You have an assignment to fulfill. Many prophets are saying this is the year of fulfillment of dreams and goals for our lives. It's time to take action and become lean, healthy and energized so you can fulfill the plans God has for you. "For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope" (Jer. 29:11).
Do you know what His plans are for your life for this year? If not, press in until you hear them. Then take an assessment. What kind of health, energy and body do you need to make those plans a reality? We do know God wants you to live an abundant, joy-filled life; therefore, He doesn't want you to struggle with sickness, fatigue or excess weight.
One study showed that people gain weight between October and December and specifically one to three pounds between Christmas and New Year's. About half the weight was lost quickly, but the other half hung around for a while. Another study showed that though the weight gain was smaller for those in that study, people never lost the holiday weight they gained. You need a plan so that doesn't happen to you.
But weight gain is not the only concern. Sugar, fat and alcohol damage the body in more ways than one. Studies show that alcohol and sugar contribute to fatty liver disease. Other studies show that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. No wonder we find it hard to stop eating sweets once we start. And according to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, eating too much animal fat may damage your hypothalamus, the area of your brain that regulates energy balance.
If you had too many holiday treats, fatty foods and cheese balls, fear not. It's a new year. You can hit the reset button.
Are you ready for a new beginning? One way to jump-start your weight loss and your health is to try a short juice fast. Fresh juice is particularly helpful because it's broken down like a predigested food. It's rewarding because it provides an abundance of nutrients that bind up toxins, while also supporting the digestive system, providing it an opportunity to heal.
Juice nutrients cleanse your pathways of elimination and feed your cells an abundance of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients and biophotons.
Juice is the cavalry. The antioxidants march into your body like good soldiers to clean up sludge and knockout the bad guys like free radicals, which damage your cells. Then you can really sail through the winter cold and flu season without a bout of anything because you've supported your first defense line—your immune system.
The juice fast is a fantastic post-holiday weight loss choice. With this fast, you give up solid foods and enjoy delicious, nutrient-rich elixirs. They'll help you flush your system and rejuvenate your body. On a juice fast, cravings will diminish. You may find some aches and pains going away too. You can even get rid of acid reflux. And you can get your energy back because you'll be absorbing nutrients more efficiently.
Many people gain belly fat during the holiday season. But some of that may not actually be fat, but rather bloating and some toxic sludge in the colon. You can cleanse your colon of the bloating and waste or plaque that causes it to protrude with a cleansing fast.
You can start your jump-start program with a one- to three-day juice fast. On your solid food days, avoid sugar, refined carbs, sodas, junk food, fast food, and snack foods.
Drink one or two glasses of juice those days. If you want to lose more weight, continue a one- to two-day juice fast each week until you reach your weight goal. Then you can juice-fast a few meals a week as a maintenance plan. If you have diabetes or hypoglycemia, be aware of consuming fruits. Although you can add a small amount of low-sugar fruit like green apple or berries for flavor, you should stay away from most fruit when you juice and stick to vegetables.
Juice It Up!
Here are three great recipes designed to taste great while cleansing your body and helping you burn fat.
Weight Loss Buddy Cocktail
Jerusalem artichoke juice combined with carrot and beet is a traditional remedy for satisfying cravings for sweets and junk food. The key is to sip it slowly when you get a craving for high-fat or high-carb foods.
1 Jerusalem artichoke, scrubbed well
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.
Fat Flush Ambrosia
According to research, grapefruit contains fat-burning phytochemical that works to balance insulin levels. That means you'll burn more fat rather than store it. Grapefruit has also been shown to lower the bad cholesterol (LDL).
1 grapefruit, peeled*
1 small handful mint
6 leaves Romaine lettuce
Juice all ingredients and give it a stir!
*Note, always peel grapefruit (and oranges) as it contains volatile oils that can upset your stomach.
Metabolism Booster Juice
Celery and hot peppers are considered thermogenic foods, which means they boost your metabolism.
4 ribs celery, with leaves too
1 green apple
Dash of cayenne pepper or dash of hot sauce.
Juice all ingredients, and give it a stir!
Ready, Set, Go!
Get a juicer that's easy to use or find a good juice bar. You can use a blender if you don't have a juicer. You may also use freeze-dried juice powder or low sodium V-8 in a pinch.
- Drink 3-6 glasses of juice a day on juice fast days.
- Drink 8 glasses of water to flush your system.
- Check out the Dirty Dozen at ewg.org. You'll want to avoid the most heavily pesticide sprayed produce and get organic when it comes to these twelve.
Pick the best day to start and get all your produce assembled in advance unless you're going to your local juice bar.
Many people find it easiest to start on a weekend day.
Get some good recipes; don't wing it. If you don't like the taste of what you create, you may ditch the whole thing.
Note: The recipes and portions of this article are excerpts from my new book, The Juice Lady's Guide to Fasting. (Siloam)
Cherie Calbom, MSN, holds a Master of Science degree in whole foods nutrition from Bastyr University. Known as "The Juice Lady" for her work with juicing and health, she is the author of 32 books including her latest The Juice Lady's Guide to Fasting and Sugar Knockout. She and her husband offer juice cleanse retreats throughout the year, 30-Day Detox online and Garden's Best Juice Powder. She has lectured worldwide on juicing, detoxing and fasting including consulting for the Royal Family of the UAE. Winner of the TTAC Lifetime Achievement Award for her work with juicing and detoxification, her blogs and books on juicing, cleansing and health have helped thousands of people live healthier lives. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter and sign up for her free newsletter at juiceladycherie.com.
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