I mentioned yesterday that I am going to be embarking on a weekend juice fast. After watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (check it out on Netflix streaming!), I was inspired to try a mini-version on my own. As with most juice fasts, it is recommended that you start it over a weekend as they can really clean you out! (That's a bit of a TMI, but really important to know.) They also tend to make you lethargic and tired by day 3, so you should plan your days around that as well. If you decide to continue past Day 3 you will find a boost in energy as your body regulates itself and breaks through your food addiction withdrawals.
Personally, I will only be doing a 3-day juice fast. My workouts are intensive and I don't feel that drinking only juice will be able to sustain me. This juice fast is really just a way to kick-start my clean eating and flush out my sugar addiction. I'm not following a specific plan, but I am using delicious (and extremely healthy) recipes I've found online. I'll share recipes with you once I try them!
How do you start a juice fast?
In order to do a juice fast, you need to have a really good juicer. Luckily, my husband is a nerd and asked for one for his birthday a year or so ago so we already have a super awesome one:
Why would you want to juice fast?
Juice fasting is a great way to get a lot of nutrients into your system without a lot of calories. Most people find it difficult to get the daily recommended servings of fruit and vegetables into their diet, but juicing makes it really easy to cram those nutrients and servings in. As an example, here is the beverage I am going to make for dinner tonight:
Sweet Robust Italiano (from here):
Spinach - 9 oz.
Carrots - 12 oz.
Bell Peppers (1 red, 1 yellow, 1 orange)
Celery (1/2 stalk)
Tomato (3 large)
This recipe makes 2 liters, or about 2 servings. Per serving size, I am consuming the nutrients from over 10 servings of vegetables (based on the USDA food pyramid serving size). I don't know about you, but I definitely don't get that many vegetables into my diet daily, and this is just from one drink! Other recipes I will be trying include more fruit, and I will be making sure that my diet stays balanced between both fruit and vegetables. There is some minor nutrient loss associated with juicing (just as with baking, steaming, cooking, etc.), but in the raw juice form I am still guaranteed some major vitamins and minerals!
For those of you worrying that I might not get enough calories from juicing, please note that I will drink when I am hungry and do not intend to go super low cal for this. As most of you probably know, juices actually do contain a higher calorie count which is why most of us tend to stay away from them. Typically, we do not want to drink our calories! However, in this case it is a great way to use your calories. The calories consumed will be 100% healthy.
Juice fasts are also great for clearing up your skin. Recently, Ex Hot Girl started a juice fast (that morphed into a raw diet) and not only lost weight but also cleared up her acne that had been bothering her. Check out her site for some of her before and after photos/measurements. She was on her juice fast for longer than 3 days, so her results are even more impressive. My skin has been breaking out lately, so I'm hopeful that this fast will help out with that as well!
Juice fasts are also a great way to reset your system and clear out nasty toxins. Let's be honest; we eat a lot of crap. Most of our food is full of preservatives, growth-hormones, and additives. Our bodies were not meant to live on these highly modified foods. Juicing gives our body the opportunity to reset itself and clear out the nasty gunk we've been eating for years. A lot of nutritionists recommend doing a juice fast every 3-months or so to help keep us healthy.
This will be my first time trying a juice fast so I will be sure to blog about my thoughts on it. Admittedly, I am very nervous. I know I am a food addict and going without the feeling of food actually in my belly is going to be quite the adjustment for me. That is actually one of the reasons I wanted to do this; I really need to break my food addiction and have a healthier relationship with food. I need to focus more on how I feel after eating nutritious foods versus how I feel after stuffing myself with bad food. This is definitely going to help with that. I know there will be challenges, but I know I can do anything for 3 days!
Has anyone ever done a juice fast? What were your challenges? Was it successful for you?
Please note that I am not a nutritionist or doctor. Please consult a doctor before embarking on any major dietary change! :) Also, watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. It's pretty inspiring and gives a lot more detail on juice fasts. The results from their 60-day juice fasts are completely staggering!