juice and raw food diet FAQ and benefits

by Kristina Sloggett

in daily juice, raw

Last summer we completed a juice fast and enjoyed a raw food diet. We have been juicing ever since – usually once a day, sometimes twice. We love eating raw foods as well, and feel fantastic when we do.

In addition to the benefit of extra energy, detoxing and improved sleep, a clean diet found us both headache free, with no allergy or congestion symptoms, and for me, less joint / muscle pain. I am more aware of how my body acts and reacts, and I feel clear, both internally and in my mind.

With the holidays here, you’re probably giving me the side eye and asking “is she really going to talk about cleansing right now?”

I am! Well, I am going on recent interests, actually – I have had many questions about juicing and raw diets in the last couple months, and several just this week. I am sharing the answers to the questions I received after our juice fast and raw diet last summer, because many of them have come up again recently. I have added information about the second juicer we have now – a twin gear.

While I plan to enjoy my holiday season and yes, there will be indulgence, I am also balancing that with clean eating during the days, and you know, normal life. I also plan to complete another juice and raw foods diet after the holidays, and I know others are planning that as well.

Today’s recipe is an old favorite – very easy, bright and vibrant.

pineapple pepper green juice

1/2 fresh pineapple, skin and core included, top removed
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded
2 large bunches kale 

Juice and enjoy!

I want to emphasize that I am not a medical professional dispensing advice, and anyone contemplating a dietary change should first consult their doctor. I am simply sharing my own experiences and what worked for me. Everyone is different, with a variety of dietary needs, and what works for one may not be best for another.

are you getting enough protein?

I have heard doctors, nutritionists, other qualified professionals say there is too much focus on protein. I have been one of these people, always making sure there is a good amount of protein included in each meal and snack. What I have realized is that for short periods of time, I get an adequate amount of protein and other nutrients with a juice fast – broccoli and spinach are both great sources.

Additionally, fresh juice is a highly digestible food that is packed with nutrients, raw enzymes, vitamins and antioxidants. I get healthy fats from avocado or nuts, omegas (flax, chia) – during fast if you do not get adequate fat, your body will be in starvation mode and store fat.

what is grocery shopping like?

I learned very quickly which markets have the most reasonably priced organics. Even more importantly, I learned which markets have the highest quality produce. I stopped the other day at a place on my way home, which thankfully is not my regular market because the produce was sad. Very sad.

Normally the bulk of my shopping is in the produce section anyway, with bulk items and a few things here and there, where I venture into the middle of the store. My shopping now is even more efficient – I have a master list of all the vegetables and fruit we like, and I check what is needed before I leave the house. Portland’s Farmers Markets have been a great source of many of our veggies.

do you use organic, and why?

I buy as much organic as possible, if it looks good. if the non organic looks fresher or what I want isn’t available, I’ll buy non organic. I then make sure to scrub clean (I do this with everything) and in some cases I will take the time to peel the skin. why? little to no chemicals, wax residue or preservatives is a good thing, and the absence of those things also means fresher produce with more nutrients. also, organic pulp can be used things like dog treats and bread – no waste!

even if you are not using organics, juicing is still highly beneficial.

how can I start?

prepare ahead of time. a week or so prior, cut back and stop coffee, alcohol, processed foods, eating as clean as possible.

if you can fast for at least 10 days you will see benefits. the first couple days of a juice fast, your body is processing the food remaining in your digestive system. the next couple of days, your body focuses on the reserves stored in your liver. after 3-5 days, your juice fast really begins!

Start with your favorite fruit and vegetables, so it will be something you want to consume. Gradually move to most if not all vegetables, with one fruit here and there. Plan to shop every few days if possible, or invest in some of those bags that prolong the life of produce. Know where you can find fresh juice away from home – juice bars, restaurants, gyms, even Jamba Juice has fresh juice!

did you have unpleasant reactions?

since I juice regularly anyway, and eat fairly clean much of the time, I did not experience many of the common side effects of a juice fast. some of the possible temporary effects resulting from detoxing include headaches, dizziness, breakouts, feeling tired or lethargic, weight loss. the first couple of days I was a little tired, and in five weeks I have had ONE headache (a happy and positive side effect!). I lost 10 pounds in the first couple weeks, and another 5 since. I am not in the habit of a scale, and I think the weight loss has plateaued.

the positives include increased energy and we feel incredibly healthy and clean!

how do you know what tastes good, do you have a favorite recipe?

I don’t always know what will taste good – trust me, not all of my juices turn out well! I have had to go back and add some pineapple or apple to mask some pretty bad flavors. I happen to be one of those nuts who likes the taste of green, so most things still taste good to me. I am juicing for Jason, too, and while he likes a lot of flavor combinations too, I do try to make things taste good and have a big collection of recipes for all of your juicing needs!

how long will you do this?

I am currently on a 2 week fast, the end of which is timed with an upcoming event. (We have had weddings, house guests, birthdays and other events where we happily broke fast). We are loving this, and are talking about keeping it up long term in some form. I have some great new raw food recipe ideas that I cannot WAIT to incorporate, and will juice regularly, at least once a day.

are you still exercising?

I am! For the first week, it was very little – walking only. Now I am running (or at least faced paced walking!), lifting, most of my regular activities, at about 1/2 to 3/4 intensity depending on the day.

do you juice once a day to drink all day, or several times a day?

the enzymes and nutrients begin to break down immediately, so I drink it immediately and make fresh juice each time to get the most out of my juicing! yes, I know for many, the biggest complaint is having to clean the juicer:

do you clean your juicer each time?

yes, I do clean my juicer each time – I make myself clean it before I can drink my juice, and it really only takes a few more minutes, at most. I have it down to a pretty quick routine now, turning on the hot water as soon as I am done juicing, grab my scrub brush and just clean each piece as I take it apart, and I have a drying mat I stack it all on. after much use and sitting on the drying rack by my kitchen window sometimes in the sun, the pieces have become slightly cloudy over time. this does not affect the juice or juicer at all.

additionally, once or twice a week I’ll run it all through the dishwasher (EXCEPT the plunger – that will melt / lose shape and not fit right after). yes, it can be a pain with what, six pieces plus wiping down the base, but when I think of cleaning dishes and cooking equipment, I think it more than balances out. if you think of how much time you are probably saving, the extra clean up each time might be more manageable? :)

what kind of juicer do you have?

we have the Breville Juice Fountain Plus, which is the same juicer Joe Cross has in the documentary Fat Sick and Nearly Dead. Jason and I saw this movie about a week after we began our fast, and it completely validated what we were doing, and gave us even more motivation. This is a great movie about a couple different people who changed their health and their lives with a juice fast. Though Jason and I did not have any of the health complications the movie focuses on, nor are we medication-dependent, the film is very inspiring and motivating. It’s on instant Netflix and it’s both entertaining and heart warming.

we have added a second juicer to our kitchen – while I still use the Breville, I also love my new juicer, the Super Angel Stainless Twin Gear. This juicer is extremely efficient, producing a large amount of juice and minimal pulp, which is very dry.

It juices leafy greens very well also – I never juiced greens in my centrifugal, instead I would juice and then blend the greens in after. I still do this for more protein (spinach), but if I want only juice, we now have the benefit of greens.

Another benefit of the Super Angel – the twin gear mechanism grinds the produce in such a way that the enzymes do not immediately begin to break down – I still drink most of the juice right away, but if we want to take juice with us to work during the day, it will still be nutrient rich hours later.

I welcome your questions, either in the comments or via email.

sss

 

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 lindsay November 29, 2012 at 4:07 am

i think adding juicing in for one meal a day is even beneficial. Love all those extra nutrients. You still need to open a juice shop!

p.s
Do you think my vitamix would work on some of these?

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2 Kristina Sloggett December 3, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I would love to open a juice shop… juice and raw goodies… how much fun would that be!

your vita would definitely work, you can make smoothies instead of juice (extra fiber!), or you can strain it into a juice, use the “pulp” for baking!

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3 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) November 29, 2012 at 5:53 am

I have never made my own juice like this, but I’ve never been a fan of drinking my calories. I’m all about the raw foods though, you know that and I can totally see how this would be beneficial to people. Tony and the boys LOVE green juice and drink it often. We’ve talked about getting a juicer for that reason alone. I’m considering the Ninja though. I just haven’t taken the leap yet…

Great post!

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4 Kristina Sloggett December 3, 2012 at 2:36 pm

I definitely love to EAT… and CHEW… but I really enjoy juice as a meal also – it has to be substantial, and when I fast it can be up to 8 large juices a day… most of the time lately, I will juice, then blend spinach into it… YUM.

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5 Denise Bahadar April 13, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Really there are not that many calories in homemade juice. If you think about it 4 cups of fresh spinach is about 28 calories…a couple of carrots some cucumbers, bell peppers a few grape tomatoes and a couple of stalks of celery and one granny smith apple with 1/4 of a lemon. My 32 ounce juice that I made this morning was under 100 calories. And the amount of nutrients was incredible. Plus it filled me up. So it all depends on what you are putting in it. A person can consume a lot of calories and sugar if they only juice fruits.

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6 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table November 29, 2012 at 6:37 am

Super informative post! I don’t juice but have done the mostly raw thing and it is fantasy ice for cleaning your system and resetting habits. I may try this after my next competition. I know I’ll need a break from the protein!!

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7 Kristina Sloggett December 3, 2012 at 2:37 pm

yes, a protein break is good when you get up to the amounts you do for training! and you are still getting some protein, if you use blended spinach… :)

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8 Ashley F. November 29, 2012 at 7:23 am

Great info – thanks! The husband and I do a lot of juice cleanses – usually 2-5 days or so. Always looking for new recipes to mix it up a bit – this one looks great!

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9 Kristina Sloggett December 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm

we have pretty much the same juice every day, lately – carrot, apple, ginger, then I blend that with spinach and pineapple for a smoothie. so good, and sticks with us until lunch!

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10 Kelli November 29, 2012 at 7:20 pm

I love juicing! Juice is one of my favorite things….

What is in that beautiful RED juice?

In response to the vitamix question ~ yes! My juicer just decided to stop working, so I’ve been juicing in the vitamix until I get another one. Just cut everything up and place it in the vitamix. You might need to add a little water to get it to blend. Once all blended nicely, strain through a paint straining bag or nut milk bag and enjoy!

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11 Kristina Sloggett December 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm

hi Kelli! the red juice had beets in it… probably carrot, ginger, beet, with kale or spinach blended in, it looks like. (funny how I can guess just by looking at it, right? when you juice as much as I do…) ;) juice is one of my favorite things too!

glad to hear your Vita is working for you – those things are so powerful, I have had mine for a LONG time!!

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12 Kate@Diethood November 30, 2012 at 7:31 am

Stop coffee?! Oh my word… it’s the only indulgence I have left!! ;-)
Kudos to you and everyone that can do a raw diet. I do a cleanse once a year for 6 weeks prior to Easter; Strict vegan diet without manipulating most of the food.

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13 Kristina Sloggett December 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I only stopped coffee during the cleanse, not long term. actually, I went through a time when I didn’t have coffee at all, but now I am enjoying a cup or two a day ;)

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14 Heather @ Better With Veggies November 30, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I’ve always been intrigued by juicing and would love to try it, but no juicer makes that a little tricky. With my workouts typically more endurance, it’s also a little tricky to be sure I have enough to fuel my workouts. I love reading others’ experiences though and really appreciate this post!

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15 Kristina Sloggett December 3, 2012 at 1:11 pm

yes, I definitely couldn’t be working out BIG or training for something while on a juice fast – I did work out, and after a couple weeks it almost seemed like a “normal” workout, but nothing “extra”. I love how they make me feel, and like to do them as a break every so often.

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16 Chip December 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Have you tried juicing Aronia berries? They are a great smoothie ingredient farmed by us in Saint Joseph, Missouri and worth a look and a try – http://www.blazerfarmz.com/recipes.html

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