Granted, I didn't follow a recipe and I didn't put much thought into it. Like a kid on Christmas, I wanted to play with my new toy right away. So I opened the fridge and juiced what I had: a cucumber, some celery, and an apple. Woah. Ever drink a cucumber? Yeah, don't. I can actually still taste it just telling you about it now, and now my taste buds are ticked.
That was over a month ago, and since then I've gotten online and looked up some actual recipes. It took a few more weeks for me to actually work up the nerve to try some. First I juiced an apple and gave it to my 5 year old, but he wasn't playing. He said he wants apple juice "from the store." "This is from the store!" I said. "I bought this apple from the store." Not convinced, he went back to his Legos.
My next recipe was oranges and carrots, which tasted pretty good, but I added a peach to thicken it. It was pretty darn good! I would totally drink that. But as I was happily sipping on my orange cocktail (which my kiddo did taste a tiny bit of and then spit out...into my husband's glass of water, ew) a thought occurred to me:
I am drinking two carrots, an orange, and a peach. I could be eating two carrots, an orange, and a peach. I could be chewing!
I call it the Chew Factor, and it's important to me. I don't like to drink my calories. Shakes, coffee drinks, and most smoothies are a complete waste of calories to me because when they're gone, I don't feel like I really ate anything. If I am going to use my precious calories on something, I want to chew. But I wasn't chewing. Suddenly my juicer wasn't looking so pretty.
I suspected there was some kind of science attached to juicing so I turned to one of my favorite sources for nutritional information: Joy McCarthy, Holistic Nutritionist. I asked her, what's so great about drinking veggies? Why should I drink them versus eat them? She really helped me feel better about my penchant for chewing: while she recommends juicing (using an 80% veggie/20% fruit ratio for therapeutic purposes), it doesn't take the place of eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Joy says the advantage of juicing is simply a, "mega-watt dose of enzymes, vitamins, and minerals." She also referred me to this article she wrote on juicing, which I recommend you read, too!
My license to chew restored, I've decided to keep trying out my juicer but focus on the fruits and veggies that I wouldn't normally chew anyway. Like, beets. Love 'em. Never eat 'em. Hey, I'll juice 'em!
And maybe turn them into a smoothie. :)
Do you juice? What's your favorite recipe? Have you ever juiced a cucumber? Don't.
I'll let you know how it goes. And in the mean time...you know what I'm gonna say...get out there and get healthy!