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The 7 Day Wheat Grass Plan

wheatshot

How it took me 7 days (well about 6 months plus 7 days) to
make this ridiculous face accomplish something I wanted to do

 

Over the past six months I have become increasingly interested in wheat grass juice.  Every time I turned around it was coming up in one way or another.  Many of the references have been positive, touting the many health benefits, however, I also came across some of the negatives, most often that it just plain doesn’t taste good.  Because I am continuing my healing from tick-borne illness (specifically Lyme and Anaplasmosis) and the extended antibiotic treatment of the illness,  I was especially intrigued by the health benefits.

When it came to the benefits, what I heard and read over and over again was that wheat grass juice is exceptionally nutrient dense, with as much nutritional value in an ounce as 2 and 1/2 pounds of fresh vegetables.  It is also known to be blood cleaning, healing, and an incredibly efficient way of delivering easily digested and easily assimilated nutrition to the body.  I am all for efficiency, so you would think that I would have just bought a shot of wheat grass at one of my local health/natural markets and given it a try, right?

Well, nope. That’s not how it went.  I could never bring myself to do it. I kept waiting for the ‘right’ time.  I had read that wheat grass juice was best assimilated and most impactful on an empty stomach and that it was best not to eat for up to 30 minutes after having the shot.  Well, when I am at the market either my stomach isn’t empty OR if it is, I would very much like to eat ASAP.  I was also pretty scared of drinking the shot and having it come immediately back up right there at the market, which isn’t exactly the public image I’m going for.  (And I had read that it was best juiced immediately after cutting and best consumed immediately after juicing…)  Yes, my obsessive diligent research had gotten me into a bit of a paralysis.

To get myself unstuck, I might have suggested that I grab a buddy, head out to the market and just get it done.  I chose a different strategy – the “7 day wheat grass plan”.  I grew my own wheat grass.

wheatgrowing

From seeds to grass in 7 days

I bought some seeds, some dirt and some trays. Planted the seeds, watered them, marveled at their growth and on the 7th day noted that the grass had reached the recommended height for harvesting and thus I was all out of excuses.  It was morning, my stomach was empty, I was in the privacy of my own home with only my family there to mock support my brave venture, and I had lovingly grown this grass and therefore felt pretty committed to seeing this through.  So I cut the grass, a handful at a time and fed it into the juicer.

wheatjuicing

 Imagine my surprise (and relief) upon harvesting and juicing that my
entire tray of grass yielded just over an ounce of juice.

The hand crank juicer was relatively easy to use, but I lost some juice because there was more dripping then I expected.  The worst part was that the smell as I cranked was pretty awful – my eyes were burning/watering and I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able to see this through.  So when I ended up with only an ounce I was pretty happy, even though if you had told me ahead of time that each tray would only yield one shot I might have not been as enthusiastic a gardener.

After collecting my ounce of juice and properly photo documenting the moment, it was time to actually drink the juice.  Like the completely mature adult that I am, I made the scrunched up yuck face and downed the shot.  After months of anticipation with some dread mixed in, it was over in an instant, the taste wasn’t nearly as bad as the smell, and it didn’t have the aftertaste that my research had led me to fear (i.e. tasting “lawn” for an hour afterwards).  For the remainder of the morning, I was actually buoyed by a rush of energy.  The energy and ‘aliveness’  could have been the miracle of wheat grass or a result of the adrenaline rush of accomplishing something that had been months in the making.  Or both.

I’ve already started two more trays of wheat grass.  I don’t see a shot of wheat grass becoming a daily staple in my routine, but I can see it becoming a once or twice a week addition.  And, for now, I’m going to keep growing my own, mostly because I love having the daily excitement of watching it grow.  So few things in life change that quickly.  I think I might breathe through my mouth next time I juice it though :-)

Do you ever get stuck waiting for the “right” time instead of just doing something? How do you “unstick” yourself? What do you think about wheat grass juice – love it, hate it, terrified of it?  Let me know!

Marney

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Treat Time

apple cake

Raw Spiced-Rum Apple Cake with Coconut Cashew Cream

Recently I did a 6 day Sugar Detox Challenge hosted by the super cool MommyRunFast and then followed it with a 3 day Green Juice Cleanse. (I know, now you’re trying to figure out how that insanely delicious looking cake has anything to do with a Detox/Juice anything.  I’ll get there, I promise.)

The Sugar Detox was a very successful venture, while the Juice Cleanse was less so.  What really worked for me about the Sugar Detox Challenge was the support that was built in to doing something with a group of 100 plus people.  Every day people shared their highs and lows, their meals and their strategies via Facebook,Instagram or through the Google document that went with the challenge.  Feeling part of something bigger than just my meal plan for the week was more than enough to keep momentum going.  And the support of the group more than made up for any “what crazy thing are you doing now, Marney/mom?” looks I got from the locals.  I really enjoyed sharing my meals via picture every day, and the feedback I received from those pictures was one of the straws that broke me into blogging.food collage

When it came time for the Green Juice Cleanse, I was ready, willing and able.  I started strong – the first day I got a bit cranky because I wanted to chew.  The second day I felt amazing.  The third day I crashed and burned.  I had originally entertained thoughts of doing 5 or even 7 days, but after 3 days I was dragging physically and emotionally.  I felt alone and isolated, and I was surrounded by people telling me to “just eat”.  It was a great learning experience, having the contrast of going from lots of support to no support, and seeing the difference it made.  Had I been part of a group of people doing a Juice Cleanse, someone else would have probably had similar experiences to me, someone else would have had come upon a solution to my day 3 crash, someone else would have reminded me of the importance of taking it easy and not going 100 miles an hour when cleansing.  Left to my own devices, I didn’t have enough cards stacked in my favor for a better outcome this time.

I am more grateful than ever for the multitude of people who have my back.  I am a strong woman, an independent woman, a smart woman AND I am much more likely to succeed when I am connected with like minded people.  That was a whole lot of learning crammed into week and a half, and since then I have savored several cups of coffee, a nice piece of steak, and many other gifts from the food world.  Which brings me back around to the cake. It was surprisingly simple to make and every bit as delicious as I hoped (although next time I would go without the spiced rum, it didn’t add anything, and I think it took away from some of the flavors).

Raw Apple Cake:

  • 1 cup dates (pitted) soaked in 1/2 cup spiced rum (next time I’m going to use water or apple juice) then pureed in food processor
  • 2 large green apples, shredded (I left the skin on and used the food processor)
  • 1 cup Mila
  • 1 cup dried apple, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, finely ground
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded dried coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together in large bowl.  Press dough firmly into large muffin tins. Chill.

I thought the cake was perfect without the coconut cream, but I made it just to see what it was like.  It was my first attempt at making coconut butter, and I wasn’t very successful.  I read that to make coconut butter, you simply blend dried coconut until the oil heats up and is released and the consistency becomes smooth.  I stopped blending when my Vitamix was hot, and although it was spreadable it was still pretty grainy/gritty.  I hated to blend anymore because all I could think of was how the heat was oxidizing the coconut.

Coconut Cashew Cream

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for a few hours and then drained
  • 3 tablespoons coconut butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut water

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

If you make the cake, or a variation of it, be sure to let me know what you thought of it. Where has having a community of support been instrumental to your success? Have you ever made coconut butter? Care to share any secrets to a nice smooth butter?

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Green Kitchen

My kitchen has become a makeshift greenhouse.  Which means that meals have become a bit sporadic.  Not because I can’t work around the soil and seedlings, but because I am easily distracted by them.  It’s amazing how quickly growth happens, it seems that every time I walk past, there is something new to see. On Sunday, I started two trays of wheat grass, one tray of sunflower shoots, one tray of pea shoots, and a mason jar of pea sprouts.  And already today the wheat grass and peas are looking like this

wheatgrass

I think that I am only 4 – 5 days from harvest!  I’m excited for the peas to grow more and to start seeing those pea tendrils, there’s something magical about them to me.  And just imagine now nutritious and life giving they are! Next time, I won’t start everything at the same time so that I can space out my harvests.  Meanwhile, the mason jar of sprouts is coming along even quicker

masonjar

While I was rinsing the sprouts this afternoon, several fell out and I popped them in my mouth.  They are already delicious – and I am looking forward to having a giant salad full of them!

In the meantime, I am enjoying watching the magic of the seed happen right in front of my eyes.  I started out only focused on having fresh wheat grass to juice and fresh sprouts and shoots to eat, which was reward enough for my efforts, I thought.  The added benefit of the nearly immediate gratification of having visible reward for my efforts is a nice bonus gift.  And the interruption of some of my regular kitchen routines, well it’s nice to have takeout be a little flexible now and again.

Have you ever grown sprouts? What is your best sprouting tip? I’d love to hear from you. If the Leave a Reply box isn’t below here, click on the heart icon at the top of the post to open up the Leave a Reply box.

 

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