I’ve been vegan for almost 9 years and I had never once done a juice fast. And just as before I refrained entirely from eating meat products, I had a lot of misconceptions about doing a juice fast. Like..it would be too hard. And wouldn’t I not be able to do anything? Also, is it really THAT good for you?
Over the years, I have regularly incorporated fresh juice into my diet. I have a Breville juicer and I have always felt better when I had juice pre or post workout or first thing in the morning.
Recently, I heard Joe Cross (of the documentary “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”) talk about juicing and what really goes on in your body when you juice and how beneficial it is. It was the first time I actually heard my questions answered about juicing and I felt really inspired to just do one! So, my next stop was the Netflix vault where I watched the film.
If you are at all curious about disease in the body and how juicing can help eliminate that, I encourage you to watch this film. Especially for Phil, the 300+ lb trucker. You will be amazed. After watching this film, I thought, “Well, if he can do it, I certainly can!”
Some people who know me were a bit confused as to why I decided to do this. Aren’t you already vegan? Aren’t you already healthy? First of all, yes, I do eat a clean, plant-based diet. But I am not 100% raw, and there is definitely room for improvement. I am a caffeine drinker, I enjoy a nice Malbec, and just like every other person on the planet, I am exposed to pollutants and chemicals in the environment.
Currently, I am on Day 5 of my juice fast and I feel amazing. But let’s back up.
DAY 1 JUICE FAST:
I started off with a really strong juice recipe, as in, very detoxing: beets, lemon, ginger, celery, also…jalapeno, cilantro. I MAY have been starting off a little gung-ho. The juice tasted great, I felt great…and then an hour later I felt nauseated. I didn’t throw up, but this was the beginning of feeling like crap.
I was indeed regular, but I think because I already eat a lot of fiber, I didn’t have what some people experience, which is running to the bathroom constantly. I was just “normal.” I did have to pee constantly, but that’s to be expected.
I drank more juice later in the day, and on the first day I only ended up drinking about four 16 oz servings of juice in total. But by that night, I was kinda cranky, but I wasn’t hungry! On and off nauseated, and I started to develop a head ache.
I woke up wanting to punch the sun.
It was like I was moving through water. I didn’t feel nauseated anymore, but I still had a headache and I was in a very bad mood.
I also took two naps.
I checked my tongue and it was all white (grosss!) BUT health freak that I am, I pointed to my husband and said, “Look! Look! It means it’s working!” This is a common detox side effect. So began the scraping of my tongue on a regular basis!
I drank plenty of juice all day long, but man, I was useless. I wanted to have that super awesome productive zingy energy I was told most people don’t get until Day 4, but I had to settle for dealing with my emotions and not doing much else.
At one point, I did make an herbal tea of cinnamon and mint (weird, right?) which tastes great, but made my tummy hurt awhile later. That is normal for me if I drink tea on an empty stomach, but I didn’t want to push it.
I have heard that these cleanses can result in healing crises – both physically and emotionally. As your body repairs and has time off (digestion requires a huge amount of energy), you can expect pain in certain areas.
The weirdest thing I noticed? I had pain on the back of my head on the left side, behind my left eye, my lower back on the left, and my left elbow. This may seem random to you, but t me, it was the places where in the past I have occasionally had flare ups from when I was hit by a truck crossing the street. I have done a lot of reading about how scar tissue and other repairs can start to be healed on a cleanse – because your body is finally able to use energy normally going to digestion to HEAL instead.
This was also when my supplemental juices came from Pressed Juicery. I mean, I’m all about making your own fresh juice – but damn if it doesn’t get old cleaning every single piece out and chopping up everything and whine whine whine. From this point on, I alternated between the juice i made and the juices that came in the mail.
Oh and guess what? That night, I could not sleep. Don’t know what that was about.
I woke up feeling much better. The headache and back ache thing would come and go throughout the day, but my energy was much better. I was moving around a lot quicker, and able to actually get work done.
At this point, when I thought about food, it didn’t make me super hungry, but when I smelled it cooking, it smelled soooo amazing.
That is another thing that happens – you smell everything so much clearer. I mean, walking outside, I felt like I could smell the earth and the rocks and the air and the sun and I know I sound crazy, but it’s true! Like Sookie, in Season 1!! (Anyone?)
I smelled the coffee beans on our kitchen counter just to enjoy the smell!
This reminds me, before I forget: I have had on and off sinus issues for the past few years, and I felt some major drainage this day. So I am hoping that’s a good thing.
Woke up with a slight headache. It wasn’t as bad now. No pain anywhere else. I practically jumped out of bed, my body was so buzzy. I was going to go to a Yoga & Abs class!
Even though by this point I had done a ton of research about energy, and how our bodies are actually meant to withstand feast or famine for long stretches, I was still a little nervous about doing an intermediate yoga class.
I pounded a green juice and packed my water and I was off.
OK ready for the weird hippie stuff? While driving, everything seemed sharper(as Joe Cross puts it, senses are heightened so that your body can go hunt and scavenge – already now prepared to be in famine mode) and brighter and honestly, I felt lighter. I mean, at this point, yes I had lost a little bit of weight, but I just mean I felt more energetic.
I got to class, and just did it…I felt energized, I never felt winded*
*Note – The first couple of days in a fast, your body lowers its temperature, as well as blood pressure, so until the intial hunger pang / detox symptoms are over, it is not recommended to jump into an exercise routine.
I came home to find the Urban Remedy Juices waiting for me at my door.
I did note however, that I felt “hungry” which I hadn’t felt in awhile, so I made sure to drink extra raw coconut water in between juices.
Last night, I also drank half a raw pressed almond milk from Pressed Juicery. And it was flipping delicious.
DAY 5 :
I got up at 4:30am this morning and I didn’t feel groggy. I wanted to do a couple of things in my office before leaving for work at Quinnipiac University. Felt fine!
I drank a parsley, cucumber, lemon and some other combination from Urban Remedy and that was perfect. When I got to Quinnipiac, I started to sip on a Cayenne / Lemon number, just in case I felt some thirst or hunger while I was working as an SP.
The one thing I did forget, was to drink a ton of water! I had some on the way to the school, but I should have really had more when I got there. My throat and mouth felt a bit dry. That was okay, because when I left, I chugged more water and juice on the way home.
I had purchased a cleanse that was low-glycemic, so I was in the mood for something a bit sweeter when I got home.
I juiced: 3 carrots, a snippet of ginger, a green apple, 4 kale leaves, 1 tangelo, and a bunch of red grapes. It hit the spot. I just finished another yummy blend from Urban Remedy, and I probably will have my “dessert” juice when I watch Netflix this evening.
Dessert juice? What?
I have a cacao nib / almond milk blend, as well as a cashew milk blend waiting for me. I did drink Pressed Juicery’s Vanilla Nut Milk Blend (Did you know you can juice a vanilla bean? YEP did that for a couple recipes!), only a half serving because the fat content was so high! Don’t go rolling your eyes – sprouted almond milk is indeed fine because it allows your body to absorb nutrients without absorbing too much fat – that being said, fat takes a lot of energy to digest. So I decided to drink half at a time. Night time is a better time to do this because I won’t be adding anything else in the mix to confuse my digestive tract 🙂
Tomorrow I plan on breaking my fast SLOWLY. By first drinking warm lemon water, then another juice, and then some fruit. From there, I will see how it goes!
Do I think juicing is for everyone? Nope. I think it takes a certain desire and a frame of mind to decide to do this. You should be prepared to face some discomfort and be okay with taking a good look at yourself in the mirror. Regardless of whether someone juices or not, I think we all could use a time out of some sort now and then to deal with our emotions and figure out who we really are.
I did this cleanse for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I wanted to see if I could do it. I love a good challenge. Also, I just felt that I needed to let go of some gunk from the winter and just appreciate things more in general.
Juicing requires you to slow down and savor each moment. It helped me to be more present and also to rethink food habits in general. It’s good to do a clean up / inventory every now and then.
This blog post is probably plenty long enough. I could go on and on and I know I’m probably leaving something out, but if anyone has any questions I would be happy to answer them!
Thanks, and Happy Spring!
UPDATE: I haven’t posted this yet, but I wanted to let you know how Day 6, Breaking my Fast went.
BREAKING THE FAST, MAN:
I woke up and drank a green juice and went to a yoga and meditation class. Honestly, at this point, I felt like I could fast for a long time, but I knew I was going to get the itch for like..you know, actual food pretty soon.
When I got home, I drank a delicious Beet / Ginger / Carrot / Apple blend from Urban Remedy and about an hour later, decided to break my fast with fresh pineapple.
It’s a really good idea to break your fast with something juicy in order to reintroduce your body to fiber again. A funny thing I noticed while chewing was that my jaw cracked a few times LOL but besides that, it was great!
For lunch I made a simple veggie broth with a slew of frozen veggies and that tasted sooo good. I think the best part was eating something warm after having pretty much only cold or room temperature juices all week.
For my first dinner back on food I had a salad, kidney beans, and sweet potato fries! It was all good!