Woodside, California
I’ve been buying some new toys – new FOOD-related toys, so I can capitalize on the healthy new eating habits I picked up during my New Year retreat. It’s been a significant investment, but I’m investing in my health, and my health is precious beyond $$.

The Juicer – Omega 8003

It’s a bit slow, because everything has to be chopped into small pieces (I’d had visions of carrots disappearing down the chute at the speed of light!) but the upside is that it’s a very efficient extractor of juice, so the residue is very dry and there’s not much wastage. It’s also very quiet so I don’t disturb the neighbours.

Why is juicing a good idea? This information from my knowledgeable friend Martine:

“Juicing allows you access to the nutrients inside the plant’s cells. Plants have thick walls we can’t digest, so if the cell isn’t squashed by chewing, you can’t get the nutrients. There are bacteria in our colons that can digest the cell walls. They do, and we get gas, but the nutrients can’t get in, because the colon comes after the small intestine, where all the nutrient absorption takes place. (Hence cows chewing cud and bunnies eating their poop). Since we don’t recycle in either way, the nutrition is lost once it has passed through the small intestine.

So there you go, now juicing releases what is in the plant cells. This may be good, like in the case of nutrients, but may be not so good in case you get a big slug of monosaccharides (sugar high) or you get molecules you don’t want, like some people don’t want the phytoestrogens (I don’t know why). Juicing means you get more calories per vegetable as well, which is good; it wastes less food overall.

This morning I had carrot, apple and ginger – a delicious and satisfying combination. It’s a slow process – it took me about 15 mins to prep and juice the ingredients, but this made the ‘meal’ last longer and hence seem more satisfying.

I’ve decided that Sundays are going to be my regular juicing day. Today seemed a good day to start, as I rather fell off the no-sugar wagon yesterday (3 cookies – oops!) so this is helping to salve my conscience and limit the damage…

The Blender – Vita-Mix 5000
(I bought a factory-refurbished model, so it was cheaper)

I’m going to try a protein shake (The Ultimate Meal – a vegan, wholefood protein shake) for breakfast tomorrow.

The Dehydrator – Excalibur 9-tray
(bought from eBay)

On Tuesday Eva Boris, who was introduced to me via a regular visitor to this site, is coming round to show me how to use my new dehydrator to create some healthy foods and snacks – hopefully ones that I can take on my boat. That should be interesting – crackers made from sprouted seeds and the like.

And in keeping with my wholefoods theme, next week I’ve chosen a vegan restaurant, Cafe Gratitude in Berkeley, as the venue for a dinnertime meeting with my Pacific film producer. Check out the menu – even to a carnivore like me it looks fantastic! It might give you some ideas for things to try at home as well.

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