Thursday, April 22, 2021

How To Pick The Right Juicer

Choosing a juicer is a little like choosing a dentist. It's hard. As you compare different juicer models in the kitchen appliance section of your favorite home store, you struggle to understand words like centrifugal, masticating and triturating and wonder if you'll really be able to select one that will actually work for you. Choosing a juicer doesn't have to be hard, but in order to choose the right juicer, there are some things that you will have to consider first before buying one.

Having the right juicer for a specific kind of food can help you get the maximum yield from your fruits or vegetables. If you are thinking of juicing wheatgrass or other leafy vegetables, a citrus juicer won't be able to give you the best yield. There are citrus juicers, fruit and vegetable juicers and the newest kind, for wheatgrass. 

But if you can't choose among these because you need your juicer to do a little of everything, consider choosing a multi-purpose juicer. They are a bit more expensive than produce specific juicers, but ultimately you end up getting what you pay for because multi-purpose juicers are pretty efficient at juicing almost everything. It also beats having to buy three different juicers.

Other than the types of foods that it can juice, you also have to consider the juicing process that the juicer uses classifying juicers into three main categories. The most common (and cheapest) type is the centrifugal juicer. 

These are usually incredibly fast and effective. The downside to centrifugal juicers is that they can generate a large amount of heat which can strip the juice of enzymes, minerals and vitamins, negatively affecting the quality of the juice. 

Masticating or Single Gear juicers are now the most recommended types of juicers because they are just as effective as centrifugal juicers but, since they operate at a slower speed, very low heat is generated which means only a few nutrients are lost. 

Triturating or twin gear juicers are the last category usually considered and they are usually reserved for very serious or hard core juicers because they come fully loaded with features and extras that the others don't to deliver speed, convenience and performance. They are considered the best in the industry.

A few things to consider about your future juicer are user-friendliness and practicality. If your juicer comes with complicated steps to follow before you can enjoy your apple juice or a small chute for food entry making you spend an immense amount of your time chopping fruits or vegetables then that defeats the purpose of convenience.

You also have to consider if the juicer is easy to clean. Does it come with removable parts, especially for those hard to reach areas? Having dishwasher safe parts can certainly save you time and will make you want to use it again. If it has metal-like parts, you should ask if it's made of stainless steel, because if not, it will eventually rust over time.

All these aspects are important when selecting a juicer, but what if you just don't know where to start even when it comes to the small stuff? 

What if you're a total newbie? Finding websites that give honest and thorough juicer ratings and reviews will help. 

Evaluating juicer ratings can help you compare the different juicer models that can possibly fit your needs and the best part of them is that they come from consumers who already have experience with what you are looking for.

Doing just a little research in the right places can help you select the right juicer the first time around without pain and regret. It can even be enjoyable since you know that you're going to get the juicer of your dreams. Nothing against teeth, but the same probably can't be said about dentists.

Friday, January 14, 2011

'My Prizes: An Accounting' : Book review

The late author comically skewers his various literary awards in 'My Prizes,' written in 1980 with an absurd and at times tender tone.

"Love moves me to speak," Beatrice tells Dante as she leads him through Paradise. Loathing moved the late Austrian novelist Thomas Bernhard to write. He wrote with unfailing vitriolic scorn and run-on paragraphs of unalleviated length, designed, seemingly, to punish the reader along with his subjects. Yet it is an energized, kinetic loathing.

Bernhard's harsh wartime childhood, forcible membership in a Nazi youth group, a stay in a tuberculosis sanatorium and disgust with the blinkered narrowness of postwar Austrian society were a darkness upon darkness that caused him to despise any use of art's light to depict it, as Kafka and Robert Musil did. Instead, in such novels as "Woodcutters" and "Gargoyles" and a memoir, "Gathering Evidence," Bernhard devised a lantern that shines black.

Now comes a decidedly odd collection, "My Prizes: An Accounting," a deliberate, sardonic absurdity. Written in 1980 but appearing 20 years after his death, the book gathers brief recollections of nine literary prizes Bernhard won. Simultaneously furious and comical, it skewers the pomposity and vanity of such prizes, of those who give them, and those who receive them. Nor does he spare himself. And there is something else: a note here and there of pleasure, even tenderness.

Just the names of some of the prizes declare the absurd. The Prize of the Cultural Circle of the Federal Association of German Industry? The Literary Prize of the Federal Chamber of Commerce?

He makes a mock ceremony of rising to the occasion. Invariably attired in an old red sweater and corduroys, he shops for an expensive "anthracite-colored" suit to attend the awards. He could be buying a silly disguise for a costume party. But he erupts in fury when nobody meets him at the entrance to a celebration of the Grillparzer Prize, and he seats himself far back and refuses to come to the front until the presiding official personally seeks him out. He mocks the prize and the mediocre cultural figures who bestow it; he accepts only because he needs the money. Afterward he finds the new suit is too constricting, in fact as well as symbolically, and he returns it for a larger one. Will the purchaser of the returned suit, he wonders, know that it has won the Grillparzer Prize?

Bernhard writes of getting the news of the German Industry prize during a stay in "a lung hospital" for his tuberculosis. His account has him at his mordant best. All the patients in his ward died except for him and a Catholic theology student whom he argued out of his faith. Another patient, a policeman, came every day to play a game called Pontoon. "For weeks he won and I lost until he died and I didn't." The hospital itself he describes as miserable and squalid, displaying "meanness, hysteria and self-sacrifice in equal measure." An eminent surgeon came regularly to operate, so that "increasing numbers of patients had ever-decreasing numbers of thoraxes and larynxes."

The only-in-it-for-the-money theme is also repeated. Yet when he tells us what the money is for, he shifts unexpectedly away from cynicism. Once, it is to repay a debt to his aunt, whom he loves. She accompanies him to the ceremonies, takes him on vacations and gives him prudent advice. The prudence extends to advising him to refuse a prize he feels demeans him; Bernhard delicately portrays common sense in the service of an uncommon sensibility.

Other prize money goes to buying and gradually rebuilding a decrepit farmhouse in which he finds a much-needed refuge. A third is used for fun: he buys a white roadster with red seats and takes his aunt on trips, one to Yugoslavia where a Croatian driver smashes into him. He hires a pricey lawyer; to his surprise the man recovers not only the car's full value — Bernhard immediately buys a replacement — but also the imaginary cost of the expensive clothes that he was not wearing.

Pleasure has infiltrated; so does sentiment into Bernhard's mood. Besides writing of his aunt, he describes the Julius Campe Prize, honoring the publisher of Heinrich Heine, who was a target of Nazi anti-Semitism. Bernhard likes everything about the ceremony, including the speeches and that it was held in Hamburg, one of the few cities he admits to loving. And the roadster money, of course.

Yet for another, different prize, because it is in honor of one of the loyal friends of his beloved grandfather, Bernhard gives the money to an organization that helps prisoners. And he recalls with indulgent tenderness, another friend of his grandfather, an obscure novelist and bore who talked for hours about novelistic theory, managed to redeem himself, in Bernhard's eyes, with this advice: Never buy shoes before 4 in the afternoon; that way they have time to expand into natural foot shape.

Eder, a former Times book critic, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1987.

'My Father at 100: A Memoir' by Ron Reagan: Book Review

"Hinckley had loaded his pistol with a type of exploding bullet charmingly marketed as a Devastator writes Ron Reagan, describing John Hinckley Jr.'s 1981 attempt to assassinate his father, President Ronald Reagan. "It was the sixth and final shot that first hit not Dad but the armor-plated side of the presidential limousine. The armor did its job admirably well, but with disastrous consequences. As it was deflected, the bullet flattened into a dime-sized disk before striking my father, slicing into his chest beneath his left arm and lodging in his left lung, barely an inch from his heart, still unexploded."

The jokes that President Reagan cracked while hovering between life and death have become part of American folklore. "Please tell me you're all Republicans," he muttered through blood-caked lips to an assembled host of somber, green-suited surgeons about to saw open his chest, a majestic line that, Ron Reagan reveals here, his father had already tried out on emergency room personnel. They'd been so busy cutting the clothing from his body that they failed to laugh, but Reagan, the consummate performer who could never resist an audience, went again with the zinger.

"Bleeding to death with a bullet in his chest, and he's doing shtick. That was so Dad," Ron Reagan writes, knowing that jokes, even great jokes, are a way of rejecting embarrassment and intimacy. He recalls finding his father "warm yet remote," "fundamentally inscrutable," "reflexively guarded," and it's in pursuit of this central mystery that he's written a heartfelt book that, though choppy in structure and somewhat uneven in the writing, has many moments of great grace.

"My Father at 100" offers a running account of the journeys its author made, beginning in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library in Simi Valley, and then following the footsteps of his father's early life. We see lineaments of a tale that is now history: the bog Irish ancestry; the birth in a "small second-floor apartment above a bakery in Tampico, Illinois"; the acquisition of the nickname Dutch (his drunkard father said he looked like a Dutchman); the heartland upbringing in Dixon, Ill.; the dashing lifeguard years in Lowell Park; the college career as football player and tyro actor; the seemingly reckless decision to take a shot at Hollywood. These familiar landmarks are glimpsed, however, from a perspective made surprising by intimacy and a sense of often-puzzled filial love. "He was seldom far from our minds, but you couldn't help wondering sometimes whether he remembered you once you were out of his sight," Ron Reagan writes.

One of the lessons here is that no father can be an uncomplicated hero to his own son. Ron Reagan dropped out of Yale to study ballet; he became, first, a dancer, then a left-leaning political commentator, and though he makes it clear that he and his father often failed to see eye to eye, his book is less concerned with ideological differences than the pains and wonders of family entanglement. "You're my son, so I have to love you. But sometimes you make it very hard to like you," his father tells him. Oedipus throws that long shadow, even, or maybe especially, if dad is a figure as large as Ronald Reagan. There were father/son contests of athletic prowess, wrestling bouts and not always jovial swimming races. During Ron's years of counterculture rebellion, the two almost come to blows at the Reagan ranch in Santa Barbara, an ugly moment "soon edited from our family lore."

Ron Reagan gives us funny and measured views of his father's qualities as an antagonist. "Dad never really raised his voice; instead his tone would steadily acquire more gravity, until whatever complaining you might be doing began to sound, in your own ears, like the squeaking of gerbils," he writes.

But memory, and therefore memoir, tends to be a radioactive Pandora's box, and "My Father at 100" lives best in its indelible dramas of hurt, love and loss. Ronald Reagan bravely told the world that he had Alzheimer's, and Ron Reagan shows his father sinking into the sad abyss of memory loss, occasionally snapping out to revisit some pungent memory of youth. The grand old man's final moments are unflinchingly and poignantly evoked: "He lifted his head from his pillow, turning and straining towards the sound of his wife's voice. In his gaze was a fierceness that seemed to reflect the desperate exertion necessary for this final expenditure of life force." Reagan was determined that the last thing he should see on this earth would be Nancy — another mythic beat to add to the saga.

The 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth falls on Feb. 6. His presence still looms large, in part because he seems emblematic of a less compromised and more heroic and honorable America. That perception may or may not be corny and wrongheaded, but it's there. "GOP candidates strenuously compete to see who can invoke his name in the most reverential way," Ron Reagan writes. Yet the character of the 40th president remains opaque to us in ways that make Barack Obama or Bill Clinton or either of the George Bushes seem like open books. Reagan seemed to step off the soundstage and into politics as though it were just another role, A-list this time, and there are those, Gore Vidal for instance, who argue absence was his essence, that he was a nothing, a void of actorly hollowness, an aw-shucks mouthpiece for lines and attitudes that others fed him. Ron Reagan finds something else, something carefully guarded, ice-cold yet unstoppable, fused together with a relentless self-mythologizing tendency: "He was the solitary storyteller whose great opus, religiously tended always, was his own self."

Reagan's Rosebud, as Edmund Morris also suggested in his mad and magnificent official biography/faux memoir "Dutch," was secret yet unstoppable ambition. Ron Reagan nails that, although his purpose is not so much to judge his dad as reclaim him. "If my father was knocked down, it was my business, my privilege, to pick him up," he writes.

Rayner is the author of several books, including "A Bright and Guilty Place: Murder, Corruption and L.A.'s Scandalous Coming of Age."