My Two-Week Juice Fast

I haven’t written here for quite some time! This is for many reasons, including a major interstate move and resettling my family.

Abour eleven months ago, not long after moving, my teenage son and I decided to do a juice fast. He only did it for a few days, due to his age, but I managed two weeks! I kid you not: TWO WEEKS! I did cheat a couple of times towards the beginning, but for the most part I stayed on track, even during a two day visit from friends that I cooked for! I also cooked for my family during this time, which was challenging.


How did I manage to do it?

Well, in the past, prior to attempting any kind of temporary, restricted eating program, I have gorged myself on all of the soon-to-be-forbidden foods, gaining a couple of kilos in the process!

Then, I have usually fallen off the wagon prior to completing my restricted food program, and the end result has been weight gain, not weight loss!

The difference with this two week juice fast was that there was no build up. We had been juicing daily, and my muse (aka my son!) said to me one day, “Mum, we could just keep going. Now. Today.” It was about 1 or 2pm and all we had consumed that day was freshly pressed juice, so we just kept juicing!

This eliminated the pre-fast gorging, and it also helped me to retain a day-to-day mentality.

I woke up each day and thought, “Well, I did it yesterday, I can do it today!”

I didn’t feel obligated to continue, I simply chose to, knowing that I could stop at any time.

Not everybody recommends juice fasting or any kind of similarly restricted temporary program, and I can certainly see the potential problems. It is not a healthy long term approach, and can lead to yo yo dieting, for instance.

In my case, it worked to my benefit in that it helped to kick start a new way of eating for me. It helped to reset my taste buds and overcome my constant desire for sweet coffee, ice cream, lollies and chocolate!

After my son resumed eating, he adopted fully raw vegan. I was still living on only juice at that time, whilst making him delicious salads, raw treats, and so on. I was also making vegetarian food for my daughter and meat based foods for the rest of my family. Out of all those options, the only one that had me salivating out of desire was the raw vegan food, so when I decided to end my juice fast, I happily transitioned to a fully raw vegan way of eating.

I have never been so excited to eat a salad!

Desperation before Deprivation

I was going to do a “21 Day Raw Food Reset”, starting today. And yesterday. And the day before that.

The build up has been going on for a couple of weeks, as I psyched myself up for “deprivation”. Yes, yes, I know it would be an incredibly healthy thing to do, and I should focus on what was going to be wonderful about it, right?

I mean, this is what my shopping trolley looked like in preparation for the program (and this was just for one or two days!):


But the truth is, I couldn’t stop thinking about what I was NOT going to be allowed to eat. The 21 day reset was possibly going to help me kick start a whole lot of good food habits, and I’m sure it may have done that on a physical level, but on a psychological level? It was doing my head in! And that has a definite flow-on effect to the physical.

The idea of dooming looming “famine” had me focussed on (i.e. obsessing about!) a lot on what I was going to miss out on in the next 21 days, and I became quite desperate to ensure that I had plenty of opportunity to consume those foods prior to us starting the Reset. I was in a state of desperation, in preparation for the upcoming deprivation of the foods I was craving. In a nutshell (preferably a cacao nut):

I was a wee bit obsessed about feasting before the fast!

My pre-fast-feasting on all the foods I was going to be “deprived” of during the cleanse was causing me to become quite obsessed with those foods, looking for every opportunity to eat them. To “savour the flavour” one last time. Honestly, you’d think I was never going to see another Magnum ice cream ever again! (And it didn’t help that our local supermarket had them on special for half price!)

The idea of 21 days of controlled, restrictive eating, was causing me to obsess about the foods I thought I would miss, and to grab on to them for all I was worth, prior to them being “taken away”.

So in my preparation for my 21 days of only raw food, lots of veggie juices, green smoothies, salads, etc, I think I probably gained about 3 kilograms! I wouldn’t know, because I rarely weigh myself, but I’ve definitely gained weight and gotten less healthy, whilst preparing for a super-duper healthy three weeks.

And in keeping with one of my guiding principles, I want to make the healthy choice for this moment. Right here, right now, the healthiest option for me was to choose NOT to do the Raw Food Reset.

And truly, I kid you not, I immediately felt free from my desire for over-consumption of particular foods. I found myself thinking, “You know what? I can eat that anytime. I really don’t feel like gorging on it, or even having it at all right now.” So I didn’t.

And I feeling much healthier in my thinking.

The following day, my 13 year old son said to me:

“Mum, what happened to that raw food diet you were doing?”

I told him that I’d decided not to, and why, and he replied with:

“Well, can you still make lots of veggie juice and green smoothies please?”

I love the true freedom of choice a radical unschooling child has, with no food “baggage” whatsoever. He is free to eat chips and lollies (and sometimes does) but he is also free to love vegetable juice and green smoothies, because there is no “have to” and no need to sneak “bad food” in secret, or gorge on it because he’s worried it might be taken away from him.

When I grow up, I want to have such a great, unfettered attitude about food! :)

Fun Before Fatloss?


© Poulou | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Look what just turned up in my Facebook newsfeed. It is JUST what I needed to read!

For far too long I have put the fun bits of life on hold because of my jiggly bits.

When I lose the weight, I will…..
If only I wasn’t overweight, we could…..
One day, when I’m a bit thinner, we’ll be able to…..

I would love to have gone on the theme park rides with my husband and kids when we went to Wet ‘n Wild, but “What if I can’t fit in the seat? And anyway, I will look so silly up there! And if it’s a water ride, I’d have to…. wear swimmers!”

So I……

Hide behind my camera,
Smiling on the outside, hiding shame within
Watching them have all the fun,
Too embarrassed to join in

I would love to take our kids to the snow because none of them have ever been and they all want to go. We’ve been telling them for about fifteen years that we’ll go “one day”, and yet every year winter rolls around and I am still “rolling around” with my extra tyres, thinking, “There’s no way I’m donning a ski suit! How embarrassment! There probably isn’t even one that would fit me! Next year… next year I’ll be thinner and have the confidence to get out there and have some fun with the kids and my husband on the snow fields.”

…..Then next year rolls around, and we sit in our heated lounge room.

I would love to go on family bike rides, but “There’s no way I’m putting my big butt on a bike seat for all the world to see!”

….. So we don’t go. I don’t even own a bike because I’m too embarrassed to buy one.

I would love to take the kids to the beach occasionally, or the pool. I mean, we live 5 minutes away from some absolutely beautiful beaches! “But I am just way too embarrassed to don swimmers, even if the board shorts come down to my knees!”

….. So we sit at home, and listen to tales of other families having fun at the beach. And I know my kids are missing out. Because of me.

Maybe I could take them to the beach sometimes during the cooler months, knowing I wouldn’t have to wear swimmers. I mean, it’s still fun, right? There are even volleyball nets there. That would be awesome! The kids are all old enough now, so we could all have a lot of fun challenging each other to three-on-three beach volleyball. But “everyone will notice my jiggly bits when I try to jump for the ball, especially if my shirt rides up to expose my floppy flesh in all it’s non-glory!”

….. So we rarely go. And if we do, I work hard to avoid potentially embarrassment!

The local high ropes adventure park would be lots of fun, or perhaps the rock climbing place, but again, my husband would get in there and have a great time with the kids, and once again I would:

Hide behind my camera,
Smiling on the outside, hiding shame within
Watching them have all the fun,
Too embarrassed to join in

It’s  always great to have photographic evidence of everyone else having fun, but perhaps it would be better to have real memories of me participating in the fun!

I have been thinking for a while that maybe, just maybe, I should start doing those fun things in spite of my current state of affairs in the body-fat department. To hell with what other people think, right? Just get out there and have some fun! And in the process…. well, you just never know. Perhaps some of those jiggly bits might just jiggle their way on outta here!

And if not? Well, at least I will have had a lot more fun! :)

And my kids will have memories of family fun and adventure where I’m actually joining in, rather than memories of me just sitting there waiting for the fat to go away and the fun to start.

The photo albums might be emptier, but our memories would be overflowing.

Bored… And Free

Okaaaay so I got bored with trying to blog every day about the 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge. Actually, I got bored with trying to do the recommended smoothie each day! That’s how I roll. And that’s okay.

© Greg30127 | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Greg30127 | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

And do you know what? Because it wasn’t this huge all-or-nothing detox program, I didn’t binge before it started, and I feel no need to binge afterwards. I will continue to attempt to have a smoothie (either a green smoothie or a protein smoothie of some kind) most days, but I did not like the feeling that I *should* do one because of the 30 Day Challenge, and that I *should* blog about it.

This health journey of mine, these days, is about getting free of the shoulds. Of living joyfully in the moment. Taking food off the pedestal of power.

If I allow myself to get stressed about food, what I should eat, what I shouldn’t eat, how much or how little I should eat, whether I’ve earned more food because I exercised or whether I should exercise more to make up for what I’ve eaten, food gets given way too much power in my world. And I don’t think that’s healthy.

So we’re back to a happy place.

And guess what else? I found the rocking-est blog about health and nutrition: The Fat Nutritionist. I totally, absolutely dig it. This sister chick is all about the stuff I want to be all about. She is writing my story! So at the end of the day, I may just let her get on with it, read her stuff, live my life and not bother with this blog at all! 😉

Or I may keep writing here. Not sure yet. And either choice is fine.

Loving the freedom!


Learning as we go

This morning at breakfast time we made the smoothie recommended for day 8 of Young and Raw’s 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge and discovered a thing or two:

  1. A smoothie without protein is not gutsy enough for my 12 year old’s breakfast requirements, and whilst he could add something afterwards (today he had sourdough toast with home made peanut butter), he really prefers more of a protein shake or nut/seed/fruit raw breakfast, so we’re thinking we’ll have the green smoothie as a mid afternoon snack, or something like that. (We’re really missing our Banana Nut Butter Protein Shake, which is our current favourite breakfast, preferably made with mango. Yummo!)
  2. We really don’t love green smoothies that have celery without something added to make it creamy (usually banana). Today’s was better than the last one we made, but it still hasn’t made our favourite list!
  3. These recipes are not cold enough for our taste buds. We are used to adding ice to our smoothies, and have decided that we will replace some of the water with ice from now on.

Pineapple Cilantro Cleanse Smoothie

  • 1 Cup of Fresh or Frozen Pineapple
  • 1 Handful of Cilantro
  • 1 Rib of Celery
  • 1 Cup of Water (next time we will use half ice, half water, unless the fruit we use is frozen)
  • 1 tbsp. Chia or Hemp Seeds (we always soak these in water whilst preparing the other ingredients)
  • 1 tsp. Spirulina *optional (we added this for the extra nutritional boost)
Not a favourite smoothie, but the cilantro (coriander to us Aussies) was not as bad as I thought it would be. It offset the pineapple quite well!

Not a favourite smoothie, but the cilantro (coriander to us Aussies) was actually not as bad as I thought it would be. It offset the pineapple quite well!



Okay, so I “botched up” today. I totally didn’t get around to having my green smoothie. It was partly due to poor organisation on my part (time management and I are not great friends) and partly because I got busy with life and also playing in the kitchen creating some yummy things (umami paste, concentrated vegetable stock, and roasted pumpkin, garlic and sage soup).

So this is where things get tricky. Do I let the momentum ease off and slide into a phase where I “don’t get around to” having my daily green smoothie on more and more days, and then think, “Well, I missed yesterday, so what’s the point?” or do I just pick up where I left off, and have today’s smoothie tomorrow?

I’m planning to do the latter.

It’s one of the problems with food challenges, detoxes etcetera. It’s easy to have an all or nothing mentality. Either I stick with the program, or I “fail” and give up. And if I’ve given up, I might as well celebrate with something as my little “reward” for having done as much as I did, or just to celebrate freedom from the program!

I don’t want to think like that anymore. I don’t want to think I “botched up” because I skipped my green smoothie but ate my chocolate ice cream (yes, I did do that!). I want to embrace each day, and each moment, as a chance to choose freely. Not in reaction to a previous choice, or out of fear, guilt, shame etc, but simply based on what I am feeling drawn to in that moment.

So tomorrow my intention is to go with my daughter to a coal seam gas protest march, stop at the shops on the way home to buy my green smoothie ingredients, and then come home to make it before heading off to the next of the day’s adventures.

Sometimes life just feels too busy, and I know it would be good for me to start practising some brief meditation/mindfulness moments in the midst of the madness!


Contemplating Compliments

Tonight I went out for dinner with some friends to say goodbye to someone who is moving interstate. At the end of the evening, out of the blue, one of my friends that I haven’t seen for awhile commented that “My face is looking clear, smoother”. Now this sounds like a compliment, right? And it was intended that way, I’m sure.

But it had mixed effects on me.

Firstly, I felt good about the way I must have looked (although also more self-conscious) and wondered if it was anything to do with all the green smoothies!

Then I felt bad, thinking, “Well I obviously looked like crap before!” 😉

The truth is, I have always struggled with bad skin. I had acne when I was a teenager, and I have a lot of scarring and redness from that, which I really really hate. I cover it up every day with makeup and would never dream of showing my face in public without at least a light foundation on. It is the one thing I do, physically, that I think is fake. I pretend to look different to how I actually *do* look, because I don’t think it is attractive or acceptable. (And this is something I’m working on changing.)

I don’t colour my hair to hide the grey.

But I do colour my face to hide the red.

So when I received my “compliment” tonight, given with the best of intentions and the kindest of hearts, I felt both encouraged and self-conscious. I’m not sure what the answer to this is.

If we notice something nice about the way someone looks and we compliment them on it, are we actually helping them to feel good about themselves? About who they are as a person?

Or are we causing them to focus on their outward appearance, and another person’s interpretation of whether that appearance is good or bad?

Food for thought.

And onto my food (a la green smoothie) of the day:

I have to say, this daily green smoothie thing isn’t a habit yet! And doing the 30 day challenge is, I hope, helping it to become so. You may have noticed that I’ve been squeezing them in at the end of the day, because I didn’t want to lose the momentum of the challenge, so I guess that means doing this challenge is a good thing?

I’m a day behind in recording it all, because last night, when I would normally write up the blog post, my kids really needed me, and they will always come before blogging! But here I am, catching up.

Yesterday’s smoothie was all about citrus! And I forgot to get a photo.

Lemon Lime Detox Smoothie

  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 1 Lime, peeled
  • ½ Lemon, juice only
  • 2 Oranges, juiced (if you put the whole orange in your
    smoothie will be bitter)
  • 2 handfuls of Kale, Spinach or other greens

To be honest, I found it quite a hassle to make this smoothie, because it involved having to pre-juice the lemon and oranges. I know that doesn’t sound like all that big a deal, but it definitely added a step that, when busy, can be the make or break deal in terms of whether the green smoothie makes the transition from raw ingredients to drinkable form. The easier it is to make, the more likely it will be made!

The flavour was surprisingly good, but to be honest, I would probably just make this recipe as a freshly pressed juice rather than a smoothie if I did it again. It seemed kind of silly to do the two steps, when the whole thing could have just been done in a juicer.

Today I used a recipe from a couple of days ahead in the program because I didn’t have the correct ingredients for today’s recipe. And I will say that is was, ummmmmm, disgusting!

Sorry, Young & Raw, but I just couldn’t drink this one. I’m not fully sure what was wrong. Perhaps there wasn’t enough fruit for my taste buds? I’m actually thinking it was the absence of banana, because without that the texture of each mouthful was like thin liquid, followed by all the fibre as you swallowed. It’s hard to explain, but the texture wasn’t nice for me at all. It just wasn’t smooth (like a smoothie should obviously be!). I’m thinking that the emulsifying action of the banana is pretty much an essential for me at this stage in my journey.

My taste-buds-of-steel-12-year-old son did not have a problem downing this smoothie, although he did say it wasn’t particularly nice. His friend that was visiting quite liked it and I’m thinking he obviously doesn’t know how good a green smoothie can taste! :)

For what it’s worth, this is what I made:

Green Apple Ginger Smoothie

  • 1 Apple, Cored
  • 1 Handful of Spinach
  • 1 Rib of Celery
  • 1 tbsp. Chia Seeds
  • 1 inch piece of Ginger
  • 1 Cup Water or Coconut Water
Worst smoothie ever :(

Worst smoothie ever :(

Experimenting with Smoothies (Day 4)

Our taste buds are getting a work out! It was weird at first to add celery and cucumber to our green smoothies, having previously used mostly fruit with some greens, and now the creative team at Young and Raw are having us add ginger to our green smoothies! I thought it would be terrible, but it really ain’t that bad. It’s proving to be quite exciting trying such varying, different recipes each day. The kids are being really brave in having a go at them. Today’s was quite a nice, if somewhat different combination of ingredients, compared to what we’re used to.

The recipe required either coconut or almond milk, or coconut water. Being as Mr 12 has polished off all the tins of coconut water I bought, I needed to get either some coconut or almond milk for the smoothie. I hadn’t soaked almonds, so we went with the coconut milk option.

Since purchasing our Thermomix two years ago, we’ve also been participating in a bulk food co-op, and it has made a really big difference to the way I cook. It was so great today to go to my massive container of dried coconut and turn it into coconut milk in less than 10 minutes. It would have taken me longer to drive to the shop to buy some! And we have the added advantage of no fillers or thickeners or plastic lined tins. It’s a win-win!

Here’s today’s green smoothie treat!

Spinach, blueberries, bananas, coconut milk and..... ginger?

Spinach, blueberries, bananas, coconut milk and….. ginger?

Oh, another win for today was that I actually managed to make some cold pressed juice too! So our nutrient levels were super high, and it was all super delicious.

And since I was on such a roll, and my two younger kids were keen to do some cooking, we also made raspberry muffins and raw chocolate peanut butter fudge!

We often make pre-soaked muffins from grain we grind ourself, but there was no time today. The request was to cook and eat as quickly as possible. :)

We often make pre-soaked muffins from grain we grind ourself, but there was no time today. The request was to cook them and eat them as quickly as possible. :)

We made our own coconut butter and peanut butter for the fudge. We love our Thermomix! :)

We made our own coconut butter and peanut butter for the fudge and used raw organic cacao powder too. We love our Thermomix! :) It was very hard to wait for it to set in the freezer, but oh so worth it in the end!



In the Nick of Time! (Day 3)

Wow, my green smoothie nearly didn’t happen today! I’m finding it really hard to make it happen, because I’m creating other smoothies and raw breakfasts with my kids in the morning. Perhaps I will just need to do two smoothies?

Today my daughter had friends over to play, and then I had to do a late trip to the shops, so by the time we ate dinner and I took my son for a driving lesson, it was about 9.30pm and I still hadn’t had today’s green smoothie! Mr 12 reminded me – he had been looking forward to trying today’s recipe! So we did!

A green smoothie for supper? Why not! :)

Day 3 smoothie - for 3!

Day 3 smoothie – for 3!

Lemon Ginger Green Smoothie

  • 1 Rib of Celery
  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 1 Cup of Cucumber
  • ½ Lemon, Peeled
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 Cup of Water or Coconut Water

I’ve just gotta say, I really wasn’t sure about this one! And…… I’m still not. It was different for sure. But actually not terrible!! We all finished it and Mr 12 actually really liked it! Miss 10 is still talking about yesterday’s smoothie, though, and has requested it for breakfast tomorrow in place of our current favourite brekkie: Banana Nut Butter Protein Shake, which all the kids absolutely LOVE! (We usually make it with a combination of banana and a stone fruit such as mango, to make the most of this beautiful summer season. I also usually add some soaked chia seeds.)

Well, tomorrow is a new day and it is fast approaching, so I will sign off here.

P.S. Is it a problem that I’ve been enjoying some fair trade milk chocolate while writing this? 😉 I personally don’t think so.

30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge (Day 2)

Better late than never, so they say. Grand intentions didn’t eventuate into grand achievements today, and I ended up making my green smoothie while dinner was cooking in the oven! (Part of the reason, admittedly, is because the kids are totally loving a raw nut butter protein shake we’ve been having for breakfast, so I didn’t do the green smoothie then, and after that the day just got busy.)

I had a moment of thinking, “It’s too late now, why bother” and then I thought “No! I want to have one because I want to blog every day of this challenge!” I didn’t want to stop on day two! How embarrassing! 😉

So while dinner was cooking, I created:

Raspberry Kale Booster Smoothie

  • 1 Rib of Celery
  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • ½ Cup of Raspberries or Blueberries
  • 1 Handful of Kale
  • 1 Cup of Water or Coconut Water


4 Healthy Smoothie Facts!

1. Celery is high in b vitamins (important for a properly functioning metabolism)
2. Bananas are an easily digestible source of energy.
3. Raspberries/blueberries are high in antioxidants (helping fight free radical damage)
4. Kale is a rich source of calcium!

This challenge is the first time I’ve had the courage to add celery to a smoothie. It seemed… kinda gross… to think about blending celery and then drinking it (although I happily juice it), but I have to say, it is really not a problem at all!

Mr 12 is still in love with coconut water, so I’m investigating bulk supplies, or even better, a way of obtaining drinking coconuts by the box, rather than buying the canned variety!

Tonight Miss 10 decided that she’d like to have a taste of the smoothie (I’m glad I had doubled the recipe!). She doesn’t normally like green smoothies, but this one had berries, which she loves, and it looked brown rather than green, which seemed to make it more palatable to her for some reason. I had to reassure her lots of times that it definitely did NOT have avocado in it, and then she bravely had a sip. Wanna see her response?

Actually, I’ll admit that this video was her second taste of the smoothie. The first few sips resulted in a much more exuberant happy dance, accompanied with a spontaneous song about how yummy it was, but she didn’t want to repeat that for a video. 😉 She was happy to share her somewhat more subdued enthusiasm for the smoothie on this humble little blog though.

Later in the evening I mentioned to Mr 16 that I was doing a 30 day green smoothie challenge and he said, “Next time you make one, let me know and I’ll try it too.” I just about fell over! He has NEVER wanted to have a green smoothie before.

I love that the kids are free to have a taste, or not.

I love that the kids are free to like the smoothie, or not.

As am I. :)