"In time and with water, everything changes."
“You’ve lost weight!”
I’m surprised at how many people notice and comment. I’ve always been pretty comfortable with my weight and size. Trimming down was not my motivation for starting this juice fast, but after three weeks of a liquid-only diet, I must say I do feel lighter and some of my pants are feeling quite loose.
What is juice fasting and why try it?
Juice fasting, also known as juice cleansing, is a certain period of time when you typically consume only raw liquids, specifically water, herbal teas, fresh fruit and vegetable juices.
I’ve recently read that multi-billion dollar industries profit from sick people and that is why fasting is rarely talked about positively in the media. If you suffer from headaches, constipation, diarrhea, skin troubles, fatigue, irritability, excess weight, bloating or any other number of symptoms, your body needs some help to cleanse.
Fasting is the key to boosting our immune system and detoxifying our body, not just physically, but also emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Detoxing dates back to at least the ancient Hindus, Egyptians, and Greeks who all used certain foods and herbs to purify and detoxify the body. Further, fasting is an unifying truth and practice of many ancient cultures including religions like Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, and now modern-day science is confirming its power to transform us (The Chalkboard).
Back in July, I started juice fasting for two days a week, and recently I decided to transition into a 21-Day Juice Fast before going into a longer water fast. Through a juice or water fast we can develop self-discipline as we learn how to step away from the downward spiral of desire. Besides boosting my immune system and cleansing my digestive system, my motivation for fasting lies in the spiritual realm as juice fasting is a nourishing tool to improve clarity, sense of connection to self, and connection to my spirit.
"Through a juice or water fast we can develop self-discipline as we learn how to step away from the downward spiral of desire."
Saucha is one of the Niyamas from the Eight Limbs of Yoga. These limbs are discussed in many ancient Indian texts such as Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.
Saucha means cleanliness. Cleanliness indicates a sense of self-respect. On a basic physical level it applies to how we clean ourselves. This cleanliness also applies to food. We’ve all heard the popular phrase, “You are what you eat,” so the cleaner our food is, the cleaner we’re going to be inside and out.
Water is symbolic of healing and cleansing.
An ancient Oriental proverb states, "Be water my friend, be water," which is to say be flexible, adaptable in mind and body.
Spiritually speaking, the Element of Water symbolizes our emotions that ebb and flow.
Did you know that 90% of eating is emotional?
The element of Water is linked with our Sacral Chakra, Svadhisthana. The Sacral Chakra is about finding a balance with creativity, pleasure, and desire, and when it’s off balance, sometimes we attempt to fill the resulting void with a “quick fix” like comfort food, alcoholic beverages, or romantic flings. Sacral means relating to the sacrum, or sacred. Sacred is something considered worthy of spiritual respect. Therefore, as universal symbol for the soul, the Sacral Chakra is area where new life is generated.
Everything that we create, whether it be a poem, a drawing, or a website, originates from the energy of our Sacral Chakra. Any time we take raw materials, physical or mental, and transform them into something new, we are using our creative energy. We also tap into this source when enjoying art, beauty, and sensory experience; being able to experience emotions without being overwhelmed by them; being adventurous and open to change.
Some signs that we are out of balance in this energy center includes: emotional instability, fear of water, fear of change, sexual dysfunction, depression, overly needy, insufficient boundaries, and addictions in which there’s a constant need for stimulation (entertainment, partying, binge eating) or frequent emotional drama.
By restoring our balance in this center, we find balance with our feelings, sense of trust, respect for nature, abundance of life, compassion for others, inner serenity, and creative expression.
"If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.”
If you would like to explore your creative side and introduce a fasting routine into your life as well as to flush out blockages in your emotional energy center, then join us for a Beach Camping Juice Fasting Weekend on Friday, January 19th- Sunday, January 21st, 2018 at San Elijo, California State Beach.
Come together as a community to meditate, practice yoga, hike, discuss, read, play in the ocean and create watercolor paintings as we spark Big Magic into our being and aim to find balance with our feelings, sense of trust, respect for nature, abundance of life, compassion for others, inner serenity, and creative expression.
On a physical level, when we juice our fruits and vegetables, we remove the fiber and drink only the liquid which contains the organic hydration, nutrients, vitamins and enzymes from the plant food. Pure raw juice helps to break down acidic waste matter and rejuvenate our bodies at a cellular level. Although fiber can be useful in our diet, going for a certain period of time without it gives our bodies a chance to spend less energy on digestion because around 70% of our energy each day is spent on digestion alone. So when we are eating three meals a day plus snacks, we are rarely giving our bodies a chance to direct energy to deeply cleanse the body.
When and Where to Juice Fast
If you are thinking about starting a Juice Cleanse or Juice Fast, I recommend starting with a goal. Write down why you want to fast and set up small steps to gradually working your way up to a longer fast. Experienced fasters can go for as long as three weeks on a juice fast, however if this is your first time, it is recommended that you start with a smaller, more manageable target. Fasting can be challenging, both physically and mentally, but it is better to complete a short fast successfully than to falter in the middle of a long one.
If you don’t have enough time to prepare your own juices, I recommend Juice Crafters. Juice Crafters is a family owned juice bar which uses raw 100% natural ingredients to prepare some of the most amazing freshly pressed juices in the world. They emphasize the importance of providing natural holistic wellness by extracting nature’s medicine into our immunization juices. Their fruits and vegetables are handpicked by local farmers and delivered daily to guarantee quality and freshness that you can taste with your every sip.
Swing by one of Juice Crafters locations to grab a freshly pressed juice made to order. Currently juicing in the following locations: Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Downtown LA & Newport Beach. Our San Diego locations: La Jolla, Hillcrest, Little Italy. Visit Juice Crafters Juice Bars today and start a better life.
How Much Juice to Consume
If you are drinking a lot of juice, you may find that you can continue functioning with your normal schedule just fine while fasting. However, by doing so you are not giving your body the maximum chance to embrace and work with the healing and cleansing process. While you may be able to get up and go to work, do your chores, look after your family, and make your juice to boot, you won’t be giving yourself the best experience and results possible. Rest and relaxation are vital for optimal results.
I usually just drink water in the morning and don’t start drinking juice until the afternoon. Drink plenty of water is also important when on a juice cleanse, as the water will help to flush toxins from your system, along with helping you to rehydrate after eliminations. Drinking water will also help to keep sensations of hunger at bay. You should aim to drink at least a glass of water with each juice, or dilute the juice with 50% water.
How to Juice
For best results, experts recommend buying a juicer. However, I created my juices the old-fashioned way with a Ninja blender. I first selected the organic fruits and vegetable that I wanted to use, then I chopped them and added water. After blending, I strained out the fibers through a thin wire strainer, and cheese cloth.
To avoid excess sugar and maintain a high nutrient value, experts recommend that juices should contain a healthy proportion of vegetables and fruits. I find myself craving more grounding root vegetables like carrots and beets with a hint of orange or bell pepper to add sweetness. Other amazing vegetables include celery, brussel sprouts, basil, spinach, kale, garlic, ginger, and shallots. Delicious fruits include cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, melons, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, pears, lemons, watermelon, kiwi, and pineapple.
The best part about making your own juices is that you get to indulge in creativity and experiment with different fruit and vegetables to get tasty and unusual combinations. When you really put thought into what flavors will work well together, drinking your juice will be a pleasure.
Most fresh juices have a shelf life of 72 hours. Although I did end up purchasing some Organic 100% Juice from the store, I later learned that they were Flash Pasturized and although they were tasty and colorful, they were boiled and lost their raw enzymes and vitamins.
Sample Recipes for a Day in the Life of Juicing:
Fresh Basil Tomato: Juice 2 tomatoes, one skinned Persian cucumber, one peeled garlic cloves, 1/4 of a peeled lemon and a handful of basil leaves.
Afternoon Delight: 3 strawberries, 10 blueberries, 1 honey crisp apple, and one pear.
Dinner Substance: Juice 1 sliced beet, 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, 4 kale leave, 1 green apple, and 1/4 of a peeled lemon
Date-Apple-Almond Milk- 3/4 cup of soaked almonds in water, 3 pitted dates, 1 apple
Other Ideas for Homemade Nut Milks:
Peach - Pecan milk
Pineapple - Cashew milk
Hannah seeks to find relationships between nature, cultures, yoga, and art through her writing.
Fun Yoga On the Bay
Travel the world with me through yoga!
These themed lessons are fun for all ages and levels at Mission Bay Park.
See the page, Park Yoga, for more information!
Lessons from Abroad