By juice fasting, we flush toxins from our body, rejuvenate the cells and tissues, give our digestive system a break, and free up the energy that was being used for processing heavy foods. This free energy boosts our mental clarity, helps us to feel more vibrant, and promotes health and happiness. In the June 2014 edition of Cell Stem Cell, a study, Prolonged Fasting Reduces IGF-1/PKA to Promote Hematopoietic-Stem-Cell-Based Regeneration and Reverse Immunosuppression, found that, “Fasting 'flips a regenerative switch' which prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells, essentially regenerating the entire immune system.” After only three days of fasting, study participants had reversed immune suppression and boosted their immunity. By fasting, we not only elevate our mood, we also strengthen our immune system.
To complete a juice fast, it is required that you only drink liquids for the set period of time you devote to your fast. To do so, you will need a juicer, plenty of organic fruits and vegetables, lots of distilled water, patience, and discipline. When you juice fruits and vegetables, the fiber is removed. Because we expend around seventy percent of our energy in a regular day digesting food, by drinking only the liquid – which contains the organic hydration, nutrients, vitamins and enzymes – we give our bodies the opportunity to direct energy towards deep cleansing and eliminating acidic waste, plaque, and other toxins we may be storing. While fiber is definitely important in our diet, going without it for this short period of time will benefit us as we spend less energy on digestion.
“Infirmity and sickness, at any age, is the direct result of loading up the body with food which contains no vitality, and at the same time allowing the intestines to remain loaded with waste matter.” – Dr. Norman Walker , Inventor of juicing
If this is your first time fasting, I suggest that you start with a three day juice fast. Even for a three day fast, this will require about five days of eating differently. On the first day, you begin by eating only raw fruits and vegetables. Day two is the first day of juicing, and this requires that you drink only liquids until day five. On the fifth day, you can again eat a simple combination of organic raw fruits and vegetables. By starting off with a three day fast, you avoid shocking your body, and prepare your body to enter the cleansing cycle safely. As you gain the discipline and experience you need to feel more confident about fasting, you can try longer cleanses, such as two week cleanse challenges, or thirty day juice feasts. I encourage you to start simple, then progress into the complex. I also recommend that you take twenty-four hours each week to give your digestive system a break and refrain from eating solids. An easy way to accomplish this is to eat lunch on a Monday afternoon, and then drink only liquids until you have lunch the following day on Tuesday.
It is important to keep in mind that when you start fasting and cleansing the body, you are eliminating years of toxins that have accumulated. Once your body starts releasing these toxins into your bloodstream, it is normal to feel a little under the weather, and to experience detox symptoms. Do not let the discomfort scare you away or cause you to halt the cleansing process. Fight through it. You may feel like you have the flu, experience back pain around your kidneys, notice you have bad breath or body odor, develop a rash or break out on your skin, and could even have headaches. You will likely feel hungry and be tempted to eat. Remember that your system has not had a chance to release these toxins before now, and since they are finally being eliminated, they are changing the chemistry of your body. As they pass through your bloodstream, your eliminative organs – especially your colon, kidneys, liver, and skin – can become overwhelmed. To assist the body with the process of detoxification, and ease the stress on these organs, I strongly suggest colon hydrotherapy, enemas, infrared sauna sessions, lymphatic drainage massages, and oxygen baths during the fasting period. It also helps to exercise, though not too vigorously – as you do not want to wear yourself out.
"Fasting is an effective and safe method of detoxifying the body. A technique that wise men have used for centuries to heal the sick. Fast regularly and help the body heal itself and stay well. Give all of your organs a rest. Fasting can help reverse the aging process, and if we use it correctly, we will live longer, happier lives." – James Balch, M.D.
Prior to starting your fast, go to your local organic farmer's market, or grocery store, and stock up on fruits and vegetables for juicing, as well as good quality drinking water. You may want to get apples, beets, blueberries, carrots, celery, cucumbers, ginger root, grapes, kale, lemons, limes, oranges, spinach, tomatoes, and turmeric root. By juicing a combination of these options, you will find success with your fast. Anything that you can eat raw, can also be juiced – do not attempt to juice beans, potatoes, or eggplant. Vegetables are best, especially beets, cabbage, carrots, celery, collards, cucumbers, kale, leafy greens, romaine lettuce, sprouts, and tomatoes. Freshly prepared raw, organic apple, grape, and melon juices are also tasty options.
In addition to shopping for your ingredients, you will also need a juicer. Having a high quality juicer is an essential for when you are completing your juice fast. Try to purchase a juicer that is at least seven-hundred watts. If you cannot afford this, any juicer will do. I used a Jack LaLanne power juicer that I found at a resale shop for years without a problem. It cost me around ten dollars.
If you feel like juicing is too difficult of a task, and you are overwhelmed by the thought of preparing juice for yourself daily, you can always find a local organic juice bar, or purchase juice cleanses online. Online cleanses are known as juice delivery cleanses. Suja juices are organic, cold-pressed, unpasteurized, and affordable. They can also be delivered to your door. Blueprint Cleanse (blueprintcleanse.com) is another company that provides juice deliveries.