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Juice Your Way … to A Better Mood!  

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Well, today sucks. You woke up late and the lightbulb in your bathroom went out and it was raining and you missed your bus and forgot your umbrella and were late to work and your boss G-chatted you the second you got in to see if you finished that project, and (ugh) you didn’t, and you forgot your lunch, and the vending machine ate your quarters and now all your co-workers are hassling you to go out for drinks because you don’t spend enough of your waking life with them as it is. Hmph. HMPH.

You know what? You don’t have to go out. Deep breaths. No worries. Tonight, I will go out for drinks with your coworkers for you if you promise to stay home and make yourself feel better. I’ve even got a beverage for you to juice up: my amazing feel-better-mood-lifty juice! Full of happiness-boosting antioxidants and micronutrients, this juice will help set your jangled nerves on the road to recovery.

Juice Away the Blues

Note: If you don’t have a juicer, this would work in the blender. The juice will come out a lot thicker, but the raw nutrients will still be there.

You will need

1/2 of a large jicama
Jicama is a root vegetable with a high water content, a fresh crunch, and a slightly sweet taste. Most grocery stores carry it, and it’s chock-full of beta-carotene (a mood enhancer!) and vitamin C.

6 oz fresh blueberries (more than that, or a little less, is fine)
Blueberries! Nature’s cuter, milder version of Vicodin! Joking, joking—blueberries contain anthocyanidins and anthocyanins, which are depression- and stress-fighting micronutrients. They also have tons of antioxidants, which have been proven to help improve your mood and decrease stress levels.

2 cups red seedless grapes (eyeball it, more or less is fine)
Along with being sweet and delicious, red grapes contain more of our favorite mood-improvers, the antioxidants, in the form of flavonoids. Good for relaxing the blood vessels and reducing high blood pressure, grapes are stress-busting mini-globes of happiness.

2 apples (any kind)
Apples are tasty, full of fiber, and loaded with an antioxidant called quercetin, which helps to protect brain cells from free radicals. Apples also stimulate an even flow of serotonin, known as the “happy” chemical, to your brain. Come here serotonin. 

1/2 lemon, peeled
Besides being effective vehicles of vitamin C, just the scent of lemons and lemon juice is believed to help fight stress. Breathe in deep while you’re peeling!

Wash everything, then toss in your juicer or blender, and hit the “on” button. If you’re blending, add a cup of water to help liquefy the ingredients.

This is easily the prettiest juice I’ve ever made—it’s going to cheer you up based on its color alone. A delicate dusky rose-pink hue, the resulting concoction is also sweet in the best way possible. The apples, grapes, and blueberries sing sunshine right into your soul, and the lemon adds faint tartness and a little zing! The recipe makes around 30 ounces of fresh juice, which you’ll need to keep in the fridge in an airtight container (stir before drinking), and finish within two days.

I suggest—nay, I command—you drink this juice from a fancy champagne flute while you lounge on your bed in soft PJs and watch the kiss-in-the-rain scene from Desert Hearts for the 1,007th time. Things will be looking up before you know it.

Photo: Blue Mountain Images, Angela Bax