As I said in my last post, I am a skeptic. I don’t believe in toxins building up mysteriously in the body, or anything like that. But juice fasting has been one of those things that even other skeptics I know often swear by. The biggest claim in the community I am a part of isn’t that it will clear your body, but that it makes you feel amazing by drinking nothing but a strange concoction of fruits and vegetables.
This was the thing that struck my curiosity. It didn’t seem like a pleasant thing, at all. So why did so many people love it? All I could find in researching the topic was a lot of differing opinions on both sides, both horror and triumphant stories about successes. So I set out to do the only thing I could think of, and that was try it myself.
Well, I did, and while I had some surprising finds I also found that I had no desire to go the full three days. Instead, it turned into a one day fast, and here are my impressions as they happened during that day.
I got off to a rough start, I have to admit. I slept in past the alarm that would have kept me on schedule for all eight juices, so I had to rush to drink down my first glass of water, then make the juice. Luckily, it was a quick and easy one: carrot, apple and ginger.
When I put in the first apple piece I realized I had made a mistake. In my half-asleep state I had tied the plastic grocery bag meant to catch the shot out skin and pieces around the juice section. So the section of apple went flying all over my counter, and the juice into the bag. Brilliant.
After a lot of swearing and a bit of cleanup, I did things the right way round and ended up with a large, chilled glass of breakfast juice.
The taste was decent enough. I think I put in too much ginger, but the carrot really compliments the apple nicely.
Next came juice number two, this one a Mean Green recipe. It was made up of kale, cucumber, lemon, apple and ginger. Still turned off of the ginger taste in the breakfast juice, I omitted the root this time. There were also no mishaps, so I made enough for the two mid-morning drinks I am supposed to have without mishap, cleaned the juicer and got to drinking.
I actually really like this one. At first I was apprehensive because the smell is god-awful. No, really, the scent of this is hard to describe, but it ain’t pleasant. Like a cucumber monster got drunk off of some kind of leafy liquor and puked it into a glass. The look of it also reminds me of that movie, Troll 2, when some of the people turn into green goo piles the goblins eat.
Luckily, the apple and lemon really offset the taste and it was enjoyable.
I hate this. I hate this juice so much. Honestly, I suspected I would because I am not a fan of tomato juices, and that is the primary base of it. It is tomato, celery, cucumber, lime, parsley, bell pepper and red onion. Which makes the taste really strong, even if it is savory.
Still, I choked it down and was grateful it was only a one time thing once a day. I am considering making a couple of changes to it for tomorrow, maybe adding in some carrot to lessen the tomato taste.
I have discovered that my juicer really doesn’t like oranges. Which seems ridiculous, as you would assume orange juice is one of those primary products people would make with a juicer. I tried peeling it, cutting it into little bits, putting it in a little at a time…nothing. It kept stopping mid-juice.
But at least the afternoon juice itself isn’t bad. It is made of cucumber, orange, kale and collard greens. Originally the last was supposed to be Swiss chard, but I couldn’t find any and had to make do.
Another thing I learned today: sweet potatoes produce a surprising amount of juice. It also tastes really good. Next to the mid-morning green juice, this was my second favorite. It was made of sweet potato, beets, golden delicious apples, carrots and bell pepper.
It was sweet, but not as sweet as the breakfast juice. It was also a really nice, red color. It reminded me of strawberry juice when I first saw it.
Finally, it was time for some solid food. But as per the juice detox rules I could only eat fruits and vegetables. The day before I had already prepared a giant batch of cut up fruit and vegetables and they were resting in containers in my fridge.
I filled a giant plate quarter full with cantaloupe, strawberries and bananas. The other half I filled with steamed carrots, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. I have to admit that I missed the usual rice or bread that would have gone with these things on any normal day. But it wasn’t terribly different from what I would normally eat.
Around 2 PM I started to feel really, really tired. It wasn’t a food thing, and I doubt it had anything to do with the juices. Probably more to do with the lack of caffeine, as by then I would have had a couple cups of coffee or tea, and probably a diet cola.
The lack of carbs and protein probably doesn’t help with my energy, though. My body is used to the boosts from both. But I am not as hungry as I thought I would be.
The Next Day
I was surprised when I wrote the above paragraphs about how simple everything was. I was feeling fine, I wasn’t hungry and hadn’t experienced any side effects other than tiredness. At around 7 PM that changed. I had the horrible flush out that everyone speaks about, though there had been a bit of that earlier in the day. Nothing like this though.
This lasted through the whole night, as I kept drinking a bunch of water to compensate. I felt shaky and ill and cold, and it reminded me a lot of a stomach bug. The cramping was really painful and kept me awake a lot of the night. So during that time I decided not to do the second or third day.
Maybe I am a wimp, but I don’t see the appeal to this at all. I know people say it gets better after three days, but why put yourself through it? Do you really feel any better after those days than you would have before them? It makes me wonder if people feel better by default, having felt so miserable.
Anyway, in the first day I felt like I got my answer. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be until the pains in the night, which were terrible. Juice fasting, at least for this girl, is a no-no.
That said, I did lose four pounds in a day and discovered a couple of juices I enjoy and think I might add to meals. So…sorta success?