A Juicing Fast or Feast?
A Juicing Fast or Feast?
Almost two weeks ago, I announced to the world (you out there) that I was going on a juice fast. A fast where all I "ate" was fruit and vegetable juice—like in the film Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. At the time that's sort of what I had in mind.
Well, on day two, my mind was flip flopping on what was really the healthy thing to do, and I thought about the fact that what I was honestly after, was a lifestyle change, not a quick fix, nor a deprivation disaster, that when I went off of it and started eating again, that I'd gain all the weight back that I had just lost. (Weight is secondary to health, but I've been there—done that).
We actually "juice fasted" for many meals over a ten day period—just not for 24 hours straight. And it was FUN searching for ideas and recipes and making up a lot of my own juice (and a few smoothie) recipes. You'll see, as I'm listing many of them at the end of this post, and I have plans to compile them all into a PDF for quick reference here at some point. I do not want to lose these recipes, and I'd love to share them with you too!
We hadn't really prepared to fast!
It's agreed that eating whole foods (we do that), and a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits, contribute to a healthy way of eating. Our family has been involved in getting our act together for a long time as we've made healthier choices every year. With wisdom should come change! And juicing those fresh veggies and fruits makes a lot of keep-out-of-the-doctor's-office sense. So we've been doing that—just not so frequently.
Hubby was eager to be on this journey with me. We (especially him) had not prepared ourselves to jump into a full-fledged fast—I mean, the day after Easter? That awesome (non-raw) pineapple-walnut carrot cake I made, and nontraditional shrimp and steak kabobs on the grill? I wanted us to be successful, but my will power is only so willing.
So let me explain that after those first few days of juicing, I decided that what I desired was to claim a juicing lifestyle—one that included juicing every day (if possible) and basically continuing on with what I had already been doing—adding in those wonderful raw dishes, snacks, and desserts (in moderation). That's it! That's what most made sense to me.
I wasn't hungry!
I did find that the nutrition from the juices I drank was satisfying and I wasn't hungry. But I still wanted to feel my teeth bite into something. Raw nuts and some dehydrated fruit were fill-ins. Habits are hard to change.
Here's what our eating pattern looks like:
I made two different juices each day, often with some left over for later in the day. We ate one meal that included a hearty amount of a steamed vegetable, or a juice soup with some sauteed veggies added, or a big salad. We've eaten so many brussel sprouts that I almost feel like we're on the brussel sprout diet (great prices right now). We ate fresh fruit and raw nuts here and there also. And Hubby ate a little extra on his own—he did really good (only one Little Debby Nutty Bar on day 12)!
After one week, I added in a smoothie here and there (I missed those green smoothies) and we designated Sundays to be our treat day (to relax and eat what we want within reason). Hubby had BBQ beef and cheese with his salad on Sunday. And Sunday is the day our older son visits so I will make a nice meal with meat included then, and perhaps a fancy raw dessert. So, we're juicing and eating lots of raw all week, and indulging on Sunday.
Curb the cravings.
I also wanted to get to the point where the cravings disappeared. I so hate the feeling that food is controlling me! I needed to get to the place where I am in control. Am I there? Much better, but not quite yet. As an emotional eater in the past, it's something I've struggled with. Though the physical desire and cravings to eat were diminished, the emotional craving found it's way there on a few days, especially when I wasn't feeling well. The hardest day so far was day 10, and I didn't feel well for 3 out of 10 days.
Was it a typical detoxifying reaction that I experienced? Spring-time allergies? Or just my usual self? I had two bad headaches, a runny nose most every day, and a very low BP (for me) a few of those days. The days I felt good though were great! I had a lot of energy and my mood was soaring. Kind of typical for me though—I'm like that song "Moody Woman" sometimes. What could I expect anyway in just 10 days?
Well, I did lose 8 pounds in 10 days! Just water weight maybe? Not sure. I'm losing, and that's icing on my raw cake! Though the last two days I added in some rice and two pounds came back!
I'm exercising about every other day with either T-Tapp Basic Plus, Tempo Arms, or Jazzercise. I'm convinced that I don't lose an ounce unless I keep moving and exercise. (That's Teresa Tapp on the right.)
So, what about those healthy changes since January?
The biggest change for me has been to cut out the wheat (I do make an occasional dish using small amounts of spelt flour and I'm intrigued in using almond flour). And starting last year I ditched cheese and cow's milk (plain yogurt still allowed, though I haven't added it back in yet on my juice fast), and I consume many less eggs and meat, as well as I cut out many processed foods (of course). For me, it comes down to eliminating the foods that I know I don't agree with or harm me in some way, and sticking to a basic mostly raw, anti-inflammatory diet.
If you have kids or family that live with you, an adjustment would be in order I'm sure. Our youngest son still lives at home but his job takes him on the road and we really don't see him much. When he was here for a few days recently, he ate what we did, but I fixed him a little something else to go with it. To suddenly make huge habit changes in your family won't work, you need to make them gradually.
We miss going out to eat!
We were in the habit of going out to eat at least twice a week, but my usual fare was a healthy salad anyway. I can still maintain that if we decide to enjoy a restaurant meal. Two of our favorite places have the best salads anyway! I've already conquered this problem but Hubby would have a hard time if we went to a restaurant and he wasn't committed to eating healthy foods. He has switched to the salad, instead of the sandwich at our favorite spot (pictured here) but he likes to get dessert there too. If we go on Sunday, he can have it! (BTW, after two weeks of eating this way, he's lost 15 pounds.)
My list of yummy juices and recipes:
These are just a few of those I've made and many I've posted online. Check back to see when I've completed the PDF that will include recipes for those not yet available plus a few more.
- Pineapple-Fennel Surprise
- Pear Pineapple Juice
- Don't Skip a Beet—Juice
- Tropical Sunshine Smoothie
- Veggie Juice Soup
- Banana Berry Frozen Dessert
- Cinnamon Pears (dehydrated)
- D & D Juice
- Co-Co for Oranges
- Pretty Pink, Fennel Fusion Juice
- Green Goddess Juice
- Bunny Booster
- Ginger Spiced Delight
- Josh's Jacuzzi Green Smoothie
Thanks for visiting and sticking to the end of this long post! I'd love to hear your comments. Maybe what worked for you, or what you might relate to, or even to share your blog or recipe with me!
Linking up with Wellness Wednesday,
Raw Foods Thursdays, and Thank Your Body Thursday