Juice feast!

Since we have access to fresh greens from the garden, I usually prepare the fruits and at the last minute, I go pick the greens so they keep as much nutrients as possible. In that juice, there was kale, chard, spinach, dandelion - we still have some young dandelion greens in the shaddy spots here! - and lamb's quarter (Chenopodium album), an awesome weed that is very concentrated in nutrients, as weeds usually are (another awesome weed for juicing is chickweed (stellaria media). We have also juiced clover this week.

I know people have LOTS of opinions on juice cleanses, or juice fast (or fasting in general). In the raw food world, we call them juice feasts and that's really what they are. A juice feast is drinking only (homemade, colorful) juices for days (from 2-3 to as many as 60 or 90 days) to give your body a break so it can heal itself. It's like a reboot. If you wonder what the health benefits of a juice feast are, you can read this article from the Huffington Post. As some of you know, we drink a green juice almost daily and eat a pretty healthy diet, but sometimes feel the need to flush the accumulated toxins out. For instance, I have had a mountain bike crash and even after a few chiro session, my neck is still painful and I know the juice fast will bring down the inflammation. I also had more migraines lately (a sign my liver is clogged with all the good food and wine I have been having with friends in the last few months!).

People always joke about my baby face and the fact that I still don't have wrinkles at 37... I believe the daily juicing helps keep my skin nice and soft and my complexion clear (and, well, I have good genetic for wrinkles!). It amazes me how when I juice feast, I feel more grounded, relax, a bit slower (which is good for a little fiery thing like me!). However, just to be clear, don't expect to feel great on the first few days. It is totally normal to feel sluggish and unwell (headache, nausea, fatigue) while the body flushes out the junk and adjusts to the new reality of the juice fast. From day 3-4 on, you usually feel great and energized!

I realize that people confuse green smoothies and green juices. Smoothies are made in a blender (like the Vitamix) and keep the whole fruits and veggies (with their fibers) whereas juices leave the fibers out and are made in a juicer like the Omega, Breville or Champion. I have the Omega 8006 and love it (I have owned a Champion and Breville before).

There are tons of great recipes here, but I'll share our favorite with you. Usually, we make 4 to 5 juices a day (and JF and I drink at least 500 ml each time). The girls drink juice too, but eat their usual meals also. I start the day with the lemon water (actually, my version is the juice of one lemon - pure, as a shooter - washed down with very hot water), Then, the first juice of the day (and our usual green juice outside of the juice feast) is this one:

Detoxing green juice 
2 bunches of kale
1 box baby spinach (or any other greens)
1 bunch italian parsley
5 apples
4 oranges
2 lemons
1 thumb of ginger

Run through juicer.

The other classic one I make every day is this one:
2 lbs carrots
1 small beet
2 celery stalks
3 apples
1/2 thumb of ginger

When I am tired of the sweet taste, I make a V8 type juice like this one. And we usually have this delicious one at the end of the day.

This time around, I really did not feel hungry of felt any cravings, like I did in previous juice cleanses. I attribute it to the fact that I used lots of freshly picked greens and wild edible, that are extremely rich in nutrients. Here's a list of common weeds that you probably have in your backyard that are an awesome addition to any juice!