Plant-Based Chapters + CocoBeet Concoction Juice!

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What happens when a light sleeper gets bombarded with 23 texts at 3 in the morning?  An overly productive morning and a Rent sing-a-long.  Oh, and lots of juice!  I’m a big advocate for making use of everything in my kitchen, and that includes the stalks of broccoli I saved after using the florets for soup the other night.  Using broccoli stems as the base, I threw in some beets and carrots, and a whole bunch of cilantro.  To top it off, I added some coconut water to the end product. Holy yum!

CocoBeet Concoction

  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 beets
  • 2 stems broccoli (or 1 whole head broccoli)
  • 8 oz. natural coconut water

Add the coconut water after juicing all vegetables.  Enjoy!

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Does your kitchen look like this at 3:30 in the morning?  I think my neighbors are hating me through our very thin walls right now.  At least Bran isn’t terrified of the noise anymore.

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I’m so chill while mom juices.  Sometimes I get to eat the pulp!

Last night, I had dinner & drinks with a good friend who has been a vegan for years, and we got to talking about things that changed for us when we made the transition.  She started talking about different “chapters” in the life of someone adopting a plant-based diet, and seeing as it’s been almost a year since I fully dedicated myself to adopting a plant-based lifestyle, I’m seeing truth to her theory.

One of the big changes we talked about was the amount of alcohol we consumed.  I thought I was just out of the “college phase” and that was the explanation for my abrupt drop in tolerance for cocktails.  Nope.  Turns out a plant-based diet can lower tolerance over time, and it makes sense.  Lowering processed food intake and eliminating animal products altogether makes for one very clean and efficient machine of a body!  Nothing to clog up digestion or block absorption of nutrients; this holds true for alcohol as well.

You can take one of two approaches with your attitude in regards to this.  You can be upset about the fact that keg-stands are probably not going to stand in your life much longer, or you can get as stoked as I was about not having to buy 3 or 4 beers since I’m satisfied with one or two now!

Sorry for the short post, but I’m off to enjoy my juice and save the world one puppy at a time.  I’ll be posting more this week, so don’t worry!

Happy Juicing!

How to Make Time For Juicing in Your Already Busy Life

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Now that the Polar Vortex of 2014 is finally over (fingers crossed!), 14 degrees on a Wednesday morning is practically Spring Break weather!  I’ve been doing my best to stay healthy during this cold and icky germ season, and one of my most powerful weapons (besides the holster of Purell on my belt) is juice.  Not Day-Quil.  Not a packet of Emergen-C.  Just good ol’ veggies and fruits and all the goodness they provide.  

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It’s not easy to think about health when it looks like this outside!

I’m not gonna lie; I woke up Monday morning feeling foggy, with a tickle in my throat and pressure in my ears.  I pretty much dove towards my juicer as soon as I woke up and made a couple “shots” of Flu Buster Juice (1 lemon, 1-2 inches ginger, 4-6 garlic cloves, dash of cayenne on top)..  Hands down, better than any cough syrup I could have tried, and immediately my throat was like “thank you, thank you!”  I also made a big pot of green vegetable soup, which I swear will cure anything you’ve got!  I’m still working on perfecting the recipe, though, so look for an upcoming post about it!

It’s so easy to fall into the mindset of “I don’t have time to juice”.  I’m not criticizing; I’ve been there too!  As a part of my New Year’s Resolution, I decided that I needed to make a conscious effort to juice more.  Now, I’m not saying every single day, because things happen.  I’m not going to set myself up for failure, and neither should you.  I want to get as close to that mark as possible, though, and I know that the “time” factor can definitely affect anyone’s juicing habits.  Lucky for you, I did a little experiment in my kitchen this morning to help debunk (even to me) the “I don’t have time for juicing” myth.  

Steel-cut oats have been my go-to breakfast lately, so I started the water boiling to make some.  These take about a half hour to cook, so after throwing in the oats, I started prepping my veggies:

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I was already throwing carrots into the juice, so I cut up a few extra to bring as a snack to campus with me.  Then I juiced my delicious concoction and scrubbed down the juicer.  Surprise, surprise, my oats were still cooking by the time this was all done.  I had time to make a bag of trail mix for class as well before my oats were ready to go.  Within 40 minutes of waking up, this is what I had to show for myself (on top of making hot lemon water, drinking my supplement, and taking my vitamins):

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Not too shabby if I do say so myself!  I know some of you are thinking “I don’t have 40 minutes between waking up and leaving my house to get all this stuff ready.”  Okay, but in all fairness, the juicing took ~15 minutes total, and the rest of the time went to making tea, mixing trail mix, stirring my oats, and cutting up veggies for my midday snack.  You can always stick to doing the juicing alone, but my morning routine requires some waiting around (like when I’m cooking breakfasts like steel-cut oats or an apple bake), so why not spend that time being productive?  I even got some packing done!  Side note: I’m so happy I’ll be moving into an apartment without such crappy lighting soon! My pictures are going to look so much nicer.

What I’m trying to say is that everyone can sneak in healthy habits where they might not realize they’ve got a little time to kill!  When I’m not using my “oat-cooking” time to make juice, I spend it practicing yoga or meditating, or even reading for school.  Whether you juice, sneak in a workout, read the paper, or write in a journal, making choices that are kind to your body & mind, especially in the morning, can really set the tone for the kind of day you want to have.  I find that when I take the time to make myself a yummy juice like the Broccoli Citrus Blast I’m about to share with you, I feel good about myself, and I radiate that goodness and project my positive attitude onto others.  Try it! You will feel great, I promise!

Time for the juice!

Broccoli Citrus Blast

  • 1 head broccoli
  • 2 oranges, peeled
  • 3 carrots
  • 4 stalks celery

Juice and Enjoy! It may not be the prettiest of colors (orange and green don’t exactly mix to create a sparkly rainbow) but it’s delicious, I promise!  Feel free to add a granny smith apple as well; I didn’t have any on hand but I’m sure it would have been delicious!

Stay Well & Happy Juicing!

14 Popular Juice Recipes

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2 posts in one day… I’m a wild woman!  I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, and I’ve had a few readers requesting these juicer recipes for a couple months now.  Being my uber-productive self, I finished one of my deadlines early this afternoon (I believe Starbucks may have contributed), and what better study break is there than blogging?  I know this blog is for “The Juice Junky” in all of us, but my new-found discovery of plant-based vegan recipes and holistic health practices can sometimes overshadow the juicing aspect you all come here for!  

I have compiled a list of the 14 most popular juice recipes to share with you.  Keep in mind, these are the most common recipes that I use myself, but there are obviously thousands of recipes that others may see as more popular than the ones listed here.  Also to keep in mind for those new to the juicing practice, these recipes are only a guideline.  Don’t be like “I have everything but the apple for this recipe so I guess I can’t make that one…”  Feel free to mix and match!  Once you get the hang of this crazy awesome world of juicing, you may move away from the recipes (I know I definitely have)  and follow the general 80/20 rule while creating your own delicious concoctions!  

The 80/20 Rule: You are not only allowed to make up your own juice recipes, you are encouraged to!  Like I said before, you may not have all the ingredients for a specific recipe, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sub out apples for oranges or cucumber for celery, or even just omit an ingredient altogether (I can’t handle juicing radishes, no matter how many times I try!  I leave those suckers out of any recipe calling for them).  This brings us to the 80/20 rule: When creating your own juice recipes, the general guideline is to make your creation ~80% vegetables (preferably greens!) and ~20% fruits. You can ALWAYS up the vegetable percentage!

Fruit juice is okay in moderation (I mentioned making apple juice in my previous post), but it’s something that should be done as a “once-in-a-while-treat” basis.  When fructose (fancy word for fruit sugar) is consumed without being coupled with fiber (fiber is removed during the juicing process) there is nothing from stopping the fructose from flooding the liver in one heavy hit.  Eating an apple is okay, because the fiber combats the fructose and acts as a sort of “time-release” mechanism.  Drinking apple juice, there is no fiber, so the digestive system is hit with all that fructose at once, which can be detrimental in high doses.  I can go into detail on this in a later post if you’d like; just comment below and let me know!

Okay, enough science junk.  I’m the one in school, not you.  Time for the yummy part of juicing!  Without further ado, I give you my list of the 14 most popular juices in my kitchen! That’s one new juice a day for two weeks! Please share your juice recipes and experiments in the comment section below!

Heavy Metal Detox

  • 1/2 pineapple core
  • 1 small Granny Smith Apple
  • 1 Lemon (peeled of not organic)
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 small head of Romaine
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 1/2 bunch kale

When the liver detoxifies, it sends those toxins to the intestines with the intention of getting them out of the body.  Many heavy metals going through this process end up being reabsorbed into the bloodstream repetitively.  Cilantro binds to these metals in the body and carries them through the intestinal tract so they are excreted once and for all, and don’t get reabsorbed, or stay in risky places like the brain.

ABC (a.k.a Fruit Punch)

  • 2 apples
  • 2 beets
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 pear (optional)

Ultimate Beet

  • 1 beet
  • 2 carrots
  • 5 strawberries
  • 1 cup grapes
  • 1 apple

Mean Green (Original)

  • 2 small apples
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 inch ginger root
  • 1/2-1 bunch kale
  • 1/2 lemon (peeled if not organic)
  • 4 stalks celery

Carrot Cucumber

  • 4-6 carrots
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 beet
  • 1/2 lemon (peeled if not organic)
  • 1 inch ginger root

Flu-Buster (I swear by this!)

  • 1 lemon
  • 2 inches ginger root
  • 4-6 whole cloves garlic

JUST SHOOT IT!  You will feel instantly invigorated; I promise!  Shoot it even when you’re not sick.  When your throat is sore though, this shot will coat it and you will feel improvement within minutes.

Cucumber Beet

  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 beet
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 handful parsley
  • 1/2 lemon (peeled if not organic)

Simple Cucumber Love

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 lemon (peeled if  not organic)

Cucumber Apple

  • 2 stalks fennel
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple
  • 1 handful mint
  • 1 inch ginger root

Perfect Skin

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 parsnip
  • 3 carrots
  • 1/2 lemon (peeled if not organic)
  • 1/2 bell pepper (I prefer yellow, but red or green work too!  Purple is not my favorite)

Operation Detox

  • 1 tomato
  • 5 spears asparagus
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 lemon

Hangover Cure

  • 1 bunch dandelion greens
  • 4 carrots
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 lemon (peeled if not organic)

Mango Salsa (my favorite “dinner” on a juice cleanse!)

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 mango (pitted)
  • 2 scallions
  • 1/2 jalapeno (discard seeds)
  • 1/2 yellow pepper
  • 1/2 lime (peeled if not organic)

Greens on Greens on Greens (my personal concoction)

  • 1 bunch celery (~10-11 stalks)
  • 1/2-1 bunch kale
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 lemon (peeled if not organic)
  • 2 inches ginger root

When all else fails, there is this awesome infographic from CrazySexyJuice.com to help guide new juicers on their own juice-creation journey.  Definitely check this website out; Kris Carr is amazing and she is a true inspiration to anyone looking to improve their health through nutrition.

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Again, please feel free to comment and tell me about your favorite juice concoctions and kitchen experiments!

Happy Juicing!

Coconut Raspberry Steel-Cut Oats

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Good Morning and Happy Tuesday!  With yesterday being a holiday, I actually got a break from my 7-day work/school schedule and it. was. GLORIOUS.  It’s back to the schedule today, though, and like I said last week, planning is key.  I made up my shopping list yesterday and hit up Earth Fare for some groceries and was able to find some really good stuff!  Am I the only one who gets more excited in a supermarket than a mall?  Possibly, but I’m okay with that!  I got home and wrote out all my meals on my kitchen board so there will be no meal confusion this week!

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As you can see, I’m a bit of an organizational…. “enthusiast”.  Yeah, let’s go with that.  With work, school, and everything in between though, being organized (especially in regards to nutrition) is what keeps me going!  This simple meal calendar only takes me about 15 minutes to create on Sundays during my lunch break at work (yeah for multitasking!) and it really 1)eliminates the stress of what the heck I’m going to eat each day on the go and 2) saves me tons of money, since if I didn’t pack my food, I’d be scouting out all the Chipotles and Pita Pits I could!

A wonderful surprise happened on Sunday: a ton of apples were donated at work for the horses.  Like, a whole big crate of them.  How is this beneficial to me?  Well, so many were donated that we weren’t going to be able to  use them all before they’d go bad.  I obviously volunteered to take them off their hands. Nothing beats fresh apple juice!  It’s like dessert!

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Okay, you’re probably wondering where the heck this steel-cut oats recipe is!  A little background first: so I bought a canister of oats a few weeks ago, not reading the label.  When I got home, I realized they were steel-cut oats, and when I opened the canister, it did NOT look like the oatmeal I was familiar with.  I was so confused!  I bought it though, so I was going to eat it.  I let it simmer for a half hour just like the directions told me to and….. They were insanely good!  I’ve been on an oat kick ever since, and I’ve found that a few unlikely ingredients have made for one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever made!

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Coconut Raspberry Steel-cut Oats

  • 1/2 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (make it yourself here)
  • handful of pumpkin seeds
  • small handful organic raspberries
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened coconut butter (or coconut shreds)

 

  1. Bring the water and the milk to a boil.
  2. Add in oats and coconut and reduce to low/medium heat for 30 minutes.
  3. Do some yoga or paint your nails while you wait. (your kitchen will start to smell amazing)
  4. Pour into a bowl and add in pumpkin seeds and raspberries.
  5. Savor the foodgasm and sing my praises.

This breakfast is delicious, filling, and energizing!  It’ll keep you going till lunch, I promise you!  You can always experiment with different fruits, or added sweeteners if you’ve got a little sweet tooth going on in the morning. I’ve added apricots to this recipe before and it has been awesome as well!

Stay healthy and Happy Juicing!

Back to School: Morning Routines & Juice

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Loving this chill in the air!  Autumn is on its way and my apartment smells FANTASTIC with all these Autumn-y additions!  I bought cloves and squash yesterday and got so excited!  Pumpkin smoothies are just around the corner!  Currently, my entire apartment is smelling like the vegetable stock I’ve got on the stove, and it’s making my mouth water.  If you haven’t seen my post on making vegetable stock, check it out here.  It is so simple and easy, and if you don’t have juicer pulp, you can always save up your kitchen scraps in an airtight container and use those!  That’s what I did today.  I made ratatouille last week as well as some vegetable soup, and had plenty of scraps to make stock this morning.  I also used basil, rosemary, and thyme from my herb garden.  I may never wash my hands again; they always smell so divine after picking fresh herbs! 

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I’ve started to get into a morning routine now that classes have resumed.  For those of you who don’t know, I am in graduate school at Case Western Reserve University pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health.  I like to wake up, shuffle into the kitchen to put the teapot on the stove, and drink a nice, hot glass of water with a lemon wedge squeezed in.  I find that if I do that before anything else, even breakfast or a workout, it really makes me feel invigorated and ready to start the day!  After my lemon water is downed and I’m caught up on important things like Facebook and Pinterest news, I do a 30-50 minute yoga routine.  My favorite place to find at-home yoga routines is here.  All the routines are free, and yoga is my way of creating an oasis in what I know is going to be a crazy day!  Then it’s juice time.

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My juice today was very reflective of this mildly chilly weather.  I also used other vegetable scraps to make it, like broccoli, zucchini, and tomato.  To add a bit of sweet, I juiced the apple cores I saved from a couple of apples I ate yesterday.  Pretty yummy and not too sweet, and very green!  Not to mention, the perfect fuel for my studies!

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For those of you resuming classes, may the curve be ever in your favor!  For everyone else, keep doing what you’re doing!  Just because the weather is changing doesn’t mean it’s time to slack on your health!

Stay healthy, and stay HAPPY!

Homemade Vegetable Stock- Utilizing Juicer Pulp: Part Two

After using up all of my fruit pulp to make some delicious apple coconut pops, I still had a huge bag of vegetable pulp.  What was I going to do with a bag of beet, carrot, celery, cucumber, tomato, spinach, and kale bits?  Surely not make popsicles out of it!  I love my veggies, but that just sounds like a bad idea that should never happen.  I know some people sneak these pieces into breads and muffins, but I’m on a juicing cleanse, so I wouldn’t be able to eat any of that.  The only solution I could think of was to cook up a batch of vegetable stock—a BIG batch of vegetable stock!

This recipe was perfect!  Nothing but water and veggies; all perfectly allowed during a fast.  If I weren’t fasting, I would have probably added a teaspoon of coconut oil to the mixture, and perhaps a pinch of salt, but aside from that, this stock is delicious!  I have been heating it up and drinking it for a little change in routine.  The cold, refreshing juices definitely hit the spot but after days of nothing but cold beverages and hot water with lemon, a nice hot bowl of vegetable broth really hits the spot.  I even ate it with a spoon, so it felt like I was “eating”!  It’s the little things like that which get your mental self on board with tough commitments like a juice cleanse.  As I’ve said before, juice fasts are always easier when you have a partner to lean on, but unfortunately I no longer have that option.  Maybe I’ll write about how to get through this on your own, once I get through my first fast by myself!  Anyways, I’m rambling.  Check out the recipe and let me know what you think!

vegetable stock frame

Vegetable Stock

  • Vegetable pulp from four (4) 16 oz. juices (probably about 8 or 9 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 18-20 cups water

Materials:

  • Cheesecloth (You can even use an old but clean t-shirt! Or coffee filters, panty hose, etc.)
  • A large bowl
  • Canning jars

 

A few notes about the ingredient list:

  • Use whatever spices you like, don’t confine yourself to basil and oregano just because those are the spices I had on hand!
  • it doesn’t matter what vegetables you use in this recipe; it’ll be good no matter what!

 

  1. Add 3 or 4 cups of water and juicer pulp to a large stock pot and turn the stove burner to medium/high.
  2. Once the water begins to boil, add the spices and garlic.  Continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 2 or 3 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the water to the pot.  Keep the burner on medium/high heat and let the concoction come to a boil.
  4. Turn heat down a few notches and let cook for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool.

 

Lay the cheesecloth (or shirt!) in the large bowl like a liner.  Once the mixture has cooled, ladle out small amounts at a time into the cloth and strain the liquid out into the bowl.  Transfer the vegetable stock into canning jars and seal.  If freezing (like I did), make sure you leave enough space at the top of the jar for the liquid to expand!  Nothing says epic fail like opening your freezer to what looks like a murder scene of vegetable stock splattered on the walls.

Let me know what you think of this use for juice pulp!  I thought it was pretty delicious!

Until next time, be well and happy juicing!

Juice Convert!

Wednesday is here!! Wednesdays are my favorite day of the week. One, I haven’t been scheduled to work on Wednesdays lately (score!) and two, it’s happy hour from 6-7 and I meet my great friend Danielle up at Bar Louie once a week for 1/2 off apps and martinis!  I get up there and see Danielle got there before me, which never happens.  And surprise, she’s already put in our order! I love her.  I had a water while she drank this yummy looking green drink with a huge chunk of pineapple in it.  Danielle ordered brushetta for us, and it was soooo so good! it looked like onions, tomatoes, and some spices with a little oil drizzled on top.  I figure pick your battles.  I know I’m trying to stay away from oils and refined sugars, but it’s hard enough to find healthy food when you go out to eat, and I think I’ve been doing pretty well.

After dinner, Danielle and I walked around the mall and moseyed on in to Crate & Barrel, where she showed me a juicer she’d been looking at! I was super stoked, and she bought it right then and there! She’s so excited to start juicing, and I’m excited to help her out! I love turning people on to healthy lifestyle changes, and this was no exception! Now, she just has to name her little guy and get to juicing!

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