Juice Cleanse. Day Seven

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So I’m feeling pretty chuffed with myself! Seven days on fresh fruit and vegetable juices, some with blended fruit and/or live yoghurt; herbal teas and plenty of water. Nothing else. I’ve declined the plentiful chocolate biscuits at work, made a hot (and tortuously fragrant) meal for my family each night, made lattes (vanilla, with hand whisked frothy milk and cocoa sprinkled on top. Mmmmm….) and scrolled through mouth-wateringly beautiful food photos on my Instagram feed. And I didn’t even lick my fingers!*

In return for my uncharacteristic willpower I’ve been rewarded with noticeably improved skin, sparkly eyes, a clear head, the rare ability to wake up easily in the morning (!), a marked reduction in anxiety, a 7lb weight loss and that lovely confidence boost you get from having achieved what you set out to do. I’d previously done a three day and a five day juice cleanse but, being the natural glutton that I am, didn’t know if I had it in me to go for longer. And despite inventing a new dessert in my dream last night (battered rice pudding with custard anyone?!) I obviously do! Huzzah!

If you’d like to make the juices above (and you can find the others I made here ) they are as follows:

TL: pineapple, spinach and orange blended with banana, coconut water and spirulina.
TR: apple, pear, cucumber and mint.
BL: carrot, apple, whole lemon, cucumber and broccoli stem.
BR: apple and pear blended with yoghurt, banana and blueberries.

That last one was, quite simply, amazing. I’ll be having that one quite often in the future.

However today, quite soon, possibly even right now, I’m gonna have a salad, with crisp Ramiro peppers, thinly sliced cucumbers, exploding cherry tomatoes, crunchy alfalfa sprouts, EVOO, balsamic and maybe a teaspoon of creamy tahini. My mouth is watering already, I’m gone, see ya!

* I may have bitten my scrumptious daughters once or twice, but as I did it very gently I don’t think it counts…

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Juice Cleanse. Day Three.

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On a roll with my resolution to Eat Better I woke up on Thursday morning with the realisation that I was ready for another juice cleanse (or fast, or detox, whatever you want to call it.) But, in order to make this one last a bit longer than the one I did back in October I’ve decided to be less strict so I’ve also used yoghurt and I’m blending in fresh fruits for texture and a bit more sustenance. I’m not sure how long I want to keep this up for. Probably a week. But I’ll see how it goes. So far, so good! Having avoided coffee, refined sugar and bread for a week or so beforehand has made a massive difference. No withdrawal symptoms, no cravings. Huzzah!! I’m making a litre of juice/smoothie in the morning, drinking half for breakfast and storing half in the fridge for lunch. Then doing the same mid afternoon. And lots of herbal teas because I’m missing the warmth of a hot meal a little bit.

The delicious smoothies pictured above contain the following:
TL: apple and carrot juice with yoghurt and raspberries.
TR: pineapple, apple and spinach with banana and spirulina.
BL: apple, broccoli stem, blood orange and beetroot with apple cyder vinegar.
BR: (I’ve made a variation of this every morning) apple, spinach, celery, cucumber, courgette (zucchini), broccoli stem and peeled lime with avocado, powdered wheatgrass and probiotic capsules.

If you would like a few more recipes (I’ll be using them again over the next few days) click here. Do you juice? Tell me your successes, whether recipes or results.

Raw juice and smoothie ideas.

I bought a shiny new juicer a couple of months ago and am continually bowled over with the range of tastes and textures you can get from smoothies and juices. Previously I’d not got much past apple, carrot and ginger with the occasional beetroot thrown in for variety but thanks to a couple of recipe books and the Instagram community I’ve learnt to be somewhat more creative. So now I’d like to share the following ideas with you (not so much recipes as combinations) and I’d love it if you can throw some more ideas my way…

Lemon Meringue

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Juice apples, carrot, broccoli stem, lemon (including the peel) and cucumber. Blend with avocado.

Glass of Green

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Juice apples, kale, lime (remove the zest but keep the pith), cucumber and celery. Whisk in powdered wheatgrass.

Trueblood

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Juice apples, beetroot, spinach and lemon.

And, for the most decadent raw breakfast (I can’t even give it a name it’s that good), you could do worse than try this…

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Juice apples, pear, kale and ginger. Blend with banana, avocado, mango and powdered wheatgrass.

Five Day Juice Cleanse

Last week I was horribly aware that all manner of junk was slipping into my diet on a rather too frequent basis. Uncontrollably working my way through four packets of crisps and two Penguin bars in ten minutes was a bit of a wake up call so I figured I’d clean things up with a short sharp shock, rather than the gentle program I developed for Flojo’s Easy Detox. So… I loosely followed Jason Vale’s juice plan for five days. Four juices each day (Juices one and four are the same, as are two and three), lots of water and plenty of herbal teas. (His programme also advocates two half-hour exercise sessions but that wasn’t what I was after, just a diet clean-up.)

I’m not going into the arguments for and against juice detoxes here. I like results to speak for themselves. After five days my skin tone is vastly improved, my belly is flat(ish), I’ve lost 6lbs, I’m waking up easily, have more energy and all my junk food cravings have disappeared. I haven’t even fancied a coffee since!

Did I miss solid food? Well, yes and no. I had an apple crumble fixation for a day and I couldn’t manage to watch my family eat during the five days. Instagram, through which I follow some awesome foodies was a nightmare! My willpower was particularly tested when my poor husband put his back out and, even while dosed up with painkillers, subsequently fainted from the pain (I caught him). He was out cold for nearly five minutes and the paramedics were with us for nearly three hours. There was no way I was going to make it through that ordeal without some hot and heavily sugared tea, but I only had half a cup!

But I handled cooking for the family, I resisted tasting the coffee brownies I made for my neighbours as a thank you for helping out with the aforementioned drama; and I calmly declined coffee and biscuits at work. When you’re cramming so much goodness into yourself four times a day other foods can seem a bit pointless.

My taste buds were really kept on their toes (!) as Jason Vale’s (aka the Juice Master ) recipes are fabulous with genius balancing of fruit, vegetable, spice and zest. I’d wholeheartedly suggest reading some of his books or using the apps as his enthusiasm for the subject is infectious. I’m still astonished that parsnip works so effectively in a juice (combined with pear, mint and ginger it was sweet and creamy); and I’m hooked on kale and spinach with apples and unpeeled lemon – even powdered wheatgrass stirred in doesn’t overpower.

I’ve been juicing daily for a few weeks now but I’m going to have a couple of juices each day now. There’s no sense of denial with a good juice. Great health and great taste in a glass – what’s not to like?!

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