Archive | January, 2013

Day 2 – January juicing challenge

7 Jan


The holidays are over, the mornings are steaming hot and I am slowly emerging from my American food coma. To get back on track with my health goals, I’ve resolved to whip up a fresh veggie juice each morning, using my brand spanking new George Foreman juicer.

This morning, I fought the urge to snooze another ten minutes, and stumbled into the kitchen with juice on my mind. Yesterday had a Vitamin C slant, with a huge dose of carrots and beetroot. Today, I was keen to try some different flavours.

I turned to Who Magazine’s ‘Lose 5kg Fast’ mini mag. Normally I don’t pay much attention to such headlines, as I know the best way for me to lose a couple of kilos is to banish sugar, cut back on wheat and dairy, and get my butt moving.

However, the Who mag featured a green juice recipe, courtesy of author Jason Vale. Apparently the guy is known as the “Jamie Oliver of juicing”. That means he either visits British schools, replacing chocolate milk with veggie juices, or he just really knows his stuff. I’m guessing it’s the latter. Though the former could make a great TV show…

Anyway, back to the juice. Here’s what’s in it:

2 apples
1/4 cucumber
1 stick of celery
1 small handful of spinach
1 handful of parsley (the recipe also calls for watercress, but I didn’t have any)

Simply bung it all in the juicer, give it a stir and plop in a few ice cubes. It does sound hideously healthy – and it is! – but it also was extremely tasty. The apples add a sweet zing, while the other greens satisfied my craving for fresh, wholesome ingredients.

This may just be my new favourite juice combination. I now feel incredibly energised and ready to jump on the exercise bike for a sweaty session.

The sound of snow

7 Jan

As we prepared to leave sunny Sydney for winter in the States, The Lad’s father remarked that the snow quietens cities. As I hadn’t seen snow before, I was a little perplexed by his comment. Now that I’ve trudged and slid and sloshed through the snow in Montreal, I understand what he meant.

The snow brings stillness to the streets; it blankets the earth in a thick white insulation, trapping sound waves. And when the pavements turn to white, soft steps replace heavy heels. The only sign that someone is behind you is the sound of sniffing, or the soft icy breeze that tickles your ear when they pass.

Throughout our trip, we’ve been followed by an eerie stillness. In Montreal, we ventured out to Parc Jean-Dapeau, the site of the 1967 World’s Fair. A looming casino dominates the island, which also houses an impressive Biosphere (an environmental sciences museum). I imagine in summer the vast land is packed with curious tourists and picnicking locals. Birds no doubt flock to the trees and wildlife hovers above and in the quaint lake the runs through the park.

In the biting winter winds, however, the place is desolate. The Lad and I are alone as we stroll arm-in-arm across the frosty white earth. The space is silent. Aside from a few squirrels, we are sole souls.

In winter, attractions are closed. The Toronto Zoo was emptied of most of its inhabitants, and a city fairground whistled as wind whipped around the ferris wheels.

I suppose it would annoy some travellers, when half of the attractions listed in their guidebooks are closed. But I found it to be wonderfully serene and liberating. Rather than pack our days with expensive events and activities, we enjoyed long walks and longer chats.

During a particularly freezing afternoon, we spent a good hour inside Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica, admiring its intricate archways, spectacular stained glass windows and carved columns. In a prayer room, I said thanks for the opportunity to explore new cities and enjoy the stillness of snow. There really are few things more magical than snow and the way it brings beauty and silence to concrete jungles.

I try…joining the juicing revolution

6 Jan


You know those people who discover a trend 15 years after everyone else, and then rave about it to people who roll their eyes and say, ‘Uh, yeah. I’ve been doing that for, like, centuries.’?

I think I’m one of those people. The former, not the latter.

As I blog about trying ‘new’ health and fitness experiences, I realise that I’m sometimes behind the eight ball. Like the time I tried floating and later found out that hippies had been bobbing about in salt water for decades. (Speaking of which, I really need to book in for another float. It truly is a luxurious therapy.)

I digress. Following my indulgences in the USA, where I tucked into fast food and added an extra fat roll to my hips, I decided to buy a juicer. Now I know juicing isn’t a new thing, and people have been whipping up homemade veggie juices for years. However, it was a new experience for me, as I’ve only ever forked out $8 for juices at cafes. Call me lazy, but it always seemed easier to get my juice fix from someone else than give it a go myself.

Craving a vitamin injection, I picked up a George Foreman juicer from Target in the post-Christmas sales and rushed home to try it out. My first juice was a combination of carrot, celery, ginger, beetroot and lemon juice. I would have taken a photo for this blog post, but it was so scrummy that I gulped it down before I had a chance to pull out my camera. What I can tell you is that it was a lovely shade of pink. Yep, I made the world’s prettiest juice. True story.

I probably was a little heavy-handed with the ginger, as it burnt the back of my tongue and I coughed like a cat rejecting a fur ball. But given ginger aids digestion (there are probably still a few cheeseburgers lurking in my tum) I wasn’t too phased. Plus, I felt pretty freaking healthy afterwards!

Tomorrow, I may try a new combination with apples and leafy greens. I’ll let you know how it tastes.

Have you ever tried juicing? What’s your favourite juice combo?

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