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.)
- 1 pear
- 1 orange
- 6 strawberries
- 15 asparagus stalks
- 1 cucumber
Clean, light, refreshing. Not too sweet.
- 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
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.
- large handful green beans
- approx 2 cups broccoli
- 2 bokchoy stalks
- 3 celery stalks
- 3 radishes
- 5 asparagus
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 carrots
- chunk of ginger
- 4 turmeric root nubs
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.
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.
It was nice to see some sunshine and flowers on the trees even though the weather was a bit chillier today.
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???
One of the biggest myths associated to any vegetarian or vegan diet is that people will grow frail and weak from lack of protein. You can’t get protein from plants! Gah! This breakfast is a perfect way to show that you can get protein – lots of it – from a delicious, vegan breakfast. This one is extremely healthy too. I made 5 servings even though it’s just me. Tofu scrambles actually freeze and reheat quite nicely. Just remove from freezer and defrost in the refrigerator over night and reheat over medium flame. If tofu scramble is dry on reheating, add a little vegetable broth to prevent burning or sticking to pan. This particular breakfast is great to fuel a busy day, as it is packed with fiber and very filling and will keep you sustained for a bit.
Serve the tofu scramble with a sprouted grain bagel, english muffin, or toast, and fresh fruit juice.
Oh, and this recipe is free of any refined oils too. Score!
Black bean tofu scramble
- 1 block extra firm tofu, drained well
- 15-oz can black beans
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 Tbsp Bragg’s amino acids
- 5 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 5 cups spinach
- 1 yellow onion
- 1-2 Tbsp minced garlic, to taste
- Make sure tofu is very well drained and pressed so it crumbles easily without extra liquid.
- Add all ingredients except spinach, onion, and garlic to large sauce pan. Combine well.
- Allow tofu mixture to cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring occassionally. (Depending on pan and how well your tofu is drained, add 1-2 Tbsp of vegetable broth IF NECESSARY to prevent sticking/burning)
- Caramelize onions and garlic in preheated skillet. (View steps on caramelizing onions without oil.)
- Add onions and garlic to tofu mixture.
- Fold in spinach, continuing to stir until spinach is cooked tender.
I served this tofu scramble with a sprouted wheat bagel, dry, (specifically the 365 Sprouted Wheat Berry Fiber Bagel) and a fresh juice with apple, pear, orange, celery, and fennel.
Approximate nutrition info per serving (including bagel but not juice):
Calories from fat: 27
Fat: 10 g
Potassium: 420 mg
Carbs: 28 g
Fiber: 18 g
Sugar: 5 g
Protein: 27 g
Some numbers I watch:
Fat: <2.5 g/100 calories
Sodium: <1 mg/1 calorie (ex. 2000 calories per day, no more than 2000 mg sodium)
Protein: ~0.36 g/1 pound of body weight (ex. 175 pounds x .36 g = 68.4 g – increase this if you work out to 0.6 g/#)
Fiber: >25 g per day
Carbs: I honestly don’t watch carbs. Carbs = energy. I just stay aware that if I’m consuming a lot of carb-heavy foods that I should be expending more energy.
Sugar: I don’t watch sugar intake either. I rarely consume processed sugar and instead use sweeteners like maple syrup, raw agave and honey (yes, I know most people consider honey a non-vegan food, but I do consume it.) If I’m eating a lot of foods high in natural sugars, I up my water intake to help flush it through. Otherwise, my skin tends to break out.
A note on fiber: If you currently do not consume enough fiber, make sure to increase gradually, as a sudden increase in fiber can lead to constipation and gas. Make sure to drink plenty of water. Also consider digestive enzymes as you build up to the correct amount of fiber. The benefits of consuming enough fiber include weight, cholesterol, and blood sugar maintenance, as well as regulation of digestion and prevention of constipation. I consume probably 30 grams of fiber a day and am as regular as clockwork. Someone I know recently commented that they only use the bathroom once a week, and this completely blew my mind. How I could be comfortable without daily morning elimination is beyond me. It’s a great feeling when your body is working the way its supposed to! This also prevents toxins from sitting in our intestines which can lead to health problems such as a weakened immune system. Many skin conditions, like eczema and acne, are related to an abundance of toxins as well. Drink plenty of water to help the fiber flush toxins out of your system regularly. Regular – yay!