Juice fasts can help you lose weight and possibly introduce you to a healthier and more nutritious diet. However, it's also easy to make mistakes during the fast that can negate any of these benefits. Therefore, as long as you prepare ahead of time and stay patient, you can have a successful juice fast.
First, you need to prepare. Figure out how long you'll be fasting. You may want to try a few days, or up to a week. As a beginner, don't go overboard. Try to do three days maximum. Next, you'll need a juicer if you don't own one already. You'll also have to pick up vegetables and fruits at the grocery store. Try lemons, lettuce, beets, apples, oranges, ginger, carrots, and celery as a starting point, experimenting with your favorite flavors.
You also need to get your body ready. Before you fast, try to limit your food consumption to only veggies and fruit. Try incorporating more liquids into your daily consumption, although not exclusively yet. Once you start the fast, you may need to drink anywhere between nine to 12 times a day. You shouldn't feel hungry during the day. You also need to make sure that the juices are nutritious so that your body gets the minerals and vitamins that it needs.
In order to lose weight, just drink when you're hungry. The juices that you make already contain a low amount of calories, so don't restrict yourself. Doing so can prove dangerous to your health. Of course, you shouldn't drink juice exclusively. This can only hydrate you to a certain extent. You need to still consume water throughout the fast just as you would if you were eating solid foods.
You can exercise during the fast, but since you're not consuming as many calories as usual, keep your routine lighter than usual. You can work out as often as you usually do. Once the fast has ended, go back to eating veggies and fruits and then slowly reintroduce other foods into your diet again.
Whether you make your own freshly squeezed juice just to enjoy it or as a part of a juice fast, you want it to stay fresh for as long as possible. After all, eventually juices can lose their nutrients and benefits, so storing them in a place where they can stay fresh benefits your health and your diet efforts. The best means of storing juices depends on their ingredients, so be sure to remember exactly which fruits and vegetables that you mixed together.
For example, if you made orange juice, this will only last for about three days before it begins to go bad and loses its beneficial nutrients. You can keep apple cider for about 10 days. When you store your freshly squeezed juices, place them in freezer boxes. Make sure that these boxes are bigger than the juice box itself, for the juice can and will grow larger once it's frozen. If you decide to freeze juice, it should last for about three months. In the case of canned juice it can last even longer, at least a year.
However, when storing your juice, you must beware. Freshly squeezed juices can become a home to many different types of bacteria like salmonella or E. coli. This could easily make you sick or even be fatal depending on how much bacteria is present. In order to be on the safe side, always follow the guidelines above. Always keep juice stored in a fridge as well.
Even if your juice doesn't seem like it has gone bad, you can sometimes tell if it's rancid with a sniff test. The juice will normally smell sour or strange. Sometimes you'll even notice visible mold. In both of those cases, do not drink the juice. Instead, throw it away immediately and make some more.
As long as you follow these guidelines, you should be able to enjoy your juice for days.
Do you want to experiment with juicing without investing in a juicer? Juicing can help you add a lot of extra nutrients to your diet, but you might not be ready to invest in an expensive machine or use up limited counter space. You can enjoy the health benefits of juicing without using an expensive gadget that takes up more space on your kitchen counter. Your results should be identical to the nutrient-rich drink that all juicers enjoy, and it will not take up a lot of extra time.
Supplies to Juice Without a Juicer
You can replace a special juicer with these common kitchen supplies:
Simply add your fruit and vegetables to the blender and blend them until they are smooth. You can experiment with different settings, but many inexpensive blenders have a "Liquify" or "Puree" setting that works very well. Depending upon the type of fruit and vegetables in your concoction, you might need to add a little bit of water to help your blender work efficiently.
Set the strainer over the top of the bowl. Slowly pour the mixture into the strainer, so you can filter the pure juice into the bowl. You can press the pulp down with a large spoon or your clean hand to speed up the process a little.
Pour the juice into a glass and enjoy. Some folks also save the leftover pulp for recipes, and these include cakes, smoothies, and even dog treats.
Low speed single auger juicers, or twin gear juicers are best when it comes to juicing leafy vegetables. If you have the centrifugal style juicer (which are best for juicing harder fruits and vegetables) it is recommended that you ball up a handful or so of the spinach or lettuce etc and put it through your juicer with something harder such as a carrot or stalk of celery. Doing this will help the cutter blade better get a hold of the leafy vegetables and should produce a better yield for you.
If you are primarily juicing leafy vegetables it is recommended that you use a juicer such as the Omega 8003, or other low speed single auger juicers which were designed specifically to be able to juice wheatgrass and other leafy vegetables effectively while still being able to juice harder fruits and vegetables.
According to various sources such as Power Juices and Super Drinks by Steve Meyerowitz, cucumber juice is beneficial for both skin and hair.
The cucumber is high in silica which is a mineral which strengthens connective tissue, and is good for tendons, muscles, cartilage, bones, and ligaments. It is reported that silica is also good for skin elasticity, fingernails, complexion, and hair loss.
It is important to use cucumbers which do not require peeling because you lose much of the silica and other beneficial properties if you remove the skin. It is best to use organic cucumbers or non-waxed cucumbers such as Kirby cucumbers or English cucumbers. Wheatgrass juice is also said to be good for both skin and hair.
According to the book Fresh Vegetables and Fruit Juices, drinking juice composed of carrot, lettuce and spinach will nourish the roots and nerves of hair thereby stimulating growth. Also recommend is a combination of carrot, lettuce, green pepper and alfalfa juice. Further information can be found in books such as Juicing For Life by Cherie Calbom & Maureen Keane and The Juicing Book by Stephen Blauer.
Apple juice and carrot juice are the staples of a juicing program. At the end of the day, your home juicer will have produced quite a bit of pulp. Use it to promote health and nutrition.
Chill the pulps and when ready to eat blend them together. Two-thirds cup of apple pulp and 1/3 cup of carrot pulp will yield 1 cup of delicious apple-carrot sauce that's good for you skin, hair and ulcers.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|