Well really just one problem, but it was a big one.
Until recently, I felt extreme guilt about my vegetable-intake. I wasn’t anywhere near five servings a day and it really gnawed at my conscience because I love veggies and live in the land of organic, local greens and perpetual farmers’ markets.
I’ve also been practicing Bikram yoga, which has been great for getting rid of stubborn water weight. The problem is that it purges my body of essential nutrients as well. Not only that, but in my post-yoga-lobotomized state, cooking a healthy veggie-rich meal is akin to operating a bulldozer while on Valium.
Then I got to try the Omega Vert Juicer, a slow-churning machine that condenses days worth of veggies into a drink you can garnish with an umbrella.
According to the product description on the website, the low speed technology of the juicer allows the healthy enzymes in your vegetables to stay intact, which isn’t the case when you cook your greens or use high-speed blenders. Since replacing the vitamins and minerals you lose while sweating it out in yoga is essential, juicing quickly became my go-to before and after each session.
A week into conscientious juicing, I felt reborn. My legs no longer cramped in Bikram and I noticed a huge difference in my skin. It was softer, more luminescent (I credit my use of cucumber in every batch). Not to mention guilt over my veggie intake was severely dissipated, freeing myself up to dwell on other inadequacies.
A word on the juicing process:
The first time I juiced it was an experience—mostly because I have an aversion to reading directions. Still despite my stubbornness and lousy track record with appliances, I managed to assemble the contraption with ease. If I can do it, this surely means whoever designed the thing, should apply for a job at Apple. It’s the iPhone of juicers—that intuitive and sleek.
I wish I could say the rest of the process was as seamless, but somehow I managed to get kale and spinach everywhere—even my walls. I blame this on being a novice since by the second or third time, I was juicing with no spills. The only downside to the juicer is that you must clean all 548346 pieces (I'm exaggerating) thoroughly. The first time I did it, I comforted myself with the thought that I was burning extra calories. If you don’t have a garbage disposal, as I don’t, disposing of the pulp can be a drain-clogging pain. But again, this just takes practice because within a week, I got the whole operation down to 15 minutes, including the chopping of the vegetables.
For several weeks, I experimented with various recipes, but have landed on my favorite: kale or rainbow chard, half a pineapple, and cucumber. I like using kale and chard so that I feel good about eating superfoods, and because I find those vegetables unsatisfying to cook. (No matter how large the bushel is, it always seems to reduce down to a couple forkfuls after steaming.) The pineapple adds a sweetness to the concoction, which cuts any bitterness from the leafy greens, while the cucumber adds a fresh spa-like flavor. I’m not kidding you when I say that this legitimately tastes good—like sitting-on-a-tropical-beach-with-a-glass-of-fresh-juice good.
It might be tempting to order that trendy juice cleanse that’s been sweeping the offices of every health and beauty editor in the country. But with a juicer and a little research, you can replicate the process. The Omega even comes with a few recipe suggestions. Check ‘em out below!
Have you found a miracle product recently? Let me know in the comments!
Energy and Vigor
- 3 apples
- 3 celery stalks
- handful of spinach
- handful of kale
- 1 slice of ginger
This juice is an excellent energy enhancer. It’s packed with blood-purifying greens, minerals and vitamins. Spinach and kale are abundant with beta-carotene and vitamin C, which supports liver cleansing and aids in blood flow. Celery is an extremely alkaline vegetable and helps with digestion, giving you a good amount of magnesium, calcium and natural sodium, which together helps transmit signals from our brains to our muscles so that they function properly, clearly a benefit for energy levels. Ginger is excellent at helping to reduce inflammation in the body, especially in the joints, therefore helping to support maneuverability.
Stamina and Endurance
- 4 apples
- 2 bananas
- 1 Tbsp Spirulina, Chlorela or Blue-Green Algae
- Handful of almonds
Banana and spirulina are good sources of potassium and important for the conversion of glucose to glycogen for energy. Magnesium (from bran, almonds and spirulina) is important for the storage and release of glycogen. Almonds are also a high energy food, producing six calories per gram. Adequate levels of chromium (banana) and zinc (from spirulina) help balance blood sugar regulation and therefore energy production.