Have you been bitten by the juice feasting bug yet? If not, it could be only a matter of time. It's been widely known about in raw food circles for at least a year, ever since Angela Stokes's widely-publicized feast, but suddenly it seems everyone is at it! The signs are everywhere. Do a google search and you will find numerous blogs and personal accounts of people currently juice feasting (or who have previously done so). The Juice Feast Enthusiasts group on leading raw food forum Give It To Me Raw has 117 members, making it one of the most active groups in the community. And just in the last couple of days, two prominent raw bloggers have announced their own forays into the full 92-day experience (this will be explained below!) - Heidi of Raw Food Right Now and Philip from We Like It Raw.
Until two weeks ago I had juice feasting filed under 'Someday, definitely'. Then, without knowing why I found myself drawn to reading everything I could access on the subject and soon started to make it a part of my daily routine.
So what is going on? It's almost as if the '100th monkey' phenomenon is at play among raw food fans worldwide ; )
What is juice feasting?
Juice fasting has been around for decades, and involves consuming only juices and usually much less than your daily calorie requirement meaning (a) you will lose weight pretty rapidly; (b) you will need a lot of rest and might not feel great as the detox can be intense, meaning that (c) you may not be able to work or carry out your usual duties while doing it; and (d) you probably won't be able to continue on the juice regime for more than a month.
Then along came juice feasting.
On a juice feast you consume all the calories and nutrients your body needs; just in the form of juices (4-5 litres a day of them!) rather than solid foods. Though that said, a further difference is that solids are not completely verboten as they are on a juice fast; most juice feasters also consume a range of supplements and superfoods which may include MSM, bee pollen, B vitamins and powdered greens - to name just a few of the possibilities.
Juice feasting is basically about supplying your body with EVERYTHING it needs, but in the most readily absorbable form. Your body has to turn everything you eat into a liquid anyway before it can use it, so you're just relieving it of that work and freeing up the energy it would have expended on that - while supplying it with abundant vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, phytonutrients and enzymes.
If you are curious to find out more I would suggest you head over to David Rainoshek's fabulous Juice Feasting site for tons of free information plus the opportunity to sign up to a membership programme that looks truly fabulous. David is the man behind the 92-day protocol that is attracting so many health seekers currently, and he and his wife Katrina are running a 92-day Global Juice Feast starting in March!
The best of both worlds!
But you don't have to commit to three months (or even three days) without solid food in order to experience many of the benefits of juice feasting. You can combine it with your usual regime and it will always be a huge upgrade. I've been doing this for two weeks now. I'll juice feast for a day or two, and then I'll do a few days on a routine of just juices until the evening meal - usually at least three litres of the stuff : )
You can juice whatever vegetables and fruits you choose to, but David recommends including at least one head of celery and 2lb (900g!) of mineral-rich greens.
This last distinction has been the biggest revelation of all for me. I'd heard it before, but never 'got' it.
I've been juicing for years and prided myself on the fact I long ago graduated from fruit juices to grown-up 'green' ones. Once or twice a day I'd feed a cucumber, a few sticks of celery and a generous handful of whatever greens I had to hand through my juicer. I would also have a green salad or green smoothie most days. And do you know how much greenery that would add up to? I estimate 150g-250g a day! Those BIG bags of greens you can buy in the supermarket or grocery store? They're anything from 180g to 250g : (
So 900g of greens is a HUGE volume of greenery. To chomp through it you'd need to make mastication your full-time occupation! But juice them (or blend them) and it becomes much more doable.
I think I may have hit target for the first time today. It's been necessary to work up to that quantity of the potent medicine that green juices is. And I just know I am onto something here.
If you have ever tasted green juice, unadulterated, you'll know it is not exactly a walk in the park to get down. (And if you haven't, please take it slowly!) What I have discovered in my recent investigations into juice feasting is that the amount of greens you can drink increases exponentially if you pair them with citrus fruits. Duh!
My favourite juice recipe right now
- 200g of dark leafy greens (kale, spinach or chard)
- Half a head of celery
- One orange
- Two lemons
- Small piece of root ginger
All I taste is the citrus, and the greens seem to just make it slightly less sweet and slightly less tart. If you're not used to consuming raw green juices, start with just a handful of greens and gradually work up to larger amounts or you will likely end up feeling nauseous, quite possibly to the point that all that goodness will go to waste - if you catch my drift ; )
Today was a 'juice until evening' day. I was home alone and working most of the day, making yummy juices at regular intervals.
To give you an idea of what juice feasting entails, this is what went in my juicer during the course of the day:
2 cucumbers, 1 courgette, around 300g of sunflower greens, 150g spinach, 200g chard, 200g kale, 3 oranges, 4 lemons, 2 limes, 2 pears, small amounts of parsley, coriander and mint and some fresh ginger.
No! Not all at once ; )
During the evening I had a papaya, an avocado and a banana and (later, as I'm burning the midnight oil tonight) a big bowl of fresh coleslaw.
And - the most important question of all - how am I feeling?
Laser-like and full of bliss : )
So I'm going to keep working my juicer overtime and I'll also be keeping track of the 92-day juice feasts people are doing, which are sure to be amazing, life-changing journeys. I will be writing on this subject again soon and also sharing more juice recipes : )
Like all those other monkeys out there, I am finding this subject endlessly fascinating and I'm sure that as time goes on we will be hearing more and more about the amazing health practice that is juice feasting...