Cleansing Fuel

By June 10, 2012Fitness, Fuel

Hi there,

This blog is dedicated to food, pictures of food, recipes, critiques, and nutritional discussion.  Food is fuel for our bodies, to be used and enjoyed, not abused.  We can all appreciate and apply this principle to our lifestyle, whether we are gardeners, doctors, students, athletes, parents, teenagers, or what have you…

As an experiment, my wonderful, hunkalicious, boyfriend, Brice, and I recently attempted a “juice fast.”  For ten days, we planned to eat no food, and to drink only juice (Inspiration: the documentary “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead“).  Some observations/notes…

  • Step One: Buy a juicer.  (we chose a 2-speed Breville, on sale at Macy’s ๐Ÿ™‚  Get one that will last!  They can be a bit pricey but so worth it!!
  • Step Two: Think through the details/make a game plan.  We made some up as we went along, since we didn’t know what to expect.  I recommend doing some research.  Decide how long you will fast, what exactly you are going to eat/drink and not eat/drink.  Find a buddy to do it with for encouragement.  Go grocery shopping and buy bulk fruits and veggies.  Keep in mind that the longer your fast is, the more likely you will need to buy your produce in multiple trips so as to not let it go bad!  
  • Step Three: Choose your start date!  Don’t wait for the perfect timing, because there will always be an excuse to delay.  Brice and I ended up fasting during: a potluck, a barbeque, a wedding, and two work lunches  :  That’s the price you pay, but it is so worth it!  And there will always be more opportunities to eat with friends.
  • Step Four: Write out your goals, or start a journal where you can jot down your favorite juice recipes, the way you feel each day, and your end conclusions.  
    • Hint:  It will be especially hard at the beginning.  Stick with it.  You may need to take baby steps.  My first ever fast consisted of skipping just one meal.  Do what you can do.
Here is a pic of Brice and I (center, my sis on the left and aunt far right) at a wedding (day 4 of juice fast)…we feasted on cake, water, pear-apple, pineapple, apple, and orange juice from the bar! YUM

  …On average, Brice and I concocted two juice mixes per day (large quantities of juice!).  We normally juiced in the morning together.  Having two people to do this is nice, because it can take some time.  Produce needs to be washed, rinsed, chopped/prepped, juiced, and the juicer needs to be assembled, cleaned, put away.  We put our juice in large bottles and pitchers, and then went on with the day. We also occasionally purchased juice from the market or cafe, for emergencies.
     Because we are normally very good at drinking one or two cups of black coffee (plus some tea) each day, it took a few days to get over the caffeine lulls.  During day 3 of our fast, Brice and I decided to add a pure rice protein powder to our juice once a day (20-30 grams of protein for each of us).  We did this to get a more adequate amount of protein in, as we are both quite active people.  Also, we took fish oil supplements, and I took a daily multivitamin.  We drank herbal tea occasionally.  I usually added ice to my juice, or blend it with ice, but that’s up to you!
     Around day 7,  I added fresh avocado and frozen banana to my juice and blended it to make a smoothie. WOW!  After having no substance for 6 days, this was amazing.  I could seriously feel the healthy oils filling my cells and giving me lots of energy.  Before this, I had thought that blending anything was “against the rules”.  Yet, I suppose when deciding what is “allowed” in your fast, you just need to evaluate your goals.  Brice and I came up against this a few times.  That’s why it is important to define your goals at the start.  Since we were doing this as a kind of “intro to juicing” experiment, and because avocado and banana are not exactly health threats or liver killers, it was not necessary to avoid consuming a more whole version of these fruits.  However, I am glad that I went without the smoothie-drinks for the first 6 days, because I think it really allowed my digestive system to be cleansed and relaxed.
   On day 10, Brice and I began a gradual process of introducing whole plant foods into our diets again.  We had some juice, oatmeal, nuts, whole fruits, veggies, and green tea.  Day 11 was a celebration.  Brice made me his amazing banana-pecan wheat pancakes, and breakfast tacos.  We went on a sweet 6 mile hike, and had some pizza and strawberry shortcake for lunch.  We put the juicer back into action for a little bit to make mint lemonade (recipe at bottom).  So glad to be eating again, but so glad we did that.  Here’s why…

  1. It was fun to do something difficult together, and to encourage each other through it.
  2. I felt so cleansed, renewed, and rejuvenated after the first few days (more-so after adding the protein and avocado).
  3. Hydration!  So good to be hydrated ๐Ÿ™‚
  4. My hair was so soft, and my skin/complexion improved Dramatically!!
  5. It is always nice to not have coffee for a while ๐Ÿ™‚
  6. Self control exercise.  Nice to break the routine and be sort of removed from normal food settings/focus.
  7. Immune system strengthening. Liver cleansing. Intestinal cleansing.  Stomach shrinker (better hunger sensing).  Heightened awareness of what you put in your body!!
  8. We learned about juicing how-to’s, what’s good, what’s gross, etc.
  9. Lots of other wonderfully good things…you’ll see!
My favorite recipes so far: (listed main ingredients first, minor last)

-strawberry, lemon, orange  (all fresh, lemons and oranges with skins removed)
-mango, strawberry (both fresh, mango skin removed, pitted)
-pineapple, apple, lemon (pineapple flesh only, apple core removed, lemon flesh only)…this was especially good blended with a frozen banana and whole fresh avocado!!
-orange, carrot, ginger, kale (fresh ginger, skinned)
Mint Lemonade 
(inspired by Literati Cafe, Los Angeles)
1 cup (or more) loose mint leaves, rinsed.
4 medium lemons, peeled

-Blend mint leaves with enough water to cover in blender.
-Strain over pitcher.  Return residual mint to blender, and repeat blending and straining once more.
-Juice lemons and add juice to pitcher.
-add honey and water to taste ๐Ÿ™‚

(Serves 4)

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