On Juicing. And Messing Up My Kitchen. And Taking Care of Me.

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I was raised healthy.  Being from Southern California, my normal meals included yogurt and raw sunflower seeds.  My mom was way in front of the curve.  My dad, being from the south, just wanted his butter beans and collard greens – so it was not unusual to eat a meal that included cornbread, butter milk, salad with bean sprouts, avocados and homemade blue cheese dressing.

Mom and Dad were always healthy. They may have had different ways to show it, however.  Dad always made sure he had something green, which means he would have at least two olives in his martini.  Mom carried around bags of pumpkin seeds and homemade granola wherever she went. Staying healthy was always on the agenda, and I will never forget the time they went through their juicing stage.  I think dad wanted homemade tomato juice for his Bloody Mary’s (which of course included the green stalk of celery).  Mom liked Jack La Lane, who even then was anciently healthy.  Anyway, I remember Mom and Dad drinking pints of carrot and apple juice.  (No vodka added as far as I know.) They were certain – and it was true – that it would help with their overall health.

But above remembering my parents drinking their healthy concoctions, I remember them trying to tear apart and clean the dang machine.  It took half an hour to make a glass of juice.  And, even though we were above the curve in health, my suburban Orange County home wasn’t a place to compost.  So there was always the issue on what to do with the “scraps”.  Juicing was in its’ infancy, and mom and dad were among the first of the frustrated followers.

So, fast forward a few decades, and the daughter of these trailblazers in health has decided to do some juicing of her own.

Yes, I bought a juicer.  And, eager to try it that second, I also bought enough veggies to fill the salad bar at Golden Corral.  Except one minor detail – all my veggies are organic (and have not been sneezed on or manhandled by the early bird crowd).

My first attempt to put the machine together was a tad bit frustrating.  I faltered.  I may have said “crap” a few times. I pushed when I should have pulled.  This left-handed, right-brained woman really has no time for puzzles.  Especially when I’m hungry.  Or would that be thirsty?  Regardless, I came to the realization that my efforts would not be a quick in any way, shape or form.  Once I finally put the dang thing together, I still had to wash and cut my veggies.  (Side note: Beets DO stain.  Everything.  Including the white dog that was begging for carrots.)

However, I did it.  I completed my juice.  I washed the @#%&* juicer.  I bagged and froze the “remains”.  And, most importantly – I drank the juice.  Did I mention I hate beets?

Fast forward six weeks. My thoughts?  It’s worth it.  I rise 20 minutes earlier so I can juice.  I still buy my organic salad bar. I found a friend that wants my left-overs for her compost.  I still feed my dogs carrots.  I still spill beet juice on the floor and the dog.  I’ve found pieces of apple and parsley on my cupboards across the room.  (Another side note – do not remove the “plunger thingy” while the food is still in the tube.)  And I feel great. I sleep great.  The “issues” I was experiencing have all but disappeared.  I have energy.  And there are even more benefits that I haven’t even begun to notice – such as the long term health benefits.

I need to be clear here that I still eat solid food.  I am not on a “juice fast”.  However, I do eat as healthy as I can.  For me, that means gluten free, less sugar and no processed foods.  Unless the culprit item is one (box) of Mint Girl Scout Cookies.

Juicing is a pain.  But the struggles – for me anyway – far outweigh the inconveniences. Why am I talking about juicing, you are wondering? Well, being a business owner, an entrepreneur, a multi-tasker and a juggler, I knew I needed to step up my health routine big time.  I knew that I needed to add energy, get rid of the brain fog and feel good enough to be all that I can be for the things that matter most to me: my husband, my kids, my grandkids, my dogs, my friends and MYSELF.  (Ok, not always in that order.)  Taking care of me is how my business will thrive.  Taking care of me first is how my family will be happy.  Juicing may not be for you.  But I’ll bank on the fact that there is something out there that is.  And it’ll take effort.  And you may need to wash the dog and get up early in order to do it.  But in the end, it’ll be worth it.  You will thrive and so will your business.  Trust me.  And if you want juicing tips – well, honestly, go online.  The best tip I can offer is to stand back and have plenty of towels on hand.  Here’s to a happy, healthy you! (Oh, yes, the fresh Bloody Mary mix is sublime).