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!

New Year, New Attitudes

Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had an awesome holiday season and stayed relatively healthy!  The beginning of every year is full of resolutions and promises, most of which are geared towards weight loss or some other health topic.  Since I’m fairly satisfied with my health and fitness level (I follow the workout plan by Back on Pointe— short, sweet, and effective!), I decided to focus my new year’s efforts on being smoke free and managing money- budgeting in particular.  I quit smoking almost two years ago, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t bum the occasional cigarette at the bar, or smoke a cigar on a nice summer night.  At 11:50 pm on New Year’s Eve, Ethan and I went outside to have one last cigarette.  It was really disgusting to say the least, but now I’m fueled and ready for a Smoke-Free 2013!  That’s not a goal I forsee having issues with, so I’ll just tell you a little about the money management.  With grad school starting in a week, I know that I’m about to be “broke college student” all over again.  Noooooooooo!  I figure if I can set up a decent finance plan, I may be able to keep my head above water long enough to enjoy myself these next few years.

Basically, I’m sticking to one of the popular “envelope” plans.  This means that I allot a certain amount of money per month for each category, then withdraw the money and put it into separate envelopes– one for each category.  I have 4 categories: Fuel, Grocery, Dining Out, and Personal (clothes, hair stuff, nails, etc.).  Every pay period, I go to the bank and withdraw money for each of the envelopes, then only use that money for my weekly spending (no more card swipes).  The idea is that the rest of the money in the bank goes towards bills and after that, savings.  It’s only day 2 for me (the first week of the year was spent planning), but so far it seems to be working!

Looking at my grocery budget, I quickly realized that I needed to plan out exactly what I was going to eat throughout the week so that I could make the most efficient grocery trip possible.  I made areas to list breakfast, lunch, dinner, and juice (of course!) for each day.  I also added a list at the bottom for organized grocery shopping.  I went shopping Monday night after work, and bought an entire week’s worth of food…. and I was $4.18 under budget!  I put the template into a sheet protector, so that I could write on it with dry-erase marker each week.  Here’s what it looked like in the middle of my planning:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Juice, Water, and Grocery List

So, what was on the agenda for today?

Juice of the day: Orange Cranberry Juice (super yummy!)

5 Valencia oranges and 12 ounces of Cranberries.  Juice it all!  My plan was to throw some frozen mango chunks into a blender with the orange-cranberry juice and get a little more texture, but I ate all the mangoes while cooking dinner.  Oops!

Dinner Recipe: Kale and Chickpea Stew.  I was nervous, like I usually am with new recipes, but it turned out AMAZING!  I am definitely making more next week!  I adapted this recipe from one I got off the website for The Washington Post.  They suggested serving it over hot polenta, but I thought it was super filling all by itself!

1 bunch Kale2 cans Chickpeas (with liquid)2 tbsp Cilantro (chopped)3 Roma Tomatoes (roughly chopped)1 Yellow Onion (chopped)6 Cloves Garlic (minced)1 Cup Water1 tbsp Olive Oil (or any oil)1 tsp Paprika1/4 tsp Corriander1/4 tsp Cumin1/2 tsp Salt2 tbsp Lemon Juice

1 bunch Kale
2 cans Chickpeas (with liquid)
2 tbsp Cilantro (chopped)
3 Roma Tomatoes (roughly chopped)
1 Yellow Onion (chopped)
6 Cloves Garlic (minced)
1 Cup Water
1 tbsp Olive Oil (or any oil)
1 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Corriander
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Lemon Juice

1. Pour about a cup of water into the bottom of a deep pan and once it starts boiling, add the kale and wilt it.  Drain the water and put the kale on a cutting board.  Roughly chop.  Place it into a bowl on the side.

2. Using the same pan, add the oil and on medium heat, add your garlic, onions, and tomatoes.  Let them sizzle for about 4-5 minutes, and then add your cumin, corriander, and paprika.  Let sit for another couple minutes.

3. Add the chickpeas and stir the mixture until it starts barely boiling.  If you want more liquid add another cup of water to the pan.  Put the kale back into the stew.  Simmer everything for about 12 minutes and then add the lemon juice and cilantro.  Enjoy!

I hope you love this recipe as much as I did, so let me know what you think!

Happy Juicing!