juice

The Adventures in Juicing aka The Big Whiners Club

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Thursday I felt like a sausage. (That seems like a good way to start this.) I was tightly jam packed into my pants - a month's worth of overeating and not working out nearly enough. (Yes Benner Fitters, I admit it - I love to stuff my face with food and find it incredibly hard to get back in the gym after I've stopped. I cannot tell a lie.) I've been wanting to try a juice cleanse for a while now to give my body a hearty reset. It was about time. So I documented my day. Yes, DAY. We juiced for one day. ONE! People do this for a week. It turns out - this girl really likes chewing and is a big baby when she doesn't get to do it.

Before I get to my notes of the day - let me break down what I learned from juicing:

1. I think about food all. the. time. I never realized that every little thing, every location where I stand - it all impacts my  neural sensors, triggering daydreams of food. Apparently my house is tied to potato and rice chips. Driving to work makes me want oatmeal. Sitting at my desk triggers a coffee craving. When the local food vendor brings breakfast to work, I immediately want a hard boiled egg. My stomach really does speak to me. I would imagine doing more than one day of juicing would eliminate these reactions a great deal and would be an important part of the cleanse; reincorporating your body back into the world without specific desires. I would love to experience how it feels to not have these automatic responses. To have my brain think of something quite different, entirely not related to food. Maybe I'll get a hypnotist on that action...

2. I have willpower. How about that? He poked his head out for the day screaming, "REMEMBER ME!!!"

3. Drinking is really difficult. I don't actually enjoy it. It's much harder for me to drink something I don't like than to eat something I don't like. My body will sometimes just say, "Nope, not gonna swallow that." and I'm sitting there with carrot juice in my mouth for longer than I care for.

4. Certain fruits and veggies can do wonders. Even carrot juice.

Let's get to it. Here was my day:

8:30 A.M. My tummy is growling. Probably not the greatest way to kick this thing off. What lays ahead for the day is a highly stressful workday at the pinnacle of my busy season, then an evening of goodbyes to a fellow coworker followed by a crafting night with some lovely ladies. Temptations galore. This should be interesting.

10 A.M. - Juice #1: greens 3 - kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon, ginger First juice = done. Greener than I thought it would be but pretty tasty! The ginger and apple smoothed out the greens and I'm grateful that the ginger was just the right potency. Driving to work I craved about 50 different breakfast items all because my brain is incapable of agreeing to this situation. Not starving, yet not too full either.

11:18 - I'm hungry! Blerg. This Chlorophyll water is not cutting it. It feels like slightly syrupy water. I swore I drank at least half the bottle, but instead it was this much:

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Feeling nicely alert however. Take that coffee! I don't need you!

11:40 - I've had to go to the bathroom like 8 times in 2 hours. TMI? Sorry. It's just so much water!

12:15 -  Eek, went from super high energy to very low and all focus is gone. Now I'm just feeling frustrated so I'm diving into drink #2.

12:16 - Juice #2: Citrus 2 - apple, lemon, pineapple, mint Oh my. This is so very delicious. I'm in love. So refreshing and light. This is my idea of a perfect drink. Why does the addition of mint in any fruity beverage make it 20 times more tasty?

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1:15 -  I might have exclaimed "Ugh. This is stupid!!" to my friend Lupita.

2:50 - Juice #3: Roots 2 - spinach, parsley, cucumber, carrot I've been dreading this one. Thank god this is more carrot than parsley. Not sure I'm gonna get through this whole thing.

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4:15 -  I hate you carrots! You're so hard to drink! You should be in solid form not liquid!! I do not want to give you any credit for taking away a pounding headache and filling my oh so hungry tummy up, even if you deserve it. You are torture. Not to mention every Friday during the summer my company provides a treat at 3pm. It's always a surprise and today, of course, is what people deem as the "BEST" treat of all - the Tango Mango Italian Ice truck. You are no treat to me, carrot-spinach-parsley. No treat to me.

5pm - TAKE THAT JUICE #3!! After nursing the bottle for hours I just wanted to move on with my life so I iced the carrots and chugged the remaining quarter of a bottle. I know - nasty. But I was supposed to be way into drink #4 by now.

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syd

6:45 - Juice #4 : Citrus 4 - cucumber, pineapple, lemon, coconut h2o, aloe vera I survived the visit to my friend's going away celebration at the bar by continuing to drink water. Driving to Wine and Craft night, or for me - Whine and Craft night.  I was hoping that this citrus was going to be as delicious as the first from this morning. This one is a little rough for me to get through as it's thicker in comparison due to the coconut water and aloe. The flavors are nice, it's just a lot on my tummy right now. I'm feeling pretty darn full still.

10pm - Juice #6 (#5 skipped): Vanilla Almond - almonds, dates, vanilla bean, sea salt, filtered water Get me home, get me home, get me home! Not because I wasn't having fun crafting, but because I can't wait for my last drink of the night! I skipped juice #5. It was just too much for me to put that in my body within the very few hours I have left in my day. But I will make room for Vanilla Almond anytime!! I've gotten this from Pressed before and I love it so. It's creamy and vanilla-y and just very delightful. Like a healthy milkshake! A perfect treat for the end of the day!

11:45pm - Aloe Vera Water I was dreading this one as I've had aloe juice before and was not a fan that first time around.  But this is nicely watered down, and it isn't as bad as the chlorophyll water I have been drinking throughout the day.

12am - I made the mistake of downing the aloe water on an already full stomach and actually got the chills and felt pretty sick afterwards. Clearly this was my fault, and I shouldn't have overdone it. I warmed up next to my hubby watching a movie and eventually the cold in my bones went away.  So very sleepy...

SATURDAY MORNING - THE AFTERMATH:

Well, I did it. I feel pretty good. My tummy isn't so bloated, it was easy for me to get up. I drifted off faster than I drank that Vanilla Almond drink - which was, well, super speedy. I was out like a light. Not sure if that was due to my juicing or my overall end of week exhaustion.

I can see the good that comes from cleansing. I'm definitely glad I did it  and I think that the experience brought to light how much certain foods can really impact my body and slow down my functions. I love the alert feeling I had throughout the day (and could do without the few minor dips). I will say, when your energy drops - it DROPS when you juice. Quickly. And when you are feeling focused, it's intense and energizing.

Would I juice it again? I'm still thinking about that. If I did it again, I would want to go longer - see how much more it affects my body. I fear however I might Hulk out and I would not want to put my loved ones through the wrath of the Juicing Brooke.

I do very much love Pressed Juicery. I wanted to be sure to say that! All of the drinks were quite tasty (yes, even the carrot was better than expected - just hard to drink a big bottle of...) and if I were to do it again I would love to go through them. Highly recommended for all of you in the LA area!

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

DC Part 2!

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Can you tell I'm in love with DC?! I believe I left off on Monday evening...

Ian and I went out with some of our coworkers for dinner at a restaurant called Founding Farmer's (love the name-www.wearefoundingfarmers.com). It's made up of 42,000 farmers that provide organic foods for the restaurant. How can one not support a business so fabulous? But ladies and gents the food...oh...my...word...AMAZING. The flavors they created in such healthy dishes were mind blowing! I could have kept eating if my stomach allowed it. I got a white bean cutlet stew and Ian got a vegetarian "meatloaf."

 

After a full and happy dinner we slept in the next morning ready to take on the day. Ian had to leave for work but I ventured into the Georgetown neighborhood and fell in love with it. The uneven cobblestone streets, the quaint Cafe's, and a great yoga class filled my freezing body (20 degrees outside) full of joy!

 

 

I popped into Lululemon in Gerogetown to ask them what fitness or yoga studios are around the area and they provided me with a great suggestion a yoga studio called Down Dog Yoga (www.downdogyoga.com). It was a hot and full vinyasa flow class that warmed me up and pumped up my heart rate. The instructors name was, Meg, and she did a fabulous job leading the class through a beautiful flow.

 

That night Ian and I dined at a local and delicious Indian Restaurant called Mehak (www.mehak.com). To all you vegetarian and vegans out there Indian food is a great option for good, filling, and healthy dishes. We had a romantic dinner and I wanted to cherish my last night in DC so we went out for a walk through the freezing cold yet gorgeous streets of DC...

My last morning in DC could not have been anymore perfect. It all began with a jog from downtown, to the national mall, to the capital, to the Washington monument, to the White House, and back. 5 miles later I could have kept going because I was just in awe of all the history I was stepping on and seeing.

 

Ian and I worked up a serious appetite so we decided to stop and grab some breakfast before I had to leave for Baltimore. There is a breakfast spot called Protein Bar (www.theproteinbar.com) that is only in Chicago and DC that a college friend of mine suggested. Boy was it delicious! Quinoa breakfast bowls with agave syrup, almonds, and fresh berries...a green tea smoothie with almond milk, egg whites, and fresh green tea...incredible! We ended my DC trip with a bang!

 

I'm in Baltimore now, working, and pretending I'm still in our nations capital. I couldn't have asked for a better 2 1/2 days! So thankful for our country and for each day of health I have here!

I hope this inspires you to travel and to know that wherever you go, you are able to find healthy foods, fitness studios or the outdoors, and amazing sites. Maybe instead of cabbing it somewhere in metropolitan cities, walk it or jog it so you get to experience the energy, the people, and actually touch the sites.

 

Juice It! {An Apple Spinach Blueberry Mint Lemon Juice}

juice it  

I just ate pizza. Yeah, that happened. I didn't really just eat pizza... I ate a massive amount of pizza. And it's making me sleepy. Oh so very sleepy.

 

Listen, it's the real deal here. I adore healthy food and the more I write and work on Benner Fit, the more I am excited by creating and experimenting with healthy alternatives. Healthy foods make me feel stable, content, awake and guilt free.

 

But there are nights where you've been at work for 12 hours and someone offers you free pizza. You're tummy twists and turns and says, "Oh, THAT'S a terrible idea!" But your hands are already in motion and your mouth is already chewing and then OOPSIES! You've eaten 3 slices. As you know by now I am human and adore the flavor of bad foods: pizza and bread and cookies and potato chips - the whole lot of it. But I hate the way it interferes with my body, despise how they make me tired, and loathe that they cause me to be a grumpy cat. Those few moments while pizza is sitting in my mouth, making my taste buds dance - I'm soaring. And then three hours later I'm laying in bed shouting, "Whyyyy did I eat that!!!"

 

At this point you are likely thinking, "This article is supposed to be about juicing. What is she talking about? Did Brooke juice her pizza?" No, don't fear - I didn't juice my pizza. Would I? Yep. I would totally throw a pizza in the juicer. Mostly because I saw the power that went into Syd's new juicer and it made me excited to throw any old thing on in there and chop it on up. Juice that Oreo! Juice that chicken pot pie! JUICE IT!!!

 

The point of the juice craze is the cleanse. A farewell to the pizza, and good riddance to the treats. And with the start of the new year it was a bright and shining symbol of starting over. A fresh slate. A new you. And that sounds very enticing these days.

 

Syd has juice cleansed many a times. I know she has a love for Pressed Juicery here in LA. I haven't tried a cleanse myself but I'm feeling ready. However, my dream would be to create these juices myself. I wanted to give it a trial run this past weekend with Sydney, and boy was it ridiculous and rewarding. Ridiculous because we threw in an entire lemon without having a cup underneath the spout and had a lemon juice flood in the kitchen. Rewarding because Round 2 juicing was a huge success, complete with a scrumptious beverage that is inspiring me to create oh so many more.
 Apple Spinach Blueberry Mint Lemon Juice

 

Apple Spinach Blueberry Mint Lemon Juice

 

INGREDIENTS:
  • small handful (1–2 ounces) spinach
  • Approx. 10 mint leaves (flavor to your liking)
  • 1 mini carton (6 ounces) of blueberries
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 1 lemon

 

DIRECTIONS:
Wash all of your ingredients. De-core the apple and divide it into four managable pieces. Peel your lemon. Run all of your ingredients through your juicer. Take the remaining pulp and run one more time. Stir it up to blend all of your juices together and enjoy! (Or throw it in the fridge to cool it off a bit for sipping on later.)

Apple Spinach Blueberry Mint Lemon Juice on Benner Fit

 The end result was a tart and tasty beverage that reminded me of a flavorful mint lemonade. I'm feeling very motivated now to get my juice on. (And I vow to you that it won't be pizza juice.)