Hurray! I made it through day 1 of my juice fast challenge. Hubby Ro thinks I am seriously mad and my mum in law is giving me funny looks about my diet. Even my mind thinks I am slightly crazy. I bought myself a celery and green apple juice in the morning when I was out and bought some groceries for my juice marathon.
Using only organic products (especially those where you eat with skin intact, like strawberries, berries, cucumber and tomatoes) and some non organic products like lemons, oranges and watermelons for example. I practiced the 80% veggies /20% fruits rule when planning for my juice menu. The first juice recipe I made was green berry goodness.
5oz of baby organic spinach
1/2 a packet of blueberries
1 packet of strawberries
1 small peeled and chopped japanese cucumber
1/2 cup of water
I blended all the vegetables and fruits and poured them into my sieve. I had to use a big spoon to go over the pulp to make sure I get all the juices out. After a couple of minutes, my juice was ready and I had it twice for lunch and tea break. For dinner, I made a juice out of the following items:
1 bunch of celery stalks
1/2 packet of cherry tomatoes
1 large cucumber
1 red apple
Throughout the day, the biggest challenge for me was my mind. I had to keep talking and telling myself to hang in there while my brain kept asking me what was my purpose of this diet when I am not fat or unhealthy. I also started this diet at the worst time when I am having the lady’s time of the month which makes me quite tired and bloated in the first place. Other than that, I am feeling ok just slightly light-headed and strangely my bowels are not working as fast as I expected. I heard the second and third days are the worst so I am keeping fingers crossed.
1. Can I eat raw fruits or raw nuts during the juice diet?
The reason for not eating during a juice cleanse is so that the colon does not use energy to digest new foods entering the body, but instead removes the built up foods and toxins that have not previously been absorbed by the body. The reason for drinking juice is to give the body nutrients without digestible material. There are some modified versions of the juice cleanse which allow minimal amounts of food, but this would be considered more of a maintenance diet and not a true fast.
2. Which vegetables and fruits have the highest content of sugar? (So I can avoid the sugar rush effect!)
Fruits That Are Low In Sugar
Apricot (4 oz.)
Cantaloupe : 6.3g
Cranberry : 4g
Cherry (sour, sweet, 10 medium)
Coconut meat (1 oz. or 1 cup shredded/grated, not packed)
Currant (red, black, white)
Gooseberry : 9g
Grape (10 medium)
Melon, Red Water : 8g
Olive : 3g
Orange (sections, without membrane)
Papaya : 8g
Passion Fruit : 5.8g
Peach (1 med, 4 oz.)
Pear : 11.5g
Persimmon (American, Japanese, 1 medium)
Pineapple (1 oz)
Tangelo (1 medium)
Tangerine (1 medium)
Tomato : 1.9g
Very High Sugar Fruits
Banana : 20.4g
Fig : 19g
Grapes : 15.5g
Guava : 17g
Kumquat : 16g
Lychee : 18g
Mango : 15g
Persimmon : 18.6g
Pomegranate : 17g
Except where noted, all have less than 10 gm carbs in a half cup serving.
Vegetables That Are Low In Sugar
Bell pepper (sweet green)
Cabbage — all kinds
Celeriac (celery root, knob celery)
Garlic (1 clove)
Lettuce — all kinds
Mung bean sprouts
Onion (1 oz.)
Red-leaf chicory (Arugula)
Squashes — summer
Vegetables That Are High In Sugar
Why are carrots listed in both categories? Carrot juice is high in sugars (about 5 gm), while
cooked carrots are low (about 3 gm).
Carrots (depends on diet)
Potatoes in all forms
Winter Squashes (particularly acorn and butternut)
All sugary food is expansive.
- Fruit sugars are about 50% glucose and 50% fructose.
- The body’s cells absolutely need glucose to generate energy for the body, especially the brain and central nervous system.
- The glycemic index (GI) of food indicates how much a food will affect insulin secretion.
- Fructose has no effect on insulin secretion. Glucose does.
- This is why agave nectar, which is up to 90% fructose, has a low glycemic index. Contrary to its popularity, agave nectar is not a healthy sweetener.
Other things to know:
- Fructose also does not trigger the release of leptin, which gives the feeling of satiety. Glucose does.
- Fructose stimulates the release of ghrelin, which stimulates the appetite. (2)
The leptin/ghrelin dialogue in fructose and glucose is one reason why many people overeat. People who overeat are typically binging on bread (processed breads are made with high fructose corn syrup), sugar, dairy, and fruits. Even though fruit sugars are about 50/50 glucose and fructose, it is still wise to pay attention to any amount of fructose in the diet.
3. Can I make a pitcher of juice and store it for a whole day?
The vitamins and nutrients in juice can oxidize or decrease over time so it is ideal to drink the juice right away. The presence of light and oxygen speed up this process, but you can slow it down by keeping the juice in the refrigerator. Be sure to use an airtight container (preferably opaque or dark in color) that is not much larger than the amount of juice and store it for up to 24 hours.
4. If I went on a juice cleanse, where do I get my proteins from?
Vegetables DO contain protein. For example spinach has about 1g of protein per cup and broccoli has about 2g per cup. Typically as a society we consume too many proteins and we’re conditioned to believe that we will not survive with less. You will. But if you are concerned about proteins you can add a powdered spirulina/wheatgrass type supplement to your juice.
Broccoli is a good example of a something you can juice to get protein. One cup of broccoli gives roughly 4-5g of protein. I use a lot of spinach in my juice recipes as spinach contains about 5-6g of protein per cup. Kale, watercress, collard greens and turnip greens are also veggies that have a decent amount of protein in them and should be included in your juice fast.
You’ll be interested to know that some fruits also contain proteins. Fruits such as peaches, strawberries and cherries contain protein. Banana’s, papayas, and even kiwi contain proteins. So it’s safe to say you can get protein by using certain fruits in your juices. Mixing a good variety of protein rich fruits and vegetables in your juices will ensure you get plenty of protein in your juice diet.
5. How much juice must I drink a day?
4-6 times per day, 16-20 ounces for each juice.
6. Do I leave the peel of the vegetables and fruits when juicing? And what about the seeds?
Generally, if you buy organic produce you can leave the peel intact. Non-organic foods should be peeled or at least washed thoroughly. You can make your own vegetable wash with this recipe. Citrus fruits should be peeled because the rind tastes bitter and may contain pesticides, but you can leave the white pith. Many seeds can be left in the fruit and put through the juicer. Hard “pit” seeds such as peach, plum, and cherry must be removed first. Apple seeds do contain a small amount of a cyanide compound, which the body can easily detox in small amounts. Juice machines do break open the seeds which can release the compound. If this is a concern for you, then you can core the apple before juicing.
7. Can I use a blender? (I did not want to buy a new gadget just for a week long juice cleanse)
A blender is different from a juicer. Blenders do not remove the fiber from the juice, therefore your body is digesting food. The point of a juice cleanse is to relieve the body from digesting for a few days. I recommend buying a juice machine, however you may blend your foods and strain them through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth to manually remove the fiber.
8. How do I get enough liquid from leafy vegetables?
Some of the leafy vegetable just don’t have that much juice in them. However the juice that is there is very powerful so don’t dismiss them altogether. To get the best yield out of the leafy greens try rolling them to compact the leaves or wrapping them around a cucumber or carrot. Making them “bulkier” may help to get more juice. If you are getting serious about juicing you may want to check out a masticating juicer. This type of juice machine “chews” the food at slower speed and may work better on the leafy vegetables. Check out my juice machine guide for more info.
9. Other than vegetable and fruit juices, can I drink anything else?
In between meals, continue to drink juices alternating with pure drinking water. It is fine if you keep going to the toilet (washroom) as this allows your body to flush out the unwanted wastes from your body. Juice fasting is also about keeping your body alkaline. You achieve this by drinking fresh juices.
Take your body weight in pounds, divide it into two and that’s the number of ounces you will need in a day.
Example: Your body weight = 160 pounds. Divide into two = 80 pounds. Your requirement = 80 ounces / 8-oz a glass = TEN 8-oz glasses.
When you’re doing a juice cleanse, take this as a GUIDE, so that you don’t go too far away from your body’s water requirement. You should be drinking about that much water, not much more nor much less, just about there. Always drink water at room temperature or warm. Never drink cold water when juice fasting, to avoid troubling your digestive system. It is important while juice fasting, to drink plenty of water on top of the juices.
Avoid drinking fruit juices if you’re juice fasting/feasting for the purpose of losing weight. Some green apples and lemons/limes are fine, to be included in your green juices for taste. Drink only freshly extracted juices. Avoid canned juices that are sold on the shelves — those are loaded with harmful sugar, additives and preservatives.
You want to drink as much moisture-rich fruits as possible for proper hydration of vitamins/minerals and phytonutrients. Some common fruits that you can use during a juice fast: green apples, cantaloupe, carrot (not fruit), cranberries, grapefruit, grapes, guava, orange, pear, strawberries, watermelon and whatever else is available from your market or are in season.
Even though citrus fruits taste acidic, when consumed they are alkaline-forming and do not make the stomach acidic. Remember to rinse your mouth after drinking juices to prevent teeth decay.
Boil a simple vegetable broth with any green vegetables. Watercress juice is bitter but it’s suitable for making a broth for its many health benefits. Other vegetables that are suitable for making broth are amaranth leaves, broccoli, cabbage, celery, kale, bok choy, any squashes, and any other vegetable you fancy.
When making vegetable broth, the minerals and phytonutrients from the vegetables do not get destroyed but will leach into the soup. That’s what we want, discard the fiber when juice fasting. Overcooked vegetables become a burden to the digestive system. Here’s a nice vegetable broth recipe that I like to make when juice fasting.
Store up on caffeine-free herbal teas to be sipped between “meals”. Peppermint and chamomile teas are excellent in reducing the feeling of bloatedness. Oolong tea is good for those who want to lose weight. Rooibos and green tea are excellent sources of anti-oxidant.
10. What is the difference between juices and smoothies? Another site talks about it in detail here.
Juice – this is when ONLY the juice is extracted from the fruit or vegetable leaving the fibre in the pulp collector at the back of the machine. One of the many advantages of juicing is that you can get more nutrient-dense foods into your diet that for some, are less than appealing to eat, like broccoli, parsnip, sweet potato, kale, swiss chard etc. I like all of these things but I don’t want to eat 2 lbs of them!
This is why juicing is so great as you can easily obtain all of the vitamins and minerals from the food without having to chow down on a head of broccoli for example! In addition, our bodies absorb the nutrients with maximum efficiency as the body doesn’t have to break down and digest any fibre meaning the nutrients are assimilated in a matter of minutes rather than hours.
Smoothie – this is when the whole food is blended into a thick drink using all of the fruit – except for the skin and seed depending on what it is (this should be obvious..I hope!) Smoothies are great as the fibre from the fruit provides sustenance, filling you up and it gets your bowels moving (which is a good thing – colon health is SO important – another blog post to come!). You can make pure fruit smoothies, add in some spinach for a green smoothie (it tastes soo much better than you would imagine!) or make a creamy shake with some almond or brazil nut milk.
The general rule is that fruit can be juiced or used in a smoothie but veggies are better juiced. However you can put things like spinach, kale, swiss chard and other dark green leafys into a smoothie but be sure to add some mango or pineapple for example, so that the harsh green taste is masked by the sweetness of the fruit.