Visit to Whole Foods Flagship Store in Austin Texas

I took a trip to Whole Foods. Ok, so I take a trip to WF all the time. In fact, I shop at my local Whole Foods approximately once a week to stock up on my delicious organic fruits and vegetables. I really have a great time while grocery shopping there. What I experienced last month though, at the Whole Foods Flagship Store in Austin, Texas was pure bliss. I went to Austin with hubby to visit family and when the opportunity presented itself on a Saturday morning to spend an hour and a half there, I took it. I pranced out of the hotel room, programmed the GPS in the rental car and sped down those vast, open Texas highways. I have never felt more care free and excited about a solo trip. Besides hanging out with my awesome family it was the highlight of my trip so I thought I’d share it with y’all. I took these pics with my handy dandy iPhone too. Didn’t want to look to crazy with a big camera. I was two weeks into my new journey of trying to eat mostly (90% or so) raw vegan so I needed the extra inspiration.

A beautiful array of organic and local vegetables at Whole Foods in Austin, Texas

A beautiful array of organic and local vegetables at Whole Foods in Austin, Texas

Aren't they arranged in the prettiest pattern? I wonder if I can make mine look like that in my fridge...

Aren’t they arranged in the prettiest pattern? I wonder if I can make mine look like that in my fridge…

Sprouted & Raw nuts and seeds. I didn't have time to sample any but they looked delectable.

Sprouted & Raw nuts and seeds. I didn’t have time to sample any but they looked delectable.

You can make your own custom trail mix! nice :-)

You can make your own custom trail mix! nice 🙂

Sooooooo beautiful

Sooooooo beautiful

I got a few reusable bags for souvenirs.

I got a few reusable bags for souvenirs.

It was a few days before Valentine's day so LOVE was in the air.

It was a few days before Valentine’s day so LOVE was in the air.

Whole Foods Raw (and some organic) JUUUICE!!! They were divinely delicious. I bought 3 of them and all 3 were out of this world good. Great job Whole Foods!

Whole Foods Raw (and some organic) JUUUICE!!! They were divinely delicious. I bought 3 of them and all 3 were out of this world good. Great job Whole Foods!

I'll be back :-)

I’ll be back 🙂

My all organic Sunday morning hotel room Breakfast in Austin courtesy of WF: orange juice, strawberries, blueberries and bananas. Deeeelicious :-)) Go RAW!

My all organic Sunday morning hotel room Breakfast in Austin courtesy of WF: orange juice, strawberries, blueberries and bananas. Deeeelicious :-)) Go RAW!

Anyone else been to the flagship Whole Foods store? Has anyone had a fun fruit and veggie shopping experience out of town? Please do share… 

~Shop, Juice & Feel the LOVE~

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Joyful Juice Recipes, #29 and #30

I’m so glad I’m back to juicing and blogging about it. I took a very long break from doing both most of this year to pursue other personal goals that suffice it to say left me feeling drained and hopeless. I am finally beginning to feel like my true happy self again and I owe much of that to my beloved 5 year old Breville juicer and my yummy hubby. While in the throes of my sadness I forced myself to think of (and act on) activities that bring me joy and juicing was pretty much at the top of the list. Ok, so maybe juicing tied with sleeping 9+ hours on my days off regardless of how many ‘important’ and  ‘timely’ errands I needed to run. So here are two recipes that I made on a day I literally slept in till 11am! These recipes are raw, fresh, mostly organic and quite delicious. Give them a try!I had one for breakfast, at 12pm 🙂 and one for lunch at 3pm 🙂 🙂 with lots of water in between.

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BEET JOY JUICE RECIPE (32 ounces)

  • 6 large carrots
  • 3 beets, thoroughly washed
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 1/4 large fresh pineapple
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 3-4 leaves of beet greens

beet juicebeet juice, juicing, juice recipe

GREEN JOY JUICE RECIPE (24 ounces)

  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 1/2 lime
  • 2 leaves of mustard greens

green juice, juicing, juice recipe

green juice recipe

Juice and Be Joyful!

Juicing date with my mother and Juice Recipe #28

I had an incredibly fun Saturday evening. I spent it juicing with my mother. I obviously looooooooove juicing, hence the blog, but it is an activity I do solo. My mother has had a juicer for a while now and why we haven’t had a juicing date before yesterday beats me! Turns out, juicing is so much more fun when you have an equally enthusiastic partner. We had so much fun, made three different juices, and I took no pictures because I was too busy chugging them. My beloved mother had two big AHA! moments while we juiced.

The first one was that she does way to much prep work. After thoroughly washing the veggies, she chops them up into smaller pieces!?! I couldn’t believe it. I basically told her she did not need to help her super powerful centrifugal juicer out and that she should just (gently)  shove her veggies whole down the chute, as long as they fit of course. She had the most surprised look on her face as I threw whole cucumbers down the chute, large and long carrots, celery stalks etc.

Lesson #1: Don’t help your juicer out by chopping up the veggies. Your juicer can take it! Just wash and juice. Slice/Chop only to make larger veggies fit.

The second AHA! moment she had was that I have a rhyme and reason to my juicing while she doesn’t. My mother just juices a little of all of the vegetables and fruits she has available in her fridge. She ALWAYS juices this way and of course sometimes they taste great and a lot of times they don’t. That must not have been very encouraging for her. I’ve been experimenting with different fruit and veggie combos for so long now that I know, for the most part, what works together and what doesn’t.

Lesson #2: Recipes are great for making your own juices. Feel free to make them exactly as you see them or use them as inspiration but be warned that throwing everything-but-the-kitchen-sink down your juicer’s chute may not always result in a tasty juice.

While these lessons may seem pretty basic to novice or expert juicers, I hope there’s a beginner out there who will see this post and benefit from them.

One of the juices we made was this creamy and delicious orange-colored juice, the second was your usual deep red colored ABC (plus ginger) juice and the third was a green juice that I don’t think I’ve made before. Check out the ingredients below. We made an incredibly large batch but I will modify the quantity to what should make approximately 16 ounces.

MAMA’s green juice

  • 4 organic celery stalks
  • 1/2 large cucumber (1 whole small cucumber)
  • small handful of cilantro
  • 1 large head of organic romaine lettuce
  • 1 organic apple
  • 2-3 stalks of a dark leafy green, we used beet greens

~Happy Juicing y’all!~

Juice Recipe #25: Three Greens Juice and Juicing Tips

I LOOOOVE having a day off. I mean, who doesn’t? Nothing inspires me more to create delicious and healthy recipes like having a day off spent ONLY at home. My internal alarm/bladder woke me up at 5:40am which I was very upset about but I turned my frown upside down and found about four more hours of blissful sleep. I then woke up feeling refreshed and of course ready to have a fresh organic raw homemade green juice! I generally make smoothies when I’m headed to work and juice on my days off. Today’s juice had to be simple, green and as always yummy! Here are a few tips to make your juicing process far more enjoyable.

  • Line the pulp container with a plastic baggie that you would usually get at a grocery store. It saves on clean up time! 
  • ALWAYS clean all the parts of the juicer immediately after juicing. It makes for an easier clean up and extends the life of your juicer. Dried-on pulp on your juicer’s parts is not the business!
  • If you’d love to have juice for breakfast and would like to save time in the morning then clean your produce the night before. 
  • Always keep your juice recipes simple. Unless you’re nuts like I am at times and want to make an ‘everything’ juice and an ‘everything’ green juice. I try to keep my recipes under 5 ingredients. You really don’t want to know what celery, ginger, carrot, beet, tomato, apple, garlic, kale, lemon and collard juice tastes like, trust me! My everything juices were beyond delicious though 🙂 There was a method to that madness.

So back to today’s juice. Here are the ingredients:

  • 4 large organic celery stalks
  • 2 organic granny smith apples
  • 1 organic romaine heart

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celery apple and romaine green juice

~Juice & K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple Sweetie)~

Do you have any other tips? Do share…

5 Incredible Benefits of Juicing

Here is a look at just 5 of the many incredible benefits of juicing.

  1. The Standard American Diet (or any diet that is full of highly processed foods) is deficient in nutrients necessary for optimal health and filled with toxins that contribute to the chronic degenerative diseases many suffer from. Juices are a great way to provide an abundance of nutrients. They are full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants that are sure to help the body heal from the inside out. Fresh juices are an easy way to consume nutrients found in a large amount of produce. They are in no way though, a substitute for eating fresh fruits and vegetables.
  2. Juices are energizing! Fresh, raw juices have living energy and are assimilated into the body very quickly. It is extremely important to drink juices immediately after they have been prepared in order to get the most benefits. Juices begin to oxidize and lose their nutritive power the longer they are stored.
  3. For anyone concerned about calories, juices have few calories, a high amount of nutrients and are very filling. They are a great addition to any weight-loss plan.
  4. Juicing an array of fruits and vegetables provides your body with an immense number of nutrients which boost immunity such as vitamins A, B, C & E as well as carotenoids, manganese and selenium.
  5. Juices, mostly those of leafy greens, are highly alkaline and help counteract the acidic state found in those who consume a mostly Standard American Diet. An optimal pH for the body is extremely important for all metabolic processes. Check out this detailed article by Dr. Robert and Shelley Young to find out exactly why consuming mostly alkaline foods is necessary. They also have an acid-alkaline food chart which makes a great guide for anyone.

I can attest to having experienced all these benefits since I began juicing exactly four years ago. If you think you’re ready to start juicing and improve your health, the next step is choosing a juicer. Read this to figure out the best type of juicer that will fit your needs and budget. Lastly, here is one of many free juice recipes on this site to get you started.

What benefits have you experienced from juicing?

Juice Recipe #23: Lean Green Juice!

This green juice recipe is sure to make you feel & look great. It was the perfect light and super healthy breakfast recipe and it has super ‘green’ powers to make anyone lean (after lots of doses on a consistent basis alongside a healthy diet of course). Yes, being lean doesn’t come easy. I know because I’m still on that path but I love and appreciate every step I make in the right direction. And by lean, I don’t mean skinny, I mean… ‘right & tight’ 🙂 I just can’t think of a better way to describe it. Feel free to help me out.

Anyway, here’s the recipe to this delicious and refreshing green juice. Your whole body will thank you for it. This made exactly 32 ounces which is a whole lot but I woke up starving, ran a few miles and needed that much. Cut ingredients in half to make the usual 16oz.

  • 4 medium/large collard green leaves
  • 5 celery stalks
  • one handful of mint leaves
  • 3 granny smith apples
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 lemon (I juice with the peel on)

Some of the benefits of this green juice, just to name a few, are that it is anti-inflammatory, alkaline, a diuretic, promotes weight loss and improves immunity.

Ingredients of The Lean Green Juice

Ingredients of The Lean Green Juice

Lean Green Frothy Goodness

Lean Green Frothy Goodness

Lean, green and filled to the brim.

Lean, green and filled to the brim.

Settling in

Settling in

~Juice & Get Lean!~

Sources:

Benefits of Juicing Collard Greens

The Incredible Powers of Celery Juice

Juice Recipe #22: Not-So-Green Juice

Not-So-Green Juice

I was craving a green juice today and made this tasty juice that looks anything but green. In fact, I’m not fond of its color but it packs some serious nutrient power so whatever! I purchased some collard greens at my local supermarket a few days ago that were calling my name. I’m sure I’m not the only weirdo that sees a gorgeous veggie in the market and just has to have them. That’s how I felt about these collards when I laid eyes on them. They were fresh, large, leafy and the most gorgeous shade of green.

I LOVE Collard Greens or what I grew up referring to as Sukuma Wiki, google that! Collards and Kale are definitely my favorite greens. I grew up eating them sauteed with onions and tomatoes. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. But given that this is a juicing blog and I was craving one I thought I would create a juice around them. It just refused to become green though thanks to the carrots. Go carotene! I also was excited to drink a veggie juice out of the glass in the picture. It was a wedding favor from a wedding I attended two weeks ago and I can’t say I’ve ever been more excited about a favor. Silly, I know!

Collard greens are loaded with Vitamin A, C and K, along with calcium, potassium and omega 3 fatty acids. Greens are definitely nature’s secret weapon. Here’s one recipe that helps you drink your greens and get filled up on these nutrients.

  • 2-3 large collard green leaves, thouroughly washed, stem and all!
  • 5-6 carrots
  • 1 apple
  • 1 inch piece of ginger

~Juice & Enjoy!~

If you want to taste and see a ‘real’ green juice, check out the most popular green juice recipe MAJ has so far… Juice Recipe #4

Types of Juicers

I was so eager to get this blog started and begin sharing the wonderful new juice recipes I was creating in my kitchen that I completely forgot to go over a few basics that anyone new or old to juicing might like to read about. I remember how hungry I was (and still am) for information in the beginning of my juicing journey. Having said that I would like to take the time to discuss very simply and clearly the three main types of juicers along with their pros and cons.

CENTRIFUGAL JUICERS

This is by far the most popular and most affordable type of juicer on the market. These juicers have a round disc with sharp blades that grind the vegetables and fruits as you push them through, allowing the juice through the sieve and out the spout while discarding the pulp on the opposite end into a container.

 Pros

  • most affordable (price range is about $40-$300).
  • high RPM which makes them the fastest
  • they have a wide mouth/large feeding tube which means you don’t have to chop up your fruits and veggies too much or at all.
  • produce a pulp free high-yield juice

Cons

  • not so great at juicing leafy greens
  • can be quite loud
  • they have several (some quite bulky) parts to clean. I place a plastic baggie in my pulp container before I begin juicing which makes for one less part to clean up. I also clean the other parts immediately after juicing and before enjoying my juice.
  • The shredder/grinding disc spins incredibly fast which means the juice begins to oxidize. Try to always drink your juice immediately and store only if you must regardless of what juicer you use.

I own a Breville Juice Fountain Plus that I purchased in December of 2008 for $120 (with my Macy’s coupon).  Check out the first green juice recipe I ever made with it. This is the one and only juicer I have owned and it has NEVER given me a problem. I use it several times a week and the only con that sometimes makes me want to get a new juicer is the fact that it is just ‘ok’ with leafy greens. Otherwise, I love my juicer, take good care of it and feel eternally grateful for the abundance of health that has come my way because of what it can do!

Here is my Breville Juice Fountain Plus today…

MASTICATING JUICERS

These are single gear juicers and tend to be more expensive than centrifugal juicers. They work by slowly grinding vegetables and fruits and then squeezing the juice out.

Pros

  • great at juicing leafy greens, including wheatgrass
  • easier to clean than centrifugal juicers
  • can make nut butters and fruit sorbets
  • not as loud as centrifugal juicers

Cons

  • they are more expensive than centrifugal juicers and range from about $200-$400
  • they are much slower than centrifugal juicers
  • they have a smaller feeding tube and therefore veggies and fruits need to be cut up quite a bit to get them through

After doing a bit of research if I wanted to purchase a masticating juicer I would get the Omega Vert VRT350. They seem to have great reviews across the web, have a 10 year warranty and are upright which means they take up less counter space!

TRITURATING (TWIN-GEAR) JUICERS

These juicers also work by grinding and pressing the juices out except they have an even slower RPM and double the gears to produce the highest quality juices a juicer can make.

Pros

  • able to juice any and all kinds of produce including leafy greens and wheatgrass exceptionally well
  • produce an incredibly high quality juice that barely undergoes any oxidation or exposure to heat.
  • produce extremely dry pulp
  • fairly quiet

Cons

  • most expensive and can range from $500-$2500
  • take the longest to make juice but good things come to those who wait, right?
  • have several parts to clean that can be a bit of a hassle.

Check this out to see what I consider to be the Rolls Royce of juicers. They cost a pretty penny but they definitely get the job done exceedingly well.

Remember, the BEST juicer for you is simply two things:

  • the one you can afford
  • the one you will use

~Happy Purchasing and Juicing!~

What juicer do you own and what kind is it? Do you agree or disagree with these pros and cons? Do you have a ‘dream’ juicer? 

Juice Recipe #20: Bright Orange Goodness

So I made 32 ounces of Bright Orange Goodness as I’m calling it to have for breakfast tomorrow. I prefer to drink my juices immediately after making them for many reasons…

  • that’s when they taste the best/super fresh!
  • they are just the right temp for me, not too cold and not too warm. I’m one of those “water with no ice please” people. A few juices tend to taste better chilled or on ice though.
  • and most importantly, they haven’t began to oxidize yet. Juices are loaded with the most live enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals immediately after. So if juicing strictly for health is your thing, the best way to store them is not to! 🙂

We don’t live in a perfect world though so because I have to get up at an ungodly (5:30am) hour to get ready for work tomorrow and every minute of sleep is worth more to me than my first born child (that I don’t have yet), I juice the day before sometimes. Sssshh!! Don’t tell the juice gods. But do tell about this awesome recipe when you try it. Go with organic veggies and fruits whenever possible but if you had to pick only two (heehee!) go with the celery and apples. They are always at the top of the naughty list for being super high in pesticides.

  • 4-5 organic carrots
  • 2 organic fuji apples
  • 8-10 organic celery stalks
  • 1/2 an organic lemon

~Juice, enjoy and store only if you have to!~

PS: Fill your container all the way to the top with your juice if you’ll be storing it to minimize the amount of air and therefore oxidation of your juice.

Juice Recipe #18: My ‘Everything’ GREEN Juice

So after creating an ‘everything’ juice last week that was really delicious I was obviously inspired to make an ‘everything’ green juice. I had an abundance of green fruits and vegetables in the fridge and got to work as soon as the idea came to me. While the first ‘everything’ juice was AMAZING and so was this one, I don’t think I’ll be doing this too often. I love my kitchen, it is by far my favorite space in my home, but like with anything else I prepare I prefer to be in and out so spending lots of time preparing lots of different fruits and vegetables for juicing is not my cup of tea. I like to keep it simple! (and spend more time drinking/eating my creations). One of the many things I am most grateful for since I started this blog is that it has truly inspired me to get more creative with my juicing and to overall live a healthier life. I hope it does the same for you. Even if you never make your own ‘everything’ green juice, I dare you to find healthier, new and exciting ways to prepare meals/juices for you and your family. You might really love what you come up with 🙂 and your body will thank you for it.

Here are the ingredients for my ‘everything’ green juice, all organic: Cilantro, Bok Choy, Kale, Green apple, Lemon, Kiwi, Romaine Lettuce, Mixed baby greens, Cucumber, Celery, Pear and Broccoli. Yeah, I know… I went way overboard! I had about 60 or so ounces of green juice. This juice is alkalinizing and filled with phytochemicals, vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes, light energy and minerals. I can’t imagine a more nutritious way to start the day.

everything green ingredients frothy green juice

everything green juice

~Keep Juicing and Enjoy!~