This feels a little like the plot to a horror movie. I’m the mad scientist, forced into self-experimentation because I’m not able to test on human subjects. My friends and family have begged me not to go down this path, but I won’t listen. No! The experiment must go on!
And like those movies, my experiment has started off pretty well. It’s Monday morning and I woke up excited and invigorated by the challenge ahead. I’ve had a little stomach-grumbling, the worst of which happened when I lifted my arms up to wash my hair, elongating my torso, forcing me to confront the angry, burbling sounds coming from my empty/annoyed stomach. Ok, no problem! I’ll just keep my arms down by my sides… all week.
So far, I’ve had my morning energy “tea” of warm water, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper. That’ll wake up your digestive juices and your sinuses. Next, I “enjoyed” the core drink of the juice cleanse: “green juice.” We juiced kale, swiss chard, spinach, something called “Japanese Vitamin Greens,” parsley, apples, and ginger. My friend Keiko (who had no idea what the Japanese Vitamin Greens were even though she’s Japanese, leading me to believe that the Green Market is pulling a fast one) thought she might try the juice cleanse with us and came to help me juice on Saturday. Since it was finally my turn to play mad scientist, she had to fill the role of Igor:). We headed to my school (they have a juicer – I don’t), filled a giant sink with the 2 trash bag-sized sacks of veggies and apples, and got to work.
Remember when I said that I thought juicing the ingredients myself would save so much money over paying $65/day? Well, I’m not so sure. Keiko and I juiced for FIVE HOURS. Oh, and before I added the apple, I gave Keiko a taste of the kale/spinach/swiss chard/parsley/mystery vitamin green juice. She quickly decided to abandon the juice-cleanse-ship and begged me not to go further. I did, momentarily, rethink my decision as I, too, tasted the opaque-green liquid. It tastes like, I imagine, dredging the bottom of a swamp with my tongue and smelled like a freshly-mowed lawn. My stubbornness won out and I pushed further, deciding that I hadn’t done all this work for nothing!
If you’re going to challenge yourself to both juice-cleanse and make your own Swamp Thing mixture, I’ve broken down the ingredients below for a daily dosage, vs. the 2-person / 5-day amount that I made on Saturday. To be fair, I did make a couple of other combinations (stay tuned), but the Slimer drink was definitely the most tedious and time-consuming. I recommend skimming the dirt-flavored foam off the top and then passing the whole thing through a sieve to get rid of the chunks of mulch. Add a little fresh lemon (a LOT of fresh lemon) and cayenne pepper as well – the spice & tanginess seem to mask the swampiness. It’s really not all that bad. n the end, both Kim and Hayley (who I convinced to try this yesterday!) said that our little Green Goblin was… fine.
Obviously, I recognize the serious potential for disaster here. I wouldn’t have compared it to a horror movie if I didn’t. I’m waiting, cautiously, for that moment when the hunger pang hits and I’m transformed into a monster (probably a green monster as all monsters are) and the angry villagers start chasing me with pitchforks. When that happens, I just hope I have time to grab a snack before running away.
Swamp Thing “Green Juice”
Serves 2… barely. Yields about 4 cups.
½ bunch Swiss Chard
½ bunch Kale
3 cups Spinach
½ bunch Parsley
3 Apples (I used Granny Smith)
¼ piece Ginger (peeled)
-Lemon (to taste)
-Cayenne (to taste)
**You can add beet greens, collard greens, cucumbers, celery, etc. to your juice.
1. Place all ingredients in a clean, plugged sink and fill with water (or any vessel large enough to allow items to float at top). Agitate to shake off dirt and debris and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
2. Remove ingredients from sink, shaking off excess water, and drain (unplug sink only AFTER removing ingredients or you will redeposit dirt onto your food). Roughly chop ingredients to fit your juicer. Even if your juicer can handle whole apples, I recommend cutting up all leafy items & herbs – the fibers got caught around the juicer I used.
3. Skim foam from the top of juice and discard. If your juicer doesn’t have a strainer, pass juice through a sieve.
4. Season with fresh-squeezed lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Serve immediately over ice and “enjoy.”
(Note: The only reason I was able to juice for an entire week is that I had access to a vacuum machine to remove oxidizing air from my juice. I don’t recommend that you keep this juice any longer than it takes you to finish drinking it.)