It's the morning of day 6, which means I successfully achieved my goal of a 5 day juice fast. I'm going for another 5 days now, and quite honestly, I will probably extend my goal again towards the end of that.
I knew yesterday would be my hardest test so far, both physically and in willpower. I've taken a step back from physical activities the past few weeks, due to being pretty out of whack from the car accident, which is why I started the juice fast now. To get the most benefit from the fast, at least the first few days, you should keep your physical activity at a minimum so your body can use the extra energy it finds from the digestive system being "on vacation" to detoxify the rest of your organs. If you're using that energy to run, etc. you're kind of missing the point. I'm physically active almost every day, which is the reason it's taken me so long to take the plunge.
On day 3 I did a gentle, restorative & detoxifying yoga practice, and days 4 and 5 I've ramped up the intensity a bit into more powerful, but still focusing on detoxifying, practices. Yesterday I helped my best friend Beth celebrate her birthday at the US National White Water Center. We started the day with some paddle boarding, which is AWESOME, walked around the USNWC for a while, then did 5 runs down the white water rivers. I would have added zip-lining to that but I bought a season pass so I'll get to that next time. Excited about my summer full of kayaking, paddle-boarding, rafting, running, and zip-lining with Beth! Hooray for healthy outdoor activities!
Last night I took Melanie and her daughter Casey to their first roller derby game to see the Charlotte Speed Demons. As Casey said, it was "fun times a thousand". Casey really enjoyed herself and loved getting to meet the players after the big win, and even got a poster signed by her favorite Speed Demon, Brandi. Thanks to all my friends for being awesome! PS- cheering for my team is very hard work, and I promise you it burns crazy calories. Even though Casey tortured Melanie and I by munching on nachos for the ENTIRE game, and Robin was enjoying a frosty beverage right next to me, my Reboot Salad Juice was keeping me full and I had a great time!
After the game we headed back to Beth's house for her birthday party. My birthday gift to Beth was kinda lame because #1- I didn't buy it for her and #2- she knew she was getting it. I "re-gifted" the juicer that Page re-gifted to me last year because she and her boyfriend Sean have been interested in drinking fresh juices. Also as a kind-of joke, I brought them the remaining 6 pounds of carrots that was STILL left over from the 25# bag Melanie & I split! Sean had mentioned really wanting carrot juice, so there ya go! I also threw in some apples and a hunk of ginger so they can make a delicious hangover juice this morning.
The birthday party was a little difficult for me. I had the last of my juice and carried around my water for the rest of the time. Tater MADE me try his homemade apple moonshine, which I swished around in my mouth and spat out. If I weren't fasting.... it would have been trouble! I made him try my juice and he made a funny face. There was lots of delicious food there and the smells were driving me crazy. Pizza fresh out of the oven, pretzels, chips & salsa. After about an hour I was having a hard time seeing that food and not eating it, plus I was a bit tired from a full day in the sun, so I headed home for a cup of herbal tea and called it a day.
As of Friday night I was down to 160.4, which is 5.4 pounds down from my starting weight on Monday evening. I'm excited to step on the scale today and see what it says. Most of the first few days is spent with the body shedding the toxins that have been built up by eating our "American Diet" ie: processed foods, foods laden with pesticides, antibiotics, corn syrup, carcinogens, and genetically modified substances. I will try to keep this out of the TMI category, but let's just say I have been shocked at the literal amount of crap that has been stored in my body, and how toxic it actually looks. "That's been inside me!?" is something I've said a lot this past week. When shedding so many toxins from the body it's impossible NOT to feel like a better, brighter person! My skin is clearer and I just FEEL so much better! These next 5 days will hopefully start to see some of the actual fat I carry disappearing.
To answer the biggest questions I've had:
1) No, I'm not hungry all the time. In fact I'm less hungry less often than I have been on my normal, crappy food diet, a plant-based diet, or a vegan diet. I'm just less hungry. My body has the nutrients it needs and is happy.
2) Yes, I have TONS of energy! Even though I have tons of energy I've tried to keep it easy this past week. Next week I will continue with my daily yoga practice and begin running again, short distances, 4 times a week. The week after that I'll get out to the White Water Center again and start doing some awesome water sports. I have energy to wake up in the morning and start my day and energy to last through the day. I have energy late at night. I have energy!
3) Yes, I've actually lost 5 pounds in 5 days (probably a bit more). I've lost nearly 9 pounds since I started transitioning to a plant-based diet 3 weeks ago. And yes, this is a very healthy way to do it!
4) No, the cravings aren't bad. And if you know me, you know I do not have a strong willpower when it comes to food! Staying in my own little bubble the first few days really helped. I was tested when I went to dinner with the guys to Mac's and I did eye-rape Jeremy's beef brisket and mac & cheese, but I sipped happily on my lemon water and didn't really feel the urge to cheat. I find when I'm around food, it's a little difficult, but not impossible. My fridge and pantry are full of food, and I'd be lying if I said every time I saw that big bag of Ruffles I didn't want to just open it and shove some into my mouth, but I don't really want to, it's more an impulse from my impulsive mind. Easily controlled. Although I would recommend, if at all possible, cleaning out your fridge and pantry of "bad food" to keep down on the temptation.
5) I have a Breville Ikon Multi-Speed Juice Fountain. I purchased it for $200 at my local EarthFare after realizing it was on backorder through August on Amazon.com. They sell this model on lots of sites as well as a less expensive Juice Fountain. I love it, it's quick, powerful, easy to use, and very easy to clean.
6) Yes, I'm crazy, but all my friends knew that anyhow.
On Friday night Jeremy and a bunch of friends went to dinner at the Olive Garden after a big seminar at his school. I honestly did not know if I could resist the temptation of so many carbs in my face (mmmmm..... breadsticks) so I opted out and went home for a bubble bath, Grey's Anatomy, and a giant glass of juice. I decided to try a new one and I'm SO glad I did! Tabbouleh is a middle eastern salad that I love made from bulgur wheat, tomatoes, onion, parsley, lemon juice & olive oil. This recipe for tabbouleh juice jumped right out at me and holy crap! It was delicious! It tasted exactly like the salad, duh, because with the exception of the bulgur and the chewing, it's all the ingredients in the salad! I got all fancy and put it in a wine glass again and there's definitely nothing they were serving at the Olive Garden that would have been more delicious than what I made!
I'll write again in another day or two and update on my progress for the 2nd 5 day stretch. I'm excited to see so many friends interested in possibly doing a juice fast too, or just incorporating more juices into their diets. Please remember if you do decide to try a fast, that it's VERY important to begin a plant-based diet for at least a week before you begin. Phase out all dairy, meats, and processed foods by the time you begin the fast. You should be eating 100% plant-based and whole grains for at least a couple days before you start. This will minimize the "juice hangover" a lot of fasters experience the first few days. Thanks for reading and a big thanks to all my friends for the overwhelming support!
(FYI- yes, my big grocery shopping trip on Wednesday has lasted me this entire time. I'm down to the last of my kale so I'll have to stop today to get some more, but I've still got enough of just about everything to go for another day or two. So I'm figuring $90 of produce gets me a full 7 days of juice, which is a bargain! I will cut my list in half next time and shop twice a week for the freshest produce)