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Salt of the Earth

I went for my first outside run or 2013 this week.  It was a gorgeous sunny day, yes, a bit chilly, but extremely exhilerating to be out in the fresh air, making the most of the great outdoors instead of being stuck in my studio.  My dog Kipper was less happy about it however.  I’m not the world’s fastest runner, and it always surprises me how much harder it is to run outside compared to on a treadmill.  Consequently, while I was huffing and puffing up South Orange Avenue, Kipper was barely breaking out of a walk!  As we finished our 4 mile loop I may have seen her panting briefly, but it could also have been her laughing at me!  However, I had a lovely time, felt inspired to get out of both my comfort zone and my studio more often!

Although it was cold outside, I was really hot when I returned home, and having been bundled up against the elements, I was “glowing” as my mother would say!  I was definitely ready for some juice and I knew just what to make and why.

When we exercise, we lose vital nutrients and body fluids through our sweat glands.  Sometimes these are called electrolytes, and that refers to the minerals that are in the sweat that we lose when we are either extremely hot, or when we work out hard, the main one of these is sodium.

One of the best sources of natural sodium is celery.  During hot, dry weather, one of the most soothing ways to combat dehydration is to drink a tumblerful of celery juice!  As well as replenishing the sodium, celery furnishes your system with potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Celery can also help to reduce acidity which as we all know can be a great thing for all our systems.

So clearly I was headed for some celery juice, but wanted to combine it into something supremely delicious at the same time.

So, I combined some celery with apple, cucumber and lemon.  Such a perfect combination for a Cool Green juice after a workout, or at anytime when you are in need of something thirst quenching and replenishing.  I even gave some to the dog, although I’m not quite sure she deserved it!!!!!

For those of you that are local readers, you will be able to come and try this juice at Vita Organic Foods, 320 Springfield Avenue in Summit NJ.  It is my Juice of The Month and I will be there every Wednesday from 10am until 2pm.  Of course I will still be offering Super Green Delight and Carrot Zinger.  This week March 6th I will be offering samples of Cool Green for you to try and a limited number of jars on sale.  So, go to your Hot Yoga class/Bar Method/Kickboxing Class/Gym/Dogrun and then come on by to pick up a jar of fresh delicious nutrient replenishment.  You’ll feel awesome!

Here’s the Recipe:

Cool Green Juice

4 apples

4 sticks celery

1 cucumber

1 lemon

 

Whizz it all through the juicer and enjoy.

 

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An Apple A Day………………………

You would not believe how many apples I go through in a week.  If the old saying of an apple a day keeps the doctor away is true, then I should be good for many years to come!!!! (Let’s hope so anyway)

Of course all the members of the Jones house (including Kipper the dog) enjoy a tasty apple to munch on.  But, my usage is so high because of how many apples I use in my juices.

 

But why are apples such a great choice for juice? What other nutritional goodies do you get when you add an apple to your daily juice apart from great flavour?

 

Let’s start with the basics.  On the vitamin front, apples are a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C.  This means that they help to keep your skin glowing and your eyes bright.  Vitamin C is also good for boosting the immune system.  Folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sulphur are essential minerals which are found in apples.

Apples also contain a form of fiber called Pectin.  This acts like a broom, sweeping through your intestinal system and helping your body eliminate any build up of toxins in your intestinal tract.  They also have a soluble form of fiber which can lower cholesterol.

Ellagic acid is a phytochemical found in apples and some other fruits, which exhibits anti cancer properties and acts as an antioxidant, whilst more research is being done to try and understand the full implications of ellagic acid, “results look promising” say The American Cancer Society.

Phytochemicals are non nutritive plant compounds that protect your body and prevent disease.  Studies in 2007 published in the European Respiratory Journal showed that fresh apple juice was effective at reducing wheezing in children suffering with asthma.  Interestingly, the study showed that drinking the juice was effective, whilst eating the fruit was not.

Who knew these little juicy powerhouses were so chocked full of nutritional goodies?  The other fabulous thing about apples is that there are so many delicious varieties to choose from.  Fuji and Gala apples make sweet frothy creamy juice, whereas at the other end of the sweet scale comes Granny Smiths, but these can be just as juicy and add a nice tartness to a juice.  Golden delicious and Red delicious have a much milder flavor, but are very juicy.  Come the fall, it’s fun to experiment with all the different varieties that are grown locally.  You can’t beat going to pick some apples and then putting them through the juicer – you can taste the golden fall sunshine in the glass!!!  I always use organic apples in my juices, and that can sometimes restrict which varieties I can use, but if you shop around, you can still get a good choice.

So, there you have it.  That’s why I use so many apples in my juices, they taste great, they’re supremely good for you and there’s pretty strong evidence that they WILL keep the doctor away!

Now, here’s a simple but extremely delicious apple juice recipe for you to try – experiment with different varieties and see which you like best – let me know!

Apple Tart

4 apples

1 lemon (not peeled)

Yes folks, that’s it!  Just push the lot through the juicer and enjoy.. even more so now, because you know just how much good it’s doing you!!!!!!

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Empty Shelves…………..

Well, what a weekend!  The forecasters got it right and we had a huge dumping of snow.  Kind of my perfect storm – a Friday night blizzard with nowhere to go the next day.  Most importantly, I had managed to buy sleds for the kiddos and had borrowed a coat and snow pants for the youngest, so he didn’t have to freeze to death on the local sledding hill!!  The snow came as promised, looked pretty, provided fun and best of all we didn’t lose power.  Awesome.

But there I was on Sunday, planning my juicy week ahead and my first of many trips to the grocery store, when I returned from Wholefoods more than a little disappointed (which doesn’t happen very often!)

Of course, one of the consequences of a big storm is that there are  limited deliveries of fresh produce to the shops.  So when I walked into what my husband lovingly calls my own personal cooler (aka Wholefoods produce department) on Sunday afternoon, I was somewhat dismayed to find all of my staple produce items noticeably absent! No kale, spinach, romaine, no salad bags, no cucumbers.  All missing in action, burried somewhere under the snow.  Even the carrots were down in numbers, but I guess that could be attributed to the increase in demand for snowman noses!

Thankfully, I keep a supply of greens at home, (so those clients who had orders for Monday didn’t have to worry), but it did get me thinking about how much I take a regular supply of greens for granted these days.  It forced me to take a pause and remember that my supply of produce is still fundamentally dependent on mother nature, whether to ensure it’s safe passage from seed to mature plant, or from farmer to store.  We sometimes expect to have access to things whenever we want them and sometimes forget what a struggle it can be for those who have to supply us with these things.

So I offer this green juice recipe with thanks, to all those who made it possible for me to have kale, apples and celery in my kitchen this morning!  This is a simple cleansing juice and should be enjoyed with gratitude!

A Thankful Green Juice

5 kale leaves

2 green apples

2 sticks celery

1/4 lime

Before turning the juicer on, push the kale leaves down into the chute.  Then put an apple on top.  Turn on the juicer and put the rest of the produce through.

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Getting Back on the Wagon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a long pause, I’m getting back on the blogging wagon.  You probably hadn’t noticed I had gone, but I haven’t written for quite a while.  I had planned to take August off as a vacation, which I have to say was lovely.  But somehow, September came and went in a blur of back to school golden-ness, October was a flurry of birthdays and hurricanes and now here we are with Thanksgiving just over a week away!

Like lots of things, writing this blog seems hard to start doing again after a hiatus.  The energy required to get something going is much more than is needed to keep it in motion once started.  My daughter is studying physics and tells me that this is one of the fundamental laws of the universe, well I can tell you it applies to juicing, working out, eating healthily and blogging! That being said, you can’t put it off forever, if it’s important to you, then at some point you have to put one foot in front of the other, you have to turn your juicer on, you have to get your fingers on the keyboard.

So, this is the week.

If you have fallen off the juicing wagon, especially with everything that has been going on inclemently here. If you have allowed yourself to stay in and watch the election debates and read the papers rather than get out there for a run, or a walk.  If you have allowed yourself that extra serving of dessert, or more likely, finished off the Halloween candy rather than toss it in the garbage where it belongs, then this week is your week.

This is the week to climb back on.  Get out your juicer and make a commitment to have at least one juice every day.  Get out your sneakers and make a commitment to go for a walk or a run for 30 minutes every day.  Throw out the Halloween candy (oh wait, you ate it all!!) well do it metaphorically and fill the fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Make this the week to kick the inertia and get going again.  Let’s do it!

 

To help you on your way, here’s an easy, energizing juice, which doesn’t take a lot of prep so there should be no excuse to making it every day this week:

 

Get Going Juice

5 carrots

1 apple

1 handful spinach

1 stick celery

¼ lemon (not peeled)

½” piece of ginger (not peeled)

 

Pack the spinach in the juicing chute before turning on the juicer, then pop the apple on top and turn the juicer on.  Push all the other ingredients through.

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A Juice to Wake up You and Your Tastebuds!

We have a new member of the Jones household.  On Mothers Day we welcomed a new puppy to our family.  Kipper came to join the clan, to fill a hole that was left when our dear dog, Abby passed away prematurely earlier in the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s just say, there’s a reason why we only remember the good things about having babies and puppies and that is so that we have more of them!  If we remembered quite what’s involved in the early days, then there would be fewer cute puppies in toilet roll commercials than there are now, and the worlds population growth would no longer be cause for concern!!

So Kipper is cute, there’s no denying it, and oh so soft and cuddly on the outside.  But those nipping teeth, are lethal, especially in the mornings when my toes are particularly sensitive!

But the thing which is driving me the most crazy, is the early mornings.  I’ve always been an early riser. I like getting up before everyone else.  I get things done and have some quiet time, to myself.  But it turns out I liked it because I had a choice.  Now when I wake up it’s not to the sound of my alarm going off, which I can switch to snooze when I fancy another 10 minutes of shuteye, instead I wake to the increasingly insistent yippings of my “cute” little puppy, requesting my presence in the kitchen.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that she goes through the night without barking, and I know I’m lucky that after only two weeks of being part of the family she’s asking to be let out rather than peeing all over the floor, but, being forced to get out of bed to deal with her is no fun, it just takes the choice out of things!

So, after two weeks of this, I have decided to have a change of heart and embrace the new early mornings in a different way.

Every night I set my alarm 10 minutes before I think Kipper is going to get going.  That way I have the choice to hit the snooze button once if I want to.  Every night I am bagging up my breakfast juice ingredients and putting them in the fridge so that when I come down in the morning, I can grab them and head straight to the juicer without having to scrabble about in the fridge to find what I’m looking for.  I’m choosing to make a great wake up juice this week to get me firing on all cylinders as quickly as possible, and finally, I’ve invested in some slippers with reinforced toe caps as some protection for my poor tootsies!!!!!!!!!

No doubt there will be more Kipper stories to come, but in the meantime, try this great juice for a good pick-me-up after an early start in the morning – what ever the reason!

Apple and Watercress Energiser   

2 apples

2 carrots

2 tomatoes

1 kiwi fruit

1 handful watercress

1 handful spinach leaves

This juice is super-rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium and zinc.  It contains iron, calcium and lycopene.

 

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Watermelon Wonder

It’s been a while since I’ve been inspired to sit down and write something juicy.  So to get myself back on the wagon I decided to highlight a great summer fruit and tell you a bit about why it’s so unbelievably good for you to eat, but even more so to juice!

To me, watermelon is the epitomy of the American summer. I remember my first real taste of it.  A baking hot San Francisco day (wait, maybe that’s why I remember it, those are so few and far between!!) and being at one of our first summer barbeques.  Taking a huge slice of watermelon fresh from the fridge and sinking my teeth into it. I was hit by the cool freshness, the sweetness of the juice, the crispness of the red flesh and the overall slurpiness of deliciousness!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since then I’ve been hooked and have tried this fabulous fruit many ways.

However, on my juicy journey, I have discovered that watermelon has many more benefits hidden under its’ green cloak – literally!

Anything up to 95% mineral- rich, the cleansing and cooling effect of melon is unsurpassed in the fruit world.  Cantaloupe and watermelon come top in the most nutritious fruit .

What’s surprising is that most of the identified nutrients are to be found in the rind of the melon.  In fact, a reported 95% of all the nutrients in any melon are found in some part of the rind and this is why juicing them is sooo fantastic! Their tremendous root systems reach so deep into the soil that they are able to withdraw massively from natures’ mineral bank account, which, once eaten, helps to top up our body’s life account very nicely.

Rich in potassium and zinc, watermelons are superb kidney cleaners and skin purifiers.

So, if you have a juicer, try whizzing some through, along with some lime, ginger, grapefruit and celery and you’ll have the perfect summer refreshment system!

Check out Juice of the Week for the recipe

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Spinach – Iron and Then Some!

A few weeks back I wrote a piece featuring the great kiwi as Fruit of the Month.  Now it is the turn of the humble spinach leaf to step into the spotlight.  Drum roll please, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Spinacia Oleracea.

Everyone knows that spinach is good for you.  Almost everyone knows that it contains iron, especially if they have ever watched a Popeye cartoon and realized that there was no way the sailor hero would ever take on Bluto without a can of spinach inside him!

But there is much more to this green leafed powerhouse than even Popeye knew.

In the New York Times bestseller SuperFoods by Steven G. Pratt M.D., and Kathy Matthews, they describe this as if “nutritionists were working with an 8-pack of crayons and today we’re looking at the 250 pack.  Based on what we know and are learning daily about micronutrients, we understand that it’s the synergy of the wide range of all the nutrients and phytonutrients in green leafies that make the superstars.”

Here are some interesting facts about spinach that you might not have known:

Coenzyme Q10 is a key player in our skin’s antioxidant defense mechanism against sunlight damage and works in synergy with vitamins C,E and glutathione.  Spinach is an important source of this critical antioxidant.

Age related macular degeneration (AMD) affects many people.  In simple terms (always the best for me!), the macular pigment of the eye protects against AMD.  The lower the macular pigment level, the higher the risk of AMD.  Spinach is one of the best foods to elevate macular pigment.  Two powerful carotenoids in spinach, lutein and zeaxanthin are also linked to the prevention of cataracts, a common occurrence in older people.

Spinach is a rich dietary source of vitamin K.  Low levels of vitamin K have been linked with lower bone density and an increased risk of hip fracture in women and that a serving a day of spinach significantly reduces this risk!

Spinach is a heart healthy food.  Rich in both vitamin C and beta carotene, the green chlorophyll masks the usual tell tale orange colour associated with these vitamins.  These nutrients work together to prevent oxidized cholesterol from building up in blood vessel walls.

So, in a nutshell, or a spinach leaf, this green beauty can help prevent against skin damage from the sun, keep our eyes bright and shiny, help make our bones strong and help to keep our hearts healthy!

For those of you who read my juicy musings regularly, you’ll know that the benefit of juicing spinach is that you can access all these great nutrients in vast quantities by adding spinach to your regular juice recipes.  With this vegetable though, a mixture is important, so juice it, eat it raw in salads and steam it lightly to make sure that you are accessing ALL the possible benefits from this green powerhouse.

Needless to say, this weeks juice is a green one, and I hope you love it as much as I do.

Spinach Super Juice

4 carrots

2 apples

1 very large handful of spinach leaves

1 broccoli floret (including stalk and leaves)

1/4 lemon (not peeled)

1 thumbnail size piece ginger (not peeled)

Before you turn the juicer on, push the spinach leaves down into the chute.  Please, Please make sure the juicer is turned OFF!  When all the leaves are packed down, pop an apple on top and turn the juicer onto low speed.  This will maximise the amount of spinach juice you get from the leaves.  Then push all the other ingredients through as usual.

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Racoon Recovery Juice

I was all set to write a piece about Spring being here, and what a great time of year it is to think about spring cleaning, detoxing and generally getting back in shape, but as usual my inspiration came from somewhere entirely different this week, and I find myself  writing a piece about the benefits of juice for settling the nerves, read on, dear reader, read on……

So, we have had a striped tailed, four legged visitor at my house over the last few weeks, who has been leaving “evidence” of his visits on a low roof.  Indeed we have ourselves quite the raccoon latrine here at number 37.

It would seem raccoon poop is quite dodgy stuff, and has to be dealt with very carefully for fear of human infection with the bacteria Baylisascaris procyoni.  So, armed with the specified face mask, gloves and plastic bags, my brave husband cleared up the mess, whilst I investigated ways of deterring the raccoon from coming back.  Interestingly, the most potent raccoon deterrent is coyote or jackal pee.  That’s convenient isn’t it? I wonder if they sell it at the local store?!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, all seemed to be well, until late one night I was busy working in my study which overlooks the deck, leading to the roof where the aforementioned raccoon facilities were located.

Out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of something moving in the darkness.  Startled I turned on one outside light to see something disappear into the shadows.  Perplexed I turned on the big flood lights and was shocked to see, not the cute RJ type critter from Over The Hedge, but an enormous, hulking beast of a critter determined to find bathroom relief on my deck!  I banged on the window in alarm to no avail, and eventually resorted to a saucepan and wooden spoon, imagine the scene from 1961 The Parent Trap where Blake is trying to scare away bears with two sticks and you’ll get a pretty good idea of how it was!

Well, you can imagine, I was pretty traumatised by the whole affair and had to make myself a juice to recover.  This is what I had and why:

 

Recovery Juice (Not just for getting over raccoon encounters!)

 

3 apples

2 oranges

1 lemon

½ head romaine lettuce

 

Thankfully lettuce has a high level of natural calming substances called lactones.  If you’re tense, anxious and irritable, then this is the one for you!

 

 

 

 

 

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Anti Jet Lag Juice

Oh I’m a very lucky girl this week.  I’m getting an exeat for the weekend.  A mini vacation; a few days off; some time alone with my Mum and Dad!

Yes indeed, a power weekend in the Highlands of Scotland beckons for me.  When I say power weekend, you must understand what I mean.  Power tea drinking, power gossiping, power celebrating (a big birthday for my Mum) and power relaxing!

That’s a lot or powering to fit into a few days and I will need to be on sparkling form to make the most of it.

I will be leaving the younger members of the Jones family in the capable hands of their father, whilst I jet across the pond.  They are all set, with lists and instructions coming out of their ears, a freezer stocked full of soup, and a fridge full of produce to juice.  I am sure however, that they will take advantage of the local hostelries to satisfy their needs while I’m away and I will come back to a well stocked freezer and fridge! I suspect that my juicer will also get a well earned rest while I’m gone and that’s okay too, everyone needs a change.

However, I am determined to be on top form while I’m away, and have been juicing like crazy this week, to make sure my body is bursting with vitamins, minerals and enzymes to help me deal with the jet lag of such a short trip.  On previous visits, I have found that this is an excellent strategy to deal with jet lag.  I try not to eat too much on the plane (not hard when you look at what tends to get served up!!) and then juice when I get to the other end.  I’m lucky because most of my family members in the UK have juicers (hmm, I wonder why?!) so that’s not hard for me.

This week’s juice then is one that I’ll be drinking both before I leave and when I land.  It has a stimulating effect and a rejuvenating action on the glands. Thankfully it also tastes fantastic!!

So, if you have travel plans over the coming weeks, give this one a shot, you’ll be glad you did, and Mum – get that juicer cranked up!!!!!!!!!

Jet Lag Juice

1 grapefruit

½ medium pineapple

4 fresh mint leaves

½” piece of ginger

Peel the grapefruit and push half of it through the juicer first.  Wrap the ginger in the mint leaves when you put them through, and finish with the pineapple (not peeled) and the last bit of grapefruit.  (the reason for this is that the pineapple juice can be thick and creamy and finishing with the grapefruit will make sure that flushes all the pineapple juice through the juicer, ensuring that you get all that rich creamy goodness in your glass!)

 

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A Pick-Me-Up Juice for a Recovering Patient!

Touch wood, we have been very lucky this year, in avoiding the multitude of bugs, germs and viruses, of both the gastric and head cold variety.  Thank goodness, as I know many of you who have been felled big time.

We had a blip last week with my son, who had a slight snuffle.  Not quite bad enough to stay home from school, but bad enough one morning to warrant a lot of sighing, sniffing and wafting about the place with the air of one resigned to their fate of math problems first period.

I didn’t have a busy day for once, and decided to take pity on the small boy, and give him the benefit of the doubt.  I packed him back up to bed (ignoring the whoops of delight as he bounded miraculously up the stairs) and took his indignant sister to school.

In fact, he really was under the weather and needed a few extra hours in bed, listening to stories and snuggling up.  It did me good too, to satisfy that maternal need that I think we all get from time to time to nurse our young ones.  Thankfully it was nothing serious, so we both enjoyed our time together.

When kids get the edge of something or when they’re recovering from an illness, fresh vegetable or fruit juice is a great way of giving them a boost of nutrients to help their bodies continue to fight any nasties, and of arming them with all that they need to recover quickly.

Thankfully Mother Nature has made a multitude of particularly tasty treats, which are good for revitalizing small people, and big people too for that matter.  The following recipe can be a great pick me up for anyone getting over a dose of whatever’s doing the rounds this week!!

By the way, Archie was back at school the next day, all the better for his day in bed, and a few glasses of Tropical Revitalizer to put a spring in his step again!

Tropical Revitalizer

1 granny smith apple

1 mango (peeled and stone removed)

½ pineapple (unpeeled)

4oz blueberries (can be frozen)

4oz strawberries (can be frozen)

Juice the pineapple and the apple, and then put the juice in a blender along with the blueberries and strawberries.  Whizz them all up together and serve to the delight of your recovering patient.

 

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