Many people have become intrigued with the idea of detoxification through a juice fast. A juice fast by definition is a liquid juice diet maintained for a specific period of time. For some, it is a means of weight loss. But for most, it is a way to cleanse your system of the pollutants, toxins and preservatives that may be weighing you down. Fasting serves as a body reboot, and gateway to a healthier feeling and way of life.
IMPORTANT: Always consult your physician before going on a juice fast. People with some health conditions should not attempt a juice fast, and your physician will work with you to determine what is safe.
How long should I fast?
The length of a fast varies greatly depending on each person’s goals and tolerance, anywhere from 2-60 days. For beginners, we suggest a few days to one week.
One insider tip is to have your juicing on a weekend for three days (Saturday, Sunday and Monday). This short period of time will allow you to get used to the diet when you have ample free time and flexibility. By the time Monday comes around you’ll be able to handle one more day, even if you have to return to work.
How much discomfort should I expect?
Over the long run, you can expect to feel better after your juice fast. Try to remember this as you experience some of the not-so-fun symptoms of a fast. At times during your juice fast you may feel slightly queasy or out of energy. Side effects could include headaches, dizziness, diarrhea and more. You may need to stick close to home to use the restroom more often. To make your fasting experience more comfortable, drink plenty of water (more than usual), keep as many calories in your system as possible, and keep your activities low-key. It might be a great weekend to watch your favorite movies, for example.
A juice fast takes determination and a lot of preparation. Of course you’ll need to already have a good juicer on hand, and have practiced making juices to ensure you know how to use your device efficiently.
One week before your fast, taper off eating sugar, starches and greasy foods. Drink plenty of water, and maintain a normal eating regime but do not overeat. Eat mostly salads, steamed vegetables and lean meats. This will prepare your system for what’s to come.
A day or so beforehand, you’ll need to go to the store and pick up all the fruits, vegetables, herbs and minerals you plan to use during your fast. Washing, peeling and prepping your produce beforehand is also a great way to make sure you don’t give up due to frustration and lack of energy.
Plan to prepare juices that use both fruits and vegetables – you will need a balanced consumption during your juice fast to get the benefits and calories your body needs.
Other ingredients can be added in with your juice to add flavor or nutrients. However, these are supplementary and should not become the basis of the juice or be used in large quantities. Keeping it simple is often the key to a successful juice fast. Regardless, here are some ideas of juice boosters: nuts and seeds; protein and whey powders; plain low-fat yogurt; vanilla; olive oil; hot sauce; and roots (like ginger).
Finally, if you can stomach it: add wheatgrass. When fasting, wheatgrass can be quite powerful in detoxing and curbing food cravings. It does have pungent taste, however.
During Your Fast
During your fast, you will want to drink approximately 32 – 64 ounces of juice daily, divided into about 8-9 portions, or five times a day. Overall, however, you are encouraged to drink as much juice as you want. After all, it’s super healthy and will keep your energy up.
Drink plenty of water; this cannot be overstated! Target about a gallon of water a day during your fast.
One approach to your daily routine is to make a big batch of juice twice a day to drink from. If you decide to do so, make sure you carefully follow the tips listed in Chapter 3 on juice storage.