Beverage/Smoothie · Beverages · Brain function · Juice · Mood · Nutrition · Recipe · Science

Green Grouch juice

I was in a horrible mood on Tuesday…just horrible.

Oscar knows his juice!
Oscar knows his juice!

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!

Breville BJE200XL Compact Juice Fountain 700-Watt Juice Extractor
Breville BJE200XL Compact Juice Fountain 700-Watt Juice Extractor

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.

Fresh Reagents
Fresh Reagents


  • 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.

Green Grouch Juice
Green Grouch Juice

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):


8 thoughts on “Green Grouch juice

  1. Glad the juicer got a good review! I have a bonus coming up soon and I can’t wait to get one for the house. You recommend leaving the skins on, right? For the nutrients? Will you be doing something with the pulp?

      1. Honestly, I when I make green juice, I just rotate and do combinations of greens (kale, spinach, and/or collards), celery, cucumber, lime or lemon, apple or kiwi (or pear), ginger, and parsley. I always do lots of veggies/greens and one fruit.

    1. Thanks for the comment…I am also interested in how food affects our mental health. Did you see my post on chocolate and mood? (munchie-approved paleo choc chip cookie recipe) It’s a good reason to have some dark chocolate, especially to cure the winter blues. I hope you had a great week. I’m looking forward to some hot yoga this weekend! Do you have any big plans?

      1. Thank you! Unfortunately, I am allergic to almonds, but they sure do look like they were delicious! Next time I make chocolate cookies though, I’ll be sure to use dark chocolate! 🙂 When I have lunch at work, I always pack a couple of dark chocolate Hershey Kisses to keep my mood up for the rest of the day. From your post, I was able to gain a more in-depth understanding of dark chocolate and mood. I hope you had a great week too!

        Enjoy hot yoga this weekend! A couple of my friends and I will be trying a hot yoga session soon! I can’t wait!

        This weekend I’ll be at work. I’m hoping to get out tomorrow night with a few friends. I’ve been itching to go to the movies!

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