Have you ever watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead? If you haven’t, you should! It’s an inspiring real story about this Australian guy who gets tired of…well, being fat, sick, and nearly dead! He also suffers from an autoimmune disease and is on tons of medication as a result. So he decides to do something drastic to try to heal his body and lose weight: He stops eating and drinks nothing but freshly squeezed juices and water for 60 days! The results are pretty incredible.
Anyway, that documentary was probably my first “real” introduction to juice fasting. It made sense to me that juicing would be good for you; I just never realized to what extent. Or that you really can juice far more fruits and vegetables than you could ever physically eat.
I didn’t really put everything together until I began my own juicing. It all started with a “Get Fit, Get Healthy” competition at my husband’s work. The funny thing was, he didn’t even plan to participate at first. You see, the main focus of this competition was to lose weight. And Caleb doesn’t have any to lose! But then one of the teams needed another person in order to compete. So he agreed.
Now, one way to get points in the competition was to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. In order to accomplish this, Caleb decided to borrow his mom’s juicer for the competition and start juicing. I’d never done much juicing before, so this was all a fun experiment for me. We started drinking fresh fruit juice nearly every morning with breakfast, and experimented in the afternoons or evenings with different fruit and veggie combinations.
Oh my! It was so good, I didn’t want to buy orange juice from the store anymore. Especially when we had those organic oranges. Best juice I’ve ever tasted! We tried apples, oranges, grapes, pears, kiwis, strawberries, pineapples, and mangoes. Pineapple juice is probably our favorite. I did not know that it took a whole pineapple to make about 16 ounces of juice.
Oh, and then there were the veggies . . . Let me tell you about the carrots first. I was amazed at how many it took to make a cup of juice – about 10 medium to large size carrots, or about a pound. We found that several carrots and an apple went great together, but we needed to add some variety to our veggie mix.
Here’s what we discovered:
After the contest (and our slight obsession with our new toy) ended, juicing slowed down for a bit. That is, until we got sick – just before flu season ended. I had been learning that juice fasting isn’t only for people who need to lose weight or get rid of a debilitating illness. It seems it’s a good idea anytime there is anything wrong with your body. Because juice is already broken down, it doesn’t require a lot of digestion. Rather, it assimilates quickly into the bloodstream and allows the body to focus on getting well. We also ate a few soups and salads. Between juicing and taking a bunch of herbs, we knocked the flu, or whatever it was, completely out of our systems in a matter of a few days.
Pretty incredible, huh? We thought so, too.
That brings us up to today. As I’m typing this, I’m on day 3 of a juice fast. Why? Well, there is a third reason for juicing, and that is to detox. In my series on reading labels, I’ve been talking about how there are many different toxins we may encounter in our food supply. Besides avoiding harmful chemicals when we can, we can also help our body filter those toxins by giving it a break for a certain period of time. Now, I’m definitely not saying you should starve yourself! I’m just saying that juice fasting is a good way to give your body the nutrients it needs while allowing it to do some deeper cleaning up.
Anyway, more on detoxing and my adventure with that later. For now, if you’ve never tried juicing and don’t have a juicer, I would encourage you to buy a manual juicer and start experimenting with some citrus. I got mine from Walmart for only $4. Then, if you want a powerful electric juicer, this Jack Lelanne juicer we’ve been using works great.
Well, like I said, I’m in the middle of a juice fast and I’m getting hungry again. I find I need to eat, er, drink every 2-3 hours. Time for some more juice!
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