Too much holiday cheer? Fatty foods, sweet treats, alcoholic drinks? Fear not! The New Year is your chance to hit the reset button and go healthy.
One way to do that is to try a fast.
“You can lose at least a pound a day, get rid of foggy brain, and recharge your energy,” says best-selling author and nutritionist Cherie Calbom, known as “The Juice Lady” for her expertise in juicing for health and detoxification.
“Fasting is a great way to restart your metabolism, purify your lymphatic system, and revive your soul” says Calbom, author of the new book The Juice Lady’s Guide to Fasting. “It’s also a way to look younger, clear out the toxins, and restart the systems in your body for optimal health and physical well-being, and to bring restoration to your mind, body and spirit.”
People often think of fasting as a fad, she says, but it’s been touted throughout history – by the healer Hippocrates, the philosopher Plato, and scientist and statesman Benjamin Franklin, just to name a few. Germany’s famous “fasting therapist,” Otto Buchinger Sr., M.D., called it an “operation without surgery.”
Even those who don’t believe in fasting’s curative powers agree it can help prevent illness. Want to fend off the flu, a cold or bronchitis? Fasting gives your immune system a boost.
“It’s a lot like a threefold spring cleaning, as you dive deep into the areas in your life that don’t always get the attention they need – mentally, physically and spiritually – and you clean them up,” Calbom says. “You rid yourself of toxic influences that hinder growth, clarity and well-being, and refocus on the future.”
With a liquid fast, you give up solid foods, and enjoy delicious, nutrient-rich beverages. In her book, Calbom provides a variety of fasts to choose from including the smoothie fast, bone-broth fast, 3-day detox fast, and what she says is the most popular of all — the juice fast. If you crave crunch, she offers the Garden of Eden Fast and the Daniel Fast.
“There’s something for everyone — from a short weekend weight loss fast to a 21-day rejuvenation fast,” she says.
If you’re a list maker (and who isn’t this time of year?), Calbom recommends writing down what you hope to achieve with your fast – losing belly fat, cleansing your liver or boosting your brain power, with brains detox juices for example – in order to find a fast that’s a good fit.
If you aren’t sure you can hack a liquid fast because you’ll crave flavor, think again. Here are three of Calbom’s favorite recipes, designed to taste great while doing good:
Weight Loss Buddy Juice Cocktail
Jerusalem artichoke juice combined with carrot and beet is a traditional remedy for satisfying cravings for sweets and junk food. They key is to sip it slowly when you get a craving for high-fat or high-carb foods.
1 Jerusalem artichoke, scrubbed wel
3-4 carrots, scrubbed well, tops removed, ends trimmed
1 green apple (lower in sugar than red or yellow)
1-inch chunk ginger root
Cut produce to fit your juicer’s feed tube. Juice ingredients and stir. Pour into a glass and drink as soon as possible.
Beet- Berry Liver Cleanse Juice
Beets have been used as a naturally remedy for liver cleansing.
2 medium beets
1 cup blueberries
1 green apple
1 large carrot
1 broccoli stem
1 lemon, peeled
1-inch chunk ginger
1/2 cup coconut water
Juice all ingredients. Add coconut water, stir, and enjoy!
Green Muscle Mender
Are you strength training? Spinach helps your muscles recover due to its high magnesium content—157 mg per cup.
1 large handful spinach
1 green apple
1-inch chunk ginger root
2-inch piece fresh turmeric root (optional)
Juice all ingredients, stir, and enjoy!
Cherie Calbom holds a master of science degree in whole foods nutrition from Bastyr University. Known as “The Juice Lady”, www.juiceladycherie.com, for her work with juicing and health, she is the author of 32 books, with millions of copies sold worldwide. No stranger to healthy diet trends, Cherie joined George Foreman as nutritional spokesperson in the “Knockout the Fat” phenomenon that forever changed grilling in America.