In my 20s, I would occasionally embark on 5 to 7 day raw juice fasts for cleansing. The mornings involved the sweeter fruit juices followed by 4 to 6 raw vegetable juices throughout the day into the evenings. I did feel great and enjoyed all the benefits of detoxification and juicing: more energy, feeling light and clean, clear skin, etc. Breaking the fasts and transitioning back onto solid foods was always a challenge, as one must go slowly and easily to avoid overwhelming the system.
Eventually, I moved on to other forms of detox, believing that too much raw juice per day contains too much sugar. Even though the juice fasts consisted predominantly of vegetable juicing, the sugar content of juice is high, and it’s difficult to get enough fiber from juice fasting, since the fiber is stripped away and composted (or, in my case, given to the dog) and you are left with the juice component. Fiber is necessary for detox because it bind to toxins in the gut and assists in whisking them out of the body. It also slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream.
At any rate, I do believe that raw juicing has many benefits and can be incorporated into your daily routine. First off, I recommend that raw foods comprise 30 percent of your daily intake, and juicing is a great way to accomplish this. Other raw foods could include raw seeds, nuts, vegetables, fruits, etc. Raw foods are completely unadulterated, nutrient-dense, and offer live enzymes necessary for digestion and repair. And juicing is a great way to get condensed nutrients: you’re basically juicing what can amount to several pounds of produce and therefore the juices pack quite a nutrient-dense punch.
Green vegetables are best to juice: kale (use caution with raw brassica if low thyroid), spinach, beet greens, cucumbers, broccoli, romaine, celery, parsley. I’ll add green apples, ginger, or carrots for sweetness, and garlic for cleansing (repels mosquitos, too). Below are a few of my favorite recipes, although I often clean out the vegetable crisper and throw whatever’s handy into the juicer. Green vegetable juices are very alkalinizing and oxygenating and are great with breakfast or as a pick-me-up refreshment for that afternoon slump. Beet-carrot is particularly good for the liver; cucumber-celery is cooling and high in minerals; spinach and all the greens are cleansing, help with constipation, and are high in minerals and folic acid.
spinach, kale, 4 carrots, 2 stalks celery, 1/2 cucumber, green apple
beet, green apple, 4 carrots, ginger
parsley, 4 carrots, 3 stalks celery, fennel, green apple, tomato (optional)
parsley, spinach, 4 carrots, 2 stalks celery, garlic, beet
There is a lot of room to get creative here. Experiment with what tastes good to you!
Finally, you don’t need a juicer to juice! Just lightly steam green vegetables, which work best in the blender because they cook down; wring dry; place in blender with parsley, sea salt, fresh squeezed apple juice or freshly sliced apple; and blend! Cheers.
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