Hello, my much-neglected blog! It feels so great to be back in the blogosphere! I know, I know. I have said this before. And I have no excuse for my long absence except the fact that I had a busy patch in May that kept me away from my computer, after which I discovered that the longer you put something off, the harder it is to restart.
Anyway, I’m back now. I am super excited that summer is here, because it means plenty of fun summer parties (and plenty of room for creative cookery!). I now also finally own a nice SLR for taking yummy pictures, and I am working on an exciting face lift for this blog…so there are definitely a few exciting things to come.
In the meantime, I wanted to share with you my recent experience with juice fasts. It seems that somewhere between all the travel and eating out that I have done over the past few months (tough life), my body decided to go on strike. My indulgence and utter lack of routine are now being punished with chronic fatigue and unexplained stomach and headaches. Given how often I get sick and the pill-popping that requires, I thought it best to avoid any medication unless absolutely necessary, which got me researching home remedies for these problems. One of the suggestions that I found was to do a detox. It turns out that my fatigue, headaches, digestive problems, chronic dark circles under my eyes even after a good night’s sleep, and skin that just won’t cooperate despite my intricate daily skincare routine, are all symptoms that could be explained by the fact that my body is very possibly not detoxifying itself very well on its own.
After reading about several different types of detox programs, I decided to go with a juice fast. This basically means consuming nothing but freshly-squeezed juices of fruits and veggies for a period of anywhere between 2-7 days. The science behind this is that by juicing a fruit or vegetable, you are getting rid of all the fiber (ie- the “solids” and extracting only the water content, nutrients, vitamins and enzymes. This “liquid diet” provides your body with highly accessible nutrition, and gives it a short break from digesting solid food. And since it turns out that the human body spends an average of 70% of its daily energy digesting the food we eat (think about it…3 meals, several snacks, maybe a drink or two in the evening), freeing up a large chunk of this energy gives your body more “capacity” to focus on other activities, such as cell renewal and deep detoxification. Think of it as a “spring cleaning.”
This liquid detox idea is nothing new. We’ve all heard of the “Master Cleanse,” which instructs you to consume only lemon juice mixed with water, grade B maple syrup, and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper for several days. For a brief history of juice fasts, find here a NYT article about it. The relative newcomer into the liquid diet arena is the now-famous drink known as “green juice,” made of many different permutations of green fruit and vegetable combinations.The idea is that green produce contains the chemical chlorophyll, which is an alkaline substance that helps neutralize the body’s internal pH against acidic waste material. Clever huh? The best-known commerical juice fast program is probably BluePrintCleanse, which comes in three tiers of difficulty, and if you live in the US, you can sign up for it and have fresh juices delivered right to your doorstep for 5-6 days. There are also others, such as the Organic Avenue popularized by Gwyneth Paltrow, which is only available in the New York area. I myself don’t have access to any of these services, but it turns out that making my own green juice is much easier -and tastier!- than I thought.
Since beach and wedding season is upon us, this is a great way to kick-start your way to a healthier body inside and out (I know, I sound like a commercial), and even lose a few pounds in the process. Today is Day3 for me, and I’m pleasantly surprised to say that I do not feel excessively hungry or tired. Just be careful not to do it for too long, as excessive dieting and chronic low calorie intake can really damage your metabolism! To find out if you fit the “detox profile,” take this quiz here.
Here is my green juice recipe, but feel free to experiment with your own combo of green produce.You definitely need a proper juicer for this, as drinkingjuice is not the same as eating pureed produce baby-style. I use a Kenwood centrifugal juicer, see here. Just toss everything into your juicer and let it do the work!
You will need:
- 3 romaine leaves
- 3 kale leaves
- 1 large cucumber or 2 medium
- 5 ribs celery
- 5 ribs parsley
- 2 bunches (handfuls) rocket leaves – spinach also works
- 1 bunch fresh mint leaves
- 2 Granny Smith apples
- lemon juice to taste
- salt to taste
In good health,