Fasting, cleanses, organic, raw food, whole food…who has not heard all the hype on the importance of implementing at least one of these things to increase your health and wellness? And who hasn’t feared at least one of the rumored negative effects blast through the grapevine of internet chitter-chatter?
Most want to know the real scoop on it all, and honestly, I think most people don’t require much fear to be inaccurately derailed from a hard, but productive healthy lifestyle. You all know by now that I am a straight shooter, so lets just be honest in saying that in our day and age with all of our super busy schedules, fast food at every corner, and regularly placed oversized portions that stretch our stomachs beyond where they should ever go, the notion of CONSISTENT healthy is just plain hard to live up to.
That’s why I was excited when I heard that I was being given the opportunity to review Love Grace raw, organic juices, which are considered to be a raw food, used in juice cleanses, as well as a means to support daily health for the long haul. I also felt it would also be an excellent opportunity for me to share some solid research on the hot topics listed above.
First, let start with fasting: The National Institute of Health defines fasting as, “a partial or total abstention from all foods, or a select abstention from prohibited foods.” This means that fasting can equate to an elimination of the ingestion of food all together (except water), it may refer to abstaining from only certain types of foods, and/or fasting may come in the form of abstaining from eating foods at only certain times of the day, such as in Ramadan. To answer the almighty question, does fasting have all the health benefits we hear about? The answer in short: Yes. According to a 2011 research review article, Impact of caloric and dietary restriction regimens on markers of health and longevity in humans and animals: a summary of available findings, it states, “numerous studies have found that CR improves cardiovascular and glucoregulatory health. Specifically, CR may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering total cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and carotid intima-media thickness. CR also has been shown to attenuate the age-related decline in diastolic function. Regarding glucoregulatory health, circulating insulin and glucose levels decrease – while insulin sensitivity increases – following a period of CR.” (CR=Caloric restriction) In addition, it denotes that other benefits include slowing the effects of aging and disease and enhancing verbal memory.
In terms of viewing fasting from a spiritual health standpoint, I think it is safe to say that it has overwhelming spiritual benefits. It has been practiced since close to the beginning of human existence and carried to the present. Listen folks, let me state the obvious here, even from my personal Christian stance, no one likes abstaining from filling their bellies and would not dare do so for this many centuries unless there was proof in the pudding (no pun intended). Here is a calendar that gives an excellent comprehensive overview of the many religious sects who implement fasting. It also includes how, when, and why they fast.
Next, let’s go over cleanse. The word “cleanse” is commonly associated with fasting. A cleanse is viewed as being part of the health benefit from a fast and/or the entire purpose. In the simplest terms a cleanse can be thought of as your body getting rid of excessive toxins that it accumulates on a daily basis through ingestion and outside environmental factors. It is not necessary to enter into an extreme fast (just drinking water) to reap the benefits of your body activating the cleansing process. Interestingly, the data supports that fasts, such as “The Daniel Fast“ (a 21 day fast eliminating all foods except fruits, vegetables, and water) has been documented to show “meaningful improvements in blood pressure, blood lipids, and biomarkers of oxidative stress. Moreover, insulin, HOMA-IR, and C-reactive protein were all lowered to a clinically meaningful extent.”
Lastly, before going into this review I feel that it is important to mention the “raw food diet” and “whole food diet.” Many consider these diets as a way of life, while others implement the diets for temporary cleansing purposes. Almost everyone from talk show hosts to magazines and pastors to doctors are talking about the benefits of fasting and adding raw and whole foods to your lifestyle. The raw food diet, in particular has a tendency to attract a lot of hype and controversy, Dr. David Katz does a great job explaining why and includes his opinion on the matter…which may not go over well with all. Nonetheless, I feel obligated to inform my readers on all sides of the matter, and feel that he does an excellent job identifying the benefits and the possible detriments.
Whole food diets are a pretty safe bet for all and can also include many raw foods. In my personal opinion a whole food diet adds a nice balance and brings the best of both worlds. Part of the purpose in keeping our plant based foods in the raw is to preserve what are known as Phytochemicals, among other essential vitamins and minerals that are often muted or negated all together when heated. In the 2003 article, Spicing Up a Vegetarian Diet: chemopreventive effects of phytochemicals, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, explains the positive actions of phytochemicals stating, “In plants, these compounds function to attract beneficial and repel harmful organisms, serve as photoprotectants, and respond to environmental changes. In humans, they can have complementary and overlapping actions, including antioxidant effects, modulation of detoxification enzymes, stimulation of the immune system, reduction of inflammation, modulation of steroid metabolism, and antibacterial and antiviral effects.”
On that positive note I bring you into my very simple review of Love Grace juices. Go buy them ASAP because they are excellent! Here is why: They are both an organic raw food and a whole food. They can be used with a fast and as a cleanse. They will absolutely help you to reap those awesome evidenced-based benefits I shared above. Love Grace juices are gluten-free and vegan-friendly…Meaning I can and did happily give them to two of my children who are positive for the gluten/casein allergy. As a matter of fact, the juices are packed so high in easily absorbable nutrients that it assured me that both children obtained their fill of what they might typically miss out on. You can easily order them from a touch of a button to your doorstep and tailor what you order for the purpose of your choice. You can gauge the ingredient and health benefit meter right on their site. In terms of recommendations, I will almost always land on the side of moderation and consistency, so I recommend doing a juice cleanse at least once a year plus (at your doctors discretion) and drink one juice a day while following a healthy diet.
Hope you all found this post helpful on your health and wellness journey. Feel free to post a question or share some insight…can’t wait to hear from our readers.
Here are some great recipes that are favorites of Jacob Mabanta, co-founder of Love Grace. They may taste like an indulgence, but are jam packed with life-giving forces (the best kind):
Super C Tonic
This simple cocktail is a fun way to jump start and maintain your cleanse. High vitamin C content to keep the immune system strong, alkalizing and cleansing.
5 mint leafs
4 oz filtered water
2 oz lime juice Juice from half of a grapefruit
1 Tbsp agave or coconut sugar
1 tsp camu camu powder pinch of salt dash of cayenne dash of cardamom
1/2 C ice
Directions: Muddle mint leaves in a glass or shaker cup. Add remaining ingredients, cover, shake and enjoy.
An easy to make recipe that really does taste like a vanilla creamsicle except its full of antioxidants, beta-carotene and vitamin C.
2 C chopped cantaloupe 1 peeled orange (ideally valencia) with seeds removed
1 C water
1 C ice cubes
1/4 vanilla bean or 1tsp vanilla extract
1/4 C macadamia nuts (if unavailable then use cashews)
pinch pink himalayan sea salt
Directions: Blend all ingredients until smooth in a blender. Serves two.
Berry Chia Fresca
A traditional mexican drink, chia frescas are a great source of sustained energy and super refreshing too. We like to blend ours to make sure all the nutrients of the chia get absorbed.
2 cup water
2 tsp chia seeds
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1 T fresh lime juice
1 T raw honey or agave
Directions: Mix the chia and water together in a bowl and set in the fridge to plump for 15 minutes. Remove, mix again, and combine all ingredients in a blender. Puree until well combined and adjust the sweetness if needed.
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