If you are feeling sick and tired and maybe tired of feeling sick all the time, today’s post is for you! Maybe it’s time for a fresh start for your body! Ashleigh Cormier, the talented photographer behind Ashleigh Jayne Photography has done several juice fasts to recharge her body. I interviewed her about her experience and asked how we can make it happen too!
1. Why did you decide to do a juice fast? Over the last two years, I’ve started mentally and physically feeling very sluggish. Tired ALL the time and absolutely NO energy what so ever. I’ve poured my EVERYTHING in to my business lately and really let go of my well-being and health. Working all day every day…. staying up all hours of the night… drinking a Red Bull JUST to get by… making poor food choices… not getting enough exercise. The list goes on. It’s been such a horrible way to live and I really started feeling the effects of it. Over a year ago, I watched the amazing Documentary – Sick, Fat, and Nearly Dead. The documentary, if you haven’t seen it (and you should see it immediately) is about an Australian fellow that finds himself in a midlife/poor health crisis of sorts and sets out on a 60-day, juice-fueled quest through the United States. His days are spent travelling around our great nation interviewing people on their thoughts on health, wellness and his sixty-day experiment. I should also add the main “character” of the film, for lack of a better term, is also roughly sixty pounds overweight and suffering from Urticaria, a painful auto-immune disease that manifests with skin lesions and rashes.
The goal of the documentary is to show people the power of the human body to heal itself – if given the chance. I won’t go into any further detail regarding what happens to him so as not to ruin anyone’s viewing experience… to say all that, It CHANGED my life. I encourage anyone and everyone to go watch it. It will open your eyes to so much when it comes to juicing and your overall health. So after I watched this documentary, I knew I was ready to start making a change.
2. How did you psyche yourself up to REALLY do it? I’m the type of person when I REALLY REALLY REAAALLLY put my mind to something, I’ll do it. I think honestly, I got to the point where I was just SO tired of feeling horrible, I knew I didn’t have a choice. I knew with putting 100% veggies and fruit in my body only…. I could only go up, right? I also started doing so much research about juicing and juice fasts, which educated me so much. I encourage everyone…. start learning, start googling about all different kinds of veggies, fruits, seeds, the benefits of juicing…. you’ll be amazed what it does for your body. It’s mind blowing.
3. What were the biggest challenges and how did you overcome them? I’d say the biggest challenge of a juice fast whether you do a 3 day fast or a 21 day fast would simply be not being able to chew and actually eat something. You’d be surprised how dependent our bodies get on certain things…. chewing food being a big one. (obviously) The first 3 days of a juice fast are the ABSOLUTE hardest. Your body goes through a major detox. You’ll get headaches (especially if your body is use to caffeine) you’ll feel a bit sluggish at first, and you WILL experience some hunger pains. All of this is totally normal. By the 4th day your body has slowly adjusted to the fact it will now only be getting liquid. I remember by day 3 I wanted to just give up… You’re SO ready to just chew on something… even the smallest piece of lettuce sounded AH-mazing. BUT, I hung in there…. I promised myself I wouldn’t cheat or quit… and I’m SO glad I didn’t. Like I said, after day 4, you really start feeling the GOOD parts of juicing.
4. What were the biggest benefits? The benefits are so amazing! After day 4, you start feeling like a brand new person. You have so much energy, you feel lighter, you aren’t bloated, YOU HAVE A FLATTER STOMACH, you feel more alert, a stronger immune system, better digestion, and improved heart and cardiovascular function. Remember, juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. This is important because most of us have impaired digestion as a result of making less-than-optimal food choices over many years. This limits your body’s ability to absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. Juicing will help to “pre-digest” them for you, so you will receive most of the nutrition. It also allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner. If you are a carb type, you should eat one pound of raw vegetables per 50 pounds of body weight per day. Some people may find eating that many vegetables difficult, but it can be easily accomplished with a quick glass of vegetable juice. It helps too with adding a wider variety of vegetables in your diet. Many people eat the same vegetable salads every day. This violates the principle of regular food rotation and increases your chance of developing an allergy to a certain food. But with juicing, you can juice a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally enjoy eating whole….. like a beet.
5. I know people are thinking, this is probably pretty time consuming. Did you come up with a system to make it simpler each day? It really took trial and error for me to figure out what works best for me and my schedule. When you do a juice fast, you MUST consume AT LEAST six 16oz a day. That pretty much has you drinking something every two hours…. or you’ll get way too hungry to continue on. I’ve done two different things in the past. If I decide I’m going to actually juice everything myself, I would juice all 6 juices the night before. I use mason jars to keep my juice in because it really seals up nicely. There’s just NO way with working during the day could I juice 6 different times daily. Juicing the night before was the only way to make it work for my lifestyle. (Remember, juicing can last up to 24hrs. Especially if you use a cold press juicer) I’ve also done a 21 day juice fast where I decided to buy the juice already made. I’ve used companies like Blue Print… The Big Squeezy is now open in Baton Rouge (a local juice bar!!!) and I’ve also gotten the juice – Suja from any Whole Foods and OnJuice! Yes, buying the juice is more expensive than actually juicing it yourself…. but it saves you loads of time!!
6. Have any favorite recipes? I use three different juicers. I have a cold press, slow juicer – The Vert by Omega . This juicer is really really awesome for all your leafy greens. (kale, collards, swiss chard, spinach, mustard greens, etc.) I also have the Breville juice Fountain Elite. This juicer is really awesome for fruits. For more of a smoothie texture and to really get all the fiber, I use the NutriBullet!!! This one is awesome for adding in all your seeds like (chia, flax, etc.)
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For cold press juicing, I love these recipes:
Something sweet…. Kale and Pineapple
Super Greens…. Green Apples, Cucumber, Celery, Mint, Kale, Spinach, and Collards
For my NutriBullet, my favorite is:
Baby spinach, frozen berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries) fresh squeezed OJ, chia seeds, and flax seeds!!!!
7. Any other benefits? i.e. cheaper, less time spent thinking about or making meals? Juicing gives your WHOLE BODY a chance to “clean house”. Without the added burden of digestion, which takes a LOT of time and energy, the body is now free to work on other things like detoxing the liver and kidneys. When we drink Raw vegetable juices, the situation is entirely different, as these micronutrients are digested and assimilated within 10 to 15 minutes after we drink them and they are used almost entirely in the nourishment and regeneration of the cells and tissues, glands and organs of the body. In this case the result is obvious, as the entire process of digestion and assimilation is completed with a maximum degree of speed and efficiency, and with a minimum of effort on the part of the digestive system.
This post is a part of the FRESH START series. A three-week series to get you ready for 2014. Each week will have a different theme, mind, home and body.