This is not exactly crafty but it’s the start of a new year so of course I, like most women, have made big promises of healthy eating and exercise. I decided to start the new year off with a juice fast that worked really well for me last summer and I thought I’d share the experience and some tips that hopefully will motivate and help you as well.
Last summer (while eating a giant bowl of Kraft Macoroni and Cheese) I watched a documentary on Netflix called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. Basically an Australian guy decides to stop eating fattening foods for 60 days and drink nothing but liquid veggies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner under the supervision of a nutrionist. Despite that fact that he’s a FAT AUSTRALIAN GUY, he travels to America and interviews happy fat Americans while he quickly and smugly slims down.
Joe: sipping juice “Are you ok with the fact that you will probably die before you are 50?”
Fat American: “What can I say it’s finger lickin good!”
I’m exaggerating, barely.
I will not spoil the documentary further by telling you how much Joe lost or the long term effects. I think it’s important to watch it if you decide to try juicing but I will share some tips and links so that you are prepared when you began juicing.
First as I mentioned above you need to watch the documentary. My blog, although crucial to your juicing journey is not a substitute. If you do not have Netflix, you can also watch it for free here.
Next, I recommend that you talk to your doctor about your plans and goals. They might tell you that you this is not the diet for you, or that you need to take a blood test like Joe did while you are on the diet. I did talk to my doctor before I started the juice fast. I showed her the recipes and talked to her about my weight goals and she did approve the diet as long as I “listened to my body.”
Buy a Juicer
Once you have consulted with a doctor, It’s time to invest in a juicer. Grasshopper, this is not the place to be thrifty. Decide what is most important to you before you purchase your juicer.Lee and I (mostly Lee) researched several juicers before we purchased ours.
Lee says: The two most popular types of juicers are centrifugal and masticating. Centrifugal juicers are most common and have a grinding disc and basket that spin at high RPMs to extract juice. Centrifugal juicers are usually less expensive but are not as good with leafy vegetables. The masticating juicer has a gear that essentially grinds and crunches the fruit fiber to extract the juice. The masticating process is generally considered to yield more juice than the centrifugal juicer. Masticating juicers also tend to be more expensive, have a longer life, and are not as good with fruit. There are many pros and cons to each. A good place to start your research is joyfuljuicer.com.
We picked up a Breville juicer which was the same brand Joe used in the documentary. The main reason we went with the Breville juicer was that it was affordable, versatile, and durable. The reviews were generally very good. We still use it about 2-3 times a week and it works great. However, our only complaint is that we hate cleaning it. – I’m not sure how to avoid that though.
This site saved us in the early days of our Juice Fast. These are the actual juices that Joe used in the documentary. The first two are the ones that I personally like, the last two taste like dying!!! I also experiment a lot, usually when there are fruit and veggies that are going bad in the fridge. Most of the experiments are horrible.
Lee’s Ridiculously Sweet Pretend Coffee
2 green apples
Yes, he actually counted these out every morning. It amazes me what you coffee fiends do to get your fix. It’s REALLY sweet but gives you a lot of energy. He said it gave him more energy then coffee. I read somewhere (or maybe I made this up) that it’s ok to start your juice fast with more fruit then veggies, especially if you have an issue with the taste. However, you want to slowly start adding more veggies into your drinks.
- Don’t juice the lemons in the juicer, just squeeze them in. I juiced half a lemon by itself. It’s like 1 dropper of liquid. Whereas if you squeeze it…well it’s like a tablespoon, but still that little bit of lemon goes a long way to make your juice taste less like landscape. Especially during the early days of juicing
- Personally I think that ginger makes no difference at all to the juice. Lee says it does but I think it’s because he knows I don’t put it in anymore and he likes to be ornery.
- Nine times out ten if something tastes funny in your juice it’s the cucumbers. I always eat a little piece of my cucumber before I juice it.
- Each recipe on the website link above makes about two servings. One “meal” for two people, or breakfast and lunch for one. You will very quickly learn that the worst part about juicing is cleaning the juicer, counters (and if you have a spouse, the cabinets) so plan ahead. Whatever you make is going to stay fresh for about 2-3 days. After that it’s going to turn brownish and start to taste awful, so decide how much you can drink in that time and make that much. This is a good way to stay on track and develop good habits. (oh man, no juice… oh well I’ll just eat this donut instead.. etc.)
What To Expect During The Fast
- The first few days are going to be hard. You drinks taste like grass and you probably have to give yourself pep talks to get through them. You will think about chewing weird things like candles and fingers. You will have no energy. Your body is going to go through a detox, which will probably cause headaches. I felt like my brain was trying to evacuate my body. A lot of the foods you eat have preservatives and chemicals in them that make you addicted to crazy things like raspberry flavoring number 5. It’s hard but it only lasts for 2 or 3 days.
- During those first 2 or 3 days, every show, book, song and store you drive by is going to be about food and you’ll find that nobody cares about your goals. It’s probably best to just stay in your room with the lights out. It might be the easiest way to contain your brain if it does escape anyway.
- By day 5 you’ll start to feel better. You will find it difficult to finish your drinks because they will fill you up. If you do get hungry but don’t want to “eat”, make a veggie plate or a plain sweet potato. I did read a blog about someone that actually ate the pulp in the juicer… kinda weird but whatever gets you through the fast.
I lost about 20 pounds in 3 weeks on the juice fast. After that I started to incorporate healthy dinners into my diet, but I still had juice for breakfast and lunch for a week. Eventually I stopped juicing altogether, but I tried to watch my portions and still eat healthy foods. I found that I did not have issues with increased appetite like I normally experienced with other diets and I didn’t immediately gain the weight back like you might expect with a juice fast. Periodically, Lee and I have also done mini juice fasts that last 3-5 days and we always try to keep the ingredients in the fridge so we can substitute lunch or breakfast with juice anytime. It’s also a great way to just add veggies to your diet or deal with the munchies in between meals.
If you decide to try the juice fast, let me know how it goes and what your results are.