FFTFL premiere

FFTFL premiere

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Fusion Juicer Review

When my friend contacted me about the possibility of reviewing a juicer for my blog, I jumped at the opportunity. You see, I USED to have a juicer, way back when. I hated it. It was such an obnoxious contraption to clean and I didn't have a dishwasher and so "ain't nobody got time for that!" Ever since I sold the thing at my first yard sale to raise money for Relay For Life, Chelsea's been just heartbroken. Okay. Not really. She just really wanted to try it, and so here was my opportunity to turn that frown upside down!

Isn't it pretty?

It was like Christmas day opening the box. I expected the juicer, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a small blender as well! Along with both appliances, there was the instruction pamphlet, a booklet with a 6 week program to help improve your health through juicing, healthier eating and exercise, and a 190 page, full color "raw remedies and juice recipes" book, which even has recipes that include using the pulp by-product of juicing! NO WASTE! I was a little apprehensive about the machine, but once I actually read the step-by-step instructions on how to take it apart and put it back together, my fears were alleviated. So simple.

So now it was time to actually use the new toy. I bought a 5 pound bag of tangerines and enlisted the help of my husband to peel all those little suckers. It was fun having him in the kitchen with me (to boss him around...hehehe...). The couple that juices together...? We just peeled them and broke them in half, which probably wasn't necessary. We didn't pit them, however, and an occasional pit did fly out the chute. Wasn't prepared for that! I guess you should keep the plunger in the chute while grabbing more produce! Lesson learned!

The tangerines were on sale for $1.99 and when they were all "processed" we had almost 4 cups of juice. When you think about it, a half gallon of refrigerated orange juice can cost $2 or more on sale. Yes, I only got half the juice, but 1). it was TANGERINE juice (cant compare the two!) and 2). it was as fresh a glass of juice you can get unless I was in the grove itself and *just* picked the buggers myself.

I had to get another receptacle to catch more juice!

The best part? It was delicious!! Even the boy had some, and he's not a citrus fan! Clean up was pretty easy. I just scraped all of the pulp into the garbage, (you can line the catch with a plastic bag then just toss the bag, making clean up even easier!), washed the top and bottom with warm soapy water and then tackled the blade. Little did I know that having a kitchen brush would be the key to enjoying a juicer. Under running water I just used the brush to get all of the little bits out of the blade and crevices. Easy peasy.

After using the juicer I decided to try the personal sized blender. I already have one of those bullet kind, but I figured I'd give this one a go. I believe the purpose of the pair is to juice and then possibly make a smoothie with the juice and other ingredients that can NOT go in the juicer, like bananas. I make a panzanella salad and the vinaigrette is so much better blended than not, so I tried that.

It's just some olive oil, vinegar, dijon mustard and garlic.


The blender makes it into a creamy dressing, but the garlic gets mixed well throughout so every bite is infused with a little bit of heaven! As you can see, the Fusion Booster has the capacity to make a lot of dressing!

I've used both appliances several more times. I bought a pomegranate for the first time and had the pleasure of getting all of the itty bitty flavor pods out for this recipe.

Pomegranate, apple, grapes, carrots and a bit of ginger! Pretty purple!

I also bought a bottle of Pom Cherry Pomegranate juice, and after a taste test of the two, Chelsea said she preferred mine! High praise! I also used the blender to puree my crushed tomatoes for my Tuscan white bean and sausage soup, since my son doesn't like tomatoes. Well, when they're actually part of the broth, I don't have to pick them out!

With them blended like this, they add so much flavor to the soup AND the boy's getting lots of nutrition!!

One more recipe: apples, carrots and ginger. Jen said it's her favorite juice and now it's my son's, too! Amazing!

This much food...

...makes this much juice.

All in all, I loved the juicer! Yes, it takes a large quantity of food to make just a few glasses of juice, and it's a bit of work with prepping the produce, but if I can get my 17 year old son to ingest a fruit or a vegetable or, *GASP*, BOTH, then it's worth it! I would definitely recommend it for people with children. They think they're having a fresh glass of apple juice and you're able to sneak in a veggie or two. No harm in that!

If you're interested in getting your own Fusion Juicer, head to www.fusionjuicerspecial.com, where you can save $20 off the retail price, PLUS get the bonus Fusion Booster blender, PLUS free shipping, AND choose your color!! You have your choice of black, white or red! I LOVE RED! I also love the fact that it's five payments of $19.99, so you can charge it and not get hit with a big punch on your bill. Then you can shop more ;)

(As with any  review, these are my honest opinions and I have not been compensated for them.)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Back To The Lab Again...

Gosh, I really suck at this, huh? I lost two readers, most likely because there's NOTHING for them to read! It makes me sad, since I only had 113 followers, and now I'm at 111. Like I need something else to bring me down.

I'm just going to put it out there now and get it out in the open. I weighed in at 169.8 this morning, and that's probably only due to the fact that I woke up to pee every hour and a half last night. The 6 flights of stairs I climbed to get back and forth to the bathroom helped burn some calories. I told my friends I've been eating like I'm going to the electric chair, and my working out and running have been half-assed at best. It makes no sense since I've been working less and have MORE time on my hands. (Well, being constantly in the house without distractions definitely doesn't help my eating out of boredom, but it's still not an excuse.) I had two bags of Halloween candy left over, which I usually save for the kids' Christmas stockings, but I managed to polish off a bag of "fun-sized" Kit Kats all by myself. Nobody knows this because they were kept in the basement for me to "sneak" them while doing laundry. A bag of fun-sized candy makes me blimp-sized. The cookies and cream Hershey bars will sit there, I swear. Note to self: next year only buy Jolly Ranchers!

Working out and running have suffered because of my weight gain. I ran to pick up my husband's van from the shop, and two miles managed to frig up my knee. It's not horrific, and I managed an okay 7.25 mile run on it, but it concerns me. Babying an injury only opens yourself up to jacking another part of your body up, and Charlie and I have the Festival of Lights Half Marathon in Brooklyn (a.k.a. the Chanukah Half!) on the 24th. It won't be pretty.

In the last six weeks I've had some bright spots. The Diva Half was on 10/6 and I managed to beat May's half time, but not P.R. If you don't put in the work, you can't expect more. However, I still believe, in my experience, it's the most fun you can have running 13.1 miles, and the ginormous medal is the cherry on top.

I also managed to get a shirt that fit me this year. The Diva shirts run so damn small!!

The best part of running the Diva, though, was finally meeting most of my fellow running chicks from Island Girls Running Club. The group started because it seems that Island Running, another Facebook page, had been semi-hijacked by all of the girls' posts. (Thankfully my friend Gigi invited me to the group!) So, the night before the half, my longtime friend Lynda graciously hosted a pasta dinner at her house, and we had a great time swapping running stories and hearing about a couple of the girls' NYC Marathon training experiences.

flip-flops, *sigh*

This was just a handful of the twenty or so ladies that ran the half. It was great seeing all of the familiar faces on the course, high-fiving and hugging every one of them. It was a definite morale boost! Afterwards, an after-party was arranged and we got to "rehydrate" and refuel. Alicia made slutty brownies- that biatch! LOL Iced, no less!!! My spinach dip was heavenly on a fresh bagel! (See my problem!!!)

We'll have IGR running shirts by December!!

After the Diva, I didn't do much. I worked a lot, which has helped with all the damn expenses that keep hitting us, like the first heating oil delivery, dance costume deposits, Charlie's senior yearbook, etc. I definitely can't race as much as I would like to! However, I was SO looking forward to the Dash to the Finish Line 5k the day before the NYC Marathon. Jen from my From Fat To Finish Line Ragnar Relay team was running it too! We had registered for 2012, but due to Hurricane Sandy, it was cancelled. All I had to do for this one was take the LIRR into Penn Station and walk to the start line, which was at the United Nations. It was the BEST 5k ever. I don't know if y'all know this, ;) , but I L-O-V-E the city, and this course passed some iconic landmarks and finished in CENTRAL PARK! We ran down 42nd St., chatting away, passing Grand Central Station, NY Public Library, Radio City Music Hall, The Plaza Hotel's Oak Room bar (where Charlie and I toasted our engagement), Grand Army Plaza and finally, finishing at the NYC Marathon's finish line in Central Park! It flew by! Jen and I will definitely be working out a plan to run together again. Since she's in Jersey, we live too damn close not to see each other more often!

Thankfully Jen has a smart phone! This is her pic, complete with that cool course map added to the image! Thanks, Jen!! 

Unfortunately Jen couldn't stay long after the race, but we had a great walk/talk back to Port Authority, complete with her saving my life from traffic a couple of times! Distracted walking- guilty! I wandered around a bit by myself on the way back to Penn Station, doing some browsing, and stopping into the Cake Boss Cafe for some over-priced rugelach. Looking forward to my next trip in!

That brings me to today. My hometown, which is all of five minutes away, held the 1st annual Beautiful Bay 10k. Since I'm running the half next week and can't do all the races, I decided to volunteer for the very first time. I had such a great time! I got to the registration area at 6:45 am and haned out bibs to pre-registered runners. I got to meet Jennifer and Katie from IGR, finally, I saw one of Chelsea's elementary school teachers and I even bumped into an old high school friend. After that, 5 of us squished in a car, hopped in front of the lead police car, and one by one were dropped off at the mile markers, stop-watches in hand, to yell out splits. I basically laid claim to mile 5, the mile I thought would be the best. I loved cheering on the runners as they came into view, shouting out their times as they hit the mark. The lead pack of guys showed up at 25:00!! First place male finished in 30:42.7! Holy sh*t! Did I mention there was a $1,000 cash prize for first place? I will be running this race next year. Being close to home and the water views are worth it.

The only things missing from my volunteer experience was Charlie and a cow bell! Oh, and I wish I had made a sign!! There really wasn't that many spectators out, since it was a pretty chilly 46* with a bit of a drizzle before the start. I heard from a few runners we were the loudest. I'm not surprised. I know what it's like to be on the other side, needing the boost, especially towards the end! Now I know what I can get my kids to help with to fulfill their volunteer hours requirement! It would be nice to have them out there when we're actually running a race. Getting handed a cup of water from one of them would make a nice photo op!