10 Day Juice Feast (otherwise known as What Was I Thinking?)

Juice-Feasting-101-thumb

Today I started a 10 day Juice Feast.  What’s that you ask?  It’s basically a juice fast, but a smart marketer decided to replace the word fast with feast so you don’t feel like you’re going to be starving the whole time.  It’s being headed up by my friend Whitney Cabrera, the Director of Lifestyle Medicine at Gold’s Gym here in Lakeland.  Check out her website here for great information on juicing and other nutritional information.

My decision to do this was very last minute.  And I do mean last minute.  I was actually at the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot while we messaged back and forth about it.  Maybe not the best pre-feast place to be since I ate a little more garbage than normal.   But I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to do this with the support of a whole group doing this together.  Accountability works for me.

Why do a Juice Feast? 

Elixir-6-pack-mediumAccording the very informative information packet I received when I picked up my first day’s worth of juices, it provides countless health benefits including (all of this is copied word for word from Elixir’s brochure):

  • A break for your intestinal tract
  • Dramatic Weight Loss
  • Clearer Skin
  • Improved Focus and Mental Clarity
  • Improved Vision
  • Anti-Aging Benefits
  • Reduction of Inflammation
  • Reduction of Pain
  • Reduction of Cellulite
  • Reduction of Wrinkles
  • Strengthened Immune System
  • Improved Digestion
  • Improved Mood
  • And much more

Why Does Juice Feasting Work?

How does feasting on almost nothing but juice provide so many benefits?  The Standard American Diet (SAD) is overly processed and we eat too much of it.  Our body is on overload trying to get any kind of nutritional value of what we’ve given it.  And it’s a testament to the amazing efficiency of our bodies that we live as long as we do when we’ve provided such horrible fuel to live on!  The body requires live fruits and vegetables for nutrients, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins.  But we tend to give it overcooked veggies, fatty meats, refined carbs (flour, sugar) and even non-food items like aspartame.  So our body spends all of it’s time trying to absorb whatever paltry nutrition it can while also trying to protect itself from some of foods we’ve fed ourselves. That leaves no time for the body to execute other functions like repair, proper digestion and providing energy for vibrant living.

A juice feast does a couple of things.  One, it gives your body an influx of nutrition.  Your cells are going to rejoice when they are being given an abundance of nutrients!  Inflammation will go down because the body will no longer be responding in a negative way to toxins.  Wrinkles will relax because your body will jump into repair mode instead of always having to be in digestion mode.  Toxins are released from the liver for maybe the first time in years because you are not ingesting as many toxins AND feeding the liver what it needs to detoxify.

Secondly, a juice feast gives your body a rest.  It has been digesting and processing for years.  Fresh vegetable juice is broken down to the point that it’s very easy for the body to absorb.  There’s not a lot of digesting the body has to do.  The juice is in a immediately usable form and can go straight to work feeding and nourishing.

As for why I’m doing it, the weight loss and cellulite reduction are right up there as great reasons, but primarily it’s because I’m heading into the most stressful and exhausting time of the year for me, the Christmas season.  I own a retail store and we count on November and December for a huge boost to our bottom line.  And since we make 90% of what we sell, there’s a lot of work that happens between now (Oct. 21) and then.  I need good energy and focus and a better attitude.  And it wouldn’t hurt if my clothes fit a little better along the way and if on Christmas morning I weighed less than my sister for the first time ever. :)

Preparation

So with little time to prepare mentally and physically, I did a couple of things last night that I’m hoping will help with the journey.

Lemon Cucumber Mint Water

1.  I prepared a two gallon glass container of purified water infused with lemon, cucumber and mint.  It’s in the refrigerator so it’s easy to get to and provides a little extra detoxification along the way.  Plus it tastes great, so I’ll drink more of it.

I got this container at Target, but you can order one from Amazon (link is to the right) if you can’t find one locally. (It comes with a lid. I just left it off so you could see the lemons, mint & cucumbers)

2.  I watched Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead again.  I watched this for the first time years ago and remember being motivated by it.  So I watched it again last night hoping it would provide much needed motivation and it did.  I’m going to try to find a few more documentaries like this one and watch them over the next 10 days.  I’ll let you know what I find.  If you are interested in watching it, the link is to the left.  It’s free on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

What to Expect

From past experience, I know Days 1-3 are the hardest.  Eating is a habit.  And combine it with hunger pangs and it takes one tough cookie to not give in to eating!  It can be even more difficult if you are especially toxic, because your body will start to detoxify and that’s not a pleasant process.  It can feel like you have the flu.  You may experience headaches, caffeine withdrawals (yep, there’s no coffee on this program), bloating, tiredness, crankiness (would someone get that cat to shut up!), and even dizziness.  How do I know?  I’ve had all of the above and more when Feasting.  And I can tell you there’s no magic fix.  The best thing you can do is distract yourself when you feel hungry (or better yet, make another juice).  Get extra sleep.  Take nice long baths.  Do a yoga class.  Walk, walk, walk.

As for me, I plan on being extra nice to myself over the next 10 days.  I’m getting a massage today, a haircut this week, a couple of yoga classes, lots of walks with my dog and a pedicure eventually.  Since I own and bath and body company, I’ll also be making lots of different concoctions for bath time.  Mud baths, salts, bath bombs, milk baths, you name it, I’ll be doing it!  Not only will those baths be comforting, but they’ll also provide a little more detoxification.  I’ll include recipes as I go along for you if you want to try them.

Tracking Progress

As I mentioned before, my main goal is energy, focus and better attitude.  But it’s hard to track those things in any quantitative way.  I mean, I guess I could count the number of eye rolls I do in a day, but I don’t have a baseline number (I’d guess 75) to compare it to to see if there’s been any improvement.  It’ll have to come down to how I feel.

However, since I am  also interested in rubbing it in my sister’s face that I’m smaller than her, I thought I’d track my weight, body fat %, water % and muscle %.  About a year ago I bought a super cool scale that measures all of that at once.  And from what I can tell, it’s pretty accurate.  You enter information about yourself such as height, sex and activity level to get more accurate results.  If you are interested, the link is to the right.  I’ll weigh myself every morning and track to see what’s going on. Here’s the current data:

Date Weight % Body Fat % Water % Muscle % Bone
10/21/13 123.2 20.0% 54.8% 35.2% 4.4%

 

For the record, I’m 5’4″ and my ideal weight is somewhere around 115.  So, I’ve got room for improvement.  You know how they say those last 10 pounds are the hardest to lose?  Yeah, I’ve been carrying them around for 20 years, so I guess they are right.

I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

 

The post 10 Day Juice Feast (otherwise known as What Was I Thinking?) appeared first on Rafa Natural Blog.

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