Growing up, I called my mom a "food hippie." She was into natural foods, Chinese herbs, tea tree oil toothpaste, coconut oil and a plant-passionate lifestyle before it was popular. We shopped at a grocery store called "The Health Concern." Vitamins, herbal tea and ginseng shots were a daily ritual. While my friends were having family dinners consisting of spaghetti and meatballs, fried chicken or meat loaf, my mom was serving falafel on whole wheat pita, along with hummus and asparagus. Don't get me wrong, she cooked meat for me, but faux tuna casserole, tofu, brown rice, and weird veggies were a typical staple in our home.
Although it was a pain in the you-know-what-back then, in retrospect I greatly appreciate my mom's conscious living. To be honest, I totally disregarded everything she taught me until April 2009, when I became a vegetarian. My transition was easy, considering I was accustomed to making friends with brussels sprouts on my plate. However, I didn't choose the healthy approach until later. I was a processed, junk-food vegetarian. In 2010, my mother's Juiceman Juicer was "handed down" to me. (It was in incredible shape considering how old it was.) I decided to try juicing as an adult.
If you read my previous article 5 Delicious Green Smoothies For Beginners, you'll know that my friends enjoy giving me green living advice. I love my friends, but I can't listen to their advice when it comes to what goes in my mouth. A friend told me to purchase purple cabbage, beets, cucumber, carrots, celery, apples, lemon, romaine lettuce, kale, garlic and tomatoes, and juice them up all at once.
I appreciated her attempt to help, but that was the DUMBEST recommendation ever for someone whose only fruit intake was applesauce and only vegetable was corn. It tasted like trash in a glass. I literally fell over in my kitchen laughing upon first sip. Needless to say, I cleaned the juicer, walked it over to my baker's rack and decided Juiceman would be a permanent squatter there.
In 2012, I decided to give juicing a go again after watching the film Fat Sick and Nearly Dead. I figured, as someone training to be a Holistic Health Coach, it might not be a bad idea to create recipes that taste good for someone with a low tolerance to plants, or someone just getting started with juicing.
These days my life partner calls me a food weirdo and says I have bizarre taste buds. She's right. The only things plant-based I don't like are okra and lima beans. I could even drink a straight-up kelp smoothie. As long as it's healthy, I can tolerate it. My typical green juice is quite "grassy." However, I do remember the days of not-so-friendly taste buds, so to help you get started with juicing, here are three recipes that won't send you to your kitchen floor laughing.
Note: Try to use organic produce when possible. If not possible, simply clean produce well. Remove rind, core and peel. Juice produce, pour over ice and enjoy.
1. Happy Green Juice