If truth be told, I think I live in the middle way between what some would label “new age” practice (Denise Linn) and creating the good life (Martha Stewart.) Before you laugh, hear me out on what I’ve learned from each in the last couple of weeks.
1. Denise Linn‘s 28 day program’s first week focuses on intention by creating clarity about what’s important. De-cluttering your environs and your inner self is a means to an end to rid the extras so that new things can enter. I’ve described some of the results of this process in the last two posts. A lot to do in the first seven days.
2. Martha Stewart‘s new book on how to live “the good long life” is full of practical pointers for maintaining your health and enjoying life no matter what your circumstances or your age. Despite all the jokes people make about Martha, I feel that she’s paid her dues and in this book, imparts a tone of friendly good-naturedness about aging (as she is) and how to enjoy it at the same time.
Last night, I was feeling slightly uncomfortable physically from having eaten a little too much and indulging myself a lot over mother’s day meals. I remembered that I had forgotten I was doing a two-day a week fasting regimen which had me feeling slimmer and full of energy up to a few days ago. I confess I read about the two-day fasting regimen elsewhere than these two women’s writings, but basically, it’s taking in only about 500-600 calories for a day, at least a day apart, every week. It’s easier than you think, especially when you can have 250 calories at two meals even while you are “fasting.” I like to do it by juicing on those days, drinking lots of water and having raspberry zinger tea. I also discovered that a shrimp is only about 9-12 calories, and a handful of them makes a great lunch or dinner along with salad. This kind of fasting/dieting is so easy to do a couple of days a week that then allows me to eat (judiciously) whatever else I like to cook the rest of the week (fish, chicken, vegetables, fruit.)
From Martha’s book, I found a recipe for green juicing that she drinks every morning and that I use during my fasting days. I have a Breville juicer that has what seems like many parts, but does a much better and faster job juicing than my old Osterizier juicer that was hard to clean.
On a fasting day, I take out and wash these ingredients, then put them into the juicer in this order:
2-3 stalks of celery
half an english cucumber
2 granny smith apples in quarters
half a bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley
half a bag of spinach
a big knob of fresh ginger root
When the juice is made, I stir it and pour a medium size glass of it, adding a heaping spoonful of Pure Synergy, an energy/health boost that I’ve been taking for almost a decade. Taking Pure Synergy regularly, my energy level feels elevated all day without feeling hyper. I put the remaining pitcher of green juice in the fridge to drink later in the day.
After the green juice, I’ll also drink hot coffee while reading the newspaper, drink lots of distilled water during the day and brew raspberry zinger tea to drink with honey for a pick-me-up. If I feel like it, I might make a fresh strawberry banana smoothie with soy milk as one of my “meals.”
On a fasting day, you can have up to 500-600 calories per 24 hours so it’s not like you are starving yourself, just letting your insides have a brief rest. This kind of fasting purports to improve your immune system and prolong your life. Even if it didn’t, it truly feels fabulous. And you do lose weight, or at least I have.
So, de-cluttering as Denise suggests, allowing your body and systems to rejuvenate every so often is “a good thing” as Martha would say. Besides, I can’t tell you how virtuous it feels to wash all these vegetables and fruits, lay them out on the counter and then drink the elixer of all that fresh produce throughout the day, sip by sip.
Admittedly, it’s easier to juice if you have the right equipment and Breville juicers are expensive, to be honest. But compared to the relative costs of what we might spend on some prime steaks, lobsters and legs of lamb, you could probably rationalize the cost of a juicer that will provide a means to a slimmer waist and hips as well as a glowing complexion. Instead of looking slightly puffy from too much rich food, wine and desserts, your face will look smooth and alight with health. PLUS, you can still eat all that other stuff on the days you’re not fasting. . . just in moderation.
Postscript: since I wrote this post, I received a simple electric citrus juicer that I bought on Amazon for $16. It has allowed me to quickly make fresh orange or grapefruit juice anytime that I’m thirsty. Add a couple of ice cubes and sip a cool fruit juice drink!