Reflections on a 10 Day Juice Fast

Dear readers,

Today marks the end of my first 10 day juice fast. Some have asked why on earth I would do such a thing… well, let me tell you. First of all, I have decided to switch to a plant-based diet. Doing this juice fast was a way of cleansing and preparing my body before this big change. Second, I wanted to see if by increasing my intake of micro-nutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc… via juicing, I could begin to eliminate some chronic symptoms I have been battling for many years. Third, I was recently tested for food intolerances (check out ALCAT tests for more info) and discovered that I have a great variety of them. This test measures your immune system’s response to certain foods, which means that my GI tract was inflamed, I was tired, sleeping poorly, and lacked focus and energy, because I was eating things that my caused inflammation in my body. So doing this ten day juice fast (while only consuming the juice of fruits and vegetables which were considered acceptable by ALCAT) was also an important measure in allowing my digestive tract to rest and recover before beginning a new rotation diet.

Here’s what I did:

Every day, I woke up and made myself some fresh fruit juice. I found that cantaloupe made a fantastic addition to almost anything. Combinations such as pineapple, orange, and berries (and cantaloupe) are incredibly creamy and satisfying.

By late-morning/early lunch time I made myself a vegetable juice. I always tried to include something sweet such as green apples, green grapes, and/or cucumber in combination with good leafy greens such as red leaf lettuce, watercress, kale, spinach, and parsley. Celery, broccoli, and zucchini are also great additions (and you’ll need them for their water content).

Mid afternoon I usually had another veggie juice. Good combos include carrots with celery, beets, and ginger, or, any combination of the above mentioned veggies.

For dinner I made myself a V-8-like juice. I saved these juices for last because they felt most like a real meal, like drinking gazpacho or some tomato soup. These concoctions usually included some combination of tomatoes, carrots, celery, leeks, watercress, radishes, yellow squash, red leaf lettuce, kale, broccoli and zucchini, plus, the finishing touch, either lime or lemon. Bell peppers would probably be good in there too.

Everything I read or heard about juicing recommended drinking TONS OF WATER. So in between all of my juices I did just that.

Symptoms:

Most things you read on juice fasts will warn you of the many symptoms you may encounter while detoxifying, such as weakness, headaches, muscle soreness, and acne. I suppose the severity of your symptoms will depend on your overall health, toxicity, the intensity of your addition to sugar, etc… I craved sugar and carbs on the first night but never again afterward. I had dull and sometimes persistent headaches on a couple of the early days, and a terrible headache on the morning of day 9, but these all disappeared when took some action and did things to help my body eliminate those pesky toxins (enemas, herbal laxatives such as Senna Leaf teas, and colonics/colon hydrotherapy are some of these helpful options). I got some acne but that cleared up at the end and now my skin is really looking good. As for weakness, yes, though I felt stronger than usual in the mornings and early afternoon, by late afternoon and evening I often felt rather week. Although I didn’t have cravings for anything in particular, I was hungry at times, and did miss eating.

My results:

I am experiencing a variety of positive results from this juice fast, including a loss of GI inflammation, an improved ability to focus, improved sleep, a sharp decrease in allergy-related symptoms, and I haven’t had an asthma attack in days (I was having one or more daily for the month prior to the fast). Finally, I lost 7 pounds and several inches from various limbs and my core. My weird and random dandruff has disappeared. Also, the bags under my eyes and my skin in general have cleared up nicely.

Tips:

Treat yourself well for a change! Take detox baths. Go to the sauna. Get some light exercise everyday for 15-30 minutes. SLEEP. Drink lots of water. Get a massage or two to help loosen things up and flush things out.

Everyone experiences this sort of thing differently. The first few days are tough for most people and you might be tired with headaches and cravings, but hang in there! By the end of your juice fast you’ll lose water weight (and then some), feel lighter, and look better; you might improve your digestion and nutrient absorption, and your skin might begin to clear up.

Last but not least, if you revel in the exhilaration of conquest and achievement, then you will experience true joy and pride on day 11, when you can wake up and say I DID IT.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me @ healthyforachange@gmail.com.

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