Since working at Starbucks when I was just 16, I've been a coffee addict. My parent's always drank coffee and growing up in the land of Dunkin Donut's in the Boston-area, Dunkin's French Vanilla iced "coffee" somewhat prepped me for working at Stuarbucks and what soon became a daily espresso and french-press coffee affair. But in light of the 2 sometimes 3 or 4 cups of quad lattes or affogato mocha frappacinos with extra caramel drizzle, I've grown up a bit. My coffee addiction has settled into a reasonable consumption of 1 cup a day, maybe 3 shots.
At times, to ween myself off of this daily addiction, I've had weeks where I'll just drink green tea. So when I reintroduce coffee, it doesn't feel so much a "do or die" scenario when I can't get my french press first thing in the morning. Infact, as of late I'd much prefer green tea, since it's a bit more rejuvenating compared to shocking my system with a rather acidic and strong brew of coffee first thing in the morning.
But I am in Florida and in the dead heat of the summer (at least here at 98 degrees already) a hot beverage won't always cut it. So opting for a cold beverage, I've finally given into to trying the "green monster" smoothies (that I said I would never substitute for a meal) and explored the whole juicing craze. Green smoothie attempt 1 included: Kale, spinach, pear, mango, almond milk, agave and lime juice. This frothy green beverage was surprisingly satisfying in place of breakfast. I even managed to pour a glass for my dad who willing drank the whole glass and said "Hmmm good. Tastes healthy, but good." My mom and I were shocked he put down a beverage that contained vegetables and being that he is color blind, had no clue it was bright green. And I swore to her [my mom] that I wouldn't tell him there were vegetables in so she could attempt it again.
My sister has become quite the expert on juicing, trying options like Kale and Apple juice, Carrot and Pear and (her favorite, my absolutely least favorite) Carrot, Beet and Apple juice, which taste like pure dirt. As someone who thoroughly enjoys real food, though others beg to differ, I was surprised at how satisfying these frothy green concoctions can be.
Dr. Oz, who has a balanced view on juicing - not encouraging juice fasts, but rather as an occasional meal substitution, has a great recipe for anti-aging monster juice. Even Guy Fieri the ultimate "Guy Food Cook" - at least by my Dad's standards) starts his day out with fresh green juices:
What’s your morning food ritual?
GF: An Americano and a banana, if I’m home. If I’m on the road for Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, I have a new, amazing habit. I bought a juicer. One of my assistant's job is to buy organic vegetables every day, so that when I show up to set, I have a 16-ounce glass of delicious, healthy, freshly-made juice, usually with beets, carrots, strawberries, blueberries, celery, parsley, you name it.
He's such an advocate he even dedicated a page in his new book, Guy Fieri Food, all on juicing.
Chances are we aren't all getting in enough greens and rely too heavily upon coffee and sugar ( and sweet tea if you're from the south) to keep us going. But do we ever feel revitalized by these harmless stimulants? All in all the more greens you can get in the better. Maybe I can even sell my Dad on juicing when he hear the Guy Fieri juices. Unless of course he reads this first and discovers he's been hoaxed into drinking something good for him.