Author Topic: Mindful juicing  (Read 7221 times)

redalert

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Mindful juicing
« on: March 05, 2013, 01:00:35 AM »
I am currently on day 13 of a seventeen day green juice cleanse. This is when you live off of fruit and vegetable juice and water for a period of time, no solid foods. The idea is this will give the body a chance to heal itself as you will not be ingesting difficult to digest food and the body uses this time to heal itself.

I bought a masticating juicer $150.00 and so far it is costing me about $45.00 every three days for fruits and veggies, I do not have a convenient source for organic veggies so I am using regular produce.

I have given up cigarettes and alcohol about 4 years ago and a bunch of weight naturally fell off as my activity increased, a year later for moral reasons I decided to try vegetarianism basically I ate a bunch of pizza and felt like crap so I decided for additional moral and health reasons and as a practice dicipline to try veganism, this worked for a while as my determination was very strong, I generally felt much better and found a healthy happy weight. Lately my eating habits have been slipping Oreo cookies are vegan and most of the soy based products are not very healthy.

I watched a documentary Fat sick and nearly dead, and another called vegucated and this inspired me to try one of these cleanses.

The first two days were difficult headaches and a general feeling of crappyness, but after that I sort of came to life I really feel great, there are peaks and valleys where my energy levels and emotions fluctuate but these tend to be at the same times each day between 2pm and 7pm before and after this I feel really good. My meditation has been very peaceful and I have gone from using a 3"cushion to about a 1" cushion my posture and flexibility has really relaxed during this fast.
Sitting with an empty stomach is much more relaxing and the sensations have generally been subtle and pleasant.

At the end of this fast the goal is to try to eat raw as often as possible for some time and when necessary reboot your system with another short cleanse. So far I don't see anything wrong with this, has anyone here done a fast like this? If not, I reccomend this as a great boost to your mindfulness practice.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 03:45:55 AM by Vivek »

DarkNightOfNoSoul

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2013, 03:28:49 AM »
Hey redalert, I'm certainly no expert on nutrition and diet, but I did spend a good few years investigating and trying for myself various diets and exercise routines - after spending most of my 20s and early 30s eating junk, drinking a lot of beer, and steadily growing in girth.

Eventually I had the insight that most of the fad diets out there (raw food, low fat, low carbs, low sugar, paleolithic, vegan, etc etc) have one main thing in common - eating actual, real food. So simple and obvious in hindsight, but when we grow up surrounded by crap that passes for food, it's not immediately apparent.

Most Westerners have appalling diets full of highly-processed or manufactured substances that can't accurately be called food. IMO all one has to do for a healthy diet is avoid man-made "food" (which seems to make up about 90% of the crud in your average supermarket) and stick to the food that human beings have historically always eaten - fresh fruit (in its natural state, not dried or juiced), vegetables (mainly raw), nuts (raw), seeds, berries, eggs - and plenty of fresh, unprocessed lean meat (for those who aren't vegetarian like myself). Probably also a good idea to minimise milk products and grain products, since both have only been in the human diet for a few thousand years, so may possibly be classed as "difficult to digest" (for example, 70% of human beings are lactose-intolerant, suggesting that consuming milk when one is an adult is a pretty unnatural thing to to).

For me there was a noticeable improvement in energy levels and general well-being with a natural food diet. Plus it's pretty hard to become overweight, because unlike man-made foods, natural foods tend not to be dense in calories, so you feel full well before you've inadvertently taken in a huge number of calories.

As far as I know, there is no real scientific support for "cleansing" diets and the concept of "removing toxins" - two staples of the highly-profitable alternative health industry. Why not just eat a "clean" diet all the time (or even 90% of the time) rather than just every so often? Then the body wouldn't need to "heal itself" as it wouldn't be broken in the first place. And why not just eat fruit and veges as they are instead of juicing them? Then you get the fibre as well as the other good stuff, and you're not concentrating it all into an extremely calorie-dense drink (which admittedly is unlikely to cause weight gain if you're not eating anything else).

I'm also not sure of the point of fasting or temporary calorie reduction, during which you tend to lose weight only to put it back on again once you go back to your "normal" diet. Moreover, with calorie reduction you tend to lose muscle mass as well as fat, which is potentially damaging to the metabolism in the long term. Seems more sensible and sustainable to get in the habit of eating a decent diet all the time, for the rest of one's life. The problem of trying to meditate on a full stomach can be avoided simply by making your meals smaller but more frequent. (Of course, this is a bit impractical if one happens to be a monk surviving on one meal a day!)

I don't mean this as personal criticism redalert, so please don't take offence - this just happens to be one of those topics that prompts me to get on my soapbox a bit (must work on reducing ego)! I'm glad you're seeing good benefits, though I suspect much of it comes from dropping the bad food and substituting it with a high intake of fresh fruit and veges, and I question the juicing aspect and the concept of "cleansing". Look forward to hearing more on this topic.

Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2013, 09:35:01 AM »
i have seen a lot of westerners too much worried about their diets.  i have one doubt.

here in india all the dishes that are prepared house hold are 1000s of generations old and are perfectly designed to give all the required proteins , vitamins, fats, carbohydrates etc.
we never worry about any of the ingredients in the food. if we have to do diet we just cut back in the quantity.
now dont you all have dishes that your granny used to make any more? if so isnt it well designed ?

redalert

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2013, 01:00:34 PM »
Eventually I had the insight that most of the fad diets out there (raw food, low fat, low carbs, low sugar, paleolithic, vegan, etc etc) have one main thing in common - eating actual, real food. So simple and obvious in hindsight, but when we grow up surrounded by crap that passes for food, it's not immediately apparent.

Totally agree with you eating real(unprocessed) food is a key part to maintaining a healthy body, But I think people need a spark at times to regain mindfulness of eating. This is where a cleanse like this can be helpful, totally purge the body of crap for a predetermined time and then begin a healthy eating regime where one will see for themselves the difference in effects foods have on the body. Ones state of mind plays a big part in our food choices and our inability to prepare healthy meals. When I finally realized through direct experience that cigarettes were harmful to me I did not have to quit I simply stopped.

I'm not advocating this cleanse as something to be done long term, although some have done this for long periods of time. I'm simply suggesting that it has been helpful in kickstarting a healthier way of looking at food for me and as a by-product it has been very helpful as a meditative dicipline in my life. So often we just go to the fridge and grab a snack during the day, this cleane is helping me to observe those feelings as for a duration of time this is against the rules and it forces me to just sit and observe those thoughts without acting out on them. Knowing that between 2-7pm the worst feelings arise gives me a heads up and their effect is greatly reduced as I know they will pass away.

I suppose i'm hoping that through directly experiencing the effects of healthy eating vs. unhealthy I will naturally change my habit patterns.


redalert

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2013, 01:05:30 PM »
i have seen a lot of westerners too much worried about their diets.  i have one doubt.

here in india all the dishes that are prepared house hold are 1000s of generations old and are perfectly designed to give all the required proteins , vitamins, fats, carbohydrates etc.
we never worry about any of the ingredients in the food. if we have to do diet we just cut back in the quantity.
now dont you all have dishes that your granny used to make any more? if so isnt it well designed ?

It is interesting to note that as the western culture is adopted by Indians they are also becoming a fatter unhealthier population, so I wonder how mindful Indians actually are vs. just not having availibility to the abundance of crap food that westerners have.

redalert

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2013, 12:47:17 AM »
Just an update if anyone is interested.

Finished the seventeen days, took a week off went back to eating solid foods and then I felt like juicing again.

I started another cleanse with no real finish date in mind just listening to the body. Currently on day 19 and feeling really good. There have been some real emotional highs and lows but they seem to have calmed down. I have also had some difficult life situations occur during this time.

Loving the fact that I do not have to think about what to pack for lunch or make for dinner.

For exercise I'm doing a 30min ride to work and 30 min ride home and I've lost 30lbs to date.

The first 25lbs fell off quickly and now that I'm getting close to my comfort weight, the weight loss has tapered off to about 2lbs a week.

I know some may think this is a fad but I really reccomend trying this even if for only a week.

Seems like by doing nothing harmful to the body it is healing itself, just like vipassana for the mind. :)

redalert

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2013, 01:47:14 PM »
Day 35 of juicing,

Hit a big wall on day 30 felt very crappy and mind was coming up with all kinds of excuses to quit. Vipassana was very helpful in that observing the sensations produced individually as opposed to combined helped me to remain equanimous towards them.

They say that every so often the body will start burning these accumulated impurities as fuel and during this time much unpleasantness is produced but it is the only way for the body to flush out these toxins. Afterwards the body runs on clean fuel for some time and the body feels much pleasantness for some time.

This process is repeated and the highs soon outway the lows as the body becomes cleaner. Sound familiar?

Total weight loss 37lbs, still alive and feeling good today :)

redalert

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2013, 07:31:31 PM »
Day 47 of juicing,

Still alive and the last 10 days have been very easy, a couple of strong cravings for solid food while preparing the families dinner but very managable.

The weather has warmed up considerably and we have seen the sun shining again, this may be playing a part in my general mindset.

Total weight loss 44lbs.

windaub

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2013, 09:44:25 PM »
But what is your actual weight? Be careful don't go under 8lbs^^

redalert

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2013, 11:18:29 PM »
 Im strutting down the runway at a lean 195lbs, those 8lb supermodels don't have anything to worry about currently. I've been hangin around the 210lb range for the last 4 years, I just got sloppy this winter and put on some extra weight, the juicing is quite easy to maintain once you get past the first few days. I'm planning to stick it out till the end of may and then go back to regular eating for some time. In all honesty I feel much better juicing than when eating solid foods. Its mostly mental difficulties to look out for, which are good practice.

Vivek

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2013, 10:19:14 PM »
Forcing weight-loss through control of food, proves disastrous to the body in the long-term. Stating my opinion based on research studies. Overriding the body's natural intelligence to choose foods needed at the right time, in the right quantity has proved to be very, very unhealthy.   
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

redalert

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2013, 11:13:46 PM »
This is not about weight loss, weight loss is a by-product of the cleanse. Also this is known as a juice feast as you are not limited to the amount of juice you can have in a day. In a day I consume a giant bag of spinach, two bunches of kale, 6 apples, strawberries, pineapple, 2 cucumbers, big chunk of ginger, 2 lemons, 5 large carrots, 2 bell peppers, 1 stalk of celery, and swiss chard when available, also parsley, oranges, grapes, watermelon.

What is missing in this diet, what am I denying my body? I think this is the healthiest I've ever eaten in my life.

Your research studies are probably based from doctors studies which insist on eating from the 4 food groups. These studies are heavily influenced from the meat and dairy industries.

Also as this cleanse takes a level of mental dicipline I placed it in the meditation practice section, if you try it you will see what I mean. But no worries it can stay here. :)

Vivek

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2013, 11:41:29 PM »
As long as you don't have any craving for any particular food, it is OK. As long as you are not forcing yourself to only take juice, and that this is your body's natural need, then I think is it OK. Otherwise, I think this is unhealthy in the long term. In any case, repeated studies have shown that dieting is not good for the body in the long term. One good reference to understand this perspective is the documentary, "Hungry for Change": Hungry for Change Documentary Part 1

Quote
Your research studies are probably based from doctors studies which insist on eating from the 4 food groups. These studies are heavily influenced from the meat and dairy industries.
No, and no.

My intention is not start an argument, just share a different perspective. You can consider it, or leave it. If you feel that this juice diet is helping you, please go ahead.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

redalert

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2013, 12:24:04 AM »
There are moments of craving, when I take the family to a restaurant I crave the food there but I don't act on those cravings, also there are walls one hits on a juice cleanse when the body just feels crappy and the mind starts craving all kinds of stuff. I've found that these can last from 3 days to just a few moments, depends on the impurities coming out, but when they pass you feel great again. I would not call this a diet, it is a feast.

I've seen hungry for change and also vegucated and what I am saying is that you must develope the ability to know your own body and know how you can push it and when its telling you something that you need to listen to. Monks eat one meal a day and live quite happily once they adapt to this, and as beggars they are not getting a balanced diet every day there a periods of time when they have to live on a minimal amount of rice or their fat stores, both of which could be proven to be quite unhealthy. They do this and not only do they survive but they tend to live long lives. There is so much fear and advertising out there and humans can be so emotional when it comes to food, that if you want to look for something to reinforce your beliefs you can find it.

I'm just saying that this has been done by alot of people for very long periods of time and not only do they seem healthy but they seem to be thriving. There seems to be something to this and not just a fad. Also I can do this because I live in an area where I can get fresh fruits a veg on a daily basis I have not run out of ingredients even once, I also have a job that is not time orientated, I'm not in a panic in the morning, I take my time and prepare everthing I need for the day.

I know your not trying to start an argument Vivek, and I welcome your comments. I also understand your concerns they were mine in the past. :)

Vivek

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2013, 02:50:11 AM »
I appreciate the fact that you are bringing in Mindfulness to eating and that is exactly what we need, no dieting is required at all. In fact, the better alternative to dieting is called Intuitive eating or Mindful eating. So, perhaps, in the case of monks who eat one meal a day usually incorporate mindfulness and so, they are able to curb their cravings and live healthy for longer period of time. Studies have shown that through mindful eating, cravings for food, and especially high carb and/or high-sugar food, reduce drastically and are at times permanently eliminated. So, basically, mindfulness in the ONLY key to healthy food habits, weight maintenance etc.

One thing I would suggest is that you should be watchful w. r. t. your body's intelligence when it shows itself and should be able to clearly distinguish between what is a craving and what is the body telling you that it really needs certain types of food to help keep its natural balance. We should never go to the point of punishing our body in the name of spiritual practice.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

redalert

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2013, 11:16:50 AM »

One thing I would suggest is that you should be watchful w. r. t. your body's intelligence when it shows itself and should be able to clearly distinguish between what is a craving and what is the body telling you that it really needs certain types of food to help keep its natural balance. We should never go to the point of punishing our body in the name of spiritual practice.

This is exactly what this is about, which is why this topic belongs in the meditation section and not under the Banyan tree!  ;)

Vivek

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2013, 03:59:34 PM »
I agree, but in couple of your posts above, you seem to be tracking your weight loss almost regularly. I don't see anything relevant to meditative practice or path in those. That is why I moved it to Under the Banyan Tree. Moreover, your main objective seems to bodily cleansing through diet and you are just applying mindfulness towards achieving that, so I think this thread better suits there. If you feel that you would steer the discussion more towards meditative practice, let me know, I can move it back.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

redalert

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2013, 08:11:26 PM »
I agree, but in couple of your posts above, you seem to be tracking your weight loss almost regularly. I don't see anything relevant to meditative practice or path in those. That is why I moved it to Under the Banyan Tree. Moreover, your main objective seems to bodily cleansing through diet and you are just applying mindfulness towards achieving that, so I think this thread better suits there. If you feel that you would steer the discussion more towards meditative practice, let me know, I can move it back.

Weight loss is the only thing I can measure and accurately convey to those interested, I did mention that since the cleanse some tension relaxed in my body and I was able to reduce the cushion size I was using for seated meditation. Also I have described that the sensation I'm experiencing in meditation seems much more subtle and relaxed but no real way to measure this. I began to discuss the aparent walls one is faced with during a cleanse like this and how they can last days to just minutes.

For me this entire journey has been about mindfulness so I'm confident that it has everything to do with meditation and practice. What exactly do you feel is not meditative about this? I'm a bit confused in your logic, its a discipline which requires constant attention, just like developing a daily practice.

Vivek

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2013, 03:45:32 AM »
Check your past couple of posts, please. I don't see much of anything related to meditation in those posts. I guess we can agree to disagree on this. Anyway, I will move your thread back.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

redalert

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2013, 01:16:00 AM »
Day 54,

 For the past couple of days I have been having a general weakness of body, I have been cold and in pain as I was hit by a car on my bike a week ago. I ended up taking Advil for the pain in my ribs as it was difficult to sleep. Tonight as I was preparing dinner for my wife and kids, I opened a can of black beans and had an urge to eat some. I have had these thoughts in the past, I made some juice and drank it but it did not change my outlook, the craving was very strong. I was really craving those beans. I decided to listen to the cravings and made a bean salad with nuts, seeds, and a light dressing, I was also craving olives, so I added some to the salad. To finish this meal off I had an urge for salted popcorn. Now that I'm finished I feel much better, I imagine the body trying to recover from the injury was in need of something that I was craving.

I will attempt to resume the cleanse now that I've given the body what it asked for.

I understand that drinking juice is not a permanent thing, but the benefits from this cleanse have been numerous, obviously there is weight loss I'm down 46lbs and feel great other than bruised ribs from cycling, my skin is really clear and soft, general flexibility has improved greatly, my activity levels have increased and little aches and pains in the body seem to be disapearing, my posture has improved, I generally feel much younger and vibrant.

I'm glad I listened to the body, the tricky part for me is deciphering what is bodily needs vs mental cravings, very fine line between them. In the past I would work very hard and when the body got tired I would feed it, so I could continue the hard pace, I believe we work to hard and I'm trying to develope some balance and get into a more natural harmony, this is difficult as what most consider normal seems very extreme and out of balance to me now, but I'm still caught in the flow. Also being in the construction industry can be extremely physically demanding and one is pressured to produce by our broken monetary system.

I feel with this cleanse I've developed a very strong ability to listen to the body's needs, sort of like when we finish a retreat we have a strong ability to feel sensations. I'm just concerned that without this dicipline as a catalyst for minfulness with regular eating I will slowly lose touch with this sensitivity and slowly get sloppy with my diet.

Mpgkona

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2013, 09:22:20 AM »
Hey Jimmy,

I'm not really sure what your post is about, or how it relates to the thread. Redalert is a man for one, and his goal was not weight loss.
When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.

redalert

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2013, 12:50:39 PM »
I think Jimmy is accusing me of being a goldigger. Well I never!!! :D


Vivek

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2013, 04:25:59 PM »
Just ignore, guys. That was a troll. The post is removed.

Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

redalert

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2013, 07:16:11 PM »
My cleanse seems to be over I have not been able to kick start it after day 54.

I have been having juice solely for breakfast and lunch most days with the odd day having a bean salad or some veggies. It was incredible how tasty the simplest foods were after cleansing for so long. This seems to be passing now as I have resumed eating for some time.

Dinner is a challenge I have felt very hungry after a hard days work, I am trying to be mindful of not over eating in the evenings. I am so active lately and work has gotten busier, all I want is some time to myself but as soon as I get home the kids start tugging at me and it is easy to reach for food as a way to comfort or distract myself from this. I know that ultimately this food will not satisfy me but there are cravings to be wary of.

I have put on about 6lbs since ending the cleanse this seems normal from what I've read.

I have a retreat coming up and I may start another cleanse after this.

redalert

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Re: Mindful juicing
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2013, 09:42:33 PM »
Been back to regular eating for over a month. Still incorporating juicing into the daily diet, my wife has also seen the benefits with this. We make up a jug of juice every morning and take it to work with us.

I thought my weight would slowly creep back up, but it has remained stable at 197lbs. One thing that i thought interesting to mention is that my cravings for sugary foods seems to have disappeared. Possibly the fruit juice is meeting my body's natural energy need and therefore not sending any signals for additional energy from sugary treats.

My energy levels seem very stable and balanced.

I'm sold on this juicing, and recomend trying it.

 

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