Tonight is my start of a 3-day juice fast. I’ve been doing juice fasts 2-3 times a year for the past few years and find that they help to cleanse and reboot my system. I’ve also found that they are very beneficial in getting me back on track with eating better when my strong habit energy of consuming too many sugary foods sends me off balance (as in my tendency).
I’ve tried other types of fasting in the past and have found that my body responds the best with juice fasts. I have a great Champion Juicer that a good friend lent me years ago and hasn’t needed back yet which I’ve been using happily. To do a juice fast you need a juicer that can separate out the juice and the pulp most efficiently.
In the interest of time and energy I only prepare juice once a day, rather than making individual fresh juice for each meal and snack. So I make a big batch of veggie juice and a big batch of fruit juice at the start of the day (although I made them up tonight for tomorrow since I started my fast tonight) so that I am not having to prepare produce and clean the machine multiple times a day. I read in a juicing book long ago that it’s best not to mix fruits and veggies in the same juice while fasting (due to how they are digested) so I keep them in separate juices and alternate between them during the day.
One of the drawbacks of juice fasting is that while it seems like it should be an inexpensive way to consume nutrition it isn’t, at least not when buying organic produce. Replacing meals with organic juice will cost more than eating regular food. But for me the benefits outweigh the cost increase, especially when I only juice for 3 days twice a year. Today I bought organic produce for what I think should last me two days for around $50.00.
For my vegetable juice I used: 1/2 head of red cabbage, 2 beets, 1 green pepper, 3 tomatoes, 2 cucumber, 5 celery, and 7 carrots which made a little less than a 1/2 gallon of juice. I then added some water to fill up the juice container to a little over a 1/2 gallon.
For my fruit juice I used: 3 oranges, 4 pears, and 4 apples which made about 1 1/2 quarts. Sometimes I’ll add a little water to the fruit juice to make it stretch further and sometimes I leave it as is.
Eating well is a practice that I struggle with. I’m a vegetarian and I love veggies and fruit and cook wholesome nutritious dinners for myself and family most nights but during the day I either don’t eat or eat sugar laden foods and then at night I’m a big snacker before bed of chips or more sugary food. So oftentimes my balance is way off. Juice fasting for me is sort of like going on a meditation retreat in that it helps to water skillful seeds in a more concentrated fashion.
The more I do anything the more I keep doing it, whether skillful or unskillful. Juice fasting helps me to break the sugar cycle and habit energy of eating poorly. Eventually the benefits of the fast wear off, as is natural, and I return back to my sugary ways but every step I take towards more mindful eating waters my capacity and ability for transformation. Old habits don’t change over night – they change with diligent movement forward little by little. Thank you, dear friends, for traveling alongside of me.