Earlier today I posted on Facebook about how I’m starting a ten day juice/smoothie fast. I wrote the post to see if anyone else might be interested in following along, and much to my surprise the response was quite active.
Turns out this is a topic quite a few care about so I’m going to kick things off with this post and an option to get the email updates to follow the journey. Before I get into the backstory and my plan, however, I want to describe the best way to follow all of this and ensure you get updates when I do videos, recipe posts, tips & suggestions, etc.
I’ll be including:
- Equipment I Use
- Extra Proteins I Use and Where to Get Them
- Weight Tracking
- Lots of Extra Goodies 🙂
LibertyNews (My employer) has a newsletter called Healthwire. There are currently around 40,000 subscribers and I’m going to send these updates to that list. But for those who want to follow just my posts on this fast and how I’m losing weight through it, you can use the sign up form below. You will only get updates on this subject/topic.
Sign up below and then keep reading for the full scoop.
(Alternatively you can click here to subscribe to ALL of my blog updates)
THE JUICE/SMOOTHIE FAST – BACKSTORY
A few years back I hit 249 pounds. I was in a size 38 in jeans and reality hit me. If I crossed 250 pounds there may not be any turning back. I would likely go to a size 40 in jeans and then where would it go from there? Would I ever be able to get control of it? Wouldn’t it become more difficult to slow down or reverse?
I remember that day like it was yesterday. Because on that day one of my interns walked in and informed me he was about to start a 30 day juice fast. I was shocked to hear his story. He had watched the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and decided he had enough of the junk. It was time for a lifestyle change.
His decision collided with my own reality check. As a result, I decided to join him for the first two weeks of his fast. I watched the documentary (which blew my mind and made me disgusted with my own eating habits), did a little research and got myself ready.
If you haven’t already done so, please watch the documentary posted in full below. Trust me, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor.
So about a week later I had a brand new juicer, a wide range of juicing recipes, a couple trips to Whole Foods and was ready to go.
So juice fast we did.
Now I’m not going to lie. This was hard. Downright extremely difficult. But not for the reasons I expected.
You see, I expected the challenge to be more on the hunger side. I instead found the difficulty built up on the mental side.
I generally allow three key things to work against me. All of which cause me extremely unhealthy eating and weight gain.
- Addictive Nature – I smoked for 15 years. During this time I may not have been “healthy” so to speak, but I wasn’t overweight and didn’t have an overeating problem. When I quit smoking back in 2012 (I actually quit smoking full time much earlier but still picked up a cig here and there through 2012) I replaced the bad habit with eating. Eating and coffee. As soon as I quit smoking the weight gain began. And it never slowed down.
- Poorly Scheduled Meals – I’m terrible with properly spreading out nutrition intake through a typical day. I work 12 – 16 hours a day, and generally I won’t eat until I can’t not eat anymore. And when I do, I’m so hungry that I just pile on as much as I can in order to feel satisfied. But this often leads to me grossly eating far more than I needed to in a very short period of time.
- Laziness in Proper Meals – In this day and time we all want fast. We don’t want planned and prepared. We just want things that taste good and now. That often means we eat crap. Crap with virtually no nutritional value at all.
On day one of my juice fast I had a mental strain to get it in my head that drinking a cup of juice was actually doing way more for my body than eating a greasy meal from Texas Roadhouse or some other chain. It took a lot of preparation, took a lot of time cleaning the juicer and when I sat down to drink the juice I didn’t at all feel satisfied. I didn’t feel like I was feeding myself. I definitely felt hungry.
Now unlike the current fast I’m doing (More on that later) back then I was doing a full on organic raw juice fast. Which meant I took raw organic fruits and vegetables and used a juicer to remove their water properties (where the vast bulk of the nutrients are) and drank that as is.
It’s not cold. It’s room temperature. And it often tastes exactly like a garden smells.
So instead of a pizza, here I was drinking room temperature garden water. That was my meal. At the end of day one I was excited to be on the path to 14 days, but I was terrified that I still had 13 days to go!
Day two was more of the same. Wondering if it would all be worth it. And at the end of two day, to make things more mentally difficult, I hadn’t lost any weight.
Day three through five were the worst. By far. All three of those days I was so damn hungry. Hungry, weak and mentally struggling. I honestly don’t know how I stuck with it. I think having the intern juicing with me at work helped tremendously. It provided some accountability. We were going through the same thing and that provided some mental backup.
But man, those days were awful. And those days brought on the bathroom visits that weren’t ideal. Especially considering I was juicing a lot of pears with my veggies to offset the harsh veggie taste. No need to go on about that other than to say… that’s all an important part of the “cleanse” process I suppose.
The good thing about those three days is the weight starting falling off. To the tune of two pounds a day.
My goal was ten pounds in 14 days so knocking out six pounds by day six was quite ideal.
When day six rolled around everything changed. I had figured out how to best use pears and apples to make pretty much anything taste acceptable. Heck, I was juicing full sweet potatoes in with everything else. I juiced a LOT of broccoli (immediately wash your juicer after juicing broccoli or the smell will alarm everyone within a mile radios) , spinach and carrots. I did some beets but those are probably one of the worst on the taste scale. But pears and apples would overpower everything else and it worked.
Day six was the day the extreme hunger finally subsided. I wasn’t quite where I felt sustained with just the juice, but I also didn’t go all day feeling like I was starving either. And I actually started to feel better physically too.
From day 7 on it was all downhill. I drank green tea as often as possible, drank a lot of water and drank a full 16 ounces of juice four to five times a day. The second week was a breeze. And the weight was falling every day.
On day 15 I went to Panera bread and ordered a spinach salad. I thought I would be starving and ready to celebrate with a nice “ease back in” meal. But in all honesty I could have kept juicing. I had energy, I felt fantastic and I had lost 18 pounds.
Let me repeat that. I lost 18 pounds!
It was an incredible reset. I wasn’t where I wanted to ultimately be with my weight. But at least I felt I somewhat had it under control. Both mentally and physically.
I didn’t eat fast food or drink coffee for at least six months after that. I lost another couple of pounds and found myself feeling great with constant rounds of natural energy. I got myself on a good food plan and it was an amazing experience all around. Truly a life changing experience.
I say fall because, well, I fell off the horse over the past year and a half. I’ve been busier than I’ve ever been in my life and a lot has gone on. And through that I’ve gotten reckless/lazy.
Fast food happens a time or two a week. Yes, even a pizza.
I drink several cups of coffee a day and my kryptonite (bread) is now a regular part of my diet.
I’m at 231 pounds, having gained some weight from my 5 year low of 223.
Time for another reset. I cannot let this get out of control.
So tonight I began a 10 day juice/smoothie fast. I’m aiming for 225 with anything beyond that being a bonus. And this time I plan on doing a ten day fast every other month. This to keep myself in check and generally just get healthier.
So while I type this I’m drinking a concoction of strawberries, oranges, kale, spinach and a frozen block of Acai berry puree. It’s the first of many such drinks over the next ten days.
And it’s delicious!
I’m going to blog/vlog the journey and will include recipes/exprience reports along the way.
Hopefully you can pick up something from it that you can use in your own life. Of course, I’m no nutritionist and I provide no content as advise. I merely share with you what I do, how I do it and what the results are. Take from it what you will.
Leave comments below with any questions or comments and I’ll be happy to join in on the discussion!
EDIT: See my first recipe – RED GOODNESS