Tag Archives: Wheatgrass

Winter Juice Feast. Day 24. The Spirulina Confessions.

The final month of my last juice feast was filled with juice, juice, more juice and lots of spirulina tablets.

As they are technically “allowed” on the juice feasting protocol I tried to rationalize it…even though I was chewing through a bottle a day in the last few weeks and the acceptable amount is around 2 Tablespoons. At first I tried to quit it, then when it was apparent that I wouldn’t be quitting, I allowed myself to pretty much have it every day. I spent most of my days feeling great and releasing lots of old waste so I wasn’t worried about it. This time around, I sort of had it in the back of my head that I should make an up front commitment to my juice feast…not my juice and spirulina feast…but I wasn’t ready to give up on the possibility of an occasional bottle of crunchy, nutty goodness.

However, I finally feel ready. Why? Well…it’s interrupting my flow. I spend the day wondering…should I get some spirulina? I really want some spirulina…I can’t wait to get some spirulina…is more than one bottle of spirulina harmful?…spirulina…yum…spirulina…

And on it goes.

So.

I don’t need this distraction. I suppose in the grand scheme of things it seems awfully harmless but it’s impairing the experience I want to be having. The flow of juicing without the distraction of food. So I’m done. This is my formal commitment to no more of my delightful little crunchies.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

juice feast

Today I felt headache-y and stiff until I was able to do a colonic. I swear, I released pounds of heaviness and my headache went right along with it. My head has a wide open, spacious feeling and my body feels a giant sense of relief. I’ve been inspired by Wellah to start adding more beet juice to my juices. It was something I eventually cut back on in my last feast just because they can be such intense awakeners! If I wait too long after beet juice to do a colonic I can be downright miserable. In addition to beets I’m excited to add in more regular wheatgrass. Gagging it down is always worth it, I feel more grounded and satisfied than I do juicing anything else.

Today’s Juice Feast: 8 oz Caramel Nut Carrot “Coffee” (recipe to come), 20 oz coconut water with Vitamineral Green, E3Live, and spirulina,  8 oz cucumber/celery/kale/spinach, 6 oz sample juices at Whole Foods, 32 oz celery/apple with moringa powder, 32 oz carrot/kale, 32 oz orange/pineapple/kale, 32 oz pineapple/apple/beet/ginger.

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Travel Month and Green Goodness Giveaway!

March is officially “Travel Month” at The Vegetable Centric Kitchen and I’m very excited about what’s coming up! Each week will feature a guest post from frequent traveler/health nuts that I admire as well as a giveaway!

Michael, of Vegus Juices, has generously agreed to host a weekly giveaway for the month of March and let me tell you: this stuff is the best! In the days prior to traveling with my juicer, I would order packages of Vegus Wheatgrass and Broccoli Sprout shots to take with me. These, along with lots of stevia-sweetened lemonade got me through without my juicer. I find these to be far superior to packets of powdered greens. There is life in these little packets!

A weekly winner will receive one container of seven pouches 4 wheatgrass and 3 broccoli delivered to your home or office by mail. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post! Just let us know you’d like to try this really awesome product and you’ll be entered. And if you don’t win this week, you have three more chances!

Now I’ll let Michael introduce Vegus to you:

ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL, DANGEROUS SPROUTS

I had a farm in America.

In fact I had farms in California, New York, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Colorado,
Tennessee, Texas, Arizona – and Canada. I grew beautiful sprouts and I was terrified.

Way back when there used to be hundreds or thousands of sprout growers in America.
Now there are relatively few. Where did they all go?

I watched and saw most of them go out of business because no matter how careful they
were sooner or later someone had eaten their sprouts and become ill – or died!

I looked at packets of sprouts in shops and saw overripe or rotten plants including my
own. Fact is that under perfect conditions perfect sprouts don’t last long and must be
refrigerated every step of the way from harvest to consumption. This perfect cold chain
is unreliable. (I have seen pallet loads of fresh sprouts – and yogurts! – left out on
supermarket ,loading docks for hours in the hot sun and then put on the shelves in the
stores.

Fresh sprouts are incredible sources of nutrition and people who know this want to eat
them but fresh sprouts have very little shelf life and they are easily contaminated at the
sprout farms (e:coli), in the shops or even at the seed production stage. (salmonella).
Sprouts are truly wonderful – but good enough to die for? No.

Over a period of several years I searched for a solution to the problem. Bit by bit the
technology and know-how came together. It was obvious from an early stage in the quest
that the answer would be to make juices from fresh healthy sprouts and then lock in the
goodness while locking out the dangers of bacteria, spores and accidental contamination.

Obviously, boiling or heat pasteurising the juices would eliminate the dangers – but that
would also eliminate or ruin the nutritional elements that make the sprouts so very, very
good.

I looked at various forms of “flash” pasteurisation. Guess what? Normal pasteurisation
fast or slow is too much heat and gives you a dead juice – and lacking that wonderful
fresh taste.

We investigated everything: modified radiation, electrophoresis, high vacuum, freezing,
freeze drying, chemicals (!), ultra violet light, spray drying and many, many more.

There were two basic sets of results:
a) the system didn’t work for juices or
b) they worked in that they killed the bad guys but left the juice weakened, taste-
changed, un-palatable and just plain nasty.

Then we saw that a research institute in Florida had tested a system that seemed to
work for orange juice. Their product looked like and tasted like pure, fresh squeezed
orange juice. Wonderful!! While they were unable to adapt the system to producing
tens of thousands of gallon of juice a day in a process system the technology remained
and was proven and accepted by government agencies as being at least as safe as heat
pasteurisation. This system works by subjecting the products to ultra high pressure.
(Think of ten big elephants standing on a strawberry –and then some). No chemicals, no
heat).

Since I had never dreamed of producing tens of thousands of gallons of wheatgrass
juice a day (Mmmmm. I wonder) the High Pressure System (HPS) looked great for my
purpose.

The juices are safe. While government agencies require a 5-log kill of target bacteria
for effective pasteurization the HPS delivers up to a 7-log kill. That is about 1,000
times more than required.
The temperature of the juice will only go up by about 1 degree Celsius from room
temperature during HPS. (No heat applied. Qualifies as Raw Food!)
The nutrients in the juice are unharmed
The enzymes in the juices are not denatured. (When other people tried HPS they
failed – but we do something a little extra and it works)
The taste of the juice is natural
The shelf life of the juice is up to twelve weeks – without any refrigeration.

For my own commercial reasons I set up a farm in Ireland with the idea of shipping the
juices world-wide. A little here, a little there.

At the farm, Vegus Foods produces wheatgrass juice and the fabulous broccoli sprout
juice.

Wheatgrass juice is a global favorite, widely known and recognised for its health values.

Broccoli sprout juice, to which we add a touch of mint, is not the best tasting stuff
around. Even so people buy it and drink it because of all the published science.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins published a peer-reviewed paper documenting that SGS/
Isothiocyantes, that occur naturally in young broccoli sprouts, could help prevent cancer.
Also, if you already had cancer, these SGS/Isothiocyantes in broccoli sprouts actually
slowed down tumor growth.

This created a huge demand for broccoli sprouts and it’s a demand that has never been
met. (Johns Hopkins did try to patent and monopolize the growing of broccoli sprouts
– but they lost and that’s another interesting story). The sprouts are not cheap, they have
no shelf life, there is no distribution system fast enough to get good fresh sprouts to the
consumer. In those few places where somewhat reasonably good sprouts are available
buyers don’t want to go to the store everyday and they get bored eating a bucket of
sprouts every day. Or several buckets a day. Beware of “broccoli sprouts”. When you

read the labels carefully many retail offers of broccoli sprouts turn out to be only 10%
broccoli and the rest alfalfa, clover, radish. At up to €1.99 a box you need to eat €20 a
day to get a full daily dose of SGS!)

Johns Hopkins also said that the optimal dose was about 78 mgs of SGS/Isothiocyanates
every other day. Vegus Foods had the broccoli sprout juice tested at an independent lab
using the approved HPLC comparative testing. The assay came back as 39 mgs per shot,
which is just about the perfect daily dose and couldn’t have been better if we’d planned it.
Note that this is a “maintenance dose”. If people already have cancer, for example, they
double or triple the daily dose.

Then other studies were made and published around the world showing that the same
broccoli sprout phytonutrients were useful in preventing or treating a whole long list
of conditions including: heart disease, cancer, macular degeneration, stomach ulcers,
Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, the University of California at Los Angeles even
suggested they might slow down the ageing process. Wow! Hard science supporting a
natural product. This is rare.

Our little company is the only producer in the world of these juices in this form and while
we are happy to tell the world of the wonders of High Pressure Processing we are also
happy to know that lots of other people have tried this without success. (We don’t tell
anyone just how we manage to succeed where they fail).

Vegus Foods is still a very small company but we are growing steadily. Soon we will add
new products: raw chocolate wheatgrass juice and a naturally sweet barley grass juice.
(The barley grass powders that are now so popular usually contain about 25% added
maltodextrose and magnesium stearate – not health foods!)

The Vegus juices now go out to consumers, stores and distributors in Spain, Great
Britain, Ireland, Slovenia, Greece, Belgium, Holland, America, Australia, Taiwan,
Poland, Romania, Italy, Switzerland, Cyprus and more with much more to come.

Now if we could just set up a small farm in Tibet, harvest high altitude goji berries and
make juice right there on the mountain and then treat it with HPS and ship it world wide.
Mmmm.

There you have it! You have until Friday the 9th to enter by leaving a comment, Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

***Update: Continue to comment on this post throughout the month of March for extra chances to win every week! Only one comment per week but as long as you’ve commented once you’re still in the running. Each comment just gives you an extra shot 🙂 Winners announced every Friday!

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Lemon Shortbread Wheatgrass Shot


I took a gorgeous chilly walk around the lake today with a new friend and we discussed how difficult juicing can be during the Winter. Fresh veggie juice, as much as I love it, chills me to the core and can be very difficult to look forward to if I’m not in a very warm place (like a sauna, my favorite juice drinking spot 😉 ). The series of tea-wheatgrass shots I’ve created are wonderful for having something warm after your juice, replacing your juice entirely if you’re desperate, OR jumping back onto the juicing bandwagon. I find them to be a nice break when I’m really not in the mood to clean my juicer or I’m having an off day. It’s extremely rare that I skip a day of juicing entirely but its nice to know I have this option. My very favorite holiday tea is Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride (I’m drinking a mug right now!), I get so excited when they bring these out! Here’s to staying warm and healthy this Winter…

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1 bag Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride herbal tea
1 dropperful NuNaturals liquid stevia (the vanilla is also yummy if you have it)
juice of half a lemon
1 frozen wheatgrass cube

Heat the water, pour into a mug, and let steep in the fridge with the teabag until its just warm enough to melt the wheatgrass but not damage it. Add remaining ingredients and stir.

P.S. For other flavors check out my Chocolate Coated, Gingerbread Coated, and Strawberry Shortcake Wheatgrass Shots as well as the Citrus Ginger Wheatgrass Cream!

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Strawberry Shortcake Wheatgrass Shot

Like the Chocolate Coated and Gingerbread Coated Wheatgrass Shots, I love this for days when I want a little something extra that’s light, decadent, and wont dirty my juicer.

Ingredients:

1 cup homemade coconut milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
1-2 bags Celestial Seasonings Tropic of Strawberry tea
1/8 tsp strawberry extract
1/8 tsp coconut extract
1-2 cubes frozen wheatgrass
1 dropperful NuNaturals liquid stevia (or more if you want it sweeter)

Warm the tea very gently on low (you don’t want to let it get too hot) and let the tea bags steep. Remove from heat after the tea bags have sat a bit, add the remaining ingredients and let the wheatgrass melt.

I don’t go out to eat much for several reasons. Mostly its because I get so much pleasure out of preparing my own food that I often feel I’m missing out but also because I like to know what’s going into my meal. I’d been thinking, however, that it would be fun to stop in at one of the local vegan places while I’m in the middle of the Vegan Mofo and share my experience! Last night Britney and I found ourselves eating dinner at Seattle’s Chaco Canyon Cafe. I’ve had several truly incredible experiences at raw and vegan places in the past (Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco and Pure Food and Wine in NYC come to mind) but this unfortunately wasn’t one of them. We got a few lovely pictures, had some good conversation…and then went to Whole Foods because Brits raw pizza made her crave “real” pizza 😉 I have to admit I was not a huge fan of it myself and my Caesar salad unfortunately left me wanting in the taste department. In defense of Chaco Canyon, I have had a couple of dishes there in the past that I really did like (Cilantro Pesto Bowl FTW) and its a great place to get fresh pressed veggie juice! Britney mentioned something interesting as we were nibbling on our greens last night. She said she wished that places like that would just focus on making delicious food instead of trying to imitate traditional meals. I think I agree with her.

Rande with the Hearty Greens Caesar

Britney with the Raw Pizza

...and we're off to Whole Foods Market.


What are the other experiences of raw or vegan restaurants out there? Do you have any favorite places?

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Coconut Water Green Juice

Blend the water from one young coconut with the juice of 2 romaine heads, 2 spinach bunches, OR 2 oz. wheatgrass.

A great video on how to open a young coconut here.

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Chocolate Coated Wheatgrass Shot


Wheatgrass and I have never been friends. Sure, I feel awesome afterwards if I can manage to choke it back and I do admit to having wheatgrass shooting competitions with my brother (he always wins, last time I believe it was his 12 shots to my 8), but ultimately I believe what we consume should always be pleasurable (not nauseating…). Since the health benefits of  this powerful little beverage are so huge, and my nausea tolerance is rather low, this creation of mine has become a new favorite. And bonus- no juicer required!

2 cups water

2 bags of chocolate flavored tea (herbal would be preferable but chocolate mate’ is what I had which is slightly caffeinated)

2 cubes of frozen wheatgrass

1 dropperful NuNaturals Cocoa Stevia

1 dropperful NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia

AND (the bit that does make it quite decadent):

a heaping spoonful of cocoa powder (optional)

Heat the water and steep the tea bags- I put it in the fridge until its cooled so that its just barely warm enough to melt the wheatgrass. Test with your finger to make sure its not too hot. Add remaining ingredients and stir til cocoa is dissolved and wheatgrass is liquified.

Variation: Replace on bag of chocolate tea with a bag of peppermint tea for a peppermint-cocoa blend!

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