This week there will be no résumé of “Week three: Vegan for Fit Challenge” like before (week one & two). Not because I discontinued the challenge, I am still on my 30 days vegan plan. However, last week I tried something new: For the first time ever, I decided to do juice fasting. Yet, juice fasting is a controversial method I thought it was the right time to do a cleanse like this and reset my body. The concept is simple: You will consume only vegetable and fruit juices to obtain nutrition while otherwise abstaining from solid foods. What sounds hard didn’t turn out to be too difficult, but let’s start at the beginning.
How to start a juice fast?
Many people start a juice fast over night and hope that it will be a quick fix to their health or weight problems. That is not only a bad idea it can also lead to serious problems. So be sure you are in a good condition before doing a fasting cure like this. In doubt, always consult a doctor first before starting all by your own.
Then, it’s all about preparation. What really helped me is the fact that I already had been on a fast somehow. During the first two weeks of my “30 days challenge” I had already dropped dairy products, white flour, sugar, alcohol, etc. so my body was prepared for what was coming. Otherwise, it might feel like being on cold turkey, I guess.
Moreover, I initialized the fast with a fruit day on Friday. Here is my juice fasting plan:
Friday: Eat only fruits to prepare the body for the fast. I also cooked a vegetable broth, which I didn’t really need in the end.
Saturday: Bowel cleanse with glauber salt in the morning (not fun, but necessary), start with home made vegetable and fruit juices
Sunday – Wednesday: Home made vegetable and fruit juices, one glass pure coconut water
Thursday: Fast-breaking with a half apple and a half banana in the morning, soy yogurt with shredded flax seed at lunch and a small cup of vegetable soup (potatoes, carrots & zucchini) in the evening. I also continued with two glasses of juice.
Friday – Sunday: Slowly getting back to my vegan eating routine. Including lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts and juices.
My first juice fast
Overall I take my first juice detox fast as a success and I am very proud of myself that I went through with it.
It was a good thing to start on the weekend as I needed some tranquility to get into a “fasting mood”. Moreover, I needed quite a lot of sleep.
As I didn’t know if fasting and working full time in the office would be a good idea I decided to see how it goes on Monday and then decide how long to continue. At first, I wanted to fast for 4 days but out of organisational reasons (and because I felt good) I added another day. Of course, if you have the chance, I would suggest to not work and fast at the same time, but for me it was alright. Only the fact that everyone around you is eating all the time (at least it seems to be all the time), is distracting.
I didn’t feel very hungry during the fast. Instead I thought I was going to starve on the fruit-only day on Friday. During the fast, it was OK and it is quite astonishing how little you need to still feel good and fit (at least for a short period of time). When you prepare the juices freshly every day, it’s your choice what to put in. Some say, the juices need to be very thin, but I think it has a little bit more substance when a juice is still a bit viscous, like a smoothie. In addition to the juices I drank a glass of pure coconut water and this really appeased the hunger for me.
Every day, I started with a little yoga routine in the morning. I usually try to do this anyway, but this time I really obliged myself to get up early and get moving. I also joined my regular yoga classes on Tuesday and Thursday but have to say that it was a bit hard to keep up. I had less energy and felt a little weak but I think that’s pretty normal when you don’t eat.
Apart from that, I was still freezing wherever I was and it’s not getting better.
Breaking the fast was not as divine as I thought. Of course, it was nice to have something to bite into after five days but that’s about it. The next three days, little by little I added more and more solid foods to my diet to not overexert my body.
Résumé of 5 days juice fasting
The main take away is to realize with how little my body can operate. I will definitively take this to heart when I’m sitting in front of a huge plate next time and keep on eating although I’m feeling like I would explode soon.
There was no enlightenment or epiphany as many people describe their fasting experience and I cannot say that I have increased energy or vitality or noticed anything else that’s different than before.
Nevertheless, I believe that I did something good for my body and also my mind. And – as I had hoped in the beginning – the juice fast has whet my appetite for a healthy diet even further and I can image to do one or two juice fasting days from time to time.
If you are interested, here are some recipes/ingredients I used for the juices:
– Spinach, banana, carrots, ginger, beetroot, celery, artichoke juice
– Savoy cabbage, carrots, fennel, apples, sauerkraut juice (the latter is quite disgusting, though…)
– Corn salad, spirulina powder, cucumber, wild berries (frozen), parsley, lemon
Now, I have little more than one week to go with my “Vegan for Fit” challenge. Time went by pretty fast. Stay tuned for the final résumé next week.