Getting jiggy with juice

Getting jiggy with juice
By Walter Ang
Aug. 8, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer

The buzzword these days is "feasting" as a replacement for "fasting," in that you can feast on all the juices that you want during your fasting period.

Fasting has never really been out of vogue. For thousands of years now, whether for religious, spiritual or medical reasons, the premise for fasting is to allow the body to rest from ingesting all sorts of unhealthy foods and to allow it to "detox."

While some people forego all food during their fasts, some ease into it or do it with liquid diets. I wanted to do a one-day juice fast with other liquids thrown in, like soy milk and yogurt (a no-no for some vegan fasting regimens since yogurt is a dairy product).

But I wanted to do the fast and I thought, it's my fast and what the heck, I'll do it my way. In any case, since I'd eaten that morning (the unfortunate result of hemming and hawing before I decided to push through with my fast), I recalibrated my 24-hour fast to last from lunch of Saturday to lunch of Sunday.

I wanted to do a juice-by-color fast, starting with red. I road tested the Avance Juicer from Philips and threw in tomatoes, carrots, a red apple and an orange. I'd wanted to do red (tomatoes, red apple and beets) and orange (carrots and oranges) separately, but in a moment of confusion, laziness and realization that I had no beets (good for liver detox) on hand, just threw the reds and oranges in.

The large entry tube allows users to just throw in the fruits or veggies without pre-slicing. The Avance comes with two settings for soft and hard items. The juicer is really powerful with its 800-watt motor. I realized too late why the pitcher came with a cover--the juice comes out pretty strongly. If you get this juicer, trust me, place the lid on the pitcher before you turn the machine on.

Clean up
Clean-up is easier compared to another kind of juicer that I'd been using. The upside down sieve detaches together with the blade-disc with one pull. I found this very convenient because with my old juicer, you had to remove the blade-disc with this weird screw that came with the juicer and it was a hassle to screw back in.

The pulp is collected in a donut-shaped bin for easy disposal. The bin collects the equivalent pulp for up to 2.5 liters of juice, good for when making juices for your entire family or a group of friends.

Some people use fruit pulp for mixing with pancake or pastry batter for fiber, color and a bit of flavor. Vegetable pulp can be used for soups, stuffing or extenders for meat dishes.

Since my attempts at baking have never come out well and the weather was too humid for making soup, I threw the pulp out into the small patch of garden that we had. I thought I was being smart by helping enrich the soil, until the ants arrived.

For those who have a dishwasher, you can dump all the removable parts in.

Missing enzymes, missing cucumbers
Merienda was a can of pineapple juice (the kind with pulp and enriched fiber), not the kind made from concentrate, and yogurt. (Note to self: next time I do a juice fast, I really should prepare more thoroughly and acquire the fruits instead of the canned juices.)

Juicing purists frown upon canned, bottled or boxed juices because these are usually treated, pasteurized or sterilized, therefore, the enzymes that are beneficial for the body would have been destroyed.

Thus, the thrust towards fresh juices. In fact, they recommend drinking the juice immediately after juicing, before the enzymes degrade into nothingness.

Throughout the afternoon and evening, whenever I got thirsty or hungry or got cravings, I would drink plain water or soy milk. At one strange craving moment that night, I sucked on a piece of kiamoy and waved my arms above my head while jumping up and down to distract myself. (Not recommended unless you have a sense of humor and family members who are used to your antics.) It worked.

For dinner, I was planning on having my green juice using the spinach leaves, kangkong leaves and cucumbers in the ref and a packet of wheatgrass powder. I don' t know what kind of mysterious dimension I was thrown in but, first, I couldn't find my wheatgrass sachets. Second, I don't know what happened to the cucumber, because all I saw that night was an ampalaya.

I tried to be creative and added a pinch of rock salt and a dash of apple cider vinegar. "A soup-juice! Super healthy and delicious!" I thought to myself. Unfortunately, I don't remember how delicious it was because I gulped this one down fast.

But really, one should not have to suffer through a juice fast or any kind of juice concoction. If you don't like the taste of a fruit or vegetable, either leave it out of your mix or just put pieces of it so you can still get its nutrients while "masking" its taste with other ingredients.

Otherwise, you can simply search the Internet for juice recipes. The Avace blender also comes with a recipe booklet that you can use.

A few hours before bed, I had an apple cider vinegar and honey drink. No growling, hungry stomach nor cravings.

The following morning, a yellow juice comprised of lemons, peaches and a bit of ginger. The fragrance of the lemon and the sharpness of the ginger was a nice zesty wake-upper. (And yes, this time, I threw the pulp into the garbage instead of the garden.) I continued the fast until lunchtime and that was that.

Most people rush through fasts and diets, but really, why not see a fast as the start (instead of a be-all and end-all event) of sustained healthier eating behavior? I'd still use ampalaya for future juices, but maybe I won't dump the whole thing into the juicer next time.

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