Tuesday, July 08, 2014

A Juicy Tale

Do you juice? Have you ever juiced? Did you juice at one time--like for about three days--but gave it up? Judging from the number of slightly-used juicers for sale on eBay and Craigslist, a lot of people get excited by the idea of juicing, but don't sustain the level of interest necessary to incorporate juicing into their lives.

Back in the 1970s I paid over $200 for an Acme juicer. I became a binge juicer--no surprise, because this is how I do a lot of things: binge sewing, binge rug hooking, binge decluttering, binge-watching some of the TV series I missed back when everyone was watching them once a week. You get the picture.

At some point I stopped juicing. This was before we had eBay and Craigslist, so the juicer went into my pantry and eventually became invisible. I almost never watch infomercials of any kind, but a few years ago I turned on the TV in the kitchen and there was Jack LaLanne, vigorous and fired up with enthusiasm at age 102 or whatever, demonstrating his juicer. Truly, he was like the best preacher you've ever heard, except instead of the Bible he had his hand on a kitchen appliance. Instead of sin he decried processed foods. And instead of prayer he offered us carrots, apples, and romaine lettuce.

This is great, I thought, and I own a juicer! But with the zeal of a recent convert, owning a juicer wasn't enough. I wanted my kids to own theirs too. I didn't order any from the infomercial, though (frugality trumps zeal); I went to Amazon, my go-to retailer, and bought a Jack LaLanne juicer for my son and his family for a lot less than the TV price, plus a Waring Pro juicer for my daughter and hers. Then I got my juicer out of the pantry and ran some vegetables through it.

The LaLanne juicer was still in its box when I read through some online reviews and learned it's an absolute bitch to clean. I offered to sell it and replace it with a different brand, but my son semi-tactfully suggested that I simply sell it. No replacement, thanks. As for my daughter's, I assume it's still in the box. Unless she sold hers too. My own enthusiasm waned before long as well, and the juicer made its way back to the pantry. (I think it went there on its own.)

Then last year someone recommended the documentary "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead." Icky title, but it certainly grabs one's attention. I loved the movie (you can watch it here). If Jack LaLanne was a preacher, Joe Cross is Paul the Apostle. I started juicing again immediately. Every morning I would set out a large plate and fill it with juice makings: carrots, greens, celery, part of a beet, a piece of apple, a wedge of lemon, a chunk of ginger. It made about 16 oz. of juice, and that was my first meal of the day. I observed a dramatic increase in my afternoon energy.

After a couple of weeks I also observed that the juice was a little hard on my gut. I was seeing an acupuncturist at the time, and she thought it might be difficult to process all those nutrients at once. She suggested I juice every other day, making a smaller quantity, and eating something along with it. She also suggested that I chew the juice, but I ignored that part.

This time I've kept it up, to the point where my sturdy Acme started showing signs that it needed a new blade. I bought one, but wasn't able to install it properly. Perhaps the Acme is too old. Maybe I could have looked harder for a different blade, but I realized I now had the perfect excuse to get a Breville juicer just like the one Joe Cross used in the movie.

It arrives Friday, FedExed from Oregon. I bought it (slightly used) on eBay. Cheers!


crystal said...

Somehow I missed the home juicing phenomena but I do remember buying carrot juice and wheat grass juice at the health food store :)

When you juice something it retains all the fiber? Anyway it does sound cool and refreshing to me, here in the 100 degree heat!

Helen said...

You certainly sound peppy; I feel like I'm ready to convert.

Susan said...

Can't hurt to try, Helen. If it doesn't work out, you can always sell the juicer on eBay. :-)

Crystal, I'm afraid the fiber is left behind. But I get enough fiber in my diet. And I recently came across a recipe for using the juicer pulp (which usually goes in the compost), with the addition of lentils and other things, to make veggie burgers.

crystal said...

Veggie burgers ... mmmmm :)

Julia said...

Yea, I did the juicing and gave it up too with my busy schedule. I still have my Vita Mix. I sure could us some increase in my afternoon energy.

We are still with no power since Arthur slapped up badly. I don't always have access to Wifi to check up blogs and i'm so behind...


Susan said...

I hope your power is back by now, Julia. Being powerless is no fun! We've been getting tornado watches and warnings this summer--something we always thought happened in other parts of the country, not here.

Eulalia Benejam Cobb said...

Oh, no--I just got rid of my Breville juicer before our move. Had I known, I'd have sent it to you and been so glad that it had found a home. It was practically new, as I found that buying (I didn't grow carrots in the industrial quantities it requires)and prepping the veggies, juicing them and then cleaning up used up more energy than it gave me.

Susan said...

Oh no indeed, Lali! Turned out my purchase was not the most satisfying I've ever made on eBay. The juicer is okay, but the seller misrepresented it. I wish I'd paid full price for a smaller model--or bought yours!

Indigo Bunting said...

I love my Breville juicer. I probably only use it once or twice a month, but it's so much easier to clean than something industrial. As you might imagine, I am often juicing things like celery or cucumber for cocktails! (Love my Vitamix too—that gets used every day, but it certainly doesn't take the place of a juicer—I had hoped it could.) (Oh, and loved that movie, btw—after I tried to make his daily green juice in the Vitamix [gross], that's when I decided it was definitely time for a juicer!)

Susan said...

Here's my epilogue: The Breville is now packed away and referred to as "my $85 mistake." Either I got a lemon or used it improperly (I read the manual), but it didn't do a good job of dealing with the vegetables, and it sometimes leaked. Also, my Acme, with its filter paper, was much easier to clean.

So now I'm committed to figuring out how to make the new blade fit in the Acme. This may take awhile, but even with the old blade the Acme does a better job than the Breville. Ah, mistakes. We all make 'em.