Have you heard of “juicing” or “juice fasting?” It has become more popular over the past decade and it doesn’t look like it is leaving the health scene any time soon. Perhaps when you think of someone who lives a juicing lifestyle you picture a thin, eccentric vegan with carrot colored skin. Though I have come across many health fanatics and known two people with carrot colored skin, in general, most juice drinkers are fairly normal…and very serious about health.
Though I had heard of juicing when I was younger, I was really only properly introduced the past few years. Anytime you want a jump start in your health, watch a documentary. I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, in which Joe Cross turns to juicing for 60 straight days and his body heals itself of disease in addition to shedding a significant amount of his original 310 pounds. One of my cousins (Cindy & Sandy’s brother) was so inspired he actually juiced for 60 days, took charge of his health, and has maintained his new weight for over a year. I was absolutely inspired by all of this, and after reading the health benefits of juicing I decided to try it myself. Though I wasn’t all out enough to do 60 days, I have juiced for up to 3 days on several occasions. Here’s what I have learned, and what I wish I would have been told before my first adventure in juicing.
Basics of Juicing
- Simply put, you do not eat and you drink only natural, fresh juices and water for a set amount of time
- 3-10 days is a good time frame for a first time juice fast – however, if there are any medical issues whatsoever, your doctor should always be consulted prior to fasting (and doctor supervision is highly advised for any fast longer than 10 days)
- Juicing is different from smoothies because the pulp is extracted from the juice
Benefits of Juicing
- You can expect weight loss – though the lasting effects are determined by the length of the fast since water weight is all that is lost in the first several days
- You will be receiving a high amount of nutrition – think about it: you would never eat a plate of 20 different full servings of fruits and vegetables in a day, but through juicing you receive the vitamins and nutrients from that amount
- You feel a natural energy and after the first few days do not even feel hungry
- Due to the high nutrition and antioxidants, juicing is known to be anti-aging which is always a plus!
What They Don’t Tell You About Juicing
- Initial lethargy – the first three days are torturous – especially when you’re told that you’ll have boundless energy
- You may experience headaches, especially if you hadn’t weaned off of caffeine prior to the fast
- It may look like you’re getting sicker because of the juicing, before you get well – it detoxes and exposes (think acne, and any intestinal or organ issues)
- Your breath will smell – the body detoxes through the lungs (I solved this with lemon-mint leaf water)
- It is a ton of time, energy, and money
“I thought it would just take dietary discipline but it required a rearrangement of my schedule. Some mornings it took an hour to get everything ready.” – Justin
- You may run into people who do not share your philosophy on life or health (some people refer to juice fasting as “juice feasting” for instance – there is nothing wrong with this, I just can’t get myself there)
- Ease back into eating once the fast is complete – eating junk will defeat the purpose of the juicing/cleansing time
- Can I drink bottled juices? Most juice advocates believe that the nutrients are best when the juice is consumed as soon as possible to it being juiced and therefore do not recommend bottled juices. In a pinch, though, I have heard of people getting whole, natural bottled juice when a juice bar was not available.
- Can I juice without a juicer? Since juicing does not involve the pulp of the fruit or vegetables, a juice fast would not be best achieved without a juicer.
- Isn’t it bad to drink so much sugar? Most juices are primarily if not solely vegetable based. Many people avoid most fruits when juice fasting.
- Don’t you need fiber? Keep in mind I am not a doctor or nutritionist, but from the research I’ve done the body does not need fiber to survive. Because there are so many vitamins and nutrients in the juice that the body is able to function well.
- Should I take a supplement? This would be a great question for your doctor or nutritionist. I have known many people who have fasted and did not feel deprived without one.
As I mentioned earlier, juicing can be expensive. For some great tips, here’s an article by Frugal Living on Juicing on a Budget.
I was so inspired to read the stories of Shane and Angie who each lost 70 pounds via juicing and exercise! Whoa! Here they give 18 juice recipes that truly sound delicious!
If this doesn’t inspire you to reach your weight loss goals, I’m not sure what will. I am definitely open to trying a juice fast for more than 3 days. If you have juiced, or decide to try it out, please comment below! I’d love to hear from you!
Disclaimer: Amanda is not a medical professional and is only speaking from personal experience. Please make sure to consult your doctor before any change in diet.