While on the one hand I would consider the juice feast officially “broken”, on the other I still feel like I’m navigating dietary life cautiously as I continue to be surprised at how different this feast breaking process is. The first time I did this I went back to food with gratitude…and fear. I was afraid of gaining weight before my wedding and I was afraid of what I might eat if given the chance and I spent too much time restricting and feeling the rebound effect of that. This go-round I feel so much more at peace, what and when to eat feels fairly simple. I still love food, I still think about it maybe a little more than is healthy (but wow has that part improved!) and I still have a hearty appetite, even if it’s just for gorgeous salads. Something I love about this particular feast breaking is how much I’m just enjoying the process. The months following the first juice feast saw a lot of dietary experimentation. Everything from a super restrictive diet of green juice and salads to a free-for-all, “I’m going to eat whatever I want” phase, to a super high fruit, high starch, high volume of food in general plan. I tried things I hadn’t eaten in years since getting into cleansing and I’m so grateful for all of it! Even though I put on some weight, even though I went through periods of my skin looking worse than it had ever looked (my body was so clean after the juice feast that it just didn’t tolerate much), and even though I felt like I was floundering and all I wanted to do was juice feast again, I am grateful. So here’s what feels so different this time: I’m still experimenting a little but I’m doing it without fear and with my eyes wide open. I’m present to all the little quirks of what’s working and what’s not and I find that I’m letting go of things that don’t work a lot more quickly. If I spend a night feeling physically miserable because I ate something that my body doesn’t like anymore (mass quantities of anything dry: dates and seaweed specifically), it doesn’t really get me down. I’m just like “oh hey! there’s a new thing that doesn’t work!”. And I move on. So what does my diet look like at the moment? I’m currently loving just having juice during the day (carrot, orange, and jicama based juices with greens are my favorites) with a fairly giant (though not as giant as they once were) salad in the evening. I spent several years juicing, or trying to juice until dinner and I’ve never found it as effortless or enjoyable as I do now. Including fruits is heavenly and great for my state of mind and energy. I’m much more balanced than I was on just green juices and I’m also drinking more (2-3 quarts). The other thing I’m paying attention to is keeping the fats in my diet pretty low- I know there is plenty of controversy around this but I’ve experimented in just about every direction and this really feels best to me. At the moment that’s looking like a half an avocado on my salad at night though I imagine I’ll play with nuts, seeds and coconut as time goes on. I also really thought I’d stay 100% raw for awhile but I was craving cooked veggies and find I do really well as long as they are the smaller part of a giant, juicy salad. I’ve taken a lot from my experimentation with the 80/10/10 diet, I love my simple fruit and veggie based meals, no salt, no oil, really clean. That being said, I just don’t feel as much of a need for that volume of food, I love juicing, I can’t get enough sprouting, and I’ve even got a batch of cultured vegetables happening atop the fridge.
I got a comment once asking why I’m always changing my diet. Can’t I ever just eat and be happy with it? Well here’s the thing…looking back over all my years of experimenting, I wouldn’t change it! I rather love it, it’s kind of a hobby! Since I was a kid I’ve been fascinated by the connection between food and how we look and feel and I’m still going with it. I love reading diet books, getting other perspectives, trying them on for myself and usually moving on while keeping some things and tossing the rest. I don’t pretend that my diet now will be my diet for the rest of my life but it feels really great for right now.
Here’s a recipe from my juice feasting days (all of about 10 days ago), you can juice the mango but I found I got a lot more out of it by blending it with the juice and straining it through a nut milk bag.
Spicy Mango Green Juice
6 oranges, peeled
1 jalapeño (with or without seeds)
1 bunch parsley
1 mango, peeled
Juice oranges, jalapeño, and parsley and blend with the mango. Strain in a cheesecloth or nut milk bag.