I haven’t had much time to write this week because my daughter has been sick with a double ear infection. It hasn’t been pretty. She’s been a coughing, sneezing, snot dripping mess and I’ve been right next to her for most of the tissue wiping cleanup. My race shirts (which I’ve been wearing since Tuesday) are caked with mucous and germs, but I’ve worn them with pride.
Other than that, this week has been very low key for me and my running. I had the Iron Girl half marathon last Sunday. Since then, I’ve been trying to stay kind to my body seeing how I tortured it through those 4 giant bridges. I wanted to give my knees an adequate amount of time to recover before heading out for another run. I’ll probably take a stroll this evening to test out my legs and if all goes well tonight, maybe head out to the trail tomorrow morning for some easy mileage.
I’ve done a little yoga and some basic runner stretches over the past five days. I’ve also kept up with my Plank-a-day challenge, although, the Plank Police keep busting me for not posting to my twitter account. I promise that I’m getting plenty of plank in my life due to the harassment of the Plank Police. They’re actually really great at keeping me honest. I missed all last weekend and they issued me a “Fine.” It’s all kinda funny if you ask me. I got home from work Tuesday night and realized I hadn’t planked all day so I dropped down at midnight and planked for a minute just so I wouldn’t hear it from the authorities in the morning.
As of recently, I’ve been evalutating my eating habits . I tried to start a log, and in doing so I’ve realized that I’m managing my own meals well, but I’m snacking off the baby’s plate way too much. Since she barely eats much these days (due to the finicky toddler eating stage she’s going through) I have felt that it’s my duty to finish off her leftovers so the food doesn’t go to waste. I know, it’s not the best habit for a Mommy to begin. Not to mention, whenever she gets sick, I get it too. Which brings me to my second point….. we are both sick. Obviously, her cold is a lot more aggressive because she is so tiny and vulnerable, whereas mine is just another scratchy, raw, frog-in-the-throat kind of feeling.
So with all my eating habits and illnesses in mind, I’ve decided that I need to get both my eating and my juicing habits back on track. Juicing helps to keep me from getting sick with all those extra immune boosting vitamins and phytonutrients. So I began my juicing again this week. I started with a trip to the grocery store to pick out some fresh produce and then I busted out my juicer. I’ve always liked recipes that contain celery but they can be difficult to juice due to their consistency, however, celery juicers can be more affordable than you think considering how powerful they need to be, so I’m lucky. I use the Jack Lalanne Power Juicer. It’s been really good to me so far. Since getting back into juicing, I’ve been tempted to upgrade to something more modern and have been spending a fair amount of time perusing the products on hurom.com so watch this space.
While I was preparing the veggies, I happened to notice my little helper was getting into the crisper grabbing her own veggies to play with.
Today I wanted some big power greens for an immunity boost so I went with a few leaves of Swiss Chard.
Now and then, I like to saute up some Chard with some garlic and crushed red pepper. It has a slightly bitter taste in it’s raw form but it fades with cooking, leaving a more refined flavor that is more delicate than spinach. (extremely yummy), but today these full leaves were going to be juiced to perfection. Chard is part of the beet family, but it’s a great substitute for other power greens like spinach leaves. The leaves have the majority of the nutrients so I tend to cut off the roots before I juice them. I use Rainbow Chard predominantly for juicing, but this particular week my grocer didn’t have Rainbow so I went with the Swiss.
I sliced up a couple stalks of celery and a few carrots. I never have to cut the celery or shave the carrots when I juice them, but I do wash them very well and I buy organic whenever they are available. I cut off the tops of the carrots before juicing, but the Jack LaLanne handbook states that it’s not necessary.
The same thing is true for my apples. Even though I slice them up into quartered slices, the manual says that it is not necessary to core an apple or remove the seeds. However, I have heard that apple seeds should not be consumed in large quantities because they contain a molecule which produces cyanide once ingested. I’m only juicing one apple at a time, so I’m not too concerned. If you read my post on my previous juicing adventures, you’ll know that I mostly eat/use Fuji apples because I find them to be the sweetest and most delicious apples on the planet. One Fuji apple will sweeten up my green veggies enough that my toddler will even drink it.
So let’s inventory what I’ve got so far:
- 3 Swiss Chard Leaves
- 2 Large Celery Stalks
- 2 Whole Carrots
- 1 Fuji Apple
I always begin with the leafy greens. With the Chard I like to roll it up like a lettuce wrap before dropping it into the juicer. For the rest of the produce, I just drop it in the chute and push it down with the plunger. I’m so amused by the juice from the greens when it begins oozing out of the spout. It looks like creepy monster slime. Maybe I’m slightly reminded of a show from my childhood where the cast was drenched with a similar substance whenever they verbalized the phrase “I don’t know.”
Anyway, back to the subject at hand……
The greens go into the juicer first, then the remaining produce and finally we have a blended concoction of liquified goodness. All together, this particular selection of produce will yield approximately 12 ounces of juice. I like to stir it up a little and throw in some crushed ice. If I wanted to make this into a smoothie, now would be the time to transfer all this liquid into a blender, add Greek yogurt, protein powder, ice and blend. This particular day, I’m sticking with the true liquid form. If you’ve never tried a fresh veggie juice before, I highly recommend you try one. I was so hesitate about tasting my first batch, but I honestly liked it right away. No need to be afraid of the green monster. It’s quite delicious and goes down very easy.
In the next 30 days, I’m going to incorporate at least five days a week of juicing back into my diet. I feel like I was at my most energetic and healthiest at that point in my diet and I can’t wait to feel that again. In combination, I’m going to continue to cut back on the unnecessary sugars and refined carbohydrates. My ultimate goal is to ease away completely from these items, but I am more than aware just how difficult that process it will be. So I’m still continuing with some small changes. No cakes, candies or pies for the next 30 days. I am going to allow myself some of these amazing Skinny Girl margaritas for Cinco de Mayo, and my morning coffee will still have flavored creamer, but I’m seriously going to cut back with everything else.
In the mean time, I’m going to work on getting my toddler’s eating habits back on track and attempt to get back on the pavement pain free. Wish me luck.
Do you have any juicing experience you’d like to share? I would love to hear any combinations or blending recipes that you have.