I was in a horrible mood on Tuesday…just horrible.
It all started when the meteorologists were wrong about the forecasted snow storm. Did I want 6 inches of snow? No, but I think that if I have to do my job correctly, then so should they and this made me grumpy for some reason. To make matters worse, it was so cold at my desk, I was hungry all day despite several snack attacks and then I lost my monthly pass for the shuttle bus. (At this point I was pulling the Nancy Kerrigan, “Why me?!?”) I didn’t talk on the train ride home and grumbled all throughout dinner, until finally I decided that before I picked a huge fight with SB, I would take mood matters into my own hands…I would juice my bad mood away!
Recently, I purchased a Breville juicer (see pic for specific model) from Amazon. It had amazing reviews and at $99.99, I thought it would be pretty hard to beat…if it worked well. I couldn’t wait for it to arrive. Then, once it shipped and I unwrapped all of the plastic, I just couldn’t think of what I wanted to juice, so it sat and sat and sat…until last night. I decided to whip up something I’m calling “Green Grouch juice”, since 1) it uses a number of green vegetable and 2) Oscar the Grouch (my grumpy mentor) is green. The star of this drink is the kale, a green leafy vegetable that is rich in folic acid (also known as vitamin B9). Folic acid has been linked with boosting serotonin levels in the brain and research shows that people with a B9 deficiency can exhibit a range of symptoms, including depression. Along with folic acid, this juice also provides a hefty dose of vitamin C (lemons), vitamin A (carrots) and vitamin K (parsley and celery). I drank this delicious juice along side my daily supplement of fish oil and vitamin D, both of which have also been linked to alleviating anxiety and boosting your mood.
- 3-4 stalks of kale
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 granny smith apples
- 2 carrots
- 1 cucumber
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 inch piece of ginger
- bunch of parsley
- Rinse all vegetables well
- Break down any veg/fruit according to your specific juicer recommendations
- Juice! (I HIGHLY recommend this Breville model, it worked extremely well and had easy cleanup!)
- Mix well to combine all the juices
- Enjoy with ice or even use in a smoothie
- This makes 2 large servings, I saved one overnight in the fridge and it still tasted nice the next day
After drinking this juice I am proud to say that I felt better. Was it the juice? Or was it taking a nice hot shower, crawling into bed and watching the latest episode of Downton Abbey? All I know is, I woke up feeling great! This juice really energizes you and has a pleasant taste. One word of caution, this drink is very lemony, so if you tend to get heart burn from acidic juices, you may want to cut back on the amount of lemon you add.
Lastly, since we are talking about juice. SB brought this article to my attention yesterday. Apparently, a non-profit organization called the USP (U.S. Pharmacopeial) Convention conducted independent research on whether or not certain food products contain fake ingredients.
For example, they tested 3 different lemon juice products (each labeled 100% pure) for the amount of lemon juice actually found in the liquid. The results were shocking as each of the bottles contained, 10%, 15% or 25%, respectively, of actual juice. Water and sugar were the fillers most commonly used.
Their research also suggests that certain products are more likely to be diluted with cheaper (or inedible) ingredients. Some examples include:
- Olive oil, diluted with cheaper oils
- Tea, diluted with grass trimmings or ferns (WTH?!?!)
- Pomegranate juice, diluted with other juices (grape or cherry) or simply water and sugar
You can find the full Food Fraud Database here if you want to go searching.
How do you avoid this? The article merely suggests to go with your gut, if you see olive oil selling for $5.99, it’s probably to good to be true.
**Everyone reading this should send a good luck thought to my friend Amy who is taking her MCATs today, I know she is going to do great!! Good Luck Amy!
Helpful literature on food and mood:
Oscar the Grouch image credits (adapted from):