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Posts Tagged ‘cleanse’

  1. Friends Don’t Let Friends Juice Cleanse Alone

    March 24, 2011 by julie

    I’m thinking of going on a juice cleanse.

    How trendy of me, right? (Remember, all the celebs are doing it, so this makes it legitimately cool).

    Ever since I started this blog, I’ve been testing and tasting a lot more desserts than I’m used to.  Yes, I’m that dedicated.  While raw desserts are packed full of vitamins, minerals and other stuff that’s good for you, too much of anything isn’t that good for you.  Except for kale.  You can never eat too much kale.

    Anyways, too many raw desserts + upcoming wedding to attend = need for a juice cleanse.

    The last time* my husband and I decided to go on a 3-day juice cleanse (a la Blueprint Cleanse style) was on New Year’s Day just a few months ago.

    We had this grand stupid idea that we’d start the New Year with a green juice (versus a glass of champagne).

    I know, depressing, right?

    *Prior to the New Year’s cleanse disaster, we tried to go on a juice cleanse over Valentine’s Day weekend – we seem to have a knack for choosing inappropriate days to cleanse.

    Our attempt at cleansing lasted about one day before I got all bitchy and irritable.  I get like that when I’m hungry and trust me, even one day of juice cleansing can leave you feeling like you’re dying of hunger.  Luckily I’m vegan or I might have eaten one of our dogs.

    So, for the sake of our marriage, we ended up giving up around the 2nd day and turned the juice cleanse into a juice-til-dinner affair.

    I can still remember (fondly) our first meal after almost two days of no solid foods.  Lacking energy (and again, feeling irritable), all I could conjure up for dinner was a bunch of raw veggies coarsely chopped, some raw, untoasted nori and a bowl of tamari and wasabi.  In other words, the poor raw man’s version of sushi.  I nearly fainted bringing these to our kitchen counter.

    Wow.  Never had a piece of cucumber or avocado tasted so good.

    I felt like my taste buds were reset – rather than craving processed, greasy, or sugary food, my newly rested taste buds were craving fresh fruits and veggies, things bursting with flavor that only exist in nature, not formulated in a sterile lab by scary men in white coats.

    After that amazing dinner that we devoured (rather unattractively) like a pair of jackals, my husband and I vowed that we would go on a one-day juice cleanse once a week.

    Not sure what happened to that vow.  All I know is that it didn’t happen.  Until now.

    Starting next Monday, March 28, I’m going to go on a 3 day juice-til-dinner cleanse.  If all goes well, I may continue and make it a 5-day cleanse.  Yeah, I’m wild like that.

    You know that saying that misery loves company?  Well, I’m a firm believer in going on cleanses with friends and family.

    You really need a support group to help you through those dark moments when that box of cereal or the bag of cookies is calling your name.  So, dear friends, let’s do it together.

    C’mon.  I know you want to.

    Everyday starting Sunday, I’ll post up juice recipes for the following day.  You’ll drink only freshly-pressed juices (and potassium broth – more on that to come) for breakfast and lunch and then for dinner, you’ll have a glorious, immensely satisfying raw vegan meal (I’ll post what I’m eating so you guys can follow along).

    Doesn’t that sound like fun??!?!

    It’s rough and you’ll probably hate me during those 3 (or 5) days, but I promise that you will feel AMAZING afterward.  Everyone needs a vacation once in a while – so does your body.  Give it a well-deserved break from digesting all those McRibs and bowls of Pho.

    If you don’t have a juicer, you can opt to purchase your juices from a juice bar (don’t buy the bottled ones at the store as they are flash pasteurized, which defeats the purpose of the cleanse).  (For those of you who live in or near San Francisco, I may take a few juice delivery orders – I’ll deliver juices that will last you until dinner for every day of the cleanse – email me if you’re interested).

    To motivate you guys further, here’s a delicious (really, this one is yummy) juice recipe:

    Grapefruits Gone Wild

    1 bunch of celery

    1 bunch of collard greens

    4 carrots

    2 lemons

    2 grapefruits (peeled)

    Put everything in a juicer. Makes about 48 ounces of fresh-pressed deliciousness.

    Look closely - you can see specks of pink and orange!


  2. How to Scare Your Colleagues

    March 10, 2011 by julie

    Back when I was at my corporate job, I was the resident hippie/yoga instructor.  I had a yoga mat and a headstand prop in my office and I’d sit in full lotus position during meetings with a large glass of this:

    Great way to scare off your colleagues!

    I’m not sure what was scarier for my colleagues – seeing me in full lotus position during a corporate meeting while drinking this, or the drink itself.

    While it may look green and uber-healthy and yes, scary, it’s surprisingly delicious and refreshing and addictive.  In fact, it was the one thing that kept me from going postal when working crazy long hours and weekends.

    So what is it? It’s what the raw vegan (and non raw-vegan, as it also seems to have migrated mainstream along with green juices) community affectionately and not-so-creatively calls “green smoothies”.

    It’s green.  It’s a smoothie.  It’s a green smoothie.

    The smoothie is often made by combining dark leafy greens like kale, collards or spinach with fruit and water and blending the mixture in a high-speed blender to achieve a baby food-like consistency.  The fruit helps to offset the bitterness of the greens and the resulting smoothie tastes like a Jamba Juice if Jamba Juice actually made smoothies that were good for you.

    Here’s an interesting experiment that I ran on one of the analysts who worked with me on a particularly gruesome work case:

    Unsanctioned Experiment on Young 20-Something Male

    This analyst was in his early 20s, frequented fast food joints for lunch, and would often go for meals on end without eating any fresh veggies.  Concerned for his health, I started feeding him large glasses of my green smoothies on a daily basis.  Given his penchant for greasy meat, I was pleasantly surprised to find that he actually enjoyed the smoothies and I felt my heart swell with a mother’s pride while watching him down his large glass every morning.  Who needs kids when you have analysts to use as proxies?

    After only a few days of daily green smoothies, I noticed that his complexion became brighter and smoother, he looked less tired, and that he was a lot more energetic and happier.  His taste buds adapted as well, and he started to request less fruit in the smoothies as he thought they were becoming too sweet for him.  I should have asked, but I bet his bowels were in great shape too! (Sorry, I had to mention that).

    Advantages of Blending and Drinking Your Greens

    1.  To get the same amount of greens that you can blend and fit into a glass, you would have to eat several bowlfuls of salads. Just how many bowlfuls, you ask?

    Not one bowlful.

    Two? Nope, try again.

    Three? Better luck next time.

    You would need 300 bowlfuls of salad greens to get the same fiber, vitamins and minerals that are in just one glass of green smoothie! (Okay, so what if I’m exaggerating a bit? It’s close enough).

    2. For those of you who are guilty of shoveling and swallowing your food without chewing properly, blending gives your digestion a bit of a helping hand.  It’s pre-chewed!

    3. Blending breaks down the cell walls of the greens, making it easier for your body to absorb.   In order to properly absorb these nutrients, you would have to chew your greens a couple hundred times to get the same effect as a high-speed blender.  You’ll feel instantly revived and energized!

    4. You can have one large glass for breakfast and pig out on whatever you want for the rest of the day, knowing that you’ve had your daily RDA of vitamins.  I don’t necessarily recommend this but hey, at least you’ve gotten your daily dose of fresh veggies and fruit!

    5.  It’s portable! You can pour your smoothies into a container and take it with you and sip throughout the day.

    6.  You’ll be idolized and revered among your friends.  If they act otherwise, it’s because they’re jealous of your amazing complexion and hot body.

    How to Make a Green Smoothie

    Like with green juices, the best way to do this is by easing into it.  Below are three recipes, increasing in IG (ingestion difficulty).

    Level 1: Green Julius

    Tastes like an Orange Julius!  My husband took a jar of this to work a few days ago and while his colleagues initially ridiculed him (see point 6 above – secretly, they were admiring him), after they took a few sips, they agreed that it was indeed the best thing they’ve ever had in their lives.  So okay, maybe not quite that delicious but still, definitely palatable.


    1 cup coconut water

    1 orange (peeled)

    1 ripe banana

    4 leaves of kale or collards (collards are sweeter than kale)

    Start by blending the coconut water, orange and banana.  Then, slowly add in the greens until everything is blended.  Chill in the fridge and enjoy!

    Level 2: Blue Monkey

    The bananas and blueberries completely hide the taste of the collard greens!  If you still taste the greens, just add more bananas.  Over time, you’ll notice that the smoothie will start to taste too sweet. That means you’re ready to graduate to Level 3!


    2 cups water

    2 ripe bananas

    1 cup blueberries*

    4 leaves of kale or collards

    Start by blending the water and bananas.  Then, add the blueberries.  Slowly add in the greens until everything is blended.  Chill in the fridge and enjoy!

    * The blueberries tend to make the smoothies less green and more brown.

    Level 3: Blue-Green Monkey

    You have achieved enlightenment.  You should now be able to levitate, walk on water, and penetrate through walls.  Just make sure to keep drinking your smoothies or your powers will fade quickly.


    2 cups water

    2 ripe bananas

    1 cup blueberries

    8 or more leaves of kale or collards

    Blue-green algae or spirulina (optional – more on spirulina in a later post!)

    Follow instructions from Level 2.

    Green Julius on the left, Blue-Green Monkey on the right

    A note on blenders

    You might want to invest in a good blender.  I’ve had several models die on me (especially when I tried to feed them greens) after only a couple green smoothies. My current blender, a Vita-Mix, has been with me for several years now and is THE best blender you can buy in the market today.  It basically is a lawnmower with a cup.  You can put a piece of wood in it and you’ll get a deliciously smooth wood smoothie.  Craving something metallic? Put a piece of metal with a cup of water in a Vita-Mix and tada! Metal smoothie all ready to drink.  It’s an investment ($500 or so) but it will last you a lifetime.

  3. Swamp Water (aka Green Juices)

    March 7, 2011 by julie

    So every once in a while, with sharp peaks around New Year’s Day, I get emails from friends and family asking me to help them “detox” or go on a “cleanse”.  What used to be only found as part of the crunchy granola lexicon has now become sexy and mainstream.

    C’mon.  Gwyneth, Sarah Jessica, and Salma are all doing it, so should you!  And yes, I regularly refer to celebs by their first names. I’m cool like that.

    Green juices are the new Cosmo.  Drink them for 3 days (sans food or alcohol or your morning cup of liquid brown crack) and you’ll drop pounds and look like you stepped off the runway.

    It sounds great and all until you actually try a green juice for the first time and your body physically revolts and tries to get you to throw it back up.

    Yes, folks.  It’s pretty hardcore stuff.  Oftentimes, green juices look like someone ladled them straight out of the swamp.

    Time to go get some juice from the swamp, Ma!

    That’s why I recommend easing into it, lest you be turned off from them forever.

    That’s what (nearly) happened to me a year ago.

    At the time, I was big into green smoothies (more on green smoothies here), which are delightful and pretty and sweet and so delicious to drink.  I thought, how different can a green juice be, right?  Oh, how young and naive I was back then.

    My first green juice was a gnarly dark-green-so-dark-to-the-point-of-being-almost-black potion of kale and some more kale.  I took a swig and I almost puked all over my kitchen table, dark green juice dribbling down and threatening to stain my chin forever.

    It took me not quite forever but a while (months and months) to get over that traumatizing experience and venture out into the green juice world again.  The next time around, though, I was better prepared.

    A few key ingredients will turn your green juice into something palatable, maybe even enjoyable.

    Lemon (I like to put the whole thing in) – I like to put in two.  Lemons help to cut out the bitterness of any dark greens you put in your juice *

    * Pictures are provided for those who are unsure of what these items may be.  Take these pictures with you to the grocery store and look for them in the produce aisle!

    Apple (I like Fuji apples) – I core one apple and put the whole thing in.  You can add two if you like your juice on the sweeter side

    Celery (one whole bunch) – this adds water to your juice and makes it green but not bitter

    Sometimes, if I can find organic or at least pesticide-free cucumbers, I’ll add one or two in as well.

    Get your mind out of the gutter, ladies

    Along with these three (or four) key items, add any combination of the following greens:




    Chard (which I find rather brutal)

    My preference is to do a mix of kale or romaine, or collards and romaine.  Kale and collards tend to be more bitter and less watery, so throwing in some romaine helps to balance the juice mixture so that again, it’s not puke-inducing.

    I try to juice in the morning since drinking your juice right after you make it is the best thing (keeps the nutrients and enzymes intact and yada yada), but I found that (1) if I don’t have a juice waiting for me when I wake up, I’m less likely to make one, and (2) leaving the juice overnight makes for a nice cold juice, which is just so much more tastier than a lukewarm juice.

    Tomorrow morning’s juice consists of the following (makes for about 52 ounces of juice):

    One bunch of kale, one bunch of celery, two lemons and one Fuji apple

    I recently purchased an Omega Vert 350 juicer and I am in love.

    It’s fast, quiet, and small.  Qualities that you may not want in your lover, but definitely want in your juicer.

    Here’s a picture of my beloved:

    Comes with two cups to catch the pulp and juice

    Look how green it is!

    This is WITH celery. Imagine how dark it would be with just kale!

    Give it a nice stir before pouring into bottles.

    I like to use a funnel to pour the juice into bottles and mason jars (my favorite for storing juices).

    The finished product: one mason jar for me, smaller bottle for hubby.

    Enjoy your swamp water!