It was right about the time when my body was getting off the teen high and I was starting to put on some weight, that I saw the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. If you haven’t seen it then I encourage you to stop right now, go on Netflix, and watch it. I still believe it is one of the most interesting documentaries I have ever seen, and nothing I say here will be as significant as what you get from the movie.
However, this is NOT going to be just a review of that movie.
Over the years I have never found the time to actually do a juicing fast, but I have watched the subject being tossed around the international community. I saw it reach its high water mark and then start its descend. And all of that was normal and to be expected of anything.
The problem I have with what is going on now with the healthy eating community is that they seem to have decided to go after juicing with the vengeance of someone who tried the experiment, did not have the knowledge to conduct it properly, and quickly spiraled out.
I have had my own attempt at juice fasting but I wanted to dedicate just a weekend to the process and still I failed. The reason I failed was that I tried to use all of my favorite flavors, apples, carrots, celery root, and just a little bit of broccoli so that my conscience would not bother me. However, if you are going to juice using only these fruits and vegetable, you are definitely going to get a sugar high for the first part of the day and then plunge into the deepest, darkest hunger in the afternoon. So, based on the lessons that were very well known while the juicing fast was all the rage, combined with some of my own experiences, I am going to tell you how you can get the most out of a juicing fast.
Before we begin, I would just like to express my deepest agreement with the well known fact that detoxing is done in the liver, by the liver itself, and, if it ever came to a point where the liver would not be able to deal with the toxins in your body, you would be dead or waiting to die on a hospital bed. Moreover, there is no magical plant or juice that is going to accelerate you livers functions to 200%.
However, your entire body is slowly poisoned and suffocated by the nasty fats and sugars that are such a strong component of a regular American diet. So a juicing fast will not detox your body, but it will take you off of a debilitating diet that is slowly killing you, and give you a chance to appreciate how much better your life could be if you just ate right. You should understand that the juicing fast itself is not as important as the changes to your diet that it promotes and that you are more likely to hold on to after a fast.
So, what are the lessons that contemporary juicing attempts do not take into consideration.
Focus on the Vegetables and Greens
You need to use all of the vegetable and greens that a healthy diet would contain, in exactly those proportions. Most people will just use anywhere between 4 and 5 pounds of apples, because they are delicious and easy to juice. They may add a pound of carrots, a couple of other vegetables like cucumber and broccoli, and will expect to survive just on that. However, you can see even in the movie that the main guy, Joe Cross, uses a lot more vegetables, especially dark green leaves like spinach, than anything else. Granted the juice is not going to taste as good as apple juice, some people have even go so far as to say that it taste like cow manure, but it will sustain you, keep you healthy and help you go on with the fast. I know because I also tried a weekend long fasting with these types of vegetables and the difference between the 2 experiences was huge.
Get a Cold Press Juicer
Granted, in the movie Joe seems to be using a centrifugal juicer, but I am quite sure he did that because back then cold press juicers were fancier, much more expensive and would have put off a lot of people. And even if he didn’t, there is no reason why you should not take advantage of this new technology. Centrifugal juicers are great if you are going to use stony fruits like apples, although even there you may notice how wet the shavings from the apples are as they come out of the juicer. However, with a cold press juicer you will really be able to squeeze out every ounce of juice, and you will be able to get so much more out of leafy greens like spinach. In fact, in the movie you can see Joe put the same leaves through his centrifugal juicer several times because he really is not able to get that much juice out of them. And here is more proof to go with that
Know Thy Self
In his latest book, Presto, Penn Jillette talks about how he lost a ton of weight and he did it through a method that was extreme and crazy because he can only stick to really tough challenges. Joe Cross also seems to be the same with his 60 day challenge. However, from subtle hints in his book, Presto, I take it that Penn’s partner, Teller, does not enjoy such extreme challenges, and I certainly know I do not. I am impressed by people like Penn who only ate potatoes for 2 weeks or Joe with his extreme fast, but those would never work on me. Instead of being challenged by the 60 days I would be daunted to the point where I would give up the process completely. However, I think I could manage a week, I might even be able to use that week to switch to a more natural, vegetarian or even vegan diet, with a one day juicing fast at the end of every week. Considering what these guys have been through I would say my challenge is a walk in the park but for me it isn’t and I am sure I am still going to get a lot out of it. By the way, if you have never seen Penn and Teller’s Cups and Balls trick with an American Potato, which by the way is how he ended up eating only potatoes, then you really should check out this clip:
In conclusion I would just like to say that while the extreme claims of contemporary juicers are certainly wild and not based in any scientific reality, there are some clear advantages to going to a short juicing fast. What do you think about my small challenge approach to juicing? Have you been through such a process while using all the right ingredients? What was your experience? Get in contact with me through the Twitter or Facebook links you can find on the right side of the article and let me know!