Why a juice fast?
I love juicing for lots of reasons, but the biggest by far is that I am able to cut caffeine and refined sugar out of my diet in one fell swoop. I'm a cold turkey kind of girl and a juice cleanse is a great way for me to quit sugar. I'm such an addict that if I allow myself little amounts, trying to slowly wean myself off of sugar, I'll start sneaking it in here and there and pretend I didn't eat it.
In my teens, I lived part-time in a house where snack food was always available. There was never a moment when you couldn't pop open a can of Pepsi, grab a bag of something salty and take it back to your room. In our home, it wasn't considered odd to find an empty half gallon ice cream container sitting on the floor next to a bed. Now in my adulthood, if I allow a little, I'll eat a lot. Sugar is my downfall. That's just how I'm built.
Don't you feel bad when you eliminate solid food?
The first few days of a juice fast are always the hardest, even tortuous, for some people. If you're coming off of heavy caffeine and sugar consumption, as I was, you'll probably experience lethargy and head aches. I certainly felt my share of "ick" during the first few days. But now that I'm on day six of my fast, my body is adjusting to the juice.
How does it benefit you?
Personally, I get a lot out of juicing. Physically, I feel lighter and more in tune with the needs of my body. Juicing helps me to re-train my brain not to expect huge dumps of food into my belly every three or four hours. Juicing allows my body to take it easy and heal from all the damage that sugar and excess food has caused. My skin, gums and hair are healthier. I feel more radiant and present.
Emotional benefits come as well. Once I'm through the first few difficult days I begin to think more clearly and engage in my life in a deeper way. I'm able to assess my real feelings without the added enhancement of sugar highs and lows.
What's the hardest part of juicing?
So many of my life patterns are built around planning, acquiring, preparing, consuming and cleaning up after food. All of my social behaviors are centered around food and all of my free time is spent thinking about food. When I choose to juice fast, I have to be very mindful about my existing patterns. The most difficult part is remaining social and preparing meals for my husband and two sons, all of whom are still eating solids. It's a tall order. Luckily, I have a VERY supportive partner who makes space for these juice fasts and even joins me on occasion.
All in all, I feel that juicing is a great fit for my personality and my needs. I've got weight to lose and I need to end some bad habits NOW. And juicing is a fabulous way for me to put on the brakes and get real about my eating habits.
As always, I welcome your comments, insights and questions in the "comments" section below!