“I think she’s juicing.”

Oh, how I long to hear that statement whispered behind my back! No, I don’t want my friends to suspect that I am pumped up on steroids. I want them to notice my clear complexion, trimmer figure, soaring energy and overall glow. I want to defy the years by looking and feeling younger without the aid of injectables, pills or potions. So I have started juicing.

Baby steps here. I am no expert but I have made some of my own juices and now have my very own “Juice Me!” card from Dawson’s Market in Rockville, Maryland. By the way, if you live in the DC metropolitan area and have yet to visit Dawson’s in Rockville Town Center…what are you waiting for? Great local, organic market with a wide selection of produce, seafood, meat, cheese and wine.  And back to the point, their fresh juice bar is the best I’ve found.

According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, juicing probably isn’t any healthier than eating whole fruits and vegetables.  The process of juicing extracts the liquid from fresh fruits or vegetables. The resulting juice contains most of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) found in the whole fruit. However, whole fruits and vegetables also have healthy fiber, which is lost during most juicing.  Proponents say that with the removal of fiber, your digestive system gets a rest and your body can better absorb the nutrients. They say that juicing can reduce your risk of cancer, boost your immune system, help remove toxins from your body, aid digestion, and help you lose weight.

So while there’s no sound scientific evidence that extracted juices are healthier than the juice you get by eating the fruit or vegetable itself, I think we’d all agree that at certain times of the day it’s a lot easier to get multiple servings of fruits and vegetables if you can sip them through a straw.  Personally, a fresh juice makes me feel good, fills me up and tastes delicious.  I know that I can only be doing my body good with regular consumption.

Buying fresh juices (made to order–I have yet to fall in love with any of the pre-made options) is a great way to sample different flavor combinations.  Maybe you’re a kale-apple-lemon-ginger-parsley lover?  Or possibly, a beet-carrot-pineapple-ginger-garlic kinda gal? Who knew?  But before long you’ll find that the convenience and cost-effectiveness of juicing at home will outweigh the luxury of placing a counter order.  When you’re ready to take the next step you’ll learn that there are many juicer options out there.  Don’t get discouraged, soldier on!  Consumer Reports’ “Best Buy” juicer is the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Pro, $59-79.99. This is a perfect “toe in the water,” entry-level juicer that will not only get you started but keep you going for a good long time.  If you are ready to take the plunge, most experts agree that the Breville Juice Fountain Elite, approximately $300, is a good option.  Bottom line is that there are many juicers out there, just look for a model that is easy to clean and can accommodate whole fruits (or at least large chunks) so that you don’t get turned off of the process because it becomes too labor intensive. And what better way to say “I love you” on Valentine’s Day than “Let’s live forever?”  Ahhh, collective sigh.

Here are two juice recipes to get you started.  The variations are limitless!

The Radiant Glow
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Ingredients
  1. 1-inch piece of fresh ginger
  2. 1 peeled lemon
  3. 5 Tuscan kale leaves
  4. 1 halved and cored Gala apple
  5. 1 small red beet
  6. 1 large cucumber
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in an electric juicer.
  2. Serve immediately.
sly rooster http://slyrooster.com/
Cilantro-Celery Juice Punch
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Ingredients
  1. 1-inch piece of fresh ginger
  2. 1 large bunch cilantro
  3. 1 halved and quartered Granny Smith apple
  4. 8 celery ribs
  5. Stir in 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients (except for lemon juice) in an electric juicer. Stir in lemon juice and serve immediately.
Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine
Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine
sly rooster http://slyrooster.com/