Monday, December 2, 2013

What I Learned From My 10-day Juice Fast

Last spring my husband got on this kick that we should juice.  Josh Hamilton, formerly an MVP Texas Ranger, showed up to Spring Training this year having lost 30 pounds by juicing.  David went out and bought a juicer and decided he was going to do this. Sometime after he bought the juicer he watched the movie Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.  I couldn't believe how many fruits and vegetables he was buying and how much "waste" there was after juicing.  Oh yeah, did I mention how much I hated the giant juicer sitting on the counter?

So, fast forward a few months.  At nearly 43, it's gotten so hard to lose weight, but super easy to put the weight on. I am always tired.  I had my thyroid tested a few months back because I was convinced it was out of whack.  No one else seems to be this tired!  All my blood work came back perfect.   Healthy as a horse. To be perfectly honest, I was somewhat disappointed.  I wanted a pill that would make me feel better.  No such luck.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago.  David suggested we do a 10-day juice fast.  I was totally uninterested.  Did I mention that I drink Diet Mountain Dew all day long? Don't judge.  Juicing scared me. Go without food? Seriously? For 10 days?

I was driving back from taking one of the kids to school thinking about it and decided  "What the heck! Nothing else is working. How bad can it be?" I texted David and told him I was in.

We decided to start our juice fast on Sunday.  Looking back, I was only half in.  I had already told a friend of mine that I would still be drinking my soda. I had no intention of giving that up!

We kicked things off Saturday night by watching Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. Wow.  If you haven't seen it, you should.  It was amazing.  I was motivated.  Like totally pumped.  I could do this!  If they could do it, I could do it too.  (It was like this for me with natural birth, too.)

What really got to me in the movie was all the excuses people made about why they couldn't/wouldn't do it. People who had serious health issues acted like their health was out of their control.  We saw a couple of people in the movie who got off all their medications as they "ate" well and lost weight.  And no one was drinking soda. They just drank fruit and vegetable juices.  They had more energy, had less headaches, and all reported feeling better.  I decided then and there that I would not make excuses.  I was anxious to put this to the test to see if I would feel better. I would not cheat at all.  I was committed.

Day 1 was not that bad until that evening.  I made a really disgusting juice so dinner was beyond depressing. Right around that time I started a headache. I hadn't had a soda for almost 24 hours, so it's amazing I hadn't had a headache yet.  Unfortunately, it lasted for over 12 hours and was the absolute worst headache I've ever had.  I assume it was from coming off the artificial sweetener and caffeine.  I'm not anxious to do that ever again.  So, perhaps the coolest thing that happened from this juice fast is that I got off my diet soda and that wasn't even my goal.

The headache was brutal though.  I took ibuprofen during the night and again in the morning.  By afternoon, it was gone and I never had another headache after that.

I got pretty good at making the juice.  Combining colors that match seemed to work pretty well.  For example:

Orange, red, or yellow pepper
Spinach (this goes in every juice no matter what)

Sometimes I added cranberries or grapefruit to that one.  If you do something really sour, it's imperative that you add something sweet. Grapefruit and cranberries in the same juice is delicious, but I had to be sure to add grapes or oranges too.

We were sure to have at least one green veggie juice every day. I discovered that broccoli juices up beautifully.  I was a little disappointed in that because I hate broccoli.  I must tell you though - it wasn't that bad!  I added green pepper, green apples, and some lemon to it and it was pretty good.

The most remarkable thing about juicing is that you really don't feel that hungry when you are juicing.  If you haven't done this before, you can't understand how this can be.  But your body is getting the nutrients it needs.  You are still full, just not from food.

I see my awesome chiropractor, Dr. Kristen Hosaka, every-other-week and at my visit during the juice fast, she said my body felt 50% better.  It was a different adjustment than usual, too.  My adrenal glands are always super tender when she presses on them and she's told me time and again that if I will drink more water and cut out the soda they will feel better.  She was right!  No tenderness!  She said that whatever I was doing, my body liked it!  That was a pretty big deal for me.

Ask my husband and he'll tell you that the phrase he hears most often from me is "I am so tired."  I didn't say it even once while I was juicing.  It was amazing.  David noticed it before I did.  I usually require a short nap every day, but I only had a couple of quick power naps (usually when I really wanted to eat something) in the 10 days.

Day 5 was by far the hardest day.  My neighbor brought over chili dogs with jalapenos and for some reason, that made me want to freak out, thus, I took a nap to get out of the kitchen and not have to think about it! That night we went to see the premiere of Catching Fire and that was also very difficult.  But I made it through without having anything but my juice.

I learned how strong I really am on that day.  I have control over my actions.  The pain of hunger and the desire to eat something yummy does pass.

David would joke quite frequently that he felt like his "stomach was eating itself" and I knew exactly how he felt!  It does pass though.  Having a buddy to juice with was huge. This would have been so much harder to do alone.

We ended our juice fast the day before Thanksgiving. We did great that day, but the rest of the holiday weekend was brutal.  We had company and yummy food all weekend long.  We felt more tired eating regular food.  David and I decided to go back to juicing breakfast and lunch and eating a sensible dinner.

Anyway, I had so many questions about juicing and it was such a great experience, I wanted to blog about it here.  It was honestly life-changing.  I learned a lot about myself.  The food we eat really does affect how we feel.  Oh yeah, I lost 8 pounds in the 10 days and David lost 16.  The weight loss was a bonus to feeling better, having more energy, and quitting soda.

That juicer?  It remains on the counter.


Marlene Dotterer said...

I'm giving you a HUGE congratulations for getting off the soda! That one thing will add years to your life. Learning to reduce calories will, too. Juicing is good for that. I also love how it immediately adds more veggies to your diet. I love vegetables, but even I don't eat enough.

We tried juicing, but always felt too full. It's hard to make a small amount, but I'm thinking of trying that. We've been using the calorie restriction diet by fasting two days a week. We have breakfast on those days but nothing else until the next morning. I've lost 25 pounds since April! My husband has dropped his fasting down to one day a week (and sometimes not even then). He didn't need to lose much weight, but me? Still have twenty pounds to go. I'm at a standstill, so I've upped the fasting to three days a week. The thing is, the lower your weight, the fewer calories you need to maintain it. So you always have to eat less as you lose weight. It can get ridiculous. The answer is more movement, EVERY DAY. It's really hard to increase movement, but I'm working on it. 'Cept for now, when I'm sitting in front of the computer!

Samantha said...

That sounds fantastic!!! I have never done a juice fast, but I've always heard great things. Congrats on losing 8 lbs, that's huge for any woman! I've asked my sweet hubby/Santa for a fancy new blender this year (mine is circa 1990...a little past it's prime) and I'm hoping to do something very similar to what you've done. I really want to incorporate more fruit and veg into my diet, and drinking it seems easy enough. I know I always feel better when I eat veggies, but sometimes a cold, wet salad just doesn't sound appealing. Perhaps I'll do better with fresh juices/smoothies? Thanks for sharing, it's such great motivation. After baby #2, those 15 pounds are just ridiculous, meh. I'd like to lose the weight before baby #3. Anyway, loved the post!

Jessica Repenning said...

Amazing. Michael and I want to do this 10 day fast. What are some good recipes that you liked? Or where did you find recipes? Michael is looking to lose a few pounds. I want to do it to feel better. I am tired all the time like you were and I have adrenal glad issues.

Lucas Moore said...

Juice fast can give you fast result. It is very good for the health too. It gives energy without calories which is the main reason of the fat.

Mangosteen Juice