Tuesday, June 17, 2014

LIQUID FASTS: The Safe and Healthy Way

Posted by Christie for BeautyLifeandLove

When I have a lot on my mind, I try to take things off my plate—literally!  Like many people throughout time, I engage in the discipline of fasting as a physical means of facilitating mindfulness.  Though many people fast to lose weight or “cleanse” their bodies, the mental, emotional, and spiritual effects of fasting are undeniable.  That being said, I’d like to share with you my plan for a safe and healthy liquid fast.

Most people think of a liquid fast as “juicing,” and while juicing has its benefits, the liquid fast I’m describing involves blended foods, so I want to take a moment to clarify the difference between blending and juicing.  The main problem with “juicing,” or pure juice fasts, is that by extracting the pulp from fruits and vegetables you also eliminate their natural fiber, and what you end up with, in most cases, is a glassful of sugar water.  And while it’s true juicing facilitates the body’s absorption of nutrients into the blood stream, if juicing only fruits and sweet vegetables, this quick absorption can lead to a rapid spike in blood sugar and unstable sugar levels resulting in mood swings, energy loss, even memory problems.  The fiber found in the pulp, however, not only slows down the digestive process, resulting in a steady release of nutrients into the blood stream, it also makes you feel full, which can help you make it through a fast without feeling completely famished. 

For this reason, when doing a liquid fast, I’m a proponent of blending in addition to juicing.  In fact, during a fast, I tend to blend my three meals and have a juice in between as a snack.  While blending and juicing each offer their own distinct health benefits, the beauty of blended meals is you can enjoy a liquid diet and still get the nutritional value of a complete meal, one that includes a healthy balance of both micro and macro nutrients (in other words, vitamins, minerals, fat, protein, and carbohydrates—all of which your body needs to function optimally).

So here is my favorite blended-meal for liquid fasts:  a quick and easy Energy Soup (click here for the recipe).  This Energy Soup provides complete and balanced nutrition.  When fasting or detoxing, I normally enjoy this soup for lunch and dinner and start the day with my delicious Go Green! Breakfast Smoothie (click here for smoothie recipe).  

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