Juice fasting: everything you wanted to know

Thursday, December 19, 2013

I wanted to share some more about my juicing journey of the past two months. Hopefully nobody is sick of me talking about it yet. I just feel so strongly about it and I would love to help anyone out who wants to try it for themselves. I mentioned in my last juicing post here that I lost 6 pounds in the first 7 days and by 15 days, I had lost 11 pounds. After 21 days I had lost 14 pounds, and by 30 days, I was down 19 pounds and so excited to wake up every morning and maybe start fitting into a shirt that had been too small just days before. It was so fun to go through my closet and rediscover things that hadn't fit in months and months and be able to get rid of the big things once and for all. Mornings were my favorite part, when I would get on the scale and see progress and tangibly see by my clothes that things were working. As I said, my weight was not coming off like I wanted, and 19 pounds in 30 days seemed low, but I was also really happy for those 19 pounds that I didn't have to carry around anymore.

I followed Joe's 15-day juicing plan and then decided to drink whatever I came up with instead of doing the thing over again, which some people do. I was tired of the same concoctions, and some flavors like ginger were not my favorite. I found juices online that I tried, and through experimenting with them I started recognizing which juices I would like and which I should pass on. I realized I will never again eat or drink fennel in my life after I almost threw up from it once. I found out beets lower my low blood pressure even more so I walk around dizzy all day long. This juice I had bookmarked earlier quickly became my favorite, and I would make an enormous jar of it for the day and call it good. Sometimes I would substitute zucchini for cucumber, or use both, or use only apples when I didn't have any pears, things like that, and it always turned out great. I used more spinach than she uses and double the kale, and it still tastes so good. The lemon and lime make it tangy and help mask the grassy kale flavor, and the grapes round it out so nicely. This juice definitely became my go-to juice.

Joe's plan calls for four regular juices throughout the day and one dessert juice in the evening. Each juice is about 2 cups (sometimes more), so I was drinking about 10-12 cups of juice a day, plus lots of herbal tea and coconut water. I only drank 16 ounces of coconut water a day for the first two weeks, and then got tired of it so I stopped (plus it's super expensive). It's also really important to drink lots of water for your body to be able to flush the fat out, and I was always struggling with this, trying to remember to drink throughout the day as much as I could. Every time I started feeling really hungry, it would be time to have another juice, and I never got to that starving feeling. Since your stomach barely has to do any work to digest the juice, it goes into your body really quickly and gives you energy basically right after drinking it--it's pretty amazing to feel that.

My favorite dessert juice is so simple, it doesn't even need a recipe (it comes from Joe's 15-day plan). It's just blueberries, red grapes, and a handful of mint (to taste). The mint makes it so refreshing, and I found I really like grapes in my juices. When my parents brought over two large boxes of homegrown grapes in late October before the first frost froze them, I was in juice heaven. Those juices were delicious, but store-bought grapes are good too.

Minty Blueberry Grape
1 1/2 cups blueberries
1 1/2 cups grapes
handful of mint

I also love this sweet potato, peach (or pear if peach is out of season), apple, blueberry, cinnamon concoction that's also one of Joe's recipes.

Peach Pie Delight

2 peaches or pears
1 sweet potato
1 apples
1 cup blueberries (I was always generous with these)
dash of cinnamon (add to glass after juicing)

Also, I love our juicer. It makes juicing fun and much less of a chore than cheaper juicers, and the juice tastes so much better too. I used to have a Jack Lelanne that broke on me, so I took it back to the store and we upgraded to this Omega juicer. The difference is most juicers use heat to rotate the blades that cut the vegetables, so the juice gets oxidized and starts spoiling right after it's made. Since it has so much oxygen in it, it starts turning brown, separates, and can't stand long. This Omega juicer actually crushes the vegetables without any heat and very little oxidation, and the juice can stand in the fridge for 72 hours and still taste amazing.

It also extracts a lot more juice out of the vegetables. The Jack Lalanne juicer wasted my spinach more than anything, which was so frustrating. It would end up in the waste bin in whole leaves that hadn't even been touched. The Omega juicer processes everything so well, and leaves only dry pulp behind.

The cleanup is also super easy. Everything comes apart really nicely, there are no blades to cut yourself on, and I love that the pulp collector and juice canister are freestanding. When your pulp bin fills up, empty it in the garbage without taking the machine apart, and keep juicing. The juice canister even has measurements on it so you know how many cups you have--genius!

Obviously I love my juicer and can't say enough good things about it. It gets jammed a lot, which is my biggest complaint, but that's bound to happen with the way it crushes things instead of cutting them. The feed tube is really small for the same reason, so you can't shove a whole apples in there at once and expect it to get juiced really well. :) When something really hard and fibrous jams it up, however, the machine has a reverse button that allows the crusher to turn backwards, dislodge the vegetables that were stuck, and keep juicing without having to take anything apart. Kale, carrots, and celery are what usually jam the juicer, so I found that alternating chunks of these things with juicy things like apples and lemons helped prevent jams. You're supposed to chop kale into small pieces before juicing, but I would put a whole leaf in at a time, and by alternating with apples, cucumbers, and zucchini, I didn't have too many problems. Another thing to keep in mind is to always follow up things like spinach and mint with really juicy things so the most juice gets extracted out of the spinach. The rush of juice from things like apples, pears, or limes washes all the green juice right out of the spinach, ensuring you aren't wasting any of it.

Let me know in the comments section if you guys have any questions about any of this. I would love to answer them.



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