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Raw juicing book review

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So I’m back. You didn’t really think I could stay away from this blog for too long did you? I have truly missed writing the articles, so the posts may be infrequent and sporadic, but they will be here when inspiration strikes.

I’ve had quite a few weeks since the holiday madness relinquished it’s control over my life to unwind, relax, and enjoy some much needed downtime. (Although coaching our kids’ basketball teams and racing from one after school activity to another isn’t exactly downtime, it’s less busy than it had been for a few months.)

One of the things I have been enjoying the most during these cold winter months is reacquainting myself with my juicer. I’ve been giving it quite a workout of late. Juicing isn’t something I usually associate with the cold winter months; I’m more of a seasonal, Aruyvedic follower and tend to eat warmer, heartier, cooked foods such as soups, whole grains, oatmeal, and even occasionally some meat in the cold weather. That seems to be what my body craves, so that’s what I typically turn to. This winter though, my body was crying out for nourishment in the form of raw juices. I can’t get enough of them. I’ve taken a bit of a break from the green smoothies just because I can’t bring myself to drink something oh so cold on a dark winter morning, but the juices do just the trick. (If I really need warming up, I opt to make nut milks since those can be slightly warmed up, just not over 110 degrees).

I was lucky enough to stumble upon a new book called The Seven Day Total Cleanse by a local author, Mary McGuire-Wien who runs raw foods retreats at her home in Jamesport, New York. I had met Mary at a yoga class about a year ago and chatted with her about raw foods and raw food cleansing, and really liked what she had to say. One thing that has stuck in my mind is that you need to like what you are drinking. If you do not like the taste and instead are drinking the juice because you think of it as medicine that you will just toss back because it’s good for you, then you are not absorbing it’s benefits on a cellular level. Your body is instead rejecting it.

In the past, my juices have basically been a conglomerate of whatever produce I happened to have on hand in the kitchen at the time, sometimes resulting in some quite awful tasting concoctions. I thought it was good for me so I would just choke it back anyway, cringing as it went down. What I was doing wrong was not incorporating a proper combination of the five basic tastes into each juice—sweet, bitter, spicy, salty and sour. Mary’s recipes expertly include each of these and have complex, fulfilling flavors.

The green juices I’ve tried so far have been truly delicious. I’ve even tested them out on many of my tennis friends, since I usually have one with me while on the court. Even the most reluctant of tasters has been pleasantly surprised by the flavor. I particularly love the orange juice, which is a combination of carrots, Clementines, lime, ginger, celery and sweet potato. I could drink it everyday. (Actually I have had one every day for the past two weeks! I don’t seem to tire of it).

Each color juice corresponds to a different energy chakra in your body. The theory is you can correct imbalances in these powerful energy centers by drinking juices of that color. I must have an imbalance in my orange chakra since I have been gravitating so much towards that flavor juice. (The color orange represents the second chakra, also known as the sacral chakra. It is associated with passion, creativity, enthusiasm and sexuality…it would be quite nice to have all of those things in balance).

The book is laid out in the format of a seven day cleanse. If you are interested in cleansing, her program really sounds great and can be modified to a shorter length of time to fit into your lifestyle. Mary incorporates a variety of self-care rituals that sound indulgent and wonderful and although I bought the book primarily to try out the juice recipes, I will most likely incorporate some of her self-care suggestions at a later date as well.

I encourage anyone who has a juicer, whether it is covered in dust at the back of the pantry or sitting prominently on your kitchen counter, to run out and buy this book. I will include the orange juice recipe here as a teaser…for more recipes, you will need to get Mary’s book.

Orange Juice:

3 carrots

2 stalks celery

3 clementines (peeled)

½ lime (peeled)

¼ sweet potato (skin on)

1 inch piece of ginger (skin on if your juicer can handle it)