|My Lovely New Juicer!|
So before I get into the details of how Day 1 of my juice fast went, lets talk about what a juice fast actually is. Basically it’s a fasting method in which a person - in this case me - consumes only fresh pressed fruit and vegetable juices for a period of time. Some people do it for two days, some people for five days, some for seven and some for much longer. During that time you don’t eat any solid food, you don’t drink coffee or caffeinated beverages of any kind. You also don’t drink store bought juice - fresh pressed juice from a juice bar is okay - milks - non-dairy or otherwise - or alcohol. You just drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice - mostly vegetable juice - and water, although many juice faster’s also allow herbal teas, and coconut water. On my juice fast I’m also making an exception for kombucha since it’s raw, vegan, organic, full of vitamins and minerals and full of health promoting properties.
Now, that might sound a little extreme to some of you, so you might be wondering why people do it. Well, there are a number of reasons that people come to juice fasting. Some people might come to it for religious or spiritual reasons, some may come to it to heal their bodies from chronic disease or chronic pain. Some may use it as a tool to help them quit smoking, drinking, or drinking coffee. Others still, come to it as an alternative method for treating cancer, autoimmune disease, and other incurable diseases. Although unfortunate I would also say that the majority of people drawn into juice fasting do it for the oft reported ‘weight-loss benefits.’ I say unfortunate because for me, deciding to make any health or lifestyle change purely because you want to loose weight is never a healthy attitude. Wether it’s going vegan, going raw, cutting out oil and sugar, or juice fasting the primary goal should always be about your overall health. Improving your health, and improving the way you feel. Weight loss may definitely be a part of that, it shouldn’t necessarily be your first - or only - consideration. I’ve seen it happen too often, when weight-loss is the primary or only goal people can’t make the changes stick, and therefore they never reap the full benefit of whatever it is they’re trying out. You have to have a clear and direct purpose, and you have to want to make the changes. If you don’t really want them, or if you lack focus you just end up on some crazy yo-yo diet, obsessing about weight control and gaining it all back anyway.
I already mentioned yesterday what my primary reasons for trying out a juice fast are. I want to experience the renewed energy and sharper mental clarity that’s talked about, because I feel like I’ve been kind of slack lately. I want to reset my system and get myself back on track since I’ve been feeling off ‘on and off’ since coming home from holiday, and I want to clear up the before mentioned physical problems that have been troubling me on and off over the past couple of months. The itchy skin, the sore gums, the bacterial infection etcetera. On top of all that I also hope to retrain my taste buds to really and truly enjoy the natural taste of foods, so I can move away from using so much oil and sugar. Sugar is my enemy number one, and it is always my downfall. Even if I don’t eat a lot of it, I do eat a little of it often, and all that little adds up in the end you know? I would rather eat a little of it occasionally rather then eat a little of it everyday. I’d like to retrain my focus on the natural sweetness of foods rather then feel like I need sugar. I also want to retrain the way that I think about food and mealtimes, break bad food habits and food dependance. These things include snacking, and eating large portions of food even when a small portion is sufficient. I want to incorporate more healthy habits into my usual routine and keep them for long after the fast has ended. So those are my motivations, and now onto Day 1.
Juice Fast - Day One.
9:10am - Wake up, feel good, refreshed and rested. Had a good nights sleep. Excited to begin juicing.
10am - Felt a little tired and the first pangs of morning hunger came on. I drank a glass of water.
10:30am - Went for a walk and felt really good. The weather was good in the 60's’F which made it feel like spring.
11:20am - Arrived home, and began prepping my breakfast.
*** Note - So far this is shaping up like a typical day, except for the fact that I slept in. Typically I wake up at 8am or earlier go for a walk, do yoga and eat breakfast at 10am. ***
11:30am -12:00pm - Made Breakfast and cleaned up. I began the juice fast with a 16oz Green Juice called Green Machine from Any Phyo’s book “Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen” It’s spinach, cucumber, lemon, parsley, celery and ginger. It was pretty good and I enjoyed it. I then made a second 16oz juice this one called the Pink Sunset from the book “Eat Raw Eat Well” by Douglas McNish which was freaking amazing! Seriously! One of the best juices I’ve ever had.
1:00pm - Went for another walk.
2:30pm-3:00pm - Felt a little hungry and so I drank a glass of water and drank a cup of Republic of Tea’s herbal Pineapple Lycee tea. Had a shower and felt great.
3:30pm-4pm - Made lunch. A 32oz vegetable juice called The Gardener from Kris Carr’s new book “Crazy Sexy Kitchen” containing carrots, bell pepper, lemon, kale, and radish. I thought it might be a bit spicy or bitter because of the radish but it was surprisingly tasty. However 32oz of it is kind of a lot and I think tastebud wise 16oz would have been preferable followed by 16oz of some other type of juice.
*** Note - I typically eat lunch between 2-3pm but again as I woke up late, my whole schedule was moved back.***
6:00pm - Drank 1 Kombucha while studying.
7:00pm - Drank 8oz of coconut water while studying.
8:30pm - Made dinner. I wasn’t overly hungry so instead of making a 32oz juice I made a 18oz green juice called Morning Glorious also from the book “Crazy Sexy Kitchen” containing cucumber, kale, romaine lettuce, celery, broccoli stems, apple and lemon. I thought the broccoli might give it a funny taste but it was surprisingly pretty good and I enjoyed it.
*** Note - I typically eat dinner anytime between 7pm and 11pm depending on what else has been going on in the day and what my schedule is like. So this meal didn’t fall outside the bounds of my normal day.***
12:00am - Fell asleep sometime around Midnight which is a little early for me since I’m usually a night owl.
Overall thoughts and feelings for the day -
The day started off good. I was excited to start the fast and I was feeling positive. I was surprised by the fact that I wasn’t hungry at all except when it came close to meal times. It amazed me that juice could fill me up so well, and I suppose all the water, herbal tea, coconut water and kombucha didn’t hurt either. However by mid-afternoon I was beginning to feel a bit tired and lethargic. When I wasn’t studying and doing homework I spent most of my time laying in bed watching shows I had recorded on my DVR months ago and never got around to watching.
As the night went on I started to feel a little depressed and frustrated. I began to doubt myself and whether or not I could actually do a fast. I was thinking of breaking it and calling the whole thing off. I was looking for any reason to. The strange part is that all these doubts and negative feelings weren’t popping up because I was hungry, because I was no hungrier on Day 1 then I am on any other day of my regular life. I felt this way because not eating is weird. We’re so used to eating constantly and for food to be all around us all the time that when it’s suddenly not you’re hyper aware of that fact. My brain kept telling me that I should be eating while at the same time my body was telling me it wasn’t hungry. So wanting to eat became purely a mental problem and I found that difficult to deal with both emotionally and mentally.
I suppose that is all a part of the fasting/detox process and is typical of what other people experience. Aside from all the mental stuff and being a bit more tired then usual, the only other actual physical detox symptom I seemed to have was a mild headache that came on in the late afternoon and persisted until I fell asleep. All the other negative side-effects that other people report experiencing upon fasting/detoxing - such as nausea, diarrhea, constipation, cramps, aches and pains, sore joints etc... - did not apply.
Stay tuned for Day 2.