Friday, May 24, 2013

My Juice Fast

I never thought I could do this, as I love food so much! The other night, my friend Robert suggested we do a 3-day juice cleanse together. I thought about my recent food choices, I've been eating less and less meat and dairy, trying to cut out (or not depend so much on wheat), so it made sense to do this now and give my 40+ year old body a break! I looked up all the things that might improve going on a liquid veggie diet: aside from weight loss, immunity boost, healthy skin, better sleep, loss of joint aches and pains, clearer eyesight... the list goes on and on. That all sounds perfect, so why not give it a try? I have my trusty juicer from my Hong Kong days, let's do it!

Advice from friends, MindBodyGreenand other online resources 

  • Plan a time when you're not so busy (and obviously don't have any dinner dates or parties to go to!) 
  • A few days in advance, start cutting out meat, dairy, grains, caffeine, sugar and definitely processed foods from your meals. 
  • Keep your schedule light those days because your energy dips.
  • Yoga, scrubs, colonics, all these to help release the toxins that have accumulated in your body.
  • Drink lots of water, get plenty of sunshine and some light exercise.
  • Don't cook your favorite foods, or at all, if you can help it!
  • Sleep early (not longer than 2 hours after your last juice)
  • Eat raw fruits and vegetables, only small meals. Have a juice or two in between.

I supplemented some of my
meals with this awesome, local 
NYC brand. She has some
great flavor blends!
There are plenty of juice cleanse programs available nowadays, but I knew I would be making them myself (I am always making something!), and perhaps supplementing with a few of the store-bought ones. It takes a little time to prepare all the ingredients, and my juicer is a pain to clean, so I took an hour each day to prepare the day's worth of juice (cleaning, peeling and chopping in advance helps too). They say that it's best to drink the juice within a few hours of making it to get the full nutrients, but I couldn't go making juice every two hours, or nothing else would get done! I think it really helped seeing all the ingredients that went into each 16oz of liquid goodness. All the vegetable fiber is discarded, so in order to get enough, I blended half an avocado to my dinner juice and added chia seeds to my snack juice each day.

Joe Cross reboot has many ideas, plus tons of juicing recipes (watch his movie "Sick, Fat & Nearly Dead"). Here is his handy fruit and vegetable preparation guide. I loosely followed his daily schedule (see below) I didn't make any his "Purple" juice suggestions, but opted for a nut milk smoothie instead. His site also has recommendations for kids' juices. My kids love to make their own blended fruit concoctions, but also try some of my juices. It's great for us all!

Wake up: Drink two glasses of hot water (with lemon and/or ginger) 
Breakfast: a Red or Orange juice
Mid-Morning: 16oz unflavored coconut water
Lunch: a Green juice
Afternoon Snack: a Red or Green juice
Dinner: a Green juice
Dessert: a Purple or Orange juice
Bedtime: a herbal or detox tea

Throughout the day: Drink lots of water
(Basically, you're drinking 6 x 16oz juices, 2 hours a day, plus water in between)

All organic, if possible. You're only feeding yourself this for three days, and cleansing your body, so why use ingredients with pesticides and chemicals?

  • 2 bunches kale
  • 1 romaine lettuce
  • 1 bunch of spinach (I could only find organic baby leaves)
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • 6 cucumbers
  • 3 bags of carrots
  • 3 beets (with leaves)
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 stem fresh ginger root
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 3 pears or apples
  • 3 oranges
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 mango
  • 1 lime
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1 small watermelon
  • Coconut water, Harmless Harvest is the best, aside from a fresh young coconut sitting on a beach in Thailand!
  • Chia seeds, for protein, omega-3, fiber, minerals and anti-oxidants. Add a tablespoonful to one of your juices or nut milk
  • Raw organic almonds (or cashew nuts), so you can make your own nut milk! Trust me, it's the simplest and most impressive thing I've ever made! (recipe below)

I also had some brussels sprouts, cilantro/coriander, asparagus, pineapple and a strawberry in the house so I used them too. That's it! 

I also loved the flexibility of juicing. The main thing to each juice is that it should be more than half vegetable/leafy greens (the rest fruit, something with 90% juice/water content, like cucumber). Juicing from scratch also allows you to make it to your own tastes. I always add about 10% fruit so it's slightly sweeter (and more bearable) than most store-bought green juices. DON'T drink pure beet juice and beet greens juice, as it may temporarily paralyze your vocal chords and other side effects. Here are some of my favorite juice recipes derived from a variety of sources: The watermelon, basil and lime (RED) was refreshing, but I don't have a photo, sorry!

Beetroot, carrot, celery, lemon, orange, gingerroot, basil (RED)
Romaine, pear, lemon, ginger root, carrots, golden beets (ORANGE)
Beetroot, gingerroot, oranges, carrots, sweet potato (RED) 
Tomatoes, celery, spinach, cucumber, basil – it's gazpacho! (RED)
Kale, cucumber, celery, pear, lemon, ginger root (GREEN)
Spinach, romaine, cilantro, blueberries, blend w 1/2 avocado (GREEN)

Kale, cucumber, lime, brussels sprouts, green leaf lettuce, basil (GREEN)

Kale, romaine, mango, pineapple (GREEN)

Fresh almond or cashew milk
+ fresh berries, banana, spinach (PURPLE)

1/2 cup organic raw almonds, cover with ample filtered water for at least 8 hours or up to 48 hours. Drain and rinse. Blend with 1 1/2 cups filtered water (in a blender or handheld blender). Strain and squeeze out the milk. You should also use a cheesecloth to squeeze as much out as possible (but I don't have one). And that's IT! Blend with 3 pitted dates and 1/2 tsp cinnamon, for sweetness and flavor. And the leftovers? It's almond meal!!! Dry in the oven at 325°F for 20 minutes. This is my first attempt, so I haven't tried baking with this yet. Some websites say you can soak it for only 8 hours. And you can also do the same with cashews and pistachios (sounds yummy).

Mix it up! A little bit of fiber

and even using a spoon and bowl,

helped me through the day.

And, I'm not sure what all the
stringent juice fast programs say,
but freeze some of your juices
to make ice pops/popsicles.
Then you have something to bite into!


Some friends say that the first day is the toughest, others say the third day is. Overall I thought it was all OK, although I'm definitely not used to drinking all day long. It's important to drink lots of water, because, believe it or not, you can still get dehydrated despite your juice intake. I found 5-6pm the toughest, the time when I usually snack a little while cooking. But when sitting down to eat dinner, I used a bowl and a spoon, and ate a lovely, raw, chilled soup, it was all fine. I wasn't crazy hungry, because as you can see from the photos, imagine eating 6 massive salads a day, I couldn't do it. Extract most of the good-ness out of it, and there's what you need! Make sure to integrate a little bit of protein and fiber to keep you going.

It's not for everybody, (especially if you are addicted to caffeine) and not always easy, I found my physical energy levels were low, especially when I went out for a short bike ride on the second day. My tongue also got a dry white coating, apparently it's all the toxins coming out. If this happens to you, use a tongue scraper after brushing your teeth, or try the Ayurvedic method of oil pulling to clean out your mouth. Overall, my skin feels good, I'm not so achy, and I have a slightly renewed sense of clarity. I could continue with this juice fast for maybe another day or two, but I would rather just incorporate juicing into my daily routine. I didn't miss the meat, dairy, coffee, or bread, but I did miss eating dinner! From making most of my 3-day regime, preparing for it and "coming down" from it has helped me with making more healthy choices. I'm glad I did it, and feel good for it.


  1. Please share any juicing recipes that you love. I'm just make things up and sometimes it's good and sometimes it's gross. I really like things that are green, not too sweet. I think one of my favorite combinations is kale, green apples and lemon or lime. I'm sure I'm missing an ingredient. I also love carrot & ginger.

    1. My favorites were the green was the one with mango and pineapple, and the top one. Lemon and also basil also help with flavors.

    2. I finally bought pineapple and mango. It tastes pretty good but I didn't have romaine and I was adventurous and added a celery. Probably would've been better without the celery. I need to work on consistency though. I always tend to make it too thick.

    3. I heard if the consistency is too thick, just add water to thin it out. Try the nut milk sometime.

    4. I need to go to the store for some Almond milk. I just added a little more soy milk and some ice. Definitely tastes much better. Very refreshing. Thanks.

    5. No, no, I mean making the almond milk from scratch. Try it sometime. So easy, and very impressive.

    6. Really…I saw the photo and immediately thought, I'll never do this. I'll look into it! I have plenty of raw almonds in the pantry.

    7. It literally takes a minute to make.


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