{the life} The Smug-O-Matic

by Rachel on February 23, 2012

I’m currently at a point in my life where I feel like I should be eating more vegetables. Right now, my diet is good, but it’s not great. There aren’t a lot of unhealthy, processed foods going in…but there aren’t a lot of vegetables going in either. There are some, yes, but I’m used to bringing the kind of salads to work for lunch that make coworkers do a double-take. I sort of miss that. I just don’t miss it enough to actually chop up veggies and make a salad.

So I decided to start drinking my salad.

I’ve actually wanted to do the Blueprint Cleanse for approximately three years now but have never quite been able to talk myself into spending $250 to not eat solid food for three days. But now that Eric is back in his healthy, motivated mindset and we’re bonding over our love of health and fitness, he, too is interested in doing the Blueprint Cleanse. We talk about it every couple of months, in a really unrealistic way. Like the same way we talk about going to Europe for the Tour de France some day. It’s one of those things that is possible and certainly fun to think about, but it’s not something either of us feels an urgent need to save up for.

[If you're not familiar with it, the Blueprint Cleanse is a trendy, pricey NYC juice cleanse that claims to to be the Best Cleanse Evaaaaaa. A lot of my friends also claim it's the Best Cleanse Evaaaaaaa. Other friends of mine think it's the Biggest Scam Evaaaaaa. There are a lot of opinions out there on juice cleanses, but I'm a fan of them. Really, there's so much evidence (and "evidence") on both sides of the debate and I don't really feel qualified to speak to the health benefits (or lack thereof). However, I believe certain cleanses have a lot of emotional benefits, which people rarely talk about when they are arguing heatedly over the matter. (And damn, do they get heated! It's a seriously polarizing issue. Forget politics and religion; to juice or not to juice is the thing I would never bring up at a party.) Anyway, I personally get a lot out of doing a cleanse every year or so to press the reset button on my relationship with food. For me, it's a way to strip away at the emotional ties I have to food, remember what real hunger feels like, and start craving the hell out of some lettuce.]

So like I said, Eric and I discuss doing the BPC  every couple months. We were having one of these discussions last weekend; it was on my mind because I was thinking of how I want to eat more veggies and then I started thinking about drinking my salads via green juice. I actually don’t feel like this is one of those times when I need to press the reset button on my relationship with food, but I do want to eat more veggies. So I was thinking, Wouldn’t it be awesome if I could have like, one BPC juice a day to just be done with my produce? And suddenly it occurred to me — aren’t there a lot of recipes to help you bastardize the BPC floating around the Internet? Could I not just make my juice at home?!

Yep, I could totally do that. And I had actually considered doing it when I was wanting to do it a couple years ago, but I was always discouraged by the fact that the cost of a good juicer is pretty close to the cost of the BPC.

Unless.

Unless two people splitting the cost of the juicer.

It was an amazing moment. I mean…how did I not realize sooner that living in sin means I can now afford to be ridiculous??! 

I actually know nothing about juicers, so I wanted to do some research on Amazon before buying anything — and I’m glad I did. The most ubiquitous model — the Jack LaLane Power Juicer — had some pretty bad reviews. We may have bought that one if it didn’t have so few stars. Eventually we narrowed it down to Breville and Omega. Then we drove all over town trying to find said brands. And…turns out, there are way less juicers in stores than we expected.

Eventually we just went back to Amazon and ordered the Omega J8003.

Or, as I re-named it, the Smug-O-Matic.

Because yes, people who talk about juicing tend to be smug. Especially couples who talk about juicing. Oh my GOD, I realized when I told my friends what I did this weekend. I am That Girl. AGAIN. How do I always realize this once it’s too late?! I actually felt so self-conscious about it, I had to have a “What would younger me think of this?” conversation.

I thought she would call bullshit, but we struck a deal: as long as I continue to eat (non-organic) frozen pizza regularly and buy all my Christmas wrapping supplies at the dollar store, I’m allowed to own obnoxious appliances and talk about them publicly on occasion. And since I’m actually eating a DiGiorno that was sitting in the freezer an hour ago as I write this, she has agreed to let me carry on.

Eric and I broke in the Smug-O-Matic as soon as it arrived on Tuesday. And, well…I felt like we were children and one of our moms had just read an article that said something to the effect of, “To get your kids to eat veggies, make veggies fun! Cut them into fun shapes and find new ways to enjoy them!”

Because I have seriously never been this giddy over vegetables before.

It’s just…the way it CHEWS them. The SOUNDS it makes. How GREEN the juice is. How much juice it made. I’m honestly a little embarrassed by how fascinated Eric and I both were by the new toy. We had a blast making the juice; the whole ordeal actually turned into kind of a date night and it was weirdly fun and nerdy and then fun again because it was so incredibly nerdy.

We started with the green juice recipe in this blog post and actually got about 32 ounces of juice out of the ingredients. And it was really good! It was earthy, but there was a hint of sweetness and we both really liked it. Was it any easier or less time consuming than making a salad? Nope. Not at all. But damn, it was so much more fun. Eric was so excited about the juice that he’s already thinking we should do a full juice cleanse, even if it’s just a one-day version of BPC. I’m kinda like, Eh. I really like this frozen pizza and I also like washing it down with the green juice. 

So we’ll see. If he’s really into doing a couple days of cleansing soon, I’ll probably go along with it, provided I can find some big home improvement project to tackle at the same time. (The first time I did a cleanse, I had so much energy, I painted my apartment by myself.) In any case, the Smug-O-Matic seems poised to help me meet my initial goal of getting more veggies. Also, I realized yesterday as I was drinking my juice that smugness? Is very similar to the feeling I get when I do small, shallow things that then motivate me to be healthy. I can already tell that the more time I spend making green juice, the more I’m going to feel like going to yoga. I don’t know how I feel about smugness as motivation, but, for now, I’ll take motivation — and veggies — however I can. And right now I’m finding both in a tall glass of green juice.

{ 21 comments }

1 madeline reoch February 23, 2012 at 9:42 pm

I’ve done the BPC. I guess that makes me a smug New Yorker? Plus, I am one of the ridiculous people who loved it. But, I also wanted to do it more often because of how freaking awesome I felt. So, I went ahead and bought a juicer last week and am on day four of a five day juice cleanse. At home juice is… WAY BETTER! I can up the ginger, add in some broccoli (even though that turned out to not be my favorite.. it was still my idea!) and actually get to see what was going in and coming out of my juice. It’s fun to mix it up with different veggies like fennel or endive. My boyfriend even jumped on board after day one because he was also so enthralled by the excitement of the weary, dreary vegetable. He pretended to gag every time I would open up a green BPC bottle, but he has take a giant jug of “salad juice” to work the last two days and loved it. Go you and your green juice! I can’t wait for this five days to be over. It’s a sad day when the thought of DiGiorno makes your drool.

2 Rachel February 23, 2012 at 9:55 pm

LOL at so many things in this comment! Where are you getting your recipes??!

3 Madeline Reoch February 23, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Well, the blueprint was my guide. But… I’ve just been throwing in things I like! It probably is easier to make a salad… Because that’s essentially what I dump in my juicer. But I stick with the green essentials like kale, spinach and celery. There was a documentary, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” that inspired me to do this type of cleanse after having switched to a mainly plant based diet in October. After allllll the Internet research and way too many juice books now on my kindle, I just do what I enjoy and try to avoid too many carrots and beets because of their sugar.
Can I say, I’m super jealous of your omega! I went the cheap route because I wasn’t sure if I was going to really enjoy juicing at home. But oh. My. God. My skin is glowing. Conpliments have been even been made! I’m so pumped every night to make my juice for the next day. And it has definitely given me that mid-February boost that I needed to get my butt outside instead of on the elliptical.

Ps I’ve been stalking you for about a year now and think you Rockford many reasons. Can’t tell you how much “Sorry I’m not sorry” helped me get things I want and be totally happy about them.
Whew that was long…
:)

4 cathryn February 23, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Blueprint Cleanse IS the Best Cleanse Evaaaaaa. I do it every 6 months (big splurge, I know) but my body loves me for it. Also, I loved the documentary, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” – so fascinating how what we put in our bodies can change our life!

5 Megan February 23, 2012 at 10:27 pm

My husband and I watched “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” as well after a friend recommended it. We bough the Omega-8005 and were all stoked to start the juice fast. I didn’t mind the juice as much, my husband hated it, but he stuck through it for my sake since it was kind of my idea. We started slow, doing 32 ounces of juice for breakfast/part of lunch with the intention of going full throttle after about a week.

Unfortunately, after doing research into the calorie requirements and calculating it out it was going to be WAY too expensive! One batch of the “Mean Green” from the documentary yielded about 28-32 ounces of juice with the Omega and had on average 320 calories, MAYBE 400 if you used big apples or a whole lemon. In order to not go into starvation mode (and reep any benefits at all) we’d have to eat at least 4 batches a day each (~1600 calories), more once we incorporated the gym back into our schedules. That’s 8, maybe 9 batches a day and it added up to like $40-50 per day in groceries, and that’s not organic, just regular.

I have a friend that’s been juicing for over 30 days now with limited success but nothing to write home about. He says it’s physically difficult to drink THAT MUCH JUICE every day as well as water and not explode but if you don’t, your body goes into starvation mode and you do more harm than good. You can always do different recipes but still, veggies aren’t calorically dense so you need to drink soooo much to get your requirements in.

I figure for that much money and effort, I could just hire a personal trainer. =P

6 Megan February 23, 2012 at 10:31 pm

PS: For anyone interested in juicing, seriously, GO WITH THE OMEGA or any other masticating juicer. You get SO MUCH more yield out of your produce, and it doesn’t heat up and oxidize the stuff like the centrifugals (Breville, Jack LaLanne, etc) so you’re getting almost 100% of the vitamins and nutrients. The Breville gets about 16-24oz per “Mean Green” batch and the Omega, for us anyway, was almost double that. Sure, it costs twice as much but it’s WAY healthier and you can also use it to make pasta or sausage. Just saying. =)

7 Madeline Reoch February 23, 2012 at 10:51 pm

It definitely is pretty spendy to do a full blown juice cleanse. I’ve realized that with how many Fresh Direct orders I’m doing full of only produce! And I find myself constantly having to remind myself to drink water as well. Even with all the liquid I’m consuming, I feel thirstier than ever.
I don’t know of I have the discipline to do 30 days! That’s definitely intense. If I do this again, I think I might have to invest. I know I’m not getting the greatest amount of juice from my produce that I could be with a better quality machine. Thanks for the tip!

8 Amy February 23, 2012 at 10:50 pm

It’s a bit scary how our lives parallel each other sometimes lol. I just got back from a big vacation where I fell in love with different juices and was just researching juicers to buy with my tax refund! The Omega was on my shortlist, glad to hear you liked it!

9 shelby February 23, 2012 at 11:37 pm

My parents were big juicers when I was a kid. They had this big juicer that looked (and sounded) like a locomotive engine and spit turdlike cylinders of fruit and veg fiber out the front. To twelve-year-old me, it was pretty mortifying.

I haven’t juiced since. But I like your idea of a date night centered around a smug yuppie appliance. It’s gotta be healthier than sharing a bottle of wine…
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10 janetha February 24, 2012 at 11:29 am

YES. I love this whole post. I, too, have started drinking my vegetables for about a week now. I use a Vitamix so it’s not quite the same as juice, but shit.. it gets the job done! I love your juicer’s name.
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11 Danielle February 24, 2012 at 11:57 am

Not sure if you’ve heard of Kris Carr or not, but she just came out with an e-book all about juicing with recepies.
http://crazysexyjuice.com/
I’ve been considering getting a juicer for the past year or so as well. It gets a bit expensive going to Whole Foods every week. lol.

12 RAIN February 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Interesting that you are blogging about this….I was just talking about this last night.
An instructor in my boot camp class was talking about the benefits of green smoothies every morning. And how you can pretty much drink your vegetables first thing in the morning. (AS well as your daily allowance for fruit too!)
I know I need to be taking in more greens.
We have a Jack L. juicer and we have liked it…but we have barly used it. Perhaps I need to get that thing out and start juicing more….because my diet is good but not great.

And I am going to look at that cleanse you mention, I have never even heard of it.
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13 melissanibbles February 24, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Don’t feel bad about owning nice things. You’re an adult, you’re SUPPOSED to have nice kitchen appliances. Well, as long as you can afford them. If you maxed out your credit card on a juicer, well, that wouldn’t be very adult now would it? Juice on with yo’ bad-ass adult self.
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14 Cameo February 24, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Haha! “Forget politics and religion; to juice or not to juice is the thing I would never bring up at a party” Hilarious. I am one of the people on the non-juicing side of the debate and even bastardized shakespeare and wrote a “to cleanse or not to cleanse” soliloquy. But you bring up a valid point – the emotional side of it. I am all for doing what you need to do to feel good about you! So juice away!
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15 Rachel February 25, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Hahaha I would love to read that soliloquy! Share?

Also, I so appreciate that you’re a non-juicer and that we can agree to disagree and laugh about it. I was afraid this post was going to turn into that ugly debate, but I was crossing my fingers for people like you! So…thanks!

16 christine February 25, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Rachel, this is awesome! Some friends and I are actually about to start a 3-day faux-Blueprint Cleanse using this exact hack site! Question: wtf is a rib of parsley?? How much did you guys use for this?

17 Rachel February 26, 2012 at 10:26 pm

I have absolutely no clue…I’ve just been throwing in a handful!

18 Rachel @ Healthy Chicks February 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm

So happy you got a juicer! We have BPC at Exhale, but I think juicing it yourself is the way to go. More control of what’s going in and much more fresh ; ) Oh, and WAY more affordable. Best of luck. You should watch the movie “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” about this man Joe Cross who juices for his health and ends up healing himself through nutrition – - very interesting!
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19 Dallas February 26, 2012 at 8:16 pm

I want to juice. Well, no. I want someone else to juice for me.

I need a boyfriend. #decisions.

I can’t wait for an update on thiiiiiiis!! I am wondering how expensive the produce is for the output, if that makes sense? Would it be cheaper just to buy an odwalla?
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20 Rachel February 26, 2012 at 10:26 pm

I will keep you posted…I will be keeping an eye on that as well!

21 Ashley February 26, 2012 at 10:33 pm

I have an overwhelming urge to go buy a juicer now

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