Juicing

So, Legal Eats is back. Again. While I’ve learned my lesson on making grand promises to blog every day, I still can’t stay away from blogging for good. I just have too much I want to say (and no one in my real life who wants to listen to it ūüôā ). So, I’m back to writing. I don’t know how frequent it will be, but I’m shooting for a few posts a week, exploring different topics pertinent to my life, and just having fun. Thanks for being part of the journey.

For the first post back, I want to talk about juicing. No, not the steroids kind. The super trendy, highly¬†self-important, vegetable kind.¬† While it is trendy and kind of snooty, it’s also amazing and really, really good for you.

This past summer, Andy and I watched the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s about a guy who is overweight and has a chronic skin disease. He decides to go on a 60 day juice cleanse to re-set his body and get his health under control. His journey is astonishing. He loses a ton of weight, gets healthy,¬†and helps several people along the way. He also makes you want to run out and buy a juicer. Immediately.

So, in true Abby and Andy fashion, we bought a juicer the next day. When it comes to buying a juicer, the options are endless. I could write an entire post on them, but I didn’t, so you can read up on the internets. Anyway, we had a gift card to Macy’s so we went there and bought the one we thought looked the nicest and fit into the budget. Very scientific, indeed.

We ended up with a Bella NutriPro cold press juicer, which we like very much.

Juicer

Cold press juicers are supposed to help the juice retain more nutrients because they do not heat the fruits and vegetables while extracting the juice. Sounds good to me. It’s also pretty easy to clean and very effective at getting as much juice as possible out of the produce. This is important because fresh juice is basically gold.

I’m no expert on the juicer thing, and I’m sure you could¬†argue about different models forever¬†if you really wanted to and you had no life. But, I like this juicer and despite the fact that I use it a ton, I haven’t had any issues. Win, win. The real purpose of this post is to get you juicing.

We’ve had the juicer since June and have been using it pretty consistently. I¬†was definitely skeptical, but I see a major difference between how I feel when drinking juice daily as compared to not. I have more energy overall, I don’t feel sluggish mid-morning, both Andy and I have shed a few pounds, and my skin looks much better when juicing regularly (this is huge because I’ve struggled with this since middle school).

Usually, I’ll make us each a large juice to have for breakfast and that’s all we’ll have. On mornings when I workout, I may have something else on the side, like an egg & tortilla. I find that the juice is actually very filling and tides me over until I eat an early lunch (i.e. I don’t get hangry even though all I had¬†was juice). This had led to a little weight loss, which was very welcome for both Andy and I.

So, the pros are: increased energy, better skin, sneaking veggies into your diet, getting a million nutrients (so scientific). But, let’s also talk about the downside. I read a ton of blogs and no one ever talks about that.

Hello??? It is insanely expensive and takes forever. I think the people who swear by juicing must be independently wealthy, because let me tell you, it is not cheap. The downside to getting all those nutrients is buying the stuff with the nutrients. Our grocery bill can easily increase by about $15-20/week when we juice every day. That adds up. I also try to buy everything organic because I think drinking pesticides puts them directly into your blood stream and equals immediate death…

Anyway… it’s expensive but I think it is worth it. I promise. Even juicing a few days per week can help you so much, and will keep costs down.

The other issue is the time. It seriously can take for.ev.er. to make enough juice for two people. The model we have is easy to clean, but it still takes awhile to¬†juice everything. I started making two days’ worth at one time. Yes, you’re supposed to do it right before you drink it for the maximum amount of nutrients. These same people with all the time are the ones who have endless money to spend on produce. Most people do not have time for that every morning! So, juice every two days and make enough to last. Easy peasy, and I’m pretty sure the juice is still good for you, even if you lose some nutrients.

Some of our favorite mixtures are:

  • apples, cucumbers, carrots, oranges, spinach
  • apple, carrot, ginger
  • grapefruit, spinach, carrots, ginger
  • celery, apple, carrot, cucumber, tomato
  • kale, apple, carrot, lemon, ginger

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^^this made enough for 4 servings

You can pretty much throw whatever you want in, add a lemon and some fresh ginger, and it tastes great. While it is expensive and time-consuming, I really think it’s worth it. I feel so good knowing that I am drinking something healthy to start my day, and it truly does great things for your body.

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^^today’s mixture (& tomorrow’s too!)

So, what do you think? Is juicing worth it? Something you’d like to do more of? Or do you just want to eat your fruits and vegetables whole?

P.S. Watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. It’s so good!

Wednesday

Let me start by saying that I really hate when people complain about the cold, then immediately complain about the heat as soon as it warms up. I try my hardest not to do this because it’s absurd. I love how warm it’s been lately.

But ohmygosh. It was absolutely scorching at the law school today. It was probably 70 outside but I swear it was like 90 degrees in our office. My face was flushed and I felt like I was about to combust. Seriously. I can’t really explain it, but being so overheated all day made me enraged. I seriously HAD to leave at 3 because I was about to freak out. I came home a cranky, sweaty mess.

Then, we went to pick up our taxes. Ugh. On top of every other horror in that packet, the CPA spelled our last name wrong. Again, ugh. Hopefully that will be a quick fix.

Andy and I were thisclose to just grabbing dinner out but I decided to just run into the grocery and get what I needed to make dinner.

Still enraged and on the verge of hangry, I whipped up this recipe for buffalo chicken quinoa bites that I pinned on Pinterest forever ago. I had leftover chicken and quinoa cooks quickly, so the recipe came together in no time. I made some homemade fries to go with the bites and dinner was on the table in less than an hour.

The chicken bites were really good- I’d definitely make them again. I’d recommend broiling them for the last few minutes until they get nice and crispy.

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Okay so after dinner I was admittedly a little calmer but still pretty cranky. I decided what I really needed was a workout, so I grabbed Andy and we went to the gym.

I did 30 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill then lifted weights for a little while. After a quick 45 minutes at the gym, I was feeling like a million bucks.

Working out isn’t always the answer to a bad mood, but it certainly helps most of the time. Plus, afterwards, you get to eat delicious things like banana soft-serve.

I used to make this all the time but forgot about it until I randomly saw a picture of it the other day.

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Sorry for this horrific picture.

Anyway, all you do is blend a frozen, sliced banana with a tiny bit of milk until it’s smooth and creamy. That’s it. You can add whatever you want to make it a little more desserty if you like. I added a few strawberries, a teaspoon or so of sunflower butter, and a little bit of chocolate sauce. You can really do this with any frozen fruit.

It seriously tastes like icecream, except it’s much much healthier. Perfect for a healthy, refreshing nighttime snack.

There’s an appliance you can buy to make this stuff, it’s called Yonanas, but I feel like it’s mostly a gimmic. Your blender will do the same thing without cluttering your kitchen with another appliance.

Now, I’m going to put myself to bed and hope I don’t spontaneously combust at school tomorrow. Have a great night!

Orange Marmalade Pork Chops & Flourless Cookies

One of my favorite ways to dress up average dishes is by adding a quick, flavorful sauce. I’ve found that orange marmalade is an excellent addition to pork chops and chicken. I simply add a tablespoon or two on top of each cut of meat, add a little water to the pan, and let everything simmer until it’s done. It creates a great sauce while also keeping everything moist (Ugh. I hate the word moist. Apologies for using it).

I really like the Smucker’s Simply Fruit preserves, as they don’t contain any high fructose corn syrup or other strange ingredients. Bonus points for Smucker’s being an Ohio company. As I said, orange marmalade works really well and it’s what I used tonight. You can also use apricot preserves for a slightly sweet and sour flavor.

I served our pork chops with brown rice and asparagus, which I also coated in some preserves.

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After dinner I baked some cookies to take to one of my classes tomorrow. I have a presentation and I decided that instead of making a boring power point, my time would be better spent making a batch of delicious peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Hopefully my class, and my professor, agree.

I followed this recipe for Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies and they came out as amazing as they look. I was a little wary of the lack of flour, but I promise you won’t miss it. The cookies are so chewy and have a great peanut butter flavor. Definitely give them a try, I know they are a new favorite of mine. Note: I sprinkled a little sea salt on top of each one before baking, and I definitely suggest doing that.

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I took this picture on the floor because the sun was setting and that’s where the best light was. I promise no cookies came close to touching the carpet! Haha. But let’s be honest, even if they did, I would still eat them. Not much comes between me and chocolate chip cookies.

Now I should probably go work on my actual presentation, rather than just the dessert I’m serving along with it.

Have a great night!