Monday, April 23, 2012

Juicing: The Dos, the Dont's and Why I'm Over It, For Now.

My juice feast/fast officially ended last Thursday. Before I put this chapter of my life to a close, I am going to get some of my thoughts down on "paper." I know that a lot of you have a lot of questions, so if I don't cover something that you are curious about, just ask me in the comments section.

First, I want to say that this is how my experience went down:
  • two days of partial juice fasting (one juice meal on day one, two juice meals on day two)
  • followed by three days of complete juice fasting (juice, hot water with lemon, tea and coconut water all day)
  • followed by two days of partial juice fasting (dinner was "real" food)
I learned a ton about myself during the process. I learned that I DON'T need coffee to get through the day, that I am tired at certain times of day whether or not I have coffee in my life.

DON'T stop living your life because you are on a juice fast. I learned that I can sit in a restaurant while other people are eating and that I can be perfectly happy sipping on hot water with lemon or club soda with lime. A few times I brought along my jar of juice and sipped it happily while friends and family ate their meals. It was fine.

DON'T try to cook for other people while juice fasting. Give yourself a break. I learned that I cannot, at least for very long, cook for other people and do a juice fast. Maybe the Plant-strong food that I have come to know and love is just too good, but I was not able to have my favorites around and not partake for very long. This soup was calling my name the entire time and I gave in (if you haven't made it yet, don't wait another day! It's that good.)

Unless you have a lot of weight to lose, DON'T expect much. I learned that if you are already Plant-strong, juice fasting is not some way to lose a few pounds quickly (like it appears to be for people who eat the SAD and have a lot of weight to lose). Weight loss would  probably be the result of a very strict juice fast, but it would be an extremely slow process and I'm not sure their aren't easier and better ways to accomplish the same thing.

DO try a juice fast if you need to reboot your taste buds. Of all of the effects of the fast, I have to say that this was the most dramatic. Your sense of taste completely resets. Salty food tastes ridiculous. Sweet things are too sweet. And no-oil vegan food tastes amazing! Juicing would work wonders for people who want to be Plant-strong but can't seem to like the taste of fruits and vegetables.

If you are still thinking that a juice fast is in your future, DO prepare a lot of juice in the morning and take it to work with you if you work. Store it in a glass jar and refrigerate it. This eliminates any need to juice during the day. I made 5-6 cups of juice in the morning and it covered me for breakfast, lunch and a mid afternoon snack. I also drank about a cup or two of coconut water during the day. Then you can break out the juicer for dinner and all it took was two sessions with the juicer for a whole day's worth of juice.

DO expect to feel really great while you are juicing. It was almost a spiritual experience. I really loved that part of it. I felt very clear in my head and able to focus on other people in a new way.

But even with the great feelings that I had while I was juicing, it was just too difficult to continue give my obligations and commitments. I pretty much pooped out because I had some social events this past weekend and I didn't want to stand out like a sore thumb. The benefits of the juice feast weren't outweighing the feeling of social isolation, so I stopped.

I'd probably do it again. But not any time soon . . .

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