I can do anything for one day, right? ~ By Adrienne Schroeder
June 20, 2013
Posted By: Shaunescy
Over the years I have read a lot about the benefits of fasting but I have never tried it myself.
Years ago my husband did the Master Cleanse for 10 days. You know the one where you just drink a (crazy) concoction of water with fresh lemons, cayenne pepper and maple syrup? 10 days! He works in construction and he stuck with it, which I couldn’t believe. When he talks about it now he says he felt great but I remember him being pretty grumpy and giving me the stink eye every time I sat down to eat a meal. It was a little intense for my taste.
However, I have always thought a short vegetable/fruit juice fast sounded like a good idea. Though, technically if you’re having veggie and fruit juices I believe it’s called a cleanse. A true fast is just water.
I’ve read it is good to give your digestive system a break once in a while.
And let’s face it, a lot of us don’t eat as well as we should as often as we’d like. A vegetable juice cleanse seems like a great way to hit the reset button and start fresh. Proponents of cleansing and fasting describe all sorts of wonderful things that happen to you such as: mental clarity (that would be great), clearer skin (here’s hoping), deeper sleep (maybe I’ll make my kids do it.) Just kidding.
Seriously, cleansing and fasting have been done for centuries to purify the mind and body and there are contemporary doctors who advocate supervised fasts to treat everything from allergies to cancer. Dr. Joel Fuhrman has written many books on diet and nutrition and is a big proponent of fasting to heal all kinds of ailments and diseases. There is a great article on fasting that includes a piece by Dr. Fuhrman at http://thesfile.com/health-fasting/
There is also an amazing documentary about juicing and fasting called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. You can stream it on Netflix and it’s totally worth your time.
You can see the trailer at http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com
Lucky for us, our very own Montana Harvest has made juicing and cleansing so easy and available that there’s really no excuse not to try it.
They offer a 3-day juice fast with three different blends of mostly veggies (apples are included in the blends too). Their blends are set up to keep blood sugar regulated, detox your liver, pancreas and kidneys and help cleanse your blood and renew your energy. They make a fresh 64 oz. batch for you to pick up in their store and you drink that throughout the day when you would have meals or snacks. It costs $30 for one day, which sounds like a lot at first but I have a juicer and I know what an enormous amount of produce you need to make just one glass of juice. I’m surprised by it every time. They are giving you 8, eight-ounce glasses of juice for the day and that much produce adds up. Not to mention, juicers are notoriously hard to clean. It’s why I don’t use mine more often. The fact that they handle all of that for you is huge. Plus the cleanses are meant to be done occasionally and occasionally I don’t mind spending $30.00 on my health. This is where I believe spending a little bit of money to be proactive with your health is better than spending a lot of money to go the doctor once you’re already sick.
You can try a cleanse for one, two or three days. They even said sometimes people drink their juice blend all day and then have a small salad and protein for dinner. It all sounded great to me so I jumped right in and said I would try a cleanse for one day. I mean, I can do anything for one day, right? Hahahahahaha.
It was harder than I thought, but it was still a great experience. First of all there’s no coffee or wine included in any juice cleanse. Sigh.
Again, I thought, I can do anything for a day. But here’s what happened…
I woke up to all three of my kids in bed with me. My 2 year old and my 5 year old were not only in the bed with me but both of them were on my pillow too. My 2 year old had his little arm around my neck in some kind of bear hug/head lock and my 5 year old was on the other side of me with her leg slung over my waist. I couldn’t move. It was like I was in toddler love jail, which most of the time melts my heart but this particular morning just gave me a huge crick in my neck. Suddenly my 2 year old woke up and started yelling that he wanted to get up and go downstairs. It was sunny out and I was terrified he was going to wake up my other two kids. He still takes naps but the other two don’t so if they get up too early they’re crabby the rest of the day. And it felt early. So I hurried him out of the bed and downstairs. That’s when I saw the clock: 5:50am! UGH! So I turned on the TV (don’t judge me) and crept back upstairs to try to sleep an extra 20 min. He was onto me though and about 3 minutes after I got back upstairs he started calling for me. I went to sit with him on the couch and reminded myself that this was the day of my cleanse. Montana Harvest opens at 9:00am and it would be at least 9:15 before they would have my juice ready. I started doing some early morning math and realized it would be 3 ½ hours or so before I would get to drink it. So in an effort for me to preserve my sanity, I decided to have a tiny cup of coffee. After all, my cleanse wouldn’t really start until 9:15am. How’s that for rationalizing? So I’m not the best faster in the world. Or maybe I just need more practice. That coffee made me really happy at 6:00am though…
At 9:15am I picked up the biggest mason jar I have ever seen full of a bright green juice. I hoped and prayed all the way to the car that it would taste good because there was so much of it! It was great though. It tasted fresh and healthy and not too overwhelming. Plus there was a decent amount of ginger in it, which gave it some zip.
I had a pint-sized glass of the juice blend and then a glass of water every couple of hours the rest of the day. The craziest thing was that I really wasn’t hungry. And I usually eat all day. I’m home with the kids cooking for them constantly as well as making things for my blog. I graze on food all day long and I think about food a lot. But I really wasn’t hungry. I was a little headache-y but I think that was because I didn’t have as much caffeine as usual. I also normally drink black tea during the day.
Around 4:30 or 5:00 is when I started to hit a wall. I started feeling a little tired but again, I think that had as much to do with me having less caffeine than with the cleanse. However, it was time for my kids to have dinner. Now, if I were staying at some resort and I could take a nap or go to a yoga class or just be alone I think it would be much easier for me to forget about food for a day and focus on my cleanse. But because I am perpetually making snacks and meals for my kids, by the end of the day I lost my mojo a little. I remembered they said sometimes people do the cleanse all day and have a small salad and protein for dinner so that’s what I did. And that was enough. Like I said, I really wasn’t that hungry. I missed the act of eating though, especially as I was cooking and smelling all the food I was making for my family.
But doing the cleanse during the day definitely made me more mindful when I did eat. There were a couple of times that afternoon when I stopped myself from grabbing a handful of the kids’ popcorn or crackers out of habit. And I did sleep really well that night. (Maybe I should cool it on the caffeine…)
I think for my first attempt at a cleanse I did ok. I would definitely do it again. It’s really not as scary or extreme as it sounds and it feels great to know you’re giving your body such an abundance of nutrients all day.
Juice Republic at Montana Harvest has a printed handout about the cleanse they offer, or you can just call them for more information at 585-3777.
Adrienne has a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Foundation and eCornell. You can check out her blog at www.theveggiehouse.com .