My husband and I decided to embark upon a juice fast, not sure how long for, a day, 3 days, whatever we could manage!
We approached it with an open mind, as I have always been apprehensive regarding juicing due to the extreme pain I have experienced when I have tried a juice in the past. Due to my candida history I have also thought it not a good idea to remove the sugars from the fibres of the fruit and veg, and therefore I only skimmed over the juicing module in my nutritional therapy diploma and didn’t take much information in. I also mentioned my concerns about juicing in my book Holistic Well-being: A Paradigm Shift.
But during research on effective treatments for fibromyalgia, I kept coming across juicing and when my sister-in-law gave us a download for a juicing programme, it seemed that something was telling me to be more open to it! I watched Jason Vale’s Superjuice Me and while I was amazed at the results from the juice fasting, I had a strong intuitive feeling that something was wrong. I am suspicious that participants in the juice plan may have been selective, with ailments that are previously known to be effective with juicing, for example. But my main problem was the nagging question – Why is this being promoted by celebrities and getting so ‘mainstream’? Anything natural that is really good for our long term health and can prevent us from taking pharmaceutical drugs is generally demonised or ridiculed!
Type of Juicer
On further resarch I realised one thing that was wrong – Jason Vale uses a centrifugal juicer. This does not leave as much pulp with the juice and the fructose in the juice does not have an adequate amount of fibre and enzymes to bind with it so our bodies can process it without long term burden. This can cause a sugar overload on the body and may cause long term problems. The much more effective and healthier juicer to use is a masticating juicer which protects the enzymes, nutrients and yields a much richer and complete juice. This is my instinctive view, based upon my own research and I since found out that Jason Vale has sold out to Phillips who make centrifugal juicers hence his (what I would call) bad advice!
Masticating juicers slowly chomp up and cold press the fruit and veg. It is similar to using a pestle and mortar, which is the same method that would have been used in the ‘olden’ days, as juice fasting has been practiced for thousands of years in the Yoga tradition.
Centrifugal juicers are a far cry from this process. the fruit/veg is spun around at around 10,000rpm to within an inch of its life until the juice leaves it through the strainer through sheer force. The motors in these juicers tend to get hot damaging the enzymes and separating the juice and pulp.
So we have been using a masticating juicer also known as a slow juicer. We bought a cheap one from Ebay at £60 including postage. Maybe we will upgrade in the future, but this one (by Sentik) is brilliant for now!
So we entered this new experimental phase without pressure, with completely open minds and without judgement, chuffed to do a complete day, over the moon to do any more!!
We have both taken hair mineral analysis tests. We have taken before weight, measurements and photos (will only be released if we successfully do this!). We buy our veg and fruit from Riverford and Abel and Cole Organic farms combined (some things are better in one and some in the other, plus they deliver different days of the week meaning we can always have fresh foods!).
We did not have any really, but would love to lose some weight, lose our cravings and get back in touch with our bodies again, listening to what we need and not exceeding that! Personally I would like to be in less pain and discomfort and regain my energy.
THE DAY BEFORE THE FAST – 9th November 2014
We have been eating quite freely the last few days, making the most of it! I am in a lot of pain in my legs, hips and have quite bad IBS. I am hobbling when I walk and I know it is due to eating badly this last few days!
I suppose it would have been wiser to not go ‘cold turkey’ and prepare by eating more raw leading up to day 1. We did try out our juicer to get used to having juices for a good few days though, having 2 or 3 juices per day, however this was on top of the other things we were eating! I needed to do this as I usually cannot tolerate fruit and especially juice.
DAY 1 – 10th November 2014
5 juices later and I am STARVING! Hunger pangs and headaches, aches and pains. Feels like I have the full-blown flu, I can barely type! Lloyd has been better, but he is quite moody this evening. But surprisingly I have not had my usual IBS symptoms that I get when I usually have fruit or juice. So that is a good sign.
We weighed and measured the inches this morning, shamedly I am not recording the measurements on here, but I will record any losses!
I am hoping it gets easier, but hey we completed 1 day!!
Worst juice of the day (honestly this is vile it ended up down the sink!): 1 apple, 1/4 lime, inch turmeric root, 4 leaves of kale, 1 peeling of fennel, 1/2 cucumber, 1 carrot. Really don’t even try it – I feel sick even thinking about it!!!
Best juice of the day (although probably too much fruit!): 1 pomegranate, 1 apple, 20 black grapes, 2 pears.
Absolutely delicious – and it got rid of the hunger pangs.
I don’t think we have drunk enough water today, as the juice makes us not feel thirsty at all. We had hot water with a slice of lemon to wake us instead of coffee which was fine, I didn’t miss the coffee at all. But only had 1 more herbal tea and 1 glass of water throughout the day and evening. I will try to increase my water intake tomorrow and see if that helps.
So very weakly and feebly, with a pounding head, but with as much determination as I can muster I will hold my hand up and say – BRING ON DAY 2!!
DAY 2 – 11th November
Last night I had such a pounding headache, my jaw and teeth also hurt and I couldn’t get to sleep. So I had the idea that if I had a lot of toxins being released into my blood then maybe zeolite would help as it absorbs toxins like a sponge. So I took a teaspoon with some water and it really eased my headache and other aches, enough for me to get to sleep! So I may do this again.
I have come to a conclusion, a little unfortunate really for a juice fast – I DO NOT LIKE VEGETABLE JUICE! I shudder when I drink it, I hate the taste even if it is sweetened with some fruit! I have never liked carrot juice, the only unsweet juice I have ever liked is tomato, but I thought I may be able to tolerate vegetable juice for a fast. But it is very difficult when the only thing I can eat is making me heave! But I will continue and try to complete another day.
breakfast – 1 pear, 1 apple, 1 kiwi, 20 black grapes, 1 carrot, 1 florette broccoli – this one was ok, but minimal veg.
lunch – 2 leaves red cabbage, 2 pears, handful spinach, handful alfalfa sprouts, handful blueberries, 1 beet, 1 carrot
actually tasted nice but after a few sips the gagging and shuddering started and I struggled to drink it all.
tea – 1 pomegranate, 2 pears, 15 black grapes, 1 orange, 2 handfuls blueberries – wow this one is the best!!
supper – 1 carrot, 1 beetroot, 1 leaf kale, 1 apple, handful parsley
I am feeling a little better today, no real pains, more just a bit achy. And very hungry! If I can make it to bed time, my body seems to reset overnight and in the morning I feel ok. This morning I actually felt quite good, although I was tired, I didn’t have the heavy fatigue and was able to get up before my hubby (first time in years!)!
This evening I felt extremely ill, weak and very achy and extremely nauseous. I could not face any juices after about 3pm, and I was craving so much for brown rice (which made me realise it was my instinctive needs talking rather than an unhealthy craving!). So I had a few tablespoons of plain brown rice with Himalayan salt. Wow I have never enjoyed plain salted rice as much!! And it made us both feel loads better almost immediately.
We also had a teaspoon of zeolite again before bed.
Due to having to continue our everyday lives (which is difficult with pounding headaches and disgusting tasting vegetable juices), we have decided we will move slowly onto an elimination diet, as we still want to continue to detox, reduce our weight and regain our energy.
DAY 3 – 11th November 2014
Good news, I lost 4lbs, Lloyd lost 5lbs!! My swollen stomach has reduced by 5inches!
So today we are starting transition into an elimination diet, slowly so any good is not wasted!
Breakfast – 2 carrots, 1 apple, 2 pears, 1 beetroot, 2 oranges – OK but a bit earthy
lunch – 2 carrots, 2 apples, 2 pears, 20 black grapes, handful blueberries – yummy
tea – half serving brown rice, steamed peppers, onion, broccoli, kale, carrot, fresh parsley, Himalayan salt to taste
We are feeling so much better today. No headaches, aches and pains a lot less. Still quite weak but not as much, and still not very energetic!
DAY 4 – 13th November
We increased our food intake today, introducing butter and made some barely cooked carrot and coriander soup for lunch and introduced quinoa for tea. Both feeling loads better.
breakfast – 2 oranges, 1 pear, 2 apples, blueberries, black grapes
lunch – carrot & coriander soup
Recipe – 10 medium carrots, 2oz butter, 1 chicken stock cube and 1 veg stock cube, 1 medium sweet potato, 1 medium onion, 1 garlic clove, teasp ground coriander, teasp dried coriander leaves, handful fresh coriander
Slice the carrots with a peeler and stop when you get to the stalk (the watery bit in the middle), this means you only need cook the carrots for a few minutes to soften and the soup will be a lot creamier by excluding the stalk. Also cut the sweet potato in the same way.
Cut onions and garlic very small, fry in butter gently til transleuscent, add sweet potato, stock, ground and dried coriander and enough boiling water to cover and simmer for a few minutes, add carrots then top up water till its just below the veg line, cover an simmer for further 5 minutes. Blend, mix in some chopped fresh coriander, sprinkle some on top to serve.
tea – steamed mixed veg (courgette, pepper, carrot, broccoli) and quinoa with butter, boiled beetroot, steamed red cabbage.
DAY 5 – 14th November
I lost another 2lbs! Lloyd didn’t lose any more weight. We are introducing protein today (eggs and ham).
breakfast – juice 1/4 pineapple, 1 apple, 2 oranges plus a boiled duck egg (separate!)
lunch – carrot & coriander soup
tea – omelette with onion, tomato and ham with salad
supper – crispy kale (shredded sprinkled with himalayan salt and xylitol and baked in the oven for about 15 minutes – a bit like crispy seaweed!)
We are continuing to increase our food intake, but for now I am only having juice in the morning along with some protein.
We will introduce a new food every 3-4 days but will stay off sugar and wheat, and other gluten grains will be the last things to be introduced. We have cut down considerably on our meal sizes, the fast really helped with that!
Overall I am pleased we did the fast. It helped to kick start our new healthy regime, and has reset our appetite, as we only appear to be eating what we need instead of having huge meals just because they taste nice! And it has got us out of the habit of overeating between meals and picking on things too.
But I would suggest that fasting for longer than 2 days when you have a normal life to lead (ie work, children etc) is not a good idea, unless you can switch off and have the time specifically to yourself. But as long as you take it easy introducing foods slowly as we are doing, 1 or 2 days fasting can be a great way to give yourself a boost and start a healthy eating plan. We are not exercising until we are eating a varied, balanced diet – I think this is important as you can still get very tired quickly and the brain can still be a bit foggy if you are not etting nutrients. However you may fare better if you have more juices on your food introduction days, I didn’t as I had enough of them by then, although Lloyd also had a juice mid afternoon and evening.
Regarding juicing in general, I am still of the opinion that it is better to consume the whole fruit as part of a healthy diet as it is more natural for our bodies to process the fructose as nature intended and as it is delivered to us (ie in a fruit or vegetable). This is one of the aspects of a whole food diet! However if there are specific nutrients you need therapeutically (such as a fast or an increase in vtiamin C if you have a cold coming on, or need extra in your diet) then correct juicing is a great way to get more nutrients than eating fruit whole as you may drink 4 oranges worth of juice, but you wouldn’t eat 4 oranges one after the other!
By the way, we decided not to make the hair tests public as we only fasted for 2 days it would not have had a great impact on our levels.
I hope this helps you and that you may find hints and tips from our experiences!
Dani & Lloyd