Tag Archives: nutrients

10 Day Juice Fast/Cleanse

Juice fasting.

I know, when you hear the word “fasting” negative thoughts such as starvation and impossible come to mind. But I’m talking about a JUICE fast. Juice fasting is about obtaining optimal health, boosting nutrition, detoxing, increasing energy, clearing your mind, and freeing yourself of stress and toxins. Juice fasting rejuvenates your body from the inside out. It completely detoxifies your body at the cellular and metabolic level. Think about how many times you eat during a day (I’m typically snacking every 3 hours), now imagine how much energy and time your body utilizes to digest that food. When you give your digestive tract a rest by only consuming fresh fruit and vegetable juices packed with nutrients and live enzymes, your body has massive amounts of energy to focus on detoxifying and healing itself. The body has an innate ability to heal itself, we just have to allow it to do so. For those of you that may not know, a juice fast consists of drinking only fresh fruit and vegetable juices (notably green juices) and water for a set period of time (typically lasting 3-10 days, but many people have gone much longer).

Completing a juice cleanse will provide you with a wide array of health benefits, including:
-More energy
-Toxin removal
-Increases mental clarity
-Regulates digestive system
-Aids in Weight loss
-Improves sleep patterns
-Glowing complexion/clearer skin
-Stops food addictions and cravings
-Improves immune function

I am currently on day five of a ten day juice cleanse. I embarked on a juice fast over a year ago and feel it’s time to conquer another one. I did not blog about the first one so this time I figured I could give you guys some insight into my 10 day juice fast/cleanse. For me, juice fasting is about improving my mental, physical, and spiritual state. I am so passionate about incorporating fresh fruit and vegetable juices into your life. The rewards and benefits are undeniable. I drink at least one or two per day as it is so drinking only juice for 10 days actually excites me. I know it may seem like an impossible task to not chew anything for 10 days, but trust me you can do it! It is a difficult task, but a doable one.

The juice I made for the first few days:
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Here’s some insight into my fast thus far:

Day 1:

Today I was super stoked about starting the fast so it was easier than I thought. I have a cold press juicer and made enough juices to last me for the first three days which made it super convenient for me to grab a juice when I needed one. I’m drinking at least five- 16 oz. juices a day. Days 1-3 are typically the worst and hardest days of the fast. If you can get through those, the following days should get easier as your body welcomes the fast. I walked outside for an hour today. Mild exercise is okay, but anything too strenuous would be an overload. Walking outdoors is my  tranquil, spiritual, “me” time which I love and need. It allows me to reflect on things, clear my head, and focus on what is important. Overall, today was a great first day of fasting!

Day 2:

My energy level was a bit low today. I had a few headaches today, which is normal. Fatigue, irritability, insomnia, hunger pangs, and headaches are common in the first few days as the detoxification process begins and your body weans itself off food cravings and addictions. I craved food a few times throughout the day but drank tons of water anytime this occurred which helped! I did get a burst of energy late at night. Overall, I’d say today was a bit rough but not too horrible.

Day 3:

Today was much like day 2, still craved food a few times and had a headache at one point. My energy level seems to be higher today than it was yesterday. I have found that I have highs and lows when it comes to my energy level. Sometimes I feel run down and then there are times I will get random spurts of energy where I feel like Wonder Woman! I also felt a bit achy today.

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Day 4:

I didn’t really think about food at all today. I almost have the mentality of being “too good” for food which helps in this process haha. I went for a walk in the morning and at night and found my energy level was quite high today. The fast has definitely become much easier today. I feel like I’m on top of the world and am excited about completing the ten days (crazy, right?!)

Day 5:

The past two days I have woken up at 5am on the dot without an alarm aka my sleep patterns are starting to regulate themselves and I sleep like a baby at night. My skin is clearing up and I feel super light and full of energy. Added bonus, I’m down five pounds. I have noticed an increase in mental clarity as well. I’d say the hardest part thus far is the cold weather. I allow myself a hot non-caffeinated herbal tea from time to time (which is allowed on a fast) to warm me up. I am pumped to see where the next five days take me and feel so much better than I did before starting this fast. Don’t let me fool you though, it does take mad willpower to stick to this. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

Tips for Fasting/Cleansing:

-Drink at least 5 juices per day
-Drink TONS of water to help flush out toxins
-Experiment with juice recipes and find ones that you love. Creating a variety of tasty ones will make it much more appealing to drink.
-Don’t over exert yourself, especially the first few days when your energy level is low
-Know that symptoms of fatigue, irritability, headache, joint aches, hunger pangs, food cravings, and insomnia are normal during the first several days and should not be an excuse to give up.
-Drink non-caffeinated herbal teas from time to time to add some heat to your week
-Devote some time to yourself, whether it be through meditation, walking, prayer, etc.
-The first 3 days are rough…don’t let them get you down.
-Avoid watching TV- food commercials are torturous and hey, who needs TV anyways?!
-Get a juice fasting partner- It’s so much easier to complete with someone who is in the same boat as you and that provides encouragement.
-Make enough juices to last you several days for added convenience.
-If you need some juice recipes, I have lots on my blog!

I’ll keep you guys updated on my 10 day fast. I am most worried about Thanksgiving, Yes I will be that crazy girl juicing on Thanksgiving. I didn’t think that one through, but I know I can do it! If you have any questions about juice fasting, please feel free to ask!

**If you live in the Greenville, SC area and would like to order a cold-pressed juice cleanse, check out www.kukajuice.com

Have any of you completed a juice fast? What are your thoughts or experiences with juice fasting?

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7 Reasons to Eat and Love Pumpkin!

Pumpkins: they are not just for carving anymore! One of my favorite things about Fall is pumpkins.  I love decorating them, but eating them ranks pretty high on my list of fall musts. This is the time of year where you see pumpkin flavored things everywhere.  Let me give you some reasons why you should be eating this vibrant fruit.

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  1. High Fiber-Low Cal.  One cup of pumpkin has 5 grams of fiber and only 30 calories!  Thus, eating pumpkin will work wonders for your digestion while making you feel full faster. Studies also link diets high in dietary fiber to increased weight loss.
  2. Disease Fighting.  It’s rich orange color tells you that pumpkin is high in carotenoids.  Carotenoids are known to protect you from cancers, heart disease, lower your cholesterol, and even diminish signs of aging.
  3. Electrolytes.  Pumpkin actually contains more potassium than a banana  (560 mg compared to 420 mg). So, snacking on some pumpkin after a workout can be a great electrolyte booster!
  4. Vision Improver. Pumpkin contains large amounts of Vitamin A and Zeaxanthin which enhance your eye health. One serving of pumpkin will provide you with twice your daily needs for vitamin A.
  5. Mood Booster.  Pumpkin seeds contain high amounts of tryptophan, the amino acid necessary for serotonin production.  Thus, snacking on pumpkin seeds will keep you happy for the holidays.
  6. Immunity.  The large amounts of carotenoids, zinc, and vitamin C found in pumpkin will improve your immune system and reduce your chances of getting sick.
  7. Detox.   Pumpkins are natural diuretics, which aid in flushing out toxins from the body, keeping you feeling refreshed and snazzy.

Fun Fact of the day: Pumpkins were once used for removing freckles and curing snake bites. Hmm….

Try avoiding pumpkin sweets.  Pureed pumpkin can be added to almost any of your favorite recipes.  Try roasting pumpkin with some of your favorite vegetables, Add pumpkin cubes to soups and chili,  Toss pumpkin seeds into your salads, or even try pumpkin juice and smoothies!

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Fights diseases, aids in weight loss, and boosts mood? No wonder that pumpkin has a huge grin on its face!

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Green Juice of the Day

Today’s delicious green juice recipe is Spinach-Green Apple-Pear! Juice on! 🙂
-6 large handfuls organic spinach
-2 organic green apples
-1 organic pear

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Eat The Rainbow!

Here’s why you should EAT THE RAINBOW…

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Plant Strong- All Day Long

Always strive to make each meal plant-based.  This will ensure a nutrient rich menu which will promote optimal health! As I have said many times, strive to eat the rainbow so you are getting key antioxidants from each color group! As you can see, this spinach salad is packed with a wide array of nutrients. There’s spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, grapes, cantaloupe, pineapple, blueberries, and sliced raw almonds in this salad.  I like to put good fruits in my salad so I do not have to use salad dressing.

So remember…be PLANT STRONG ALL DAY LONG! Hope all of you are having a happy and healthy weekend!

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Fresh Squeezed OJ

To me, nothing tastes better than a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice on a hot day!  I bought this citrus juicer from Big Lots for only $15.00!  I’ve also seen some citrus juicers at TJ Maxx for a good deal.  Juicing oranges in a centrifugal juicer, such as the Breville, just doesn’t do the oranges justice (puts too much air into the juice).

How can oranges boost your health?

For starters, as we all know, oranges are packed with Vitamin C.  One orange gives you about 115% of your daily value of Vitamin C.  Vitamin C neutralizes free radicals in our bodies to help fight against aging,  inflammation. and disease.  Recent research from Italy proves that drinking a fresh glass of OJ trumps taking Vitamin C supplements any day.  A protective effect against free radical damage was shown when participants consumed fresh orange juice, while no protection was shown after taking vitamin C supplements alone.

Oranges are also high in flavanones, anthocyanins, and polyphenols.  One of its most valuable flavaones, herperidin, has been linked to lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol. A British study conveyed that drinking 1/2 a liter to a liter of fresh orange juice a day increases urinary pH, significantly reducing one’s risk of developing kidney stones and infections. Oranges have also been shown to prevent stomach ulcers and stomach cancer, protect respiratory health, protect against rheumatoid arthritis, and fight cancers.

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“LIKE” if you LOVE fresh squeezed orange juice as much as I do!  What are some creative ways you’ve used fresh OJ?

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Watermelon Juice

Craving a refreshing juice for the summer time?  Watermelon juice is the way to go!  You do not even need a juicer for this one!!  All you have to do is throw the watermelon into your blender and voila you have yourself a delicious drink!  I juiced half a watermelon which gave me a large pitcher of juice! This juice is super sweet so I like to dilute mine with water.  You can also mix it with other fresh juices such as orange, pineapple, or a little lime! Try adding watermelon juice to your green smoothies for an extra boost of flavor and sweetness!

What can watermelon do for you? For starters, watermelon is high in lycopene, which is beneficial for heart and bone health and has powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains large amounts of the amino acid citrulline, which is converted in our bodies to arginine.  Citrulline has been linked to cardiovascular benefits as well as minimizing adipogenesis (the creation of fat cells).  Go get your juice on!

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