6 Nov 2011
Taking on a 7 Day Juice Fast
by Moira Nordholt
A Seven Day Juice Fast Blog with the Feel Good Guru Moira Nordholt.
For this juice fast Moira uses the Healthy Juicer electric
and manual juicers available at 877MYJUICER.
Day 1: Pre-Holiday Juice Feast
What would you give to gain a major energy boost, lose those dark circles under your eyes, sleep through the night like a baby, feel lighter and brighter, and have your friends and family tell you you're looking like you've been on a long vacation? What if I told you you could have all that within a week of juicing? Would you be willing to give it a try?
One week out of your life is not a lot, but the benefits of a juice fast/feast can be enormous. If you're feeling a little sluggish, or you've been wanting to jump start a healthier diet, a short 7-day cleanse can be just the ticket to get you focused on a path to a cleaner, greener, leaner lifestyle.
If you can get through the first 3 days, I guarantee that by day 7 you'll be feeling miraculous.
Fall is a great time to re-set our bodies after many indulgences of summer and before the indulgences of the holiday season begin. A lot of people give themselves a juice feast or cleanse quarterly, with the change of each season. It's been my routine of the last several years to take three weeks each new season and commit to eating very cleanly, often with a 7-day juice fast in the middle. The more often I do this, the more in tune I am with my body, and as a wonderful and unexpected side benefit, other aspects of my life begin to experience subtle and profound shifts.
Our bodies want naturally to heal themselves. Sleep, exercise and a clean green diet all support our natural healing mechanisms. The problem with most of our diets in North America is that we're consuming way too many highly processed foods, which take an enormous amount of energy to digest and often leave toxic waste in our organs and tissues. Most stuff that comes in a box, plastic container or can, by the time it gets to our plates, is devoid of nutrients and vital life force, and can barely be considered "food."
A juice fast, even for a 24-hour period, is a way of filling our bodies with pure energy, giving our digestive organs a rest, allowing our bodies to absorb essential nutrients very efficiently, and giving our system an opportunity to flush away toxins. Think of it as a major sweeping away of the cobwebs and airing out your temple.
Once we're beyond the coffee withdrawl headaches of days 1-3, people often experience a sense of lightness, clarity, better sleeps, and newfound energy and focus. Many people find that symptoms of other dis-eases start to lessen or even disappear. Most of us will lose a few pounds, naturally.
There are no rules in a juice fast except to NEVER starve yourself. Listen to your body.When you're hungry, make yourself a juice, or make plenty at the beginning of the day to get you through the day. Organic fruits and veggies should be used without exception. If possible, go shopping at your local farmers' market and stock up on loads of beets, carrots, celery, cucumbers, greens of all kinds, including kale, spinach, chard, beet greens, parsley, mint, apples, pears, and any other fruits that are in season.
You can continue with your usual routine, and should find that after a few days you have more energy than usual. You can look forward to sleeping well and waking up feeling fresh and ready to take on the world!
So find a week on your calendar that’s not peppered with cocktail parties, get mentally prepared, savour your last glass of wine or cup of coffee, dust off your juicers, head to your local market and treat yourself to a week of awesome self care!
You can start whenever you feel ready, jump in even for a day or two and see how you feel... I’m starting tomorrow, so off I go to the market;)
My hope is that I can inspire you to find your own flow. If you have any questions or discover a really tasty juice recipe, I’d love to hear from you here in the comments. May the force be with you!
**if you are taking medication, we suggest you consult with your physician before embarking on a juice fast.
Day 2: Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
While you’re contemplating joining in on our juice feast and cleaning out your fridges to make room for all that gorgeous market produce, I want to share a great documentary that’s guaranteed to help get you inspired.
I got a ton of incentive last night in the form of a fabulous flick called "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" which follows a very likeable Aussie who had his priorities all screwed up.
Joe Cross, a successful securities trader, had been taking care of his wealth and neglecting his health. Over the years he had ballooned to over 300 pounds and acquired an aggravating immune disease that caused his entire body to break out in hives at any time.
He travels to America and embarks on a 60-day juice fast and it's astonishing to see what happens along the way. Besides losing over 100 pounds and getting himself off all his medication, Joe comes to understand much more about his lifestyle choices and what got him to where he was.
I can't recommend this doc highly enough if you're looking to make some major dietary changes and just need that kick in the pants, or even if you're just using these 7 days to jump-start some healthier habits.
After watching the film, you'll be armed with undeniable facts about food and our health, you'll have more compassion for your body, and you may even start crusading like Phil the 400 pound trucker did when he lost 6 bowling balls of weight by juicing, inspired by Joe.
Here's the link: http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com
You can rent it on iTunes. You'll find recipes and support there as well. He's inspired thousands, and an entire movement has sprung up around Joe.
Here's a short list of great juicing foods and their medicinal benefits:
beets: powerful blood purifiers and liver cleansers
carrots: loaded in vitamins, support digestion, energizer
apples: good antivirals and out in abundance right now
ginger: anti-inflammatory, gives warmth, helps lower cholesterol
parsley: loaded in vitamins - c in particular, and good for the bladder. diuretic.
garlic: strong immune enhancer and blood cleanser. anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-parasite
celery: calming. good for heart and nerves. great for increasing body's alkalinity
dark greens: alkaline, rich in chlorophyl, blood cleansing
turnips: good for helping to clean out the lungs
And for all-you-can-drink info about juicing, this guy's your man:
He may not have gotten those pearly whites from spinach juice, but he sure looks good at 88;)
May the force be with you!
Welcome to Day 1!!
This is about $80 worth of mostly local, all organic produce – enough for about 3 quarts of juice per day for 3-4 days, depending on the type of juicer you have.
If you haven't had a chance yet to do your shopping, this will give you a good idea of what's in season and what you will find if you venture out to the farmers' markets now. Basically, you can't go wrong. Just get lots of colors and as much organic as possible.
If for some reason you’re unable to find certain things organic, here is the Environmental Working Group’s list of top 12 contaminated fruits and veggies – or the “Dirty Dozen.” Note apples, pears, celery and spinach, all great juicing plants, are on the list.
Here's my autumn juice fast shopping list:
4 stalks celery
3 bunches carrots
3 bunches beets
4 pounds of liberty apples
2 pounds of pears
2 bunches of parsley
2 bunches of spinach
4 bunches white russian kale
4 bunches of rainbow chard
2 japanese turnips
1 large fresh ginger root
Three quarts per day of juice, with water in between will be more than enough to satisfy most people, but if you're doing something that requires a lot of extra energy, simply make more. This morning I made 1 full mason jar of "Rise & Shine" for breakfast, and for lunch, my fave - the "Energizer." For dinner, I'll do "Green Gorilla." All my days ahead will be slightly varied versions of those juices.
Here are a couple of little kitchen tricks to help keep it all easy-shmeasy:
Enjoy day 1! Take it easy, drink lots of water between juices, go to bed early. If you’re feeling chilled and just need something warm in your belly, have an unsweetened herbal tea. If you really need something more substantial than juice, make yourself a simple broth with warm water and a tablespoon of mild miso with some chopped green onions and crumbled nori.
The first 3 days are the most challenging as you get into your routine of juicing and suffer through coffee withdrawl. Once you’re in day 4, you’ll be feeling so good you won’t want this to end. You just have to take my word for it;)
May the force be with you~
Juicer recipes are impossible to mess up. Grab some fruits and veggies and put 'em in. Taste. If you like it a little sweeter, add an apple or a pear. Here are my most-frequently-juiced faves, all of which have endless variations.
Rise & Shine
1 medium beet
1" piece of fresh ginger root
1 bunch of kale or spinach
2 celery stalks
Treat Yourself Nice (blog #4)
When you're consuming nothing but juice for several days, rather than thinking about all the things you can't have, rather than feeling utterly deprived, sip your delicious concoctions from a wine glass and you'll be amazed how it instantly feels special.
How are you feeling? Would love to have your feedback if you’re following along!
Halfway into day 2, I'm over the mild coffee headache of last night. I slept well, and woke up earlier than usual this morning.
When your body isn't using all that energy to digest, imagine how much energy is freed for you to divert to other aspects of your life. I'm finally getting around to painting under my kitchen sink. Lol
Here’s one of my fave juices on vid:
May the force be with you!
A couple more recipes:
2 medium beets
1 clove garlic
4 stalks celery
small handful parsley
1 inch piece of ginger root
Almost Half-Way! (blog #5)
Day 3 and it's starting to feel really good having these colors in my body!
How are you doing? Goes fast, doesn't it?
I woke up earlier this morning than I have in ages, fresh, rested and ready to take on a day in the kitchen.
Today's a challenge because I'm cooking for a party, then attending. I'll have to taste the food before it goes out the door, so a tiny cheat day, but the real challenge will be at the party where people will be eating and drinking wine. If you've ever been the only non-drinker at a party, you know how alienating it can feel.
This is why people go on retreat when they're committed to detoxing. Being away from friends and family and familiar routines removes some of those everyday challenges we all face. It's always easiest to do a fast when your social calendar is clear.
With weekends and parties, brunches and social gatherings potentially unavoidable, just keep in mind how good you'll feel in just a few days if you can make it over these hurdles without breaking your fast.
Whatever challenges you're facing, listen to your body's wisdom. It will be starting to speak to you more clearly!
May the force be with you!
1 lemon or lime
1 large beet
3 celery stalks
1 garlic clove
3 kale leaves
Carrot Mango Tango
Hump Day! (blog #6)
Woo hoo! We’ve made it to mid-way and we’re now surfing down the back 3.5! How are you doing? I trust that by now all coffee headaches have passed, and perhaps you’re discovering new tastebuds or feeling ribs that’ve been hiding under fleshy flesh since college…
My catering day was challenging, but I managed to cling to the green juice and stay on track despite being around a lot of food and wine. I almost went to a big food festival in the forest, but decided that would be just too damn tempting with 100 Toronto chefs preparing a gourmet feast from local farm produce!
If you are finding it difficult to stay on track, just do what you can. There are no rules. Listen to your own body and don't feel guilty. If you fall off the juicing bandwagon for a day, there's no reason you can't simply jump back on the next day. One day of juicing can be really beneficial.
Have you tried talking "fasting" with your friends? You may find you inspire them. So many clients have told me that right around now, days 4, 5 or 6, their friends start asking them what’s different. They can sense something’s up, but they’ll think you changed your hair color or got a new pair of jeans. What they’re really tuning in to is your new vitality – that healthy glow that comes from within.
Someone was telling me about a friend they've known for over 20 years who, as long as he's know him has religiously practised fasting one day/week. He said he looks healthy and vital in his 70's. Who doesn't want to be juicy well through their 70's, 80's, 90's and beyond? I believe it's possible and entirely up to ourselves.
Talking cleanses and fasts with friends can also be hilarious.
Inevitably, fasting friends want to talk “poop.” Send ‘em to Dr. Oz’s really awesome Poop Primer.