Juice fast, day 3…

Stay busy. Stay out of the kitchen.

I’ve read that days 2 & 3 are the worst days for hunger cravings so I got up early and pre-made my juice for a day outdoors. I drank the Green Giant before I left and packed the Caropple Zinger in a water bottle (then put it in a lunch box with an ice pack) and headed out the door. It definitely helped with my cravings to be out of the house.

What I juiced today…

First thing in the morning I had  warm water with lemon. I’ve been hearing great things about this so I decided to try it. See the Mind Body Green article to read more about it: MindBodyGreen: Why you should drink warm water & lemon. 

Green Giant: Same as yesterday. This is one of my faves. (I measured this one today and it made 16 oz. juice)

  • 2 kale leaves
  • 2 swiss chard leaves
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 medium cucumber (with skin)
  • 1 peeled lemon
  • 1 thumb-size of ginger
  • 1 green apple
  • Several hand-fulls of spinach

Caropple Zinger (with Spinach): Same one as yesterday but I added spinach. Juiced spinach has no taste to me so I just added it for the extra nutrients! (recipe makes approx. 8 oz. juice)

  • 4 carrots
  • 1/2 apple
  • Several hand-fulls of spinach
  • 1 thumb-size of ginger

Berry-beet-licous: I made this one up myself. I was craving fruits this afternoon so I grabbed everything in my fridge and started juicing. It’s pretty good! (recipe makes approx. 10 oz. juice)

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 green apple
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 kale leaves
  • Several hand-fulls of spinach
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 large beet
  • 1 kiwi

Best Broccoli: First time to juice broccoli. Refreshing. Definitely a new favorite. (recipe makes approx. 8 oz. juice)

  • 1 cup broccoli pieces
  • 3 carrots
  • 1/2 green apple
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1/2 lemon

Total juice consumption: 42 oz.

Hungry?… When I got home around 2:30pm I was pretty hungry and craving fruit. Other than that, I only craved a specific food if I saw it or smelled it cooking. I believe it’s a mental hunger… I’m not hungry, but I miss the actual act of eating, chewing food, sitting around the table with friends, etc. While I was juicing today it took a lot of self control not to pick up a piece of kiwi and just eat it.

Energy?… Normal. I haven’t experienced any crazy surge of energy or vice-versa.

Juice fast, day 2…

Besides the fact that it stormed last night which lead to an 85lb dog laying on top of me quivering… I slept really well.  This morning I got up and piddled around before I made my  juice so I wasn’t incredibly hungry when I woke up. However, by the time I was making the juice I was pretty hungry. Lesson learned.

It may be a juice-fast no-no, but I think keeping coconut water on hand for when you need that extra kick is a good idea. Coconut water has natural electrolytes and lots of potassium. So drink up.

What I juiced today…

Green Giant: There is supposed to be spinach in this one but I forgot. It is still one of my favorites. (recipe makes approx. 10 oz. juice)

  • 2 kale leaves
  • 2 swiss chard leaves (I used red chard)
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 medium cucumber (with skin)
  • 1 peeled lemon
  • 1 thumb-size of ginger
  • 1 green apple

Detox Filler: This juice is supposed to satisfy hunger cravings throughout the detox days. Juice the carrots, apples and celery and then put the juice in a blender with the banana. The banana does give the juice a more filling feeling. (recipe makes approx. 16 oz. juice)

  • 2 carrots
  • 1 green apple
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 banana

Detox filler

Best Beets: This one definitely tastes like beets, but the lime gives it a good kick. Juice the beets, strawberries, and lime then add the juice to the coconut water. (recipe makes approx. 24 oz. juice)

Caropple Zinger: I usually make this one with a whole green apple but I cut it in half simply because it’s night time and I try to keep my fruits down at night (because of sugars). (recipe makes approx. 8 oz. juice)

  • 4 carrots
  • 1/2 green apple
  • 1 thumb-size of ginger

Total liquid consumed today: 58 oz.

Hungry?… Why are there so many pizza commercials on TV during the Olympics? I’m craving a homemade veggie lovers pizza today. Other than random cravings (especially when I smell cooked food), I actually feel satisfied.

Energy?… My dad asked me to do something today and I said, “but that will interfere with my strict schedule of nothing.” I was joking, of course. But I’m definitely soaking up the blissful nothingness this week since the summer semester was far from relaxing. So I think I have a normal level of energy but I’m definitely not utilizing it. I wish I could tell you that I’m out biking or hiking or spending all day in the yoga studio… but I’m not. I have however, done laundry, written thank-you notes, gone to the grocery store, and done some light yoga at home. I do plan on being outside more tomorrow and making it to a pm yoga class.

Juice fast, day 1…

That’s right. I’m finally doing it. With a one week break between the end of school and the start of my career (woot) it’s the perfect time to do a detoxifying juice fast. I am aiming for a five-day fast.

Here’s what I juiced today…

Green drink love: This is one of my faves.  Apples are a great base for juice recipes. I like to use green apples because I prefer the lightly sour taste over red apples. (recipe makes approx. 8 oz. juice)

  • Hand-full of spinach
  • Hand-full of parsley
  • 1 green apple
  • 2 kale leaves

Immunity booster: I juiced garlic for the first time today. It wasn’t bad. Trust me, when something doesn’t taste good I have a major gag reflex. It definitely had a kick and left me with bad breath (until I promptly brushed my teeth). Not my favorite, but not too bad. (recipe makes approx. 8 oz. juice)

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Thumb size slice of ginger
  • Hand-full of parsley
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 green apple

Veggie Detox: I also juiced beets for the first time today. I think the lemon really adds to this one. And it’s purple… how can you go wrong with purple juice? (recipe makes approx. 8 oz. juice)

  • 3 carrots
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 1/2 small beet
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 thumb size ginger

I also drank a coconut water (16.2 oz.) taking my total liquid consumed to a total of 40.2

Hungry?… I got a little hungry mid-day (thus the reason for the coconut water) but it’s my own juice-fast theory that there is no limit to the amount of juice allowed. I also drank as much water as I could.

I’ve had cravings. Hummus and pita chips in the fridge called my name many times. But my drive to complete the fast was greater than the cravings. I think when it comes to battling cravings it all depends on your commitment. We’ll see how I committed I am later this week…

Energy?… I had a normal level of energy. I ran errands, did a little 30 min home yoga practice, and took Bailey for a walk.

With so much juicing going on I can’t help but daydream about my my dream juicer. The number one reason I want this one… Wheatgrass. This baby can extract juice from grasses as well as fruits, vegetables, and other leafy greens. I’ve heard that a 2 oz. shot of wheatgrass juice is the equivalent of eating 4lbs. of green vegetables. It is the best source of living chlorophyll, a potent detoxifier, high in many different types of enzymes that help improve digestion, it is a complete protein, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and increases energy levels. One day I will be able to juice wheatgrass at home… So yes, mom, this means you can tell people I eat grass and actually be correct.

Juice, juice, juice…

I have pretty amazing friends.

One of my long-time family friends loaned me a juicer! It’s a total dinosaur; it’s heavy and it’s loud, but it makes fresh juice and it’s in my kitchen! It’s one of those things that has been passed around for years I suppose. My friend used it for about a year and then bought her own Omega Juicer and so donated the dino to me. She said the only rule was that when I get my new state-of-the-art juicer that I pay it forward. Yes ma’am.

So, in honor of my wonderful friend with her shiny new Omega Juicer, here are some juice recipes that I have made over the past few days that I found quite tasty…

Veggie Love.

Whole Foods “Green Giant” imitation… 

  • 2 kale leaves
  • Hand-full of spinach
  • 1 swiss chard leaf
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 peeled lemon
  • 1 thumb-size of ginger
  • 2 green apples

Summertime zucchini quencher… This was my first one to juice and it’s so good! I might even use 2 zucchini next time! Info on juicing zucchini: http://www.bestliquidvitamins.com/Zucchini.html

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 green apples
  • 4 carrots

Juice magic!

Here are a few I haven’t tried yet, but I couldn’t wait to share!…

Sweet potatoes?… Research has shown that vitamin B6 reduces the risk of heart disease. Sweet potatoes are also packed with potassium which control blood pressure and is rich in fiber which helps you feel full! When digested, sweet potatoes have a slow digestion rate due to the fiber and complex carbohydrates which in turn stabilizes an individuals insulin levels.

  • 1 beet with tops
  • 1/2 medium sweet potato
  • 3 carrots
For immunity… (for “teacher Lindsey!”) Ginger like garlic is used to treat many conditions. Ginger is used to promote the release of intestinal gas, due to it’s carminative compound. Ginger helps with seasickness, dizziness, cold sweating, inhibitor of inflammatory compounds, antioxidant properties, nausea and vomiting that is usually associated with pregnancy and much more. (Select fresh ginger that looks fresh. Store ginger in the refrigerator.)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Thumb size slice of ginger
  • Hand-full of parsley
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 apple
Green drink love… Kale is rich in vitamins and minerals like calcium, potassium, iron and have anticancer properties. This makes it perfect for juicing. Kale is also rich in fiber and detoxifies your entire system. You should select kale that is fresh, dark green and tender.
  • Hand-full of spinach
  • Hand-full of parsley
  • 2 apples
  • 2 kale leaves
Salad in a cup…  Bell peppers are one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables that you will find, also they are packed with vitamin C. Red bell peppers also have higher levels of nutrients compared to green bell peppers. According to research, bell peppers contain substances that have been shown to prevent blood clot formation which reduces chances of heart attack and stroke. (Select fresh, firm and bright bell peppers. One thing to remember when juicing bell peppers is that organic is the way to go!)

  • 4 parsley springs
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 scallion
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • First wrap the parsley around the tomato and add it into the juicer, then the green bell pepper, cucumber, scallion, and lemon.
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I also really like this idea of something to do with the juice pulp… http://juicingsaturdaystrategy.com/juice-pulp-burgers/

I promise to post more juicing recipes as I fall deeper in love with my juicer…

References:

FitLife.tv – Juicing recipes 

Healthy-eating-habit.com – Juicing recipes

Omega Juicers – Recipes for juicing

Juice fasting for beginners…

With the cost of juicers ranging from $150-500 it’s not feasible that I would own one at this point in my life. Nevertheless, I really wanted to try a juice fast. But I quickly found out that it’s near impossible without a personal vegetable juicer.

I tried this first… 

  • Buy freshly juiced veggies the night before… I went to my local Organic Harvest and got a 16-24 oz. fresh juice. My favorite is their Field of Greens juice (Seasonal greens, wheatgrass, carrots, celery, kale, spirulina, and apples).  Most local organic/natural grocers also offer fresh juice. However, it turns out that 16-24 oz. isn’t quite enough for an entire day. You need approx. 32 oz. to give your body the appropriate nutrition and to keep it from going into starvation mode. Going to the store, purchasing enough juice for the next day, and storing it over night proved to be difficult. First, juice is best when it is freshly juiced. If you wait until the next day, the fruits and veggies oxidize and loose important nutrients. Second, it doesn’t taste as good. Finally, it was a pain in my rear.

What works better for me…

  • Swapping one meal a day for fresh juice… Usually dinner. This way I can stop by the store on the way home for my fresh juice and enjoy immediately. Yes, I am satisfied for the night. I wake up feeling lighter and full of energy. You actually are fasting this way. You are fasting from (roughly) 4pm to the next morning. It gives your digestive system a rest so it’s able to start fresh the next day. I pair this nightly fasting with my no-processed diet during the day and I feel great!

What else?…

  • You can also choose to drink juice once or twice a day in-between meals. This way you are not detoxing your body, but it gives you the added nutrients that the juice has to offer. Most people are able to drink way more vegetables than they could ever consume by simply eating them.

Reasons for Juice fasting…

There are many reasons to juice fast. The most obvious is for health/weight loss. But there are also spiritual and general health reasons. My reason is to detox (general health). Juice fasting removes toxins and increases your essential nutrient intake. See my resource links below for more info on juice fasting.

What sparked my interest…

This movie is what turned me on to juice fasting:

Resources:

MindBodyGreen – How to Juice Fast Safely

Top 10 Reasons to Juice Fast

How to Fast

One day I will own my own juicer and will complete a true juice fast. One day…

Eat fat…

Let me tell you a little secret… I used to want to be a nutritionist. Nevertheless, things change, people change, dreams change, and I don’t regret my current career path in elementary education one bit, but nutrition still really interests me. I consider it all a part of the yogic lifestyle. Yoga teaches us to treat our bodies as a temple, to love, and respect our bodies, and what better way to honor out temple than to give it nutritious fuel?

This past weekend I attended a workshop called Fuel + Fitness & Horizontal Conditioning. Sandra Koulourides is a Birmingham native with a long history in the fitness world and she is also a registered dietitian. I can’t put into words how inspiring she was. First of all, the Horizontal Conditioning class kicked my butt! It was so hard, and so naturally, I want to go back… I love a good challenge! Second, her nutrition talk was right along my no-processed path. But here’s the exciting part, she makes the no-processed diet lifestyle easier to incorporate into every day life! The no-processed diet I wrote about before is wonderful, but it is very hard to eat out, go to parties, etc. Sandra gives examples on how to make good choices on the run.

Have you ever heard someone say, “Getting fit is 80% diet, 20% fitness?” It’s true. And that’s exactly what Sandra preaches.

What I found most interesting about her nutrition talk was the science of it. Meaning, what certain foods do once inside our bodies. I bought her book at the end of the workshop and read it cover to cover in one day. I love a good nutritional advice book! All the following quotes come from her book,  Fuel + Fitness, the Total Package (by Sandra Koulourides, MS, RD).

Carbohydrates… 

“Carbohydrates (carbs) provide energy for your muscles and organs. When you think about carbs, think ‘fuel…’ Carbs provide glucose, the preferred fuel for your brain and organs. Your body needs constant delivery of glucose… When you don’t give your body the fuel it needs, it will eventually use protein for energy… Protein is your lean body mass – your muscle. Your muscle burns a lot of calories. You want to preserve this metabolically active tissue, not use it for energy.”

Protein…

“Protein builds and repairs your body. Everything in your body is made of protein. Your bones alone are 50% protein. Your skin, red blood cells, white blood cells, hair, nails, organs, and muscle tissue are also made of protein. Protein is critical for weight loss. If you do not have enough protein in your diet, you will not gain the lean muscle you are working so hard to attain.”

Fat… 

“Most people are scared of fat. They think fat makes them fat. This is not true. If it is the right fat in the right quantities, fat actually helps with weight loss. So, here is one thing to love about this book: you can and you should EAT FAT! (hence the title of my blog post) Fat has several functions. One is to promote satiety, meaning fullness. Fat helps you stay full so you are not hungry, eat fewer calories, and lose weight… Fat also is part of the cell membrane and helps your absorb the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are vital to a healthy body.”

She stresses the need for each of these (Carbs, protein, & fat) in every meal. The major mistake most people make is dinner being our biggest meal. Dinner needs to be our smallest meal as it is the least active part of our day. She gives wonderful meal ideas in the book, too!

How often have you thought, “Oh well, I ruined breakfast/lunch, so I might as well just call this day a wash and eat pizza and cookies for dinner. I’ll be really good tomorrow.” Sandra says that if you splurge on one meal, pick up the pieces and eat right the rest of the day. That “whatever” attitude is like getting a ticket for running a stop sign first thing in the morning. After that ticket are you going to say, “Oh well, I might as well drive how ever I want for the rest of the day and I’ll be better tomorrow???” No, you wouldn’t. You’ll never meet your weight loss/fitness goals if you let one splurge turn into a whole day of bad eating.

The Dirty Dozen… the 12 foods that require the most pesticides.

Sandra mentions the “dirty dozen” in her book. These are the 12 foods that require the most pesticides: Apples, cherries, grapes (imported), nectarines, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries, bell peppers, celery, potatoes, & spinach. I am a big advocate of organically grown foods (and animals for that matter), but in the book Sandra says, “If you can afford to buy organic, then do… You do not have to avoid the ‘dirty dozen,’ just be aware of pesticide potential. To minimize your pesticide exposure, wash (scrub) produce thoroughly, and peel the skin when you can.”

She also gives a list of seasonal produce and says, “For added flavor and nutrients, try to by local and seasonal.” I love this book!

Read your ingredient labels…

Okay, so this isn’t the first time I’ve gone on and on (and on) about reading labels. Look at the ingredient label!!! Don’t you want to know what’s actually in your food? Here are things to avoid when looking at the ingredient label: high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils/trans fats, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, artificial flavors, processed foods, high sodium products, refined flour/grains.

Horizontal Conditioning… a sneak peak (Scroll through her Youtube channel to see other exercises.)

If you’re a member of the Mountain Brook YMCA you’ll notice her workout space! She teaches her Horizontal Conditioning classes there and you can also buy DVD’s. If you would like to purchase her DVD’s, she highly recommends starting with the beginner workout (Getting Started) then moving up. I know, no one wants to call themselves a beginner, especially when we feel like we’re pretty fit. But I promise, the beginner workout is challenging! It’s new exercises that your body (and core) aren’t used to so they will be hard.

Love,

Once you go veggie, you never go back…

I have to say that I don’t miss meat at all. But then again, I’ve never really been a big meat eater. I’ve always said, “I could be a vegetarian” but I had no reason to go meatless. Once I started reading about how exactly the industrial farmers treat their animals and how our view of farm animals was very mislead (by the corporate factories) from our green pastures, white picket fence, red barn, way of thinking about it, I now had the reason.

How to cook vegetarian… My #1 question before I fully went vegetarian was, “How?” I honestly didn’t know how to cook a meal without meat (besides some boring pasta dish). I was recommended two cookbooks that helped out tremendously:

My go-to lunch/dinner lately has been edamame mixed in brown rice with a side of fresh green beans, sliced tomato, and goat cheese. Yum.

How to eat-out vegetarian style… One downfall of Birmingham is we don’t have any vegetarian restaurants. Many offer vegetarian options, but conversely, many do not. So what do you order if everything on the menu has a meat?

  • Get a salad without the meat
  • Get a pasta without the meat
  • Order side dishes (soups, salads, grilled veggies, etc.)
My next problem was how to keep with my no-processed foods and my newly found vegetarian lifestyle. Eating out on a no-processed foods diet is hard in itself. Side dishes were my answer. Grilled veggies. Soup of the day. Water with lemon. Thank you.

Bottom line… It’s definitely easier to eat at home (just like it’s easier to eat healthy at home), but it can be done.

Will I get enough protein?… When I told my boyfriend I wanted to “go vegetarian” the first thing he said was, “Just make sure you get enough protein.” So naturally, I googled… and this is what I found:

  • Whole grains are a great source of protein. The mega grain is quinoa. Unlike many sources of vegetarian protein, quinoa contains all of the essential amino acids, making it a “complete protein.” Just one cup of cooked quinoa contains 18 grams of protein, as well as nine grams of fiber. Other grains, such as whole grain bread, brown rice, and barley are also great sources of protein.
  • Beans, lentils, and legumes. Beans are one of the most common protein-rich foods for vegetarians. Black beans, kidney beans, split pea soup, chickpea hummus…
  • Tofu and other soy products. A half-cup tofu contains 10 grams, and soy milk contains 7 grams of protein per cup.
  • Nuts, seeds, and nut butters. Nuts, including peanuts, cashews, almonds and walnuts all contain protein, as do seeds such as sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. Because most nuts and seeds are high in fat, you don’t want to make them your primary source of protein. But they’re great as a post-workout or occasional snack. Try soy nut butter or cashew nut butter for a little variety if you’re bored of peanut butter. Two tablespoons of peanut butter contains about 8 grams of protein.
  • Seitan, veggie burgers, and meat substitutes. Read the label of your store-bought meat substitute products and veggie burgers and you’ll find they are quite high in protein! Most commercial meat substitutes are made from either soy protein, wheat protein (wheat gluten) or a combination of the two. Homemade seitan is quite high in protein as well. One veggie patty contains about 10 grams of protein, and 100 grams of seitan provides 21 grams of protein.
  • Protein supplements. When purchasing protein powders and shakes read the label and watch out for cheap fillers in whey and soy protein powders. My local organic grocer sells Raw Protein and I’m pretty excited to try it!
  • Click here for high-protein vegetarian recipes!

The soy issue… Yes, there is lots of controversy around soy. This article along with Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food book helped me see through the fog. Basically, reductionist scientists can isolate one compound in any food that is “bad” for you. You have to look at all of the studies, not just pick and choose the ones that support your view.

I found this section of the article particularly informative:

“The anti-soy crusaders, on the other hand, point to certain substances found in soy, and tell us that almost any amount of soy is too much. The reality, though, is all foods contain substances that, if eaten in high enough concentrations, would cause problems. Even the most healthful foods contain components that produce unwanted effects when they are tested in isolation in a laboratory. For example, broccoli, lentils, and grapefruit contain naturally occurring pesticides that can cause mutations if eaten in high enough quantities.

Peanuts and peanut butter often have traces of aflatoxin, a substance found in a mold that grows on the nuts that causes cancer in high enough amounts. Celery harbors toxins that at high enough levels damage the human immune system and causes photosensitivity. (Highest levels occur in celery that has brownish patches.) Spinach and chard contain oxalic acid, a substance which binds with calcium and diminish its absorption. Common mushrooms contain several substances that in sufficient concentrations are carcinogens.

This doesn’t mean, though, that you should avoid eating broccoli, lentils, grapefruit, peanut butter, celery, spinach, chard and mushrooms. In fact, if you made it your policy to eat no food that contained substances which can in large enough concentrations cause damage, there would be literally nothing left for you to eat.

It’s true that soybeans contain substances that in excess can be harmful. But to imply, as some do, that as a result eating soyfoods poses a risk to human health is taking things much further than the evidence warrants. There would be dangers in eating a diet based entirely on soybeans. But, then, the same could be said for broccoli or any other healthy food. This is one of the reasons why varied diets are so important. Diversity protects.”

To organic, or not to organic?…

“You can’t start talking about vegetarianism, or even about a healthy diet, without being assaulted with questions about whether you buy ‘organic.’… I don’t routinely buy organic food, and I rarely go out of my way to buy organic food. It’s not that I’m against it; when I had a large garden, which I did for about ten years, it was nearly organic: we composted, didn’t rely much on chemical fertilizers, and avoided pesticides religiously. But that’s small time, and in a way that’s my point: I would rather buy local vegetables from a conscientious gardener or farmer than so-called organic vegetables from a multinational corporation. I think buying local is more important and has more impact that supporting organic.” ~Mark Bittman

The term “Organic” is so overused these days and that’s what drew me to this quote from Mark Bittman. Conscientious gardening. Just because the farmer has not gone through all the hoops to be certified organic does not mean that it is any less nutritious. However, I do believe that “organic” or “conscientious” vegetables are better for us than the genetically modified modern vegetables of today.

Vegetarian Restaurant, please… It would be very nice if Birmingham had a vegetarian restaurant scene… but that would be too easy, wouldn’t it? This is a video by The Traveling Vegetarian at The Laughing Seed in Asheville, NC. I visited this restaurant while in Asheville and you can’t even imagine how mouth-watering this stuff is… (I would LOVE it if they published their recipes. Hint, hint)

Will I ever eat meat again?… Sure. As long as it comes from a local humane farmer where I can ensure that my personal standards are met. Call me a flexitarian if you wish.