Know what I love? A good sale.
A few weeks ago, a dangerous little email from The Bay popped up in my inbox: it kindly informed me that they were having a sale on all “small kitchen appliances.” I’m such a sucker… less than 12 hours later, I was unpacking my new Breville Juice Fountain Plus:
It’s really easy to use, and makes quick work of just about any fruit or veggie — I was amazed to see the amount of juice it extracted from a beet and a sweet potato! Now, I don’t have a dishwasher, so cleanup is slightly annoying, but it’s really only a few parts to clean (I try and make sure I clean it RIGHT after using it).
Then, I made the mistake of watching “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” (a documentary that basically explores the crap we put into our bodies, and how it makes us feel). Next thing I knew, I was starting my own “reboot” (aka juice fast). Yep, for 10 days straight, all I would drink is fresh juice. The idea is that you can drastically increase your fruit and vegetable intake by consuming fresh fruit and vegetable juices, rather than trying to consume the same volume of fruits and vegetables in their whole state.
How does it work? Well, according to the filmmaker’s website: “Juicing removes the insoluble fiber from vegetables and fruits. While fiber is an established, important part of an overall healthy diet, removing the insoluble fiber allows for increased absorption of specific health promoting phytonutrients including enzymes, while the soluble fiber persists into the juice. By removing the fibers and consuming fruits and vegetables in liquid form, we are providing a nutrient delivery system to our bodies that allows individuals who would otherwise have difficulty consuming whole vegetables, the opportunity to reap the numerous benefits vegetables have to offer.”
K, listen: I’m not sure about all the science-y mumbo jumbo, and it seems that there are plenty of people out there who don’t think juicing is really all that great for you… All I know is that I hadn’t been feeling the greatest pre-reboot: I was usually pretty tired and I felt full, even if I hadn’t eaten recently. Anyone who knows me, or who has read my blog before, knows that I love food. So taking a break from food wasn’t a decision I took lightly. But I decided to give it a whirl.
On the site I posted above, there are some great free plans for doing a juice fast (they call them “reboots” — whatever). I decided to try the 15-day juice plus plan (which meant the first five days, you start weaning yourself off of certain foods, and by the 6th day, you’re just consuming fresh juices, water, herbal tea, etc…). The plan actually provides you with a daily “meal plan” (though I guess it would be more accurate to call it a daily juice plan?) and even a shopping list for the next 10 days (broken into 5 day chunks, which is smart, considering you want your produce to be as fresh as possible).
Here’s what my fridge looked like after I hit Dave’s Fruit & Vegetable Market:
I kind of figure that any “diet” that makes your fridge looks like that can’t be all that bad for you!
I’m currently on day 8 of my 10-day fast, and it’s actually going pretty well! Every morning, I make and pack my breakfast, lunch and snack juices to take to work. I find I feel hungry only at night (around suppertime), and am craving odd foods (mainly sources of protein and fats, like tuna, steak and avocado). I must admit that I’ve caved more than once and eaten a half an avocado at those times… I also have cheated and had a coffee on the odd day (Starbucks habits are the hardest to break). Other than that, though, it’s been juices only for me!
How do I feel? Well, I do miss food. I also have a newfound realization that we are constantly surrounded by food: through every form of advertisement, restaurants, magazines, everything! If you’re trying not to be reminded of food, it’s very tough to get away from.
On the plus side, I have a surprising amount of energy! I thought I would be tired, but I’m not! I’m lost 7 pounds and I’m also sleeping really well… It’s kind of odd, but my nails seem stronger and my skin feels nice, too! Maybe I’m just reading a lot into this whole juice fast thing, though…
Don’t worry, I don’t plan to do this juice fast indefinitely. I think a more reasonable, long-term approach is to substitute juices for some meals or snacks on a regular basis, especially when I’m starting to feel run down, or like I’m about to get sick.