A Beginners Guide to Juice Fasting
Juicing is fast becoming a very popular way to ‘detox’ the body and cleanse it of numerous toxic substances, and food that has become as harmful to the body, as it is nourishing. It is said that fruit and veg today contains only a small fraction of the nutrients that it did in past generations – this downwards trend is only getting worse.
It seems that the mega-corporate food companies are more interested in taking more of our dollars for crappy food – ruined by pesticides and preservatives – than providing us with nourishment. Now there’s a surprise! Not!
Most of us consume far too much of everything that is unhealthy for us. Much worse, because the foods we eat have an addictive quality, we find ourselves on a downward spiral to bad health, disease, and weight problems.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to deal with this unhealthy condition of body and mind is to consider juicing or juice fasting. Make no mistake about it – the problem is mental and spiritual as much as it is physical. They don’t talk about that in your mainstream clinics though.
Juicing is not for the faint-hearted. Not many want to forego their tasty Big Mac burger or calorie-filled Cheesy Taco. Newcomers to the juicing world are also filled with questions including; Will I be overcome with hunger? How long should I fast? How do I end my fast? These are all sensible, legitimate questions and ones we will cover in this text.
Below I will run through many of the basics on fasting and encourage you to ask any questions in the comments field if you are unsure.
Why Should You Fast?
Although it may be tempting to go on a fast to quickly lose some weight for a wedding or holiday, it is going to benefit you more if you embark on a course of juice fasting as a prelude to a more healthy lifestyle.
Or maybe you’ve run into some health problems and again you’re thinking of a quick fix.
Although I would encourage anyone to embark on a fast no matter what the reasons, I would hope that you are thinking more long-term than a quick solution to your problems.
The reason I say this is because I am fairly confident that once you experience the benefits of juicing, you will be much more willing to make it a part of your day-to-day lifestyle.
You will have to experience fasting experientially for it to make a REAL difference in your life. Personally speaking, this has become my philosophy for basically my entire way of life. I have to experience the benefits of something first-hand before I will take it on board in my as a permanent fixture in my life. I suspect you may be the same!
Another reason you may find yourself fasting – as I did – is that you are losing trust or have long since lost trust in mainstream medicine. Every year 100,000s of people die worldwide from medicine prescribed by their doctors. That’s not an encouraging statistic.
Much worse, you won’t have to look too far to find someone addicted to prescription drugs – not to mention the illegal kind – all in the quest to feel good or better.
I’d rather take my chances with fasting and the natural ability of the body to heal itself. Juice fasting will also give you more energy and have you feeling better than you ever have before. Don’t take my word for it though!
DISCLAIMER: Let’s get this out of the way. Although I’ve just said I don’t trust mainstream medicine nor it’s ability to heal the body, I AM NOT you. You may have a condition that makes fasting of any kind detrimental to your body. For example, you definitely SHOULD NOT fast while pregnant or breast-feeding.
You SHOULD always consult your physician before starting a juice fast. PLUS, I don’t want you trying to sue my ass or getting my website taken offline.
Let’s now get down to the ins and outs of juice fasting…
How Long to Fast?
If you are a newcomer to juicing then I recommend starting off with a short fast. The first fast I did was for 3 days. The longest fast I have done is 7 days.
You can read about juice fasters online who have juiced for as long as 60 days. Joe Cross in the documentary ‘Fat Sick and Nearly Dead’ fasted for 60 days on green juices.
Keep in mind that it takes 3-4 days for your body to rid itself of the reserves in your liver and digestive tract. So, in reality, the body doesn’t actually enter the true fasting stage until these reserves are spent.
I would also recommend you fast midweek rather than the weekend, especially if you are a social butterfly of sorts. You won’t have to forego any social occasions when engaging on a short fast midweek. The downside is you may have to go to work during your fast. Although this shouldn’t cause any problems. I prefer to be off work when fasting.
Being flexible during your fast is key to successfully completing it.
What Kind of Juices
It is not ok to buy fruit juices from your local store unless these fruit and vegetable juices are freshly extracted. If you are physically there while the juice is extracted then you are good to go.
The other type you buy off the shelves is highly processed with any goodness/nutrition gone. Plus they tend to be full of processed sugars. A good rule to go by is that; ‘If it’s on the shelf in a carton, then it’s not suitable for a juice fast’.
If you are serious about juicing then you need to invest in a good quality juice extracting machine – juicer for short.
It is also preferable that you juice vegetables rather than fruits whenever possible. Fruits have high sugar content and are not as beneficial for detoxifying your body. Green juices are best; for example, broccoli, kale, spinach, cucumber.
You can download my free juicing recipes guide which includes 112 recipes, by adding your name and email to the form to the right of this site. Over 100 recipes should have you covered.
If you have time you should peel your vegetables and fruits to remove any pesticides and other pollutants. If you can’t peel your produce you should at least give them a good scrub under running water with a hard bristle brush.
Some people will freeze their juice for consumption at a later date. I try to drink my juices immediately after extraction. This is the best practice. The sooner you drink the juice after juicing the more nutrients and vitamins are absorbed from the juice – including many raw food enzymes.
To save time I will occasionally make extra juice, which I will put in an airtight jar, and put in the refrigerator for drinking later in the evening. I use Kilner clip top jars. You can buy these on Amazon and many household stores.
You can juice as often as you like. I’ve never heard of anyone overdosing on vegetable or fruit juices. You should aim for at least 4-5 8oz glasses of juice per day. This should supply a plentiful amount of nutrients to your body and help alleviate hunger pangs. As a basic rule, you should juice when you feel hungry throughout the day.
You should also drink a large glass of water after every juice or you could add the water to your juice if you like. I prefer to drink juice first then water. The juice tastes much nicer undiluted.
What Kind of Juicer Should You Buy
You need a juice extractor if you’re planning to juice fast – NOT a blender. The difference between a juicer and a blender is that the blender keeps the pulp in the finished product while a juicer extracts the juice – including the vitamins, minerals and natural enzymes.
Without all the fiber, your digestive system doesn’t have to work as hard to break down the food and absorb the nutrients. In fact, it makes the nutrients more readily available to the body in much larger quantities than if you were to eat the fruits and vegetables whole.
Juicing is more beneficial in that your body doesn’t have to work nearly as hard to break down the fiber contained in the pulp while making the nutrients more readily accessible to the body in greater quantities. The nutrients from juices are entered into the bloodstream virtually immediately after drinking.
If you are serious about making juicing a part of your life going forward then you should buy a good quality juicer. If you do buy a cheaper version then be prepared to replace it as you become more serious about your quest for better health.
If you opt to buy a bargain juicer then you should know that it is unlikely to last if you use it daily or even on a regular basis. The motors just don’t last. A low-cost juicer also won’t be as effective in the number of juices it extracts.
A juicer can cost anything from $30 up to around $300 and above.
I bought a Phillips Viva Quick Clean juicer for around $75. It does the job and is a great starter juicer but I don’t like the fact that the pulp extractor is within the workings of the juicer. So I have to take it apart to empty the pulp. This means I have to empty the pulp container if I want to make more than one serving off juice.
Next time around I will buy a juicer that extracts the pulp to a separate container – mainly to save time and to be able to extract more juice without having to take the machine apart.
Even if you don’t buy from Amazon.com I recommend you go over there and research your juicer. You can read the experiences of users with their juicers – the pros and cons – before you make your decision to buy.Click Here to Research Amazon Juicers
The Grocery Shopping List?
If you’re flush with cash, then organic produce is preferred and will contain fewer toxins. If you’re like me and on a budget then just head for the local green-grocers or supermarket. What could be simpler? You’ll definitely spend less time shopping for produce and cover less mileage in the supermarket.
You should opt for hard fruits that contain high water content like, apples, carrots, beetroot, celery, and ginger. You won’t extract much juice from the likes of avocados or bananas. Best keeping those for those times when you are blending your fruits and veggies.
Again, take a look at my 112 juicing recipes download for great examples of what to buy for juicing. (Download it at the right side of the site).
How Will You Feel on Juices Only?
If you stick with your juice fast for a least three days you will begin to feel energized. Three days is an estimate. The detoxifying processes, which can make you feel quite horrible at times, will have to subside before you start to feel the benefits of your juice fast.
Of course, the reactions to juice fast and the onset of the benefits are extremely varied. The more regularly you juice the less you will experience the negative effects of detox caused by your body purging itself of toxins through your skin, breath and bowel movements.
It also depends on your starting point, ie. how healthy you are when you begin your fast. Always consult your doctor before your fast begins.
I haven’t experienced anything on a juice fast that has made me want to end the fast. Hunger has never been a problem as long as I consume juice when the onset of hunger arrives.
Food cravings can be intense. You will likely think of all your favorites fast foods throughout the length of your fast.
Occasionally I will get a headache. I think this is mainly due to caffeine withdrawal more than anything else.
In the long-term juice fasting will bring you feelings of life and vitality. Mental clarity will improve and you may feel energy that you haven’t experienced in years. In all honesty, the benefits of fasting are so numerous I could write a book – and many have.
How to Break Your Juice Fast
Coming off the fast will largely depend on how long your fast has lasted. Obviously the longer your fast has been the more careful you should be – in terms of the types of foods you introduce – on breaking your fast. Common sense should prevail!
You should spend at least 2-3 days eating only solid fruits and vegetables with light soups. Avoid meats during these days. When introducing meat back into your diet begin with oily fish – salmon or mackerel for example.
If I could give you one piece of advice above all others it would be to MAKE A START. You will learn more from your own experiences of juice fasting than you will from any online guide. Take it slow;y first time around and then build from there.
I hope you find juice fasting as beneficial and rewarding to your body as I have.
I and my readers would love to hear your questions, tips, and suggestions using the comments section below.