The not so good news is that I’m still working on my health. My doctor recently voiced her concern about my high blood pressure and chronic sinusitis, the latter of which reared its head a year ago. I have been prescribed everything for my sinus and allergies issues from prescription grade Flonase, a carousel of decongestants, to weekly shots. If you live in Kentucky and have sinus issues, I know you can feel my pain. Sinus infections can literally shut down your whole life and the side effects include exhaustion, vertigo, but especially nasal drainage which can affect your belly, and, if you’re still battling stomach issues, is no bueno. Additionally, my doctor wants me to continue losing fluffs to avoid having to be put on blood pressure meds. Ugh.
So, in an effort to kick the meds, current and imminent, I’m turning again to the healing power of juice. Juice is how my whole journey started two years ago, when I was in and out of the ER and hospital for tests and couldn’t keep down much of anything except watermelon. I started doing a rotation of fresh juices daily so I could stay nourished and a wonderful side effect was that juices along with a (very slow) walking regiment were the first in a succession of lifestyle changes that helped my healing process.
But because I am admittedly a lazy juicer when it comes to the shopping, the prep, etc., and because there are probably no less than an overwhelming kajillion juice recipes floating around on the interwebs, I stick with juices that have the fewest moving parts. A disclaimer: I am obviously not a physician, just a juicing enthusiast, and obviously, you should probably check in with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about drinking your vegetables.
Here are the three juices I like to do daily. I could go into all the alkaline benefits of the ingredients and which part is the base, etc. but I’m a lazy juicer, remember? So I’ll just say, if you’re super curious, a two second search on Google will reveal all. Sure, you can and I have lived off of these but I wouldn’t recommend this consist of all you consume. I had to because I literally couldn’t stomach much else, not even like, crackers, but as soon as I was up to chewing, you best believe I was relieved! But the following juices are good to incorporate into a current regiment. You may decide you just like doing just one of these everyday but I definitely recommend some version of the lemon/ginger combo for immunity year-round, especially November-April which is Ick Season:
Yellow Drink (Immunity Boost)
* Good to kick the day off with this one hot, but can be refrigerated in batches for up to 4 days
8-12 oz. Filtered water
1/2 lemon (juiced or squeezed is fine if you’re lazy like me)
Tbsp of honey (I like raw, local)
Knuckle of ginger (skinned and either juiced or minced)
Healthy dash of cayenne
Healthy dash of turmeric
Red Drink (Blood & Skin Boost)
1 beet (A blood thinner so you may feel a little buzzed upon drinking, but when you’re done juicing it, it may look like you sacrificed a small goat in your kitchen, lol)
1 red apple
Green Drink (Organs & Everything Else Boost)
1 small head of romaine lettuce
A few leaves of Kale or handful of spinach or both!
1 green apple
2 stalks of celery
Some Parsley (optional but I like it)
- Pro-tip: In the warmer months add a papaya and/or pineapple!!
If I am extra hungry on a given day I will add protein shakes with Vega Protein & Greens powder and almond milk. If I’m feeling lazy, I just use the shaker. If I feel fancy, I will bust out the Vitamix (Bullet blender works too), and I add frozen banana, berries, PB2, and honey or dates. Some overachievers even like to add oatmeal, chia or flax seeds, and so on!
But on my laziest days, I just have the above three simple juices I’ve made in the morning (takes all of half an hour to prep and juice and bottle in old glass tea bottles or mason jars).
Other things I tend to keep on deck:
Water. Soooooooooooo much water. All the water.
Apple Cider Vinegar (Raw, unfiltered, with the mother)
Non-caff herbal tea: Peppermint, chamomile, hibiscus, rooibos
Coconut water and coconut oil for oil pulls
Watermelon (sliced or juiced in with the red juice or maybe with lemon and basil)
Cranberry juice or a cranberry supp for UT support
Kelp supplement (immunity support)
Quercetain with Bromelain (respiratory support)
Kefir or Good Belly (probiotic support)
- It’s not as expensive as some might think. I’m still a grad student, so I can’t afford all organic everything but I try to shop where I trust the produce and buy local when it's in season. Shopping for a week’s worth of juice for me give or take an additional smoothie costs roughly $70 a week which if in a normal week, I might spend up to $30 more than that on eating out, maybe up to $50 more if it’s an abnormally busy week and I’m not home often. I’m also not buying pre-packaged, processed foods during my juice feasts, and am sticking with mostly raw, plant-based meals, and so basically even if I’m not saving all of it, at least I’m not losing money.
- The prep time isn’t that bad. Yes, washing and chopping can get tedious and the fresher the better so juicing daily is what I like to do, but if you make all your juice for the next day or even the morning of, it’s not really that much more time if you combine how much time you might sit in a drive-thru or wait for the delivery guy to show up. Some people make theirs up to three days in advance and keep them lined up in the fridge. Not ideal, but if you’re super pressed for time, it’s better than not juicing at all!
- You feel better. And what more reason do you need?
The cons with proposed solutions:
- The initial investment of a juicer can feel like a really big hit to the wallet but juicers can be had for pretty reasonable prices if you look for sales or you can buy an unused refurb on a site like Amazon or pay in installments on a site like QVC. I like the Champion juicer but right now I’m using a Breville. Whatever you get, make sure it’s easy to rinse out and clean because who has time??
- Eating is a social practice in Amurica, so if you’re embarking upon a juice feast (whether it’s for 3 days or 30), I’m hoping you’re cutting back on the coffee and booze and vending machines and restaurant lunches and dinners, which means a lot more time at home with just you, your Netflix, and your feels. But the up side is, you save monies on those $5 lattes, $10 cocktails, and butter and salt-laden heavy meals, am I right? I always like to treat myself to a little sum’in at the end of a juice feast with some of the monies I saved not going out.
- Your friends and family aren’t always supportive and it feels like a very lonely process. Unless you come from people who also love juicing and know about its benefits, you’ll have to deal with some negativity from folks who think it’s all a bunch of malarkey. But rather than talk about it, I say be about it. And when they see you levitating at top speed into a room on a cloud of carrot juice, skin and hair all radiant, and not catching whatever Ick is floating around that season, they’re more likely to take note and ask what you’ve been doing differently.
- Any weight you lose will probably come back…with friends. If. You’re not careful on the other side of the feast. I don’t suggest full out juice fasts for newbies but rather incorporating juices as part of your daily regiment, one at a time, and trying to make good choices in-between. But you may notice even at this point that you’ve shed a couple of fluffs and that’ll feel great. Try not to “reward” yourself by going H.A.M. on the break room donuts or greasy take out. One, you’ll make yourself sick, silly. Two, think about your relationship with juice as your new best friend to be nurtured and sustained and not abandoned whenever it becomes inconvenient.
- Symptoms of detox. Okay, these can’t be avoided. We are food addicts in this country, especially to caffeine and sugar. Yes, you’ll have a headache or two. You might feel sluggish, moody, etc. But it’s nothing you haven’t dealt with before, Cupcake, lol, so woman up! I would say, you know, try to take one thing out a week and move a juice in its place, like instead of four cups of coffee a day, try two and a green drink. The first three days of switching out addictive and/or processed foods for plants is the hardest. So stay hydrated and don’t starve yourself. If you’re hungry, make some more juice, or a protein shake, eat some yogurt, an ENTIRE avocado, some apple and almond butter, whatever. This is not a diet. It’s a way to supplement your body in doing what it is already programmed to do! The body is an incredible machine! I can’t speak for everyone, but in my personal experience, the body actually doesn’t need much in order to heal itself except for time and the right conditions. For me, juicing helps provide the right conditions.
If this blog got you even a little bit hyped about juicing, I’m glad! Again, there is every recipe under the sun (Have a few days to spare and feel like being overwhelmed? Search "juicing" on Pinterest some time, lol) but if you’re a beginner or a lazy juicer like me, one or two juices is a good way to get started and make small sustainable boosts to what you’re already doing. I wish you well on your juice feast and am clinking your mason jar from over here!