Neon Hippo

The Ramblings of a Superfluous Man

Been a while…

February 01, 2015 By: BigCheese Category: Uncategorized

I’ve been meaning to update this site for a while.  I finally got around to it today and noticed that it’s been 3 years since I’ve posted here.  I’m probably the only person reading this drivel anyway, so I guess it doesn’t matter much.

Omega VRT 350

January 20, 2012 By: BigCheese Category: Uncategorized

It was a pretty expensive lesson to learn, but I finally ended up getting the juicer that I should have bought in the first place.  I started out with the Elite centrifugal juicer that sounded like a jet engine in my kitchen and made the dog run for cover.  It wasn’t long before I upgraded to a used Champion that worked much better and was a good bit quieter.  After watching countless videos and reading articles and reviews, I finally decided to reach very deeply into my pockets and order the Omega VRT350 juicer.  I can now easily make juice while the dog sleeps nearby.  So quiet!

Omega VRT 350 HDWow!  What a difference a new high quality appliance can make.  My only hesitation before ordering (beside the price) is that this juicer is known to produce a more full-bodied juice with more pulp than other juicers.  I’m not a big fan of pulp in the juice, but I was already straining the juice from my Champion, so I figured I’d go for it and continue to strain.

Turns out, it produces less foam and about the same amount or possibly slightly less pulp than my Champion.  I still strain my juice and I couldn’t be happier with the results I get with the Omega VRT.  The juice is so clean and fresh tasting.  It’s amazing how different it is from the first glass of juice I made in my old Elite juicer.

Neither the Elite nor the Champion did leafy greens very well.  The Champion was better than the Elite, but there was still a lot of waste.  The Omega VRT 350 does a nice job on greens and everything else I’ve tried so far.  There are some secrets to getting great results that aren’t in the manual.  If you decide to buy one, I’d watch the videos from Discount Juicers and get the best from the juicer from the first day you own it.

It’s super easy to clean and if you want to run different juices one after another, you can just run a bit of water through it and keep on juicing.  No need to take it apart and clean it between runs.

I kind of got tired of the cleanup with the Champion.  If you’re doing a lot of juicing with the champion you sometimes have to stop and clean the screen.  It’s still a bit of a chore to clean the VRT, but so much easier than either of the others and it has a silicon blade that constantly wipes the screen keeping it clear.  I’ve been using the juicer an average of 3 times a day making mostly vegetable juices with an occasional fruit juice.  My current favorite is 4 stalks of celery, about 2 cups of broccoli and 1-2 small Granny Smith Apples – YUM!!  I think it might be helping my arthritis a little, too.  There’s been a lot less swelling in my ankles since I started the celery juice.  I’ve grown to love straight up carrot juice.  I’m even starting to acquire a taste for greens like kale and spinach.  Hard to imagine, but true.

I made some dynamite almond milk with it, too.  Now if I can just figure out how to store it without it separating.


My Opinions on Juicing

November 27, 2011 By: BigCheese Category: Uncategorized

I watched a movie called “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” on Netflix and decided I wanted to try juicing.  I originally bought a cheap juicer on eBay for less than $60 brand new.  I figured it would give me a chance to try it out and learn more before investing in an expensive juicer that might end up being a dust collector.   I’ve learned a bit more since then and figured I’d share my knowledge in case anyone is interested in juicing but doesn’t know where to begin.

Originally, I thought I wanted a Breville stainless steel model, but after having my “Elite” for a while and reading more and more on the subject, I’ve decided that centrifugal juicers are just not the best way to go.  The high speed spinning introduces a good bit of air into the juice which causes it to be partially oxidized as the juice comes out and it must be used almost immediately or the juice loses all the good nutritional value.  In addition, the process also destroys many of the enzymes that you want in your juice.

With my “Elite” juicer, I found that after letting a glass of juice sit for just a few minutes, it separated into a more or less clear part and a colored part.  A little more research led me to buying another juicer – this time a used Champion 2000+.  Champion calls it “The World’s Finest Juicer” and many would agree.  The design hasn’t really changed since its introduction in the mid 1950’s.  It’s a single auger masticating juicer (there are also dual auger juicers now).  It operates at a slightly slower speed than a centrifugal juicer, but still powers through the fruits and veggies with ease.  The feed tube is smaller, forcing a little extra prep work, and it still has a hard time with leafy greens (but there is an attachment that makes it better or methods to get more juice from greens).  In addition, it can grate and homogenize, so you can make nut butters and sorbets in it, too.

The Champion is easier to clean and quieter than my $60 juicer, too.  When I let the juice sit, a bit of sediment settles to the bottom and there’s still some froth on top, but it never separates into clear and colored juices the way it does from the centrifugal juicer.  It gets slightly more juice from the produce and though it’s subjective and the differences are slight, I think the juice tastes better from the Champion juicer, too.

I’m truly enjoying the Champion juicer, but it is not my “dream” juicer.  That honor would have to go to the Omega VRT330.  The Omega is also a masticating juicer, but it operates at much slower speeds (somewhere around 80 rpm vs the Champion’s 1700 rpm) and the vertical design takes up less counter space.  The Omega produces less froth and handles leafy greens much better without needing an attachment.

I got my used Champion on eBay for $92 including shipping (they’re about $265 new).  You rarely see an Omega VRT used on ebay and new ones go for well over $300 (closer to $400).

Bottom line:  If you want to try juicing and don’t want the cheapest or most expensive but still want great quality juice, try a Champion.  This also assumes you’ve got the counter space for it and don’t mind hefting a 25 pound machine around.  If you just want the ultimate juicer and money is no object, get the Omega Vertical masticating juicer.  If you plan to juice mostly for flavor (while still getting some health benefits) and are not so concerned with oxidation or enzymes, try a Breville or other brand centrifugal model.

I’ve been enjoying the juicer and love the idea of getting the nutrients from so much produce without the bulk.  Now I’m just trying to work up the nerve to do a juice fast for health and weight loss.

Excuse Me, But Are You Dead?

July 16, 2011 By: admin Category: Uncategorized

I took my dog for our typical walk this morning, but it turned out to be anything but typical.  As we got to the empty field where I usually let him run off leash, I saw what appeared to be someone lying on the ground at the end of the clearing.  Instead of letting the dog loose, I kept him on his 20 foot lead and we approached slowly.  I hollered out to the man to ask if he were OK, but no response.  We got closer and closer.  It was starting to rain a little and here’s this guy lying there flat on his back, feet pointing out with his head on his bicycle leaning kind of forward but facing us as we approached.  His eyes were closed, but there was no sign of life and no response to me asking louder and louder, “Are you OK?  Hello!  Hello?”  The dog was focused on him, too.  We got about 20 feet away and I got this sick feeling in my stomach that he wasn’t sleeping and I didn’t want to see anything gross, so we turned around to go back the other way.  I can hardly handle seeing a dead squirrel along the road, I’m not sure if I can handle coming across a dead body.  I stopped and looked back – yelled at him again and finally went and finished the walk.  I decided that I’d give him a little time and go back in a while and if he were still there, I’d try shaking him to see if he were dead or alive, then call the police to come get the body.

I came home and did a search on what to do if you find a body.  I thought about it and felt guilty wondering if the guy needed some help and I just left him there.So a little more than an hour later, I got the dog and headed out the door.  As we got to the end of the street, I could see him still lying there and still in the same position.  We headed toward him, but I wimped out.  I was convinced this was a dead body and I really didn’t want to see it up close and personal.  So I did what any wimp would do… I rang the doorbell of the last house before the field – the guy who mows it and makes it so I can walk my dog down there.  He came to the door and I said, “I don’t really know how to say this, but I think we have a body at the end of the clearing and I don’t know what to do.”  I told him how freaked out I was by it and how we’d seen this guy a little over an hour ago and it didn’t look like he’s moved.  My neighbor was barefoot, but set out across the field to check it out.  He got a little closer than me, but you could tell he was freaked out by it too.  He turned around and shrugged his shoulders and headed back.  Then he stopped and turned around and went right up to the guy and stood there for a moment then turned to come back.  It turns out the guy was stoned or drunk or something and just looking for a place to ride it out.  What a relief!  What a wimp!  I can’t believe I bothered my poor neighbor and made him to see if it were a dead body or not.

All Was Lost

July 15, 2011 By: admin Category: Uncategorized

A couple of my blogs got hacked.  The Neon Hippo was NOT hacked, but while cleaning up the others, I accidentally deleted the wrong database and just like that, Neon Hippo is brand new again!