Tis the season to be fasting now that we’ve got the feasting out of the way. A pattern seems to emerge at this time of the year when everyone awakens from the holidaze of excess and over indulgence. What’s the remedy for this holiday hangover? A juice fast/feast of course! I use the term fast/feast to allow flexibility regarding the recovery route you choose to take. Fasting is a more restricted and more powerful method of healing while feasting achieves similar results with less restrictions. Fasting is best done in a relaxed and supportive environment like a tropical spa setting. For those of us that don’t have a spa at our disposal the feast option is the next best choice.
Fasting: willingly abstaining from food, drink and/or specific activities for a set duration of time.
Feasting: consumption without limitations.
The component that is missing from the above definitions is the juice… green juice that is. Fresh organic green vegetable juice is the next best thing to mother’s milk and that is the core ingredient to a healing juice fast/feast. The foundation for my own green juice fasting/feasting protocol is based on what I learned while working at The Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center. While it is possible to fast on fruit juices, water and a variety of other liquids it is not recommended that you do this unless you know what you are doing and what you can expect. The high sugar content of fresh fruit and root (carrot, beet) juices can be unbalancing when consume in high amounts during a liquid fast. With the fiber removed from the fruit/root you end up with an unnaturally high concentration of sugars. If drinking these juices it is best to thin them with water or combine them with green vegetable juices.
The equipment needed to have a successful green juicing experience is either a high power blender like a vita-mix or blendtec or a masticating juicer. Centrifuge juicers are ok but many of them don’t handle leafy greens very well. I have a trick I use to maximize my juice output with both masticating and centrifuge juicers. Line the pulp catching container with a seed mylk bag (paint strainer bag from Home Depot). Once you have finished your initial juicing, taking the bag of pulp and squeeze it dry. You’ll find that a good bit of juice is left in the pulp, juice that would be thrown away.
It’s optimal to consume fresh green juice but it often isn’t practical to make the the juice on the spot. A routine of making your days juice either the morning of or the night before is usually the option of choice. If you have a FoodSaver kitchen gadget with the mason jar vacuum sealing attachment you’ll be stylin. With this set up you can vacuum seal your juice and extend it’s vitality and slow oxidation.
The juice blend I prefer while juice fasting/feasting is:
- 2-3 cucumbers,
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 handful of leafy greens (kale, spinach, lettuce)
- fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, basil)
For a bit of sweetness I might add 1 ounce of fresh carrot, beet or apple juice. When doing I long term fast I notice that people tend to want to drink their sweet juice straight… they’re jonezing for their sugar fix. The key to a healthy fast/feast is balance and shooting fruit juices is not very balancing… so don’t do it.
Fasting/Feasting on liquids during cold months can be quite a challenge. Here are some tips to take the edge off cold weather fasting.
Enjoy at least 4 ten ounce green juices a day with water and tea throughout the day. Below is a prospective fast/feast schedule.
8am – skin brush and shower
8:30 – hot water and lemon juice
9 am – 10 oz green juice
10:30 – tea or water
Noon – green juice, 1 oz apple with ginger/cayenne
1: 30 – tea or water
3pm – green juice, 1 oz carrot with ginger/cayenne
4:30 – tea or water
6pm – green juice with ginger and lemon
- Take your produce out of the fridge and allow it to warm up to room temp. before juicing it
- Enjoy hot/warm tea between green juices
- Add warming ingredients to your juices like fresh ginger juice, garlic, hot peppers, cayenne and turmeric
- Allow refrigerated juice to warm before drinking
- Exercise periodically through out the day: yoga, rebounding, breath work – see “Breath of Fire”
- Blend unpasteurized organic miso, lemon juice with hot water to make a warming soup
To really experience the benefits of a juice fast/feast you need to go for at least 3 days. 7 days is optimal and once you’ve gone beyond 7 just listen to your body and go until you feel you’ve satisfied your bodies healing needs.