I’m starting my 11th day of a Juice Fast, which is hardly a fast, as I get to drink sweet, luscious juice from real fruits & vegetables all day long. Plus I drink water & herbal teas as well. But still it is cleansing to the body to not have to process all that food through my system. I’ve done real fasts before, once with just coconut water for 10 days & another time with master cleanse for 12 days. This fast is a very different experience & in some ways it’s much easier, the good news is I’m never hungry.
I was inspired by the movie Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead where Joe the guy making the documentary goes on a 60 day juice fast to lose weight & heal himself of some strange disease he suffers from. The real magical moment is when he inspires a obess truck driver to juice & helps him get started which ends up changing his life direction & inspiring others. It’s on streaming Netflix & is very upbeat & inspiring.
My reason for starting this fast was to detox, feel healthier, downsize & see if it would help with my depression. In the movie those who fasted had a lot more energy & felt better about life in general. I could use some more energy & some relief from my constant digestive issues. I’ve been on an active quest this year to figure out my digestion issues that have plagued me most of my life. This year alone, I visited with a nutritionist who took out sugar & gluten from my diet but that didn’t bring relief or weight loss. Then I visited an Ayurvedic Doctor & she had me cut out tomatoes, ice & gave me some herbs. She told me I’m naturally a Kapha but my Vata was running the show. So in other words I needed to stoke the fire within & stop diminishing it with my food & life choices. This actually made a lot of sense to me. Then I was told by my medical doctor that I should stop drinking alcohol for 30 days to see if my labs would improve. This was no problem after the first week but led to weight gain & still no digestive relief. I actually learned a lot from all of them.
I’ve been intrigued with the raw food movement for over 30 years, but for some reason never really understood how I could do it fully or correctly. I even have a lot of recipe books on my shelf from years ago that I’ve never really used but keep moving them with me, hoping someday will be the right time to start eating raw. So after seeing the movie I figured juicing would be an easy segue into eating purely raw. The good news is that since I’ve started juicing & buying my food from the co-op I have met a handful of people who eat solely raw, plus we have friends in Malibu who are a raw family. And thank goodness for the web there are now so many resources just a finger click away.
After 10 days of juicing fruits & vegetables, no digestive discomfort, I have regular movements & I’ve lost about 10 lbs. Yay!!! Most mornings I wake up feeling great, some days I’m tired. The most exciting part is having no discomfort in my bowels.
My goal was to juice for 14 days & then move onto a 80-10-10 diet by Dr. Douglas Graham. I may actually continue to juice longer, depending on how I feel. I can’t really tell you a lot about the 80-10-10 diet because the book hasn’t arrived yet, but something about what I’ve heard feels right. I’ll let you know when I figure it out if your interested. What I really want is just a healthy relationship with food – a more mindful way of communing with food.
The amazing side effects to juicing have been that I’m now much more mindful of all the triggers that drive me to eat because I’m experiencing an emotion or exhaustion. Now that the eating or drinking (Starbucks!) is not an option, I have to nurture myself in other ways. I’ve been, instead, practicing more mindful meditations like the one’s Thich Nhat Hanh shares in his book Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life. “Breathing in, I embrace my discomfort. Breathing out, I feel a lot of space and security inside me.”
For the last few years, I have suspected that my journey to living more authentically & at peace within & without was about mindfulness. I also suspected that my biggest learning of mindfulness would come through my relationship with food because of my contentious relationship with food most of my life. It feels as if the time is NOW!!!
To read more about juice fasting watch the movie, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, & read Laura’s blog, Food: A Love story.