Saturday, January 5, 2013

Juicing Our Way to a Happy Flock

by Jennifer Sartell

It's January.

Against my better judgement, I've been suckered into the cliche "diet" resolution...among others. Well, maybe not dieting per say, but at least trying to be healthier.

We bought a juicer...I know, I know, but it all happened so fast. I felt my internal thumb raise, like an eager hitchhiker, as the bandwagon drove by, and with leaps and bounds I jumped on. Lord help us! Another kitchen gadget!

Like good little juicers, bright eyed and bushy tailed, we scurried to the grocery store and filled our cart with a multitude of veggies; kale, spinach, apples for sweetness, carrots, beets. I beamed with pride as the healthy items made their way along the conveyer belt at the checkout. We also bought a bag of Chia seeds for good measure. I mean, if your going to get healthy...go big right?

Last night we consumed/juiced more fruits and vegetables than we have since the garden was in full swing. The holiday season is always ridiculously carb laden, gravy soaked, and packed with enough sugar to keep the National Diabetes Foundation going for the next ten years. So maybe this will be a nice way to boost our systems after the holiday binge.

As an added treat, the outdoor family is also getting a boost via the pulp that the juicer leaves behind. In these cold, dreary, lifeless months ahead, I'm excited to be able to bring containers of healthy vegetable and fruit matter out to the chickens. We hardly ever eat kale or fresh beets, so its a great way to introduce a variety of healthy food both for ourselves and for the chickens.

They were weary at first, but soon found the colorful mash of fresh ground veggies to their liking.

In some strange way, giving the pulp to the chickens truly is an added bonus to use the juicer. Our animals, many times eat better than we do. We'll spend $50 on a a bag of organic dog food and run through McDonald's on the way home to save money. I started a walking program a couple years ago, not because it's healthy for me, but because the vet said the dog needed to loose some weight. The health of our animals drives me. And perhaps the chickens will be my inspiration.

Much of the driving force behind raising our own animals is to change the way we eat. To simplify food and incorporate more whole foods. To eat eggs from chickens that have seen the light of day. Who eat grass and bugs, and now...who eat fresh kale and spinach pulp in the dead of winter. It all has to circle back into something good. I truly believe that.

So will 2013 be the magic year? The healthy year where we find the secret to eternal youth, and juice our way to svelte, chiseled magnificence? I doubt it, but every little bit helps.

What plans do you have for 2013? Share your thoughts by leaving a comments below, on the Community Chicken's Facebook Page or visit us at Iron Oak Farm.

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