There is so much said these days about juicing, good and bad! I made the decision to try it out after quite a bit of research. I knew what I was signing up for. I took it easy and I layed low. I did 2 weeks. I was not easy, but I loved it and I am glad I did it. I will do it again when I feel the time is right.
The following is a recount of my experience. I think everyone is different and each person should explore what is right for themselves.
Why I did it:
I decided to do a juice fast for a few reasons. Firstly, I was curious. What would be the effects and could I even manage? Secondly, I had tried several diets in the last few years trying to find what works for me. What better way to get in touch with one’s true hunger than to become really really hungry? The biggest thing that pushed me to fast was an liver enzyme count that was slightly elevated according to a recent blood test.
When I did it:
I work very hard all summer so in the winter I have a lot of downtime. I chose the middle of January to begin. After the holiday feasting madness. I live in a temperate climate so it was not crazy cold out. Cool but sunny days permitted me to spend time outside in the garden and go for walks. I made sure to take the first 5 days off of work so as to get used to not ingesting solid food. I worked on day 6 and I was fine by then.
Where I did it:
At home! I know people like to go on retreats but I preferred to keep myself posted in the safety and security of my own comfort zone… my house!
What did I juice?
Everything. At first sweet potatoes were my all-star, somehow they seemed more filling. I juiced carrots and apples to add a bit of sweetness in everything. Beets, fennel, kale, spinach, celery, cucumbers, kiwi, cabbage (not my favorite), ginger, lemon (with the peel), pear, radish, parsley, mint, romaine lettuce. Anything really, I just tried to keep a balance between sweet fruits and nutritious dark green veggies.
How much did I drink?
I basically allowed myself to drink as much juice as my little heart desired. I began with drinking 1-1.5 liters per day (16 oz each meal) along with about 3 liters of water and a couple cups of herbal tea. By day 5 and on I was satisfied with much less.
How did I do it?
Days 1 and 2 were the most difficult. I was moody but determined. I let myself do whatever I wanted, as long as it was not eating. I basically stayed in bed all and binge watched Battlestar Galactica while nursing my water, tea, and oh so sacred juice. I found that going outside and smelling things helped. I smelled dirt, flowers, grasses etc. It felt like I was being fed somehow. Sitting in the sunshine also seemed to satiate me in an unexpected way. I took it easy. No workouts or runs, just leisurely strolls. I was gentle with myself in general. I shut myself up in house for the first 5 days and let myself adjust. It is an anti-social experience as well but I preferred it that way. Day 6 I had to begin working again and running errands etc, but then it was much easier.
Days 3 and 4 my tongue got white and my breath got bad as was to be expected. I found that rubbing a lemon slice on my tongue helped alleviate that discomfort.
Day 4 my lips began to peel. Badly. Like severely chapped lips, but I knew I was not dehydrated! I had to go out and but the best lip balm money could by. This was an interesting side effect that I did not expect. I had read that when your body gets a break from the work of digestion, it begins to experience ‘healing symptoms’. These symptoms vary from person to person. Rashes, fever, diarrhea, muscle aches etc. I also experienced faintness, bad breath, diarrhea, and headaches, but the worst was my peeling lips. It felt like I lost 3 layers of lips per day at least!
The interesting thing though, is that before the fast, I got cold sores a few times per year. My lips were sensitive. Even the slightest exposure to sun or if my immune system was slightly down for whatever reason I would get a fever blister. I had scars on my lower lip, and whitening as well, I thought because of the medications I had used -Abreva namely. I had been to a dermatologist that year because I feared it could be the early stages of a skin cancer but he had told me not to worry. Well, the peeling continued badly for about 5 days and then it got a bit better. The golden bonus from that experience is that I don’t seem to get cold sores almost at all anymore. In fact, its been 2 years and I have only once thought I was getting a cold sore bt it was tiny and it barely surfaced. I also don’t get sinus infections like I used to (5-6 per year), and I have not been sick once (knocking on wood)!
I lost about 1 kilo per day for the first 5 days. The second week, my body only lost maybe .2 kilos per day if any at all. I did gain it back slowly but I also gained back my appreciation for food and my respect for true hunger.
The second week was easy. I was energized, I felt like I could see things clearer and I was able to get through the whole day with 1 or 2 8oz cups of juice per day. Toward the end of the fast, around days 10 and 11, I honestly felt as though I did not even need the juice at all, I would have been fine with water and lemon. I broke my fast after 2 weeks but I easily could have kept it up another week. The next time I do a fast like that I will consider allowing myself to go longer if I feel its right.
I try to do short fasts here in there, 1-3 days long and I swore I would do a 2 week fast every year however I have since found that don’t necessarily actually I need to. Its been two years since I did it and I think this spring I might give it another go.
If you are considering going a fast and have any questions for me feel free to comment below. I will also mention the books I used for reference below.
Juice Fasting and Detoxification: Use the Healing Power of Fresh Juice to Feel Young and Look Great by Steve Meyerowitz — This was my handbook and guide. I read it from cover to cover before and I referred to it during my fast. Its simple and wise and to the point.
Conscious Eating by Gabriel Cousins — There is only a small section on fasting in this book, but it is one of the reasons why I decided to fast in the first place.
Choosing a Juicer:
After spending weeks researching which juicer to buy I settled on this Kuvings model. I highly recommend it! Its a masticating juicer, so you get more juice from the veggies and it comes with a 10 year warranty. Yes, its expensive, this is the juicer that you will keep for years. Its as easy to clean as any of them. Best of all ITS QUIET! I am very happy with it.