Guess who I rescued from the cobwebs in my basement this morning?!

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My long-lost Jack LaLanne Power Juicer!!!!

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(RIP JLL :( )

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I used to be hardcore into juicing when I lived in Minneapolis right out of college. I’d seen Jack’s infomercial late one night, instantly caught the juicing bug and had to have one ASAP.

I begged my parents to get me one for Christmas that year, but it was a tough sell. This puppy wasn’t cheap, and they’d seen stuff like this out me before.

Is this going to be like that time you insisted on having a Topsy Tail but lost interest 3 topsies later?

No! I swear! I’ll juice everyday! Plus that was when I was 8! I insisted, secretly not knowing if I’d be juicing past New Years.

In the end, my powers of persuasion trumped any lingering doubt in their mind, and a big, beautiful Jack LaLanne Power Juicer was waiting for me under the Christmas tree that year.

Right away, me and the juicer were like this. I juiced my brains out. I juiced in the morning, I juiced at night, I juiced when I felt good and I juiced when I felt bad (fresh juice is an AWESOME hangover cure, btw!)

When I consistently drank fresh juice my skin looked amazing and my energy levels were though the ROOF. I started craving it and could totally tell when I had not had a big glass of the good stuff.

I juiced apples, oranges, zucchini, cucumber, carrots, pineapple, spinach and more. The secret to not tasting any veggies is to always include 1 apple. It’s crazy good!

Then, just like my parents predicted, I stopped juicing.

I don’t know why. There was no monumental juicing disaster that caused me to cease and desist. All of the sudden, after at least a solid 6 month stint, I just wasn’t juicing anymore.

Well, fast forward 6 years and some odd months later to this week, and I get an email from a friend that mentions the benefits of fresh juice. In addition to healthy skin and boundless energy, fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells.

That’s when I decided to resurrect my old healthy habit. :)

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Ok, yes, it’s muddy green and slightly terrifying looking – but I promise that this is the most delicious, satisfying, thirst-quenching drink you will ever have.

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Today’s mix included what I randomly had in the house:

  • 2 Pink Lady apples
  • 2 big handfuls baby carrots
  • 2 big slices watermelon
  • 1/2 bag baby spinach

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The beauty of juicing (well of my juicer anyways,) is that you don’t need to seed/core your fruit and veggies. You just stick them in whole, or cut them up big enough to fit inside the chute.

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The apples went in first.

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Then the spinach,

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(!!!!)

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and carrots.

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Then I had to switch to a new glass for the watermelon!

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So pretty!

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All mixed up!

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GUUUUUUULP!! Pure, refreshing and FULL of vitamins. Plus you cannot taste the veggies at. all. It just tastes sweet and refreshing!

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Ok, I do have to tell you that juicing is not all fun and games…

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Perhaps part of the reason why I quit all those years ago is because…juicers are a pain in the @$$ to clean.

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There’s 5 parts to disassemble & rinse and, from start to finish, I’d say the entire process from plunking in your produce to putting the parts into the dishwasher takes a good 15-20 minutes.

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For an early-morning worker bee such as myself (I leave the house at 6:15am) it’s not practical to juice everyday, so I’m envisioning it as more of a weekend/couple nights a week thing.

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Also, while it’s true that juicing takes out the filling and beneficial fiber you’d get from eating the fruits and vegetables whole, the vitamins and minerals are still there, and I never used juice to replace them anyways.

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My goal is to start juicing only organic produce. For some reason, the thought of drinking non-organic produce is totally disgusting to me. Also, I got a little carried away and made a lot of juice this morning. Normally I’d do about half this!

Have you ever juiced? What’s your favorite combo?

In other news, I made a terribly fun Meal in a Mason Jar for lunch = Lemon CousCous with Broccoli!

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It combined two of my current obsessions (mason jars & lemons) into one quick & summery lunch. All I did was toast 1/3 cup Israeli CousCous in about 1/2 teaspoon EVOO until it was maybe a little burnt golden brown.

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Then I added a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, 1/3 cup + 3 Tablespoons water,

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brought the water to a boil, lowered the temp, stuck a lid on the pan and let it simmer until all the liquid had been absorbed.

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Meanwhile I squeezed 1/2 a lemon, 1 Tablespoon EVOO, salt, pepper & torn basil leaves into a mason jar, and shook it all up.

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Then I added steamed broccoli and the cooked couscous on top.

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Lid on, and shake to coat!

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Lemony, sweet, chewy, filling meal in a mason jar!

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I love juice and cous.

Tonight is Ladies Night – holla! My Mom and I are going out for a little shopping then dinner. Can’t wait. :)

TGIF!