Juice feast day 6

I was down another pound this morning, 8 pounds total after the first 5 days. I now weigh 192. My lowest weight has been 185 so I’m very quickly creeping back up on that. This juice fast has really done the trick to get me back and motivated. I took some photos before hand so I could see just how much the belly bloat went down over the juice fast, as I’ve seen some pretty impressive pictures out there before. And even with my knowledge that a juice fast is cleansing and de-bloats, I still get skeptical that these people slim down so quickly.

But alas – here are my before and afters after just 5 days of juicing. In the first photo, I literally look like the Staypuft Marshmallow Man, and my skin seems to be slightly overinflated like a balloon (so bloated.) Even my arms are kind of fatter and won’t sit down flat by my sides! Haha, ridiculous in perspective. Notice around the muffin top area the difference in the bulge. Obviously I still have a long way to go, and I think my new weight loss goal for 2012 will be to reach 160 pounds. That’s 32 pounds down from where I am now. I think this could be possible in 3 months if I hunker down. That’ll put me at a grand total weight loss of 105 pounds.

PS – Does anyone else think that BMI measurements are very ridiculous? According to the scale, my BMI is just over 30 which makes me obese. And I definitely will admit to being overweight still, but obese??? Come on now…

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Juice #1:

  • 1/4 head green cabbage
  • 1 each yellow, red, orange, green bell peppers
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1/4 large pineapple

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This juice was peculiar. I liked it but didn’t love it. It left a weird, clean, airy flavor on my tongue after each sip. I think it’s the green cabbage and I don’t think I’ll be juicing it again (after I finish up what I have.) Red cabbage and bok choy have similar nutrients so I’ll stick with those.

I drank this juice while I did about an hour of yardwork and moving cinder blocks for my raised garden bed. I definitely did some bad lifting, my left hip and lower back has been all ‘snap, crackle, pop’ since then.

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Juice #2:

  • 2 celery
  • 10 brussel sprouts
  • large handful green beans
  • 8 asparagus
  • cucumber
  • 3 bokchoy stalks
  • 2 green apples

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I absolutely love a sour juice, so doing all greens with a couple granny smith apples is a dream come true for my taste buds. I drank this juice before I sat down to do some stretching and yoga to attempt to help my hip. Unfortunately, it just became more aggravated, so I realized it’s just time to let it rest for the day.

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Juice #3:

  • 1/4 pineapple
  • 1 pear
  • 2 kiwi
  • 8 strawberries
  • 1 orange
  • 1 apple
  • 10 brussel sprouts
  • 10 asparagus stalks

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Even though I know my juices need to be more vegetable heavy, I decided to make this fruit heavy juice with just a few greens. I had a sweet tooth, and haven’t had many sweet juices the past couple days. Strawberry juice is so yummy!! And the color so pretty. 🙂

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Juice #4:

  • 5 carrots
  • 2 celery
  • 5 asparagus
  • handful parsley
  • 6 brussel sprouts
  • chunk of ginger
  • 2 oranges

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Ahhh, the classic combo of carrot ginger. Since carrots and beets are almost as high in sugar as fruit, this juice was also a little fruit heavy. Tomorrow I need to go to the store to buy more greens as I went through them way too quickly over the past 3 days. I have so much fruit left! I definitely tipped the scale wrong on that one (fruits vs. vegetables.) Oh well, at least that’s not a bad thing!

Tomorrow starts day 7. I do feel like my body maybe has made the most it can out of a juice feast and I might be ready to start getting back to food on day 8, instead of day 11. This is simply because my muscles and even heart and lungs are dying to be pumped and I really want to go for a hard bike ride or jog and get to the gym to lift weights. But on a juice fast, that’s just too tiring and you can’t recover your muscle correctly. I think my “reset” is just about finished and I can take it slow on a mostly raw food diet with plenty of fresh juice for a couple weeks to continue the detox and nutrient influx.

I will say that I’m absolutely psyched at how my skin is glowing right now. Even the skin on my body, not just the skin on my face seems radiant. And this is a big deal for me, as I’ve struggled with acne problems for most of my teenage and adult life so far. It seems that I don’t really have oily skin that causes the breakouts, it’s just an excess in toxins leeching out my pores. Toxins be gone!

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Juice feast day 5: feeling AMAZING!

As I was just writing the subject for the post, I realized that I’ve completed five full days of juicing! Huzzah!

Now here’s the crazy part…

For the past few days, the posts have talked about a bit of fatigue, crankiness, muscle aches, sore throat, headache, etc. My breath has stunk and my pee has stunk and the trips to the bathroom have been less than ideal. Detox symptoms. So if you’ve been reading along and wondering why anyone would “starve” themselves for days just to feel like crap… I’m happy to report that TODAY was the reason why.

I feel energized, uplifted, clean, light. My mental focus is extremely clear. I haven’t had one single hunger pain or craving today at all. I even watched my roommate cook a veggie burger and it didn’t phase me one small bit. I’ve had no headaches, no pains, no aches. I had a regular bathroom trip this morning. (Yes, there’s still solids to come out after 5 days of juicing!) The white detox “fuzz” that comes out on the tongue during the first few days has lessened. I never wear deodorant, and the sweat from today’s walk was significantly less toxic smelling than previous days. I had the energy to walk about 5 miles today too and didn’t feel incredibly wiped or exhausted afterwards. I will even have enough energy to do yoga tonight which I haven’t felt like doing in a few days. I’ll probably do the “Crunch: Candlelight Yoga” from Netflix Watch Instantly. It’s a very easy, relaxing 45 minute routine that just helps stretch out the kinks from the day, nothing too intense.

And these are the feelings that make the effort worth it.

Beyond the physical changes that I’ve experience over the past few days, a juice fast or other cleansing program can prove to be emotionally lifting as well. It’s a reaffirmation to your will power and allows you to feel a great sense of accomplishment that you’re doing something for yourself. It makes you feel like you can do anything. (And right now, I definitely feel like I could do anything that I set my mind to… and I’m only halfway through!) And more over, focusing on all of these good feelings and the reasons behind why I feel them will help me stay motivated after the fast is through. I’ve been literally flooding every inch of my body, every cell, with this insanely nourishing substance. The thought of taking away this nourishment makes me sad! The idea of refined oils or refined sugars or a huge meal just doesn’t interest me right now. The detox symptoms proved that there was some icky stuff I was holding on to, which would only contribute to a sluggish, fatigued, unhappy existence. Moving forward, I’ll be able to feel clean and ready to stay on track with healthy eating and that renewed energy will help me with my physical fitness goals too. It’s so hard to move off the couch when you’re being plagued with aches and pains and tiredness. Don’t get me wrong, this sense of renewal and re-invigoration is something you have to work to maintain, and eventually everyone starts to slip on their diet and lifestyle. I know I’ll do it. But that is why a “reset” or “reboot” is so necessary, at least for me. It helps start fresh and helps you get rid of cravings. A palette cleanser. A mind cleanser. And pretty soon you find yourself noticing that you honestly do not want those foods that contribute to that overall decrease in health, and you’ll automatically have adapted this healthier diet. Over the past 3 years since I’ve begun my journey to wellness, I’ve had dozens of time where I considered the foods I was eating to be very unhealthy and I was “off the wagon.” Juice fasting has proved to be the best way for me to get back on track, and I’m finding now that the periods of time when I’m “off the wagon” are growing fewer and far between as my body grows a distaste for the foods that harm and craves the nourishment of fresh organic whole foods. The juice fast also creates awareness about the amount of food our body really needs to maintain, and helps shrink our stomachs back to their intended size. In the long run, this helps with natural portion control too.

Today also marked the 7 pound down mark. (From 200 pounds to 193 pounds.)

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Juice #1:

  • 1 pear
  • 1 orange
  • 6 strawberries
  • 15 asparagus stalks
  • 1 cucumber

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Clean, light, refreshing. Not too sweet.

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Juice #2:

  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1/4 head cabbage
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 green pepper
  • 5 brussel sprouts
  • 2 bokchoy stalks
  • large handful bean sprouts
  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 lemon

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Mmm.. I loved the color and taste of this juice. As the days of juicing goes on, I’m definitely finding myself being more satiated by the heavy vegetable juices and less fruit juice.

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Juice #3:

  • large handful green beans
  • approx 2 cups broccoli
  • 2 bokchoy stalks
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 3 radishes
  • 5 asparagus
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • apple
  • pear
  • chunk of ginger
  • 4 turmeric root nubs

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This juice was insane. I can only describe the flavor as ‘deep’. I guess maybe it was a bit earthy too. The turmeric root is definitely a nice way to add a different flavor into juicing. I also like adding a tomato or two because that adds a different bite. I do think that I liked the apple and pear in this to add a little contrast to the flavor overall, but instead, could maybe just do a couple extra carrots instead to nix the fruit. I bought so much fruit to finish out the fast and now I’m not even craving it! I’ll probably end up cutting a bunch of it up and freezing it for smoothies instead and as the days go on, beginning to filter on over to more entirely vegetable juices.

In case you were wondering, I am definitely MISSING some things from my juicing regiment. I wish I could incorporate more kale, spinach, watercress, romaine, etc. However, my juicer is a cheap juicer (I don’t even think it has a brand to be honest – ha!) and it does a good job for anything except leafy greens. For some reason it spits juice everywhere when it tries to process leafy greens. This is why you’ll find me using broccoli, brussel sprouts, bok choy, and asparagus as my main sources of greens. With a better juicer, I would have at least a good handful or two of leafy greens in each juice, and would definitely recommend it as part of a juice cleanse.

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Needed a new shot to use on my blog, etc – and just got a new apron at Target (my first real apron as an adult, on sale for $7 – score!) This was before I started prepping for the first juice of the day.

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It was nice to see some sunshine and flowers on the trees even though the weather was a bit chillier today.

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And then I found this pie, with the strangest set of leftovers I’ve seen in a while. It reminded me of the Cookie Monster’s chocolate chip cookie. “C” is for… pie???


Juice feast day 4 (including a “V17” juice!)

Down another pound today, 6 pounds total in the first 3 days.

I woke up with a bit of a headache today, and I think it’s due to the fact that I really didn’t drink enough juice yesterday (only 3 juices). I also didn’t drink enough water overall, although I tried to make up for it before bed. That led to me getting up a lot to pee, so the headache could also have been from a lack of good rest. However, despite the slight headache, I am starting to feel that boost in clarity and mental energy that I remember comes after the detox symptoms start to subside.

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Juice #1:

  • 5 small apples
  • 3 kiwis
  • 1/2 large bulb fennel

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I had this juice after an hour massage and it was crisp, clean, light and refreshing. It was very sweet and almost a little sour. I normally wouldn’t have made a juice like this without any greens but I didn’t have anything on hang today and I was meeting someone to go grocery shopping later on.

The massage, by the way, was fantastic. I felt very invigorated, loose, and refreshed after. I took a guess at timing the massage on day 4 because I figured the initial release of toxins is usually done during a juice fast by day 3. Massage helps stimulate further detoxification of our body tissues, so this would help get some deeper toxins out which the juicing can help continue flush through. I might try acupuncture later this week or next as I heard its also supposed to be very cleansing. I just need to remember to be drinking a WAY lot more water. Gah! I’m usually so good at this.

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Juice #2:

“V17”

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 cucumber
  • 5 small tomatoes
  • 1/4 head red cabbage
  • 1 red pepper
  • 5 small brussel sprouts
  • 2 radishes
  • jalapeno pepper
  • serrano pepper
  • large handful green beans
  • handful parsley
  • approx 1 1/2 cups broccoli
  • handful bean sprouts
  • 2 bokchoy stalks
  • 2 celery stalks
  • chunk of horseradish (approx 3/4″ x 2″)
  • chunk of ginger (approx 1/2″ x 1″)

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Okay, let me explain the massive quantity of this juice. After not juicing all day, except for one small one this afternoon, I was feeling very very hungry. The temperature also dropped quite a bit today from the unseasonably warm summerlike weather we had last week. It’s only about 32 degrees out now. As I’ve been juicing for the past few days, my body temperature has also been on the low side. This happens because one of the ways our body heats up is due to toxins and the digestive process. Digestion takes energy, energy is heat. Without heavy digestion, our body temperature remains on the low side.

Anyway, I was feeling hungry and was even doubting I’d make it, so I figured a HUGE juice with some spice and substance was the way to go for dinner. This produced about 64 oz, which would be the equivalent of about 3 juices I should have had by now. This huge serving plus the one from earlier brings me to a good solid 4 juices for the day. Granted, it’ll take me an hour or two to actually get all this juice down but it’s worth it!

NOTE: This juice, as my Dad would have said, WILL put hair on your chest. Not for the meak stomached or sweet tongued. It’s a very heavy, dense flavor with a lot of spice from the hot peppers. Follow this recipe and divide into 2 or 3 for normal size servings during a juice fast, or this recipe could make about 6-8 cups of juice if used to supplement a meal.

It cost me about $110 to stock up for the next 5 days for just me, but I’m pretty sure I bought too much and will end up with a huge pot of vegetable soup and probably some frozen fruit after. I just wanted to ensure that I  had enough variety to keep me interested in juicing until the end. Like I mentioned yesterday, I find that one of the most difficult parts of juicing is that eventually they all either taste sweet like fruit or earthy like vegetables. The challenge is to find nice blends that offer variety. With a fully stocked fridge and pantry of fruit, I’ll be able to cater to my tastes and then use the leftovers for regular cooking after. Again, it sounds like a lot to spend, $20 a day on juicing. But the benefits are worth it!


Juice feast day 3

Day 3 today. Still going pretty strong although I had a few significant hunger pains throughout the day. My guy is still feeling pretty store and stiff. I woke up actually pretty cranky and lethargic today, with some aches and pains myself. My throat was the biggest, very sore with a bit of congestion. I think most of these things will be feeling better by tomorrow.

My weight today was 195, down 5 pounds since starting. Hurrah!

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Juice #1:

  • 2 kiwi
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 honeydew melon
  • 2 apples
  • 1/2 large fennel bulb and greens
  • 3 bokchoy stalks

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Fennel is a crazy ingredient in juice. I was so skeptical at first, I’m not a big anise or licorice flavor fan and the thought of drinking it in juice is even less appealing. But it does something crazy when blended with fruits, it makes this crisp refreshing flavor which I’ve never had before. My boyfriend really liked it too.

Juice #2:

  • 1/4 large red cabbage
  • 1/2 pineapple
  • 2 celery
  • 3 carrots
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 3 brussel sprouts

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Red cabbage juice is very intriguing to me, one of those flavors that I don’t necessarily like or dislike and it intrigues me the more I drink it. (Salt and vinegar potato chips is another food that does it!) This juice though, blended with the other veggies, didn’t have that strong red cabbage flavor in it really. I downed this juice very quickly because I was super hungry and I felt extremely bloated and full after. I realized at this point I hadn’t had any water yet today even after 2 large juices. I keep bugging Bryan to drink more water to help flush out his joint and muscle pains, and here I am doing the same thing. I had about 16 oz of water and planned to drink a lot more after my dinner time juice.

We went to Target in between this juice and being in the food aisles was definitely tricky and I had significant hunger again at the store. But it didn’t feel like real hunger, just psychological hunger. There was some discussion about rice crispy treats, and I’ll definitely be working on a vegan version when this juice fast is done.

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Juice #3:

  • approx 1 1/2 cup broccoli
  • 5 brussel sprouts
  • 5 asparagus stalks
  • 3 apples
  • handful parsley
  • lemon
  • 1/2 lime
  • 2 celery stalks

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This juice came out extremely tasty and I was surprised at how prevalent the lime flavor was with just half a lime throughout the whole juice! Once I stated sipping in on it, my psychological hunger was gone. By this time of night, my crankiness has dissipated as has my sore throat and congestion. Now it’s time to get some serious water consumption going.

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The broth is cooking as I write this… made from chopped celery, carrots, potato and onion, with some sprigs of fresh parsley. Added thyme, salt, and pepper, and of course garlic. Used the greens pulp from last night and the juice from tonight. It smells, like, heaven in here, and I can’t wait to get down on some broth.

As of right now, I feel that I will have zero problems carrying on until day 10. I feel tired but I am really not craving food all that much. The juice has been keeping me satisfied enough. I do think its important to point out that this is the first juice fast that I’ve done that I had this kind of complete confidence and lack of cravings (I’ve done about 5-6 juice fasts plus 3 Master Cleanse). I definitely am not craving any junk food, and the kinds of things I am craving are fresh salads or vegetable soup. I don’t think it’ll be too hard to maintain a really nice healthy diet when this is done. I managed to drink 2 jars full of water tonight (that’s equal to 8 cups, pounded it down) and definitely feel a lot better and less weighed down. I think the sugars in the juice combined with the toxins releasing do that unless you wash them out. I also had 2 cups of some herbal red tea with some ginger spice flavor that was fantastic and increased my mood and feeling of clean/lightness.

Spring cleaning for your body. Super score.


Juice feast day 2 with recipes

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Juice #1:

  • 5 small juicing oranges
  • 3 bokchoy stalks with greens
  • 1 carrot

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This juice was a fantastic start to the day. The oranges are a great thing to wake up to and a good dose of Vitamin C of course (which helps because I’m also fighting a slight case of mono). I chased it with 32 oz of water again, and felt sooo full after. At this point, even if I had been craving food, I don’t think I could have fit any! I went for a walk after this juice (about 3.5 miles.) I had to stop at the mall to pee (about halfway home, I just couldn’t make it the whole way). I made a quick detour to Old Navy to grab a new pair of workout pants, and by the time I was done had to pee again. Breaking the seal works the same way with juicing as it does with alcohol for me, ha! By the time I got home, I felt extremely hungry with a little hunger pain. I normally grab a handful of raw cashews and a big jug of water after getting back from a long walk, and I almost did this again, out of habit. But I stopped myself and made a juice instead. It was pretty tricky to not bite into one of these ripe organic strawberries, but I held fast still… even with a little regret.

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Juice #2:

  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 8 stalks celery

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I drank this afternoon juice while helping my brother move a few boxes and go through a few things. I felt extremely fatigued as I was doing this, and sipping the juice was all I could do to keep from falling over to be honest. I do think walking as far as I did while on a juice fast and also fighting mono was a bad idea today. Day 2 traditionally has been the most fatigue, muscle cramp, detox symptom filled day every time I do a detox of any kind. This is when a lot of the toxins have really begun to start stirring up, causing these symptoms. I should have taken it extra easy today, but I pushed through.

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Juice #3:

  • 1/4 large beet (these beets were HUGE and local – yay! but substitute 2 small beets if you have the small tennis ball sized beets)
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 5 brussel sprouts
  • 4 carrots
  • 1/2 lemon with peel
  • 1 apple
  • chunk of ginger according to taste

I must have forgot to photo the end result of this juice, I think it made about 3 cups also. I downed it so quickly, I was feeling so hungry and fatigued after my walk and helping my brother move stuff. I remember thinking how filling it is when you put beets and carrots together. Although, overall, I have to admit I’m not a very big fan of beet juice. During a cleanse, I do consume a lot of it because it’s great for cleansing. PS- Beet juice is ridiculously red. It’s one of the most potent dyes and it dyes… everything. Remember when you use the bathroom next, ha.

 

After our 3rd juice, we made broth again using the leftover vegetable pulp from the previous juice, plus celery, onions, potatoes, salt, pepper, garlic, and thyme. I didn’t like the broth made with the beet pulp as much as without. I will leave it out next time. It was still very satisfying and filling for a ‘dinner soup’ and helped break up the juice monotony. I find that to be one of the biggest challenges with juicing, crafting completely different flavors. So I’m challenging myself to do so. We made the next one kind of late, around 11pm.

 

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Juice #4:

  • 1/2 canteloupe
  • 10 asparagus stalks
  • 3 brussel sprouts
  • approx 2 cups broccoli
  • 3 bokchoy stalks

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This juice produced the most magnificent green color! It tasted amazing too. All of the different greens blended together make for a very good combination, I forgot how much I like juices like that. I really like all these greens combined with lime and green apple for a sour flavor too… I have to get some green apples next time I go to the store. My pee after I had this juice was very very dark and smelled toxic. It definitely was working. I did have a couple cleansing trips to the bathroom, and a bit of muscle fatigue and sore throat. My guy also said he had a bunch of muscle soreness. This happens usually between the second and third day of juicing as the living detoxifying juice particles work their way into your joints and muscles and begin to release toxins. This is one of the reasons why its so important to keep drinking water! Drink lots of water on a juice fast! Besides helping to clear you out, it will also keep you satiated and feeling fuller longer.


Juice feast day 1: benefits, cost, recipes

 

Today is the first day of my “Welcome to Spring” Juice feast. I’m aiming for ten days.

 

 

The benefits of a juice feast

I’m using it as a way to completely reset and reorganize my goals. I’ve had a few rough months, dealing with high levels of anxiety and depression, and that resulted in my addiction to food kicking in hardcore. I gained about 15 pounds. I’m currently back at 200 pounds, which is a bit depressing since it took me forever to reach under 200. But! I never thought I’d see a ONE starting my weight, and I know with a little bit of effort, these winter pounds will shed and I’ll start feeling better. Luckily, we’ve gotten a break with the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been graced with. This is a phenomenal motivator for me, because I love to be outdoors, and I walk everywhere and go on hikes and bike more. I rejoined at Planet Fitness too, which is a 5 mile round trip walk. When it’s nice out, it’s one of my favorite things to do is walk to the gym and lift then walk home. It’s a great workout overall and a good chance to clear my head every day.

So back to the main topic… to embrace the warm weather and help get back on track with my health, I’m doing a 10 day juice feast. Amazingly, my boyfriend is joining in with me. He’s almost actually more excited than I am somehow. He went out and bought a Hurom Slow Juicer and woke up early this morning (he compared it to Christmas morning!) and we’ve successfully completed our first day juicing together. This will be his first time attempting a juice fast, but he is a regular juicer anyway, usually once a day. I have to admit, I’m a bit smitten that he’s into the idea of a juice fast… it’s really great to have someone as interested and passionate about it as I am, and of course, it always helps to have a friend or partner in challenging health or weight loss endeavours such as this. It’s important to remember that a juice fast should not be done strictly as a way to shed extra pounds. Rather, weight loss is a byproduct of regaining control of your body and nourishing it correctly. It’s not a quick fix, and it’s just as important to maintain a healthy diet after the juice feast in order to continue the journey to wellness and prevent the regaining of unwanted, unhealthy fat.

This is my 5th or 6th juice reboot. I’ve also done the Lemonade Diet a few times (Master Cleanse.) The first time I changed from the MC Diet to a juice feast, the difference was beyond obvious. With the MC diet, you feel toxic and weighed down and ill, even if you do maintain a fairly clean lifestyle. Especially my last time through, I didn’t even last two days because of how ill I felt. Then, when my system restored a bit, I went into my first juice feast. I remember I’ve tried to keep journals throughout them but usually end up being too busy. This time, I’ll be keeping notes and photographing the juice (before AND after!) because I really want to show how much food you’re actually eating. People think they will waste away by just drinking juice – but you feel exactly the opposite chugging down these huge liters of vegetable juice. You feel full and invigorated and reenergized. You feel nourished, and that’s the key here. That’s why I decided it was time for something like this. You see, once your body is truly nourished, it really starts to crave the foods that made it that way. I also think Daylight Savings Time has made a big impact on my food cravings as well. With the additional sunlight (well, later in the day at least), and warmer temperatures, I’ve been able to spend a lot of time outside and exercising and walking like I mentioned, which naturally makes me want to eat less and keep my energy up. Last summer, I was probably about 60% raw on average for the hottest months. I really want to be close to 85-90% raw this summer to experience what its like. I am going to do at least one whole month. I’m building up to that slowly with the increase of fresh juice as well.

The cost of doing a juice feast, and why it’s worth it

OKAY – so, let’s talk cost first. The produce we purchased cost about $80 each and it was mostly organic, even a few local things now. I think it will last us at least 4 days, but we’ll see how it turns out. That would end up being about $20 a day. It sounds like a lot to spend. But let’s really think about it: give up your 2 large iced coffees and 2 alcoholic drinks at night and there you go. Most people don’t realize how much those swipes at Dunkin or bar tabs add up to be. I’ve pretty much given up alcohol for the past two months and its allowed me to spend a little extra on healthy, organic, whole foods. It becomes difficult to break the pattern of going out, having a drink or 2, and recovering in the morning with a coffee. Its how our society works.

Caffeine and alcohol are both stressors, triggering the body to raise its cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that is released when our bodies are stressed. It’s basically a fight or flight trigger: our blood pressure and heart rate increase, and all other systems kind of shut off except for our stress response. When cortisol levels are raised repeatedly from different stressors, whether from the world around us, our own mind, or the food we eat, the body tends to become fatigued from all the spikes and crashes. And it’s a neverending cycle. Start the day with something like coffee and donuts, and your body is going to release a whole bunch of cortisol to counteract the processed food. The simple carbohydrates (white flour, refined oil, sugar) and caffeine will metabolize quickly and provide a huge burst of energy. But what comes up must come down. Our pancreas responds urgently and releases a rush of insulin. The quick letdown leads us to reach for another fast fix – an afternoon iced coffee, a bag of chips, or a candy bar. This repeated abusive cycle is what often leads to many health problems, which can be as mild as fatigue and joint pain, or possibly as serious as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

So, when you think about what a juice fast can do to benefit your body and health, $20 a day doesn’t seem all that unreasonable. Remember, daily care and investment in your health can save you tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in health care bills later on in life. Plus, I find that eating well and living well allows me to accomplish more day to day since I don’t feel weighed down and ill. Spending more money on organic and natural whole foods has resulted in my living a fuller, happier life. (And I write this to REMEMBER it, because there are often times that I slip into ordering take out and eating junkier, and that always leads to a decrease in exercise and a lessening desire to do my favorite activities. By writing this down and focusing on how good these foods make me feel, it’s a way to stay motivated and stay on track. Try it the next time you notice you’re feeling particularly healthy and focused. Writing things down makes our brain process them an extra time, and then you have the ability to reread and remember it too. Just something that’s worked for me from time to time.)

Juice Feast Day 1: Recipes and photos

Since we didn’t get a start until after noon, the first juice we made was about double the size. I aim for 5-6 twenty oz juices a day (this was kind of determined by what Joe Cross, the inspiring film maker and juicer extraordinaire, consumes in his film “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.”) By the way, I recommend anyone embarking or considering a juice fast, or even just the idea of incorporating more fresh juice into their diet, see this film and really pay attention to his messaging. His website has a ton of great resources as well.

Juice #1:

  • 2 carrots
  • 1 lemon with peel
  • 3 small apples
  • hunk of ginger according to taste
  • 6 radishes
  • 1/2 large cucumber
  • 1/4 pineapple

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This recipe yielded about 5 cups, like I said, about double the amount I’d normally make for one sitting due to a late start. This particular juice was a bit too heavy in the ginger, but I think it was only because the new juicer processed the ginger much more efficiently. I’ve used thumb size pieces before and never gotten such a strong flavor. Almost immediately after I finished drinking the juice, I found myself running to pee about 15 times over the next few hours!! The first time, my pee was very dark and strong smelling, which was unusual for me, as I’m usually extremely well hydrated. I had some water too with the juice, but this seemed like a crazy amount of trips to the bathroom. As soon as I was done, I had to go again. For someone who’s used to peeing quite frequently, I was a little alarmed at the sensation. Later, I did a bit of research that showed that radish juice is specifically used as a kidney cleanser and often used in aiding the passing of kidney stones. Neat!

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Juice #2:

  • 4 stalks of celery
  • approx 3 cups of broccoli, including stalk
  • 1 apple
  • 4 carrots
  • handful or parsley

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This yielded about 2 and a half cups, so it was just about the right 20 oz serving size. I really love the refreshing taste that celery and parsley give together. By the time this juice was done, I didn’t have the crazy diuretic feeling anymore. I downed another 32 oz of water after to help continue flushing. The juice helps stir the toxins out of your cells and the water helps flush it out. Yay!

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Juice #3:

  • 1/4 pineapple
  • 3 carrots
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 8 asparagus stalks

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This one also yielded just under 3 cups, again, a great size for one juice meal. Red pepper and pineapple is one of my absolutely favorite juice combinations. In the summer, I like to juice an entire pineapple with a couple red peppers and a jalapeno. It results in this sweet, crisp, spicy juice that is just not a flavor you can get anywhere else. (And in case you were wondering, yes, asparagus juice does make your pee stinky!) I drank another 32 oz of water after this juice too.

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We also had a nice large helping of homemade vegetable broth, repurposing some of the vegetable broth from earlier with potato, onion, garlic, and spices. Boil all together in filtered water, strain well, and enjoy. This is especially a good way to help curb cravings when you feel the need to eat, not because you’re hungry, but because you feel like you SHOULD be eating something. The act of eating the broth with a spoon and the fact that it’s so warm and flavorful, and so strikingly different from the juice you’ve been feasting on all day, is surprisingly satisfying. (Here’s a post I wrote before on the process of making homemade vegetable broth from juice pulp.)

I know a lot of people wonder about other bathroom effects of a juice fast, and so far I have not had any terrifying bathroom experiences. This could be because I’m very regular normally, so I’m not very backed up. But remember that if you are, the juice will definitely swoosh in and help clean out. Maybe more to write on that tomorrow… For now you just get to hear about my pee! 🙂

Since we didn’t get a start until after noon, the first juice we made was about double the size. I aim for 5-6 twenty oz juices a day.