Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Balancing My Many Love Affairs

I have a confession...(unless you know me, then this is more of a known fact), I am not a morning person. Not even a little bit. I relish sleeping in and count down the week days until I get to drift off into the sweet slumber of someone with no alarm in the morning. I have been known to rush through a shower, leave the house with wet hair and skip breakfast just to hit the snooze one more time. It's been a life long love affair between morning sleep and I. Morning sleep is just so much better than evening sleep, where you just go to bed two hours earlier to avoid wanting to sleep two hours more in the morning. This hadn't really been an issue until I began a new love affair. One with a juicer.

Big glasses full of vibrant green juice. Mason jars filled with bright orange juice. The dulcet hum of the motor as entire vegetables are broken down into liquid form. I got a juicer for Christmas, and I admit it, I'm hooked. I had avoided the whole juicing fad all last year, mostly because I saw it as a fad. (I'm also the kind of person who avoided reading "The Da Vinci Code" for over a year just because everyone else loved it.) I read article after article in magazines and online about the benefits of juicing. The joys of juicing. And I thought...."Pssshh. Juicers are expensive. That seems like a lot of work. Why not just eat all those fruits and vegetables instead?" The answer was: because I DON'T eat all those fruits and vegetables. I, like a lot of adults I know, do not get as many fruits and vegetables in my diet as I know I should and juicing is the perfect solution to this problem! I can get multiple servings of the good stuff in one tall, cold glass. As so, a love affair began. But like so many relationships, this one soon began to have problems.

The biggest one being: if I wanted to have my juice first thing in the morning (on an empty stomach so all those amazing vitamins and nutrients can get straight to work), it meant I had to wake up earlier. EARLY. What a terrible word. Juicing requires prep time. Peeling and washing and sometimes even chopping. It requires clean up after. All these things added up to an earlier morning for me, and so, I found my love affair with juicing waning. But then, after a busy few weeks of traveling, a death in the family and the over all stress of a busy life, I found myself missing my juice. I came down with a cold. I felt tired. Now honestly, I don't know if the juice has anything to do with it. But even if it is a placebo effect, I do know I'm getting lots of good things from my juice. So, I started a new routine. To save time in the morning (so I can still get the maximum amount of sleep) I have started prepping my produce the night before. Peeling and washing and chopping, then putting everything in a container in the fridge the night before. I set up my juicer. I put a bag in the pulp container to make clean up in the morning easier. I put my glass under the juice spout so it's one less thing to think about. I've found that just a little time in the evening, makes for a much easier morning! Who would have thought that I, the Queen of Procrastination, would discover the joys and prepping ahead of time?? I love that I can make juicing a little bit quicker and easier. And let's be honest, who doesn't love easier?

Now, I know there are a billion and one juice recipes out there, but I wanted to share two of my favorites that are always in rotation at my house. They both feature vegetables with some sweetness added with fruit, so you don't end up feeling like you're drinking the lawn.

Gorgeous Green Juice:
4 leaves of Kale
1/2 handfull of Parsley
1 Granny Smith Apple
1/2 Cucumber
1 Lemon (peeled)

Orange Sunrise:
3 large Carrots
1 Naval Orange (peeled)
1 Lemon (peeled)
1/2 inch Ginger (Play with the amount of ginger to see what you like. It can be a strong taste.)