Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 6: Sometimes the Supermarket Beckons

Sometimes life just hits you hard and taking a break from all your worries.... well, it sure would mean at least a little.

Catching up at work, and maintaining a very active (and hungry) family put me at Stage Tired, so I cut myself a break and used some store bought extra time for my day. Maybe that's not ideal. Maybe it's a stupid idea. Maybe I need to cut myself a break after putting in well over 60 hours for the week already and maybe knowing your limitations is healthy, too....

Sometimes I think we have an all or nothing mentality, so if it's not perfectly raw, perfectly fresh, perfectly organic... we throw in the towel and quit. It's a symptom of orthorexia, and it's not a good thing. I battled in my younger years with eating disorders, and this type of thinking only gets you  depression, defeat, and denial.  To make something like a raw foods diet or a juice feast stick, you've got to understand that sometimes good enough is actually good enough, and every step in the right direction is, indeed, a step. I get angry - really angry - with the orthodoxy, the orthorexia I find in many of the health foods movements, because I think it ultimately defeats the goal of progression and the reality of imperfection and leads to the opposite of what we're trying to accomplish - which is bringing as many sheep into this beautiful, verdant sheepfold as possible.

Today's Menu:
  • 1 Quart Fresh Juice Base
  • 1 Quart Fresh Pineapple Juice
  • 1 bottle Naked Green Machine Jucie
  • 1 bottle Naked Coconut juice
  • 1 tbsp Bee pollen
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

oddly enough my nutritionals were fine today, or at least not any more off than usual.


  • It's okay to cut yourself a break sometimes
  • Don't let others dictate how your own personal journey will go
  • Sometimes it's better to give a little than cave a lot
Have a Question? Feel Free to Ask!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 5: Don't Try this At Home!

Well, I decided to forego my yummy drink bases today for two reasons:

  1. We had a ton of stuff that really needed to be harvested from the garden.
  2. I was still on sugar overload from the camping trip
  3. I was still sleep deprived from the camping trip and could not therefore be trusted to actually think.
So I made what my son lovingly referred to as 'swamp water'

You don't want to know the recipe. You really don't want to make the recipe. But here it is:
  • 3 quarts random juice from whatever greens/herbs/weeds you find growing in your garden that may have bolted due to you being out of town 
  • 2 whole lemons
  • 1 lime
  • 3 inches of ginger root
Juice it all. Wait. Force yourself to drink it.

Let's just say it was bitter and bland, spicy and over sweet all at the same time. Like spit from a person doing every  Man V Food Hot Wings Challenge ever created.

Not recommended. Ever. Especially for convincing your children to drink freshly pressed juices.

Today's Menu:
  • Swamp Water

Swamp Water is awful.


  • Test anything before feeding to your kids
  • Liver Flushing isn't always pleasant
  • Better to live and let live than try to repair with Swamp Water
Have a Question? Feel Free to Ask!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Days 2,3,4

No, I haven't abandoned you.  I found myself in the middle of beautiful Cook Forest (pictured above) on a camping trip with 9 impressionable teenagers. No, these huts/yurts/whatever beautiful pieces of art were not what we stayed in. But the woods were truly that beautiful... and a girl can wish.

I was more glad than you can imagine that I'd given myself some reasonable exceptions/guidelines for feasting, because hauling around several gallons of juice in the middle of the summer in the middle of the woods was not happening. Especially when you're carting a bunch of preteen and teenage girls and trying to teach them to treat their bodies like temples instead of borderline eating-disorder meccas and then trying to explain why you're not consuming solids.

The trip started with me trying to super load on my juices for the day before heading out. This was good in theory, since we were getting in later and I could get my feast done right at least one day. But the drive was nearly 3 hours long... and it was a lot of juice. Fun stuff. Lesson learned: just take a cooler and sip the juice while everyone else pounds Monsters.

This was followed by two glorious days of soft fruit - mostly melon. Cantaloupe in shades of orange, so ripe and luscious that it was silk in texture - the scent filling the air for a distance of a hundred feet.  Watermelon running with juices over the hands and arms and soaking down into the ground like the ancient drink offering. Peaches bursting with flesh so saturated that each bite literally juiced itself upon contact with ones lips. Good stuff. Of course I underestimated the fact that in nature, surrounded by beauty, and with plentiful activity, even Standard American Monster Drinkers will raid the fruit bowl. Lesson learned: Pack more fruit or expect to be hungry.

I also didn't account for what so much fruit would do to my insulin. That's a lot of sugar to load into one's veins at a clip, let alone 48 solid hours. Stomach gripes and blood sugar issues finally hit on the way home, leading me directly to the closest bathroom in the nicest Wing Street/Pizza Hut I've ever encountered. Okay to be honest the first one I'd ever entered, but the place was five star in decor. Frealz.

The plan is to juice out green green green and do a little detox tomorrow. 

Today's Menu:
  • Lots of melon and a few ripe peaches

No internetz means no Livestrong. Alas.


  • Soft Fruit contains a significant amount of fiber. It will eventually come out the other end.
  • Teenagers love fruit
  • Never juice load before a 3 hour drive when the lead driver is a get-in-and-get-there kinda guy.
Have a Question? Feel Free to Ask!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 1 Again....

Whether I created my guidelines last night or not, I feel compelled to start over at Day 1 Consecutive, because it would only be 3 out of 5 that I've juice fasted.

Today we've got a wedding and so I wanted something with a little more fiber and bulk to fill me up before we go - my thought is that with two hungry kids who will happily clean my plate and with so many people around - and so many food allergies - it should be relatively easy for me to bulk up before and to avoid anyone noticing if I'm eating a lot or at all during the reception.

Green Juices tend to satisfy me, but I also wanted some actual 'filler' for the belly. Soft fruits like melons, bananas, and strawberries do tend to bulk the juice more since they retain a greater percentage of fiber.

I also wanted to give myself some real taste treats, so I've included a few new recipes.

Today's Menu:

  • 1 Quart Pickle Juice
  • 1 Quart Waldorf Cocktail
  • 2 Quarts Basic Sweet Base made with the following ratios: 2 c Juiced Cantaloupe, 1 c juiced banana, 1 c juiced strawberry, 4 c Carrot Juice. (Yield: a little less than 2 Quarts)
assorted other:
  • Bee pollen (1 tbsp)
  • Coconut Oil
Still slightly low on protein (about 20% too low) and fat (40% too low) for recommended daily, but otherwise right within range.


  • Cantaloupe Juice is Amazing. For nutritional quality juice the whole thing.
  • I don't really like weddings. Does anyone really like weddings?
Have a Question? Feel Free to Ask!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Days 3 and 4. There's "Roadblock" and there's "Utter Train Wreck"

What's a girl to do?

We were finishing up the very last rounds of judging this bleeping national recipe contest - naturally this meant two days of eating, eating, eating. Even at small bites, it was a lot.

There's being flexible. But this was derailment.
Now... my life isn't always like this. But between the two days there wasn't much juice:bites ratio; and being the kinda gal I am I do think there has to be  *some* boundaries before you call something a juice feast.

So what I've decided to do is to make a sort of 'weights and balances' list of rules to follow as to what will constitute my juice feast. You can find it here. I think for any of us with real, actual lives, this is probably beneficial - it occurs to me that unless one has complete control issues or is blessed enough to work at a health and wellness center like Tree of Life or is doing this vocationally, there is going to need to be flexibility. Without the guidelines, though, flexibility can turn into ghetto-claiming-credit-for-something-you-didn't-do-or-did-half-arsed.

Today's Menu:

  • 1 Cup Fresh Juice Base
  • 1 cup the stuff I made for tomorrow
  • another cup the stuff I made for tomorrow (tune in next time!)
assorted other:
  • You don't want to know. Seriously. But in all fairness more than 50% was raw fruits and veg, so at least there's that.
I didn't track today because I couldn't face the facing of the music.


  • Life doesn't always cooperate with one's hopes and dreams, no matter how small they may be.
  • My garden is busting - I even got 6 new potatoes out of it in random places when weeding. Thank-you-kiddos!
  • Make your own list of guidelines - allow for some derailment, and make a plan to how to get back on the horse if the train is unavailable due to destruction....
  • Flexibility only goes so far.
Have a Question? Feel Free to Ask!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day 2: Standardization and Success!

Last night I was up about 4 times to use the restroom. I know a lot of people say you are shedding toxins blahblahblah - and to a degree that's true - but the truth of the matter is, I'm getting about a gallon a day of liquid in. A gallon. Most common wisdom says to get in a half gallon a day - how many people actually do that? - and although I myself am pretty close to a half gallon if you add all the tea and water, there's no way I'm usually drinking a full. flippin. gallon.  So my theory - unscientific though it may be - is that I'm peeing that extra half gallon. All night.

It's all good.

     So yesterday I completely lost it on the green juice - I drank it; but I wasn't happy about it. Why is it that green juice always tastes like you spit in a cup and then sipped it?  Today I decided that if I was going to have to drink green juice, I'd better do something about it. So I made up some basic recipes, and decided to clue you all in on one big secret - standardization. In my previous life (aka college) I studied foods and nutrition. Yes really, I did. And got the degree to prove it. One really helpful thing I learned was to standardize formulas, recipes, and other assorted food items, so that one could, in theory, get the same result over and over and over - and quickly.
     I sat down and came up with three basic formulas for Base Juices - these juices could be used by themselves or could be mixed with other things to make New Juices. A shorter, easier, smarter way to ensure that I don't dread the Green Juice part of my Juice Feast. And a way for you to take my journey as inspiration without having to guess what exactly I meant by carrot/cucumber/kale/garlic juice and ending up with 2 quarts of 'cold spit'. I've posted my Juice Bases and Basic Juice Yields as pages for ease of reference for you and for myself.
     Long story short - I LOVED these bases, and loved being able to make the same tasting bases over and over again - something I got to test out because my Lil Guys drank my share. Twice. Personally I suspect they just liked using the powerful new juicer and 'milking' the juicing napkin like it was a cow. But they insist that's not it. The juices are good. Really Good.
Yes, I am bragging.
     I had product testing today - so had 2 bites of Strawberry Cake and a very small slice of Kahlua Cake. While this is not ideal - and coated my tongue immediately in an unpalatable way. Thank-You-Juice-Feast. - it is part of my life. And as I said in my Basics post, one needs to be flexible.

Today's Menu:
  • 1 Quart Fresh Juice Base - imagine melon and a light summer breeze in a jar
  • 2c Basic Savory Base - as my 7 year old says, "It tastes like soup!"
  • 1 Quart Basic Sweet Base, made with peaches in the Soft Fruit part of the recipe - sweeeeeeeeeeet.
  • 2c Curry House Cocktail
  • 2c pure spinach juice
  • 1 tbsp bee pollen
assorted other:
  • 1 bottle SOBE Goji Pear Yerba Mate
  • two bites fresh strawberry cake 
  • tiny slice Kahlua bundt cake
Livestrong says the cakes put me about 200 calories over goal. Big Surprise. On the other hand I've pretty much met my requirements for nutrition.
  • You will pee. Every hour or two. For at least the first 2 days. Be prepared and stay close to a potty.
  • I hate blogger sometimes. Anyone know how to fix formatting and get rid of extra spaces?
  • Use my Juice Bases and Basic Juice Yields . It will make your life easier. Promise!
  • Be flexible - fit this Feast into your life, not the other way around.
Have a Question? Feel Free to Ask!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 1: Starting Over

Hello, everybody!
Nothing is harder than attempting to reconquer the mountain you've already climbed. On the one hand, I know I can do this - will even enjoy it - on the other.... the sure knowledge of all the roadblocks ahead, the explanations required - it can be exhausting to contemplate.

I'm now in my early 30s - time to retool and gear up. I see so many people lose their 'oomf' at this age. Women get slack, tired... and depressed. It seems like just a month or so again, I suddenly watched my skin start to go dull, my hair follow suit, and my weight gradually creep up. Working out. Eating healthy and sustainably. It works to a degree.

But I know that a juice feast can accomplish a lot in a short month - and so here I go....

8 AM

Today's feast is relatively straightforward - I do what I did years ago and goto Courtney Pool's site  to copy her recipes.

I've forgotten that they're more listings of what she drank rather than set recipes. Taking the listing of juices as a basic guide I mix up:

64 oz celery/cucumber/spinach/dandelion/parsley juice
8 oz kale juice with 1/4 tsp of sea salt1 TBS Bee Pollen
16 oz carrot/apple/lemon juice with 2 tsp extra virgin coconut oil

I don't really measure, but I stuff in as many pounds of spinach as I can - I'd forgotten how much I HATE the taste of green juice! Like spit. This is why I avoided juicing for two years. Two quarts a day of this stuff?

10 PM
Even refrigerated most of the green juice tastes like cold spit. Except the one that tastes like sea water.

I decide that I'm going to take matters (and my college degree) into my own hands, and figure out a way to standardize green juices so they consistently taste good.

I down some homemade yerba mate/black tea Kombucha for comfort and look at my Livestrong Stats - looks like my protein is low for the day, but other than that I'm right on track to hit my calorie goals and other nutrient requirements.

Random combinations of dark green leafy greens and other assorted veggies and fruits can be quite yucky.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Juice Feasting: The Basics

Before you start a juice feast, you're going to want to know the ground rules. These may change person to person, and while there is a consensus in the Raw Foods community, it's not a hard and fast 'diet' per se, and you'll hear lots of conflicting advise.

In addition, it's become relatively tricky to locate good, clear, concise knowledge of what you'll need and how to go about starting the feast, so I thought a primer might be in order.

First, determine what your goals are.
Pure detoxification? Weight loss? Curiousity? All of these will change your approach to the feast.

Determine your basic menu plans based on your goals.
For me, this feast is an opportunity to detox and lose weight. If your goal is to simply detox, the amount of juice you drink and the type will vary from mine. So how do you determine what to drink and how much?

Here are a few basic hints:
  • You're going to need about a gallon of juice a day, with at least 50% of your juices by volume needing to be what is commonly called 'green' juices, made from green leafy vegetables -  kale, spinach, lettuce, parsley - and some non leafy greens like celery, cucumber, etc.  The basic rule of thumb is that you'll need around 2 pounds of total green veg a day to get this amount of green juice. This will vary based on your weight, height, gender, and goals. You'll also need to make up another 2 quarts or so in 'colored' juices - carrots, beets, and assorted fruits and veg. Once again, total volume will vary on height, weight, age, gender, goals... etc.
  • Use an app or other site to determine how your goals fit your menus - I highly recommend for helping you set goals and match up your goals with your juices. For instance, I have a goal to lose 2 lb per week. I enter my height, weight, age etc and Livestrong calculates my nutrient needs. I can easily type juices into their food finder or make my own 'recipe' and it will spit out my nutrients for those juices, track what I've eaten, and compare my intake to my goals. This is very, very helpful and takes pretty much ALL of the work out of doing this 'right' - this will automatically help you refine the juice goal both in terms of percentages (green juices are low in calories and high in protein and colored juices are high in calories and beneficial carbs) and in terms of volume - you may need less than a gallon of juice a day. You may need more.
  • You will need a few supplements to meet nutritional requirements - I am NOT a fan of supplements in general - in college I learned in my nutrition courses that people excrete almost 80 percent of the vitamins they take in (yes, even the expensive ones!) in their fecal material (yum) and urine. However to meet your fat and protein requirements, you WILL need the following additions to your juice feast: coconut or hemp seed oil or avocados for fat, and bee pollen, spirulina, or pea protein for protein. While many juice feasting sites and people will tell you that it's impossible to not get enough protein on a juice feast, I've simply not found that to be true if unassisted - we're not talking the .8 to 1 g per pound that most meat eating Americans expect, either - the FDA recommends (for vegans) somewhere around .4 g of protein per pound of body weight. Livestrong recommended even less than that - around .2 for my particular level of activity - and I've historically found that without supplementation I fall far short of the protein requirements. Without sufficient protein, on an extended feast, you'll lose muscle and ultimately sabotage your health goals. As for fats - they help with skin and hair, and provide a satiation feature you won't get otherwise. I take my fats with my colored juices to help buffer the insulin response to the sugar hit of the carbs.
  • Feel free to add hot tea, coffee, sparkling mineral water etc to your plan. Some raw foodists would gasp at that statement, but the truth is even without enzymes these foods provide beneficial micronutrients and, let's face it, sometimes you need something 'hot' to drink.

    Obtain a juicer or a blender/white towel
    You'll hear all about the Green Star and Champion juicers - and if you make your first short juice feast successfully and decide that this will be a regular part of your life this would be a great investment (I just scored a Champion for $60 last week) - but I'll be honest, I think it's a waste of money if you're not totally committed - these babies can range upwards of $400!  I find that a good blender with a little additional water added, and a hard squeeze of the pulp through a white table napkin (no detergent scents, please, or colors!) will get you where you need to go just fine to start.

    For myself, I used this method for my first 30 day feast. This time, having scored that juicer for cheap, I'm using the juicer for the colored juices and my blender for the green juices (I didn't buy the greens attachement for my Champion, though they have one).

    Shop for produce a few days at a time, and in season, locally if possible
    I'm lucky in that I have the world's most productive gardens in the backyard - I think I picked about 3 pounds of spinach yesterday in the middle of June! - but if you're not where you can go and pick a peck you'll need to realize that you'll use roughly 3 or more pounds of produce a day. Some sites claim 10 pounds a day, but honestly I don't know what they're smoking or how much they're drinking. Meh - maybe their juicers aren't extremely efficient. All I know is that you'll go through a lot of produce, and you will probably need to buy it twice a week to store it properly. Once again YMMV depending on your kitchen and fridge and the amount of produce you'll need.

    You'll note I said In Season, Locally if possible - The benefit to this is that you'll get the freshest produce (especially if you're buying from a farmer's market) with the most nutrients. If my juice recipes don't necessarily match your season, feel free to go off on your own riffs or take ideas from other blogs- I myself use Courtney Pool's blog as daily inspiration when juice feasting. I usually only juice feast or eat strictly raw in the 'growing and harvesting months' - in my area April 20 through about October 20, since I'm trying to keep my food as local as possible.

    Be realistic about your lifestyle
    There is a term floating about - orthorexia - fear of eating incorrectly or obsession with eating 'properly' - this mentally dis-ordered thinking is particularly strong in my beloved Raw Foods and Vegan communities (sad but true) and is not only a 'gateway' to eating disorders, but can lead to a 'religious' approach to food that will ultimately cause you un-needed stress, fear, and dysfunction in your extended relationships. It's important during this journey that you look honestly at your lifestyle, your schedule, and your family and friends important events (weddings, funerals, births, etc) and gauge how to handle these 'roadblocks' - while it may sound all good and well to be orthodox about your approach you also need to understand how to make your juice feast fit into your life... not the other way around.

    For instance, my job requires me to taste foods for publication/recipe contests/site content. I'm not going to get out of that unless I also want to be unemployed. In my particular cultural milieu  receive invitations to meals on occasion where avoiding the meal or choosing not to eat 'something' will cause real, true and lasting damage to key relationships... no feast, diet, or lifestyle is going to be worth losing those relationships. Occasionally I'm on the road and need to drink a bottled juice (like Naked brand) instead of fresh, raw juice.

    So I have to learn to be flexible, and to allow for occasional 'imperfection' in my daily journey and for non juiced, non raw, even non vegan foods to occasionally cross my mouth during my feasts. Perhaps your life allows you to be completely raw juice - for 180 days! - that's great. But if it doesn't you can still juice feast.  Don't let your life be an excuse for eating whenever and whatever - that would defeat the whole 'juice feast' idea.... but let yourself off the hook on the rare occasions when life demands flexibility, and aim to eat the minimum of solid foods at this time possible without causing the rest of your life to fall apart.

    Have a question?

    Feel free to ask!

    Saturday, June 18, 2011

    Juice Feasting: Introductions all around.

    A few years ago, I successfully completed a 30 day juice feast. I felt light, focussed... refreshed.

    Unfortunately I had a ghetto juicer that was a lot of work and effort to clean and use, and I let the juicing 'thing' go by the wayside.

    Fast forward to 2011. Not only have I let the juice slide, but my eating habits are starting to get me into trouble. Weight gain, poor skin.... I'm in need of refreshment.

    Here I am, looking forward to entering into another juice feast, and I return to the original, warm and fuzzy site that got me started in the whole process, only to find out - lo and behold - that you now have to pay... BIG BUCKS... for any information.

    I'm all for making a career out of helping people, but something about locking down even the forums for a fee just ticked me off.

    What about people like me, who used to have access to the information, have gone away for a long-long while and now can't really remember it all?

    What about newbies who might be thinking about this but not sure they will commit?

    I tried looking at blogs from other folk - inspirations abound... but not a whole lotta brass tacks. I needed details. And details are in short supply.

    So I thought to myself, why not save you, gentle reader, from this fate?

    Here you'll find the following:
    • Clear recipes for the juices I'm drinking. With quantities. Because it's good to know what you need before you buy or pluck it.
    • My honest reactions and thoughts on each day's journey - a 'what to possibly expect' for those looking to engage.
    • Hints and tips for surviving the bumps and bruises of the real world, and hopefully some balance over the 'all or nothing' mentality often encountered in the raw, vegan, juicing worlds...
    I promise you this - I will be real. I will be detailed. I will be happy to answer your questions when I can. To the best of my ability and educational background the answers I give will be based in real fact, not pseudoscience.

    A little later I'll post my first official Day 1 entry, with pics, for your amusement/enjoyment/educational pleasure.

    Welcome, and good luck!