by Frances Sheridan Goulart
If not now, when?
You know the saying. And it applies to our plates and our powerhouses as we prepare to roll out mats for the upcoming year (which fittingly enough is the Year of the Horse, according to the Chinese Zodiac, a time for unremitting self-improvement). Time to take inventory. Is your plate booming? Is your practice blooming? If not now, when are your meals going to begin bursting with life-enhancing antioxidants? If not now, when is your Open-Leg Rocker going to become open, leggy and well, rocking? What are you waiting for? “Physical fitness [as Joseph Pilates reminded us] can neither be achieved through wishful thinking or outright purchase.” The same applies to nutritional fitness. If this is the year you were meaning to add raw juices to your daily routine and maybe try that green juice cleanse, take them out of the wishful-thinking column. Not sure where to start or what vegetable to start with? How about parsley?
A cousin of the carrot and celery, curly-leaf has a stronger flavor and slightly more nutrients than curly leaf, and has been used traditionally as a digestive aid, diuretic, kidney stimulant, to improve the vigor of lungs and spleen and as a natural breath freshener. Parsley provides 17 different vitamins and minerals, including 153 percent of your daily need for vitamin K, essential for normal blood clotting. Every sprig supplies fiber for the heart and the colon, plus a dozen phytochemicals that fire up immunity. Among them are chemo-protective volatile oils which help neutralize carcinogens. Buy a bunch, wash, pat dry, store in a plastic bag and refrigerate. Or place a bunch in a glass of water on your counter for passing-by nibbles.
And why not couple your new leafy-green commitment with your new year’s mat or apparatus one (perhaps to master the Teaser and all its variations, or to perfect Jackknife, or fill in the blank with your personal goal). Here are two parsley-enhanced raw juices to start the Year of the Horse and get the commitment ball rolling; one uses your juicer, the other your blender or food processor. Organic ingredients are recommended.
1 green apple
½ cucumber, peeled
½ lemon, peeled and seeded
½ bunch prepped parley, stems and all, torn
1–1½ cups fresh spinach leaves
Wash and section the apple, cucumber and lemon. Combine with the torn parsley and spinach leaves. Alternating greens with fruits and vegetables, put the produce through the blade of the juicer. Dilute with a little spring water before drinking.
Optional: Add 2 scraped, chopped raw carrots for enhanced sweetness and nutrients.
Orchard Latte (for the blender or food processor)
½ ripe papaya, skin removed and chopped
1 (½-inch) slice pineapple, chopped
1 peach, washed, pitted and halved
4 ounces rice, almond or coconut milk
Handful parsley, stems removed, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
3–4 ice cubes
Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and buzz til frothy.
Optional: For a nutrition boost, add 2 mint leaves and 1 teaspoon of goji berries or acai powder.