Nowadays, you have to go out of your way to find joy. It’s still there but hidden under layers and layers of fear, anxiety and a general feeling of impending doom. This has become our default setting, our lock screen. Still, it’s so important to do everything you can to find moments throughout the day that lift your spirits. Your physical and mental health depend on it.
One of the most horrible things happened to me early on in this pandemic shutdown. My juicer broke. At any other time, this would’ve been fine, but at that time, any little thing had the power to break me. It was horrible. It didn’t go quietly. It had a death rattle, shook uncontrollably. I was juicing beets at the time. BEETS! Major clean up job, like an hour. The beet juice made its way from my counter to the inside of my cabinets. I’m determined to make my apartment undesirable to anything that crawls.
Rather than dwell on this experience which only added to my downward spiral, I ordered another juicer off Amazon. I know, I know, Amazon has profited off this shut down, but in the moment, I needed relief and the hope of living to juice another day. I filtered when shopping, least expensive first, I’m furloughed so have to be really careful about the money I spend. I found a small and quiet one, a wide mouth slow juicer, ENZOO is the brand. I found it difficult to take apart the first few times but eventually got the hang of it.
It didn’t come the next day, or the next, I didn’t think of what would happen if most people ordered at the same time, even sent a “where the fuck is my juicer!?” email, felt like a real asshole when I got a response letting me know they had limited capabilities. It came a week later. That day was like Christmas morning. During that juiceless week, I came up with a way to get the most out of the process of juicing, determined to make myself feel pure joy again. This may seem pedantic but I make schedules for a living and I’ve realized I could use that to facilitate positivity for myself rather than productivity for the benefit of a large corporation.
- I put on music that calms me, or just puts me in a safe place. I love “Global Chill” Pandora radio.
- Set the stage. I wipe down my surfaces with a pleasant cleanser. I use a natural lemon scent, but use whatever smells “pure” to you. You’re engaging your olfactory senses here, in a positive way. I like to use my small kitchen counter for the juicer and my small kitchen table for chopping. That way, I’m going to two different places even though I’m never leaving my NYC apartment kitchenette.
- On your purified surfaces, assemble the juicer, and lay out the cutting board and your veggies and fruits in a bowl. Note, I’ve already rinsed this produce in warm water for 20 seconds as if I were washing my hands. In the bowl they look like a beautiful bouquet of spring flowers.
- Take each piece of produce out of the bowl and chop them into smaller pieces. Use your juicers instructions, I listed mine in the recipe. I like to start with the apple because I peel the slices and snack on the skins throughout the process. Place the chopped produce back in the bowl. There’s something meditative and rhythmic about this step. I could lose myself in that.
- Now comes the actual juicing. I recommend juicing the garlic and ginger last so they don’t influence the other fruits and veggies. As you go, you’ll notice your kitchen will start to smell like a fresh garden.
Now its time to taste your juice. I do this looking out my window at the tree to the right of my building. The fresh and gardeny taste is only enhanced by this and I can imagine myself frolicing in an un developed field amongst tall sundrenched grass and wildflowers like the pagan princess I imagine I once was.
All is well at this moment, as long as I don’t look at the dead tree to the left.
1 medium beet, follow your juicers instructions regarding beets. Mine says to peel the rough exterior off and cut into strips 1 inch wide
1 sweet apple, I recommend honey crisp or fuji
3 carrots, chopped in half, lengthwise
3 mini cucumbers or 1 large cucumber cut into 1 inch strips, no need to peel
1 large green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 large red or yellow bell pepper, yellow is sweeter
Two medium tomatoes
2 inch piece of ginger
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, according to taste