Juice Feasting: An Odyssey - Part 2

I had one really cranky, cravin' food kinda day -  about 4 days into the fast. I had a few sips of this and it instantly had an amazing, calming effect on me! Just as important, one small glass was incredibly filling. This one's a keeper!!

On January 1st, we set out to do a two week Juice Feast- and we made it! Today marks day 14 of consuming only fresh fruit and vegetable juice.

The BIGGEST challenge has NOT been HUNGER. Yes, of course we have dealt with our fair share of hunger pangs, but since we are getting all of our daily caloric requirements, we recognize that it wasn't true hunger we were feeling most of the time - but just cravings. In fact, we each only felt real hunger 2 or 3 days out of the 14 - and this was usually when we had done a lot of activity or waited too long between drinking juices. So no, the biggest challenge wasn't not eating. The biggest challenge was finding new ways to stimulate ourselves that didn't involve food.

This time has given us a great opportunity to step back and realize just how much of our lives we spend eating for pleasure. Besides our 2 or 3 regular meals a day (we're often breakfast skippers), we frequently eat both when we're bored AND when we're having a good time (watching movies, hanging with friends, etc.). I know we're not alone in this. So many people have social lives that seem to revolve, or at least heavily involve, eating. One of our goals in this juicing experience is to change our habits so we are not just eating because it's time to eat or because - "hey, why not?". Yes, we still love eating, but we really wanted to create the space to give ourselves other things that give us pleasure.

So what have we done to fill up our time during this Juice Feast?

We've gone hiking at a few different parks, walking around our neighborhood, done yoga, played card games, and watched a few documentaries and comedies. We even did a bit of work for our business: New Family Naturals.

We've both done a good deal of reading - usually several hours a day. Engin has started blogging on his new Turkish-language blog. At my request, he's also making me an awesome copper wind chime, tuned to a popular middle eastern scale (giddy with excitement over that one :).

All-in-all, it's been pretty low key - and we wouldn't have had it any other way. We've really enjoyed our time to relax and just hang with each other.

I thought I'd end this post with the recipe to the drink pic posted above.

Calming Cantaloupe Juice - 2 servings

1 cantaloupe, seeded and skin removed.
cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.

Put cantaloupe and dash of each spice in blender. Blend until smooth and strain through cheesecloth or nut milk bag.

Pour in 2 glasses and enjoy with a loved one! 

All the best,




Juice Feasting: An Odyssey

Other than a select few family members and friends, I haven't told anyone that I am doing a Juice Feast. Today marks day 8 that I have only had fruit and vegetable juices to "eat."

The reason that I haven't told anyone is because I just wasn't sure if I could do it. I've done short juice fasts in the past, but I have been feeling rather "out of control" when it comes to food lately, so I wasn't quite convinced I would make it beyond one or two days without chomping down on something deliciously bad for me.

Now that I have safely made it beyond the first week, I feel a bit more confident in announcing the fact that I plan to do a prolonged fast. I am hoping to use this time to break some food addictions I've developed, as well as release some of the many pounds that have crept up since spending time at Optimum Health Institute (OHI) in 2010.

What is a Juice Feast? I'll generally go with the developing alt. health phenomena of naming this a "feast" rather than a fast because I am consuming more than 1200 calories a day in juice, as opposed to a juice "fast" which typically gets one around 500 calories a day. Since you are still meeting the body's caloric needs, it is meant to be something anyone can do regardless of any family or work obligations you might have.

Regardless of semantics, this is still a fast in that I'm abstaining from a very huge part of life - eating. I am quite fortunate that I do not have to show up to a 9-5 gig during this time. Although your body still is getting the nutrition it needs, giving up all the junk you are used to can be quite a shock for the body and mind to get used to. I'd much rather have this time to retreat from outside demands so I'm not distracted from my goals.  Luckily, my husband has taken off 2 weeks from work to join me on this juicing adventure, as it is really much easier when you have a partner to help with the actual juicing as well as provide much appreciated support and encouragement.

Although I'm still having massive cravings for all manner of bizarre foods, I am becoming used to the idea that  this is just not part of my reality right now.

What do you juice? So you may be wondering what exactly I've been consuming. The best thing about feasting, versus fasting is that I drink as much juice as I want. I also drink water too, of course. If I'm feeling particularly starved, I might have 5 or 6 juices in one day. Generally, I hang around 4 or 5 juices a day though. Although I often change what I juice from day to day, here are some of my common concoctions:

Breakfast: fresh squeezed orange juice

Mid-morning: baby spinach, romaine, celery, lemon, ginger juice

Lunch: tomato, bell pepper, kale, chard, parsley, radish, lemon, kelp, spices (we call this our "soup juice")

Dinner: carrot, celery

Dessert: pineapple, parsley

Now that you know what I'm up to, I look forward to sharing more with you in the days to come.

Much love,



Asian-Style Noodles - A Raw Food Recipe (Guest Blog)

[The following is a guest blog post from my good friend, and former personal chef, The Wellness Woman (Visit her blog here). We recently made and enjoyed this delicious kelp noodle meal together. And before you say KELP?!, no it doesn't taste fishy. It tastes like real pasta. It truly was out of this world – delicious. I suggest you grab yourself some kelp noodles and try this dish, pronto. Hope you enjoy!]

A Raw Foodie’s Pasta Paradise – by The Wellness Woman

Growing up I loved to eat pasta.  And pasta loved me back so much it gave me a big hug and wouldn’t let go, clinging to my body in excess fat and bloating.  Yep, the song is true, sometimes love does hurt.  I realized this relationship wasn’t working so I broke up with my pasta pal and transitioned onto a raw food diet saying ciao to the pasta pounds. 

I loved my new svelte self and the extra energy and radiance I experienced from being a raw foodie, although I must admit I sometimes craved my old versatile friend that made many meals so delicious and filling.  I tried to fill the gap by spiralizing zucchini, carrots, and even parsnips.  Even though it was tasty, it wasn’t really the same. 

Just when I thought I would have to suck it up and live without my beloved pasta fix forever, I discovered it…

Kelp noodles.

Now, that might not sound too appealing (neither does excess fat and bloating) but I can assure you they taste AMAZING.  And wanna know something even more amazing?  Kelp noodles are nutritious AND (yes, there’s more!) are gluten-free, fat-free and only 6 calories per serving.  (Feel free to pause reading here while doing your happy dance).

Kelp noodles are easier to prepare than traditional pasta too.  No waiting around for water to boil, just rinse in warm water and give them a quick massage with your hands.  To soften the noodles further, try marinating them in nama shoyu and a bit of nut butter.  Here is my one of my favorite recipes, which is quick, easy and delicious. 

I package Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles, rinsed
2 Tablespoon cashew butter
2 Tablespoons nama shoyu (soy sauce)
1 red pepper, julienned
large handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
pinch cayenne
topped with a generous serving of alfalfa sprouts

This is one example, but to be honest, take whatever fresh vegetables you find in the fridge and add it to the noodles.  Try peas, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, avocados…it all tastes great.  Go Italian with garlic and herbs or Thai with mint, basil, and ginger.  Get creative, have fun and enjoy pasta AND your svelte self!

[Editor's note: You can get some kelp noodles here. I recommend ordering more than one bag; you'll be glad you did!]