It’s holiday season again which means you undoubtedly have that nostalgic, euphoric feeling of youth. It also means, however, that those feelings trick you into thinking you’re body is much more flexible than it really is. Not in terms of stretching, but in terms of being able to take all the extra sugar and spice and everything that tastes so nice. In reality, all of those toxins are hard for your body to deal with. Even though you’re, hopefully, happy (because who doesn’t like indulging every once in a while- not to mention all those presents) you may feel a little extra bloated and tired from all that junk food.
So, how do you resist and, more importantly, how do you bounce back during such a delectable time? Well, for me it’s all about timing. I do a juice fast a couple times a year. Contrary to what some juice-heads may say, it doesn’t have to last days or even weeks to be effective. It only needs to boost your digestive system in order to clean out the toxins.
So try juicing for just one day. If you can, continue the fast for more days. No biggie either way. If you choose to continue consider this approach:
Eat only uncooked veggies (lotsa salads)
Eat smoothies and blended soups (not warmed)
Coming out of the fast you just do the reverse. Switch from juices to smoothies and blended soups and the next day go for salads. Then your body can switch back to its normal diet.
If one day is still too much for you that’s totally okay. There are no real rules to this, so don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re “doing it wrong.” Just drink a green juice. That’s it. You can have one or several throughout the day. Believe me, if your body isn’t used to drinking your greens (or even eating a lot of veggies in general) it will respond very quickly to just one fresh juice and those toxins will be flushed away in no time!
The best times of year for me to do a juice fast are:
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas
After Christmas or I’ll wait a few days and kick off my New Year with one
After my birthday (We all like to indulge ourselves on our special day, right?)
Sometimes I’ll do one in between, but not often
Like I said before, there are no real “rules” to juicing, but I can offer a few tips:
1. Choose FRESH juice. Either go to a juice bar or buy yourself a juicer (this Hamilton Beach Big Mouth juicer is under $60) try and opt for the fresh over the kind you can grab in a bottle. They’re highly processed, filled with sugar (and processed sugar is part of what you’re trying to eliminate from your body) and they’re filled with preservatives.
2. Don’t mix fruit and veggie juice. It’s okay if you’re starting out to add a little apple to make the juice taste better, but if you’re doing a long term fast this can have some negative effects on your tummy. Some fruits are less alkaline than others and if you have an empty stomach those more acidic fruits can lead to heartburn. On a side note, I did add lots of these mixed juices to my list of recipes for those who are just starting out, plus some of them are too good to resist.
3. Drink the juice right away. Once it hits the air your juice will start to oxidize. It’s okay to let it sit for a few hours, but not too long because it just won’t be any good.
Want your juice to last a little longer? Try Honeysuckle or lime. Both are natural preservatives and will help extend your drink’s life for a few more hours (maybe even longer, though I’ve never pushed it).
Now onto the best part: RECIPES!
(You can determine your own ratio based on the tastes prefer)
My all time favorite juice is from Beets Café, here in Austin, TX.
Ginger (fresh ginger is very strong, so use sparingly)
Granny Smith Apple
Spinach or Kale (you can always opt for both)
GLOWING MORNING JUICE FOR ENERGY
THE ORIGNIAL V8 JUICE
My Fav Combo
I call this my Compost Juice because it’s basically all my leftover veggies from the week before. I just toss ‘em all in and drink ‘em down! If the mixture of your particular veggies just doesn’t sound appetizing, throw in an apple to soften the blow.