Sunday, November 18, 2012

The First 'Official' Three Days of Juicing

So it's Sunday afternoon and we are into Day 3 of the 'official' juice fast.  I am happy to report that neither of us is hungry, feels ill in any way or is cranky from 3 days of just juice.  I should qualify that we aren't drinking strictly just the 'green machine' juice as demonstrated in Joe Cross' "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" documentary.  We are making and drinking varied juice mixtures of approximately 50% fruits to 50% vegetables - and we are pulverizing the whole fruits and veg so that we get the extra added benefits of fiber and nutrition from consuming the entire fruit and veg.  So when I talk about juice in this blog, it really is more of a fruit and veg smoothie in our case as opposed to just the extracted juice.

We actually started a few days before the official start day of Friday, November 16, 2012 by creating and consuming a juice every night with dinner.  Because the juice was filling, we had about 2.5 cups of juice each first before sitting down to our normal dinner and since we had consumed the juice beforehand, we ended up eating about half of our dinner before we were full.  Then, amazingly enough, we felt full through the evening and well into the next morning.  I attribute this to the fact that we consumed a fruit/veg smoothie containing all the fiber of the fruit/veg used as opposed to just the juice.

I should also mention at this point that we also agreed that if either one of us started craving some meat or protein during this period, that we would be free to have a lean protein of some sort be it chicken or pork or beef for dinner to slake the craving and then continue on with the juicing.  I believe that anyone undertaking this type of endeavor can easily be derailed if it starts to feel too restrictive.  Perhaps a departure from Joe Cross' mentality but neither of us is morbidly obese and the goal is to be able to reach our respective desired weight goals and then to maintain the loss through incorporating juicing, a better diet and exercise.  It isn't just about how much weight can be lost or how fast it can be lost.  So no, we are not juicing on Thanksgiving Day.  I do have to say that with juicing, I am not really hungry so I'm not really worried that I'll turn into some out-of-control gluttonous maniac when I do decide to have a bite of food. I'll enjoy all the Thanksgiving goodies I like in moderation and then back to juicing on Black Friday.

With dinner the on the day that the Breville juicer arrived, we made the traditional Joe Cross 'Mean Green Juice' which is mostly veg with a green apple and a knob ginger for sweetness and punch.  A word of warning - try just a small knob of ginger for your first batch, I plopped in a one inch knob and it was plenty ginger-spicy!  Not bad for us but probably too spicy for most people.  The juicer worked perfectly and we had a smooth green juice with a slightly foamy head.  It was pretty good - less sweet than the 50/50 mixture trials we'd made before, but no less palatable.  All the juices were very good and very drinkable.  The only negatives (if you can call them negatives) are that they aren't the most visually appealing and they can smell a bit grassy - even if they don't taste that way.

If you have followed this portion of my blog from the beginning, you'll see that I purchased 3 different 'juicers'.  The NutriBullet, the Ninja Blender and a Breville Juicer  (The Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus 850-Watt Juice Extractor).

Here are the differences in what they create:

The NutriBullet Smoothie

The NutriBullet - the NutriBullet (above) creates a smooth, emulsified mixture that has a creamy consistency like a milkshake - or smoothie.  No chunks, lumps, bumps - just creamy smooth, thick smoothies.

The Ninja Chunky-Smoothie

The Ninja Blender - the Ninja Blender (above) creates a chunky, less-emulsified mixture that has a creamy consistency with a lot of microbits of the fruit and veg.  We use minimal water to blend so it's thick and has the consistency of thick grits or farina.  It is very filling.

The Breville Smooth, Liquid Juice

The Breville Juicer - the Breville juicer (above) creates a smooth, completely liquid mixture that has the consistency of water or traditional extracted juice - no pulp, no solids.  

Here are a few favorite recipes from the first three days of the juice fast:

1.  Spinach, Beet Green, Cantaloupe and Watermelon - Ninja Blender

This mixture is very refreshing and lightly melony-sweet.

  • 1/2 7 oz. package of 50/50 spinach and beet greens (or 50/50 spinach and spring mix)
  • 1 quart of pre-cut cantaloupe
  • 1 quart of pre-cut watermelon
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup water (or to taste for desired consistency)

Put all ingredients into the Ninja Blender and pulse to desired consistency.

2.  Spinach, Spring Mix Green, Strawberry and Apple - Ninja Blender

This mixture is also very refreshing and lightly tart-sweet.

  • 1/2 7 oz. package of 50/50 spinach and spring mix)
  • 1 quart of pre-cut strawberry
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, quartered and seeded - skin on. (apple seeds are not edible and can produce cyanide - do not blend or pulverize
  • 1 Honey Crsip Apple, quartered and seeded - skin on  (apple seeds are not edible and can produce cyanide - do not blend or pulverize
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup water (or to taste for desired juice consistency)

Put all ingredients into the Ninja Blender and pulse to desired consistency.

3.  Gazpacho - Ninja Blender

This mixture is savory and much like a traditional gazpacho in flavor.

  • 6 Tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 large English Cucumber (if using a waxy cucumber, peel)
  • 2 stalks Celery
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper 
  • 1/4 small Red Onion - or to taste
  • 1 Lime, peeled not seeded - or a splash of Sherry or Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup water or all-natural Bloody Mary mix
  • Parsley - optional and to taste - we liked it better without. *(see note)
  • Salt, Pepper & Garlic Powder (or Goya Adobo Seasoning) to taste

Put all ingredients into the Ninja Blender and pulse to desired consistency.

*NOTE:  The original recipe we tried used 2 cups of parsley, tops and stems.  It tasted good but it was closer in taste to Tabbouleh as opposed to Gazpacho due to the amount of parsley.

The red onion should also be used sparingly because it can overpower the mixture.

You can definitely use both lime and vinegar in the mixture if you like, but keep the final acidity of the drink in mind and perhaps use the lime in the blender then finish with a splash of vinegar on the finished drink before consuming.

Of course - the most important bit of this all is that I have lost 5+ pounds and Ed had lost 7+ pounds.

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