For centuries, fasting or the voluntary abstinence from food has been a spiritual and alternative medical approach to gaining mental clarity and ridding our bodies of toxins, chemicals from our foods and environment, and any extra weight we are carrying. The literature that promotes this practice has shown us that clearing the mind and body makes way for energy and good health! It is important to take in abundant clear fluids—water and occasional herbal teas is what most of them advocate— but if you go a step further as I did then buy yourself a juicer. Some feel that using a blender is the way to go, and I agree it does have its benefits, the obvious one being the amount of fiber being added to your diet is high. Different practice tho… Juicing has the benefit of supplying our bodies with the extracted nutrients of fruits and vegetables, which allows us to actually ingest those 7-10 servings of raw fruits and vegetables comfortably without constantly reaching for a carrot stick! My experience has been positive in every way with this practice, lots of research and trying it out for myself have made me a firm (and becoming firmer) advocate…lol! But before beginning a juice fast do some research. Check out “Juicing Radio,” to find out how others have been successful, and you will too. Different times of the year are better than others, some feel that 4 times a year for 3-7 days as we move from one season to the next is a good way to be mindful of our bodies and our needs. As with any practice that involves radical change in our diets, you should check with your doctor if you have serious health issues that may change the way you approach this practice. Now is a good time for me to undertake a good long juice fast as I have an abundance of greens still in the garden. Any greens are good right now. Kale, chard and arugula are still producing, and my favourite, spinach, is up thank goodness, as it was half of my grocery budget last week at the store! My own personal experience has shown me that after 3 days of juicing, I wake up in the morning and nothing hurts! All those little aches and pains that after the age of 40 seem like a constant reminder of the “getting older is not for the faint of heart” mantra, is for the time being in respite. This alone keeps me in the game.
My morning drink begins with half an organic lemon with a touch of honey (like half a teaspoon) and warm water in my cup. Then I reach for my coffee, which is not technically very good for me says the literature, but then again neither is the week long headache if I don’t partake of my brew every morning!
This week my juicer has made me some pretty exotic and delicious drinks involving pineapple, ginger, spinach or other greens. A new book from the library called the Best Green Smoothies on the Planet by Tracy Russell has recipes which call for a blender, which I glean for new recipe ideas for juicing or you can just drink the smoothie. Depends on how I’m feeling on any given day. It’s important to keep motivated, but you have to listen to your body. Hunger means you need nutrients, not chips! Do it for your health. Your energy levels I promise will increase, your skin will become clearer, your eyes will sparkle, heck what’s not to love about all that? A clear winner this week partly because I already had the ingredients in my fridge is the;
Spiced Pineapple smoothie
1 c. cubed pineapple
1 frozen banana- peeled
½ tsp. grated ginger
2 c. fresh spinach
6 ounces chai tea, brewed and cooled.
This is a great blender drink! The spinach is pretty much obliterated and makes for a very green drink, and you will be pleasantly surprised how good this tastes! Drink immediately for optimum nutrition. That being said, you can also pour this in your to-go mug (I use a canning jar with a lid), and take it to work with you!
Everyday Just-for-the-Nutrition Juice
1 inch piece of ginger
Stalk of celery
Half an apple
¼ of a beet –peeled
Several hands full of spinach, kale, chard, romaine lettuce etc.
I run this through my juicer; it’s not the best one on the market (actually under $100 from Canadian Tire last year), but it’s affordable and it does the job! There are many on the market, from my little affordable one which does an adequate job and it’s easy to clean, to veritable Cadillacs of the juicing world (read expensive), which I will admit do a superb job of extracting the juice. There is something for everyone in this arena depending on your level of interest and tax bracket!
And so I wish you all a great week.
A drink to your good health everyone… Cheers!