“It’s a Juice Tiger.”

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Juicing is a hit or miss activity, that’s for sure.

I’m still doing it. I’m happy that I haven’t stopped because it’s now reached that point where it’s becoming a true habit, and I love that. When I started with this, I was confident in my own passion about it, yet there was a very human part of me that was worried I’d quit and lose interest. I lose interest in so many things anymore, the older I get. I bet I could benefit from some counseling to figure out why things often feel like “too much effort to think about” and so, I don’t think about them, but… counseling, even with co-pays, is expensive. So for now, I will stick with journaling and blogging.

Anyhoo. Juicing. I use my juicer about every other day right now. Mostly I am making fruit-based juices because YUM. They are all kinds of delicious. I was psyched to make fresh apple juice for my sister, BIL and Mom on Saturday night when they stopped by my house. I’ve wanted to share the awesomeness with someone for awhile now! Everyone loved the apple juice, of course. There is nothing like it. I can’t imagine drinking that filtered Mott’s crap after this!

I’ve also perfected a green juice recipe that works for me. It’s kale, spinach, celery, ginger, lemon and apple. It’s got a savory, tart taste and I’ve come to really enjoy it. It’s not exactly sweet, but the apple gives it a lovely little edge that makes it taste right. Apple, BTW, is the magic ingredient. It can fix an otherwise crappy juice! Just throw an apple or two in there.

Today I went to this place called 24 Carrots to get a green juice for a late lunch. I’d worked right through my normal lunch time, and thought it would be cool to have a juice today. Plus, if you go between 2-5pm, all the juices there are 1/2 off. I even called my sister and offered to get her a juice and drop it off at her office on my way back to my own job.

She chose her juice wisely. She got a strawberry-banana-grape-apple-orange juice. It was a pretty burgundy color. I decided to go for the most extreme juice on the menu, though: the Fields of Green. This has “fresh local greens, kale, parsley, celery, cucumber, wheatgrass, apple and lemon.” Since I’ve yet to try parsley or wheatgrass in my own juices at home, I thought this would be a good way to find out if I like them. I trusted that a juice made at this particular cafe would be a finely-crafted recipe, too. Everything there is delicious.

However… umm…

Some juices just do not taste good. And the Fields of Green is definitely one of those juices. I took a giant first sip, kind-of expecting a similar taste to my own green juice, and WOW, was I surprised. It had absolutely no sweetness, tartness or any hint of fruit whatsoever. In fact, if I had even a little squeezy-bottle of lemon juice I could have squirted in there, I might have been able to ‘save’ this juice. I could pick out the different veggies in each sip, for sure. But I really believe the guy behind the counter forgot to add the fruit, period.

I don’t know. Maybe some people can easily drink a 100% vegetable juice like that without a problem. Maybe it’s an acquired taste. All I know is that today I wasn’t enjoying it. I drank maybe 1/5 of the juice, just forced it down out of principle. When I got to my sister’s office, she offered me a taste of her juice, and it was wonderful of course. She was curious and tasted mine — and almost gagged. “It tastes like someone cut the grass and then poured it into some water!” Yeah, pretty much! Maybe it was the wheatgrass, then, fuckin’ things up. I have heard wheatgrass is a pretty strong tasting thing. Either way, ICK.

The next time I go to 24 Carrots, I’m getting some other recipe that’s fruity. I worry sometimes that I am not balanced with fruits and vegetables, since I do drink my awesome fruit & flaxseed smoothie every morning, and then snack on fruit and drink fruit juices… I don’t think I get enough veggies. I’m trying to make a real effort to fix that. Lots of salads, my homemade green juice, stir-fry vegetables, etc. are all part of this effort. It’s just interesting how much easier to is to eat most fruit than it is to eat vegetables. Fruit is generally more portable, and you can eat fruits by themselves. You can’t really wander around, gnawing on a red cabbage or bunch of spinach. (And carrots get old, after awhile… you want more variety than that.) No, veggies require prep work and they taste best mixed with other veggies. In my humble opinion, anyway.

Oh, this is interesting: Yesterday for lunch I ended up eating something I didn’t even want. I had a Pizza Hut personal pizza and a soda. Why did I eat this? I couldn’t think of anywhere to go and I was heading to 24 Carrots, actually, and the parking lot was SLAMMED. So I turned around, and went to the first place I saw: the Taco Bell/Pizza Hut place where I used to eat back before I cared so much about what I ate.

It was not enjoyable at all. Especially the soda part. Now, I think that’s pretty incredible, actually… I used to LOVE soda. I craved it, big time! But I haven’t had it in well over a month. Yesterday, there was nothing else to drink at the beverage fountain except for pink lemonade and raspberry Nestea. Nope on either of those. Just as bad and full of fake ingredients as the soda. So I had some diet Pepsi mixed with Dr. Pepper. No refills this time. In fact, I tossed most of it away.

For dinner last night, I did eat a decent meal (stir fry vegetables and brown rice). But then, about an hour before bed, I felt really hungry. I’d just bought a half-gallon of organic dairy milk, more as an experiment than anything else. I still like the almond milk a LOT. Anyway, I had about 8 ounces of milk last night; just sat down and drank a glass of it.

And within an hour, a headache hit in a big way.

I even had trouble falling asleep because of it! I took some Tylenol and it didn’t do a thing. Stupid headache. I woke up with it today, too, and had it most of the morning. Fortunately, I used my Goody’s powder and it absolutely helped.

I am curious if the poor lunch yesterday followed by a return to dairy milk might have contributed to the sudden headache. It felt like the headaches I used to get before I began all this juicing/smoothie business — not always a migraine, but just under that threshold and enough to make me miserable.

It’s really fascinating to pay close attention to what foods do to your body, and try to figure out what is best for you and what is harmful. It doesn’t take much brainpower to know soda is bad, of course. But maybe the milk isn’t particularly awesome for my system for some reason. I don’t know yet. But I’m definitely keeping this on my radar to gauge if there’s a pattern there.

It’s an ongoing process and journey. And I am game for it. I can’t wait to see where I am say, one year from now. What I’ve figured out. How I feel. I just want to continuously improve this one life I’ve got.

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