Make This Spring Your Juiciest

by Medea Beauvais, our Frown Turner Upside-Downer

This morning, as I begrudgingly slid out of my warm, snuggly, pet filled bed, my first (admittedly cranky) thought was “BRRRRRR!” My little dog, safe between the flannel sheets, didn’t even twitch. The cat, through tiny protests, decided to accompany me to the bathroom where warm air and steam would surely abound. Not long after, we all huddled together in the kitchen as my hot breakfast cooked, shaking our fists and paws in the general direction of Punxsutawney Phil. This year there was nary a shadow on Gobbler’s Knob! He predicted an early Spring! Am I wrong? Alas, as the cold weather endures, I faithfully renew hope each morning that tomorrow will be warm.

Perhaps Charleston’s lack of Winter-like weather in 2012 is partially to blame for the feeling of never ending cold this year. We’ve had a few teases and our gorgeous landscape has responded to those blurbs of warmth and monsoon-like rains, but it seems strange to see pollen washing down the streets and trees in full bloom while wearing a warm sweater, winter coat, scarf and hat. I need real Spring! I need Spring clothes, Spring temperatures and Spring foods. Like now!

Being a vegetarian, I always look forward to the seasonal veggies changing. I like the crisp freshness of warm weather vegetables. I like to grill them, roast them and eat them raw. I also LOVE to juice them. Did you know that juicing whole, raw fruits and vegetables provides a delicious drink that contains most of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals found in the fruits and vegetables themselves? Let’s be real here. How many servings of fruits and vegetables do you consume everyday. Don’t lie. You are the only person can hear your answer. Have you ever thought about juicing to boost your intake of important vitamins and minerals, improve your immune system, boost your energy level and zing your taste buds? Now is your chance!

Whole fruits and vegetables contain healthy fiber, which our bodies need and appreciate. While juicing reduces fiber content significantly, it also gives your digestive system a chance to rest for a moment. Fresh juice is readily and easily absorbed and juicing allows you to consume more fruits and vegetables at one time than you would from eating them. Many people insist that juicing has helped them burn tons of fat and lose weight. This is where you have to be careful. Some fruits contain sugars that, when consumed in excess, can inhibit weight loss. Simply reduce the amount of those fruits in your juice. Use foods like carrots and cucumbers to act as the base of your juice and add servings of your favorite (and not so favorite) fruits and vegetables. Spice it up with a smidgen of raw ginger or add a dash of cayenne pepper for a little kick! Juicing is a great way to get much needed greens into your body. Kale and spinach are easily concealed in a good juice. Do you have kids that don’t like to eat veggies? Are you tired of hearing words like “eww” and “gross?” Juice is a great way to get them those important nutrients. It’s also really satisfying to watch your kids drink and love juice knowing that you tricked them.

I just heard you whining that you don’t have a juicer. That’s ok! If you don’t have a juicer, they are available at common retail stores like Target and Bed Bath &Beyond. You can also find them on the internet through kitchen supply stores and websites such as Juicers come in an array of sizes and price points. You don’t have to spend a great deal of money to get a good juicer into your kitchen! Not ready to purchase a juicer? That’s ok too! You can taste fresh juice at several locations around Charleston. Give it a try! You’ll be hooked and buying that home juicer before you know it. Here in Mount Pleasant, you can find delicious juice at Puree Organic Café, The Sprout, Tasi Bites and Blends, Whole Foods and Grind Squeeze. There is also Dellz Vibes on King Street downtown and Earthfare in Windemere Shopping Center. Drink up and make this Spring your juiciest!

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