by Steve Prussack
Host of Raw Vegan Radio
I am about to go shopping to prepare for the Juice Feast, which begins tomorrow. If you cannot start tomorrow, start when you can. And join me for as long as you could..2 days, 5 days, a week, a month…the entire time. It’s up to you, and anything you do will be better than nothing. My gratitude to David Rain for providing Raw Vegan Radio with access to his Juice Feasting protocol. I will share David’s tips for shopping and preparing for the Juice Feast on this blog post.
Grocery List in hand, go straight to the produce section and pick up produce for 5 days. Get a big cart, and enjoy surprising yourself at just how much fresh nutrient dense food you are going to access. Many of our students get a real high off buying this much produce! You can tell just by looking at your cart that life is about to shift into something significant and beautiful and abundant.
VEGETABLES and HERBS
Leafy Greens: You are juicing 2 lbs of leafy greens each day, so you need 10lbs of greens: spinach, kale, parsley, romaine, butter lettuce, dandelion greens, chard, etc. Weigh it, and recognize that these are the most nutrient dense foods you will have ever juiced. The cell walls of these plants are tough, which is why we suggest using a Vitamix or Press-style juicer to break those walls open to release the nutritious juice inside. If you are new to Green Vegetable Juice, start with two favorites: spinach and parsley, then move to kale, romaine, butter lettuce, chard, and so on. One other green of note: cilantro. This green pulls heavy metals from the body, particularly mercury, so if you have had, or do have, mercury fillings, please use this green each week of the Feast. You may also be interested in the information on Biological Dentistry on Day 44 of the Program.
Celery: We juice one head per person of celery every day of the Feast. Why? Because celery is loaded with organic sodium, which is one of most important alkalizing minerals. Most of us are deficient in organic sodium from eating a standard or acid-forming diet (meat, dairy, wheat, processed sugar, and soy). Putting back in organic sodium will reduce or eliminate acid reflux disease, ease gastrointenstinal distress, heal the lining of the stomach, aid digestion of proteins, and alkalize the bile of the liver and gallbladder (acid bile creates gallstones). Celery is a key part of the alkalizing aspects of the Juice Feast.
Cucumber: Cucumbers have a reputation as the best kidney cleanser known. They are a diuretic; thus, they prevent bloating due to water retention, and they help to wash the kidneys and bladder of debris and stones. Cucumbers are cooling, refreshing, water-rich, filling, low in calories, alkaline, and high in energy. The popular health lecturer and teacher Paul Bragg said of cucumbers, “There is nothing more nourishing for the skin to have than the liquid juice from the cucumber. The nutrition-rich water that it contains, when taken into the body, adds luster to the hair, sparkle to the eye, color to the lips, tone to the skin, and spring to the step.” Paul Bragg, even in his 90s, had beautiful skin, in part due to his daily juicing of cucumbers. We use 1 cucumber a day per person minumum, and they go very well with celery juice and leafy greens. One of our favorite juices is leafy greens with celery, cucumber, lemon, and apple. We will discuss juices more in the next section, “Getting Juicy: Making Beautiful Juices.”
Sweet Root Crops: Carrot, Beet, and Yam. These are sweet, and also your most calorie dense vegetables that you can juice. In terms of calories per quart of juice, you can’t be(e)t a yam! We buy about 5 lbs of carrots for every 3 days of Feasting, so you might want to get 10 lbs for yoursel
f. Carrots last a long time in the fridge, so you can’t overbuy them. Also, this is not the 1980s, so we are not suggesting making huge quarts of carrot or yam juice on a regular basis. These roots are for adding calorie and nutrient value to your Green Vegetable Juice. However, using a centrifugal juicer like a Juiceman can make you some carrot or yam juice in a real hurry, and we do break ours out for this purpose.
Radish: If you have an underactive thyroid, radish juice can help you out. It has an element called raphanin in it that balances thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Raphanin is what you might call an adaptogen, meaning that it will bring your thyroid into balance whether it is under- or over-active. Radish is also high in sulfur, which is a beauty mineral that helps build and maintain youthful skin. To really benefit from radish, you are looking at 1/2 cup of radish juice into your Green Vegetable Juices each day, which takes about 1 typical bunch of radishes to make. And you can juice the tops, too.
Red Bell Peppers: These are high in Vitamin C and add a delicious taste to your Green Vegetable Juice. Because of their cost per lb,
they are not a main constituent of your total juice calories, however. We add these in to create a wide spectrum of produce flowing into our Feast.
Garlic: According to Daniel Reid in his excellent book, The Tao of Sex, Health, and Longevity, “Garlic has been prescribed as medicine since the dawn of recorded history In China, and probably long before that. Egyptian medical texts dating from 1550 BC list garlic as a major ingredient in 22 prescriptions, and it is a well-known fact that countries where garlic is consumed in large quantities suffer a significantly lower incidence of cancer. Chinese texts clearly state that in order to be fully effective, garlic must be consumed raw.
On the Juice Feast: Use fresh garlic in your juices by adding it to the mix in your high speed blender, or by running cloves through the Juicer. Besides using garlic in Green Vegetable Juices, one of our favorites is – and we know it sounds weird, you just have to try it for yourself – Grapefruit juice with Garlic.
Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes): You may have never used these before, but they are great if you have chronic fatigue syndrome, or according to John Heinerman, diabetes or hypoglycemia.
Ginger Root: Ginger has been in human use for over 5,000 years, and ranks as one of the world’s ten favorite spices
Ginger is a potentially powerful anti-ulcer treatment rivaling three of the nation’s most popular drugs which account for $2.8 billion in sales annually. The anti-ulcer effect of ginger is complemented by a host of other important digestive values which include relief of both diarrhea and constipation, liver protection and probiotic support. The anti-nausea effect of ginger is well documented, making it particularly protective and therapeutic in the event of a mild cleansing reaction on a Juice Feast in which the stomach feels upset. For phlegm, 1 Tablespoon of fresh ginger juice with lemon in a cup of warm water can go a long way to getting rid of mucus and cleaning the sinuses. For all these reasons and more that you can read about on Day 84: Feast Breaking, you should consider using ginger root regularly in your juices during the Feast. About one-half to one inch of ginger root per day on the Feast is excellent.
Burdock Root: This root is one of the most widely used blood purifiers, and the most important herb for healing chronic skin problems. According to John Heinerman in Heinerman’s Encyclopedia of Healing Herbs and Spices, “Burdock is one of the few herbs that can effectively treat eczema, acne, psoriasis, boils, herpes, syphilitic sores, styles, carbunkles, cankers, and the like.
On the Juice Feast, there are two ways to use burdock. One is to juice fresh burdock, about 2 inches per day. The other is to make a tea from the root. Heinerman advises a quart of boiled water reduced to a simmer, adding 4 teaspoons of dried, cut root to simmer for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and steep for two more hours. Drink 2 cups a day on an empty stomach (or more if chronic skin conditions persist). You can also make a larger quantity and wash the skin with the tea.
There is a lot of debate out there in nutritional circles about how much fruit we should be eating, what kinds of fruit, when to eat it, etc., etc. Fruit is a wonderful food. It is hydrating, loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients, people of all ages enjoy it, and by and large it juices very well. On the Juice Feast, it is very important to know how much fruit juice is appropriate for YOU. When you juice the fruits, the glycemic index of that juice is quite high, meaning that the sugar is going to get into your bloodstream very quickly. If your cells are ready for the sugar, this is not so much of a problem, but for those of us who have health challenges that are aggravated by fruit juices, we need to be prudent.
Those who should minimize or eliminate fruit juices from a Juice Feast can be persons with: high blood sugar (pre-diabetes or diabetes), hypoglycemia, the yeast overgrowth of candida known as candidiasis, and those with precancerous or cancerous conditions. Again, everyone should consult their health professionals before beginning a Juice Feast. A person who understands juicing and your particular health challenges can advise you on whether fruit juice is appropriate for you.
Apples – Granny Smith, Fuji, Gala, and Braeburn. Apples have very high mineral contents,also malic acid and tannic acid, and pectins. According to Heinerman, “Pectin is a water soluble substance in many fruits and vegetables…that is a natural scubber derived chiefly from plant cell walls… When it combines with certain mineral salts in an apple, they form an insoluble salt that has strong laxative properties.” Therefore, apples are of the greatest therapeutic importance in normalizing the intestines. A great formula for this laxative effect is equal parts of spinach and apple together in a juice, which will cleanse and regenerate the entire intestinal tract. Spinach is high in oxalic acid that combines with the mineral salts and pectin in apples to really do the job. Heinerman says, and we and our students can attest, that this strong and safe chemical action actually pulls off old encrusted fecal matter from the walls of the intestinal tract and colon!
Besides being a great cleanser, apple juice purifies the blood and is helpful for skin and liver, and as a general tonic. After juicing, the liquid often oxidizes quickly so it is best to store for even a short while in the refrigerator.
Citrus – Lemon, Orange, Grapefruit, Tangerine, and Tangelo – One of the most important qualities of citrus is that it is a hydrogen concentrator. Hydrogen is very important for hydration. This is why people in southern climates love citrus. This is important for those of us re-establishing excellent health because we have probably been chronically dehydrated, and citrus can go a long way to rehydating every cell in our body. Citrus of all kinds is also a well-known figher of congestion. Citrus juices have long been used to clear mucus congestion in the lungs, throat, sinsuses, stomach, intestines, and liver. Grapefruit juice in particular is excellent for reducing cellulite, as cellulite is a symptom of poor lymphatic flow (congestion).
When using citrus, remember that lemon juice goes in Green Vegetable Juice very well. Another favorite of ours is lemon-grapefruit-orange juice! When we make this, we add in MSM, as Vitamin C and MSM potentiate each other.
Melons – Watermelon, Cantaloupe, and Honeydew. When it comes to calories per dollar, you cannot beat watermelon juice. A good-sized watermelon will yield almost 2 gallons of fresh juice, and it costs only 5-10 dollars. Watermelon juice is also fast to make, and keeps well during the day. Watermelon juice is known for its ability to aid the body in flushing out excess acids. This is particularly helpful in cases of arthritis, gout, or skin problems, all of which result from an over-acid condition. When you make watermelon juice, if you are fortunate enough to get an organic melon, juice it skin and all. Our favorite with this melon is watermelon/lemon!
Cantaloupe (and Honeydew) – is an excellent source of vitamin A on account of its concentrated beta-carotene (provitamin A) content. Once inside the body, beta-carotene can be converted into vitamin A. Both vitamin A and beta-carotene are important vision nutrients. In a study of over 50,000 women nurses aged 45 to 67, women who consumed the highest dietary amount of vitamin A had a 39% reduced risk of developing cataracts. In another study that looked at the incidence of cataract surgery and diet, researchers found that those people who ate diets that included cantaloupe had half the risk of cataract surgery, while those who ate the highest amounts of butter, salt and total fat had higher risks for cataract surgery. Beta-carotene has also been the subject of extensive research in relationship to cancer prevention and prevention of oxygen-based damage to cells. Provitamin A is also very helpful in healing Crohn’s Disease. It, along with trace elements such as magnesium, manganese, zinc, and chromium which are present in cantaloupe, can reduce intestinal inflammation associated with Crohn’s and restore health to injured mucosal tissue.
Pineapple – The hallmark of this delicious tropical fruit is the presence of its anti-inflammatory enzyme, bromelain. Bromelain is great for reducing inflammation anywhere in your body, and this enzyme will also serve to digest animal and plant proteins in your intestinal tract. Pineapple juice is also antagonistic to parasites, and is good at breaking down liver and gallstones. Finally, pineapple is great to mix with Green Vegetable Juice. A warning, however. The bromelain in the pineapple digests proteins, and your Green Vegetable Juice is loaded with protein. That means that combining the two and leaving them sitting for hours will find you returning to a glass of partially digested Green Juice. Better to drink this right away, or make the two juices separately and combine just before drinking!
Grapes – You have heard that wine will turn on anti-aging genes because of an element in grapes called resveratrol. Well, it just so happens that you can get just as much resveratrol, if not more, from juicing fresh grapes. So, grapes are a wonderful youthing food
Berries – Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, and Strawberries.
Stone Fruit – Peaches, Nectarines.
There are additional recommendations which I will blog about next time….