T-minus 1-day

We have one day until our ny2 begins and let me tell you, I have been preparing.  Not in the sense of making shopping lists and meal plans for each day but more in the format of eating-everything-I-possibly-can.  Otherwise known as having no self control.  I'm certain this will make my venture towards better health increasingly more difficult but I'm telling you, those gluten free donuts were worth it.  

Tomorrow is two things: prep day for the increased amount of work required to get the nutrients you need and also the last day you can eat terrible, bad, unhealthy things.  Not that I am promoting your doing so, because I'm not, and I most certain did not eat (GF) pizza tonight.  Getting back on topic, tomorrow, you'll want to have food available so you're able to hit the ground running.  Below is a list of necessities.  Feel free to expand from there. Again, during this time, everything must be organic.

General Info:

1. Juice base: This gives the bulk of the water content and make up a large portion of the juice itself.
Buy plenty of these products, they will go fast and you will need more than you anticipate. 
    - Good examples are cucumber, romaine lettuce, and celery.

2. Nutrient dense foods:  These are the foods that potently affect your body.  
A variety of these are ideal and this list is by no means, all inclusive.  If it looks good, (and of       course has a low sugar content) juice away!
    - Examples of these are kale,  spinach (I use baby), collard greens, swiss chard, bell peppers of all colors, tomatoes, zucchini/squash, and sprouts of all types.  Use as much of these as you can handle, taste-wise.  Spinach is very mild in taste and you can use a significant amount before it dominates the taste. 

    - If you struggle with a chronic inflammatory condition of some form, use fresh turmeric and ginger consistently. 

3. The taste factor: What makes your juice delicious. (I mean that, I love my juice!)
    -This is what will add sweet or spice to your juice, altering the taste and making it (more) tasty. 
    -These are used in moderation. For example, I only use about 1/2 of a green apple for 2-3 people per (large) serving of juice.  
    -These include green apples, lemon, sweet potatoes, ginger. I think an occasional 1/2 orange is fine as well. Jalapenos can keep things interesting if you begin to bored. 

Tips and Tidbits:

 Juicing can loosen up toxins that may have lied dormant in fat cells for years.  While this is good for your body, it's also important that your body has the ability to mobilize these toxins and flush them out.  Drink water and drink plenty.  Try to keep this separate from your "meal time," allowing the nutrients from the juice to be potently available for absorption. 

Juice fresh.  Unless you have a masticating juicer you need to be juicing for each meal.  Obviously this is more complex for those of you who will be working during the fast.  Juicing during lunch at the office is (semi) impossible.  Can you imagine the memo's you'd be getting??? In those cases I suggest picking up a cold-pressed juice from a local distributor or worse case scenario, you miss out on some the nutrients during lunch and drink one from a centrifugal juicer that you had made that morning. Worse things have happened. 

Ultimately, don't stress yourself out trying to determine the hard, fast rules of juicing. Relax and think of it as more of an art with one underlying component: what is the most amount of nutrients that I can pack into this juice I'm about to drink.  When I started juicing years ago, I began with quite a simple recipe and added from there. It was this one from Joe Cross:

For links to some more tasty juicing recipes, head over to my Pinterest account by clicking the link at the very bottom of this page.

Please feel free to share any insights, questions or comments you come across on your juice journey.

Most importantly-you CAN do this. 


Juicing Homework

I hope your holidays went well and you thoroughly enjoyed a few goodies.  I know I did! A few too many, or at least enough to make me ready to begin our challenge. The big start date is coming.. While I'm putting details together for you all, I thought it prudent to give you a bit of work too.  To better familiarize yourselves with juicing in general, I'd like you to watch the film "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead." This will give you quite a bit of information into juicing as a whole, without you reading through 14 pages of text. I film is available for rent/streaming on Hulu, Netflix and Amazon.  Below you will also find a link to the website.



*As the start date is approaching, if you have any medical problems please be sure to check in with your doctor and let him/her know your plans.  If you are pregnant or nursing, please skip the (juice) fasting portion of the program. 

Juicing Basics

The first phase of the New Year-New You program, let's just call it NY2 for simplicity sake, consists of a 3 day juice fast.  I know, I know, you're afraid.  I am too-but we can do this.  Half the battle is the preparation and the foreknowledge of what we are getting in to.  I have done this juice fast in the past. It. Was. Hard.  Let me be upfront with you, the worst part of the fasting portion is the caffeine withdrawals.. Words simply cannot prepare you for this if you are a caffeine addict like myself (I know, shame on me).  But I will say, I did experience quite painful electric shock type pain that would fire off from my neck into my jaw for 2 days.  I swore I would never become addicted to caffeine again, and well, here I am, back at square one.  Was it worth it?  Of course, I'm back for another round.

So juicing basics.  To start, let's discuss what the needs will be.  

1. The Juicer:  To get the juice you either need to purchase a juicer or obtain the juice locally-likely almost daily-as it must be extremely fresh to carry the potency worth being hungry for 3 days straight.  To purchase there are two major options, centrifugal and masticating. Centrifugal juicers run around $100 and masticating a usually $250 and up.  The reason the latter is more costly and better is because it does not heat the juice while juicing, preserving more nutrients and allowing you to juice extra and store it for a day or two.  Centrifugal must be juiced fresh for each meal. Read up on the comparison if so desired.  Basically, if you want to make juicing a lasting part of your life and can afford it, the masticating juicer is worth the investment.  If you are planning to buy juices locally, research local places in advance and be sure they are "cold-pressed." 

2.  How to make it: There are some general guidelines for juicing and from there you just wing it.  Each juice must have the following:  -a base juice: something to give it the water content. For this I use cucumbers, celery, and romaine lettuce.  -dark green leafy vegetables: spinach (quite a lot of this can be used and still taste great), kale, Swiss chard, and really any other fresh green that is in season (these have more potent flavors, so use less).  -a dash of pleasant flavor: this is what will make actually (over time) enjoy your green juice.  My favorites for this are a 1/3-1/2 of a green apple or a half of a lemon (both per person), or even both together.  Really anything that will add a dash of sweetness but has low sugar content.  Green apples fit this description perfectly. 

3. Side notes: I know what you're thinking and the answer is yes, you must buy organic for this portion.  At least for the majority of ingredients.  Part of the reason juice fasting is so beneficial is that the nutrients are so easily absorbed because there is no fiber or roughage blocking the absorption process.  Unfortunately, this also facilitates the unobstructed absorption of pesticides and chemicals from non-organic foods into our bodies.  This can, at times, make things a little tricky.  Cucumbers for example, can be more challenging to find organic yet at the same time are one of the most pesticide and toxin-heavy vegetables.  At times buying non-organic is inevitable.  In these cases, be sure to look into The Dirty Dozen and download there app for grocery store trips.  

I think that about covers the basics needed for planning. Check back for recipes and grocery store lists.  I am excited to share this journey with each of you.  Please feel free to post any questions below.