Happy Sunday, folks! Hope your weekend has been productive and yet relaxing at the same time so far! If you missed any posts this week, check out the Mexican Style Quinoa for an easy no fuss dinner tonight to end your weekend or check out an amazingly environmentally friendly Etsy shop called Herbolution to start your Holiday shopping early!
So….fasting. I know what you’re thinking: “Why the HELL are you fasting before the year’s biggest day and reason to overindulge with family and friends?” Well, to be truthful, I don’t fast in the way that, say, Muslims do for Ramadan. I DO eat. But, when I am fasting, I significantly alter what goes into my body, how much, and for how long. I like to participate in juice fasting not only for its health benefits, but it also is an eye opening experience in many ways.
**Author’s Note: The following paragraph contains MY opinions mixed with MY own personal research in the matter of juice fasting. I am in NO WAY telling you should or shouldn’t try this out. It is intense and your body may or may not be prepared for it’s intensity. Keep in mind that you don’t want to cause more harm to your body. If you ARE considering it, research and ask health care professionals first.
Juicing was introduced to me back in 2010 when I began my journey (which ended) as a Raw Foodist. Your body goes through a number of phases while it’s detoxing. Your skin breaks out, you feel like you like you have a wretched cold, you feel weak and fatigued…at least, this is what happened to me. I had been eating sh** food, and my body was like, WAAAIIITTT WHHHAAAATTT. The program I followed suggested you juice with every meal. Yes, that’s right. You don’t have to force your body to only drink juice for a day. The benefits of the juice will still work their magic even if you’re still consuming regular fare. The thought behind the juice is that it contains vitamin rich fruits and vegetables in their most digestible state.
If you were to either juice fast or just incorporate it into your every day routine, you would notice you become more regular, feel “lighter” not necessarily in the thoughts of weight loss, and your energy levels will rise. This is all, of course, after your initial detox which can last a week or two. Okay, I need to stop saying YOUR and YOU because I’m not a healthcare professional :). MY detox lasted about that long, and that’s why when I do participate in a juice fast, I want it to last three days or longer. One day for me is not technically enough to move the “sludge” out that I want to.
Okay, so juice fasting without food. When I initiate a juice fast I follow these steps for a successful fast:
- I limit my intake of meats, cheeses, and breads 2 weeks beforehand.
- I plan my grocery list, like, 2 weeks in advance as well because I know it will cost a bit more to buy all my fresh veggies and fruits.
- I begin cutting out coffee or sugary drinks and up the amount of tea I’m drinking.
- I plan my fast during a time where I will not feel tempted by others’ foods and drinks. I’ve done fasts before while I’m working and I CANNOT go to the teacher’s lounge AT ALL.
- I set an intention: Do I want to detox? Do I want to meditate a lot during this time? Do I want to shed a few pounds?
So, what are my reasons for doing this? I try to juice fast about once a month. During my time doing this, it is a great time to meditate deeply on different aspects of my life. When your body is not consumed with the thoughts and preparation of your next meal, you leave room to think about more powerful things. After the first day of fasting, I generally feel more optimistic, energetic, and lively so these are good days to focus my energy and intentions on something greater.
Another thought during fasting is portion control. We so often eat much more than we should. Our bodies do not need or use a lot of it and it is stored as waste. Fasting gets me thinking about clean eating every day, the amount of food I probably waste which is therefore taken away from someone who truly needs it, and treating my body with love and kindness.
I am currently ending a juice fast today, and I will document my experience below. It was not the most positive one I have ever done, but it got me thinking about Thanksgiving and how that is such a LUXURY to those who are fortunate enough to afford food in bounty. So, here are my thoughts on my latest one!
*****************I began yesterday at about 8:00 AM. I prepared about five juices for the day, all with the same ingredients. My focus was detoxing my liver so I picked veggies and fruits that are specific to cleaning out that organ. I had been eating WAY too much meat over the past few weeks and I began to feel sluggish and bloated. But, I also wanted to really think about Thanksgiving, what I am thankful for, how lucky I am to have a supportive family, loving boyfriend, and food to keep my body healthy.
11:00 AM — I drank one juice containing kale, cucumber, green apple, green pepper, one lemon, and two celery stalks (I had drank one at about 9:00AM previously). I then had to go to a school event and headed out the door. I have had a minor headache and was hoping to beat it with all of the fresh veggies and water I was drinking.
2:30 PM — On my way back from the school event, I was feeling tired, sick, and had a horrible headache. I had eaten meat about three days this week and I think my body was kicking that waste. I hadn’t pooped yet (yes, I poop and love to talk about it), but was feeling really fatigued. My headache was worsening. I felt really hungry. Not a surprise as I hadn’t truly prepped my body for this.
3:00 PM — I drank my third juice, had tea, lots of water and met up with a friend. I felt a bit better after getting some more juice in.
5:00 PM — I had my fourth juice and my hunger was still out of control. I decided to make something small because I didn’t want to hurt my body or exacerbate my headache. I made Zucchini Fritters which I’ll be posting the recipe pre-Thanksgiving as a side! I felt phenomenally better after eating something solid. It was kind of a bummer, but I was listening to my body! Went potty!
8:00 PM — I had my last juice for the day and some more tea. I was feeling tired, but made it through all of Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
10:00 PM — Lots of water and bed time.
9:00 AM — Woke up, drank a juice, tea, and lots of water. Went to the bathroom. I plan on going to yoga in an hour in which I can’t push myself too hard because I am still feeling tired. I plan on ending my fast around lunch, a day and a half early, because I don’t think my body was prepared enough.The important thing to pick up from this little, teeny documentation of my experience is listen to your body. I obviously wasn’t ready and prepped for this. But, I did get to thinking about Thanksgiving and food portions. Even just after a day of this I feel lighter and my stomach bloat is significantly less. I wish I were brave enough to take a before and after! I also thought a lot about the water I consume. I don’t consume nearly enough!!! So, starting today I am taking on the challenge of drinking a gallon of water every day for 30 days. I have seen before and after photos and have read testimonials and the effects of drinking ENOUGH water is significant. More talking about that another day! Juicing may not be for everyone. I find benefits to doing it, but I would never say it’s the best option for all people. Maybe try adding it into your weekend breakfast and see if those additions help you! (P.S. I use a Breville and it is BY FAR THE BEST BRAND!)
My Sunday Smoothie is actually a delicious one that I will incorporate to end my fast. It’s yummy and perfect for cold weather.
Chai Spice Almond:
What You Will Need:
- 2 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground allspice
**Mix all these spices together! ^
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 banana
- 1 spoonful almond butter
- 1-2 tsp chai spice (from the spices you mix above!)
- 1 tbsp flax seed
- a squirt of maple syrup or agave nectar
I hope my experiences with juicing give you some information or at least let you know the reasoning for some behind it. Always make smart and informed decisions when it comes to changing your diet. Do some research on your own or talk to your doctor. Have a great rest of your weekend!
***Things to look for this coming week: Siren’s Song Bath Scrubs OPENS! Check out my second blog for more info. Also, I’ll be posting two delicious Thanksgiving sides that take minimal prep time, raw veggies, and are made for vegetarians as well!