To make a long story short (or shorter, in any case), I ended the juice fast early. I did it for 7 days instead of 10.
(My reasons for discontinuing the daily blogging of the fast had nothing to do with becoming disenchanted with the fast or fearing that I wouldn't finish the ten days. Let's just say that sometimes life hands you a rough patch.)
The morning of Day Eight, I realized that I didn't want to continue, so . . . I didn't. I'd read, and heard, that the first few days were the hardest, but that wasn't true for me. The first few days were really easy, and at the halfway mark, I was confident that it would be a breeze to finish the 10 days.
What happened was that I craved protein and carbs. My first foods off the fast were a boiled egg and a bunch of peanut butter-spread saltines. My daughter laughed when I told her what I'd eaten after deciding to ditch the fast. "It figures" was what she said (more or less).
I have no regrets about starting the fast or about quitting early. I will do a juice fast again, because it really was good for me. I felt good while fasting, and I looked good. In the meanwhile, I'll be juicing regularly as part of my usual eating habits. And I do think that making an extreme departure from one's usual eating habits can kick-start a healthier way of eating--for some people, anyway.
What I learned on the fast:
- It's really important to put the pitcher at the end of the spout where the juice comes out of the machine. If you forget (say early in the morning when you're a little groggy), it's messy.
- If you're going to go off caffeine, do it before you start the fast itself. I had to do it gradually because of vicious caffeine-withdrawal headaches. Take that possibility into consideration.
- Mean Green is not only palatable, it grows on you, especially if you tamper a little with the ingredient amounts and add a pinch of salt. Who knew liquefied kale could be so tasty?
- In fact, vegetable juices overall are really underrated. They don't get the respect they deserve. I know that I used to be revolted by the very idea of carrot juice. I was an idiot. Raw juices are delicious and you can practically feel the vitality pouring into your body.
- But overcoming the strangeness of smelling beets or spinach in your glass might take a little time. Stay with it, because you'll get over it.
- A juice fast will not leave you weak, tired, and hungry. At least it didn't leave me that way.
- A juice fast will have you trying fruits and veggies you may never have tried before. And that's a good thing.
- I started to crave protein around the end of Day Six. Not sure I can overcome that in future fasts. This is just my experience; I'm sure every experience with a juice fast is different. And I don't think omitting protein for the length of a brief fast has any ill effects. I'm talking about cravings only, not malnutrition.
- I'm definitely not consigning the juicer to the basement or the closet. I love the raw juices and will continue to use the juicer. I've got a great track record when it comes to actually using the kitchen gadgets I buy, and this will be no exception.
- A macerating juicer (the kind my daughter has) really is better than a centrifugal one (mine). However, for the money, I'm not sorry about my choice of juicer. Previously, the price of juicers only added to my reluctance to try the whole juicing thing. I may trade up in the future, though.
- Having a compost pile is a great idea if you're going to juice regularly. Lots of trimmings, plus lots of pulp. Why let it go to waste?
So, if you've got the means, I'd really recommend juicing and a juice fast of whatever length. If you can afford it, juicing will ensure that you get the veggies your body needs (and probably craves, if you're eating the SAD [standard American diet] way). Vitamin supplements are all very well, and I take them myself, but they can't replace actual plants with all their micronutrients.
If you decide to take the plunge, I'd love to hear about your own experience. You can also join the Reboot Your Life community and see what others have to say, as well as check out what it's all about.
[cross-posted to You Are What You Eat]