Juicing and Juice Fasting: How to Clean Non-Organic Produce

My bad, people…I keep forgetting to put this up on the blog! I was reminded yesterday by my Facebook folks and will reference this post in the future. 

You guys have heard of the “Dirty Dozen”, right? These are the fruits and veggies that folks say you should only buy organic because of their high pesticide risk. Here’s a pic of the specific produce:

Dirty Dozen

But what if you’re not ballin’ like that? Simply (and plainly) put; what if you can’t afford organic produce on a regular basis, or at all? Well, I have a solution for ya!

A quick editorial: whenever people talk of juicing, the “organic vs conventional produce” debate rears its ugly head. Plenty of people will tell you NOT to juice with conventional produce, and I think that’s straight bull-pucky. What that says to me is that a huge percentage of our population who cannot afford organic produce will have to just settle for low-cost, unhealthy food, and I refuse to accept that. I feel the same way about people who believe you should only use a masticating juicer, which are far more expensive than centrifugal juicers. That cuts a huge amount of needy, deserving people right out of the juicing game!

Ugh! Don’t let me climb my pregnant butt up on this soapbox…I could go on for hours! LOL! 

Let me digress back to the point, which is you have to start where you are with what you have. The cost of juicing can be high enough, and there are people who will feel that if they have to use organic exclusively, it’s too expensive to do.  Well, I’m here to tell you that you do NOT “have” to use organic produce when juicing…just use vinegar to clean the conventional!

I recommend cleaning your produce (organic or no, as you never know who had touched your veggies before they got to your house) with distilled white vinegar. Simple, easy, cost effective! I got this method from Steve Meyerowitz’s book, Juice Fasting and Detoxification, and have been using it ever since I first read it. Works like gangbusters! 

Here’s what you do:

  1. Put your produce in the sink.
  2. Fill the sink with cold water and add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of white vinegar. You can also add a splash of lemon juice and/or a tablespoon of baking soda.
  3. Let that soak for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Rinse under cold water and juice! 

Note: you do not need to do this with rind-encased fruit (lemons, oranges, etc) unless you are planning to use the rind in your mixtures or food. 

There you go. Gotta love those cost-effective solutions! 

Juicing and Juice Fasting: You Know What To Do

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Okay, okay…ONE more blog post before the Belly Bean pops out! I know. I’m such a workaholic. I know. 

This is an important one, however, and it came to me as I was freaking out a bit about post-pregnancy eating plan just this morning. Well, okay…not a “bit”, but a lot. You see, my Type-A Virgo, which has left me alone for the majority of my pregnancy, wants to pop up and kick me in the pants now that the baby is due any day. The “PLANNING! PLANNING! PLANNING!” alarm is going off in my head like a constant firetruck siren, specifically regarding an after-baby food menu that’s simple, plant-friendly and quick to put together. My inner Martha Stewart wants everything to be perfect and for me to not even have to think about food for the next 8 weeks, meaning all my food will have to be prepped, bagged, frozen, portioned and grab-able. Of course, do I have that ready? Heck naw, people (can we all say “pregnancy brain”?). That’s what’s messing with me – NOT having anything in place right now is making me question what to do, what I know, what to eat, how to store it, and how I’m going to pull myself together in the next few days before the contractions hit. This is my non-organized, full-on panic mode setting in. May not seem like a big deal to others, but I KNOW the Virgos out there are feeling me right now. 

When I freak out like this I try to grab onto something I can control, so I popped over to the Facebook page to answer questions. As I’m scrolling, I come to this message about transitioning to raw; the woman was worried about all the foods that she would miss (she’s mostly vegan now and was worried about missing rice, oatmeal, etc). My answer to her was thoughtful and regimented; I told her to increase the raw while slowly and methodically decreasing the cooked over a few weeks/months, this way allowing her body to get used to the taste switch. I gave her a week-by-week rundown of how to trade out one for the other, and explained that we always fear what we’ll miss in the beginning, but as we make the change the fear goes away.

Pause here, because this was my “DUH” moment, y’all. I thought to myself, how could I so easily answer her and map out an entire transition meal plan in 5 minutes, and not know how to do this for me? My answer to her came so quickly. You know why? Because I already know what to do.

(Insert the comical “duh” with the slap to the forehead here.)

So, now let’s talk about YOU and how that applies to your journey. For those of you who send me notes about being afraid of your first fast, of feeling like you don’t know how to make it happen, of feeling TOTALLY unprepared when it comes to groceries, how much juice to drink, what the detox symptoms are going to be and how they will affect you, how much weight you’ll release, what you’re going to eat afterwards, will this really work for you…yeah. All that. All that overwhelm and doubt. THAT’S what spins in your head and makes you think you have no idea how you’re going to pull this off, right?

If you’re like me, however, you’ve already done the research. You’ve read the books. You’ve watched the YouTube videos (mine and other juicers). You’ve been on the forums. You’ve joined the Facebook groups. You’ve followed the Twitter feeds. Now, some of this may lead to information overload, but it IS information that you’ve been gathering, right? So YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO DO.

Here’s when your brain may be shouting, “No, Carla! I don’t have a CLUE about how to do this! ARRRRRGH!”, but I’ll bet you dimes to dragonfruit that you know enough to get started. And, in truth, getting started is the key. 

You know what to do. You know to drink juice and water. You know to pick out a few recipes to try and prep your groceries accordingly. You know to pack your juice for work so you don’t get hungry for the day. You know that the first couple of days may be the hardest, but they get better. You KNOW this. You’ve seen me talk about it. You’ve scoured the Newbie page for tips. You’ve gotten advice from everyone and their mama about it. Trust me (and yourself), here…you KNOW what to do. 

So now, go do it. It’s just that simple.

(And yes, this applies to ANYONE making a lifestyle change. Research is great and all, but nothing happens until you jump in and go for broke! You can do this, y’all. I know you can.)

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-CHANGING (From the Inside Out)

As I go through my “Pre-Cleanse Transition Week”, I was reflecting back and comparing my October cleanse (the one that got me started) and my January group fast (the one that seemed like Pure D. Hell for me). One of the major differences that came to me was that I was doing a colonic on a weekly basis during my October fast. When comparing the two, I noticed how hungry I WASN’T, how much less detox I was experiencing, and how smooth everything was going during the first one. Needless to say, that was NOT my January experience. On the second fast, it was a struggle to make it through the day, I was an emotional friggin’ MESS, and there were french fries at every turn. Oh, the horror!

Therefore, I jumped up, found the closest colon hydrotherapy spot near my new house and damn near hurtled myself onto the colonic table. I may be a bit silly at times, but mama didn’t raise no fool. If a weekly colonic is gonna make things smoother, I’m all for that plan. 

So, there I am on the table, ready and willing for some major elimination. This is a new practitioner for me, so we spend some time getting to know each other, and I tell her about my habits, my upcoming fast, etc. She agrees with me that a colonic is a great way to prep the body, and we start looking at my, uh, “output”. What do we spy with our little eyes?

Hold that thought. Lemme tell you the second part first. 

Since I’m all about detox, I also scheduled an Aqua Chi session for after my colonic. This is a detox foot bath – you put your feet in a tub of water, and there’s this little motor-like thing that pulls the toxins from your body through the soles of your feet (did you know the soles of your feet have THOUSANDS of pores? I had no idea! Here’s a website that explains how all of this works). You sit for 30 minutes with your feet in the water, quiet music playing, dimmed lights… and I was fully prepared to chill and read a book, but was so fascinated by the water color changing! 

The light green colored water indicated a release of toxins from the lymphatic system, the bladder and the liver. And see those little red specs? Blood clots. FASCINATING!

Even though I clearly had some toxins to release (as everyone does), I was more fascinated at what I DIDN’T see. I used to have lots of candida, mucous and excess “spackle” in my system, and that’s GONE. Also, after the Aqua Chi session, there was no indication of heavy metals in my body (you usually see heavy metal toxicity as a result of using commercial deodorant, mercury in foods like fish, smoking or second-hand smoke, etc). 

Okay, so here’s the point of it all:

I may not be exactly where I want to be on the outside, but my INSIDES are happy and humming! This is a MAJOR step forward and I am giving myself a huge honkin’ pat on the back. This shows me that I’m moving my body and habits in the right direction – cutting out the dairy, breads and junk food while upping the water, fruits and veggies has made a huge difference in my, uh, “output”… so much so that my colonics lady said I didn’t need to have another one for about a month! Also, making a change in the products I use on my skin (see my Natural Products post for what I use on the daily) has also proven to be extremely beneficial. NO HEAVY METALS! Whoo hoo! 

I’m doing it right (correction: I’m doing it right for ME), and for that I have to smile. This is the confirmation I didn’t realize that I needed to go into this next cleanse with gusto and total enthusiasm! Like I’ve been saying all along: detox is the key.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-CHANGES!