February 13, 2012

Discovering the Power of Green

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I'm hooked on juicing!  There, I've said it.  

This coming from someone who has avoided green vegetables like the plague all of her life.  My main four food groups consisted of cheese, any kind of pizza, sugared anything and pasta.  Believe me, it shows too.  

Before I moved to northern Wisconsin, I was still had my high school figure if not better.  Never you mind how many years ago that was.  

We lived up north for nine years.  

Nine years of learning to cook scrump-dilly-itious german food and loving it ...

Nine years of not exercising because I had never had to exercise a day in my life before ...      

Nine years of creamy, cheesy casseroles, sweet breads, gooey Wisconsin cheese and rich butter ...

Nine years of getting older and learning that I can't eat like I used to ...

I have to stop here to say that I'm not complaining about northern Wisconsin, it is truly a beautiful place full of wonderful people.  This is my small disclaimer before all of my northern friends and family disown me!  I love you and miss you all by the way!!!

Back to the present ...

I've woken up to the fact that something has to change.  I still can't stand formal exercising so that's out for the most part.  We do walk a lot and garden and chase chickens etc.....normal farm activity which counts in my book.  I have also just recently discovered T-Tapp which I am sold on and will follow up with you on later.  

Last spring we had the desire to begin juicing  We began hearing how healthy it was to juice, so we purchased a Jack Lalane juicer.  Fresh juice is amazingly delicious.  We instantly were hooked on the taste for sure, but it didn't change anything about how we ate or felt.  The newness wore off and it basically gathered dust on my counter through the busy season of gardening when in fact, it should have been my biggest work horse in the kitchen due to the fresh produce.  I won't make the same mistake this year!

I have to say that I owe this new lifestyle change to watching one documentary 'Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead'.  If you haven't seen it, I'd recommend it.  We've watched many other food documentaries and you have to be wise and be discerning when watching these, but the bottom line of all of them is that we have to use common sense and not be pushed around by the beef industry, or the sugar industry, or the USDA guidelines, or the fast food industry, or whatever huge corporate entity that is funding what we are being told to eat.

One cannot deny statistics of diet and death studies.  And those statistics show me that a heavy diet of meat and dairy produce bad results.  Healthier diets which consist of a high percentage of fruits and vegetables produce great results.  Our priorities have been shifted by many corporate businesses to enlarge their profits and we bought it, hook, line and sinker.

Do we raise beef?  Yes.  Do we raise chickens?  Yes and I treasure the blessing of being able to, however, our diet cannot  consist of mainly meat and dairy.  As in all of life, there has to be the right balance.

Our new way of eating isn't even close to being perfect, but the changes that have been made so far are progress and we feel so much better mentally and physically.  The changes of how healthy we feel are difficult to describe to you, but I can tell you that even though everyone around us has been sick off and on all winter, we have not experienced any of it.

Here is an example of how far we have come in changing our diets ...

For breakfast, we have been die hard fans of cold cereal.  Who am I kidding, we ate cold cereal for breakfast, snacks and even sometimes for dinner (on rare occasion).  It was inexpensive, easy and quick to grab before rushing out to do chores, a quick snack or for after working outside all day and evening.  So the fact that we haven't had any (one lonely stale box) cold cereal in our home for several months is a pretty good feeling.  For breakfast, we make fresh juice smoothies and love them.  The recipe can be found HERE.  Instead of a bowl of cereal, we have the nutrients of two apples, three oranges, two carrots, 1 1/2 bananas, greek yogurt and bee pollen every single morning.  I sure couldn't eat all that, but juicing enables me to have all of those nutrients to jump start my system.  This breakfast recipe serves two people.

For lunch we used to eat meat and cheese sandwiches, or frozen pizzas, or leftover casserole.  Whatever was quick and easy depending on what was in the fridge or freezer.  During the summer months, we do eat a lot healthier due to fresh veggies and salads, but during the winter....forget it.  Now we juice everything shown in the top picture into one serving of juice.  It is called the Mean Green from the 'Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead' documentary.  In all honesty, I drink it more than the rest of my family does because I love the way it makes me feel.  The documentary really promotes juice fasting.  I haven't done it yet mainly due to my lack of will power, but I have incorporated all of these fruits and vegetables into more than 80% of my daily diet.

Here again, one quart of juice has a HUGE amount of micro-nutrients in it.  There would be no possible way to eat all of this for one meal, plus the energy your body would take to digest all of the fiber would be exhausting.

Mean Green

6 - 8 Kale leaves
4 stalks of Celery
1 Cucumber
Parsley (handful)
2 Granny Smith Apples
1/2 Lemon
1" ginger root

One of the strangest affects it has had on me is that I no longer spot cheesy food for the first thing to go on my plate.  For example, our wonderful church has pot luck every Sunday afternoon.  Let me tell you, those ladies know how to cook!  Where I used to spot the cheesy casseroles and barb-q meat to put on my plate, my eyes find the green beans, the broccoli, the salads without me even realizing it.  Once I noticed it, I had to laugh at myself and smile inside.  The more I eat the dark green veggies, the more I am automatically drawn to them.  I get as excited seeing this dark green juice in the glass as I used to get looking at a homemade piece of lasagna.  I see health in this green glass of juice, I see using plants that I've grown feeding our family in a much larger way than ever before and I silence all of those voices over the years that say to eat your green vegetables.  The plate of lasagna?  I see gluten, I see oils, I see fats, I see feeling tired and bloated.  My way of thinking about food has changed.

For dinner, we used to eat lots of meat and potatoes and cheese on everything.  Now we have dishes with mostly vegetables with small portions of meat twice a week.  Other than that, we generally have salads, vegetable casserole for dinner or even a different vegetable juice from this list of favorite juice recipes over at Getting Rawdelicious blog where she is journaling her juice fast and has listed several of her favorite recipes.   She has done a great job in sharing this journey of hers and has inspired me to begin a juice fast too.  If you're into juicing, you've got to try her Sunset Blend recipe.  You'll never believe how sweet the juice of a sweet potato is and how much juice comes from one potato!

All of this new way of doing things has really changed our garden plans for 2012 which I'm glad to say. Many of the things we will be planting this year can be found on our 2012 Garden Board at Pinterest so go on over and take a look at them.

If you have a favorite juice recipe, please please PLEASE share it with me in a comment!  We love trying new recipes.

Find me linked up at:  Homestead RevivalNourishing TreasuresGrowing HomeFar Above RubiesSkip to my LouPenniless Parenting, Titus 2sdaysRaising HomemakersFrugally SustainableWomen Living Well, Raising Mighty ArrowsDeep Roots at HomeFingerprints on the FridgeFarm Friend FridayLife as MomFarmgirl Friday


  1. That looks good! I will have to try it this year!

  2. Forget to tell you and your followers, I am having a give away at my blog. Come enter:


  3. Hey Sharon, I just love this post. My husband and I both love juicing. Probably more so last year but were picking it back up this year. I can't talk for him about weight and losing it but I need to lose a good amount.
    Here are two recipes we love. The first, take about 4 big carrots, 2 apples (we use pink lady apples or jazz but you can use any kind) and a handful of fresh parsley and juice away. OMG, talk about good. The second recipe, cucumber (peeled), romaine lettuce (2 med. heads) and one apple.
    I need to check out that documentary you talked about "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead". Also, I need to check out Getting Rawdelicious. Have a great evening.

    Thanks, Sandy at Oklahomatransient.blogspot.com

  4. I am addicted to juicing, too!

    I have been making this grapefruit ginger juice. I don't like grapefruit and it doesn't taste ilk grapefruit. It is actually very yummy! http://www.goodgirlgonegreen.com/recipes/pamplemousse-ginger-juice

    I also love just apple, carrots and oranges. So simple. And I try to get a green juice in almost everyday too, and that is usually whatever is in mu CSA basket!

    1. This sounds wonderful! I've been looking for a way to get some grapefruit in. I don't mind it in our breakfast juice, but the rest of the family isn't very fond of it. Thank you!

  5. I really enjoyed your post! We've been trying to change our breakfast up from the usual cereal or oatmeal. We've done smoothies but don't have a juicer, so that's something I may have to save up for. I'll have to watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead on Netflix now!

  6. I do a lot of juicing in the fall when I am harvesting our fruit trees. This is a good reminder to do it through out the year and incorporate more veggies.

  7. Sharon, The ball is rolling, we started again today juicing. We went to the rawdelicious site and used a recipe and loved it. Later this evening, I will be making more. Have a good day, chat with you later.


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