I had always been suspicious of the words juice ‘fast’, ‘cleanse’, ‘detox’??
They would make me shake my head and wince at the thought of frothy green gunk that strange health freaks drank – no normal, sane person would do it would they? ‘ I like to CHEW my food and WHERE do they get their protein?’ I imagined a multitude of people feeling faint from hunger but suffering on in the misconception that ‘its good for you!’
Over the last 18 months I’ve watched Joe Cross’ documentary movie ‘ Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’ ( at the insistence of my freaky husband, Paul) and seen how juicing helped Paul lose 50lbs ( 22.7 KG) and has given him a new lease of life. However, it took until 2 weeks ago for me to actually try it myself- I had worked up to this moment- starting last year with just fruit juices , then moving up to carrot, celery, apple and ginger. Paul started to sneak spinach in to the juices and I didn’t even notice! I became aware of how my taste buds had changed: strange earthy coloured juices no longer repulsed me , as long as I knew what was in them and I began to recognise which taste combinations worked for me- kale is amazing as long as I add lemon juice. Sometimes we use the juicer and sometimes place everything in the Vitamix for a super healthy blended juice which is full of fibre.
So I’d overcome the taste aspect, now I needed to find out how you could get all the nutrients you need by just drinking juices. The amount of information on the net is mind blowing ( and confusing) so I turned to my own knowledge from my Integrative Nutrition studies and Paul’s experiences ( he is ‘juicing god’ now as he has been juicing for over a year!).
Green leafy vegetables are THE top super food, so they were first on my healthy juice list- kale, spinach , collard greens, arugula ( rocket) , parsley & cilantro- they provide protein, calcium, anti oxidants, amino acids which nourish the body and boost energy.
Lemon to aid detoxification, digestion and alkalise the body plus it is high in vitamin C.
Berries are fabulous anti oxidants and high in vitamin C.
Ginger has the added bonus of magnesium , a natural pain reliever.
Chia, flax and hemp seeds provide vital omega 3, protein and calcium plus give a pleasant nutty flavour to the juice.
Pineapple contains the alphabet with vitamins A,B,C & D and oh do I love it’s sweet tropical taste.
Coconut water as a liquid base provides valuable electrolytes, a must after exercising or exertion.
So, I’d done my homework and was sure I would get all the nutrition I needed from drinking just juice for 7 days but I was still worried that I’d feel hungry, only time would tell!
The catalyst to actually starting the juice fast was listening to my own body: I had been bloated for a week and for 2 days had stomach cramps- my second brain ( the gut!) was definitely trying to tell me something.
The Results: Within 12 hours the cramping stopped and by day 3 my stomach was flatter than it had been in years- I was amazed. But what astounded me was the fact that I felt ‘full’ , without my usual desire to snack mid afternoon or evening. I felt energised and had a clarity of mind that has to be experienced to be believed. People started to notice the change in me and after a week my skin was glowing and friends were complimenting me- definitely a bonus I hadn’t expected. I didn’t have headaches or the upset stomach that some people experience as their body detoxes, I think that was due to my vegan diet and I don’t drink coffee, though I do like a glass of Champagne at the weekend!
I was able to keep up with my usual exercise routine and added in a 10 mile bike ride on Memorial Day in the glorious sunshine- my goodness did I feel fabulous! I thoroughly enjoyed concocting different juice combinations and excitedly sharing my photos on Instagram and Facebook !
After the week was up I continued to drink the juices for an extra day as I was feeling so good and have made the decision to have one day each week that is ‘ just juice’. I now , also, have at least one juice every day as I find my body craves them. All this from a girl who a year ago thought juicers were bonkers!
If you are thinking about trying a juice cleanse ; try it and see for yourself , you will be amazed at how good you feel. The long term benefits for your health and vitality are worth the effort.