The morning of March 5th, I woke up at 6:30 am (California time) feeling totally inspired after the Institute for Integrative Nutrition Conference. I had heard from some of my nutrition rockstars – David Wolfe, Paul Pitchford, Geneen Roth, Julia Ross, and John Robbins (of Baskin Robbins family). In any case, I was super inspired!
I decided to try something I have never done before – A Juice Fast! And I am not talking about the kind of juice that comes out of a glass jar, (not even talking about plastic). I am talking about fresh squeezed goodness!
Why Juice Fast? Well, because I recently read that it is good to give your digestive system a break from digesting – a kind of digestive Savasana, if you will. Water was recommended, but I am not ready to drink just water all day. Plus, real fresh squeezed juice is alkalizing, so juice fast it was!
At 7:30 am I was still psyched, so I shared my idea with my friend, Moira. She loved it! By 9 am, I wasn’t even hungry yet. I was thinking this will be easy. But at 9:30 am when we were en route to Whole Foods to get our first juice of the day, I had a panic attack. S * * T! How will I go a whole day without real food? I mean the chewable kind. I totally freaked out. Moira tried to tell me that it will be okay and easy. The whole premise is that we can drink as much juice as we want, all day long. How tough can it be?
I am not sure what scared me more the liquid diet itself or the lack of eating, chewing… not really sure still. In that moment I realized just how emotionally attached I am to food. It felt like life and death in that moment of realizing “no chewable food”. I had an adrenalin response. There was no tiger, but I was getting ready to run away from one. How strange I thought. It took me about 10 minutes to talk myself out of my panic and breathe through it. I had Moira assure me that it will be easy and that she will support me. I felt like I would need help sticking with it and she said she will do whatever it takes to help keep me on track. I think that made me feel more peaceful.
I don’t know about you, but I am not fond of failing. Sometimes it seems safer not to start anything, right? If I don’t start – I can’t fail! Pretty nifty strategy that I have developed to keep myself safe. Sound familiar, anyone? Hmm…
Okay, back to the juice bar at Whole Foods, I saw someone else getting a shot of wheatgrass. Ready for another confession? A health nut like me – I can’t stand the taste of wheatgrass. It makes me want to gag. The stuff is so darn good for you, but why does it have to taste like freshly cut lawn grass is beyond me? Okay, not sure what possessed me, but I decided that since we are doing this juice fast, it would be so good for us to begin with a shot of wheatgrass on an empty stomach, such high chlorophyll content! So I was prepared for the worst.
We did the shot, I had a little apple ready to gnaw on just to get rid of the wheatgrass taste from my mouth as quickly as I could. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how sweet the wheatgrass was. Seriously, it must be the California sun that makes this wheatgrass taste so sweet. I still sucked on my apple just in case anyway. So, the first juice of the day followed the wheatgrass shot after a few minutes (I cheated, really I should have waited a good 20 minutes, but I figured, I am already being so brave!) Baby steps and acknowledging progress is really important and this is big progress for me.
So I sipped on the juice #1* for about 20 minutes and I felt great. Not hungry at all. We decided that we were going to allow ourselves lightly brewed green tea and as much water as we wanted. So I had a cup of weak green tea at around 10:30am. At noon I began sipping on my second cup of tea and the next juice concoction (juice # 2)*. So far so good. For about 2 minutes I thought I was hungry, but a few sips of juice and I felt fine again.
In between all of my computer and writing work, Moira wasnted to go shopping, so we snuck out of the coffee shop. I ended up at a kitchen store. Anyone surprised? I bought some fun new kitchen toys and almost left with a juicer. Perhaps I will buy one when I get back to Albany so that Southwest doesn’t have to fly one around the United States for me.
Shopping is both exciting and exhausting! Around 2:30 I was starting to feel my blood sugar drop a bit. Since we had run out of our juice (literally and figuratively) it was time to run back to Whole Foods. By the time I was ordering my Juice #3, I was shaking. Note to self: “Don’t do that again!” Sipping juice throughout the day and not running out is a much better idea. So a few sips of emergency carrot and apple juice made me feel better until green goodness #3 was served up! Wow, I felt so much better and decided that from here on – I would pace myself. I also bought a coconut and decided that coconut water from the inside of a real coconut counted as a juice. I saved that for dessert for the end of the evening or perhaps for tomorrow. In any case, it is my blood sugar emergency insurance solution.
At around 3 pm, Moira and I talked about going to a raw food restaurant and toyed with the idea of quitting half way through the day thinking a half day is really good, right? And somehow we talked ourselves out of that weakened state and continued with our resolve to stay on track. I had more green lovely juice and felt much better. Settled in with my computer to do more work, to write, and to soak up the afternoon California sun on her balcony.
At 5 pm I couldn’t believe that I had made it this far without chewing. I also got juice #4, when I got #3 and took it home along with my coconut emergency. Speaking of emergency, I have had to pee. Whoa, lots of water going through my system. This is good. Very good.
At 6:15 pm the sun had set and I got chilly on the porch. A fantastic day, I thought and I had started sipping on juice #4. I can’t believe how long I have made it. Seriously. Someone was cooking real food somewhere close by and it smelled delicious! But I pretended to not smell it. I remembered – there is always tomorrow! My intention was to do this for just one day.
I finished juice #4 by 8:00 pm. Our plan was to go out dancing at 9. I am really feeling like I need another juice to keep up my energy for dancing, but Moira says that there is not enough time to get one and make it to where we are going because it is in the opposite direction. So I reach for my emergency coconut. The coconut water is consumed in 1 minute. I was hungry. We are driving around LA – LA is big! In another 20 minutes I consume my second emergency coconut water. Coconut water is nature’s perfect drink – good source of electrolytes, it is in fact the best source (no need for gatorade, yuck!). Okay, so off we go.
I start dancing at around 10. I dance for a half hour straight, by the end of the last song I am starting to feel my blood sugar drop again. I have to get off the dance floor – hydrate and get some fuel into my body quickly. I am realizing that dancing and not consuming does not work for my body (at least not yet – perhaps someday I can get to a place where my blood sugar feels more stable).
Okay, here is the deal – the bar at this dance event does not juice, like Whole Foods. So, I try to get the closest I can get to a real juice. I order a water and grapefruit juice (not the biggest fan, but it does the job). More dancing after 10 minutes and the shakes have gone away. It was a great night of dancing. On the ride home, I really cheated at about 11:30 pm, I ripped out a piece of coconut flesh from my emergency coconut and ate it. It was so yummy. I am still pretty amazed I made it that long and didn’t die!
Stay Tuned for Day 2!
No juicer – No worries. I don’t have one either. At home I blend!
For a phyto-rich breakfast, try this smoothie packed with fiber, plant protein, and nutrients:
1 cup berries (fresh or frozen)
1 tablespoon almond butter
1/4 cup coconut water or plain water
2 Tbs of hemp seeds or 1 Tbs of powder
Handful of organic baby spinach
Love and good intentions for the day
Blend well and enjoy.
For best blending results I love the Vitamix blender! Click on the image below to learn more about this awesome Healthy Living blender that makes smoothies quickly and easily.
Drinking the smoothie slowly, by letting it linger in your mouth and swishing it around a little bit, gives the digestive enzymes in your mouth an opportunity to begin carbohydrate digestion and prepares it for better nutrition absorption in the small intestine.
A good constipation guideline is 1-3 poops per day. Easy in, easy out – as they say. Anything less than this and you are at risk for low energy, cancer, toxic back up in your body. Healthy digestion and bowel movement are key to living well!
To learn more about healthy digestion, download my free report: “8 easy ways to relieve constipation” by entering your name and email on the right hand side of this website.