Birmingham Juice Project…

I just finished another juice fast and this time my juicer took a rest! I purchased a 5-day juice fast from a high school friend of mine that started the Birmingham Juice Project. Let me tell you, this juice fast was so easy! I’ve been wanting to do a juice fast but thought it was impossible while working. (Who has enough time to juice every morning for the whole day?) So let me count the ways that I love the BJP…

  • Juice prepared for you, no need for a juicer
  • Vegan Nut Mylk (aka. NoMu/Cashew Mylk). This stuff is good! It has your essential fatty acids and keeps you full
  • Fresh, cold-pressed juice
  • Eco friendly packaging
  • You get 5, 16 oz. juices per day plus the NoMu! That’s 96 oz. per day!
  • Home delivery
Fridge is stocked for days 1-3!

Fridge is stocked for days 1-3!

Meet the Juices…

  • #1 (Popeye+) is for kidneys and intestines (kale,spinach, parsley, green apples, lemons)
  • #2 (Yogi) is for lungs (kale, d’anjou pear, cucumber, green apple, mint)
  • #3 (La Flaca) is for metabolism (graperfruit, fennel, green apple, ginger)
  • #4 (Spicy Sangria) is for metabolism and mucous (catarrh) buildup (kale, green grapes, green apples, jalapeno, cucumber, spinach)
  • #5 (Postgame) is for liver, blood, energy, and digestion (beets, carrots, green apple, ginger, lemon)
  • Cashew mylk is for holding you over and replenishing magnesium stores, protein, and fatty acids (water, organic cashews, medjool dates, celtic sea salt)

My favorites are #2 – Yogi (go figure) and #3 – La Flaca. I also really like the #4 – Spicy Sangria, I would have never thought to put jalapeno in my juice but it gives it a subtle kick.

A daily journal…

Day 1… Since I work with kids I was worried about bathroom breaks. I can’t just leave the room whenever I want… but it was no problem at all! Actually, I think the fast was easier while working. It kept my mind off food and I had virtually no cravings. I did have to take an extra bathroom break, but no bathroom emergencies!

p.s. It’s Teacher Appreciation Week and my school is overloaded with sweets! It was easier than you would think to resist the chocolate, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, and donuts!

Day 2… I realized this morning that I forgot to drink Juice #4 yesterday. Yes, I am so satisfied from the juices that I completely forgot one! I got off work around 3:30pm, came home and took Bailey for a walk then finished my nut milk then went straight for #3. Around 8pm I reached straight for #5 and didn’t even realize! Whoops!

Teacher Appreciation Week continues and I continue juicing. I feel so good. At first I thought doing the fast this week was a mistake but it turns out that I’m actually glad that I’m not able to eat the sweets. I feel good at the end of the day instead of regretting eating a brownie (or three). I’m still going strong and not hungry AT ALL! I taught my yoga class tonight and I felt really strong. No lack of energy here!

Day 3… It is so easy just to pack my lunch box with 2 bottles of juice and head out the door! I love that the work has been done for me and all I have to do is enjoy the cleansing feeling! I am still surprised that I am not craving the Teacher Appreciation Week foods… I am so full from the amount (and nutritional quality) of the juices that it is easy to resist.

Freshly juiced and delivered for days 4-5!

Freshly juiced and delivered for days 4-5!

Day 4… I’m not hungry and not having any specific cravings… but I just want to put a piece of food in my mouth! Lunch was provided for us today at work and I really wanted some of the cut fruit.  So I grabbed my juice and left the kitchen! I think the first thing I’m doing Saturday morning is having a cup of fruit! There were also some really yummy looking chocolate chip cookies in my classroom staring at me all day. However, I think it is easier to resist sweets because after successfully juice fasting for 3 days the first thing I am going to eat is definitely NOT going to be a cookie.

Day 5… Today there were some pretty tempting sweets but it was easier to resist. People kept telling me, “Just take one and eat it tomorrow!” And my thought was, “That voids the point!” So I refrained and I feel good. This afternoon I moved apartaments and had great energy (even though I wasn’t the one carrying the heavy stuff thanks to my brother, D, and Dad :)) I felt great at the end of the day that I completed my juice fast without cheating!

Day 6… I’m finished! This morning I drank juice and got some fresh cut fruit from the grocery. We had a wedding out of town to attend so I took some juice for the road (#4 that I accidentally skipped on day 1) and we ate a light lunch on the way. I had spinach salad, cucumber/tomato/feta salad, and water with lemon and it was yummy! My stomach took it well. At the wedding I had one glass of red wine, and more spinach salad, and yes, a little wedding cake.

After 5 days of juice fasting and winning giant jinga against D!

After 5 days of juice fasting and winning giant jinga against D!

How the BJP is better… 

When I did my own 5-day cleanse I was starving! The BJP juices are carefully crafted to give your body all the nutrients it needs to stay sustained while cleansing your body. The juices take you through a round of cleansing and nourishing. Each juice is targeted to cleanse a body system in the proper order to achieve maximum benefits. The juices are cold-pressed with a Norwalk Press Juicer. BJP does not use a centrifugal juicer that destroys the enzymes and nutrients of the juice.

Happy cleansing,

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Juice fast, day 5…

I’ve decided that I will not break my juice-fast until tomorrow at lunch. I’ve read that you have to be careful with how you break a juice fast. If you go crazy and eat anything you want you could make your stomach upset. I’m eating out for a celebratory graduation lunch so I’ve already scoped out the menu and know what I’m going to order. Light, fresh & yummy.

Juice fast rules…

  • Drink at least 32 oz. juice a day (to keep your body from going into starvation mode)
  • No smoking or drinking alcohol, caffeine, or dairy
  • When you are hungry, drink juice. When you are thirsty, drink juice. There is no limit to the amount of juice allowed.
  • If you are juicing for weight-loss, try not to juice too many fruits (because of natural sugars)
  • Juice only raw foods
  • Drink your freshly prepared juice right away (nutrients and enzymes deplete after sitting due to being exposed to oxygen)
  • The length of your fast can be as long or short as you wish. 1 day, 2 days, 8 days, 60 days. Just make sure you listen to your body.

*If you don’t think you’re quite ready for a full juice fast, see my post on Juice Fasting for Beginners.

How to break a juice fast… Keep juicing while adding these foods:

  • Day 1… Raw fruit in the morning and afternoon
  • Day 2… Lightly steamed non-starchy vegetables (such as spinach, zucchini, asparagus, green beans, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, peppers)
  • Day 3… Brown rice, fresh salad
  • Day 4… Organic yogurt, unflavored and unsweetened. Eggs.
  • Day 5… Meat, chicken, fish, tofu (if eaten)
  • Day 6… Beans and other grains
  • Day 7… Other foods, as desired
  • Tips on no-processed diet rules: Fuel your life

What I juiced today…

I started my day with warm water & lemon (8 oz.) followed by:

Detox Filler: I had this one on day two. Since the banana gives a feeling of satiety I decided to have this one for breakfast to keep me full for the morning. Juice the carrots, apples, and celery first and then put the juice in a blender with the banana. (recipe makes approx. 16 oz. juice)

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

Green giant: Fave. (makes approx. 8 oz. juice)

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

Best Broccoli (with pears): I substituted the apple with pears today. (makes approx. 10 oz. juice)

  • 1 cup broccoli pieces
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 small pears
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1/2 lemon

Veggie detox: I made this juice for the first time a couple of days ago. Yay for purple juice! (recipe makes approx. 8 oz. juice)

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

Total liquid consumed today: 50 oz.

Hunger review… On days 1, 2 & 3 I just simply missed food. I felt satiated due to the rich nutritional quality of the juice but I really missed food. The funny thing was that I craved healthy foods. An egg for breakfast, fresh veggies, brown rice, peanut butter, hummus, fresh salad, a veggie burger, taco night with black beans, avocado, fresh tomatoes, veggie crumbles… I felt like folding. But on day 4 it was totally different; no cravings. Day 5 has been the same; calm, happy, peaceful.

Positive results… One of the results on the positive list from yesterday is “spiritual journey: sense of peace and calm within.” I saw that one and said to myself, “Nope, that hasn’t happened.” But I think it has. No, I’m not seeing aura’s or anything like that. But I do have a sense of peace with myself. Yesterday when I had no want to eat, no cravings, and no overwhelming feeling that I was missing out on something, there was an ease in my mind. I tend to have an unhealthy mental dialogue going on inside my head. I know… the yogi side of me tells me that it’s unnecessary and that I need to love myself, but that’s just the thing about an irrational inner dialogue, it is indeed very irrational. So I found myself eating something “bad” and beating myself up about it. But all that eased yesterday, I feel like I have given myself the power to know that I can resist those foods that make me feel bad, and maybe if I do eat them, I know that it is not an everyday occurrence and it is okay.

Weight-loss… I have dropped a few of those pesky pounds that came around this summer due to stress (I’m sure). I plan to keep them off by keeping up with my no-processed/clean eating lifestyle.

Exercise… When juice fasting it’s important to remember that you’re not eating enough carbohydrates for rigorous exercise. Fruit has some carbs, but not enough. When you exercise without enough carb intake your body uses the protein from your muscles for energy and that is not ideal. So exercising is not completely out when juice fasting, but it shouldn’t be near as rigorous. I haven’t exercised as much as I planned this week, but it’s probably for the best. I went on walks with Bailey (dog) and did some light yoga at home.

More info on juice fasting: Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead

Juice fast, day 4…

Let’s talk about the positive results you should see from a juice fast… (Let me know if I’m glowing.)

  • “Glowing” skin (due to new healthier tissue emerging)
  • Weight-loss
  • Cleanses your body of toxins
  • Ease digestive issues
  • Cure diseases
  • Sound sleep (wake up feeling refreshed)
  • Previous injuries begin to heal
  • Mind, memory, and eyesight experience precision and clarity
  • Spiritual journey: sense of peace and calm within

Now, let’s talk about negative side effects… I personally haven’t had any of these but I do like to think of myself as a pretty “clean” eater so my body didn’t have to cleanse my body of anything crazy (coffee, fast food, chips, junk food, etc.). I promise I don’t have super-human control. I love my dark chocolate and can’t resist a good Mexican night. (Chips and queso? Yes, please!) I just try to keep those nights to a minimum. One night at week at the most.

  • Bad breath
  • Acne
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches (often from giving up coffee or alcohol)
  • Lethargy
  • Hunger
  • Constipation
  • Body odor

Don’t let this list keep you from trying a juice fast if you want to try. Remember that oftentimes the most common side effects of juice fasting aren’t due to the incredibly healthy veggies and fruits you’re putting into your body. It’s the lack of “junk” your body has grown accustomed to over the years. If you’ve been drinking coffee every morning since you were in college, you’re body isn’t having an adverse reaction to the celery/apple/wheatgrass drink you’re now consuming. It’s just going to take some time for your body to stop craving those unhealthy substances you’ve been feeding it all these years.

*This is one of those disclaimers: Let it be known that I am not a RD (registered dietitian) and you should always check with your doctor before conducting a juice fast. Of course, you should not juice fast if you are pregnant or nursing. Check with your doctor if you are diabetic or have any other health ailments.

What I juiced today… 

Fruity Breakfast juice: I made this one up out of the contents of my fridge. Feel free to add your favorite fruit! I think mango and/or blackberries would be a good addition. When making fruit juice, I always hide a green veggie or two in there, you can’t taste them and it packs on the nutrients! (recipe makes approx. 8 oz. juice)

  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 green apple
  • 2-3 kale leaves
  • 1 cup of blueberries

Green Lemonade: The cucumber overwhelms a little bit on this one. I’ll probably take it down to a half cucumber next time. Other than that, it’s good and refreshing. (Recipe makes approx 12. oz. juice)

  • 1 head of romaine lettuce (Fresh, not packaged. I used just shy of a whole head.)
  • 4 kale leaves
  • 1 cucumber (with skin)
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 lemon (you don’t have to peel it)
  • 1 thumb-size of ginger

Best Broccoli: Same as yesterday. Really, this one is so good that I wanted it two days in a row!  (recipe makes approx. 10 oz. juice)

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

I also had a coconut water (16.2 oz.) taking my total liquid consumed to a total of 46.2 oz.

Hungry?… Days 2 & 3 were definitely the worst for hunger cravings. Today I’ve been pretty satisfied today with no specific cravings. It took less will-power than I thought not to grab a dark chocolate kiss out of the basket at my hair salon.

Energy?… I had a training today from 1-6pm and I had a normal level of energy throughout.

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.