Adventures in Juicing

When we were in France, our friends told us about an interesting documentary they’d recently seen: Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.  We love documentaries, so last week the three of us watched it, too.  Basically, this Australian guy is hugely overweight and has an autoimmune problem that messes up his skin. He’s on a ton of meds and just feels sick all the time. To fix himself, he embarks on a 60 day juice fast. He uses a juicer to juice all kinds of veggies & fruits, and lives off them – plus his excess weight – for 60 days.

Also, he travels around America and acts generally preachy and pious to everyone he meets. That was a bit of a turnoff, but the story got better when a truck driver he met calls him and asks for help. Watching this poor guy struggle, and then seeing how he improves in all kinds of ways – including losing 200 pounds – was really inspiring. He went from not being able to walk more than a few minutes & having sores on his legs from poor circulation to walking, swimming, and eventually jogging.  It was astounding.

Here are the thoughts we had after watching it:

1. We don’t eat nearly enough vegetables. A juicer would help us get a lot of veggies with minimal effort.

2. Wow, the dudes’ skin looked great! Sure, the leafy greens offer tons of health benefits, and these guys both lost a lot of weight, but what struck me was, wow – such nice skin! :)

3. A juice fast might be something we could try for a week, but we’re pretty skeptical about doing it for longer. The FS&ND guy calls the 7 or 10-day fasts “reboots”, which seems ok to try. In the long-term, I could see replacing a meal or two with juice, since it’s packed with micronutrients, but I also need some protein or I’ll be too tired to get through my day. (Can we juice beans? That could be cool.)

So, after a debate about Vitamix ($400 but it multitasks) versus juicer ($50-400 but it only juices), we decided to go with a cheap juicer, at least to start. We bought a Waring, the same model as our friends have, for about $50. It gets prettty good reviews.  Here it is:

Last night, we had our first Adventure in Juicing.  I pulled a recipe from SpaBettie‘s site (I found her through my amazing friend Carla of mizfitonline), and one from the FS&ND site, and sent Frank & Christopher to the store for supplies on their way home from baseball practice.  Here’s what they brought home.

Not pictured: box of donuts also purchased.

The SpaBettie recipe called for kale, a yellow bell pepper, and pineapple. Eh, what the hell…seemed like a good place to start.

I think Frank enjoyed smashing the veggies into the machine.

Here’s what kale/pepper/pineapple juice looks like. It’s really pretty:

Here goes nothing.

Our reaction?  Two of the three of us decided we could handle this recipe from time to time. The third decided that gagging noises and crying were an excellent way to express an opinion.

On to the next recipe, from the FS&ND site: carrots, apples, and ginger. A nice orange Fall juice.

We all thought this one was pretty good, though we’d probably halve the ginger next time as its taste was a bit overpowering.

We were pleased that a little bit of the pulp made it into the juice, as it provided a nice texture, and some fiber.

Stay tuned for more juicetastic adventures.

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