Not surprisingly, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about this juicing thing we’re doing. Some of my favorites include “Why the hell would you do that to yourself?” and “Might you die?” The answer to the latter is “no,” unless you have an existing condition like diabetes – and even diabetics have been known to juice fast with success, though I make absolutely no claim to knowledge on that subject. Please: never try something like this if you have a pre-existing condition without first consulting a medical professional.
We have made ourselves aware of the risks and dangers and things to watch out for. There is a lot of negative feedback on juicing (as well as a lot of positive), and I wouldn’t go into anything like this without understanding those concerns. Especially with extended juice cleanses, the concerns are really important.
In no particular order …
Did you hide all the real food in your house? No. In fact, I have a set of massive jars on the counter full of pasta, marshmallows, and a gallon-size jar of semi-sweet chocolate chips staring me down every time I juice. We did have to empty out a lot of our refrigerator to make room for produce, but there is still plenty of “normal” food around. This was intentional. We didn’t want this cleanse to disrupt more in our lives than it had to, and we didn’t want to simply shield our eyes from tempting yummies. It really hasn’t made things more difficult having it in plain sight. Maybe in the beginning it did, but I’m over it.
Verbatim: I’m curious to hear about the poops. I am not above answering that question on a public site. It has been all over the place (not literally – SICK!). On average for me, “the poops” are more, shall I say, aqueous? However, in the first few days it was quite the opposite and we needed a couple of natural laxatives. We have also been taking cayenne supplements, which is a laxative in itself, so that could also be contributing. (Read more on the supplements we’re taking). It’s really mostly how your body processes it once things level out. Constipation is extremely common, as is diarrhea. Lately, things have been very average. Sorry to disappoint! I know you wanted some really exciting shit stories. Oh! Oh! Scratch that, I’ve got one! Beet juice makes your poo bright fuschia. It is hardcore. You should try it.
What juices are you drinking each day? In the next few days, I will post EVERYTHING WE’VE GOT. Check back for full access to our daily menus and intake, grocery lists and quantities, all of our custom recipes, and weight tracker.
What about protein? Aren’t you losing muscle? I am not, but Andy has started to. Do you have to ask why? Fine. I am fatter than him. Now you know. I’ve been keeping that a secret all these years and now you just made me expose the truth. In all seriousness, fat is much easier to burn off and convert into energy than muscle, so it’s what your body tries to take care of first. Andy had little fat to begin with, so he started ingesting more calories via protein supplement around Day 19.
My body still has plenty of fat to feed on, and so our experiences with this fast are radically different in this respect. That is important to note. Everyone’s body is different. Everyone is starting from a different place of health. You need to pay attention to yourself, read signs, and act accordingly. Example: We go on a walk just about every day. In the beginning of the fast, I would begin to tire early on: Aching back, thirst, and general crankiness. In the past week or so, Andy starts feeling tired early-on, and I literally need to break off to run around the block. I have begun wearing tennis shoes instead of my usual flip-flops so that I can feed the urge to run when it comes. I am bouncing off the walls (I embrace House of Pain every day now). Don’t worry, I go back for Andy. He’s usually settled comfortably underneath the steps to this beauty of a crackhouse on our block.
Are you adding any dairy in? Can you juice bacon? Nope. No dairy, no meat, no oil (exception: flax and fish oil supplement, raw nut oils), no salt (except for those times we cheated). We add raw, natural sweetener (raw honey or raw coconut nectar) only to the nut milks, and in very minimal amounts. For instance, I use two teaspoons of honey to a full quart of nut milk.
What other supplements are you taking? Here is the list with some basic explanations.
What about all that sugar? I totally get the concern about sugar. That’s my main concern, too. We try to do about 50% vegetable juices, but it doesn’t always happen. Our original goal was 75%, but we couldn’t stick to it. Even so, it is a lot of sugar. We take the CinSilin supplements to help with that, and I’ve noticed no negative impact from the amounts of fructose we’re taking in.
Is this just to lose weight, or for overall health, or what? I sort of answered that in the Day 1 post, but to expand: This is actually not primarily a weight loss push, but that is absolutely an added benefit! It is a test, of sorts, to see what affect it has on other things I have going on, namely allergies, a pitiful immune system, and addictions to fatty, processed foods. I’ve been to see a number of people about the allergies (including an allergist and a dietician), and tests came back negative. Yet I still had incessant sinus issues, eye irritation, post-nasal drip, fatigue, and frequent headaches.
The juice fast is an attempt at kickstarting a healthier lifestyle, but also committing to something that will put me in a great starting place: Higher energy and clarity, tip-top immune system, lighter, and diminished dependence on bad foods.
The outcome as of Day 28? I sleep like a log. The sinus inflammation and eye irritation have improved, but I still have some post-nasal drip. I do not get headaches anymore, and as I’ve mentioned maybe 50 times, I’ve got all sorts of energy. Other bonuses include: 20 lbs lost, vastly diminished muscle tension, and a clear mind with laser-like focus (for me. I’m pretty ADD, so take that for what it’s worth).
What if I just want to lose weight? Would you suggest juicing? Doing it for the weight loss alone is definitely tempting. But so far, even though the cravings aren’t as ferocious as the first few days, they are still there and I don’t see this as having any lasting impact on weight. I don’t kid myself that this is a fix-all, because it is not, and I know I will want to pig out on pizza again in no time. But it is a pretty great jump start and reset for ongoing healthy habits, and if it kicks some addictions to salt and fats, all the better! The greatest thing is that my immune system is up and running again. I feel healthy, strong, and clear as opposed to lethargic, congested, and head-achey.
I’ll also note that I do consider this extreme. I mean, holy hell, we’re not eating food for 30 days! Sometimes extreme is good. Some people get their stomach stapled, some people start spending hours every day at a gym. Our bodies can handle and benefit from being pushed, but as with anything else, you have to listen to your body and proceed with caution (steps off soapbox).
How did you prepare? I very loosely used pointers and info from a ton of websites, and as you know, the internet cannot lie. I don’t have all of them, but I did save a few blogs and articles:
I also watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (a documentary on Netflix Instant if you’re interested), but that doesn’t really tell you much about the process or offer planning information. It’s more of an awareness campaign and a way for some guy to make some bank. Still inspiring, though.
Anything else? Just ask!