Ten days, no solid food, just water and fresh made juice from fruits and veggies. [insert Rocky theme music here!] That’s right, Paul and I did it, and we didn’t tear each other’s heads off, nor did we slather kids in butter and sugar and eat them. Although we were tempted. Several times.
Here’s how it went. I made the juice. Paul took out the compost. It’s hard to say which was more work. There was a lot of compost and I wished I could have Fed Ex-ed it to our goats at their new farm, because they would have been in heaven.
The juice: we found we liked starting with something citrusy, grapefruit and orange, maybe a few carrots. Then a veggie mix for lunch—I found a V-8-like combo of tomatoes, greens, onion, garlic, red pepper, carrot, more greens, and celery that we like a lot. For dinner we tended to go with a greens/apple combo. And somewhere in there would be something new, coconut water, or cucumber juice, or watermelon juice. It’s amazing how fast we got into a routine, actually.
Truth: the first four days were awful. I was hungry, grumpy, tired, snotty, and thinking about food all the time. Paul wouldn’t stop talking about steak (his craving) and I couldn’t stop talking about chocolate and bread with butter (my cravings). I’m sure the kids thought we were nuts.
Then around the fifth day, something shifted and suddenly we just weren’t hungry anymore. It was weird. Even drinking the juice seemed kind of optional. Hunger left. After that, being on the fast was quite easy— except when I was cooking meals for the kids and the food was right there in front of me. But really, even then, not eating was not a problem.
It wasn’t until day 8, however, that I actually started to feel GOOD. And day 9 I was downright euphoric. As in, wow, life is great! I have so many blessings! I’m going to go do X and Y and Z and isn’t the sunlight pretty today! I wouldn’t have minded more of that. Looking back I kind of wish I had extended the fast a day or two just for more of that feeling.
But our ten days were over and I started eating again and the euphoria left. Sigh. For the first day we stayed liquid, just moved from the juicer to the blender for several meals, drinking green smoothies and raw soups, basically the same stuff plus the fiber we had been removing before. The second day we added salads with plain dressings like lemon juice and a squirt of Dr. Braggs. Then we started munching any fruits or veggies and added a little oil into our salad dressings. My stomach had become tiny and could only hold a small amount the first few days. I’d feel stuffed after eating an apple. We’re one week off now and still no grains, but we’ve had some cooked beans with our twice a day salads, green juice for breakfast, and raw soups for snack. The goal is about 90% raw fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds, for a month or so, to see what that’s like. Oh, and I had a little raw chocolate yesterday that blew the top of my head off.
Because here’s the thing: when you come off a juice fast food tastes INCREDIBLE. My taste buds found even the most humble piece of lettuce to be a revelation! A plain salad with some lemon juice and a half an avocado was a symphony of flavors and textures! A rich feast! I couldn’t believe how amazing vegetables could taste.
And THAT, my friends, is, in my opinion, the #1 reason to juice fast. Everything tastes so good right afterwards, it is an EASY moment to improve your overall eating style.
I mean, it can be pretty freaking hard to choose a pile of lettuce over a slice of pizza when lettuce tastes like bitter grass clippings to you. But after a fast, lettuce tastes wonderful, making forgoing the pizza suddenly much, much easier. Taste buds change, and a juice fast is a super efficient way to get them to hurry up and swing in the favor of healthy plant-based foods. It’s like getting a leg up. And from what I can tell, the longer I go eating unadorned plant foods the farther along my taste buds come in just liking them. Because the biggest hurdle I have ever had to eating better is that I have not liked vegetables. A juice fast turns that around.
So that’s my # 1 reason, but there are, of course, other reasons to juice fast.
Paul lost 14 pounds. I lost about 5 (weight loss wasn’t a goal for me, as I’m already pretty skinny).
Our skin changed texture—actually, on the eighth day, all of a sudden, my skin got super soft, like, over night. That was weird. Sophie noticed it.
The euphoria thing was pretty cool. I’d say this was the highlight for me.
Oh, and my yoga practice was fabulous—doing a vinyasa felt like lifting pieces of styrofoam instead of wood planks or cement bricks. Bendy styrofoam.
Allergies were non-existent. Sleep was deep. We both felt brighter, more awake, and had more energy.
And more positive. That was a surprise.
Basically, you just have to power through that first hard part, those first few miserable days when you think “this is the stupidest thing I have ever done, why the hell am I doing this???” Just suck it up and hang in there, and the rest becomes easy sailing.
If you’re healthy, and curious, I’d say go for it. I’m sure we’ll do it again.
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today's yoga practice
June 19, 2013 | 10:41 am
Full Primary. Actually, that’s a lie. I left off those butt balance poses at the end of seated. I kind of hate those. They bore me. [hangs head] I’m weak.
June 16, 2013 | 10:10 am
Primary to supta konasana. Long stay in baddha and uphavista, then ollapse. i feel so winded today!
June 16, 2013 | 10:09 am
June 16, 2013 | 10:08 am
yin yoga again. lazy yoga.
June 13, 2013 | 2:19 pm
Primary to Janu B and then I ran out of time. Better than nothing, I guess.
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