Hey friends! We're so super stoked on how many friends & family members were interested in the 7-day juicing cleanse that we've successfully completed & wanting to try it or some form of it for themselves. So here's a quick post on what we juiced & some hopefully really helpful tips from what we experienced along the way!
Daniel & I did this together & it was truly so helpful to have support especially if you're doing it for the whole 7 days. However, even without support, it's totally do-able once you're aware of the few bumps you may encounter in this somewhat emotional & physical commitment.
Things you'll need:
1. A Juicer: We use the Breville Juice Fountain Plus, which we've loved for 2 years now. There are of course, higher quality & more expensive masticating machines that do cold-pressed juices & whatnot, but this Breville has proved to be such an awesome beginners juicer. It's fast, easy to clean, super easy to use & still produces amazing, nutritious juices. We've thought about upgrading, but the convenience & joy this juicer brings us deserves at least another year of love. But truly any juicer you have & know how to use should work just fine.
2. Organic Vegetables & Fruits: We started at our Sunday Long Beach Farmer's Market at the Alamitos Bay. It's a beautiful market along the Bay with tons of amazing small organic farmers & yummy food & craft stands which make for a perfect Sunday morning. We highly suggest you check it out if you live around the area on Sundays from 9am-2pm. The market gets busy as we approach summer so I suggest getting there by noon if you don't want the good produce to run out. We love this farmers market & all farmers markets really because they obviously give you the freshest produce at the best price. Our farmer's market prices are always lower than Whole Foods & the quality is always better. Another score about grabbing produce from the Farmer's Market is that you can go to the apple farmer & ask for juicing apples which are lightly bruised apples that are still amazing for up to half the price! So pick up some of the juicing veggies & fruits from therecipe below along with some fruits & veggies you'd like to snack on as well!
3. Coconut Water (optional): For the raw coconut water, you can go to the Asian market & buy a pack of young coconuts which run about $1 each & chop it yourself to drink as Daniel have done before. But we too can be lazy & wanted to make sure we stayed committed, we bought Harmless Harvest 100% Raw Coconut Water, which is the closest thing you'll get to drinking it straight out of the coconut. Some Costco's sell a 4-pack for $17 or Whole Foods has them for $4.99 each. But each bottle actually holds the same amount of juice as 2 young coconuts, sooo the financial trade-off was worth the convenience…
Our Regimen: We used the same regimen everyday with slight variations to make this as do-able as possible for us. We've tried doing cleanses or going raw before & we realized that anything that requires much more thinking than the challenge itself already poses only makes things more difficult. So having a clear & simple plan of action really helped to stay committed.
Every morning we made each of ourselves 2 juices for the day (4 servings), 1 for breakfast & 1 refrigerated for dinner. For lunch we sometimes would drink raw coconut water & have either a tangerine, a banana, strawberries, grapefruit, carrot sticks, a half an avocado, or some kind of other raw fruit or vegetable. Raw almonds or cashews is also a good option if you fear being too hungry or feel cranky. The juicing process only takes 20-25 minutes from cleaning the produce, to cutting it, juicing it & washing the machine. It's really so simple once you get used to the routine as my grandfather would attest to.
Our Recipe: (Makes 2 juices, about 16oz each)
Balance is the key for us in colors and in the flavors so we do our best to incorporate something sweet, citrus, spicy, bitter, & herbal to the mix. With that said, after a couple years of juicing, we've come down to this:
A.) 1/2 bunch of Farmer's market Kale OR 1 whole bunch of supermarket Kale (the bunches at whole foods are half the size of the farmer's market)
B.) 4 medium Carrots
C.) 2 medium Apples
D.) 1 large Cucumber
E.) 1-inch or less of Ginger (depending on how much of it you can handle)
F.) 1/2 a lemon
Substitutions: We sometimes substituted Swiss Chard for Kale & would sometimes add Celery as well.
Cut, Juice, Stir to combine & drink This recipe is super yummy, but if you find it a bit too sweet you can reduce the apple or carrot. This is not a boring, grassy green drink you sometimes get from Whole Foods or even Mother's sometimes; it's actually super tasty that kids would enjoy!
BUMPS: What to expect: The thing that helped us most was having a strong purpose to commit to for juicing/cleansing. There are so many reasons to do a juice cleanse with detoxing your system being obvious, expanding perspectives on what your body really needs, mental clarity, get over illness or ailments, building physical strength, discipline from eating habits, to inspire an overall healthier lifestyle, to lose weight, to clear-up skin, etc. We had all of these things in mind with our biggest purpose to help family members incorporate juicing into their life. My grandfather had gone to the ER recently for high blood pressure & we also had family members who's health had been steadily declining & ones that wanted to lose weight, so we really wanted to commit to this cleanse while helping them incorporate juicing into their daily routines & it seems to be working already! We've been juicing several times a week for the last 2 years & see how much it has strengthened our health & our lifestyle choices but that never really got anyone to think about doing it for themselves until we committed to the extreme of a cleanse. Beyond the major health benefits we've received from pushing ourselves to do this, nothing is more awesome than seeing family & friends actually seeing that this is really doable and for that, we'd do this again, over & over. Ok so things to expect………
Hunger: this is surprisingly not as big of an issue as boredom will be in a cleanse. Once you have juice & raw snacks readily available for you to drink or munch on every time you're hungry, you'll realize how much the human body actually doesn't need to eat. I've heard this from lots of people who cleanse & my sister who broke her jaw & had her mouth wired shut for 7 weeks, that you don't actually feel hunger when you're on a liquid diet, it's really just the mental desire to eat, not the physical.
Boredom: & having to decline outtings with friends is the real kicker of the cleanse for us. If you know us, we are adventurous foodies that love to cook & dine, so this was a bummer. & once you've given up thinking about eating, preparing to eat, actually eating, chilling after you eat & drinking alcohol, you'll find yourself with a lot more time on your hands than expected. This is where having a support helps, every time we hit a slump or wall we'd take Max for ANOTHER walk-lucky him, visit family & friends more, run boring errands we'd been putting off, clean the backyard & garage, garden, go for a hike, workout, build something, go to a museum, go bowling, focus more on work, make plans for trips, and we even came up with a new complementing business plan during this time that we're really excited about… It's good to make a list of random things you've been wanting or needing to do but put off, because when dinner time rolls around, you're not going to have anything better to do than do that thing you've been putting off. It's actually a great week to get shit done! Eating & drinking & chilling from eating & drinking really is an amazingly fun distraction that we never realized could take up so much time, but rightfully so, eating is awesome. *Day 3 & 4 were the hardest for us which were very brief feelings of withdrawals, but once you push through the mid-point, you will feel invincible, I promise. Once we got through those days, finishing the 7 days seemed like nothing and even fun in retrospect!
Achy: I don't know if this was a real symptom of the cleanse, but on the morning of our 3rd cleanse day, we both felt some what achey like in our back. I don't know if we both slept wrong, but I think it was our bodies just re-adjusting. This was not an issue at all, but thought it was something to throw out there in case.
I had also heard that some people whose bodies aren't used to detoxing could experience detox headaches or even break-outs with acne at first for whatever reason. We did not experience anything like that so if you did, definitely push through it, because the headaches & acne are just temporary things exiting your body. Of course, if anything like this is unbearable or persists for too long then don't push yourself without professional advisory &/or some extra research.
Our Results: Inspiring and empowering our family & friends to start juicing & feel complete control over their own health is most definitely the best thing about doing this cleanse.
Along with that, we have experienced a ton of energy. I am never tired throughout the day & the fact that I'm motivated to write this post in one sitting right now is proof of that I used to want to always take a nap after work or a long day or at the very least chill out, this whole last week I constantly felt motivated to do things & never thought about resting. We wake up at 8am every morning & sleep at about 1am; meditate, work, work-out, take care of our furry child, run errands, play, all without feeling tired & juicing replaced coffee for us a long time ago as well.
We both also felt very mentally strong in different ways. I'm some what of an emotional woman creature that can have mood swings & moments where I need to be by myself & be kinda down, but I truly felt very up & creepily happy all week which was interesting. Daniel felt the discipline was really beneficial mentally & that he experienced feeling very mentally clear during his meditative experiences. Every morning we woke up oddly happy as I mentioned & somewhat surprised at how strong we felt. Then we'd look at each other & ask how the other is feeling because I think we were both in a weird shock of how good we always felt.
We now feel very empowered. I feel like I have full control over the choices I want to make when it comes to eating & my health, like being a vegan is so much more possible & even easy now, though that is not a route I will be taking at this time in my life… I feel like a cleanse is just a really amazing body tune-up that puts you in control again & feeling great & clean! Doing a cleanse really makes you want to make healthier choices overall & when you decide to get down & dirty, so be it too! We don't feel bad about eating dirty here & there because we know we eat clean more often than we eat dirty & we're cool with that.
I lost 7 pounds during the 7 day cleanse. & I had previously done 10 half-day juicings (juice for breakfast/lunch & a normal solid dinner) where I lost 3lbs. I'm 5'2, so 10lbs over the course of 3 weeks is a lot for a little person. I know a bit of it is water weight & that I'll gain some of it back now that I'm eating again, but my main purpose wasn't to lose weight, so it's no biggie. I will continue doing half-day juicing for at least 5 days a week or more if I can just because it's become so simple & routine now. But I'll do a half-day juicing post another time… I think I'm going to call it the girl-who-likes-to-eat-cleanse I know Daniel has also lost a little weight though he didn't weigh himself, but he still feels physically stronger too which is great.
I also feel more glowing & beautiful. This could be placebo, but that's all that really matters when it comes to beauty anyways. Though I can't pinpoint any massive changes in my skin, I do feel it is clearer & brighter. And I feel more beautiful because I feel stronger, happier, healthier, cleaner & yeah, slimmer.
Cost: The produce for our 7 day cleanse cost us around $80-90 for 2 of us. Which is insane because we easily could go to a nice dinner for that price, let alone have that feed us for a whole 7 days. Our Breville juicer can be bought at Bed Bath & Beyond for $150 & you know they always have some 20% promotion going on, so get on that! The juicer also comes with a free copy of the documentary: Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (which can also be watched on Netflix) which we highly suggest watching to keep you motivated! It's a great documentary about this guy who set out to juice for 60 days & overcame all kinds of illnesses, weight & medications from just juicing!
Cheating-ish: ok, ok, so when we felt like cheating… We didn't really, but when we kinda did…
I had some friends over on my 5th juicing night that I hadn't seen for a while, so I allowed myself to have some organic red wine, raw guacamole & veggie sticks, along with raw hummus veggie wraps (the veggie wrap was so amazing and inspired by the vegan/vegetarian Evolution Fast Food restaurant in San Diego! We haven't been there but we can easily sense from enjoying one of their off-premise packaged products that they're a thoughtful and creative health-conscious bunch over there!). I don't know if this is considered cheating, but man it was so satisfying it sure felt like cheating. So to be fair I'll share those recipes below.
Our 6th juicing night was Saturday night, so we planned to just stay in & watch movies when Daniel got creative & found a Raw Chocalatier in Long beach! This place is freaking amazing: Anandamide Psychedelicatessan, 2040 E 4th St. Long Beach, CA. Justin, the proprietor, is a health & cacao enthusiast with a love for candy, so he made a "candy" shop that utilizes the magical powers & major benefits of raw cacao. Everything in this shop is raw & organic. The chocolate tastes like the most decadent chocolate you've ever had & it's all naturally & rawly sweetened, so nothing is too sweet. He adds amazing & exotic fruits & spices to his cacao, it's just incredible, you must go here whether on a raw diet or not!
Organic Wine: Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon, It's an easy to drink red wine at $11 a bottle
Raw Hummus Veggie Wraps (10 rolls): 5 collard green leaves, 1 cucumber sliced, 1 red bell pepper sliced, mint, Majestic Cilantro Jalapeno Sprouted Hummus (or any other/homemade raw hummus) : Cut the collard greens in half along the stem & discard the stem. Lay out half a leaf like a wrap, spread about a tablespoon of hummus in the middle half of the leaf, layer 5 roughly torn mint leaves, 3 cucumber slices & 2 bell pepper slices on top & roll up like a burrito!
Guacamole (raw): 3 avocados, 1 lime, 1 teaspoon himalayan salt or sea salt, 1/2 small onion diced, 1/2 jalapeno seeded & minced, 1 roma tomato seeded & diced, 2 cloves of garlic minced, 1 tablespoon of cilantro. Eat with baby carrots, broccoli & celery mmmmmmmmm……