How-To: Juice Fast
I’ll fill you in on my history with juicing, then I’ll give you some info on why it’s great for you and I’ll tell you how I do it!
My History with Juicing
So I used to be a juice-fast skeptic, too… I’m a meat-head, muscle-lover so I always just *assumed* that “starving” yourself for days on end couldn’t be good for you.
I have IBS, (well- an undiagnosed ulcer/gallbladder/allergy problem), and after watching “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” (it’s on Netflix, totally worth a watch!) I was convinced that juicing could help me out. I mean at least it couldn’t hurt- I was bloated, in pain and miserable for the majority of every day.
I had always wanted a juicer, but I never got around to investing in one.
It was time.
I bought a Tribest Slowstar juicer… It works really well. I don’t have any complaints (beside that it jams rarely), but then again I don’t have anything to compare it to because it’s my first juicer. I didn’t have much of a preference, but my boyfriend said this one had the biggest motor- so I clicked buy.
Anyways- that guy, Joe, from Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead recommends trying a juice fast for ten days to people who suffer from any kind of irritating health problems like migraines, IBS, or obesity… and I decided to give it a shot. After the first three days, my cramping and bloating went away… I was sold. I completed the 10 days and felt great every damn minute of it.
I still juice regularly (2-3x per week), but I just use it as a way of supplementing extra nutrients into my diet rather than as a meal replacement.
Doing a juice fast can be extremely beneficial to your gut and body if you can hang on for a couple days, though… Start with 3 if you need. Work your way up. No one’s counting, and I swear it’s not as hard as it sounds.
Benefits of Juice Fasting
- Rest and repair the stomach and gut
By drinking only juice, you’re allowing the stomach to work less at digesting food. The nutrients in juice are readily available and require much less of the digestive processes of the gut.
You’re also cutting out all of the toxins (additives, preservatives, pesticides) that are in the processed food-crap we eat. Therefore, your liver is getting a break as well.
When juicing, you’re not only cutting out the toxins, but you’re also providing your body with adequate resources to assist in healing and detoxification everywhere.
- Flood the body with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients
When you juice, you’re retaining all of the nutrients and live enzymes that would be lost in the cooking process. Juicing also allows you to drink a much larger quantity of veggies than you could actually eat. These phytonutrients and anti-inflammatory enzymes accelerate the healing process and promote digestive and overall health.
- Improves energy and overall mental clarity
Your body’s not stupid. It doesn’t “think you’re starving” and start shutting down all the operations… It’s actually quite the opposite.
Digesting food requires a lot of energy, and when your body doesn’t expend the energy there, it uses it to repair problems. Your insulin levels normalize, your insulin sensitivity increases, and other hormones related to feeling hunger also improve because of the fast. And because you’re drinking tons of fresh, green juice loaded with anti-oxidants and vitamins, you’ll have improved mental clarity and awareness.
How-To: Juice Fast
You can juice fast for any number of days. 3, 5, 10, 30, 60…
Just start with whatever you can. I did it for 10 my first time around, and I’m only shooting for 5 this time (but we’ll see if I extend it…)
The rules are simple: Only consume fresh, green juice and water for the duration of the fast. No snacks. No other drinks. No sweetened juices. No gum. No mints.
4-6 Servings of juice per day will likely keep you full and happy.
You will be pleasantly surprised with how not-hungry you are! Once you accept that you’re not going to eat any food, it’s actually much easier to stay on track than with any sort of diet or health regimen. The rules are very black and white. Plenty of juice. Nothing else.
Step 1: Buy your veggies
GO ORGANIC. Seriously, if this is your attempt to detoxify and heal your body- limit as many pesticides and chemicals as possible. I find that it only costs $30-40 per 3 full days of juicing, even when only buying organic.
Keep it to green juice… Use spinach, kale, wheatgrass, arugula, watercress, and parsley as the base. Add cucumber, zucchini, and/or celery to help thin out the juice. Then pick some combination of lemons, limes, apples, pears, ginger, turmeric, mint, or carrots for flavor and sweetness.
Personally, my go-to combo is spinach, parsley, wheatgrass, arugula, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon, ginger, turmeric. Yeah, I put ’em all together 😉
Step 2: Wash, cut, prep your veggies
Preparation is key to enjoying your juice fast. It’s so much easier to pull clean, prepped veggies out of the fridge, ready-to-go than to clean 5 different kinds of vegetables and cut them all up every time you want to make a juice.
My juicer came with a rack that goes over the sink that’s perfect for washing and drying veggies. Get everything washed.
Tips for washing, cutting and storing:
-Get a good, natural soap to wash your vegetables with (I keep a bar of Dr. Bronner’s in my sink)
-Cut fibrous veggies (kale, celery, parsley) into 2-4 inch long pieces to avoid jamming the juicer.
-Store pre-cut celery in a leak proof container full of water.
-Don’t pre-cut apples, they’ll turn brown.
-You can pre-cut lemons, cucumbers, zucchini, + parsley and store for 2-3 days
-Pre-wash ginger and turmeric, too, and store in bowls in the fridge.
-This is why pre-washed spinach, kale & arugula are appreciated.
Step 3: Juice!
When I started juicing, I bought a collection of 6 glass bottles on Amazon for $15. Since then, I started saving my miscellaneous glass jars and I find myself getting more use from old pickle or apple sauce jars than the ones I purchased online.
I also bought a pitcher to catch the juice, because it makes pouring much easier.
Juicing is very simple.
1. Take the sliced veggie, feed it through the chute- boom: juice comes out.
2. For lemons and limes, you don’t even need to peel them. Same goes with ginger and turmeric! Just pop those suckers right in there.
3. For wheatgrass- wait until some fiber builds up in the juicer, don’t put it in first.
4. The most important tip: is to alternate fibrous and juicy veggies… Follow one handful of spinach/celery/wheatgrass with a couple apples/cucumbers/lemons. It helps prevent jamming by staying juicy & lubricated.
I will store my juice for up to two days (preferably only one). I make juice ahead for today and tomorrow, but I always plan on juicing again by tomorrow night… Good luck!
repeatedly cleaning the juicer is the worst part of the whole fast