My friend Keri from Memphis came down to visit this weekend. Keri and I always have fun with food. We’re both healthy and work out regularly, but we do love our food. We both agree that one of the ways we have the ability to eat good food and fairly often is that most of our meals are healthy and we work out. It may look like I eat junk all the time, but I have lots of meals comprised of fruits, veggies, whole grains, tofu, eggs and other whole foods. It’s all a balance.
We ate our first meal this weekend at the Another Broken Egg Cafe in Baton Rouge. It was freaking awesome! I wanted something healthy since I’d just run a 5.5 miler before she arrived at my house. They had this granola and quinoa dish that was loaded with fruits – bananas, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries – whole grains and topped with coconut milk. It was absolutely delicious. I would like to say it was guilt-free but I know what’s in granola. As a breakfast appetizer we split a delicious grits dish that was made of grits and blackberries cooked into a syrup. It was not real sweet, and it was really, really good. We both said we’d never thought of topping grits with fruit. I’ll definitely try that at home. I wish I could try the granola and quinoa dish at home, but I think I’d rather someone else prepare that. It was to die for, and I know I couldn’t figure it out on my own.
After our coffee started to lag in the afternoon, Keri suggested we go get some juice. She’s been having juice everyday and mentioned how much great energy it gives her, and it keeps on ticking. Juice doesn’t have the rise and crash sort of energy that comes with sugar and coffee. I juice at home off and on, and I know how great it makes me feel. We went to the Magpie Cafe on Perkins for some juice that they had made that morning. They make fresh juice until 11 AM or so, and then they bottle some for the afternoon. The one we chose had beets and carrots, I believe. It was very good and very refreshing.
After Keri left this morning, I started thinking about juicing again, and I decided to buy some fruits and veggies to get set up. With all of the stress of the move, maybe it’s time I gave my body some real nourishment in extra doses. Last November when I went to Costa Rica, we had juice before every single meal. It really got my digestive juices going, and it made me feel really good. By the time I ate, I wasn’t starving to death and could eat more healthfully. I went over to Southside Produce on Perkins and loaded up. I bought cabbage, kale, cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, celery, pineapple, apples, oranges, ginger root, brussels sprouts and lettuces. I even got some avocado to blend in when it gets ripe. Total cost for my haul – $57. Not bad for a week’s groceries.
Everything I read about juicing encourages me to buy organic, and I’d like to. The truth is I can’t afford to buy everything organic. I buy it when I can. But, I figure that more fruits and veggies are better for me than less fruits and veggies – organically or conventionally farmed. I came home and chopped everything up in juice-sized chunks. Total time involved in chopping – 30 minutes.
For my first juice I made a beet, celery, kale and carrot drink. I mixed in a little nonfat greek yogurt for protein and 1/2 tablespoon of chia seeds for some healthy oil. It tasted really refreshing and not at all strong. The celery adds some watery sweetness that cuts the strong taste of the beets. How healthy was my drink?
- Beet juice helps improve blood pressure and blow flow throughout the body, enabling me to exercise longer. You can read the article here. I love beets. I grew up eating pickled beets, and I thought they were nasty. But, now that I eat them roasted with a little olive oil and sea salt or boil them to chop up in a salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, I LOVE beets. I also love beet juice. In the past , I’ve made beet and carrot juice like crazy. I do have to be careful with it though, because, beets have sugar in them. Remember that a lot of table sugar is made from beets. With my hypoglycemia, I have to balance it with some protein.
- Celery juice provides calming properties and is very hydrating.
- Kale juice is good for the eyes and the liver.
- Carrot juice is also good for the eyes and liver and is loaded with vitamins. It’s also very sweet. Before dinner, I made a small glass of pineapple, papaya and some tart cherry juice. It was delicious. Tomorrow I plan to juice before every meal just to see if it makes a difference in how I feel.
I had to run into Big Lots tonight to buy a few items, and I noticed that they had two juicers – good quality ones – for $99. One of them was the same brand as mine but a different model. I paid $300 for mine a few years back. If you want one, and you’re in Baton Rouge, you might run over and check it out. I think they only had one left. The other one was a Jack LaLanne juicer, and that was the first juicer I ever owned. It lasted several years. I was very happy with it.
So, tomorrow is Labor Day. I think I’ll get up and make a really yummy fruit and veggie juice and then maybe head back over and get some more of that quinoa and granola breakfast dish. It is a holiday! I hope y’all have a good one and do something healthy for yourself. You deserve it.