I have needed to make a big change for a while and last week I watched a movie called "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead". It is about how two guys changed their lives by committing to a 60 day juice fast. It was very inspiring and also educational. After thinking about it for a few days I thought this might just be what I need to kickstart a healthier eating plan. I did a lot more research, watching youtube videos (of which there are many), reading blogs and articles and finally I decided to give it a go. My idea is to do 10 days of just juice and then to add in one or two healthy meals.
The first thing you have to do is get is a juicer, this can be daunting, as there are many, many choices and the prices can go from affordable to very expensive. There are also different kinds, so do your research. I went with this Hamilton Beach model, which is one of the cheapest I found. It had a majority of good reviews and I was also impressed with photos showing how dry the pulp was. Meaning it had a good juice yield. I have been very happy with it, it is a task to clean but I have just learned to make my juice in batches so I only have to use it twice a day. Just one juice at a good juice bar can cost $8 or more, so they really do pay for themselves in just a few uses.
It has not been easy but once I got past day 3 it got a lot better. Now 6 days in, I have lost 11.8 pounds and I feel great. Surprisingly, giving up food is not as hard as giving up coffee and diet soda. I have avoided watching food shows for the most part. I hope to re-educate my palate and get rid of artificial sweeteners. I highly recommend doing lots of research and to check out the blog and forums on this site before you begin such an extreme endeavor. It is also a great place to find juice recipes and support.
This is my variation of the most popular juice, that many juicers swear by and it makes about 3 servings. The "Mean Green" or sometimes called "Super Green" is a mix of veggies and fruit. I add a little more fruit to make it palatable and you can vary the ingredients to your own taste. Spinach instead of kale, carrots or beets if you like... some add avocado or seaweed! The lemon is important as it helps cut the bitterness of the greens and cucumbers are great, as they yield a lot of juice. No need to peel but do remove stems and pits, except with grapes, those can go in stems and all. Also, juices always taste better cold!
I like this fruitier blend, for my second 3 serving batch. I have also tried it with ginger, which adds a nice kick. You can really try anything that sounds good, I have done variations of this using plums and celery. I may also try adding some greens, grapes and lemon, really anything that is fresh and in season. Organic is also your best choice, but they can be expensive so you can get a veggie wash to clean off the pesticides and wax commonly found on non organic produce.
Just be sure to drink lots of water and by lots, I mean TONS! Headaches are common during the first few days and usually due to dehydration. This has been the hardest part, no matter how much I drink my tongue is dry. I found the water spiked with electrolytes very helpful, some people drink coconut water. The other down side of juicing is the process eliminates a lot of the fiber, so you may want to add a fiber supplement. You can also use a blender after the initial fasting process, which will retain and break down the whole thing. They are also easier to use, so I just ordered a Nutri Bullet for the long haul.
all photos (except juicer) & content © Lara Rossignol