Sunday, November 21, 2010
First off, I realize my heading should be titled "Juice Feasting Tips" since technically speaking, fasting is considered the absence of all forms of food and caloric liquids. In this blog post however, I am going to discuss using fresh vegetable juices to detox the body. Personally I just haven't quite taken to the tearm "Juice Feasting." It sounds like a Thanksgiving juice binge.
Before I delve into my juice fasting tips, I would like to discuss why I decided to embark on my own juice fast. For the past 4.5 years I been dealing with digestive issues which have led to chronic fatigue and overall feeling of "just feeling like total hell." I used to be an avid long-distance runner but since these digestive issues started, I haven't had enough energy to run much. During these past four years I have spent thousands of dollars and seen every type of healing professional you can imagine. I had one ND tell me, "You are one of the most perplexing cases we have every seen." Unfortunately she had no idea what was causing my digestive issues.
It's been a long healing journey to say the least. The root cause of these digestive issues is still a mystery. When my digestive issues began, I was taking Yasmin, which caused my body to become completely out out whack. Once I stopped taking Yasmin, a number of issues I was dealing with suddenly disappeared, except for the digestive issues. In taking a step back and looking at these digestive issues from a spiritual perspective, I think my illness was a wake-up call that I needed to make some much needed changes in my life.
After doing a lot of research on my own, I decided a juice fast may be my answer to healing my digestive issues. My goal is to give my gut a break from food so it can heal. I also wanted to slowly incorporate food into my diet after the juice fast in order to determine what foods are causing my body the most grief. Before starting this fast, my stomach was distended 24/7, even though I ate a very strict diet of only gluten-free grains, vegetables, and meat. My body had become sensitive to so many foods that these three food groups were the only ones that caused the *least* amount of problems.
With this background information about my reason for doing a juice fast, I would like to now offer some juice fasting tips. While I can imagine there are lots of tips to include, these are the most important tips I came across during my research.
1. Do your homework.
Before you embark on a juice fast, I strongly recommend you read different books written by qualified who have extensive experience with fast. One of the best books I read on fastingdetoxing was Dr. Roni DeLuz's book "21 Pounds in 21 Day "21 s." Here is Dr. DeLuz's website: http://mvdietdetox.com/. While the title of this book focuses on weight loss, I found the book to be more about making permanent lifestyle changes after the fast. Also, since Dr. DeLuz healed her own body through fasting and she is an ND, I found her to be a credible source on fasting. If you have the financial means, you can partake in fasting at her detox retreat on Martha's Vineyard. Another good book I recommend is "Juicing, Fasting, and Detoxing for Life" by Cherie Calbom. As in the case with Dr. DeLuz, Cherie Calbom also healed her own body through fasting. She also has a Master's in Nutrition from Bastry University in in Seattle.
A good website to review is: http://www.juicefasting.org/
If you want to complete a successful juice fast, it is imperative that you are well-educated about the juice fasting process. One of the most important points I learned is to ensure you drink enough juice throughout the day. Since I am working while doing my juice fast, I had to remember to bring enough juice for a full day at work. If you don't have juice on hand, you enter what Dr. DeLuz's calls the "Danger Zone." One enters this zone when hunger sets in and you want to eat everything in site and then some. If you have juice on hand, you can quickly drink your juice and your hunger will be satisfied.
2. Consult with an ND or MD before starting a fast.
For some individuals with certain health conditions, fasting may not be appropriate. At the same time, fasting is sometimes the only cure for people with health conditions. I read one account after another of people healing their bodies after doctors have told them they would never regain their health.
Since not all "traditional" MDs are supportive of fasting, it is important that you find an MD or ND that has experience with fasting and is willing to be supportive of your fasting efforts.
3. Don't fast just to lose weight.
While weight loss can be one the reasons for wanting to fast, it shouldn't be the main reason for fasting. The reason is because fasting then turns into a superficial means of losing weight quickly. People will do a fast, drop weight, and then resume to their old ways of eating. The result: all the weight, and maybe even more, is gained back. When you embark on a fast, it is a spiritual, emotional, and physical journey that can be life changing. Some of the reasons should want to fast are:
*Healing the body of illness/disease
*Greater mental clarity
*Closer connection to the universe/god/your authentic self/etc...
*Total body detox
*Increased energy and vitality
*A means to transition into a healthier diet
4. Make sure toxins are being eliminated during your fast
A friend of mine did the Master Cleanse and she felt like hell the whole 7 days (she opted not to do the full 10 day Master Cleanse) because her body was reabsorbing the toxins it was releasing. During a fast, toxins can be rapidly released, which can cause us to feel "sick" if our body isn't able to eliminate these toxins quickly enough. As a means of keeping the colon clean, one should do enemas and colonics during the fast. Dr. DeLuz discusses these two procedures in "21 Pounds in 21 Days." If you are unable or unwilling to do colonics and/or enemas, the next alternative would be to drink a laxative tea such as Smooth Move, along with fiber and bentonite clay. The tea will help stimulate the bowels and the fiber and clay will ensure the toxins are moving out of the body instead of being reabsorbed.
5. Fast at an ideal time in your life
In order to fast properly you need time to prepare your juices daily, rest if needed, and allow yourself space to deal with emotions that may come up during the fast. If your work schedule is chaotic or you are dealing with lots of personal issues, it may not be the best time to fast. Since my work schedule is very flexible right now and my personal life is stable, I have found this to be an ideal time for me to fast. There are days when I feel like a superstar on speed and I have tons of energy to workout and go on about my life as usual. On other days however, the life is sucked out of me and I just need to allow my body to rest. During a fast you never know what may come up for you so it is important your schedule isn't overly demanding.
For those of you suffering from health issues that don't seem to go away no matter what you have tried, juice fasting may be your answer. What gave me hope was all the accounts of people I read about who have healed their bodies through fasting. If you feel called to fast, I wish you the best of luck on your fasting journey.
Here's to vibrant health!
Colleen Canney is a Wellness Coach based in Seattle, WA. For more information on Colleen, please visit her website at www.colleencanney.com. To schedule a FREE consultation with Colleen, please contact her at email@example.com.