Brief periods of drinking ONLY fresh fruits and/or veggie juices and plenty of water can be a healthy way to give your digestive system a complete rest so that your body can do the toxin elimination and organ repair work it’s designed to do. Juice fast can be healthy because:
- Your cells are being nourished, not starved.
- Your organs of elimination aren’t working to digest food, so, they can focus on clearing out built-up debris and start to move toxins stored deep in fat and other tissues.
So, what are some of the other benefits of a juice fast?
Finding the discipline and determination to exert self-control and forgo solid food in order to fast on fresh raw juices for at least one full day is a thrill in itself. It spurs confidence that you can have greater control over your lifestyle decisions and diet. The effect of being cleansed or feeling flushed may even make you want to continue eating lightly and drinking fresh juices long after the juice fast is officially over.
How often to do a Juice Fast?
Many people choose to fast using only fresh, raw juice one day out of every week. Some choose to use juice fasts when prepping to focus on a mental task (ex: studying). Lots of others use the changing seasons or other significant markers (ex: birthday, anniversary) to take a personal time-out and use a juice fast to bring the mental, spiritual, and physical aspects of their being into balance. There are also retreats that combine fasting with meditation and/or other forms of reflection.
Understanding How Long to (Juice) Fast
As with any new change, it’s always best to start slowly and build up to longer periods of juice fasting. If you are new to juicing, allow at least 1 month of experimenting with juice recipes, trimming your diet to a whole-foods approach, and finding your own level of tolerance for the pure, raw enzymes and phytonutrients your body will be getting before even considering a juice fast. If you’ve spent years indulging in a high-fat, low fiber diet with or without alcohol, drug, and other chemical exposure, your’re going to feel the “punch” with this new way of living.
After you’re used to juicing, start your first juice fast with one or two days at the most. When you see what’s involved and how you feel afterward, you can decide how often and when you want to enjoy your juice fast regimen. Perhaps, stick with one or two days every year or every few months if you like. Some like to make it a monthly thing! Consider increasing the time by one day with each fast.
Note: You should not do a juice fast for more than five day unless you’re working with health practitioner.
Who Should Decline from Juice Fasting?
If you’re pregnant or breast-feeding, a juice fast is not advised. People who are recovering from illness or surgery should check with their healthcare provider before juice fasting. Growing children or teenagers who are eating a whole food, fruit, and veggie-rich diet don’t benefit from juice fasting. However, obese teens or those suffering from acne may find juice fasting to be beneficial for reasons I will explained later in this article.
Note: Teens and young adults may need supervision with juice fasting in order to prevent unhealthy habits from developing and to guard against diet extremes that may lead to anorexia.
Juice Fasting, Step by Step
A few weeks before:
Start by mentally preparing for your juice fast. Mark a date on your calendar and keep the actual juice days clear of any obligations. Visual what you’ll be doing to fill the days and evenings and what functions the fruits, veggies, and herbs will be accomplishing in your body.
The week before:
Clean your house and get organized. Maybe even set up some books you’d like to read. Let your family and friends know so they know ahead of time that you MAY decline the invitation to dinner or a party.
It’s not that you can’t do anything while fasting. You may just choose to do more reflective things that bring you inner peace when you fast.
The Day Before the Juice Fast
Eat only raw food and don’t eat any dairy or meat products. You can prepare a smoothie for breakfast and a fruit or veggie salad using a dressing of 1 part raw nut or avocado oil to two parts lemon or lime juice for lunch and dinner. Snack on raw fruits or veggies and raw, unsalted nuts and seeds. If you have a high performance blender, you can even prepare a hot soup using vegetables.