OK, first things first. The following recipe is for the best juice, ever. I’m just going to start the post off with it as I think this may have to be my breakfast for all of eternity, fasting or not fasting. I’m so excited about it.
Thank you to the brilliant Jen Colombo for sharing this in the comment section of last week’s post.
Grapefruit And Fennel Refresher
2 big grapefruit
1 small fennel bulb
Run through a juicer. I like this when it’s about 3 parts grapefruit, 1 part fennel. If there is too much fennel, it’s not nearly as good! I also have added stevia to this juice when there wasn’t enough sweetness in my grapefruits.
I also went two days later with my fast. This means I fasted for 6 days.
Anyone who knows how much I love food knows how profound this is.
I didn’t really feel like I was fasting because I was loving the juices so, so much. Honestly, I only had two nights where I felt a bit deprived. Saturday, and Sunday were tough, which was no surprise to me. We traveled to NJ for Alessandra’s first birthday party with my family hosted by my parents. I knew it would be tough. Packing up and driving to NJ can be exhausting, and of course there would be lots of food at the party, and for most of us weekends are always tougher than weekdays.
I told myself I’d be fine. Usually at gatherings there isn’t much, if anything I would eat. However, this party was the exception. There was a huge avocado salad made by my mom (which I KNOW is amazing because I’ve had it countless time), and a incredibly creamy and delicious looking organic and vegan split pea soup made by my dad.
I was super bummed to not partake in the goodies at the party. I reminded myself that I would be able to have all of this yumminess once my fast was over (below I am sharing my Dad’s recipe for his now famous split pea soup!). I went through great pains (a LOT of juicing) with Alessandra on Friday morning to have plenty of juices for our trip, and I knew if I broke the fast on Saturday it just wouldn’t have been the right time.
Then we had an insane Saturday night. We drove back to PA in the middle of the night because Alessandra just wouldn’t stop crying. I think she gets confused when she wakes up and isn’t sure where she is. Nothing would console her, but after a few minutes of driving, she fell right asleep. Usually she hates the car. Go figure.
The point of this story is that I was exhausted, absolutely painfully exhausted on Sunday. I only slept about three hours and couldn’t nap. I was definitely in a phase of the fast where I felt like I needed very little sleep because I have so much energy, but on Sunday night I was definitely getting to the point of feeling sleep deprived.
Sunday night I told myself I would break the fast on Monday. Monday morning I woke up feeling a thousand times better and ready to continue the fast. Looking back on how I felt Sunday night, I realize why I felt that way.
1. We were close to out of produce, and no grocery stores were open because it was Easter Sunday.
2. I baked for Enrrico. Which is fine, I’ve baked and cooked for him throughout the fast and it didn’t bother me in the least, but I think the exhaustion made me want to desperately shove my face into a batch of spelt cookies.
3. The stress of the trip to NJ (packing for baby, entertaining baby anxiously for 1 hour and 45 minutes to keep her from crying hysterically, dealing with screaming baby at night) really made me want to feel the heaviness of a dinner meal to calm down.
I realize that I didn’t pick the best week to start a longer fast. So I broke the fast on Monday night with a raw vegetable salad and some steamed vegetables. I wanted to break with fruits but when Monday night rolled around I felt I wanted some warm cooked veggies, not fruits at all.
Tuesday morning I woke up missing the fasting feeling. I regretted breaking the fast, but then I realized that everything happens for a reason. Maybe sometime in the near future I’ll feel ready for a longer fast, maybe not.
My main goal with this fast was to get to a point where I didn’t feel like I was missing food. I’ve heard many, many people talk about experiencing this while fasting, and it’s something I had never experienced. I’m happy to say that throughout the six days, almost all of the time, I felt more pulled towards my juices than food. I didn’t miss food. Most of the time I wasn’t thinking about it, or feeling anxious about it. This is a HUGE milestone for me.
I also realized that I could jump back into a fast whenever I want to. There are no rules that say if you fast for six days, eat on the seventh day and jump back into, it’s not beneficial. Of course you won’t cleanse your tissues as deeply as if you went day after day without any meals, but I’m not trying to be perfect, I’m just trying to do my thing and be honest with myself.
This fast was a HUGE success. Not only did I have loads of energy, I felt more inspired, creative, and comfortable in my skin than I have in years. I ENJOYED the fast and was excited about my juices. This makes the idea of fasting so much more appealing to revisit in the future.
This may sound a little bit cheesy, but I feel almost a soul yearning for a longer fast. I don’t know what it is, I’ve been feeling it for years, but my relationship with food has kept me from doing it. I love food, maybe I’m a bit too attached to it. I’m OK with that, but I am very interested to see what it would feel like physically, mentally, and spiritually to do a ten, fourteen, or even twenty day fast. I also don’t want too get too wrapped up in numbers or length…I think that however long you go on your fast is the perfect amount of time, the point is to be present with your needs and desires, I think. But I also know that if I don’t challenge myself a little, I won’t progress like I could.
There are so many reasons to fast: weight loss, spiritual benefit, detoxification, healing the organs, resting digestion, hyper-alkalizing, I could go on and on, but my main motivation with this fast was getting more in tune with myself. These past couple years I have really started to question a lot about my life and where I’m headed. I’m at a point now where I’m realizing that despite all of the wonderful people and experiences in my life, there is a lot that is not in line with my heart. By fasting, I feel that in many ways I was simplifying my life. That simplification made it much easier for me to listen to my heart even more, and to follow it.
So after my six days of the most amazing juices, I feel a bit more clear. I also feel that I’m not really finished with fasting for the season just yet. As much as I hate to talk about these things publicly (I don’t enjoy the pressure I put on myself by doing it and for me, fasting is more of a private experience), I feel very excited about it, and I’ve been so inspired by many of my friends who are also fasting right now and blogging about it. I think maybe the energy of so many people fasting at once is making it a more enjoyable experience for us all. Cheers to us!
And now to shift gears a bit, I have more yummy fun stuff. I’d like to share with you my new favorite green juice. Maybe it was my fasting taste buds, but I definitely felt that the apple and pear combo mixed with light greens tasted like a refreshing banana.
Favorite Fruity Green
1 fuji apple
1 barlett pear
1 small head romaine
1 small zucchini
Run through juicer and enjoy!
And now I have a recipe for those of you who are NOT fasting and don’t desire to fast (or juice), ever. This is my dad’s vegan split pea soup. He cooks his in a crock pot, but if you don’t have a crock pot, simply cook on the stove until the split peas are cooked and the soup is the consistency you desire.
Dad’s Split Pea Soup (Organic and Vegan)
16 oz split peas
4 cups Pacific vegetable broth
3 cups water
3 carrots sliced thin
2 celery stalks
chopped onion to taste (about half a yellow onion is a good place to start)
3 cloves minced garlic
1 handful chopped parsley
sea salt to taste
ground pepper to taste
Cook in a crock pot on high for about 6 hours, or low for about 10 hours. ENJOY!
On yet another note, my brother is drinking green smoothies! I can’t tell you how happy I am that now the men in my family are getting into healthy eats. Here is a picture of his morning smoothie prep: kale, kiwi, blueberry, lemon, tomato, and broccoli. He said it tasted like a blueberry lemonade. Those of you who like my facebook page saw me post this earlier in the week, but I’m so excited about this I had to share it here, too. I’ll also repeat that I would have left out the broccoli and tomato, but my brother said he couldn’t taste it.
Well this post was a bit all over the place, but this week’s focus is definitely fasting. I’m wondering, how many of you have done juice fasts? Looking back, do you think you did it for the right reasons? Would you fast again? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below! I’d love for us to open up the discussion around fasting. So many view it as a depressing, cold, and restrictive experience, but I feel that when it’s done for the right reasons (NOT to lose weight quickly) it is the exact opposite. What do you think?
I’m also wondering, if I were to do a longer fast, would you be interested in me documenting it on this blog? I personally love reading about others’ fasting experience, but if that’s not the sort of thing that YOU, my lovely readers, are interested in, I’d rather not bore you with juicing diaries (although I think they are very fun and can be quite educational and inspirational)! Please let me know if you’d be interested in hearing about a longer fast of mine (say…10-20 days-ish, if I decide I’d like to try it), in the comment section below!