Friday, January 18, 2013

The Juice Diaries

I hate salad. There. I said it. I’m sure I’ve stirred a few gasps of horror based on this confession. I love the idea of salads, but I can’t get passed the bitterness of leafy greens. I would always force myself to eat one every once in a while because I know the veggies are good for you, but I would find myself overusing dressing (that’s a big no, no!).  I’ve recently been enthralled with health-food related research and decided to try juicing a couple times a week.  Before I get into my favorite recipes, I want to kind of lay out some of pros and cons of juicing lifestyle.


-When you juice, you separate the sugars from the fiber in the fruit.  The roughage bin on the back of the juicer will fill up with all of that fiber-goodness.  If you juice that day, make sure you are getting your 25-35 grams of fiber in other foods, because it won’t be in the juice! Some people opt for using a blender instead of a juicer so they reap all the benefits of their produce!
-For this reason, along with others, I also do not recommend an exclusive juice-based diet.
-It can get a little pricey in the produce department! (Sam’s club is a blessing!)
-Cleaning the juicer is a pain!  Some juicers may be better than others, but ours has tiny crevices where all the fibery-pulp likes to hide.

Pros (yay! The pros!):

-It’s delicious and filling!
-Our body is very smart and “detoxifies” a lot on its own, but let’s face it, we live in a culture of HIGHLY processed, chemically-enhanced foods (even in unsuspecting grocery items!), and our precious body could use all the extra help we can give it.  “Jesus-foods”, as I like to call them (plants, plants, plants!), are great at detoxifying a lot of chemicals we ingest other places.
-The nutritional benefits are stellar! When we cook veggies, they lose most of the vitamins and minerals our bodies need, so juicing allows us to JAM PACK all these nutrients into one delicious glass.
-You can get your greens without the dreaded salad (and dressing-free, too!)
-You also digest juice a lot more quickly than if you just ate the fruit or veggie itself.  Your body absorbs the liquid instead of having to break it down first.
-When you get all the nutrients from your fruits and veggies, your hair, skin, bones, etc. will all be in great shape! I’m kind of a hair snob and pregnancy took its toll on my locks-so I drink juice for vanity!
-When Ri starts drinking juice, I plan to make it for him instead of buying sugar-filled juice at the grocery store. I want a healthy, healthy boy!

There are plenty more pros and cons, those are just the big ones for me.  When I juice, I always try to add as many “detox” items as possible (kale, spinach, lemons, parsley, cucumber, cilantro, etc) I love trying new juicing recipes, but here are a few of my favorites!

Green juice

2 stalks celery
1/2 cucumber
1/2 apple
1/2 lemon
small piece ginger
1/2 green chard leaf
bunch cilantro
5 kale leaves
handful spinach

carrot and apple juice:

4-5 Carrots
2 Apples
2 Cups Spinach

The above recipes I found online.  When I make my juice, I generally just throw whatever produce is in the fridge into the juicer (crazy style!). A rough recipe for my favorite concoction is as follows:

1 bunch parsley
½ bunch cilantro (its quite over-powering)
1 lemon (1.5 if you like it more tart… I do!)
4-5 stalks of kale
½ cucumber
3-4 carrots
1 apple (usually fuji)
5 strawberries
2-3 stalks of celery
2-3 cups baby spring salad mix

viola! Delicious juice.  It makes about 4 cups, and I omit certain ingredients depending on if we have it in the fridge or not.  Take that, boring salad!
Do you have any favorite juice recipes? I’d love to try them!! 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Lessons of Motherhood

Yikes… it’s been over 4 months since I've blogged-I’m going to have to blame Zechariah on this one.  My mother-in-law told me some words of wisdom shortly after Ri was born: “it will take about 3 months to get used to having a baby and establish routine”.  I’m such a crazy-clean, organized lady, that I thought I’d have normalcy in a matter of weeks.  Turns out I was wrong. I am now a firm believer of the “three-month” rule.
I truly believe that at all times God is trying to teach us something.  I’m not always listening, or willing to learn, but the lesson is there regardless.  A whole WORLD of lessons has opened up since having a baby!!

      1. Time: When I was pregnant, everyone said “well, you better get stuff done now; you won’t have time when your little one comes along.” I would just smile and nod, and disagree with them in my mind.  I used to pride myself on accomplishing to-do lists…now I avoid them altogether.  This kid consumes my every waking moment…and I stay at home! (I would just like to take a brief moment and applaud the working mom---seriously…respect!) I try not to think about having more than one child running around. I may as well give up on cleaning my home (not likely). My favorite time during the day is when Ri takes his morning nap and I can drink a cup of coffee and have some Jesus time (even that get interrupted on occasion).

      2.   Humility: This is a big one for me. Sweet little Zechariah was born with a hemangioma (or “strawberry”) on his lip.  When the dermatologist told me it could stay up until Ri is 5, I really was okay with it.  He just has a little Steven Tyler thing going on. Nick and I hardly notice it anymore.  The real issue is when complete strangers make rude comments. Some of the following include: “what’s wrong with your baby?” “Are you going to fix his lip?” “Will that ever go away!?” “Why wouldn't you make him get surgery?”
I really love my child the way he is, and I’m not going to make him have permanent scarring because the public thinks it’s an eyesore. I've gotten to the place where I pull the little hood over him in his carrier so people won’t even look at him-thus saving me another conversation about his lip (which is not the right attitude to have...) I have a really hard time showing people Christ when they inquire about “what’s wrong with my child”.  This is a lesson I am still learning, and will continue to learn for years to come.

     3.     Marriage: Keeping your marriage strong through newborn times! This lesson was more challenging in the beginning. Your life changes SO dramatically after having a baby.  You have to learn to love your spouse as the father of your child in addition to all the other reasons. I believe that spouse should come before baby.  Babies are so fun, and it’s so easy to make your life revolve around their every move.  Ri has my heart, but Nick had it first. Nick and I have to make every effort to spend time together when he naps in the evenings.  We disagree on a lot of things, but we both recognize how important it is for Ri to know what love is through our love of one another.

     4. “Where did our money go?”  I’m a spender-Nick is a saver.  I’m so thankful for this balance! When you’re pregnant, you think you need everything.  You want your nursery to be as cute as everyone else’s and for your baby to have all the cool things as all the other babies.  If it was up to me, we would have had all the best of the best items and been thousands of dollars in debt. I’m glad Nick is my husband, because I look back and realize how unnecessary some things are! Ri doesn't care if his nursery isn't done, and I shouldn't either. God has taught me that my ONE role is not to surround Ri with things, but to surround him with Jesus.  Ri is my little sparrow—I know God will provide for him.

     5.    You don’t need a mom to be a good mom.  I was reading a baby book when I was pregnant and the author said something like this, “you won’t be able to do this without your mom around to answer all of your questions!” I put the book down and sobbed. I was so worried I wouldn't know how to be a good mom without my Mama cheering me on.  God fills in your gaps!  I've learned to call on him when I’m impatient or worried about making the right decision in motherhood.  This has not only helped me be a better mom, but it has drawn me closer to my God.  I hope to grow profusely in this area so that I can teach Ri how to do the same thing. 

I’ve learned more than five lessons, but the baby is calling! Baby comes before blogging. I know all you mom’s out there have a lot of lessons you've learned as well! Feel free to share them with me so I can keep an eye out.