It all started a few weeks ago when my husband and I were perusing Netflix for a film to stream. I’m usually the one that picks the more hippie-ish films, so it surprised me when my husband put on Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, a film chronicling a 60-day juice fast done by two unlikely men. Growing up with a pretty hippie mom, (that’s a good thing mom if you’re reading!), I was pretty immune to “radical” diet ideas and had already spent periods of my childhood as a vegetarian, a green smoothie aficionado, and an algae eater, (among other things…). So, the idea of a juice fast was not new to me, but it was more something that my mom would periodically do and that I would brush off as not for me. However, watching these two men that were definitely not hippies change their lives and heal their bodies of obesity and disease convinced me, and to my surprise, Alex, to commit to trying a juice fast.
Honestly, it was actually my husband’s resolve to trying the juice fast that got us to commit. Without me even saying anything he broached the idea and before we knew it we were spending a week prepping for the fast. For the week before, it is recommended that you wean yourself off of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, white flour, dairy, and meat, which for most of us means that there really are not a lot of food choices left! That’s what I always thought, at least, but in reality we came up with some pretty creative and surprisingly tasty versions of the meals that we already eat, (think burrito bowls with black beans, uncooked bell peppers, heirloom tomatoes, brown rice, and salsa… all organic, of course, and shockingly satisfying). I’m really glad that we spent this week getting ready, because both of our bodies did a lot of cleansing before we even started juicing.
|Our fridge has never been so full of fruits and veggies!|
I won’t pretend like giving up food for a period of time did not make me nervous. It made me really nervous. However, I started to change the way that I thought of food, as fresh-made juice contains so many nutrients and really is a super food. I also talked to everyone I came in contact with about our plans and found that a lot of people that I knew have already successfully completed juice fasts and have great things to say about them. Likewise, I discovered that my uncle used to guide people through these fasts and had a ton of great tips, so I let go of my fear of starving and resolved to stop if I started to lose too much weight. Weight loss is a major goal for many people with these fasts, but I have a hard time keeping weight on, so I wanted to be cautious.
We started our juice fast on Wednesday evening and to my surprise it really was not as challenging as I expected. Yes, I got hungry, but when I would, I’d drink a little juice, and the feeling of hunger would subside enough that I could handle it. In fact, I generally felt satiated and found it easiest when I was out doing things that distracted me from thinking about how I had not actually eaten any solid food. To my greatest surprise, I was also able to sleep pretty deeply and was only disturbed by our nightly 3AM dog-squirrel chase, (side effect of having a dog door and a cat that insists that we sleep with our bedroom door open). It took a bit to fall back asleep both nights after this happened, and I was a bit dizzy as I corralled the dog back inside, but, once you accept that you’re going to feel a little bit hungry, it is not as bad as I thought it would be.
The most amusing side effect occurred Thursday evening at around 9PM when I walked into our kitchen and decided that it was full of too much crazy clutter and spent the ensuing two hours reorganizing everything. I told my husband that I felt like a rat on crack, because, well, I did! I was a bundle of energy focused on organization, so strange.
|I like the irony of both of these cups of juice: The Commie Juice and the Buddha Belly Juice|
Stopping after 48 hours was a bit hard for me. My husband is committed to 15 days, so I felt a little disappointed to part ways with him. I actually had to call my uncle and make sure that I was not missing out on some health benefit by stopping, but he assured me that I had given my body enough of a chance to rest with the two day fast. I was also already down 7 lbs from before our prep-week. So, last night, I began my return by eating vegetable broth, brown rice, and a spoonful of salsa, a handful of walnuts, some blackberries, and an emergency granola bar in the middle of the night (post-nightly pet disturbance). Today I am returning back to the diet we were on to prepare for the fast, in addition to continued juicing, with the goal of integrating many of these healthy choices into my long-term routine. The jury is still out on whether this 48-hour adventure is going to positively affect my health, but I already feel more energetic than usual, including more energy in the evenings and an easier time getting out of bed in the morning.
If you would like more information about the film we watched, it is available for streaming on Netflix, here is the official site:
If you are interested in my husband’s progress, he is tracking his experience at:
One last amusing result of juicing, our dog has stolen many chances to clean the cups, (don’t worry, I checked to make sure that nothing he consumed was poisonous to dogs):