hi everybody – it’s Kristina from spabettie and I am SO excited and honored Carla asked me here today! Since she was rhyming and blogging in the produce section the other day, I thought a post about juicing would be timely.
I recently completed a juice fast.
health – a cleanse.
discipline – to prove (to myself) that I could!
I’ll be honest, the first couple days were kinda rough. Even with beautiful food:
We initially planned a week. After the first few days, we both felt fantastic. Day two was the hardest, I was tired. For someone who juices 2x daily, by day 4 this was fairly easy for me. My frequent headaches were gone, and if possible I had even more energy. I juiced 4-6 times a day, and I was drinking a full juicer container each time. I was definitely getting plenty of calories and nutrients. I hesitate to even call this a fast. Many call this a juice feast.
we were asked a lot of questions – I’m answering them here for you!
I know a fast isn’t for everyone. Whether you are interested in a fast or simply incorporating juicing into your daily routine, many of the following questions address basic juicing. If you have a question I did not answer here, please ask! I love to share juicing.
I also want to emphasize that I am not a medical professional dispensing advice, and anyone contemplating a dietary change (such as a juice fast) should first consult their doctor.
let’s answer some questions!
are you getting enough protein?
I have heard doctors, nutritionists, other qualified professionals say there is too much focus on protein. I have been one of these people, always making sure there is a good amount of protein included in each meal and snack. What I have realized is that for short periods of time, I get an adequate amount of protein and other nutrients with a juice fast – broccoli and spinach are both great sources.
Additionally, fresh juice is a highly digestible food that is packed with nutrients, raw enzymes, vitamins and antioxidants. I get healthy fats from avocado or nuts, omegas (flax, chia) – during fast if you do not get adequate fat, your body will be in starvation mode and storing fat.
what is grocery shopping like?
I learned very quickly which markets have the most reasonably priced organics. Even more importantly, I learned which markets have the highest quality produce. I stopped the other day at a place on my way home, which thankfully is not my regular market because the produce was sad. Very sad.
The majority of my shopping is in the produce section anyway, with bulk items and a few things here and there, where I venture into the middle of the store. My shopping now is even more efficient – I have a master list of all the vegetables and fruit we like, and I check what is needed before I leave the house. Portland’s Farmers Markets have been a great source of many of our veggies.
do you use organic, and why?
I buy as much organic as possible, if it looks good. if the non organic looks fresher or what I want isn’t available, I’ll buy non organic. I then make sure to scrub clean (I do this with everything) and in some cases I will take the time to peel the skin. why? little to no chemicals, wax residue or preservatives is a good thing, and the absence of those things also means fresher produce with more nutrients. also, organic pulp can be used things like dog treats and bread – no waste!
*If you are going to use the pulp in cooking, even for dogs, take the time to prep all produce, including apple cores, seeds, etc – some can be highly toxic, especially to pups!
even if you are not using organics, juicing is still highly beneficial.
how can I start?
prepare ahead of time. a week or so prior, cut back and stop coffee, alcohol, processed foods, eating as clean as possible.
if you can fast for at least 10 days you will see benefits. the first couple days of a juice fast, your body is processing the food remaining in your digestive system. the next couple of days, your body focuses on the reserves stored in your liver. after 3-5 days, your juice fast really begins!
Start with your favorite fruit and vegetables, so it will be something you want to consume. Gradually move to most if not all vegetables, with one fruit here and there. Plan to shop every few days if possible, or invest in some of those bags that prolong the life of produce. Know where you can find fresh juice away from home – juice bars, restaurants, gyms, even Jamba Juice has fresh juice!
did you have unpleasant reactions?
since I juice regularly anyway, and eat fairly clean much of the time, I did not experience many of the common side effects of a juice fast. some of the possible temporary effects resulting from detoxing include headaches, dizziness, breakouts, feeling tired or lethargic, weight loss. the first couple of days I was a little tired, and in five weeks I have had ONE headache (a happy and positive side effect!). I lost 10 pounds in the first couple weeks, and another 5 since. I am not in the habit of a scale, and I think the weight loss has plateaued.
the positives include increased energy and we feel incredibly healthy and clean!
how do you know what tastes good, do you have a favorite recipe?
I don’t always know what will taste good – trust me, not all of my juices turn out well! I have had to go back and add some pineapple or apple to mask some interesting flavors. I happen to be one of those nuts who likes the taste of green, so most things still taste good to me. I am juicing for Jason, too, and while he likes a lot of flavor combinations too, I do try to make things taste good and have a big collection of recipes for all of your juicing needs!
did you exercise?
I did! For the first week, it was very little – walking only. Now I am running (or at least faced paced walking!), lifting, most of my regular activities, at about 1/2 to 3/4 intensity depending on the day.
do you juice once a day to drink all day, or several times a day?
the enzymes and nutrients begin to break down immediately, so I drink it immediately and make fresh juice each time to get the most out of my juicing! yes, I know for many, the biggest complaint is having to clean the juicer:
do you clean your juicer each time?
yes, I do clean my juicer each time – I make myself clean it before I can drink my juice, and it really only takes a few more minutes, at most. I have it down to a pretty quick routine now, turning on the hot water as soon as I am done juicing, grab my scrub brush and just clean each piece as I take it apart, and I have a drying mat I stack it all on. after much use and sitting on the drying rack by my kitchen window sometimes in the sun, the pieces have become slightly cloudy over time. this does not affect the juice or juicer at all.
additionally, once or twice a week I’ll run it all through the dishwasher (EXCEPT the pusher – that will melt / lose shape and not fit right after). yes, it can be a pain with what, six pieces plus wiping down the base, but when I think of cleaning dishes and cooking equipment, I think it more than balances out. if you think of how much time you are probably saving, the extra clean up each time might be more manageable? 🙂
what kind of juicer do you have?
we have the Breville Juice Fountain Plus, which is the same juicer Joe Cross has in the documentary Fat Sick and Nearly Dead. Jason and I saw this movie about a week after we began our fast, and it completely validated what we were doing, and gave us even more energy. This is a great movie about a couple different people who changed their health and their lives with a juice fast. Though Jason and I did not have any of the health complications the movie focuses on, nor are we medication-dependent, the film is very inspiring and motivating. It’s on instant Netflix and it’s both entertaining and heart warming.
how do you get past the cravings for your favorite foods?
Jason and I both remember this, and in the beginning of a fast, I’m going to be honest, you will likely have cravings. For us, they only lasted a few days. Joe Cross has a great answer to this question – it is a good idea to have a goal and keep that goal in mind! Watch Joe address this here. It is a great aspect to remember.
do you have some basic recipes to get started, or veggie to fruit ratios you recommend?
this is another great question – I am so adventurous with flavors and I really like the taste of green, but I realize many do not! you can still juice, have it taste good and give great nutrients.
some basics to start with – carrots, beets, apples, ginger.
celery, cucumbers, citrus and tomatoes also provide a good amount of juice. a good ratio I generally stick to is one fruit for 3-4 veggies.
great basic recipes to get started:
2 apples, cored
1 inch piece ginger
1 lemon, peeled
Juice and enjoy! I juice the ‘messier’ produce (citrus, tomatoes) first, so the firmer pieces will push everything through.
sunny breakfast bliss
1 large bunch kale
2 oranges, peeled
Juice and enjoy!
When you are feeling more adventurous, try a pizza flavored juice. Garlic is good for you!
MizFit note: I CAN NOT WRITE WORDS WHICH DO THE AMAZATASTIC SPABETTIE JUSTICE (indeed I am shouting). Visit her. Spend eons on her blog as I do. Enter her GIVEAWAY of the fantastic, err, JUICEtastic documentary: Fat Sick an Nearly Dead.