I have been feeling guilty that it's been so long since I posted a vegan meal. We have reached the point in our lifestyle that our diet is mostly meatless from Monday to Thursday. Factor in the dairy free life style and we're just a stone throw away from being vegan. I don't know that we will ever make the leap to exclude meat, chicken and fish from our diet completely, but I have come a long way from being the guy that wouldn't think twice about having chicken shnitzel or steak for breakfast. About three months ago, we introduced juicing into our life. Juice as a meal replacement is becoming a little more common since the Joe Cross movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead hit screens in 2010 and it is easy to incorporate into your life without you feeling like you're on some new-age hunger strike.
The first time I heard of a friend doing a juice diet, a cleanse or a detox, I thought it was madness. My biggest obstacle was wondering how on earth juice could sustain you. Simply put, we are not talking about boxes or bottles of mass-produced, shelf stable juice. We're talking about real food, fresh from the ground, and we're talking about a lot of it.
It didn't take me long to understand why fresh juice is so filling. Before I put the produce through the juicer, I wash it. I touch each apple, carrot and beet and in a moment I am able to understand that I am not "drinking a glass of juice" for breakfast, I am eating four or five carrots, an apple or two, a whole lemon, some ginger, beets, kale… the list can go on. When you see this much fresh produce, it is easy to understand why the juice is so filling.
I'm not going to try and sell you on the health benefits, you can watch the movie for that, and I recommend you do. It's an awesome tale of a road trip that steers two people away from a disease-ridden life and almost certain premature death.
Since I started having juice for breakfast, I have noticed one thing. When I start my day with a cup of coffee, I am tired or hungry by 10AM whereas a glass of juice at 6AM keeps me energized and full until noon or beyond. A second juice at lunch can keep me going till I leave the office at 4PM.
My wife and I ordered our juicer the day after we watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. It was my wife's idea and I was skeptical – but I've seen and felt the difference and so glad we made the purchase.
Breakfast Vegetable Juice
You can mix and match fruit and veggies based on your preference. I am not a fan of celery in my juice, my wife doesn't like cucumber. I'm neutral on kale or spinach so I sometimes leave it out. Here's the juice we make that the whole family enjoys, the quantity should make two to three servings.
- Seven carrots
- Two small organic apples
- Two beets including the stalks and greens
- An inch of ginger
- One lemon
Cold produce really makes a refreshing juice with no need for ice. If you are going to make juice often, I'd recommend storing all produce in the fridge or an a cold corner of the garage for the best taste. That might sound obvious now, but if you start buying 10lbs of carrots or apples at a time, you might run our of space in the fridge! To minimize the clean-up process, put a plastic bag in the discard bucket and you will have one less thing to wash.
Wash all of the produce. You don't need to peel any of the veggies but if you find that the beets are particularly dirty you may want to remove the skin. Don't discard the beet greens and stalks, these are great in the juice too. Turn the juicer on to high and start with the carrots. Take a moment to notice how vibrant and orange the carrot juice is. This is nature at it's best.
After the carrots, continue with the apples, beets and the rest of the produce. Once you have juiced all the produce, your breakfast (lunch or dinner) is ready. Pour into glasses and enjoy. If you want to keep the juice for later, pour it into a glass jar and keep it in the fridge. I have never stored juice for more than four or five hours, I am not sure I would leave it too much longer. The juice may separate after a short while; that is fine, just shake it before drinking and it will be as good as new.
You can spend as little as $25 on a juicer but I wouldn't recommend it. We bought the Breville Juice Fountian Plus which is a mid range centrifugal juicer that cost us about $150. If you are going to take juicing seriously, I would strongly recommend this machine, it's a beast in the best of ways and performs as well as it's $250 siblings and is easy to clean, most of the parts are top-rack dishwasher safe too.
If you have questions about getting started with juice, leave a comment below. I'm pleased we discovered the benefits of juicing and the whole family loves it.