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Sooo Juicy!

Sooo Juicy!

It’s almost the end of my three day vitality juice fast and I’ve made nine juices in three days, nine different juicing experiences. Making juice is definitely an experience. I started making juice, oh, just about two weeks ago so I am clearly an expert. Just kidding. In fact, it’s been kind of comical how quickly I’ve had to learn on my feet through this whole fasting experience. Here, I share with you some of the things I’ve picked up through sheer trial and error in case you feel up for the delightful challenge of a juice fast or if you just want to add some of the nutritious benefits of nature’s internal body scrub to your life.

1. A little goes a long way. I quickly figured out after making my shopping list, using the 3 Days to Vitality book by Pamela Serure as a guide, and bringing my groceries home that I would have enough fruits and veggies to last for way more than 3 days of juice. Now, as a person who drank fresh juice before the fast and plans to keep making it after, that was good news. But if you’re really only planning on juicing for the days of your fast, keep in mind that less is more and no one likes ‘spoiled produce guilt’ because you just didn’t get to them in time.

2. Caress your fruit. I’ve noticed grapes love nothing better than to be submerged in a basin of lukewarm water and popped from the vine while receiving a nice rub to get the dirt off. She’s delusional from three days of drinking all her meals, you say. But I promise you, part of the fun is getting in there and getting personal with your food. Feeling the fuzziness of the skin of an organic peach under your fingertips. Connecting with the flesh of a peeled beet, knowing that the pigment will stain your hands for two days. Learning just the right angle to remove the skin and eyes of a pineapple while leaving as much of the flesh on as possible – I’m still not great at that one lol. Handling the food slowly and deliberately, with a sense of appreciation, definitely makes me feel more connected to our Earth and grateful for its sustenance.

3. Glass bottles make your juice look sexy. Once you make all that juice, it’s gonna need somewhere to go. Rare is the occasion that you will finish all you juice in one sitting. There will be leftovers. And you will be thankful for those when you are craving the greasiest bacon cheeseburger you can think of – or maybe that’s just me lol. Save up your glass bottles beforehand from your spaghetti sauce, coconut oil, celtic sea salt, guacamole, etc. Different shapes and sizes make it more fun. You’ll be avoiding storing your juice in plastics that leak bpa into your food and you’ll be helping protect our planet with your personal recycling efforts.

4. Juice it and Blend it. You need a juicer and a blender. The juicer cleverly removes all the pulp leaving behind an easily drinkable substance, which is great for items like kale and cabbage. But there will be times, like for your morning or lunch drink when you may want something a little denser for that “full” – I’m definitely not craving Mickey D’s right now – feeling. For this, you’ll need your blender to liquify, for example, some pineapple peach papaya goodness. The mash up is fantastic and you can chew each sip to savor it.

5. Green juice is not just for the Irish. It’s green, it’s mucky, it’s gross for some if us to even think about, me included. But it has a surprisingly refreshing and light taste, less swamp juice and more sporty boost Mehcad Brooks style *swoon*…I digress… As I was saying, just think of all that yummy chlorophyll going down. Add some spirulina in there for an extra algae bonus. And it’s the closest thing you’ll get to drinking sunshine.

Hope this was helpful. Let me know if you try it and how it goes for you. Now off to juice my tenth and final drink. You guessed it, the Mean Green.

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Keeping the rhythm

Something pretty miraculous happens when I get in front of a Zumba class and the music comes on.  My body becomes a drum and I am the rhythm keeper. The class gyrates, rocks, thrusts and pulses, using my body’s timing as it’s heartbeat.

Of course, it all starts with the music. The music gives us the tempo and the timing.  But not everyone in the class is familiar with all the different rhythms – salsa, merengue, reggaeton, cumbia, bachata, samba, salsaton, hip hop, coupé décalé, kuduro, champeta, and on and on – and how they are danced. I take my tempo cues from the music and the class responds to this by taking their cues from my body.

This is one of the things that most amazes me about Zumba.  The way you can let go inside of the rhythm.  Especially when you trust your rhythm keeper i.e. your instructor.

How did I become a trusted rhythm keeper for my fellow beat seekers?  It’s a wonder because I’m usually that girl in dance class that has to watch others do the moves the first couple times before I catch on.  And I’m still that girl in church that occasionally claps offbeat and has to glance sideways to pick up the rhythm again.  Embarrassing.  But I’ve learned to embrace my inner gringa. And have accepted that she’s not so much offbeat as on her own beat.

I’m also the girl who grew up in a family that would throw spontaneous music parties in our basement, my dad and I dj’ing for hours from the crates of his album collection.  Dancing with my dad, sometimes on his feet, was how I learned to salsa, old school Puerto Rican style, which means bursting into funky improv to the rhythm from time to time.  My brother and I spent hours downloading early hip hop songs from the radio on cassette tapes and playing them back to memorize all the lyrics and the beats.  We would also choreograph little routines to rock at school dances, but that’s a story for another post, lol. Family get togethers for us meant salsa, soca and everything in between.

Being a Zumba teacher has taught me to channel my inner gringa to help make the movements relatable and easier to learn. It’s also taught me to trust my inner time keeper, the one that has been honed by years of family celebrations and the rhythms that are part of my heritage.

The even more amazing thing is that once I learn a new flavor or choreography, my muscle memory kicks in and I can pretty much do the song any where any time.  My over processing mind politely takes a back seat and let’s my body do it’s thing.  I’ve gained a new found respect for and faith in myself – the body knows.  So when you see that girl on the subway with big curly hair and head phones on single single double’ing and doing the Beto shuffle, just wink at me cause you know the rhythm’s taken over.

 

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