life preserver: Juicers help you get what you need

Monday , August 27, 2012 - 3:49 PM

Bob Carden

Julian Thomson is juiced. He moves fast and talks faster. That’s what kale— along with spinach, carrots and apples— can do for you. This morning, the same as just about every other day, the Washington videotape editor churned those foods in a five-speed Breville Elite Juicer, dumped them into a glass and chugged it all down in no more than three gulps.

“I feel great, man. Really great. My head, my skin, my energy. It’s all because of the juice,” he says in rapid sound bites.

As a 44-year-old home juicer (and vegan for more than two decades), Thomson is passionate and uncompromising: “Smoothies, blenders, that’s all wussy stuff. Posers who think they’re doing something healthy. Juicing is juicing, man, not blending. You have to yank the juice out of the veggies. You want to blend? Then go drink a margarita.”

Juicing has been around forever, but the latest craze seems to have a lot to do with baby boomers’ fixation about remaining young and hip. Norman Walker, who invented the first modern juicer in the 1930s, lived to be 100. Jack LaLanne pitched them relentlessly in the ’70s and ’80s. He died at age 96.

It’s hard to turn on late-night or early-morning TV without seeing an infomercial for some sort of juicer. In fact, I stumbled onto juicing about a month ago after an evening at an Irish saloon. Couldn’t sleep, grabbed the remote. Saw an earnest guy with thick hair, big pecs, a bigger smile and an adoring studio audience.

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