I Tried It: Juicing

by Sally on October 2, 2014

JuicingI’ve been a smoothie girl for a long time. I make one nearly every day for breakfast and pack my Vitamix when I go on vacation.

But I’ve also been intrigued by juicing. Like everyone else who watched the documentary “Fat Sick & Nearly Dead“, I wanted to run out and buy a top-of-the-line juicer immediately. But cooler heads prevailed. I borrowed one instead from my intern Hannah.

And just in time–because my clean-eating guru, fellow dietitian Danielle Omar, has a brand new book called Skinny Juices: 101 Juice Recipes for Detox and Weight Loss. I’ve done Danielle’s Clean Eating Detox program twice (read “I Tried a 21-Day Cleanse And You Can Too!“). She’s smart and knows her stuff–and she swears by juicing.

Skinny Juices

Hannah and I spent time looking through Skinny Juices and trying several of Danielle’s recipes. Here’s what the ingredients, finished product, and leftover pulp looked like for three recipes:

Minty Melon:

Skinny JuicesTickled Pink:

Skinny JuicesTrue Blue:

Skinny JuicesI used the juicer for two weeks, trying some of Danielle’s recipes and throwing various combinations of fruits and vegetables together.

Here’s what I liked about juicing:

  • I consumed a ton of greens–and way more vegetables in general than I normally would in a day. (Beyond spinach and kale, I haven’t had a lot of luck blending veggies into my morning smoothies with the Vitamix. I usually wind up with too much sludge.)
  • It was an easy way to use up produce odds and ends that were kicking around in the fridge.
  • It was fun experimenting with different combos of fruits and veggies. My kids liked it too.
  • Juice felt like a lighter and more refreshing way to start my day than a smoothie from the blender.

Here’s what I didn’t:

  • The juicer was big and bulky, with many parts to keep track of (and it was not fun to clean).
  • There was a lot of pulp left over. I added it to our compost, but it still felt wasteful. And the dietitian in me hated tossing away all that fiber, though Danielle offers 16 ways to repurpose it (like layering it into lasagna) in her book.
  • It’s very easy to create a high-cal concoction with too much fruit. When my kids took the driver’s seat, we ended up with a sticky-sweet mixture that likely packed hundreds of calories and loads of sugar.
  • The juices that are predominantly vegetables are definitely an acquired taste. I’m used to a sweet fruit smoothie every morning, so I’d need some time to warm up to a vegetable-heavy juice instead. The juices also weren’t filling in the way my usual smoothies are.


Though I’m sticking with my Vitamix smoothies, I understand why people juice. Devotees like Danielle also do it the right way, with lots of veggies–and fruit added sparingly. In fact, Danielle typically recommends using just 1 fruit for every 3-4 veggies.

This Blue Love juice was my favorite of the ones we tried. Here’s the recipe:

4.0 from 1 reviews
Blue Love
  • ½ cup pineapple
  • 1 cucumber
  • 5-6 kale leaves
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1-inch piece ginger
  1. Juice.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 176

Blue Love Juice

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Skinny JuicesThis post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase a product through this link, your cost will be the same but I will receive a small commission to help with operating costs of this blog. I only link to products I personally use and love. Thanks for your support!

Photos by Hannah Bills


{Recipe} Peanut Butter Breakfast Shake

by Sally on September 16, 2014

Peanut Butter Breakfast ShakeBreakfast is not my fifth grader’s favorite meal of the day. (My first grader, on the other hand, practically jumps directly from his bed into a seat at the kitchen island with a spoon in his hand.)

I invented this breakfast shake one morning to sweeten the deal. It’s something fun and filling. I also love that it’s full of calcium, potassium, and protein to start his day.

You can easily adjust this recipe to your tastes and needs by:

  • Subbing in a non-dairy milk such as almond or soy
  • Using your favorite kind of nut butter
  • Adding just one date (or omitting them completely) if you want less sweetness

Keep in mind that you’ll need a high powered blender to really pulverize the dates. I first heard of blending dates into a shake from Katie of Mom’s Kitchen Handbook, whose Creamy Dreamy Banana Date Shake is another sweet and satisfying favorite.

For more breakfast ideas, listen to the new episode of my podcast with Dr. Dina Rose, The Happy Bite, which is all about breakfast this week. Want more breakfast recipes? Try my Scrambled Egg Muffins and Yogurt & Flaxseed Waffles.

Peanut Butter Breakfast Shake

Back-To-School Peanut Butter Breakfast Shake
Serves: 1
  • 1 peeled, frozen banana
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
  • 2 small pitted dates
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Serve immediately.

Peanut Butter Breakfast Shake


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Throughout the pages of my new book Cooking Light Dinnertime Survival Guide are tricks that help me save time, money, and sanity. I call them “Crazy Tricks That Actually Work”. I’m sharing a few of these on my blog. I’ve been known to say that I could be a vegetarian if it weren’t for bacon. (My kids […]

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The Easiest Frozen Treat Ever

July 5, 2014

It’s all about staying cool right now, which means stocking your freezer with some cold, frosty goodies. Frozen grapes are the perfect one-ingredient frozen treat: Rinse, de-stem, place them in a freezer-safe bag, and lay them flat in your freezer. Be sure your kids can easily reach them for self-serve summer snacking. They taste like […]

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