice.  The punch of nutrition provided by a green juice, made from real vegetables, is also favourable to taking a “green” supplement (powder, capsules or tablets).  Green smoothies are also great because we can get raw greens blended into a delicious smoothie.  The difference with a green juice is we can get the nutrients from way more greens in one glass.

I really wanted to start juicing for four reasons:

1) To boost my immune system this winter.

2) Add something little every day that will prevent chronic illness.

3) To provide a daily shot of green juice for my family members.

4) To learn how to juice wheat grass.

Here’s what I did to get started…

1) Researched which “masticating” slow juicer was the best fit for our family.  These juicers do not juice plant material at high speeds, which helps to preserve all the delicate nutrients that I’m looking to gain by juicing.  Examples include Breville, Omgea, GreenStar & Angel juicers.

2) Researched reviews about the juicers because I needed something that everyone agreed was easy to clean.  Juicers are notorious for being high maintenance.

3) Made a spot for it on my counter top.  I wanted to juice daily to get the health benefits every day.

4) Researched how long a fresh juice keeps.  Although it’s best to consume a green juice as soon as it’s made, I found out it keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for about 72 hours.

5) Made sure I had a mesh strainer and a bowl that fit it.  Like my inspiration in the youtube video above, I wanted no pulp in my juice.  Just pure green liquid.

I chose the Omega VRT juicer.  I liked that it provided a good amount of distance from the machine’s spout to the counter, so I wouldn’t be limited with the type of collection vessel I could use for the juice.  Also, all the reviews said it was really easy to clean, which is what I have discovered too (thankfully!)!  I can make prep the veggies, juice them and clean the juicer in about 10 minutes.  This timing has worked for me so far.

set up

My juicing set up. The spout on the left collects the plant material after juicing. It’s remarkable, but the plant material is nearly dry! The spout on the right is where the juice comes out. I placed my bowl with strainer under it to get a pulp free juice.

I made my first couple juices and got a sense of what greens worked.  I discovered really quick to not juice a whole lemon… this resulted in a super bitter juice because of the peel.  However, I have found that the juice from just green vegetables is very pleasant tasting.  I haven’t needed to add an apple or carrot to sweeten it.  This is good, since I am going just for the green.

Here’s my favourite juice so far:

greens

Super Green Immune Juice

1 handful of fresh dill  (Any herb can be used here… I’ve used parsley, too. )

5-6 leaves of kale

2 stalks of celery

5-6 leaves of swiss chard

1 inch piece of ginger (peel removed) – this is my secret super power immune booster for the fall and winter.  I’ll get a dose of ginger juice everyday to help ward off infectious microbes and stimulate my immune system.

green juice

Makes 1/2 litre of juice!

You can see how many greens we can get with juicing.  I have also added cucumber in other juices I have made.  There are a plethora of green juice recipes online… but I just experiment with what I have to see what works and what doesn’t.  I recently juiced the rinds and white pulpy part of a watermelon.  Usually we would have discarded this, but it was easily juiced by my juicer.  Plus, the health benefits of this part of the watermelon have long been documented.

I’m not going to get into fasting or reducing my caloric intake the days I have a glass of the green stuff.  I’m simply going to add a glass or two in addition to my usual meals so I can maximize the amount of nutrients every day.

I haven’t set things up just yet to sprout wheatgrass at home.  I’m working on it and once I get my ducks in a row, I’ll do a post on how to sprout wheat grass and juice it.

I’ll also keep you posted about my juicing adventures!  🙂

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