In the midst of silly season, when everyone is eating way too many Christmas mince pies and dealing with fuzzyhead hangovers, I have embarked on my first ever juice fast. Why you ask? Well, there are several reasons:
- I’m curious to see how my body responds to fasting
- I currently have the time and the inclination
- I feel like I need to rejuvenate/detox
I’m half way through my fast and happy to report that all is going well. Maybe I feel a bit low on energy, but I guess that’s to be expected. What is surprising is the low level of hunger I am experiencing. Given that I haven’t had food in my stomach for a day and a half I thought I would be ravenous, but I’m not. Yet….
Before discovering smoothies I was a big juicer, I used to drink a fresh juice every morning for breakfast, along with a boiled egg or two. I have a Breville Juice Fountain, but have recently discovered that juicers like these are not that good because their centrifugal force exposes the juice to heat and oxygen, killing off the healing enzymes in the juice. A juicer with a separate grinder and press is best as it means more of the minerals and phytochemicals are extracted from the juice.
Juice is best consumed immediately because the healing enzymes die off as the juice oxidizes, which means you can’t prepare in advance. (Noting this you’ve got to wonder about the nutritional value of all these pre-packaged juice based cleansing/detox programs that are coming onto the market).
It’s important to use organic produce if you’re doing any amount of juicing because using fruits and vegetables grown using pesticides and chemical fertilizers actually concentrates those unwanted chemicals in the juice, and can cause you to absorb even more pesticides than you would by simply eating them. So I make sure everything that passes through my juicer is organic.
As well as drinking as much juice as I want, I’m having loads of water to help flush my body, I would guess 3-4 litres a day. In the morning I drink a green tea as I like to start the day with something warm, and I’m also having mineral water with freshly squeezed lime juice.
I recently attended a workshop by ‘The Fastmaster’ Jason Shon Bennett, who gave the following tips about fasting:
- Fasting helps your body recover from illness like sleep helps tiredness
- Fasting transforms your liver by helping it to get rid of toxic waste material
- Fasting should be part of a strategy for good health
- On a juice fast consume mostly vegetable juice, NOT fruit juice
So what do I throw in my juicer? I use a selection of the following organic produce:
Kale, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, green beans, carrots, tomato, lemon, orange, Granny Smith apples, pineapple, cucumber, beetroot, mint, parsley, ginger, turmeric.
Digesting food requires a huge amount of energy. Doing a fast means my body can take a break and gives it a chance to dump some extra stuff (toxins) from my system that it needs to get rid of. This is my first fasting experiment (well, not if you count the 40 hour famine I did when I was eleven), but if all goes well I intend to make fasting a regular part of my healthy happy life.
Have you had great results from fasting? Would love to hear your thoughts, leave me a comment by clicking in the speech bubble at the top of this post – Shannon