Updated: Jan 12, 2021
Alright, it makes a few years now that there is a lot of hype and emphasis on the importance of "juicing", so why is this, and what is it all about?
Well, for starters, it is not just another health "fad" like some may think. Juicing is a very real addition to many people's diets today, as health issues have been on the rise for decades now. I can definitely speak from personal experience, and attest to the powerful benefits of juicing for maintaining health and healing illness.
"Clean the environment where your cells bathe in" - Jason Vale
Well, as I sit here on Day 3 of my 7-day juice fast, I realize there is no better time to talk about fasting for healing! There are different kinds of fasts that can be done, however the only kind I personally ever do is juice-fasting. The abundance of nutrients that come from organic fresh vegetables and fruits are very nourishing and cleansing for our bodies. Loading the body with lots of water, minerals, vitamins and enzymes in general, even if not on a fast, is essential!
The idea behind juicing, is to allow a maximal amount of vital nutrients to enter the body in its most bioavailable form without any taxation from your digestive system to attain them. The body doesn't have to work to break down whole foods to achieve that nutrition, therefore ensuring nourishment on a cellular level with the least amount of effort from your body. Something we all need in this day and age, with the amount of continual taxation our bodies go through.
The constant chemical burden of environmental toxins, detrimental pharmaceuticals, and today's nutrient-depleted soils and conventional foods, makes incorporating the juicing of ORGANIC produce into your lifestyle, a must. In my opinion, it is one of the most positively impactful ways to keep on top of this chemical overload our bodies are perpetually exposed to.
Our bodies can only do so much to combat this very chemical world, as they were not designed to deal with these kinds of man-made synthetics. When we look around, we have seen the slow degradation of our species as humans. With skyrocketing signs of pre-mature aging, infertility, birth defects and complications, allergies and diseases galore, we need all the help we can get!
There is something majorly wrong with the system and how we, the population, are choosing to live, eat and care for ourselves. Taking care of our internal systems, making the effort and consciously choosing what we do actually have control of exposing our minds and bodies to, goes a long way! Every little bit counts towards the bigger movement.
I am a huge advocate for juicing, as it feeds our bodies countless quality nutrients allowing it to then rid many accumulative toxins out. With that being said, I will also mention that juicing and consuming lots of vegetation is always most beneficial when done in the summer time if you live in a cold climate, as consuming local natively grown seasonal produce is always best for our bodies.
When living in a place that experiences four seasons or harsh winters, it is best to eat natively grown food available during each of the seasons, as reaching homeostasis is best achieved when adhering to our environment and what it can naturally provide. We require different nutrients at different times of the year, think ancestral living!
Now, I have personally been juicing for over 10 years now, having also done a few fasts over the years to help my body overcome certain illnesses. When it comes to juice-fasting, there is a lot to know however, to make sure you are doing it properly and ultimately benefiting your body.
Here is what everyone needs to know about it…
First, fasting is not for everyone, and depending on which health conditions you have going on, you want to make sure a fast of any kind is right for you. You should always consult with your holistic healthcare practitioner before ever deciding to start one.
The protocol will vary depending on each individual's case and circumstance, so it is crucial to be properly informed on how to go about it for your particular situation and health goals. I will just be sharing the basic information people should know before doing a fast, as there are many unpleasant symptoms that can arise during the cleansing process.
When juice-fasting, digestion (one of the main thieves of our vital energy) goes into "hibernation". Much like when we are sleeping, our bodies have all that energy now to focus on cleansing out toxins and repairing the body. We are ultimately repairing all day and night instead of just nighttime, eliminating far more impurities within. This allows for ultimate healing much more quickly.
The thing is, this process of eliminating needs to be taken slowly, as purging too many toxins too quickly into the bloodstream can cause a whole host of negative symptoms leaving you feeling very ill. Depending on your body's chemical burden to begin with, this can happen more easily for some than others. When done properly, this elimination is very beneficial to your body and relieves it greatly from years of accumulative toxin-overload.
1-YOU MUST CLEANSE PRIOR.
This is really important in making sure your body goes through the fasting process as smoothly as possible. Depending on where you are at health-wise before beginning the fast, you want to make sure you clean up your diet and body somewhat before doing this more vigorous cleanse. Anywhere from a week to a month depending on the person and their health, should be sufficient.
You should switch to a wholefoods diet, eliminating all vices and unhealthy processed foods and beverages you presently consume. Loading up on wholesome food and allowing your body to rid toxins slowly in advance, is a must before beginning any fast.
2- YOU MUST DRINK ADEQUATELY!
An abundance of quality liquids is key, and never consume any unhealthy beverages (commercial juices, coffee, alcohol, energy drinks etc.) You should only consume a variety of fresh-pressed organic vegetable and fruit juices (80% vegetable 20% fruit) and incorporate kefirs, kombuchas, pure coconut water, homemade vegetable/bone broths, various homemade teas and lots of fresh lemon water, as well.
3- ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!
How much you need to drink will depend on you and your body. Some days you will find you need more, and some days perhaps less. Some days you will need to rest more than others.
You may have an idea of how long of a fast you want to do, (such as the "7-day" one I am currently doing), however I know as well as I want you to, that it is our bodies that dictate how long we can do. Only ever prolong a fast you are feeling great on, and never push your body for longer when it is strongly speaking otherwise to you.
4- NORMAL SYMPTOMS VS ABNORMAL ONES!
In general, detox doesn't feel great the first few days for most people, this is all normal to the process. Things like headaches, bloating, hot/cold chills, brain fog, fatigue etc.. are all typical symptoms that can arise.
However, severe symptoms such as massive migraines, shaking/tremors, complete exhaustion, blood sugar crashes or vomiting or fainting, are signs you may be experiencing "Herxheimer reaction" and releasing too many toxins too rapidly for the body to cope with properly.
Don't panic if you are beginning to experience some more severe symptoms, you must then just slow down your detox. You should start to drink a lot more water and slow down your juice consumption, eliminating heavy detoxifying vegetables from your juices-(onions, garlic, leafy greens, beets, etc.) Stick with more gently cleansing ones for the next little while- (cucumber, lemon, zucchini, celery etc.)
If this doesn't work and you are continuing to experience very severe symptoms, you can always break your fast at any time and it should simmer them immediately. It has happened to me that I made a very potent detox juice once on my first 14-day fast, and it threw me into a reaction where I felt I was about to faint. I drank water immediately and it passed quickly.
Needless to say, I learned not to do that again and continued on my fast without any further scary symptoms. You can always slow your detox by drinking far more water, altering your juices and worst case just breaking your fast with a fruit or vegetable, if symptoms persist.
5- BREAKING YOUR FAST PROPERLY!
Now, the "re-feeding" process is in fact a process! It is important to recognize that your digestion has been "sleeping" for however many days or weeks that you've been fasting now, so you must carefully wake it up! When it is time to break your fast you will know. Usually for me, sudden huge hunger pangs I can't ignore take over, and I just know that day is the day. For some, it could be blood sugar related issues that arise, so either way, always listen to your body.
Now, no matter how starving you may suddenly feel, you must start by consuming a simple fruit such as an apple or avocado. Eat slowly, chew well and wait at least an hour or two before eating again. Eat very light and small portions every few hours the first day.
Don't bombard your gut with heavy food to breakdown no matter how much you may want to! Continue eating light for the first 2 days, eating very nourishing and cleansing foods of course. After that you may resume a more varied diet, slowly incorporating denser foods.
Now, with all of that said, I will reiterate that cleansing or juice-fasting is not some fad, crash-diet or something to be taken lightly. For anyone who is looking for a simple weight-loss silver bullet solution, this is not it.
The process of truly cleansing to heal your body is a mind-set and belief system, that requires commitment to continuing a healthy lifestyle afterwards. It is effort and workload for your body to now attempt to cleanse itself from the years of impurities that have burdened it.
Allowing it to begin this clean-up, just to shock it back with a toxic lifestyle right after, is not a good or healthy thing. It is just simply pointless to do a fast in that case, and can in fact cause your body more harm when yo-yoing back and forth from healing lifestyle choices to toxic ones.
If you are not fully committed to making true lifestyle changes long-term, I would hold off on attempting any prolonged fasts until you are.
If anyone needs any further information on juicing, fasting or making healthier lifestyle choices, please don't hesitate to reach out to me!