February is a great month to remind me that I come from a long line of women who all had heart attacks at an early age. With that type of medical history, though, I have to be on top of my heart health game every month of the year.
Last Christmas, my husband purchased me a Hurom Slow-Juicer. Initially, we decided to take up juicing to help us shed a few unwanted pounds. We hoped the extra energy to get us through the day would be a side affect. We started juicing twice a day. Twice a day! Do you know how many fruits and vegetables are needed to juice twice a day, let alone how many trips to the grocery store are needed weekly? Quite a bit. Our healthy habit was commended in January when I went for my annual routine blood test to screen everything from A to Z. Along with 8 bottles of vitamins and supplements I would need to take daily in order to reduce my cholesterol, lose belly fat and lower my risk of diabetes, I was also ordered to juice twice a day. Imagine that! When I told my doctor I was already on it, he smiled proudly.
My husband and I actually enjoy juicing. We take turns coming up with our own blends. I was also given a couple of great juicing books as a Christmas gift, which have guided us in picking and choosing which fruits and veggies to blend and not blend together. What we love about the benefits of juicing is how we are able to take in much of the suggested daily amounts of fruits and veggies in one 8oz glass; incorporate a more variety of fruits and veggies; and absorb more of the nutrients better. Right away we could tell the juicing was working for us as we experienced a cleaner version of energy, versus a caffeine induced high, that also lasted longer. If the doctor is right, and I am dedicated to the cause, I should see remarkable results over the next 6 months.
Now let’s get back to where I said two things:
Juicing twice a day requires many trips to the grocery store, and juicing twice a day allows for more variety of fruits and veggies to be introduced into my diet.
I really do enjoy exploring in my grocery store, especially in places like Whole Foods where guaranteed, there is something new discovered there every trip. I also have to take into account the types of fruits and veggies that contribute to making a stronger heart and cleansing my blood of icky fats that clog up my arteries. As much as I love to think spending 5-6 times a week in a grocery store is an easy addition to my routine, well, reality check, it’s just not. I also find myself unconsciously buying the same produce over and over again because it is what I like, and my adventurous streak begins to wane.
A few weeks ago I was contacted by Winder Farms to review some of their products. Right away I knew which product would be a great fit for for my new juicing routine…the Produce Box. I have been a customer of Winder Farms on and off for a few years now. Every time I was about to have one of my children, I would sign up again to ensure that milk, fruit, veggies, bread, butter…the essentials…would find their way to my house in case someone forgot to run to the grocery store. A six week driving hiatus for me meant I had to rely on friends and family for lots of stuff. I did not want to take the risk that my groceries were not going to be organic, all-natural and fresh. Winder Farms was always a great solution.
Once we were back to our routine, I would stop the service because, like I said, I actually like going to the grocery store. The Produce Box from Winder Farms, however, was always one of my favorite items, and now with juicing, it seems to make sense for us again. There have been some changes since the last time we used the Winder Farms service. Our Produce Box was delivered inside a cooler bag, right outside our door. Love that. In the desert, it’s not worth it to take a chance on leaving dairy or produce outside, no matter the time of year. The weather can be unpredictable, and a cool morning may turn into a blazing hot afternoon.
We eagerly brought the package inside. My kids are fruit and veggie fanatics and couldn’t wait to see what was in the box. I couldn’t either! Another nice addition was how neat and organized the produce was inside the box. Each item had its own compartment to keep them separated. They were protected by paper grass and cardboard. And, though one of my favorite aspects of getting the Produce Box is for the random variety, sometimes it was challenging to figure out what to do with some of the items. This time, the box came with a recipe card with two recipes utilizing some of the produce in the box. Love that!
What was in the box? Oranges, pears, cauliflower, Russet potatoes, spaghetti squash, radishes and jalapenos. Naturally, the orange and pears were a pretty obvious answer, as well as the potatoes…but what to do with that spaghetti squash, cauliflower, radishes and jalapenos? I did not have time to make the suggested recipes, but I did keep the card for a future opportunity. After juicing the oranges and pears, we roasted the spaghetti squash and added tomato sauce. It was delicious. I had challenged myself to juice the rest. I’m still searching for that perfect recipe incorporating cauliflower and radishes (I know it’s out there!) in the meantime, I was dying to juice the jalapeno!
Jalapenos happen to be one of those veggies that is heart healthy. Lucky for me, I have a taste for all things spicy. I couldn’t wait to get that jalapeno in a juice. After searching for recipes on-line and in my juice books, I decided to try a concoction of my own. It was amazing and I’m going to share it with you:
– 1/2 pineapple
– handful of kale
– 1″ of ginger
– 1/2 of a jalapeno (use less if you are worried about the heat, you can always add more later- and juice the jalapeno last!)
Seriously, delicious! It was great fun to receive the Produce Box. I enjoyed the challenge again, of finding new ways to cook and juice with the items. If you want to try out the Winder Farms service, click on their logo on the right side of the screen, and when you check out, use the code: RSMLV213 and receive a $25 credit on your order.