Today is day 12 of my Juice Fast (or juice feast as I'm trying to call it). Juicing has really improved my health in the last year. My digestion has improved; less bloating, gas, all that fun stuff has diminished. With a focus on vegetables and fruits I have more energy which is nice. I also have noticed with juicing (and taking iodine) that I have less period pain and fewer days of cramping; also a bonus.
There are alot of little things that change when you begin to juice. I feel like I dont have to work out as much to maintain my weight for example. Which is good because I hardly have time with all the blogging I'm doing! :) Juicing is easy, fun and delicious and so today I wanted to talk about why I fast.
The reasons for fasting per my reading on the subject and my experience is this:
- Detoxification from mucous forming/acid forming foods like dairy for example.
- Redirection of the energy spent in the body to digest food TO repair organs, cleanse the blood the bowels the skin etc.
- Reduction in weight which harbors toxins that can contribute to cancer, diabetes, heart disease and even hormonal issues (belly fat is very hormonal imbalance related)
- High mineral, antioxidant, and enzyme content in freshly juiced juices improves digestion by boosting the enzyme potential in the gut.
- Feeling and looking 5 years younger-right off the bat AND fitting into all the jeans in my closet.
- Completely eliminates my chronic disease which is arthritis and allergies. (once I start eating like poo again, they do come back).
Enzymes are prevalent when we are younger and as we age and we hurt ourselves with poor diet, alcohol etc; We loose the potential enzymes we have to produce for every turkey dinner we woof down. We tax our bodies more and more and this is in part why you see digestive issues galore.
I've been juicing everyday since March so I've been pretty healthy doing this but you know how it is; Summer=Hot Dogs x Beer. I really don't eat that bad at all, pretty selective but my body is such that if I begin to slide down the oh-so-slippery-slope, I really start feeling it in my joints, my mood, my outlook on life, and my digestion suffers.
So my fast begins (ideally) before I start even fasting. I want to eliminate the foods out of my diet prior to fasting to help smooth out the transition.
I remove dairy one day, meat the next, no beer the next, no bread, no caffeine; You can see how this works. By the time I'm ready to fast, I'm down to only vegetables. Taking 4 or 5 days to do this is HIGHLY recommended for the first time faster because it WILL rock your body and mind. I remember those first few times I fasted without weening myself off heavy foods first and I was hurtin' for certain! Almost like a bad hang over but add incredible weakness. Trust me you don't want to go through it so the elimination diet prior to fasting is important.
With the heavy food elimination days behind me; I then need to be mentally ready. I have to know that, this is it. I'm doing this thing! It's like a switch that turns on in my brain. If I'm not ready to flip the switch, I'm not ready yet.
Day 1 is not so bad until around 7:00pm. Thats when you want a snack because you've been SO good all day. I make a pot of herbal tea and work through it. Read a book, watch a rerun of Lost, whatever strikes your fancy.
Day 2 & day 3 might be the worst of all the days. Your fighting through the cravings, sugar, dairy, cooked foods. All of it sounds so flipping' good. Then your blood-hound sense of smell kicks in and you realize that your body is starting to come back to life. It's almost a primal feeling of sense. Being able to smell every little thing that walks by you. Someone can hold a cup of coffee like 10 feet away from me (with their back to me) and I know they got coffee! It's crazy.
Once your at day 5 and 6 the cravings are pretty much gone for me. Now it's all a mental thing. I'm not eating but everyone else in the world is; Deal with it, Winans!
I sleep less, get more accomplished and feel more focused when I'm fasting because it takes food out of the equation of life temporarily; which if you think about it, it's a biggy.
By this point in my fast I'm feeling so clear that I feel like I could just keep going if I wanted to. I feel very introspective. I'm calm, happy, motivated, completely and unbelievably energized.
There are unexpected monkey wrenches that get thrown at you: it's not all peachy. I had class this last weekend and I didn't juice enough. I was hungry at times, a little spacey at times. I learned my lesson. I always say you gotta be prepared to fast. If I leave the house to go shopping I'm taking 2 quarts juice or lemon water with me so I don't get stranded feeling like I'm melting into the floor.
I also keep bags of herbal tea in my purse so if I'm out and about and can't get to my juicer I can get hot water some where and the herbal tea will nourish me for a while till I can get home.
I Juice 2 times a day morning and afternoon. The juice last 12 hours. It's mostly carrot, celery, cucumber, apple, beets. I do green drinks in the blender. Blend the greens with grapes or a peach and water. Sometimes I add ginger or whatever I have. I strain the pulp away and drink the juice. In between I'm doing lemon water and herbal tea. And that's it. I must drink 200oz of liquid a day though seriously.
The other thing that happens when you fast is that your taste buds change. The greens taste sweet. The sweet things like apple and orange taste almost TOO sweet. The body resets to it's evolutionary intended level of sense. Smell, taste, touch, all very attuned. Fruit is natures candy and when your fasting it sure does taste like it.
What I'll leave you with is what I've been thinking about this week. People in the US have a 1 in 3 chance of getting cancer. Every time I fast, I'm eliminating carcinogenic substances from my body. I'm getting a TON of antioxidants and we all know they are the arch-nemesis of carcinogenic substances. My body is able to take the time to eradicate those substances since it's not busy contending with the meal I just ate.
Fasting is the single best preventative measure one can take in the fight against all the big-dog diseases. I'm doing myself a huge favor now so I can live disease free into my 90's. (at least that's the plan:)
Fasting is relatively inexpensive. I probably spent $50-$60 on all my veggies in the last 10 days and they were all organic. It does require a juicer and a blender is good to have too. It requires preparedness, willingness and determination.
It's a great way to get back into your skinny jeans too. I've lost about 12 pounds in 12 days. I'll realistically gain 5 back over the course of the next 3 months or so. But that still would leave me 7 pounds lighter than when I started. Fasting helps rekindle my good eating habits and I'm able to manage my weight better for months afterwards. Today I'm officially at my high school weight. It feels fantastic!
If you have health concerns of any kind juicing can improve them. If you begin juicing and are thinking of trying a fast, reach out to me! I'm happy to offer advice and insight on my adventures in fasting. Take a look through my blog as there are several posts about juicing and detoxing. People have been fasting for 1000's of years; they knew what most of us don't: Sometimes you have to break the body down in a healthy way so that it can build itself back up, better.
Thanks for reading and Happy Cleansing!