Kicking Off the New Year with a Juice Cleanse!

I hope that everyone’s New Year has been off to a great start! If you’re anything like me and maybe overindulged a bit during the holidays you might be looking for a way to get back on track. Something I love to do about twice a year and especially after the holidays is a 3 day juice cleanse. I find it really helps me to reset my body and get my clean eating habits back in order. Something I love about juice cleanses is that they tend not to leave one feeling famished, as fasts often do. And as I tend to get “hangry”, I don’t do so well with fasting. Juice cleanses on the other hand are fairly easy to stick with for the 3 days, and afterwards I always feel more energetic with an improved mood.

My mom makes the BEST shortbread cookies! Okay, I might be a little biased, but they are seriously delicious and she only makes them at Christmas (thank goodness!). Needless to say I take advantage of this once a year opportunity and eat more cookies than I need to. While I love them, after a few days of eating cookies and other sweet, sugary things I notice my body starts to feel lethargic. My mood also begins to deteriorate and I start feeling rather down – a pattern I’ve noticed over the years when my consumption of highly processed items, particularly sugars, increases significantly. This is when I know it’s time to do a little “reboot” of my system and the best way I’ve found for doing this is a juice cleanse!

If you’re new to juicing a great site to check out is “All About Juicing” – they share tons of great info on basically everything to do with juicing, from the different types of juicers available to various juicing recipes. Over the past few years I’ve experimented with different juice recipes and come up with my own new creations. I like variety so I try to do different juices each time I do a cleanse. This time I came up with 3 of my own creations based on past experiments (must be the scientist in me because I love experimenting, especially with FOOD! heh).

I always try to buy fresh and when possible, organic, produce. This is especially important when one is doing a juice cleanse so as to minimize exposure to potential toxins or harmful compounds found in foods. However, I know this is not always feasible and access to certain items can be difficult depending on your location and the time of the year, so just do your best. As a rule of thumb, try to buy local and fresh as much as possible. A great place in my area I like to get my produce from is “Globally Local“, which offers a variety of organic items and they even deliver! For those of you in the USA, a great new resource is “FarmersMarket.com” – which develops local markets for farmer and artisan products in various locations.

Okay, onto the cleanse! To simply things I’ve listed the actual recipes mentioned here on the “recipes” page of my blog.  Basically, I mix up all of my juice for the day in the morning and store it in mason jars in the fridge. Try to consume 1 glass of juice every 1 to 1.5 hours throughout the day, with water in between. At the end of the day I have one solid meal. I like to keep it all veggie based and simplistic, but adding in a lean protein is fine. Avoid any processed items or additives.

It’s best to mix up your juice fresh that morning, but if you’re tight for time it can be done the night before. Alternatively, you can prep your produce the night before (this is what takes the most time anyhow) and then juice it all in the morning. For those of you with kids, this is a great way to get them involved in learning how to prepare food. This is something I know I personally take for granted – knowing how to prepare my own food – which I learned how to do when I was a kid. Literature suggests that individuals are more likely to give something a try if they have some knowledge and a feeling of competency regarding the task, and cooking is no different! If kids don’t know how to prepare food items, even something as simple as how to properly peel an orange or carrot, they may not have the confidence to try using these items later on. Thus it’s important to get kids involved in the process of preparing and cooking food so that they can learn these essential skills that will be important tools for cultivating wellness and health throughout their lives.

For day 1 I decided to make what I like to call Sunshine Beet Juice. It’s a tasty combo of beets, carrots, oranges, grapefruit, and ginger. I finished off day 1 with a mushroom, kale, and beet stuffed bell pepper.

Sunshine Beet Juice
Sunshine Beet Juice – The Goods

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium beets, cut in half
  • 8 – 10 carrots, scrubbed (or peeled if you prefer)
  • 5 oranges, peeled
  • 4 grapefruits, peeled
  • 3″ ginger
Sunshine Beet Juice
Sunshine Beet Juice

Day 2 of my cleanse was a simple Green Juice consisting of apples, cucumbers, kale, ginger, and lemon. I wanted to add some raw turmeric to it but wasn’t able to find some this time around. It’s a great item to add in if you’ve got it! I finished off the day with a spinach salad topped with tomatoes, avocado, and walnuts. I used a simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. I get my olive oil and balsamic vinegar’s from The Pristine Olive Tasting Bar. Seriously, the BEST olive oils and vinegar’s out there! I am not ashamed to say that on more than one occasion I have licked my plate clean after finishing my salad because the dressing is just SO DELICIOUS! If you’re not a fan of salads these dressings will change your mind – I actually crave salads now! One of my favorite combos is their Arbosana olive oil paired with the Cinnamon Pear balsamic vinegar. Amazing!!

Ingredients:

  • 6 – 8 apples, washed and cut in half (remove seeds)
  • 4 – 6 cucumbers
  • 2 bunches kale
  • 1 – 2 lemons
  • 2″ ginger
  • 2″ turmeric (optional)
Green Juice
Green Juice

Finally, on day 3 I decided to make some Pumpkin Juice (aka. wizard juice haha) consisting of a pumpkin, ginger, lemons, oranges, apples, and carrots. I finished off the day with Cinnamon Pear balsamic vinegar roasted beets and carrots, along with cashew crusted cod.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small pumpkin; seeds removed, peeled, cut into large chunks
  • 2 – 3 lemons
  • 4 oranges
  • 6 apples
  • 10 – 15 carrots
  • 2″ ginger
  • 2″ turmeric (optional)
Pumpkin Juice
Pumpkin Juice

Method:

  • Add each item one at a time. My juice pitcher fills up quickly so I keep a large bowl on hand to pour the juice into and combine.
  • Once you have finished juicing everything and combined it in the bowl, pour into mason jars and store in the fridge.
  • Serve cold and enjoy!

Have fun and happy juicing! 🙂

 

 

 

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