In our active, modern lives, we often over-consume and under-digest. This places a tremendous burden on the body and digestive system. One way to reverse this condition is to periodically minimize the amount we consume and let the digestive system rest. Avoiding solid foods on a periodic basis can help your system to rest and reset.
Try consuming only liquids for a day (or half a day or two days) each week. The purpose is to let your digestive system take a much-needed break. This is not a calorie-free diet nor a fast.
An 8-ounce glass of liquid each hour is a suitable beginning. Drink as much as needed to feel satisfied. Keep all fresh juices covered to prevent air from oxidizing the delicate and healthful flavors and reducing the nutritional quality. Remember: fresher is better.
The following are some liquid options. These are generally meant to be tried one at a time, but you could have one type of liquid early in the day and another in the evening. Or, you could try liquids during the day and a simple meal in the evening. The key to not feeling deprived is to stay full by drinking often.
Vegetable juice is an outstanding source of minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, particularly if the vegetables are sourced as organic or biodynamic. Vegetables have a root system that will absorb and concentrate whatever is in the soil, and any pesticide/fungicide/toxic residues that are present will be incorporated into the vegetable. Because of this absorption, it is important to obtain organic, biodynamic, or homegrown vegetables for juicing.
Carrot and Greens Juice Combinations
Carrot juice is the staple of vegetable juices. To maintain optimum acid/alkaline balance, carrot juice can be combined with other vegetables. Usual combinations are 60–90% carrot juice with the remainder from parsley, celery, spinach, cucumber, Jerusalem artichokes, beets, beet greens, watercress, cilantro, cabbage, or other green leafy vegetables.
Adding a half-inch of ginger root will enhance the digestion of the juice and make it more alkaline. Change the proportions or dilute the juice to suit your palate. Let your taste buds be your guide. The juice should taste robust and delicious.
Vegetable broth is made from ripe, healthy vegetables, legumes, and/or beans (all organic/biodynamic) simmered together in a pot for several hours. You may add sea salt, soy sauce (if tolerated), capers, and such herbs as oregano, basil, or thyme, or a spice such as curry to suit your taste and dietary compatibilities. The clear broth should be strained and may be drunk at any temperature. It will stay fresh for several days if refrigerated and for months if kept tightly sealed and frozen.
Miso broth (preferably with hatcho miso, aged more than 24 months) is a fully fermented, easily digested product derived from soy. The amino acids and other simple products are rarely a problem even for those with soy, yeast, or mold sensitivities. The Book of Soy by William Shurtleff is a kitchen and reading resource.
Fruit smoothies are delightful on your “liquid days.” Tree-ripened fruit, pitted and cut into wedges, can be whipped into a tasty puree in your blender. Of course, the chosen fruits should be nonreactive with your immune system.
Watermelon or Other Melon Juice
Watermelon juice is a surprisingly tasty drink made from blended ripe watermelon pieces (without seeds). A small amount of ginger tea or compatible liquid can be added to start the blending process. Other melons may also be used. The juice can be stored covered in the refrigerator for an entire day.
Ginger tea is made from whole, fresh ginger root (increasingly available in most grocery produce areas). An easy way to make ginger tea is to freeze the fresh ginger, thaw until it is soft, slice and dice the juicy root, and steep in a warmed pot of hot water for 10 minutes. Ginger tea is tasty at any temperature and can be stored refrigerated for several days in a tightly sealed jar.
Lassi, a beverage from India, is made from active culture yogurt; there should be nothing in the yogurt except probiotics that predigest the milk and yogurt cultures. The flavor can be enhanced if desired, with rose water. Whip the mixture in the blender for 60 seconds. Lassi can be kept in the refrigerator for two days. While traditionally made with cow’s milk, we recommend making lassi with goat, sheep, or nut milks to prevent sensitivity and for better digestibility.
Water (and Citrus/Lemon Water)
Water in its many forms is a valuable adjunct for improvement of metabolism: use deep spring water, naturally carbonated water, and water with citrus juice.
Herbal teas, alone or with a squeeze of citrus juice, are welcome additions to this program.