I love juice. Red juice, orange juice, yellow juice, GREEN juice (my favorite), blue juice, purple juice, ALL juice! There’s something about the blast of fresh flavor and bountiful phytonutrition that keeps me coming back for more and making even larger and more diverse combinations of fruit and vegetable juice.

 

Why juice? Since the fiber is removed from the juice, the body is better able to absorb the nutrients without all the energy expended in normative digestive processes. That being said, I totally understand and acknowledge the importance of fiber in the diet, and get that most Westerners are largely fiber-deficient. But, juicing can be a great way to get in many more fruits and vegetables than would be eaten otherwise, and to help change a person’s taste buds so that they actually can come to enjoy the natural flavors of fresh raw plant foods. Regular juicing may support weight loss, immunity, digestion, and overall health in the context of a healthy lifestyle.

 

I’ve juice cleansed for a variety of durations with the longest being a month-long cleanse in May-June of 2013. This coincided with some major life changes and served to give me some control and clarity back into my life. I was living with my parents in the family home in Colorado and working fulltime as a lifeguard and camp counselor at a summer day camp for school-aged children. I had a few months to go before starting graduate school, and I wanted to release physical, emotional, and spiritual toxicity that had developed and festered in the last year that I had spent recovering from a devastating relationship. The cleanse allowed me to tune into my body, pour in massive doses of vital nutrients, and spend some time learning about the optimal way to eat plant-based.

 

The year before I had been eating based on my emotions. This resulted in a vegan diet rich in popcorn with nutritional yeast, French fries and salad when dining out, vegetables roasted in lots of oil, hemp pancakes with gobs of almond butter and maple syrup, and all manner of vegan desserts that I created. Needless to say, I had packed on the pounds with the help of an array of antidepressants, mood stabilizers, acne medication, and birth control pills that I had to take for the acne medication. I had turned into a lifeless, largely emotion-less, hunched over zombie with so much sadness and anger tucked away in my body and fat cells. I had reached a critical point of toxicity, and the juice cleanse helped me release quite a bit of what I was holding onto. Was it the ultimate cure-all? No. But it certainly helped lead me on my path to greater health, personal empowerment, and some much-needed nutrition education.

 

During my cleanse, I watched all the important food documentaries on Netflix. Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, which had inspired the cleanse, Forks Over Knives, Food Inc., Fast Food Nation, Earthlings, Vegucated, Hungry for Change, and more. I read Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live and planned to implement a nutritarian lifestyle when I broke the cleanse. Nutritarian is a way of eating based on high nutrient density, focusing on foods like greens, beans, and mushrooms that have been scientifically shown to prevent chronic illnesses. It didn’t end up being the end-all be-all dietary pattern for me, but it allowed me to start getting in way more raw and lightly cooked fruits and vegetables than I had been previously.

 

After 30 days of nothing but juice, I took a pretty long break from my juicer. In the winter of 2015, my old Jack Lalanne called me back, and I made orange juice every day. I recall with great joy that cold winter in Indiana, during which I thrived on orange juice blended with berries and other fruits and greens. It was freezing outside, and I was freezing inside, always bundled up and often made fun of in my grad program for wearing my full body length blue puffer coat complete with hat inside. That being said, I felt freaking phenomenal. So light and clear. My yoga practice deepened, and my creative side began to emerge more freely.

 

After moving to Hawaii last April, I left juice behind again to really delve into the best and brightest of island cuisine. By October, my physical, emotional, and spiritual body felt weighed down and stuck. I began a series of fasts with coconut water and water-only. This time represented a period of serious slowing down and reflecting on who I am, what I want, and what my next steps in life would be. After doing extensive research during the fast, I learned that consuming fruit and vegetable juice is typically a safe, effective way to break an extended fast. So that’s what I did.

 

Juicing after a 28-day water-only fast ignited a full-on love affair with green juice. Holy mother! It is the stuff of life and vitality. It tastes great and leaves me buzzing with energy. The next few days I plan to cleanse on green juice. I am in love with the light, floaty feeling of living on green juice as well as how incredibly productive I become.

 

Here’s the recipe I made yesterday:

10 apples (5 Granny Smith and 5 Honeycrisp)

1 lb rainbow kale

3 hearts of romaine

1 lb mixed greens

2 bunches parsley

6 lemons

4 inches ginger

6 hearts celery (it is pretty salty!!)

11 cucumbers

fresh basil and mint leaves from my personal herb stash

*for an extra boost, add in spirulina, chlorella, moringa, Vitamineral Green, barley grass juice powder, or your favorite green superfood powder

 

 

The recipe yielded about 2 gallons of vibrant green juice. It took a long time to make with my Omega juicer, but is likely much quicker with other juicers. I find juicing to be rather meditative. Fresh ideas came to me while I washed, chopped, and prepped the veggies for juicing, and I experienced an overall state of peace and tranquility. That same feeling of serenity is embedded in my heart right now and stays with me as I consume a lighter, cleaner diet that affords me boundless energy and clarity of thought. However you choose to do it, get in your greens today! You won’t regret it. Namaste.