Me here. Still not orange.
In fact, I've given up the Carrot Zinger Orangification Journey--my quest to turn myself orange through ingesting massive quantities of Fresh Blends' Carrot Zingers. At my peak intake--almost 100 ounces of carrot-beet-ginger-lemon juice a week--I wasn't even the slightest bit peach-toned.
Over the past few weeks of the CZOJ, I've become addicted to my morning stops at the Belmont store. I just can't drink any more carrots. So it's time for a new drink. Something less orange. Less carroty. Something more, I don't know....beety!
In the spirit of the Beet Beat--Bites' salute to summer's ruby-red diversity of beets--Fresh Blends owner Tony Reall has offered to host a contest for us.
Whoever comes up with the best beet-based juice recipe--as determined by Tony and the Fresh Blends team--will win a free regular-size juice or smoothie for a week. So have at it, Biters. Submit your best beet blends and we'll have Tony and the gang, you know, give 'em a whirl.
We'll announce a winner on Monday, July 20.
No, I'm not orange yet. Things keep getting in the way of my Fresh Blends morning ritual, so I've actually missed quite a few daily does of Carrot Zinger. But I've upped my intake to 24 ounces a visit, which has been about four days a week. You'd think 96 ounces of carrot-beet-ginger-lemon juice a week could still have some effect on skin tone.
Most recently I was diverted from my juicy constitutional by a venal case of the flu that roiled through my house. Now, I'm not saying massive does of carrot juice can shield you from a GI bug, I'm just saying that while 40 percent of my household was puking its guts out, I was fine--if you consider mopping up puke "fine." And my skin looks really clear right now. Carrots? Who knows?
One thing I can say for sure is that when I stop by Fresh Blends in Belmont and Amy Rowland fires up that big-ass juicer, my mouth starts to water. And when she squeezes the ounce or so of fresh lemon juice into the bottom of the plastic glass, watch out Pavlov, because I am salivating like a dog in a room full of jingle bells.
If you want to try your own Fresh Blends concoction, keep the following schedule of specials in mind, which will be available at both stores:
Monday: Free enhancer in smoothies
Tuesday: 10 percent off all juices
Wednesday: Buy one get one half-off on juices and smoothies
Thursday: An extra punch in your card when you buy a large smoothie or juice
Friday: 1/2 shot wheatgrass added to juice or smoothie for $1, or full shot for $2.
After downing 138 ounces of fresh carrot-beet-ginger-lemon juice, a girl starts to think of ways to mix things up a little. After all, the Carrot Zinger Orangification Journey (i.e. my quest to drink enough of Fresh Blends' so-called Carrot Zingers to turn myself orange) does not preclude other beverages, such as, say, gin.
So I called upon the team at The Patterson House to see what they would do to goose the wholesome medley. (These guys made a cocktail of bacon, for crissakes--surely they can pimp some carrot juice with a little hooch.)
Indeed the 100-proof team at the speakeasy on Division Street responded with this formula:
2 oz. light rum
1 oz. carrot juice
1 oz. ginger syrup
1 oz. lime juice
1 oz. beet juice
I haven't tried it yet--I'm saving it for my weekend CZ dose--but I'm pretty sure it needs a sassy name to finish it off. And possibly some bacon.
What can we call this beverage?
It's Day 5 of the Carrot Zinger Orangification Journey, and I'm not orange yet. But Amy Rowland, who cheerfully juices the seven carrots that go into my daily Carrot Zinger at Fresh Blends in Belmont, said she's been hearing some mumbling in the juice community about how long it's going to take me to change color.
Apparently, a guy she knows from the East Nashville Fresh Blends said he turned orange after just one week of drinking three carrot juices a day. I'm only ingesting about 16 ounces of carrot juice a day, so she reckons it will take me at least two weeks.
Anyone care to guess the day that I will wake up looking like Mario's Crocs? Let's make a contest of it. The person to predict most closely the date of my metamorphosis will win a pair of tickets to see Food Inc. at the Belcourt at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 27. That assumes I'm orange by then, of course.
By the way, Rowland said her formerly carrot-stained acquaintance had this warning for me: "It takes a lot longer to turn un-orange than it takes to turn orange, so you might want to consider that."
Welcome to the Carrot Zinger Orangification Journey, brought to you by Fresh Blends, during which we will observe the effects of daily doses of carrot juice on skin tone. In other words, I'm drinking carrot juice from Fresh Blends to see if and when I finally turn orange.
The CZOJ kicked off at Fresh Blends Belmont with an 18-ounce Carrot Zinger prepared by Amy Rowland, pictured here. Here's the recipe for the $5.13 drink:
1.5 oz. lemon juice
3 small thumbs of ginger
half a beet
6 to 7 large carrots
The vibrant pink-orange concoction is strained through a sieve and has a smooth and slightly frothy texture, like velvet satin. Served room temperature, it goes down fast and easy, with a sugary jolt that screams out for something bready to balance it.
But I resisted the urge to grab one of the fresh brownies that was delivered while I was standing inside Fresh Blends. No, the CZOJ will be my excuse to jump-start a healthy summer. Carrot juice is extolled for its curative powers, benefiting everything from eyes to liver, and I'm going to try to make the most of it.
"So, you'll be really healthy," Rowland said supportively. "Orange, but healthy."
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