I ran stairs the other day, after almost a full summer without consistent exercise; and it was the first step in getting things back on track. Summer has been fun, with all the travel, my birthday, close friends’ birthdays and the like; but the fun is over. I’ll still be fun, of course, but my body and mind are ready for a more consistent and clean way of eating.
For the better part of a week I had been talking about the changing of the guard that was going to come this week; and while most would expect that I would be embarking on a juice fast, as I’m well versed in all things juice cleanse, I have decided that a smoothie feast was more tailored to my needs.
Juice, as much as my heart beats for it, is missing a key ingredient, fiber. The benefits of juice are long and storied, and I look to juice cleanses when I want to focus my mind and give my digestion a rest; however, after a summer of indulgence, and sluggish, ahem, elimination, I know that fiber is exactly what my body craves and needs in order to reset my digestion. On my Rookie Juice Cleanse, I provide 5 juices and 1 smoothie per day, because I know that there are people whose digestion requires a break, but also has some backlog that needs moving.
So what are the main differences between a juice fast and a smoothie feast- lemme break it down!
The definition of a juice fast is ” a type of fast or detox diet that involves consuming only fruit and vegetable based juices“; and although most people enter into a juice fast with the desire to lose weight, you end up gaining so much more; such as better skin, improved sleep, minimized sugar cravings and relief from bloating. Juice fasting is highly detoxifying, but must be done correctly in order to nourish our bodies while still giving the digestive system a much needed break- a master cleanse this ain’t! Because juice fasting uses extracted juice only, fiber is missing; which, this time around, is what I want. But fiber, even the best sources, must be digested, and when one is looking to rest the digestive tract, we remove it and consume juice, herbal teas and water.
Juice fasts are harder to facilitate because the juices must be nutritionally balanced and consumed in a particular order for maximum detoxification benefits; not to mention the need for a juicer. But with delivery services and heaps of online how to guides, juice fasting has become easier and safer than ever before.
As an aside, one should NEVER juice fast solely for weight loss, which is typically water weight loss; the true weight loss comes after a cleanse, with clean eating and exercise.
A smoothie feast, is exactly what it sounds like, smoothies and nothing but! And the main difference between this type of fast and a juice fast is we are using smoothies to pump the body with nutrition and sweep the intestines with high quality fiber. Fiber is ever so important, as it helps to remove excess waste from our digestive system; and when we have unmoved waste in our bodies, we become toxic and face all sorts of problems, from gas and bloating to leaky gut and IBS- yikes! Also, excess hormones such as estrogen, are removed in our waste, so getting enough fiber is crucial for keeping our hormones balanced and everything in working order.
But a fruit smoothie with juice is not going to cut it on a smoothie feast- oh no; smoothies, like their juicy counterparts, must be nutritionally sound and balanced in order to effectively do the job they are tasked with. They must be made of up high quality, organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and liquid; all of which are brimming with fiber to cleanse and tone our digestive tract.
So What Do I Recommend?
For myself, this time around, I’m only doing a smoothie feast, because I’ve listened to my body and I know what it wants. But for those who are on a path to wellness and are interested in fasting, I suggest a smoothie feast to sweep the insides and remove any excess gunk, followed by a juice fast to rest the digestive tract and reset it for the future.
With that said, life happens, and even the best of us backslide and need to get our footing once again; which is why I endeavour to fast at least 3 times a year- after Christmas, before spring and the end of summer because my body likes it this way! As you embark on your own fasting journey, you will come to understand exactly what your body prefers. Juice fasting isn’t for everyone; but I have found that most people can smoothie feast with no problem at all.
Strawberry Tahini Smoothie
- 4 large strawberries
- 1/2 cup cashew milk
- 1/2 cup coconut water
- 1 tbsp unhulled hemp seeds
- 1 TBS tahini
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 large medjool date
Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
Now go forward and be cleansed!