The Joys of Juicing

I was thinking about Michael Jackson the other day. I’d just seen the movie This Is It and wondered about his life offstage. He and his family lived in a palace in the Middle East for a number of years. He named his first kid Prince I and he loved to wear ceremonial military garb from the 19th century. Apparently he liked living like royalty.

I wondered, had Michael every picked up a mop and cleaned the kitchen, or a knife to cut vegetables for juicing? Or did he just wander out to his Neverland amusement park and ride the Tilt-a-Whirl while his extensive staff took care of all such details?

If he never cut celery, that would be a shame. Never to hear that satisfying crunch under the blade, releasing a refreshingly delectable aroma into the air. You trim them and stack them to the side like adobe tiles for building the body. Then the carrots, that lovely “thunk” as the knife pushes through and hits the cutting board. You stack the sweet, bioflavanoid-rich lincoln logs next to the celery.

Don’t forget the beets. A little harder to deal with. You have to peel them, but underneath that rough and dirty exterior is a glistening giant red ruby, flavorful and iron-rich. When the knife slips through the cabbage, the vegetable whispers “cash, cash.” Jackson had a lot of credit. I have a lot of cash these days.

Add the sweet apple and the cancer-killing ginger and put your noisy juicer through its paces, catching the roughage in a bin for the compost pile while the juice streams into the waiting Mason jar. You tip it back into your mouth and know instantly that you’ve got something that money can’t buy, you’ve transformed a fridge full of produce into a magic potion.

There was a time in my life, a long time, when I might have overlooked the simple sensory pleasures of making and consuming fresh vegetable juice. Nowadays, it’s a nurturing meditation that takes place almost every day. And I’m paying attention, enjoying the moment. After all, THIS IS IT.

I may not be able to moonwalk, but we can all do something even more miraculous if we choose to.

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