- Bettina Applewhite
I Completed a 7-Day Juice Fast
Every so often I feel like my body and mind needs a reset, so I'll complete a juice fast. I'll limit my foods to only juices. I usually buy juices from either the grocery store or a juice bar type of place. This time I completed a 7-day juice fast and I made my own juices with a new slow juicer I bought.
When I've done juice fasts before I have bought juices from juice bars and raw juices from grocery stores. You can find raw juice kits at stores like Whole Foods. I'll pick a couple of different kinds of green juice with kale or spinach. I've tried juices with beet as the base as well. At first it was scary to think of drinking beet juice but since they are sweet, it's not as scary as you think. Most juice cleanses and programs will recommend that you drink 5 or 6 of their juices a day. I find that I usually can't get through all of them. But I will make sure that I drink plenty of water throughout my fast.
When you limit your intake to only juices, you are also severely restricting your calories. Headaches, weakness, and weight loss may come along with your fast. It's important to talk to your doctor or dietitian before you begin a juice fast or any kind of restrictive diet.
When juicing you must also drink lots of water in addition to your juices. Staying hydrated is important to your general health. It's important to get in about 2 liters or about 68 oz of water every day. If you haven't been drinking water routinely, 68 oz sounds like a lot. Just gradually work your way up to it and you'll start to notice the positive difference in how you feel. Keep this up even after your fast has ended.
Some Negative Risks Associated with Fasting
Not Getting Enough Protein, Fiber, and Other Nutrients
Bad Breath from Ketones
Headache & Poor Energy Levels
Short-term Weight Loss Coupled with Rebound Weight Gain
Risk of Re-feeding Syndrome if There isn't a Gradual Reintroduction of Whole Foods
Some Benefits of Fasting
Short-term Weight Loss
Clearer Mind for Mindfulness
Gut Rest and Reset
Reset of Taste Preferences
You may notice that your skin becomes clearer and that your thoughts become clearer too. During my 7 day fast, the first couple of days, I was very lethargic and incoherent in my thoughts. By the third day I was feeling more energized and more thoughtful. I wanted to reset my thoughts and mood because I had many overwhelming feelings with the pandemic and civil unrest with the protests in America against police brutality. I was feeling out of control. I was hoping that the fast would help me gain some clarity and focus. It did that for me.
During this fast I used a slow juicer and made my own combinations of juices. I really enjoyed making the juices from stratch. I could taste them as I made them and adjust the juices based on my tastes. I could add more of something that I liked and remember to not add something I didn't like next time. I was able to play around with tastes and combinations. And it was summer time! So fruits and vegetables are plentiful. Which is the same reason why I was excited to end the fast so I could have the benefits of the whole fruits and vegetables that I was juicing.
Below are some combinations that I made and there are plenty of these that I will be making again just to have fresh juices available at home. I also am excited to try some new combinations too.
During my juice fast, I continued to work and do my regular everyday activities. I added in a lot of journal writing, reading, and reflecting. I monitored what I was putting into my body including what I was watching and listening to. I absorb a lot of outside energies. So I have to be careful what I am allowing into my circle. While I'm juice fasting, I'm also trying to clear out the negative energy so I'm careful with what I'm watching, studying, and listening to. I may even have to avoid some people just because their energy may not be the energy that I need at the time.
According to the length of your fast, it will be important that you gradually increase the calories that you consume. You don't want to go from drinking only juices and having very few calories to feasting on a high fat, gourmet meals. This will be more harmful to you than beneficial. You'll have to find restraint to pace yourself.
I find it's best to have a full plan for during and after the fast. "Breaking the fast" should be thoughtful. I've broken fasts by having a broth based vegetable soup or just broth. I've worked in smoothies. This particular fast, I used the Jack Rose method and soaked 8 oz of prunes in water. I ate the prunes and drank the water that the prunes were soaked in. It was the first time I broke my fast this way, and I "enjoyed" it. I enjoyed it because I knew I was reset and starting out fresh at the end of the fast. I did a little research on ways to break the fast, and this was the most interesting to me. It was a great way to know that my body is ready for a new beginning. I felt confident that I was starting from scratch. I'll try this method to break the fast again. I'll give it a A rating.
I gradually began eating whole fruits and vegetables after the fast. I started by eating watermelon chunks and mango. I found that my stomach had shrunk a lot more than I expected so even eating a few bites my stomach started to ache which I was not expecting. Next time I'll make sure to really pace myself. I'll know that a regular serving of anything is entirely too much.
Fasting for me isn't for weight loss. That's just a side affect of the process. I enjoy fasting to get rid of some distractions so that I can make some hard decisions, or when I need to reset my taste preferences, or when I'm just too overwhelmed by some outside forces. Whatever the reason behind your fasting journey, plan how you will go into it, how you will be within your journey, and how you will break your fast before you even begin. This is the best way to make sure you are successful.