I’ve written this post – “Juice Fast – The Beginners Guide” to help anyone out there who may have heard of juice fasting but not sure why we should juice fast or wanted to try a juice fast but not sure how to start one or what to do.
I’ll be posting regular blogs over the next few days / week talking about what to expect while on the juice fast, some other detox protocols you can employ while fasting, and how to transition off a juice fast.
I’m about to embark on a juice fast myself after feeling a little blah these past couple of weeks, burning the candle at both ends and the evil sugar has crept back into my diet somehow! :-/ Stay tuned for some fly on the wall updates!
I would love everyone to try a juice fast at some stage because its well worth the effort especially if the end result is a shinier, brighter, healthier and lighter version of you!
But please always check in with your healthcare provider before embarking on a juice fast, especially if you are pregnant, have a serious illness or on medication. If at any time you start to feel unwell you should seek the advice of your healthcare provider also.
So why do a Juice Fast?
In this modern age our bodies are bombarded with many more toxins than ever before.
Man made chemicals proliferate anything and everything, from the food we consume to the products we surround ourselves with every day. Not to mention our crazy busy lifestyles we lead, where most of the day is spent in unnatural lighting, heating and throw in some stress, coffee or alcohol to boot and you’ve got a nice recipe for toxins to accumulate in the body. Even over-eating or eating the wrong combinations of foods create a toxic environment in the body.
When our bodies are overwhelmed with toxins and it struggles to keep up with its natural detoxification process we start to function at less than our best. It may be such a gradual decline you hardly even notice, but eventually there may be some tell tale signs, such as bloating, weight gain, feeling sluggish & low on energy, acne or skin disorders, food intolerances, allergies, frequent colds or infections, not feeling rested upon waking or having some serious food cravings!
So as you can see detoxing our bodies on a regular basis is important for overall health, well-being and longevity. Even daily detoxing rituals which are easy to do are something that should be incorporated into our daily routines. See my Top 5 Gentle Detox Tips for an idea of how you might go about adding these into your routine.
If you think you might be able to say yes to a few of those symptoms listed above now is a great time to do a Juice Fast! The change of seasons is also a great time to do this, as our bodies go through a natural transition from winter wanting to shed the heavy foods and move into a lighter diet heading into summer, and vice versa.
So what happens when we do a Juice Fast?
By juicing or drinking green smoothies (smoothies don’t remove the fibre of the plant whereas juicing does) instead of eating we are essentially giving our bodies a rest from digestion, when our bodies are given a rest from digesting they can start focusing on clearing house so to speak, focus on repairing and rebuilding the body, building a stronger immune system from the inside out. By drinking juices or green smoothies there is very little digesting required (especially if you juice) and all the goodness of the ingredients of your juice or green smoothie such as easily assimilated protein, phytochemicals, minerals, enzymes and anti-oxidants go straight into your cells for immediate nutrient uptake and to help the body repair and detoxify. Doing a Juice Fast will also help banish the food cravings as well as help give mental clarity and improved moods.
Sounds good to me! How do I prepare for a Juice Fast?
An ideal way to prepare for a juice fast is to 5 – 7 days before your Juice Fast start date, cutdown on any dairy, meat, wheat, processed foods or sugar in your diet and increase your intake of fresh vegetables, salads and gluten free grains. You can substitute dairy milk for raw almond milk, follow my How to Make Almond Milk video for a step by step guide on how to make your raw almond milk. (Its super yummy btw!).
Try and keep your social diary clear for the period of juicing (as a general rule a juice fast period for beginners should be from 3-5 days) so you are not tempted to give in to food or alcohol or anything else while out and about! Let your friends and family know of your intentions and ask for their support during juicing time! Give yourself lots of opportunities for rest also.
Check that your blender or juicer works if it hasn’t been used in a while or take trip down to the store and buy yourself a juicer or blender if you need to. (I recommend the Sunbeam Cafe Series as a good blender to start with).
Start gathering some yummy raw juice / smoothie recipes and write a grocery list of what to buy. Its important to note that when doing a juice fast all the produce should be organic. There is not much benefit in trying to detoxify if you are retoxing with pesticides and chemicals in the food.
Can I still exercise while doing a Juice Fast?
Yes! However, listen to your body, if you are feeling tired or not up to it, take a rest, or if you are exercising and your body is telling you no, then stop, or reduce the intensity. It might mean going for a walk instead of a run, doing light yoga instead of an intense yoga class, or a light weights session. You have the innate wisdom of knowing your body better than anyone else, so use it. Be sure to also get at least 15 – 30 minutes of sunshine every day (outside of peak sunshine hours if you are concerned about getting sunburnt).
What kind of fruits, vegetables can I use to make my Juice / Green Smoothie?
Pretty much any vegetable or fruit that can be blended or juiced and tastes great can be used. A good ratio to go by is 60% fruit to 40% vegetables. This will disguise the taste of the greens. However if you are like me and don’t like to add alot of fruit to your juice or smoothie, swap the ratio around. If you are making a green smoothie don’t forget to add filtered water to the mix, anywhere from 750ml to 1L.
Can I add my protein powder to the juices / smoothies or other supplements?
Personally I think less is more when doing your Juice Fast, you are trying to give your body a rest from processing additional supplements or hard to digest protein. However, having said that, there are some supplements which will support the detox process and some types of protein which will be easy for the body to assimilate (no not whey protein as that is derived from dairy!).
Supplements such as the blue-green algaes, Spirulina – high in protein and rich in chlorophyll (oxygenating your cells), Chlorella, helps detoxify heavy metals, and probiotics to help replenish and re-balance your gut flora, so add or take these at the time of making your juices or smoothie.
In my next blog on juice fasting I will talk about some do’s and don’ts while on a juice fast, what to expect while juice fasting, and lots of info on what a day of juice fasting might typically look like, and how to transition off a juice fast, and no that does not mean straight down to the pub to celebrate!