My Juicing Project.

A few days ago I started my Juicing Project. And this morning I reached into the fridge and pulled out a chilled glass bottle of fresh Apple Ginger Carrot Green Juice. Bliss. Energy. Hydration. Nutrients. Success. I'm loving the mind and body results of my Juicing Project. And I hope to inspire you to give it a try in your kitchen. How awesome it is to always have fresh juice stocked in my fridge when I crave it. And without all the mess and clean-up required. Big-batch juicing is my secret. Get your own Juicer's High..

Before I get to my juicing project I have to give you a bit of context. This week was "moving week" for my family. Boxes, driving, packing, unpacking, stress, long days, sleeping on the floor til the bed gets delivered, tired eyes, sore muscles and did I mention stress? Moving is tough, but I'm glad to have that hard part over with. Now onto getting organized in my kitchen and starting new healthy habits. And the number one habit I wanted to start post-move was more frequent juicing. I would love to have at least one fresh juice a day - and buying the bottled juices simply gets way too expensive to be "routine" - so here is my plan: My Juicing Project.

luckily, Nelly has moved so many times, she is used to the 'transition' thing..

Before you start: check out my Complete Guide to Juicing (and buying a juicer)

Juicing. I love fresh juice, but I'll be honest, I dread juicing. Prep, grinding, mess, clean-up. It loses it's charm and fun-factor about two minutes into the process. OK, I can think of plenty of things I dread more than juicing. I think I dread it simply because every time I juice all I want to do at that moment is gulp down the juice I am making and not have any clean-up get in the way of my post-juicing, juice-chugging bliss.

So how can I get the fresh juice I crave without the clean-up? It's easy. Juice ahead of time - in large batches.

At first I was incredibly picky about only drinking juice that had been prepared seconds before drinking it. I was worried that the juice would lose enzymes or nutrients if it sat in my fridge too long. But in reality, this juice is only sitting in my fridge for 1-3 days and since I cap my juices filled to the brim - there is minimal oxygen in the juice bottle. But the main reason I am now a juice-ahead fan is because that's what all my favorite juice bars do! Liquiteria, One Lucky Duck and more - they sell amazing juices that are bottled. Yes, I'm sure most the juices they sell have been made that day - but they usually instruct the customers to consume the bottled, unpasteurized, fresh, raw juice "within a few days" - so if they can do it, so can I. Plus I'll be saving lots of money!

The Plan:

* Juice a wide variety of seasonal, organic vegetables and fruits every three days.
* Juice at least 80 ounces of juice - and store in oxygen tight glass bottles - filled to the brim.
* Drink the bottled juices within three days - and juice again on the fourth day.

Could I do this? Would it work? Here is how my first go at my Juicing Project played out..

Juicing Project Day One

* One large bunch of organic rainbow chard
* One bag of organic large carrots
* One large bunch of celery
* Three organic braeburn apples (on sale that week)
* One large piece of fresh ginger
* A few lemons to squeeze fresh lemon juice

I juiced around 75-80 ounces out of my ingredients listed above. I was quite pleased with the results. The flavors I juiced were:

* Apple Carrot Ginger
* Chard Celery Apple Ginger
* Chard Carrot Celery Lemon Ginger
* Apple Celery Chard Carrot Lemon Ginger

So I was able to get a variety of juice flavors. Some more savory green juice and others a sweeter green juice or the sweetest which was my apple carrot ginger juice.

The results - Juicing Project Day Three

How Long Did They Last?
Here's the bad/good part - it depends on how you look at it. Because I had so much fresh juice at my fingertips - I was drinking it quite often. I actually had juice cravings that I simply had to satisfy! So I drank all the juice in about two days rather than three. Well, two and a half really. I blended the last half bottle of juice into this Blue Green Ginger Smoothie on the morning of the third day.

So I was bummed that my juice bottles didn't last longer, but also thrilled because I felt so awesome from drinking all that fresh juice!

So what do I do now?

Well now that it is day four I am out of juice. Boooo. So today I plan on continuing my juicing project and heading to Whole Foods to pick up some more juicing produce. And this week I'll change up the flavors a bit to prevent any "juicing fatigue" - variety is what makes juicing so fun! There are hundreds, maybe thousands of flavor combo possibilities.

Success? Yes! I will continue to juice and let the healthy feeling roll on. Really, I've never felt more energized and revitalized than those times when I have plenty of fresh juice and smoothies on hand. They are nutrient packed and easy to digest.

Do you have your own "Juicing Project" or another sort of healthy kitchen routine you use to stay healthy? I'd love to hear about it!

juicing station..

moving in, my make-shift studio until I get organized..

MORE JUICING INFO: check out my Complete Guide to Juicing (and buying a juicer)

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