Sunday, June 28, 2009

Juice Feasting...A Primer

My stepfather's family has a nice garden out in Rio Linda and they were nice enough to send me 2 huge boxes of fresh picked organic produce! It's moments like this when everything just seems to come together so easily, and you can really imagine a world in a higher density.

So, with these goodies and my stock of peaches and cherries from my Dad's backyard, and a watermelon from the store, I am having a Jack LaLanne juice feast spectacular!

Juice feasting is basically juice fasting, but we add the "e" because there's absolutely no feeling of deprivation or weakness with this type of fast. You simply juice raw fruits and vegetable to your heart's content. If you google "juice feasting" you'll so many pages with tons of wonderful information about this practice, but I'm going to keep things real here and tell you that there aren't a whole lot of ways you can screw this up.

Pick a day. Or several days. Most likely weekends or vacation days, depending on your current state of health. The point of juice feasting is to cleanse your body by filling it with super huge levels of nutrients and enzymes and at the same time removing all digestible fiber, so your body has to do very little work in order to assimilate these nutrients. The result? Well, your body has all kinds of time free, time it would normally be using to digest all that crap you toss into it. Your body LOVES free time, and will use it to do a little spring cleaning.

Now, how much cleaning will occur? This depends on two things. Firstly, how long you do your juice feast. And secondly, how mean you are to your body. Yes, now the tables have turned, and it will no doubt be your body's pleasure to give you a dose of your own medicine. Or doughnuts, pharmaceutical drugs, and alcohol. It's good to release these things, because your body needs help to do so. There is no evacuation system for unnatural chemicals, toxins, and additives. They just hang around in your body until you give it that extra push and a little time to heal itself. And your body totally deserves this.

The most appealing thing about juice feasting for me is that you don't go around like a zombie, turning grey and trying to eat tv commercials out of desperation for calories. Other cleanses require you to fast completely or only drink liquid concoctions that have little nutrition and no energy. Fresh juice is alive- it's everything your body wants and needs and yet nothing it doesn't.

So, now you wanna try, right? I'm happy to tell you that all you need are fresh fruits and vegetables and a nice, powerful juicer. I am using the Jack LaLanne Power Juicer because my grandma gave it to me, and free is free. Not that it's a bad machine, I just don't have a whole lot of experience buying juicers so I really can't recommend one. I personally have only used the Power Juicer but it works great, you don't have to peel anything, and get this: I totally just dump everything in with the skin and the pits and it grinds them right up! Even peach pits. I know. It ate up handfuls of un-pitted cherries no problem, although the sound makes my 7 month old boy cry. When it isn't chomping on fruit seeds, it's pretty quiet, or at least as quiet as you can ask of a giant spinning demolisher of food flesh.

You'll definitely want to pick your foods wisely. Don't try to juice things like bananas or dried fruit. Use your head. It's a juicer, pick juicy fruits. Some great things to try are apples, grapes, cherries, all berries, mangoes, watermelon, peaches, pears, honeydew, cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, get it?

Now veggies are different. You can juice pretty much all of these, but use a little more discrimination. Don't go for empty, white veggies like iceberg and potatoes. You want to get all the vitamins and minerals you can, and the only way to do that is to dig deep into the darkest greens you can lay your hands on. You will need less veggies than fruits, and by mixing and matching you can make juices that are packed with greens but still taste great. I'll be the first to admit that some greens just aren't that yummy. They can be bitter, spicy, and pretty near unpalatable. Those, however, are the greens you want for this endeavor. Choose dandelion greens, kale, swiss chard, collard, turnip greens, celery, cucumber, carrots, parsley, cilantro...

If you're unsure about your ability to mix things well, or are too afraid to experiment, go ahead and search around for some free juicer recipes. A lot of juicers even come with a recipe book. Consider adding healing elements like garlic and ginger for interesting flavor. The great thing about juice feasting is there really are no rules, no pills to swallow and no schedule to stick to. Just throw fruits and veggies in a juicer, drink up, and move on with your day. An airtight container will keep juices pretty fresh for drinking later in the day if you need to go to work, visits, appointments, etc., although drinking the juice immediately is ideal.

I've known people to do this for 30 days or more, and I also know people who do it for one day. A nice trend to start is to spend one weekend a month juice feasting, just to keep your body nice and clean. You wouldn't go too long without cleaning your outer body, right? And yet, some people never once clean the inside, even though that's the part that gets exposed to the worst of the worst. How many of you would run towards the nearest shower if someone dumped coffee or a fast food meal all over you? Now, how many of you would dash to clean up your insides if you got fast food all over in there? You say, "Yeah, well, it'll clean itself, won't it?" Well, if you didn't take a shower, would it clean itself? Maybe eventually, if you stood in the rain long enough. But most likely, it would just dry on your skin and clothes and start to mold and collect dirt. Ew. Don't assume that your body has a way to take care of everything. We have developed no natural defense against unnatural food, so if you're going to get it all over yourself, you should probably get a rinse out every now and then.

Plus, juice get you buzzed. How awesome is that?

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