Juice Fast vs. Smoothie Feast

smoothie

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.

Here’s Why?

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!

Juice Fast

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.

Smoothie Feast

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!

 


Vegan Almond Mayo and The Benefits Of Soaking Almonds

benefits of soaking almonds

SCROLL FOR VIDEO AND RECIPE

Nuts. I love nuts, from pistachios to hazelnuts to almonds, I could eat nuts at every meal for the rest of my life and never get enough of them. I especially love almonds. But the glorious almond can cause some people digestive upsets; in minor cases, stomach aches, but in slightly more serious cases, vomiting or vomiting, ahem, the other way. Regardless of whether almonds give you grief or not, the benefits of soaking almonds are undeniable for us all.

The benefits of soaking almonds are rooted in nutrition. When we soak an almond we increase the enzyme activity by 50% and the nutrient bioavailability by 3 or 4 times than the non soaked variety; so when we are talking about getting the most out of our food, soaking almonds give us a great deal of nutritional bang for our buck.

Another one of the benefits of soaking almonds is that it makes them more digestible. There are hard to digest enzymes within the skin of almonds, and when we soak them, these enzymes leach out into the water (which we discard) therefore removing the irritants; it’s genius really!

But, for me, one of the best benefits of soaking almonds is, by far, that this process makes almonds taste better. Have you ever had a nut that was so bitter, it made you gag? Well, when you soak them, this never happens, the almonds get sweeter and softer to the tooth.

So how does on harness the benefits of soaking almonds in their own home? All you need is ALMONDS, WATER and TIME. The true benefits of soaking almonds is achieved when you allow the nuts to sprout or soak for at least 2 hours, up to 8 hours, which will make them very soft and perfect for Vegan Almond Mayo!

Vegan almond mayo takes so well to the latter of the benefits of soaking almonds, because then we are able to to create a velvety smooth sauce that resembles mayonnaise but is dairy free, and vegan. The key to this sauce is to soak the almonds as long as you can; if you have a really high powered blender, 2-4 hours of soaking will do, but if your blender isn’t super powerful, then endeavor to soak your nuts overnight. The idea is to make this smooth like mayo, so blend until that happens; using water as needed to thin out the sauce.

Watch me demo this recipe and learn more about the benefits of soaking almonds in the video below!

Vegan Almond Mayo

1 cup almonds, soaked overnight and drained
5 cloves garlic,
1 avocado, skinned and pitted
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup chives
Approx. 1 1/4 cup olive oil
water as needed

Combine all ingredients in a blender, reserving half the amount of olive oil and the water; turn on the machine, and slowly pour the olive oil into the blender. Add water to thin out the blend, a little at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. WARNING, due to the avocado and the manner with which it oxidizes, there may be some discoloration; don’t be alarmed, this is not an indication of spoilage.


How To Make Kombucha

how to make kombucha

(video below)

Kombucha. You either love this stuff more than words can describe or find yourself repulsed at the thought; however, regardless of where you stand on kombucha, you cannot deny the power of this fermented life juice.

So what is kombucha anyway? Kombucha is a fermented sweet tea, that is either served the way nature intended or with the addition of fresh fruit, fruit juice or fancy tea blends. And as with all fermented food, kombucha is a very potent liver and digestive tonic, long touted as a holistic cure for mild depression, arthritis and heart burn; which we have the probiotics to thank for. Not bad for old tea.

Continue Reading

Lavender Infused Overnight Oats

overnight oats

This week is one of those weeks where there is barely a moment to breath; I’m moving house, starting a new job, and two new exciting work opportunities have presented themselves to me. I’ve been buzzing around with a slight nervous tension, but I’m happy, fulfilled and doing what I love; I can remember a year ago, wishing for this to be my situation- in the words of my grandmother, “When it rains it pours”.

When life gets hectic priorities shift, meals that were once carefully planned out make way for rushed recipes with speed and convenience in mind; but this does not mean that junk and nasty convenience food should be the contingency plan.

Stress, whether good or bad, runs our bodies down, which affects our immunity and if we aren’t eating properly we compound this effect; and living in a city where -25 degrees Celsius is a common occurrence, my immunity takes top priority. Now, oatmeal should have a place on your favorite foods list, why? Well, let’s start with the fiber. Oats, simply put, are a great source of fiber and contain a beautiful mix of both essential kinds (55% soluble and 45% insoluble); but it’s the soluble fiber, also known as beta-glucan, that is responsible for the nutritional accolades that oats very proudly boast.

Continue Reading

Cleanse vs. Detox…

cleanse

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Can you believe it’s already January 2013?! January is synonymous with healthier fare, new gym memberships and detoxes or cleanses; and it’s not uncommon to hear people say they are undertaking a detox or cleanse and using the words interchangeably. However, did you know that a detox and a cleanse are two very different things? I have been using the terms interchangeably for years, and seeing as many of you have been too, I thought this would make for perfect fodder for the very first post of 2013!

Continue Reading