We’re Juicing it Tonight

Parenting takes more time and energy than it looks.  So, some of the healthy habits that were easy pre-parenthood take place at odd hours now.  Yesterday, while The Hubs was in class, I went to the produce place.  I got there 10 minutes before they closed and studiously ignored all the hard glares I got from the people working there who just wanted the day to end and go home.  I sympathized, but I needed fruit & veggies so we both dealt with it (at least that’s how I tell it) as I raced through and picked out what I wanted.  As usual, I bought more veggies that 2.5 appetites could handle in a week and headed home.  The Hubs came in from class wiped out and exhausted after a long day.  And as luck would have it, I couldn’t have fit any more veggies in the fridge if there was a crowbar option available with my brand of refrigerator.  So, I did what I usually do when there’s more veggies than room: I juiced.  For the record I am talking about extracting juice from whole fruits and vegetables.  I made the mistake once of looking up “juicing” on the internet and it unfortunately took me a minute to realize why all the search results had to do with power lifting.  Apparently I should have been searching for “juicing for health”.

My parents have been juicing since the days of the Juiceman Jr. which I think came out in the 90s.  The Juiceman Jr. was their first of many juicers.  The Juiceman Jr.  juice was less like juice and more like a meal.  If you’ve looked at the sales descriptions of juicers now that talk about fine mesh extractors, foam removers and horsepower in the motor, it’s because they are trying to get the juice to look like juice.  It didn’t always.  My parents bought several models and brands through the years including Vita-Mix which I  LOVE as a kitchen machine (It’s so more than just a blender), but I don’t think what it makes is as useful as juice from a juice extracting machine since you have to add water and ice to the Vitamix.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s diluted juice.  Great as a smoothie though!  Juice Extracting Machines have come a long way from the Juiceman Jr.  Long story short, after trying way too many machines I’ve settled on the machine by the other Infomercial King: Jack LaLanne.  It’s easy to clean (most important factor), easy to use, doesn’t require a lot of pre-chopping and makes good smooth juice.  It can’t juice bananas or avocado so save those for the smoothies, but it does a great job with just about everything else.

If you’re going to juice, start out small then build your way up.  When I married The Hubs and came home with a juicer, I asked him if he wanted juice (I think he thought I meant store-bought apple juice) and  he said, “Sure!”  S0 ,I made him my usual juice with any and every fruit/vegetable in the kitchen.  I should have started out easy on him, but he likes a challenge so I handed him a glass.  It tasted awful.  To his credit, he wolfed it down and handed me the glass and we didn’t talk about it for a week and then I handed him another glass.  If you’re going to get into juicing, start out with mostly fruit so you get in the habit, then start adding veggies and eventually you can do a 3:1 ratio of vegetables to fruit.  Carrot-apple is a good starting point.  There are recipes that come with the juicers, but if you see one with an onion.  Don’t try it.  Friends of ours tried it and hate may be way to kind of a word to describe their reaction.  Try to vary your juice ingredients as much as possible.  When you get in the habit,  start adding more greens and green vegetables until eventually you can drink a 16-ounce glass of the green juice.  You can juice for taste, but eventually you may want to juice for health.

So, last night around 11pm, the hubs and I had had our juice.  I juiced two big heads of kale, three apples, a pear, and three carrots which gave us a 16 ounce glass each.  The hubs and I have mastered chugging thanks to juice.  You’re supposed to drink it quickly after it’s made to take advantage of all the enzymes and nutrients from the fruits and veggies.  It’s not meant for slow sipping over time and when you get to the point where you’re juicing for health and not taste, there’s not much of a choice.  I’ve been juicing for so long that I don’t know if I actually feel better or it’s a Pavlovian response at this point but I slept perfectly and woke up feeling energized.  I have a bag of collards waiting at home and the hubs is going to get that juice post run on Saturday.  I’m sure he’s excited.