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juicing wheatgrass

Posted by Au Lim On Saturday, February 21, 2009 2 comments
siempre, in order to consume our wheatgrass, we need to juice it. puede rin nguyain pero hindi yata masaya yun although i've heard some do that. the grass should not be eaten kasi indigestible yata ito so even if you chew it, you have to spit out the fibrous pulp.

to get going, there is one crucial piece of equipment you need: the wheatgrass juicer. this juicer is quite different from the regular fruit juicer commonly found at the appliance centers. those are usually 'centrifuge-type' juicers. they extract juice via the principle similar to a washing machine spin-dryer. on the other hand, the juicer for wheatgrass is an 'auger-type' juicer. the auger looks like a big metal corkscrew that masticates the fibrous grass and there's usually some sort of a strainer that separates the juice from the fibers. slow mastication is good for wheatgrass so that there is no heat generated from friction that could destroy some of the live enzymes.

the corkscrew metal part is the auger.
the juicer is disassembled for easy washing.

in a pinch, you may probably use a regular blender then use a cheesecloth to squeeze the pulp but there are a couple of setbacks to this. for one, it's a bit messy so it could turn you off from juicing on a regular or even daily basis. second setback is that the heat generated by the fast moving blades can generate heat and oxidizes the juice so it kills some enzymes.

there are different kinds of wheatgrass juicers as well. there is an electric version that my friend Cabbie got off Ebay. there is also a manual handcranked version and this is the one i use. even the handcranked version has a few kinds: there's one that's mostly plastic, another that's cast-iron and another that is all stainless like the one i have. there are other more expensive, heavy duty ones like the Champion or Greenstar brands of juicer but i can't find them in the Philippines and they are pretty expensive. get what ever is in your price range and is readily available to you. there may be a bit of a cost but i consider it an investment in mine and my family's health.

shown here is the extracted juice in the cup while the fiber
is on the little plate in front

my juicer attaches to the edge of a counter. the wheatgrass goes on the top receptacle and when i crank, it gets pulled inside and masticated by the auger. juice drips at the bottom holes-where i put a container- while the pulp is expeled like green poo out the hole at the front of the juicer. cranking this little mechanism is a little morning 'exercise' for me, because sometimes, there is quite a bit of resistance as the grass gets pull through.

the juice drips into the cup while it is cranked

you really need very little juice--30 ml (or about 1 oz) is enough for one dose. You can put it in a shotglass so it looks pretty. i just put mine in those little plastic measuring container i get from my kiddies Tempra medicine. if you like, you can have a 2nd shot either at the same moment or maybe at night. for a healthy person, they say this is enough. if it is for someone who needs it to help cure a sickness like cancer, i heard they can take up to 10 oz a day.

i made 3 shots (3 ozs) here. the pulp is also usable.
put it in water and the resulting green-tinged water may be used as a wash
or just dispose in the compost bin.

they also say, it is best to take the juice in the morning, on an empty stomach, so it doesn't combine with other foods and would get through quickly. you can then eat 30 mins to 1 hour later.

oh yeah, it would also be a good idea to prepare a bit of water as chaser after you chug it down. although some people say it really doesn't taste too bad, i still think it is not the best thing i've tasted. it's really like i swallowed a mouthful of mowed lawn, only it's quite nutrasweet sweet... especially when the grass is harvested at just the right time. if harvested past its prime, the sweetness gets lesser.

hubby's morning shot.

different people also have different reactions to taking it for the first time. some say it made them go poo very quickly while some say it constipates them a bit. one niece of mine threw up about an hour after gulping it down but i think it was because of something she ate earlier that didn't digest well. i think the wheatgrass even helped move it out of her system. another friend of mine told me it made him very hungry. personally, i have had most of the symptoms they reported but it was different for each time depending, i guess, on my current physical condition. but these days, i don't even notice anything different anymore.

even my little ones occasionally get a couple of tablespoons
(which is about half an ounce).
i bribe them with chocolate to get them take it. :-D
when they get used to it, i can maybe do away with the bribe.

i think you really just have to try it for yourself. bottoms up to good health!

planting my wheatgrass

Posted by Au Lim On Tuesday, February 17, 2009 2 comments
did i mention that i think wheatgrass may also help with with weightloss? i bet that got your attention. but really, i do think so--at least in my case.

ever since the december holidays started, i was too busy to attend yoga and had too many opportunities to pig out at xmas celebrations. my first opportunity to ever have a bit of exercise was 3rd week of January. yet i have lost weight instead of gained! since i don't watch the scales, the first signs i noticed were pants getting a bit looser. then when i kicked back to work after the holidays, some friends and co-workers started commenting to how i got "thinner"... could they be imagining it?

i started scouring the net for relationship between weightloss and wheatgrass but there wasn't much. probably because this wasn't the primary reason people were using it for. the closest possible explanation i have thus far are these:

1. " ...wheat grass juice is loaded with nutrients you need from vegetables. It also assists in digestion, helps metabolize energy and fat. And wheat grass helps bolster your immune system."

2. " Wheatgrass' nutritional value is so high, many people experience a loss of appetite." ...

3. Lastly, if wheatgrass is so vitamin-laden -- especially in the B complex vits -- it could be that it has everything that are needed for proper weight maintenance and good thyroid function such as those outlined here:

so... as you can see, those were not my words. i am simply sharing with you my experience and as a "seeker of explanations", went forth and searched high and low... on the net.. for some kind of logic to it. take that as it is and with a few grains of salt as well. :-D

anyway, let's get back to the purpose of this particular blog entry: how i planted my wheatgrass. i have seen many 'styles' on how to do it, both on the net (even in You Tube), and via written instructions. i have made some modifications as to what works for ME, considering that i am in the Philippines and growing it in the climate conditions we have here. this style would also fit a person who may be working a regular day job and would have to tend it only at the end of the each work day and before leaving for work in the morning.

these are the wheat seeds or the wheatberries

there are 2 simple parts to it:
first: to SPROUT the seeds - day 1-2
then: to PLANT on soil in trays - day 3-11

materials you would need are:
- wheatberries (or seeds),
- a couple of trays or more if you like (i have 4 because i cycle them so i won't run out of grass),
- good planting soil - i tried Enrico or Plantastic which could be bought from Ace Hardware. but the one i like best is Buhaghag All Purpose Propagation Mix bought from Green 2000 at Manila Seedling. This is the big garden center at the corner of Edsa and Quezon Ave.
- spray mister,
- jar or container with cover that has holes (a large mayonnaise jar will do. just punch holes on the cover)

sprouting the seeds:
1. MEASURE the amount you need according to the size of your tray. Since we would have different tray sizes, I found that the best way to do determine the right amount to plant is to loosely lay the seeds (without overlapping) on the tray as shown below. Then take the seeds again and put them in your soaking container and proceed to the next step.

this is what i mean by laying the seeds 'loosely' to measure the right amount

2. SOAK the seeds overnight. start this before you go to sleep.

3. When you wake up the next morning (or approximately 8-12 hrs later), DRAIN the liquid. then, RINSE with tap water and drain again. do not refill with water. just leave them in the jar with holes (or a cheesegrater container in my case). forget about it till you come home at night time again (or another 8-12 hrs later).

4. before you sleep, RINSE again and DRAIN. by this time you might be seeing a little bit of a sprout. or at the very least the seeds have expanded.

5. upon waking up. RINSE again and DRAIN. there would definitely be sprouts by now.

6. when you get back home, RINSE and DRAIN. you can actually plant by this time but i like one more cycle or two.
notice the amount of seeds expands to about 4x the original as the sprouts grow.
this is about the right time it is ready for planting

7. RINSE and DRAIN again. Plant by now if you wish. OR one more cycle of RINSE and DRAIN if you like. by then, they might be clinging together already. shake them off gently so the little roots will not be damaged.

planting the sprouts:
1. prepare your tray by filling it with about an inch or so of soil.

shown here is Enrico potting mix but i find that the BUHAGHAG brand
propagation mix produces better grass than Enrico.

ready for planting

2. put the sprouts on top of the leveled soil in the tray.

3. water thoroughly and GENTLY with a sprinkler until water runs from the bottom holes of the tray.
lay the sprouts close together just on top of the soil.
sprinkle with a thin layer of soil on top for better moisture retention.

4. this is optional: sprinkle a thin layer of soil on top of the wet seeds. then, mist this with water. you want to use the mister so the thin layer of soil will not run.

5. cover with a second tray.
covering keeps the sprouts moist and stimulates the growth

6. leave this alone for about 24-48 hours or so.

7. when there is about and inch to an inch an a half of growth, remove the cover. mist the sprouts. no need to re-water the soil. as a matter of fact, do not water again until you feel the soil is too dry. too much watering can induce the growth of molds. if the surface is getting a bit dry just mist it. you may only need to water again by the 3rd or 4th day depending on how hot the weather is.

i removed my cover 30 hrs later. this is how they look. sprouts are light greenish beige.

48 hours later, they are a vivid apple green.

by 3rd morning, the sprouts are about 2-3 inches and even greener.

by the time the grass is about 6 inches long (around the 7th-9th day), you can start harvesting by cutting about 1/2 from the soil level. if you harvest all in one day, put in a container with a cover in the refrigerator. this will be good for about a week. do not wash the grass until you are ready to use them so they will keep longer in the fridge. if you don't harvest everything in one day, it is also ok. just don't go past 3 more days. i noticed the sweetness of the grass lessens as it gets older.

grass being harvested by the 7th-8th day.

next post... how to juice the grass! :-D

trade show boon

Posted by Au Lim On Sunday, February 15, 2009 0 comments
Have you ever tried putting together a trade show booth for your company? If yes, then you know that it can be a very stressful endeavor. There are usually so many details to look after to ensure a successful opening: suppliers delivery, design choices, and logistics from the time of ingress to the time of egress.

It is therefore always a godsend if shortcuts are available to you from the outset. This is where these magnificent products from come into play. They have practically everything a trade show exhibitor needs to set up an impressive exhibit booth without breaking out a sweat, from trusses to banner stands, from background panel systems to table covers, skirting and throws, from unique flooring to exhibit furniture. They even have this Pipe and Drape backdrop system that is easy to assemble and take down because its ingenious interlocking pipe sections. also provide graphic design assistance and printing service to complete everything an exhibitor may need, all from a company that has been in business since 1999 with over 16,000 customers assisted in they exhibiting needs. A service like this is truly a boon to a trade show exhibitors' life.

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