Monday, September 16, 2013

Jessica does Juicing

So as this year develops I become more and more dedicated to the health and well being of my body. Since it is what I have decided I would like to do with the rest of my life is focus on the health and well being of others through the medium of food, I have been doing some soul searching with my own if you will.

Heck I even ran my first 5k this weekend! Me the girl who once loathed running so much she said she would never be caught dead doing that as a form of exercise let alone for FUN?!

Check this out though, it was a color in motion run in D.C. it supported the fight against childhood obesity and during the run they throw powdered paint at you and at the end you get to look like a rainbow! It was a freaking blast! (Even though admittedly it was not my best run to date, it was my first and I still did it so there!)

Here are some pictures of the fun!
7 A.M. on the metro don't I look pumped!

The gals I did the race with and some of the randoms (there were soooo many people there!)

My name twin Jess who has been trying to get me to race with her forever. She is an avid runner and just did a half marathon (talk about intimidating) but alas I couldn't have asked for a better support system for my first race!

So that was pre race fun, oooh also check out this fun video we did as a warm up.

And now for the post race pics where we are absolutely covered!

Now don't you wanna go sign up for one yourself?

Okay if not that's cool too but I highly suggest it! 

Anyways where were we? Oh yea...

So when I was bored the other day I opted to watch a documentary that a friend had recommended called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (it is available on Netflix instant for those interested in checking it out.) It is a documentary about juicing. Now I would not say I am anywhere near the condition of the participants in the video, but I will say it had me curious. This is definitely an extreme fad diet that has caught the attention of a lot of people. Even after initial viewing of it I decided I wanted to try out a 7-10 day fast. Heck they do it all over the world, why shouldn't I give it a try?

But I did have some concerns. The first being a fruits and veggies fast does sound like a great idea but what about dairy, protein and essential carbs and fibers to keep you going throughout your day?? I then decided that I would juice for breakfast and dinner and keep a solid meal in the middle of my day. That was also aided in the thought process of yes it would be cool to shed a few lbs while doing this but how much is that going to suck to simply gain them all back when you go back to solid foods. I don't want this little experience to be negative and I feel like it could yield some negative thoughts if/when that were to happen. So a meal in the middle sounded solid. Okay so onto the next issue.

This deals with the first juice I made. So I will segue into that for a few minutes.

First of all I must admit that going to the grocery store with the sole intent of only buying produce for juicing was a freaking blast! I have read up a lot of the subject and of course explored oodles of recipes out there before doing this. So I wanted to pick up a good amount of what I was used to produce wise and a few odds and ends pieces that I wouldn't normally incorporate into my diet. Heck that is the whole point of juicing anyways to introduce your body to nutrients it isn't used to and to be consuming them in the first place!

So here is what I came away with!

1 bunch of kale
1 bunch of celery
1 pack of carrots
3 lemons
3 beets
1 bunch of parsley
6 kiwis
3 tomatoes
3 cucumbers
3 red pears 
1 pineapple
Also pictured are a bunch of clementines that I had in the fridge. 

Let the juicing fun begin right!?!

Okay so for my first juice I wanted to do something healthy. A lot of what I read said to not start with a green juice because it just isn't the best one to start with but I kind of ignored that. I love vegetables I always have. So I can definitely do a green juice to start why not?

Oh yeah, because it was going to taste like drinking vegetables. Part of the appeal of veggies is that satisfying crunch that they offer or the freshness to a meal that they provide. So I guess for me that was a little bit lost.

This is what I put in my first ever homemade juice.

Green Juice

1 piece of kale
1 red pear
1 stalk of celery
1 kiwi (peeled)
1 carrot
1 whole cucumber
1 tomato

Wash produce thoroughly and press through juicer. Push the kale through in the middle of the other ingredients. Stir at the end and serve immediately. 


Okay so this juice really wasn't bad. Perhaps a little harsh for a first juice but really fresh. In retrospect I know I was too excited about juicing to not press out some of my loot after buying it all and washing it and packaging it for the week ahead. I mean come on check out this process.

Carefully washing and chopping veggies in half so they fit in bags is not a quick process. Easy and great in the long run but it does take some time. 

So while it didn't have that wow this tastes amazing factor like the next recipe I will share I didn't exactly set it up for success not being real hungry and starting out with an intense healthy juice to begin with. 

Okay so let's go back to the issues I personally have with juicing. If this one wasn't staring me in the face dooming this whole endeavor I don't know what was. 

So when I woke up this morning and all I could think about was preparing a nice meal and remembering that I was determined to try out the juicing thing I was disappointed. One of my favorite things about food is the process of preparing it. Trying new things and getting that recipe just right is something I live for. So I had talked myself into the juice for this morning but ultimately looking forward to lunch and prepping a meal was lingering in the back of my head. Don't get me wrong with juicing there is preparation but it just isn't the same I suppose. 

I did make a pretty fantastic breakfast juice though.

Tropical Fruit Juice
3 clementines (peeled) 
2 kiwis (peeled)
1 lemon (peeled) 
2 carrots
1 stalk of celery
2 slices of pineapple

Make sure your produce is washed thoroughly and non edible skins are peeled off. Push through your juicer and serve immediately. This juice would taste even better served over ice!

As you can tell this one was a hit! I didn't even have time to snap a picture before I started drinking it. I was just thankful that the juice left remnants on the cup so that I had something to show for the color of it. 

So two juices down and many more to go and my philosophy on juicing is already shaped towards the more informed and still quite intrigued. 

I have decided that I am not going to jump on the fad band wagon, well completely that is. I am going to try and incorporate juicing into my life more regularly. I like the idea of it for breakfast and even as a healthy snack. But I don't think that it should be a meal replacement (especially for foodies like me! )

It is a great way to incorporate more nutrients into your diet and to consume fruits or veggies that you might not normally consume. Because as you can see with one juice you can really put so much in there that you may not normally eat in one sitting!

Another pro that I saw in this whole juicing experiment was the ability to be full but also cut out processed foods. That being one of the main drives behind this experiment to eat cleaner really gave me some momentum so I will be keeping that in mind as I go along. 

All in all one of the most important things to me with my health is to not restrict myself and I think that that is exactly what I was setting myself up for. Failure to stick with a crazy fad diet. I believe in a healthy balance of moderation and indulgence. But I do think that when you take anything new on in your life that you should do it gradually and it should be a lifestyle change not a temporary shift in order to see quick results.

So yes I will keep the juicing around, because it does offer a lot of pros. But no I will not being doing it in a dramatic way. Heck I did just buy the juicer I don't want to only use it this week!

Oh and if you are curious about that or interested in juicing (even if it is to just have some fresh OJ or Lemonade on hand!) yourself I would highly recommend this baby. 

It was really well priced at $99.00 (in comparison to others that can run you upwards of $200)
I have only used it for myself so far. If you want to use this for a family or have a juicer on hand that you can use for entertaining purposes I would get a bigger model. (Unless you don't mind cleaning out the pulp a few times in the process to make a larger batch, which isn't hard to do but could get tedious.) It has a powerful engine and easily handles juicing whole fruits and veggies super fast! It is very easy to clean and to maintain the integrity of the juicer I have only hand washed it so far. But it does say that it is dishwasher safe. ( I would only keep that to your upper rack though.) 

Happy Juicing!