Several weeks ago I embarked on a juice fast challenge. It was fairly easy for me-but it was a challenge. For years I had read articles on juicers and juice fasts and I would mentally make a note to try one soon. Well, I recently graduated from a double major bachelor fine arts program and since then I am finding I have all kinds of time to do these things that I had bookmarked in my brain. It’s difficult when you have to put things on the back burner because of a huge commitment. Life goes on and things change pretty quickly when you seem to think ‘something’ will never end.
So… juice fast. I can say also this was prompted by us watching yet another fantastic food documentary. If you haven’t seen it, you should, if not for yourself maybe someone you know dealing with health problems.
It’s called, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”. I loved this food documentary since it heavily focuses on food leading to the great, almighty diamond crusted path to health and well-being. http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com/
Now I have tried the lemon, cayenne pepper, organic maple syrup fast. That didn’t last, I thought it was horrible. But this one made more sense to me since I already eat a diet rich in raw foods, veggies and fruit. Everything about it made sense to me, so I trekked off to the grocery store and began.
So, some things one should know before embarking on this journey.
- You do not need a $300 dollar juicer. Even if it was in my budget-who wants to throw away that kind of money on a juicer? I bought a Black and Decker one for $30(after reading rave reviews on it) and it definitely gets the job done great.
- It might be smart to be able to have fast access to a bathroom the first few days. Two other people tried this fast with me and had very different results. I really never had to quickly find a bathroom throughout my 6 days. I also never got nauseous or felt sick or dizzy. But if you are used to eating a diet with a lot of red meats, alot of sweets and colas, you can expect a lot of toxins trying to come out of your body the first few days.
- This is a fairly expensive fast. Raw fruits and veggies are expensive, but I figured it was the same amount of weekly grocery shopping-so since I was replacing it I went for it. I think in 6 days I spent $100 dollars. I think in the documentary it said it would cost approximately $14 a day. You can go to farmer’s markets, organic depots, asian markets and get a break on the price, but that’s also too much gas money and running around.
- The whole point of a cleanse is getting the most of the green fruits and veggies and peels into your system. So you should be buying bunches of collard greens, kale, swiss chard, parsley, spinach, green pears, green apples, cucumbers etc… and so on.
- It is also essential you cut everything up, have it ready to immediately go into the juicer and then immediately drink it. There is no, letting the juice sit around for 20 minutes while you try to drink it. Fresh juice contains a great amount of raw food enzymes and vitamins which can be easily lost if you let it sit. Also if you let it sit, a thick pulp type juice begins forming on top which makes it a tiny bit harder to drink fast, but you just mix and continue to drink. Also there is no need to peel or seed anything. (Except for: peeling cucumbers and beets)
- I also found very quickly if the juice didn’t taste that great you could easily fix it by adding something else to it or more lemon, orange or ginger juice. Also I read the vegetable ones can be strong and water can be added to them.
Why I did it?
I had increased the amount of coffee and alcohol I was consuming in a month where we had family come visit, celebrated a birthday and an anniversary- so why not? I wanted to get off coffee for a week, as well as alcohol and get a boost back in energy. It’s a cleanse. Yes, most people do a fast to lose weight. In contrast there is so much more to a cleanse. The food most of us eat is loaded with chemicals, the air we breathe is polluted, and our daily lives contain stress and anxiety which our bodies store. In doing a cleanse like this your digestive system gets a much-needed rest and a cleanse, toxins are released from the body and energy levels are restored. (Also any little guts your carrying around from alcohol, caffeine and salt will disappear). Further, if you feel run-down, depressed or ill, and modern medicine has done nothing for you, why not try it? Chances are in the course of a basic day you’re surrounded by toxins and you don’t even know it. Whether its pesticides in food or trans fats in your food, car exhaust fumes in the air or man-made chemicals in the soda or juice you drink, your body is being assaulted daily. This is basically re-booting your system.
Interesting things I experienced:
- I did get mild headaches the first few days probably from the lack of caffeine and toxins leaving.
- Juice from veggies that are very sweet to the taste buds surprisingly can be found in a cucumber, zucchini, beet and carrot.
- On day two right in the middle of one of my green juices I had a great physical “increase of awareness moment”, unlike one you experience doing yoga or meditating. Suddenly I was awake, I mean really awake. The colors around me became highly saturated and I had a spike in energy. Pretty groovy. (This also happened several times again over the next few days)
- Once you do several juice recipes, it will be effortless to create your own recipes that will taste really good.
- I did find that the first few days I was good with about 3 juices at around 24oz. The last few days I was hungry more often sometimes having 4- 5 those days.
- I did lose 6-ish pounds in 6 days. I did the cleanse for 6 days.
- Almost everyday after the first I instantly woke up in the morning, surprisingly clear-headed with no grog?!?! Usually I wake up insanley slowly, with difficulty, very groggy and whiny.
- I become obsessed with all the pretty colors and layering them as they were juiced. (But I guess that’s the artist in me)
These are the only recipes I went from:
It wasn’t until several days past when I started introducing cantaloupes, watermelon, mangos and oranges into the mix. The one I started off with in the mornings was the Apple Pear combo. It was an exceptionally tasty and sweet way to start the morning off with. Then I would have a green one around lunch time, followed by another sweet one and then a mix of the two before bed.
Here’s photos from the Apple, Pear, Ginger juice.