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Perkk was talking to my trainer while he was waiting for me to get out of the shower at the gym. Perkk mentioned that we had started juicing, and that we really liked it. My trainer asked him why we would want to do that. Perkk responded that it was amazingly healthy and had a lot of benefits. My trainer--Trainer Steve--took a minute to realize Perkk was talking about actual... juicing.

I never knew that juicing was a euphemism for using anabolic steroids.


Anyway, we did start juicing awhile back, after seeing some of the amazing (and small sample) empirical results in the movie Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. I might write about some of that in a later post, or you can watch the movie. It was sent to me from Australia from my awesome friend Phil, who lives near Victoria. He sent it to me in one of those locked, video-store boxes and told me I had to figure out how to get it open. Bastard.

But on to juicing. Juicing is an amazing way to literally squeeze the life out of fruits and vegetables. Juicing a variety of plants provides the spectrum of micronutrients. There are a lot of traditional rules about juicing, many of which have no basis in any scientific findings that I have been able to find, such as "You should NEVER mix your wheatgrass juice with ANY other juices!" says the militant, angry juice person in the produce department at our co-op. If you do some reading, you'll find out that people have been saying that since the fifties, yet no scientific study has ever been published that says anything like that.

We invested in a newer model of juicer, a masticating, slow juicer called Hurom. Historically, I am a Green Star fan, but we decided to give this one a go. So far (about three months) it has performed well. It pushes out drier tailings than any juicer I've ever seen in action.

What do we juice? Our juice varies from day to day, but here is a good example. The more color you have, the better.



This is a good collection of plant life for juicing. Apples, oranges, kiwi, carrots, and kale. this batch also had some butternut squash added.



This is for another day of juicing. Carrots, apples, beets, red kale, and dandelion greens. Off screen are grapefruit, pineapple, and celeriac. This was for two batches of juice for the next day. I think I also threw in a rutabaga that was starting to wilt.

Some things I particularly like are kiwi (adds a lot of flavor), a variety of kale, beets, and grapefruit. Carrots are a staple part of almost all the juices we make. We go into the co-op and say "Can I get some juice carrots, please?" and walk out carrying a 25-pound bag of giant, organic carrots. That is always good for a few comments on the street.

One mistake many people make with their juicers is to try to feed long things into it without cutting them up first. Juicers can have a tough time with long fibers, but if you cut everything into manageable chunks, a good juicer won't have any trouble.









The kale needs to be cut up, but otherwise this is ready for the juicer. What you see here is about 16 ounces of juice. This juice rang in at about 500 calories; good for guys our size, but a small person would probably want to drink smaller quantities.

Everybody wants to know: "Isn't it better for you to just eat the fruits and veggies?" The answer is yes... and no. One serving a whole vegetables is better for you than juicing because it contains all the nutrients and all the fiber. However, you get much higher amounts of nutrients from juiced fruits and vegetables than you do from whole ones, because the juicer breaks down materials that might otherwise pass through you. We could not possibly eat the volume of vegetables and fruit that we get through juicing. Even if we could, the amount of fiber in all of that would interfere with the absorption of nutrients during digestion.

Of course, you don't need to juice to have a healthful diet. But this is a fun way to get in a lot of plant-based nutrition; much more than I could get Perkk to eat otherwise. This doesn't mean that we don't eat whole fruits and veggies. We actually eat quite a lot of them.

And so it all goes into the juicer.





Kale juice is an amazing color. Red kale juice is even darker and richer.


This is a slow, masticating juicer (as opposed to a high speed juicer or a centrifugal juicer). There is a large screw in the middle that turns slowly and pulls the stuff down into it. The slow speed keeps the juice from being exposed to heat, the killer of many nutrients. The tailings from this juicer are as dry as any I have seen. In independent testing, this model extracted significantly more juice and significantly more nutrients than other top-of-the-line juicers.


Down the chute.


A juice is born.


You can see that the tailings are minimal. This is the entire batch that we started with, now juiceless.


Into the compost they go. No waste. If you are doing all-vegetable juices, then you can use the tailings to make great vegetable stock first, then compost them. That really would be getting all the life you can out of your veggies!



A level 16 ounces of really delicious and healthful goodness. Sip it slow.


A final detail: I weigh each ingredient to the gram in order to calculate the nutritional content, especially the calories.

So that's our juicing. We usually make juice each evening for the next day. I drink a different juice in the afternoon, so we make all of that, all at once. The juicer needs to be disassembled and cleaned each time it is used, so that makes it easier. I store the juice in Nalgene or stainless steel bottles in the fridge, so in the morning all I have to do is grab the bottles and go.

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