JUICE FAST DAY 1
DIARY: (See also last weeks post!) The first day’s been fine, I wasn’t too hungry, I felt positive and motivated, and even on a higher level, thinking spiritually, thinking clearly in that way. Thinking properly at all is an achievement when you have fybromyalgia, type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease as they all cause ‘foggy head’ which means that residing in my brain can feel like you’ve been standing on a busy road in Mexico City for too long (what 5 seconds?).
clarity is sweet relief.
Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning. I woke to the most spectacular sunrise, mind-blowingly beautiful… unfortunately I wasn’t looking so hot in the photos I took for before and after body comparison (never going to be a good moment in my life as someone who finds changing-rooms a traumatic experience). My posture was terrible! I realise my home is so small and cramped (a little terraced cottage full of our well-loved collections of second-hand furniture, my art and masses of books, Dan’s musical instruments (including a harem of guitars) comics, records, toys (ahem, retro sculptures) and childhood things, and don’t even begin on the clothes, coats, shoes, scarfs, hats and bags… or the kitchenware…
a little too full!) that I shuffle about like an old hag in a (futuristic) period drama, not good, it’s starting to really freak me out. It’s an inelegant dance to get from A to B. Add to the picture that Dan is not only a hoarder but at war with housework. I NEED SPACE. Tough. I’m trying to be more mindful about how I move. It’s a really good reminder that I need to work on my posture as well as to breathe better and tone up, improve my core strength. AND whereas usually such a process (i.e. unflattering naked photos) would have sent me crawling into a hole, I bounced back fast, such is the power of the juice fast.
And screw ye olde warning, it was a beautiful positive day, the best in ages. I am doing this to strengthen myself and to improve my health.
B R I N G I T O N !
JUICE FAST DAY 2
FEEL: Energy has been good today, not hungry, amazingly! Feeling strong, bit light, even walked four miles getting supplies.
#1+2 Kale, berry, kiwi, apple, celery, ginger juice
#3+4 Celery, apple, carrot, lime, sweet potato, kale
#5 Green Juice #1
DIARY: The buffer zone continued into Day 2, when I was diagnosed with asthma (yet another autoimmune condition in my case) and given a steroid puffer to take twice a day. I don’t take medications in case I literally have to (I’m intolerant to most anyway) and just the word steroid makes me feel tight-chested, apparently it is too low a dose to have any side-effects, but meet the world’s most sensitive body. Usually this would have been a dark day and I would struggle for days after, but somehow the fact I was fasting made me able to cope. I felt lighter, less laden down. I can’t remember a time when I haven’t shed a tear on the way back from the doctors (most often by myself as I don’t especially like Dan to come as it’s just a downer). This day I was positive the whole way and not a tear in sight. It could be because my mind was engaged in this project, this battle. It gives you a buffer zone somehow. What a wonderful thing it is. And I’m totally amazed that you can go for two days without eating and not feel hungry, such is the nutritional power of the juice! Juice is all I need, who knew?!
I told Anna, my twin, that I had asthma too (she has it very badly and is on an oxygen machine constantly) and she was delighted (she has Down’s Syndrome so she’s not just being mean!), she said we’re now ‘the Asthma Twins’, which really cracked me up 🙂
JUICE FAST DAY 3
FEEL: A harder day today, feel weaker, very tired as up in night, fighting thoughts of eating, delirious fluey spell, but overall okay, got through it!
DIARY: See my instagram post for a description of my encounter with this gruesome looking juice, I now look like the neighbourhood psycho! (follow me on facebook, twitter and instagram to keep up with my journey towards wellness, and subscribe to the blog here so as never to miss a recipe XX)
I started having increased low blood sugar episodes today and (okay, I am a blood obsessive… NO REALLY, I’M NOT!) was up in the early hours unable to get back to sleep. As a type 1 diabetic I have to be careful whilst fasting, I anticipated my basal insulin (which I take once a day and gives me a constant background insulin level) would have to be dropped, but in fact next time I would drop it on Day 1 much further. It takes over 24 hours to kick in the change. In general I struggle to keep my blood glucose levels down as I am very sensitive to food and to insulin, and to the glucose the body itself releases at will (such as if you’re tired, stressed, exercising…) and life is a roller-coaster. This is not good for my short or long-term health. Fasting will help me with my blood-glucose control and improve my health in so many ways.
It is amazing how a juice fast shows you the effects of food, it stays in your body for so much longer than you may think, as a diabetic I have a very real insight into this. A juice fast, with an alkaline green juice focus, clears the body of this residual glucose and so your insulin needs drop, and also makes you more sensitive to insulin. This is good for everyone, diabetic or not, as insulin is a growth hormone, causes weight gain and is highly corrosive and ageing. The more refined high GI/GL starchy sugary food you eat the more insulin your body has to produce and the worse for your health. An anti-inflammatory alkaline diet of whole foods is the best food anyone can eat, and I think giving your body a break every now and again, or regularly such as intermittent fasting, is a really good long-term thing to do.
Listened to this to pep me up and nearly died.
Had a spell of a few hours feeling very fluey and negative, very irritated, which was difficult (for me and Dan…). My face also went very red! This must be the ‘healing crisis’, and thankfully mine didn’t last long. I spend most of my energy in coping. My mind is a powerful machine, and relentless too, being so ill has taught it that much, to never give up. And it is the surrendering to states of unwellness that I feared most with the fast. I do not do ‘ill’ very well, it is to me a kind of death and causes a wall of panic. To lie in bed with a bug feeling fluey, to be forced to accept being unwell in that way is a terrible thing for me. I am a doer, I keep things going in my world, I look after myself and rest when I must but I do not submit. It feels like there is little space left to cope with more. And it is the further reduction of control over my mental state that is the most fearsome I think. I cope by being mentally strong, if I am weakened then the whole castle is in danger of falling down. Add to this that being a type 1 diabetic means that such illness affects me very badly, messing with my blood glucose levels (which as a very sensitive diabetic is really something bad), it is a very real worry. Fasting is not for everyone, (do read my fasting page and research thoroughly before going ahead X X).
It has been really good to see the effects of the anti-inflammatory diet I have been following for over a year, clean plant-based eating for years, and of not drinking alcohol (over three years) or smoking (more than a year, yes I was an idiot smoking, but I think, with all my health problems, it was a body defying thing more than anything, I’ve always been a rebel and at times, also being a fantasist (aka creative writer), hands up, I really enjoyed it. It feels good not to smoke though (especially now I have asthma…), and that Dan doesn’t too, I feel shocking for us having supported evil tobacco firms, but you live and you learn right). Anyway, I haven’t had a massive amount to detox, as the clean lifestyle I have allows my body to function well in that way and prevents a build-up of toxins, so I haven’t been thrown into too much of a spin, which is great, and just shows the benefits of eating clean alkalising food everyday and not putting toxins willingly into your body, good for everyone, but if you are someone living with chronic health conditions especially important.
I did an enema, my first (round of applause please… God help me), which was easier than I thought, you just get on with it and can see by the results how needed it is. I’ll do this daily during the fast, ideally after a few juices when toxins are building up. It is an important part of the detoxing process and I actually felt much better afterwards, clearer headed. When you juice fast, your colon cannot get rid of the toxins that the fast is releasing from your body and so you need to flush them out. You don’t want them to build up or it would not be a detox at all but the opposite, a tox? A mega-tox. Or perhaps a big mac? Yuck I feel sick even saying that word, it’s worse than enema, which actually isn’t a bad word in itself when you think of the way it sounds…
I’d definitely recommend light exercise, a sauna or steam room to sweat out toxins, a massage, any type of alternative therapy, dry brushing, exfoliation, facial steaming and toning, hot baths and hot water bottles, whole body moisturising (I use coconut oil) and general pampering and stress-free environments. No one is allowed to stress you out while you are fasting, lay down the ground rules, you need support. You may have to keep on saying this over and over again, try not to let this stress you out. Stress is so very bad for your health.
take this time to really look after yourself ♥
Always look after yourself. It’s so hard to though isn’t it I know.
I needed something more in the evening after a very long and testing day (up since 2.30am, which wasn’t ideal) and so had vegetable soup broth with miso, which was lovely and nourishing. I also had a tea cup of low-fat carton coconut milk with agave, which soothed me before I went to sleep, which I needed as my mind was very rigid and I was anxious I wouldn’t be able to sleep, after a lot of difficulties sleeping in recent months. Though not strictly juice I think this is fine, I wouldn’t have got through it without them.
If you need to eat something then do it, have something very light, a piece of fruit, a broth, salad or lightly steamed veg, life cannot stop and often there are numerous demands on us, don’t feel that if you don’t drink strictly juice only you have failed, that simply isn’t true. Avoid any such stress. The most important thing is to look after yourself, that is what you are doing by detoxing on the juice fast, and that is what you must do whilst doing it. And if it is not for you, then stop. Fasting for short periods is very beneficial, maybe that is all we need to do? ♥
treat yourself well
and listen to this, dance around your bedroom throwing in some serious power moves (remembering that success is what YOU say it is no-one else) ♥
JUICE FAST DAY 4
FEEL: Better after sleep, but bit over-tired and hungry in places today, really battling that. Got a lot done also in long burst of energy. But fasting does make you weaker too, and I don’t feel clear-headed for most the day, in fact, when fasting you need someone to hold your hand when you cross the road like a child…
#1 apple banana kiwi spinach ginger
#2 carrot celery spinach kale apple ginger lemon black pepper turmeric
#3 banana kiwi spinach
#4 2 large carrots, 2 packed cups spinach, 1 med beetroot, lime juice, agave – v good!
Miso soup broth
DIARY: Up early, felt better after first juice, quite a sweet fruity one which gave me a really needed lift. Busy day with lots to get on with. Very positive but holding no prisoners! At this point handling the veg is difficult, I just want to pop a bit of carrot in my mouth like I usually would, and not eating the vegetables but drinking their juice feels extremely counter-intuitive. Thoughts of how long should I do this for, I want to eat now! Fantasising about food before I can stop myself. Am I doing the right thing? We take other people’s opinions and absorb them, I research and am trained to be discerning, but still. Warding such resolve weakening thoughts off with, more juice! I find that vegetable broth and miso is great, it’s very comforting and filling, it’s giving probiotic nutrition and much needed warmth, whilst like juice, not asking anything of your body. I think this is absolutely fine to have on a fast, you have to do what you have to do, and it’s liquid and nutritious. Bingo.
Struggling with low blood sugar levels today, juices not raising my levels and only keeping me from going too low (as said next time I will lower my Lantus more in advance). Had to eat an apple for a hypo treatment, and then turned to coconut sugar in rooibos. Worrying for me as night hypos are dangerous and I have too many.
It’s good advice to keep researching fasting to keep you going. And don’t watch the Great Irish Bake Off. It will drive you mad.
Very thirsty during the juice fast, and drinking so much! My body feels like a thirsty plant and it’s like I do not usually notice this. I am also weeing a ridiculous amount too, way more than usual, which is saying something. Someone however has been having a super-relaxing time… how cute is Tiger on Dan’s gloves! He was somehow sitting on one glove, scooped up, determined to enjoy the warmth of the radiator (and LOVING being on his mega-love Dan’s glove), so I put out the other and next time I looked he was in a super-slump, solid as a log and so cozy…
I thought I’d be more ethereal on the fast, as I felt happening on Day 1, but I haven’t been really, just coping with it. Nevermind, that is something I need to bring into my life more from now on. I need daily sitting quietly, meditation and stretching, and the effects pervading through my day. I think having reset my sleeping so drastically will help, early morning is a good time to just be and to think clearly without the junk thoughts and background noise of the day ♥
JUICE FAST DAY 5
FEEL: Feeling good!
#1+2 mixed berries (redcurrant, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries) beetroot, spinach, agave – very good!
#3+4 4 sticks celery, 2 handfuls spinach, 2 apples, 2 kiwis (no skin) – v refreshing and tasty, very alkalising – also good with lime + agave
#5 Green Juice #1
DIARY: Up early, before 6am, as started period and had worse cramp than usual (I used to get them very badly before I ate a clean plant-based diet and stopped drinking and smoking). The owls were loud before I went to sleep and when I woke, the male tawny was still calling in a nearby tree. I feel like it’s probably the female tawny that does all the work, she always sounds like she’s all-business and pretty pissed off with him and he sounds like he’s twitting about in the trees thinking he sounds important.
Sweating a bit today for a while, which I think is a good thing, to sweat those toxins out. Walked 4 miles to get supplies, thought it’d be good to do some exercise and get out as I’ve been stuck inside for days. The weather has been terrible for days too, the most insistent bitter rain and sleet. Where’s all the snow we were promised I LOVE the Peaks in the snow they’re just so beautiful.
Hungry pm, bit of a headache, feel lack of clarity and quite tired. Had a lovely refreshing green juice, the key is to make them delicious and they really lift you up even after so long of only drinking juice it’s still something really special ♥
JUICE FAST DAY 6
#1+2 1 cup raspberries, 1 med beetroot, 2 large handfuls of spinach, 2 large carrots, 1/2 tsp turmeric, lime, agave
#3+4 1/3 cucumber, 3 cups spinach, 3 sticks celery, 1 apple, 2 kiwi, squirt of agave, 1/2 lime
#5 Celery, Apple & Citrus Juice
lots of fizzy mineral water, lemon and lime 🙂
DIARY: up early, good nights sleep, very thirsty. I did a detox tea enema which I think was very effective. To me this is now normal! Made the most beautiful berry and beetroot juice, I look forward to my morning fruity power juice, packed with antioxidants phytonutrients, vitamin A, and all sorts of wonderful goodness. Beetroots are highly alkalising. Very good for the blood. Very very tasty and energising. I don’t think I’ll ever give it up.
Tiger’s back on the radiator looking especially cute, but if I allow myself to put too many photos of him on the blog he’ll just take over and I refuse to have a cat and food blog. Cats may spend a lot of time cleaning but they are not clean, even if they, like Tiger, love to steam clean themselves Gwyneth Paltrow style (okay, maybe not quite that style, though actually it is really isn’t it, Oh God…) by always tracking down my freshly washed towel when it is drying on the radiator and sitting on it… I literally have to lock it in a room to dry. Cats.
I reintroduced some raw foods in the evening with my simple avocado dip with added garlic and carrot and celery sticks. It was heavenly! At first I felt a bit vulnerable and weird after so long not eating, but I feel I have been reset and now have a chance to really refine my relationship to food. Tomorrow I will start with juice, or a smoothie, and eat raw. It feels strange to be eating again and I feel quite delicate, so it’s an early night, a hot water bottle and a cuddle for me ♥
Doing a juice fast has been a massive achievement for me, it was something that I didn’t know I was able to do, what with all the pressures around food I have and just because it seems so difficult. But I did it! Now I know that I will incorporate juices into my life, that I don’t need so much food, certainly not as much oil as I have been having and carbs as the cold months crept in, and that I can step up the alkalisation of my diet, improving my health and life. That’s just the most amazing thing.
and so the next, and most important journey begins… the now.
JUICE FAST DAY 7
FEEL: Good! Ready to go!
#1+2 1 med beetroot, 2 large handfuls of spinach, 2 large carrots, 1 banana, 1 kiwi, 1 apple, 1/2 lime, agave
#3+4 Green Juice #1
lots of fizzy mineral water, lemon and lime
#5 Celery, Apple & Citrus Juice
TO ADD: I have put agave in a lot of my juices because it doesn’t affect my blood sugar much and I love the way it makes the juices taste, which makes the whole thing more pleasurable and so more doable, which is important! I’ve run out of stevia drops, if I’d had them I’d have used them in the juices as they’re alkalising, maybe in combination with agave or another natural sweetener.
(Note from future self! – now I use a masticating juicer and you just don’t need anything sweet added, it’s when watering down the juices and using a blender that adding something sweet is so nice, a fresh, concentrated juice is just beautiful by itself ♥)
To note: if you have candida you want to focus on green vegetable juices and avoid sweet fruit and natural sugars, and also beware, your reaction and ‘healing crisis’ will be more severe and you must research thoroughly and do it at the right time for you. My advice would be to cut sweet foods out of your diet prior to a fast and then to ease into it
DIARY: Got up really early, before 6am again (this is a miracle-zone for me as it is not unusual for that to be the time I eventually get to sleep) as was asleep by 9pm and for the first time in months and months I had slept right through! Felt great! AND when I looked outside it was snowing thick and fast, which Dan and I have been hoping for ♥
It was coming down thick at 5am then melting fast all day but when we went for a walk it lifted my spirits so high to see the Peaks looking so beautiful, the textures of the hills were amazing! ♥
Had a lovely beetroot-y juice, ran out of berries but other fruit and lime works well too, though not as delicious as berries. I just LOVE the creaminess of the spinach with fruit it’s so lush, and with the beetroot it almost tasted like chocolate milkshake. Seriously, next time I’m going to add cacao and see what it’s like. And my taste buds have been completely rejuvenated, so I know! I very much want to keep them this way too. And my stomach has shrunk a lot so I’m full easily, which is great. I need to lose weight, I’m not sure how much I have lost because I don’t have scales but I think a little (I am a bit disappointed, you read of people losing 10lb and that would have transformed my life, but it’s more like 4lb for me, and I think that’s because I haven’t much to shift and those that do lose weight faster. I think juice fasting is a really good way to lose weight, I do look better, slimmer and healthier, (which is great!) but I think what’s most important is how you go forward into everyday life. Check out my guide to losing weight sustainably. Now I need to tighten up through daily exercise and stretch more.
Food-wise, I just want to give my body the nutrition and the rest it needs from now on. I ate well before but I have learned more now and know how to proceed to go for optimal health. I hope that this juice fast will further reset my relationship to food, taking that pressure off. I’m definitely going to have a super juice every morning for breakfast with a piece of fruit, and I’m saving for a masticating juicer. For me, on my alkalising anti-inflammatory diet it is a super-tool.
the more organic raw and alkaline food I eat the healthier and happier and stronger I will be, to tackle all that life has in store and to forge the best path ahead that I can ♥
I don’t think I will juice fast for so long another time, I have too many health conditions that make it so complicated, and I think a shorter fast will suffice as I eat a clean whole food diet and take in minimal toxins, but I have gained enormously from the experience, not least in embracing juicing. I’m definitely going to get a masticating juicer asap. I am very positive about regularly juice fasting for a few days (the first few days were great for me), maybe once a month, or one day a week only juices, and also I’m considering incorporating intermittent fasting into my life again. I do fairly regularly not eat for over 16 hours, and often have an eating window of 8 hours, but I think I may try only eating raw food before 4 i.e. #rawtill4, I think such structured thinking can be helpful, especially for me as I need to keep my carbs down for pain relief, and that’s not easy day to day.
Last day of the fast, I’m easing myself back onto raw food, and over the next few days some steamed veg and maybe some quinoa. I don’t want to eat much really, a few carrots and some avocado and I’m full. I feel a bit delicate, and I know from past experience that my body becomes very sensitive to food and my joints easily painful after restricted eating. I don’t expect to be leaping about the house brimming with energy as most people feel after a juice fast, but I think I have had an important experience for me. It’s important not to overload yourself at this point, and the whole process of fasting will have stopped that urge too, which is a great thing. Food is a substance to treat with respect, something I have learned over the past years of my life and now consolidated
I can enjoy it, I need it, I’m thankful for it, but it doesn’t rule my life.