“Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”: a movie review and why I bought a juicer

A health-nutty friend of mine posted a link to this movie on Facebook. It was free to watch on hulu (and I think it still is at the time I write this). The title piqued my interest and I watched the first few minutes right then and resolved to watch the rest later that day.

I wound up staying up until 1:30 that morning to finish watching it.

And I don’t stay up to watch nuthin’.

It’s the story of how one man, Joe Cross, decided to do a 60-day juice fast in the hopes it would help him cure a skin condition (chronic urticaria), lose weight, and jump-start a more healthy lifestyle. He traveled across the U.S.A. and talked to people about their health and what it means to be healthy, and he tried to get people interested in juicing. One of the people he met was Phil Staples, a morbidly obese truck driver who suffered from the same skin condition. Joe offered to help Phil with juicing and lose the weight and get his life back… and he does.

It was very impactful and inspirational… so much so, I bought a juicer this past weekend, and I made the “Mean Green Juice” featured in the movie.

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I have reported previously that I am afraid of green smoothies… and I was a little afraid of the green juice… but it was better than I thought it would be. You can find the recipe here.

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Ingredients for the “Mean Green” juice

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Now I’ve resolved myself to doing at least a 3 or 5 day juice fast, and Joe (the guy in the movie), has a great site set up to help you choose the right juicer and guide you through a fast.

I really felt inspired by this movie… and now I am going to make some carrot juice with apple and ginger… =)

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Hurricanes are bad for your sugar intake

Hurricanes are bad for your sugar intake

I have been hearing from a lot of my friends that they’ve been eating like CRAP all week. Some people have had to rely on non-perishable food due to Hurricane Sandy (I live in Central NJ), and many people still don’t have power today, a full week after the storm hit.

We didn’t lose power, so I can’t blame my eating on the storm. For the most part I have managed to stay away from the Halloween candy I have yet to give out (they’ve postponed trick or treating in my town until they can finish cleaning up downed trees and power lines). But I have not been eating well, and I have not been eating enough green things. Or vegetable things.

I did, however, make a root vegetable soup on Monday the 29th, in my “I have to do something” panic before the storm hit that night (sort of a variation on this one, which I’ve made before).

soup preppin

The aftermath of the storm has been so bad that they cancelled my CSA pickup this past Thursday. Hopefully those shares were donated and didn’t go to waste, but I’m not sure.

My gym has also been closed for the last week… which also is no excuse for my lack of exercise over the last week.

I’ve just been really off lately. In a rut. And now that we just turned the clocks back there’s more darkness. I love this time of year for so many reasons but the lack of daylight is not one of them!

Hopefully things will get back to normal soon with power and gas… and hopefully I can get myself in a better frame of mind.

I think I am going to try to go without sugar for a few days too… and do another 3-day detox. I had tried to start one the week before the storm and I had to stop after less than one day because I had such an incredibly bad headache (which I think must have been me detoxing from sugar/caffeine).

Garlic Harvesting, 2nd CSA share and Quinoa Patties

Garlic Harvesting, 2nd CSA share and Quinoa Patties

CSA-ers fulfilling their volunteer commitment to harvest garlic

I helped harvest garlic for about 3 hours on Sunday, July 8. It was hot. Like, 90+ degrees hot. But it was kind of fun. Gratifying, even!

I was so dirty when I got home. I don’t think I’ve gotten that dirty since childhood.

I don’t know if you can appreciate how much I’m sweating. And I know this is a dumb hat, but it protected my head from the sun and provided my face with shade!

We had to pull the garlic out of the ground, dust off the dirt clumped on the root part, and then place the garlic in piles of about 20, like this.

I met some really nice people and traded some gardening tips with another lady. And participating in the harvesting fulfills my volunteer commitment for the CSA.

Since the garlic will have to be hung up to dry for a few weeks, it wasn’t in our shares this week.

So what was in our share? Take a look:

7/12/12 share contents

I took the broccoli rabe as well as some radishes.

In the last week I also found the time to try a recipe that I’ve had on my “to do” list: Quinoa Patties.

I found the original recipe here, at SoupAddict.com. It looks like she adapted this one herself… but she’s got a wonderful site with so many inspiring recipes and photos!

I’d really recommend you go visit. You’ll get lost for a while =)

I changed the recipe up a bit… I still want to play with it some more because they were absolutely delicious and really filling.

I added shredded zucchini, but I want to see if I can add more vegetables and still maintain the patty consistency.

Here’s my take on this.

Note: I read the comments after the SA post, and I came away with a good tip on forming patties: use a measuring cup.  Also… I really wish I’d had some chives to put in, as called for by SA’s version… but I didn’t. I think they would really be nice.

The finished product… I enjoyed mine with some hot sauce. YUM!

Quinoa Patties (adapted from SoupAddict.com)

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature (leftover quinoa is perfect)
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 5-6 oz feta cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • a few shakes salt
  • a few shakes Italian seasoning
  • a few shakes crushed red pepper
  • a few grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup whole grain bread crumbs (more if needed)
  • Water, as needed
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Yield: 12-15 patties

Mix the ingredients. Combine the quinoa and zucchini in a medium bowl. Stir in the onion, cheese, garlic, salt, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and black pepper. Mix in the beaten eggs. Add 1/4 cup bread crumbs and stir well.

To test that the mixture has the proper texture to form patties, pick up a palm full, squeeze and release. If the mixture holds together in a clump, then it’s ready. If it’s dry and crumbly, add water a 1/2 teaspoon at a time until the mixture passes the test. If the mixture feels wet and mushy, add more bread crumbs.

Heat the oil. In a large skillet over medium heat, making sure to coat the bottom of the pan.

Form the patties. Take a 1/4 cup measuring cup and fill with the quinoa mixture. Empty the cup into your hand or directly into the skillet and pat down to form a patty that is about 1/2″-3/4″ thick. Leaving room for flipping, fill your skillet.

Cook. For 8 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms are browned. (You may decide to cover your pan. I did not.) Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook the other sides for 5-7 minutes, or until golden. Remove patties from the skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels for blotting some of the excess oil off.

Once they’re cool, enjoy!

the mix — I used organic tri-color quinoa from Trader Joe’s

using the measuring cup worked very well to form perfect-sized patties

Browning

First CSA share and Dandelion Greens with Garlic and Lemon

First CSA share and Dandelion Greens with Garlic and Lemon

First CSA share! I swear, picking it up felt like Christmas.

holy cow thatsa lotta veggies

This week’s share consisted of:

They had regular yellow and green squash/zucchini, but I picked out 3 that looked like this:

what the what?

Yesterday I made myself sauteed dandelion greens for dinner.

Using this recipe for inspiration (the first one), I sauteed garlic in olive oil, then added the greens and cooked for a few minutes until they were slightly wilted. Then I squeezed a lemon over them and tossed them with roasted chick peas, penne and parmesan cheese. They were a little bitter… like broccoli rabe is bitter… but they were so good paired with the garlic and lemon. I’d definitely buy these in the future (if they aren’t included in a CSA share)!

Tomorrow I am going to fulfill my volunteer commitment for the CSA — I’m going to work on the farm that provides us with our vegetables. I’ll be harvesting garlic for about 3 hours in 90+ degree weather. It’s going to be hot but I think it will be fun. I’m really looking forward to it!

In other news, I worked out for an hour and a half on Wednesday, July 4. I haven’t sweated that much in a while! It felt great. I wasn’t able to get to the gym yesterday but I did spend about 2 hours tossing my kid around in the town pool earlier today (she’s sleeping it off now).

I’ll update you on the farming. I’m off to look up some recipes for salad turnips!