Back in the 80’s when my dad was a full flying, surfy, veggie eating hippy, he completed many juice detoxes. His lasting for up to six days. There was no luxury of fresh pre-bottled juices, just a good old fashion juicer and some fresh fruit and veg from the garden. To this day he will rave about how great it made him feel. From having clearer skin, glistening eyes, bounds of energy and a strong immune system, the long-term effects of his constant practice went on for years. Growing up hearing that story I naturally became intrigued. This week completes my 6th juice fast and lucky for me, mine are pre-bottled avoiding the extra hassle he probably dealt with and allowing me to incorporate it into a busy schedule.
Before I begin, what am I talking about throughout this blog is two or more complete days of only consuming liquid, not intermittent fasting (which I also am a big fan of.) Everything I am sharing here is from my own personal research and personal beliefs.
So the main question I get, "Is it hard?" For most of us yes. I miss the sensation of chewing, I get 'hangry', my body has withdrawals from caffeine resulting in fatigue, brain fog, mood swings and such. Gosh, I'm really not selling it hey?! If you already have a super clean diet you might sail through, but even for someone like myself, who prides themselves on having a pretty balanced diet, I still find around 24-36 hours a bit of mission. So why do it then? As my dad always told me (and you should write this one down) "When you're young, you build credits for the future longevity of your life." Boom. Well that's powerful. For some of us, we spend a lot of our lives consuming rich foods, alcohol, partying, stressing and missing sleep. All this is doing is chewing away at our health, immunity and 'credits'. Then we spend the latter part of our life trying to reverse everything, hence we are seeing so many chronic illnesses and diseases in latter years. It's kind of mad. Anyway, I digress...
Fasting allows the bodies natural detoxifying process to kick in. Around the day 3 mark, the body has had enough time to finish breaking down and digesting food that it can focus on detoxifying. This process doesn't kick in while the body is occupied digesting, and with the frequent amount of meals or snacks consumed in a western diet, it's common for these process to rarely kick in. Through the detoxification process the body kills off cells which aren't operating to 100% capacity and creates new ones, it assists with eliminating toxins and helps reset our system. The benefits of this are profound, improved digestion, less bloating, more energy, clearer skin & eyes, better working organs like the liver and kidneys and so much more. Cravings are reduced and you'll also find you feel like eating less. This can help with sustain a healthier weight and burning off stored excess fuel within the body.
There is some controversy about what you can and can't have while on a fast. Some say certain liquids such as coffee, matcha, bullet-proof coffee, black & green tea, prebiotic fibre drinks and such are okay. Ultimately, it depends what you want out of the fast. To cut caffeine out makes it a WHOLE lot harder, but for those heavy caffeine drinkers it's a great reset for your body and I do recommend pushing through the withdrawals. From my research, for maximum results you want to avoid any fibre during the fast, as fibre kicks in the digestive processes. This is what we want to avoid! When the body is digesting it is not detoxifying - and thats one of they key benefits of fasting.
So yes it might be tough, but three days in the scheme of a lifetime is minimal. See it as a challenge, if you're game try 5 days (I have yet to do this!), if you want to work yourself into it, start with one or two days. If you're short on time, try doing one day a week every few weeks, it's a great way to give your digestive system a break. We generally do not need to eat the amount of food we consume. And remember, it's for the future credits of YOUR life! How do you want to live?