And the experiment continues ...
I've been trying to find solid information about this whole business of cleansing and detoxing (particularly through fasting), and I can't find much that's useful. The usual suspects tell their usual stories: conventional medicine finds fasting dangerous and counterproductive and insists that our bodies regularly do all the detoxifying that's necessary, while alternative medicine lauds the idea of giving our bodies a good flushing out of all the toxins that supposedly build up.
As someone who's extremely skeptical of conventional medical voices, I'm not really scared by their dire warnings. Yes, on a fast one will not get proper nutrition insofar as there's not much protein, fat, or calcium intake, but for 10 days, I doubt that this matters much. No, fasting isn't for everyone. No, it's not something I think one should undertake for a long period of time (as in Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead) without supervision. The trouble is, where is this supervision to come from? Most conventional doctors will be against the whole idea and won't lend any support to such an undertaking.
It's true, too, that much of the weight loss with fasting is due to water loss. This is probably one reason for the advice to drink lots of water on the fast. (I know I've been losing water like crazy.) Conventional medicine warns also that on a fast, it's not fat that's lost, but "precious muscle." Really? On just a 10-day fast? I'm skeptical. Yes, for longer periods, that would be a concern, but for a short period? I've got quite a bit of fat for my body to draw on before it starts taking muscle.
I also understand that juice fasting isn't a good way to lose weight, especially for those who really need a long-term change in diet and in attitudes toward food. For me, doing a fast was a way to break out of a bad pattern of drinking alcohol nearly every day and occasionally bingeing on food. I never used to binge, but over the past couple of years have found myself doing so from time to time due to stress. I think that sometimes an interruption in one's usual routine is useful just to disrupt those patterns.
On the other hand, alternative medicine comes up short regarding scientific evidence for its claims. It's easy for people to believe they need to detoxify, given all the crap most of us ingest on a daily basis, not to mention pollutants and so on. But where's the scientific evidence? I will continue to Google but so far I've had no success finding evidence. Still, while it's true that the liver, kidneys, etc. are made for detoxifying the body, maybe if the body is overloaded these organs could use a little help. But again, where's the evidence?
One thing's for sure: a juice fast gets lots of veggies and fruit into a person. And that can make you aware of just what you've been missing, as well as the variety of produce out there. For me, the juicer means I'll be drinking fresh, not packaged (and pasteurized) juices. I can also see my having a green drink for lunch after I'm off the fast. These are things I'd not considered before my experiment, and they will be unquestionably healthy changes.
So I'm continuing, regardless of the argument over the usefulness of a juice fast.
Right now I'm sipping a glass of orange-carrot-beet juice. What a great way to get your veggies! Sure, I know we need the fiber, too, but it's nice to get the vitamins and phytonutrients so easily and with so little bulk. It can be a challenge to get as many veggies as we should, and this sure is an easy way to do it. And there is some soluble fiber even in the juices.
Yesterday James mentioned that it was strange not to have our usual routine around meals--his coming home to see me at the stove preparing dinner and so on. And I told him I missed cooking, too. He's been eating leftovers (the first couple of days) and simple things like salads with boiled egg and, last night, a quesadilla and refried beans that I made for him. I keep asking him what he'd like me to cook for the rest of the fast, and he keeps telling me he'll think about it. Sigh.
All in all, I haven't been suffering (I'm terrible at suffering. I avoid it). I'm sleeping okay (for me), I'm not having cravings, and I'm having fun trying out different combinations in the juicer. James tastes any I make if he's around, and even if they taste a bit out of the ordinary, says, "None of these has been bad."
- apple, pear, cherry, and a handful of leftover blueberries
- Green Lemonade (apple, spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, lemon)
- Salsa in a Glass (see Day Two)
- All Green (lettuce, kale, spinach, parsley, celery, lemon, ginger)
Next time I'll add fresh mint to the Green Lemonade. I added half a green bell pepper to the "lemonade" and also to the Salsa in a Glass. Nice addition to both, although I should have increased the amount of tomato in the Salsa.
Time to go shopping for produce. This time I'm planning on some fruits I never buy, like mangos and papayas, to try out for breakfast juices. And I'll need two bags of Granny Smiths, not just one.
Till tomorrow ...
[cross posted on View from the Loft}