Monday, November 21, 2011

Juice fasting basics

If you read my previous post, I'm currently on my third juice fast of the year. Today is day 2. I'll update on day 2 later but wanted to give some other insight into juice fasting. Prior to this year, I had only done one other juice fast. For the last 8 years I've either been pregnant or nursing and didn't find it advisable to juice fast. Between my first and second kids I did my first ever juice fast. It went ok, but I detoxed a lot and felt icky. But I was still up and around taking care of a 1 year old. One thing I still remember vividly (it was 6 years ago) is how the smell and taste of cabbage juice made me want to vomit. To this day, I still feel the same way. It turned out that I was a few weeks pregnant with #2 when I did this juice fast, which I'm guessing had something to do with that. If I had known I was pregnant I never would have fasted, but it was too early to know.
So back to my three juice fasts this year. The first one I was very motivated to start. The first day was a bit rough. The second day wasn't too bad. And the third day I felt so good I organized and cleaned out our toy/school room. The second one this year went pretty much the same way. Except on day 1 I had unexpected guests and also had two extra kids I was watching that day. Both were last minute things that I couldn't help. So the first day was very tiring with no nap and the craziness. The other days went fairly well though. I had prepared meals ahead of time for the kids and hubby. So I wasn't driving myself too crazy with food right in my face. This fast isn't too bad on the detoxing. I'm thinking maybe it's because I've done two already this year. Or maybe my pre-juicing preparation was longer this time. Though it might be a combination of both. I've been colon cleansing and drinking detox tea for about a month now.

Benefits of fasting
Fasting regularly gives all your organs a rest. It's not just good during times of poor health. Fasting will help reverse the aging process and live a healthier life. Fasting will boost your immune system, release fat stored chemicals (pesticides, anti-biotics, other drugs), lowers your body toxicity, reduces cravings, reduces dependence, heal with greater speed, cleanse your liver, kidneys, and colon, purify your blood, help lose excess weight and water, flushes out toxins. A 3 day fast helps the body rid itself of toxins and cleanse the blood. A 5 day fast begins the process of healing and rebuilding the immune system. A 10 day fast can take care of many problems before they arise and help to fight off illness, including degenerative diseases. If you have diabetes, hypoglycemia, or another chronic health problem, any fast should be supervised by a health care professional. Those without chronic health problems should check with a health care provider before doing a fast longer than 3 days. Use your best judgment in those situations.

Preparing for a juice fast
If you prepare for your juice fast  you can lessen the detox effects and fast more comfortably. Colon cleansing is very important. The amount of time you colon cleanse is really going to depend on how soon you want to fast. I would recommend atleast two weeks though. A month or more would really do you more benefits. A good colon cleanse on it's own should take 3 months. If you've never done that, I recommend to each and everyone out there. Your colon health is so vitally important to every aspect of your body. Intestinal problems can cause problems throughout your entire body. Everybody should do a three month colon cleanse once a year. There are many ways to do it. Two that I highly recommend are: using psyllium husks and molasses, or purchasing Fiber Cleanse from Hallelujah Acres Fiber Cleanse is self explanatory in the directions that come with it. As for the psyllium husks and molasses, here's what to do: 4 times a day, morning, lunch, dinner, and before bed. In 8 oz of water mix in 1/2 ts molasses and 1-2 TB psyllium husks. Drink. (Start with 1 TB and after a week or 2, move up to 2 TB)

Another important preparation is to drink a detox tea. I like Traditional Medicinals Lemon Everyday Detox. Drink that 2-3 times a day before and during your fast.

If you don't already juice regularly, start. There are so many health benefits to juicing. Even if you can only juice three times a week, that's better than nothing, get to it!

Eat as much raw food as you can for two days before the fast. Go all raw if you can! That would be the best option and help with the detox effects.

During the juice fast  
During the juice fast you will abstain from all solid food. Start your day with a large glass of water. Continue to drink water throughout the day. A minimum of 80 oz, closer to 90 or 100 oz would be better to help flush your system and keep you hydrated as you detox.
Drink fresh juice 2-3 times a day. I do it three times a day at each regular meal time. Make sure you are getting a variety of vegetables. The only fruit you want to juice with vegetables is apples. You can juice other fruits just don't mix them with the veggies. Here's the veggies I like to get if available (all organic): carrots, celery, beets, kale, collards, spinach, apples, romaine, chard, parsley, mint. I've opted out of using cabbage anymore, just due to the reaction my body has to it, but it would be good for others that actually enjoy cabbage. It's really good for ulcers, cancer, and all colon problems.
Detox tea 2-3 times a day.
Lemon "tea" 2-3 times a day: Juice half a lemon into a cup and add warm water. For an added benefit, add a dash of cayenne.
Other herbal teas as needed. Peppermint is very cleansing. Chamomile will help to calm you for naps or bedtime.

Light exercise is highly encouraged and beneficial during a fast. Do not do anything too strenuous. Walking or riding a stationary bike a moderate speed are both good options. If you feel dizzy, stop immediately.

Shower regularly (not that it isn't a good idea on a normal day!!!). Many toxins are released through your skin. Shower once or twice a day to remove those toxins being excreted.

Make time to rest and pray!

After the fast
For two days after your fast you will want to slowly introduce solid foods back into your diet. Continue to juice and eat only raw fruits and vegetables. Introducing cooked foods to quickly can ruin the desired effects of the fast.

I hope some of you out there are ready to jump into a juice fast! Please let me know if you try it and how it goes. Come back and comment here!

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