My Adventures in Juice Fasting

Mural on the wall of the Eagle Rock Juice Co. in Eagle Rock, CA.
Mural on the wall of the Eagle Rock Juice Co. in Eagle Rock, CA.

One night, my partner and I were looking for something to watch on Netflix that wouldn’t make us angry, scared or put us to sleep. It was then that we happened upon a documentary called “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” It was about an Australian guy named Joe Cross who decided to try to handle his ongoing health issues by drinking nothing but fresh vegetable and fruit juices for a period of 60 days.

fat sick and nearly dead dvd cover image

He had this weird autoimmune disorder that caused these awful skin break outs, were wreaking general mayhem on his health and making him, well, in his words, fat. Along with a bunch of other medications, he was on a steady diet of steroids but not in a Lance Armstrong way. He had to do it to try to deal with his weird health issues. But nothing was working and of course steroids are bad.

Anyway he’s so sick and tired of how he feels and looks, he decides to experiment with juicing, but not in a Lance Armstrong way.  He buys himself a juicer and sets off across the United States, juicer in tow, meets with all these interesting people and, by the end he starts feeling better and losing weight and even helps other people along the way.

The best thing about this documentary for me was the way they actually broke it down for you, first of all why it’s important to eat veggies, but also why juicing them is the best way to cram them into your system. They even showed this bizarre new food pyramid by Dr. Joel Furhman in which the entire bottom layer is vegetables. Yes, that’s right. Vegetables. Not even fruit. Just vegetables. It was mind blowing.

 nutrient dense food pyramid Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Then at the end of the movie, they direct you to Joe’s website and, basically, challenge you to do a 10-day juice fast. So, of course, after the movie, we look at each other as we often do when someone throws a challenge at us. We sigh heavily and say,

“Oh, crap. I guess we’re doing this.”

So, we go to his website to learn how to do the 10 day juice cleanse that he recommends doing, but you had to enter an email and subscribe and set a start date and read instructions . . . Forget it. We figured, we get the idea. You just drink veggie and fruit juice for 10 days. What’s the big deal?

So we go to the market, buy a boatload of veggies and fruits, dusted off our Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juicer and got bizzy.

Day one we wake up and drink our first juice: spinach, carrot, ginger and green apple. No problem! A few hours later we make some more juice for a snack, then a few hours later, another juice for lunch. By 2:00 pm we both turned white and started to panic.

“Oh, my God I can’t do this! I’m freaking out!”

We ran to the computer and went to the Reboot website. Apparently, on the 10-day fast, you’re not supposed to just jump right into juicing. You’re supposed to acclimate your body by eating, yes, eating, vegetables and fruit for a few days before limiting yourself to only juice. Oh. Good to know. In fact, if we had read the website instead of just plunging ahead blindly, we would have seen some very helpful instructions and recipes to help us through.

We quickly made one of the recipes: a kale salad with balsamic vinaigrette, which under normal circumstances, I would not have touched with a ten foot fork. However, at this particular moment, it was the best thing I’d ever eaten.

I should probably mention that the night before we started juicing was Valentine’s Day and we had been out celebrating. Note to potential juice-fasters: do not drink a bottle of champagne, followed by brandy and chocolate the night before you decide to do a juice-fast.

From that point on, we followed the plan to the leafy green and, by day five, we were all liquid. I will admit, I did get hungry at times, throughout the day. The trick is to keep drinking water and coconut water and all the juices you’re allotted. Don’t allow yourself to get too hungry or you might start to panic.

One thing I hadn’t taken into account about drinking only juice for ten days, was all the things I would NOT be drinking. For example: caffeine. I mean, I’m not a caffeine addict or anything but if, on any given day, someone had told me that I had to give up coffee for ten days, I would have punched them in the face.

To my amazement, by day six, without a drop of caffeine in my system, I had more energy than I’d ever felt in my adult life. I couldn’t believe it. This just proved to me that all those excess toxins and preservatives and everything else I’d put into my body had really been bogging me down. Juicing is not only about cramming your body full of macronutrients. It’s also about cleansing out all the other crap that’s in there: toxins, preservatives, booze (sorry booze) and God knows what else.

By day 10, we both felt fantastic. So good, in fact that we might have kept going past the ten-day mark if not for a longstanding poker party that we’d been scheduled to attend for over a month. In other words, broke our juice-fast with beer, cocktail franks and potato chips. I don’t recommend that either.

But I will say this, watching Joe’s documentary, doing the ten- day fast, noticing the huge difference in the way food makes me feel has absolutely changed my life for good. I juice every day, I eat way more vegetables than ever before and I think about everything I put in my body.

So, if you want to try the experiment for yourself, watch the movie, go to Joe’s site, follow the instructions and, for the love of all that’s holy, don’t have champagne and chocolate the night before. You’re welcome.

P.S. If you want to watch Joe’s documentary for free, you can get a free Amazon Prime 30-day trial membership by clicking this here link: Join Amazon Prime – Watch Over 40,000 Movies (did I mention it’s free?)

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