by Sarah Platenius, Tofino
I've been making up for the lack of sun by juicing fruits and
vegetables with my Omega juicer. My favorite drink is a combo of apple,
parsley, celery and lemon. Drinking a glass of this green stuff makes
me feel like I'm drinking the sun and fresh air—it flushes
my cheeks and feeds the cells of my body—I feel energized and
Normally we think of drinking fresh, cool juices in summer. But winter
is when we're less likely to get the five servings of vegetables
and three servings of fruits each day that the National Cancer Institute
recommends. Though scientific research is available, I've only
brushed the surface of the benefits of juicing. The gist behind the
science states that it is an optimal way to maintain and boost your
immune and digestive systems. Studies have also shown that juicing
may help cure certain ailments like migraine headaches and breast cancer.
For me, drinking green juice has become a necessity—my body craves
I used to think it was a hassle to juice but I've gotten it down
to a fine art. In twenty minutes, I've made myself an entire
jar of vitamins and minerals and met the National Cancer Institutes
recommendation of five servings of fruits and vegetables. The highlight
of drinking juice is that the nutrients are easily assimilated and
digested by my body. I could never eat that many salads in a given
day—one salad, yes, for fiber perhaps but not five servings!
When I juice regularly, I buy a bag of veggies and about ten apples
every other day. This way I can drink juice daily and store some for
the next day in an airtight container (you don't want to store
it any longer than 24 hours or else it will start loosing its nutritional
value). As I wash and chop the fruits and veggies, I toss them into
a colander. Then piece by piece, I push them through my quiet, user
friendly juicer that slowly chomps away at them like a grazing cow.
Then, I strain the pulp. (I've read that you can drink the pulp
too but I haven't quite gotten to like it yet.) Next, I pour
the juice into a pitcher and put it in the fridge. It's best
to drink it at room temperature so as not to shock your system with
the cold but I still prefer it chilled. As soon as my juice is ready,
I clean the juicer—if you clean it immediately, a quick rinse
does it for most of the parts, except the filter which needs a scrub
with a toothbrush. After the pieces are clean I put it back together
so it's ready to go the next time around.
During the holidays, my two younger sisters who are eleven and thirteen
years old helped put the veggies through the juicer. They giggled at
the duck size turds of pulp that came out one end while considering
the green juice that came out the other. When they tried a glass of
apple, parsley, celery and lemon, they were surprised to find they
actually liked it! This is the key—start off with a combo of
fruits and veggies you know you'll like. Another favorite combo
of mine is apple, celery, beet, ginger, carrot. I'm slowly beginning
to sneak kale or spinach into these combos because dark, leafy greens
have the most vitamins and minerals—but of course they taste
more like wet grass.
Juicers aren't cheap but if you are sure to use it, it's
worth buying one because it will save you money in the long run, especially
if you get hooked!
The brands I've liked most are Green Star and/or Omega which
you can read about and shop for on the Internet. Before you make your
first batch of juice, I recommend having a look at what I think is
the bible of juicing titled Juicing For Life by Cherie Calbom and Maureen
Keane. If you decide not to invest in a juicer, wait until spring when
you can sample one of the excellent juices at Jupiter Juice—don't
be surprised to find out it costs almost as much as a sandwich—it's
this expensive because it's a meal in a cup! Or sun to go!
Your body will be grateful.
Sarah Platenius is a U.S. Nationally Licensed Massage
Therapist and holds a certificate in Holistic Health from Heartwood
Institute. She is currently waiting patiently in Tofino for her Canadian
permanent resident status.
Tofino Body & Soul - Spa and Wellness articles