The only time is right now, so thank you for using your ‘right now’ by visiting my blog. I want to talk a little more about juice fasting. I’ve been getting a lot of questions asking how long one should go for, if they should even do a juice fast at all, if there is some sort of modified fast to do, or if there is some sort of transition diet that can be done instead.
I want to make it abundantly clear that juice fasting is not a way of life. This is just something we do on occasion temporarily in order for our bodies to heal and to prepare us for a better way of living. Of course, I can go on and on about the benefits, and perhaps I’m due for another “Reason why?” blog, but I digress. Fasting and detoxing can be our greatest teacher. It was for me. It set me on a path that I never thought I would be on. Almost two years ago I came across juicing, and my life changed in every aspect. I’m not blowing smoke either when I say that.
But how long should I go for? Is it right for me? How can I go that long without protein? First off, I think everyone should try it for a number of reasons. Some people may need to modify their fasts due to the condition of their bodies and how severe their health conditions are, but most of us don’t need to worry about modifications. Secondly, rest assured, if you go on a juice fast, and you properly follow the directions of the protocol, you will be getting PLENTY of protein. I encourage exercise while doing a juice fast. If protein were an issue, then I wouldn’t be pushing people to get out and exercise, lift weights, practice yoga, or move the body in any way. The body needs carbs more than anything, and we are providing the body with pure carbohydrates, glucose, and fructose. The body’s main fuel source is glucose, so we are giving it exactly what it needs.
The protein propaganda that has been circulating nutrition and fitness circles is just what it is: propaganda. An agenda being pushed for the masses to consume more animal products to meet their protein needs. We don’t need to be eating 1.5x our body weight in grams of protein to gain muscle. That’s just silly and misguided, as well as severely damaging to the kidneys. If someone has a kidney infection or nephritis, part of the diagnosis and treatment plan is to cut meat out of their diet. Logically speaking, why would we overeat meat in the first place? Remove the cause, and there will be no symptoms. The protein conundrum can be broken down quite simply as a matter of fact. Does a body builder need more protein, proportionally, in comparison to a growing infant? Now, I said proportionally, not in totality. A growing infant, for 6-12 months, is consuming nothing but mother’s milk, which is made up of 7% protein. In turn, their diet consists of 7% protein.
Therefore, if we aim for 10% protein, we have a nice safety set built in there for our protein needs. The 20-30% macro protein recommendation of most fitness circles is unnecessary and wrong. We may not feel the effects of overeating protein for a while, but those effects will come, nonetheless.
Now that we got the protein question out of the way, there are a few options when it comes to fasts. The most common that we hear about from most health food stores and juice bars is a program of three days. Personally, I think that three days is pretty much a waste of time. Having said that, it’s still better than whatever else you could be doing as far as eating is concerned. However, I always suggest that if you’re going to jump on a detox program you should push for at least 7-10 days.
The first three days tend to be the most challenging, especially if you’re a big coffee drinker. Cravings will be at an all-time high, and the coffee headaches will kick in. If people do end up quitting a fast, it’s usually on day one or two. It’s important to push through those initial tough days. We won’t typically see any “results” until day 4 or 5, which is when the energy boost kicks in. At the end of week one is when we really start to notice the elephant in the room: “I’ve consumed nothing but juice, yet I’m still pooping solid.” We also see a significant weight loss by the end of that first week, which will be anywhere from 5-10 pounds. That 5-10 pounds is a number of things. It’s retained water and acid buildup that we are getting rid of, and it’s the relatively new food that’s been stuck in our intestines.
Everybody’s level of damage and needs for healing are different, of course. I would say the longer you can go for your fast, the better. We have to understand that our bodies need this more than ever. Detoxing is essential. No matter what state of health you’re in. We don’t realize the toxins that we are consuming on a daily basis, whether exogenous or endogenous (outside of us or inside of us). I plan on doing a 30 day juice fast once a year. I’ve yet to ‘go the distance’, which means go until you stop pooping solid. I haven’t had the time to do that, but I plan on doing it sometime in the next year.
If we can’t go the distance or do 30 days, then we should aim for minimum 7-10 days. Weeks 2-3 we will start seeing mucus coming out of us. Our sleep improves dramatically. Our mental clarity and efficiency increases. We continue to lose weight healthily through cleaning out our colon and small intestines. Weeks 4-5 are when the magic really starts happening. It’s been month without solid food. Our brain is running on pure glucose. Our muscles are getting their fill from carbohydrates, so our workouts are more fulfilling. We start to crave real fuel from fruits and vegetables. The old foods don’t look or sound as good anymore. We start to appreciate the fuel, which is what food is, that we put into our bodies, rather than the comfort food we love so much. We start to break and rebuild that love bond we have with food. We create a better relationship with our fuel source. Our biophotons levels are rising, which is the coherent sunlight energy stored in the nucleus of all living things, so we then start to feel more vibrant and connected to our surroundings. It’s magical.
The habit police say that day 21 is the magic number when it comes to creating a good habit or a bad habit. If you don’t want to go for a month, then go for 21 days. As I said before, the longer you go the better it’s going to be for you.
But what about other types of fasts and detox plans? Well, I recommend grape fasting, water fasting, dry fasting, and intermittent fasting. We could also do a modified juice fast as well. An example of that would be juices for breakfast and lunch, and then a healthy dinner. This won’t have nearly the benefits of a normal fast, but it’s better than not doing it at all. Some people like to have dinner with their families, but they still want to reap the benefits of juicing. This would be an example of that. If you’re going on a water or a dry fast, I recommend doing the necessary research and perhaps be under the supervision of a qualified practitioner who specializes in water fasting and retreats.
In regard to smoothies and fasting, I don’t think it’ll do too much. Of course, you’re still consuming an increased amount of produce, and any addition of produce to your lifestyle I’m in full support of. Getting results from smoothie diets is a lot harder. Plus, the fiber is still in there. Our body still needs to do work to process the fiber. I’m well aware the importance of fiber, which is why I like to make it clear that a juice fast is only temporary. You’re consuming anywhere from 10-20 pounds of produce in a given day, and it’s pretty awesome to see that as you’re doing your prep in the kitchen.
In conclusion, I would say go as long as you are able to. Aim for 7-10 days minimum. Those first three days are when your body is offloading toxins into the bloodstream for excretion. This is the time that grit and perseverance is needed most. If we break a fast during that initial detox phase, we halt the healing process, so it doesn’t make sense to stop at day 3. Our kidneys may be overworked initially, but after those first three days we will start to see some benefits. This past detox I went for 30 days of juices, then 30 days raw, and I saw incredible results. If we don’t think we can commit to juice fast of at least 7-10 days, then would say start out with a transition program of proper food combining high in fruits and salads or a grape fast. Either way, I recommend incorporating juicing into your regimen. Grab a nice juicer, so when you’re ready and motivated for a fast you can jump on. The Green Star Elite, Omega J8006 and the Aicok are my main three recommendations.
Everyone can benefit from juicing, whether you’re athletic, lean and ripped, sedentary, or overweight. We all have gunk inside of us that needs to get out. There is always room for healing, whether we can feel it or not. Hopefully, this blog post provides some insight on the duration that makes sense for you. If we can’t jump on an extended fast, that’s fine, we can work towards it eventually. Start out with a week or so to get the feel of what to expect. Feel free to contact me on my social media or my contact form here if you have any questions. Once again, thank you for using your ‘right now’ by visiting my blog.