My Light Bulb Moment
It never occurred to me how little vegetables and fruit was in our daily diet. The truth is, 60% of your daily intake should be vegetables and fruits, where most people in actuality are only taking in 1-3% (most of which is overcooked anyways). To better our bodies, we have adjusted our meals to more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and consuming meat only twice a week. No refined sugars, refined flours, processed foods (includes most prepackaged products), preservatives, or fast food. Our goal is to get the freshest ingredients possible, in each meal we have. For example: I made a whole wheat pizza crust and added lots of fresh vegetables on top. Instead of buying prepackaged pizza sauce, I roasted some plum tomatoes in the oven, then pureed it with sauteed garlic and onion, and fresh basil. That's it! It was absolutely delicious, and good for us too! It takes thinking ahead, devotion, and a new passion for health, to succeed! Plus, I am actually spending LESS on groceries, as I am not buying prepacked foods, and now buying less meat as well. Summer is also a perfect time of the year to hit those Farmer's Markets and side-of-the-road produce stands, for an even greater savings!
Reaction To the Fast
Days 1-2: Not a happy camper! I want food! I feel tired, and have a headache from caffeine withdrawal. Going to the bathroom quite a bit, which I know is just cleaning me out at this point. I can't stop thinking about how much I just want to dig in the pantry and eat junk! I feel hungry nonstop and my body is craving anything--fast food, sweets, or something deep fried. Still sticking in there with lots of will power.
Day 3-5: Amazing the difference one day can make! I 'm not thinking about food quite as much. But, a cheeseburger still sounds real good right now! I feel like I have more energy and restful nights. Not running to the bathroom as much anymore, body has adjusted. I noticed a difference in my skin by the 5th day. It appears clearer and softer than normal. Kids seem less hyper. My previous stomach pains and indigestion is gone.
Days 6-7: Piece of cake! It has become so natural and normal to juice and get full from it. When I find myself getting hungry, it happens to be the time to juice anyways. My stomach must be shrinking, as I find myself eating less at dinner and getting fuller faster. I can actually watch the cooking channel without wanting to run to the pantry now. I have lots of energy, feel more alert, and sleeping good. I find myself wanting more vegetables and fruits in the dinners I make. Although the kids know why we eat the way we do, I still find that I go head to head with my oldest, who LOVES junk food. Retraining bodies and minds proves to be a challenging job for all.
Now that we have cleansed our system and seem to be on track, we will continue to juice once a day as a supplement. Each meal I make will now consist of the freshest, purest, healthiest ingredients I can find. Sure, it may take more effort on my part, but the life-long results are so worth it! Here are a few ideas to get you started toward healthier cooking. You can find most of these recipes under the new Clean Eats recipes category! Need help figuring out what to juice? Check out my new Juicing recipes category as well! Keep checking back, as I will be adding new recipes each week!
Yogurt w/ fruit and granola
Oatmeal with fresh fruit and honey
Eggs with toast
Whole wheat banana pancakes with honey
Variety of salads w/ homemade dressings
Banana & peanut butter whole wheat wraps
Any dinner leftovers
Turkey & veggie sandwiches on whole wheat bread (I like Boar's Head All-Natural Deli meat)
Homemade Lunchables using Kashi crackers, cheese, and fresh deli meat
Grilled cheese with tomato and fresh basil on whole wheat bread
Veggie quiche with brown rice crust
Farmer's market pizza w/ roasted tomato sauce
Fish w/ avocado salsa
Apple, pecan, and blue cheese salad w/ tangy Dijon dressing
Popcorn w/ olive oil and sea salt
Homemade whole wheat cookies
Apples and peanut butter
General Items to Avoid: All prepackaged and processed foods, frozen meals, ready-to-go lunch/dinner kits, fast food, canned foods, prepackaged lunch meats, fried foods, pork products, pre-shredded cheeses, refined sugars and flours, white rice, vegetable or canola oil.
The cost of your food will vary, depending on how many in your family are juicing, how often you juice, where you buy your vegetables and fruits, and whether you go organic or not. I bought bulk vegetables and fruits at Costco. For the items that are known to be high in pesticide residue, I buy organic at my local grocery store. Juicers can range from $50 to several hundred dollars, depending on the model and brand you choose. My mom just purchased a GE Juicer for $49.95 at Walmart, and she is really pleased with it. I on the other hand, own a Breville Juice Fountain Plus, which costs $150 at Bed, Bath & Beyond (online). They both essentially do the same thing, but mine is a higher quality.
Tips I Learned
- Drink your juice slowly. Maybe even set it down and go do something, then come back to keep sipping on it. This gives you the feeling of fullness, for a longer time frame.
- Use a straw. The fruit is acidic and can leave a weird feeling to your teeth. Over time it can harm the enamel of your teeth as well. Using a straw helps keep it off.
- Drink water throughout the day, as juicing does not provide you with the hydration needed each day.
- Rinse you mouth with water after consuming juice. The juice is high in natural sugar, and this helps get any of the residue off your teeth.
Items You Can Juice
beets (root and stems)
yellow summer squash
*Follow the directions on your juicer, to indicate whether fruits need to be peeled, chopped, seeded, and so forth, prior to juicing.
For more information on foods to avoid, the reasons why, and healthy substitutes, check out my Guide to Clean Eating.