Today’s Theme: I recommend the experience.
Today wraps up my week-long juice fast. Am I glad it’s over? Yep. Would I do it again? Oh, yeah.
First of all, I feel strong and healthy. I avoided almost all of the potential side effects I read about, and I think that’s probably due to the fact that my normal diet wasn’t horrible to begin with. A juice fast would be much more difficult for someone who was really overweight, sedentary, and used to eating highly processed, fatty foods. Believe me, I certainly know how to enjoy junk food but I don’t allow myself to do so on a daily basis.
I lost weight. No surprise there. Living for an entire week on only liquefied fruits and vegetables is bound to have that effect. I’m just surprised at how much I lost and how easy it was. There were a few times when various solid foods sounded good, but I was never hungry. This is an easy diet for anyone who doesn’t like counting calories or points. I ate (drank) whenever I wanted and didn’t keep track. Sum total of my loss? 9.5 pounds.
As I wrote about earlier in the week, losing weight wasn’t the reason I wanted to try a juice fast, but I will admit that I liked discovering that I can now wear several pairs of pants that I had stored away because they no longer fit. They now fit again and I am now more ready for that Hawaii vacation in less than two weeks. (Unless I decide to re-gain everything back before then!)
More importantly, I have a renewed appreciation for the abundance of
our food choices. In this country, most of us do not have to worry about being fed and we often take our plentiful and easily accessible food choices for granted. We are incredibly fortunate to be able to have a wide selection of groceries and complete meals prepared for us 24-hours a day. The rest of the world doesn’t have this abundance and we often forget how grateful we should be.
I have a renewed appreciation for the variety of textures, tastes, and smells of food. Food is a wonderful gift–especially if we take the time to prepare it and savor it. I look forward to taking more time enjoying my meals.
I have a new mindfulness in terms of thinking about people who cannot eat certain foods. Several friends and acquaintances of mine have food allergies and cannot eat particular foods EVER. This week I found myself thinking of them a lot. I also thought of friends of mine who, when undergoing various medical procedures, were unable to eat solid foods for much longer than one week. They, too, were on my mind a lot. Very often, giving up certain foods is not a temporary choice, but a long-term necessity. I now have a small understanding of what that might be like.
I better understand the reasoning behind religious fasts. It’s no wonder so many religions incorporate fasting into their practices. Fasting requires discipline and a letting go of the need for immediate self-gratification. Fasting allows someone to more easily think about other things outside of themselves and then come back to their abundance with a new sense of appreciation.
From here on out I plan to continue juicing as a way to supplement my regular diet but embarking on a juice fast is also a wonderful way to celebrate Lent or other type of religious fast.
Advice to anyone wanting to try it for themselves?
- Plan to spend a lot of time preparing your juices–more so than regular cooking.
- Expect to spend at least a couple-hundred dollars on a decent juicer.
- Plan on spending an inordinate amount of time hand washing the multiple parts of said juicer.
- Expect to stock up on more fruits and vegetables than you have ever had in your house before. If you have access to a food co-op, a backyard garden, or a warehouse membership, all the better.
- Expect to really look forward to real food by about day four, but stick it out. It’s worth it.
Best wishes to anyone wanting to embark on their own juicing journey. I’d love to hear about your experience.