Personal account of my 28-day juice feast.
by Sara Ding, Author of Juicing-for-Health.com
I’ve been following stories of fellow juicaholics who go into extended juice feasting with much interest. I am finally able to commit to doing an extended juice feasting myself. It is contagious! 🙂
As I can’t be interviewing myself, I will answer the same questions that I have asked other fellow juice feasters, so that we have a consistent format for comparing notes purpose. I hope my account of the 28-day juice feasting below will be of some encouragement to you to start your own juice-feasting towards improvement of your health.
Q: Please introduce yourself, what do you do for a living?
I’m a Work At Home Mom (WAHM) maintaining my websites on health, and also a student in Nutritional and Holistic Health studies. I have two teenage kids, aged 18 and 15 at time of writing this.
Q: Have you done similar fasts before this?
I have done many fasts throughout the last five years, with one other longest one being 21 days. There were many regular 3 to 7-day juice fasts. Those were all juice fasting. This time it is juice feasting. Juice feasting is simply an increase in the volume of juices intake, and up to 3-4 liters of fluid a day.
Q: What inspired you to start the 28-day juice feast?
A fellow juicaholic who was recently featured on this site, Nadine Rosin, who did a 92-day juice feasting. Her determination was really an inspiration. Later, there were others, Nina’s 13-day distilled water and juice fast, and Emily’s 31-day juice fast. There just was a call to me to go on a juice feasting that I couldn’t resist.
Q: Were you personally facing some health issues that you were hoping this fast would help address?
I didn’t have any serious health issues but was hoping that I could correct my vision that was beginning to show some signs of farsightedness. I’ve always had perfect vision and hate wearing glasses. I believe that nutrition can correct vision problems if nipped in the bud early enough. I’ve previously corrected my astigmatism by drinking juices high in beta carotene and anti-oxidants.
Living in a multi-racial country, I normally also love eating various cultural foods. Like Emily, juice fasting/feasting is a way of “resetting” my internal health button. When not juice fasting/feasting, I allow myself to eat somewhat freely as I also believe life is to be enjoyed. Although I am careful to avoid deep fried foods and flour/sugar products.
Q: What motivated you to continue and complete the 28-day fast?
From the beginning, I wanted to enter into the juice feasting with spiritual intention. Physical health was as important. With a goal in mind, it makes it easier for me to stick to my juice feasting, taking it one day at a time. I had no idea that it would last 28 days. I just kept going as long as I could. On my 28th day, I could still go on but due to a planned vacation coming up in about two weeks’ time, I decided to ease into breaking fast. Another reason for stopping the fast was that I didn’t want to lose more weight!
Q: What were some of the challenges you faced during the 28 days?
Initially, it was the waiting out of the first three days when there were the expected hunger pangs. As I’ve previously fasted regularly before, going without solid foods was not too difficult.
As a food-lover in a country rich with a huge variety of cultural foods, I was often faced with temptations which required extra efforts to resist. 😀
Q: Were there days that you felt like ending the fast? If so, can you share with us what happened?
As I went further into the juice feasting, even way passed the hunger pangs, there were days when craving for foods were rather strong. There were times when I came close to ending the juice feast as many other juice feasters would attest to. Having a goal in mind helped me keep on-track.
When having these thoughts, distraction helps. I get busy reading a book, work on my website, pray or meditate on the Word of God. Nadine suggested “food porn” (lol), watching a lot of foodie videos on YouTube helped her. Whatever works!
Q: Did you experience any healing reactions? If so, can you please tell us about it?
At the initial stage of the 28-day juice feast, there were some light-headedness and slight headaches as detoxification took place and more toxins were being dumped into the blood stream for elimination. Some days I had mild rashes which I knew was the body’s way of eliminating. A little tea tree oil took care of the itchiness.
My resistance level to cold were low and some nights I shiver. I had to take extra care to wear more clothing. These were just temporary reactions (not side effects) but I persist on for the greater good of cleansing/healing the body.
Read about healing reactions.
Q: What are some of the physical changes you experienced at the end of the fast?
Initially the weight loss was rapid, 4kg in the first two weeks which I attributed to water loss. Then it was up to 5kg at the end of the 28-day fast. I noticed that my facial complexion was glowing during the juice feasting period. My vision which I was hoping to improve were good on most days but not so on some days. I realized that sufficient sleep also helped improve the vision, not to mention the “shine” in the eyes. One other improvement which I was rather pleased with was that mental clarity was apparent.
Read about stages of juice fasting.
Q: What were your family members’ reactions when they heard you were going on the extended fast? Were they supportive of you during your 28-day journey?
Family members were fine with my wanting to do the extended fast. They were used to me doing fasts and they trust that I know what I was doing. Although my daughter would have preferred for me to enjoy a nice meal with her like we often do.
Friends were understanding too when I declined invites to lunches/dinners. And in this part of my world, there are many such invites where food is almost “central” to almost anything we do.
Q: Did you have to turn down lunch/dinner/party invites during this time?
Yes, I did turn down a couple of invites and only attended those that really mattered. Decision is dependent upon whether it’s an event surrounding a meal or if it was for “fellowship” purpose.
Q: What was your feeling at the end of the 28-day fast?
It was a mixed feeling. I had wanted to take my juice feasting beyond 30 days but was also getting to be a bit skinny. I didn’t want to lose more weight at the “wrong places”.
To be honest, although I knew the good that juice feasting is doing for my body, I also question myself sometimes whether I could do this. Some days I felt so low and would rather be bingeing instead.
For the most part, the juice feasting was a humbling experience for me spiritually. My spiritual sensitivity was heightened. Many times during my quiet times, I felt the tangible presence of my Creator that was very reassuring.
An extended cleansing does emotional and spiritual cleansing as well, sometimes even drawing out old hurts to be dealt with. It did that to me. It was during this time of spiritual searching and emotional cleansing that I was faced with the issues of broken relationships with two very important persons in my life. During this juice feasting month, I was made to confront the issues, forced to deal with it, and found a much welcomed restoration and reunion in these relationships. I see these as answers to my prayers when I fervently sought God with fasting and praying.
Although I liked all the benefits that come with juice feasting, I had to admit that I was waiting to sink my teeth into hot solid food again.
Another reason for ending the fast earlier was so that I could take the time to break fast safely in time for an upcoming vacation which was just around the corner.
Q: What are your plans beyond 28 days?
After a 28-day fast and cleaning out the body, there was at the moment, no desire to eat foods that will add toxins back into my body. I don’t have immediate plans beyond this extended fast but am currently learning new recipes on preparing “healthy” food. I hope to make this extended juice feasting a yearly affair.
Q: What juicer do you use and why?
I own four different types of gear juicers. I have two favorites on my kitchen top readily accessible. It depends on what I plan to juice at any time. If it was mostly green vegetables I would use my Alpha Juicer. If I planned to juice in bigger volumes I would use my JuicePresso. Both juicers are so easy to assemble, operate and wash-up and it makes juicing rather effortless, fun even!
Q: Can you please describe the program that you follow?
I didn’t follow a particular program. Basically, I juice 3 or 4 times a day, fresh every time. I mix and combine anything I have in the fridge. I also buy extra vegetables for making vegetable soup. When I’m out of the house and had no access to a juicer/juices, I always carry around prepacked honey-apple cider vinegar and green foods which I buy in handy travel sachets. I make this drink in place of my fresh juices. I also take flaxseed oil, spirulina, chlorella, kelp and probiotics daily.
In the first week I started juice feasting, I took herbal-psyllium husk fiber drink twice a day with enema. Felt good to see a lot of “gunk” being purged out, those that had accumulated over the years due to improper eating habits. (Yes, am no angel when it comes to food!)
For exercise, I use the rebounder for about 10 minutes every morning, and did some detoxifying stretching exercises that help to release toxins. These help to clear the lymphatic drainage system.
Q: Please share with us briefly what a typical day would be on a “busy” juice-fasting day?
My day usually starts at 7.00 AM when I have my first glass of 800ml fresh juice. I include a beetroot every other day. Beetroot and fruit juices would normally be taken in the morning. I take my supplements and swallow them with my juices. Another glass of about 800ml juice in mid-morning.
I prepare these ingredients to boil my special soup (modified Hippocrates soup) for lunch: carrot, celery, garlic, leek, onion, potato and parsley. Add a pinch of sea salt for taste and discard overcooked vegetables. I enjoy and love this hot nutritious soup, usually make enough for two servings. The other to be taken later in the day.
If I feel up to it, I make another big glass of juice in early evening. When I don’t, I make an alternative: raw honey + apple cider vinegar and liquid chlorophyll.
My last juice for the day is usually taken before 8.00 PM, and it’s usually a large green juice which I take my time to drink, sipping it while doing some reading or watching TV.
Q: What are some of the common ingredients used during your juice fasts?
I do my marketing every Sunday, for the week. I usually buy any of these and mix whatever I felt like drinking.
Carrots and green apples are often the base for my drinks. Then I add any of these others: asparagus, beetroot (every other day), broccoli, yellow bell peppers, celery, chayote, cucumber, oranges, romaine lettuce, lotus roots, parsley, spinach, tomato, turnip, watermelon.
With the green drinks, I usually add half a lemon with the peel. Lemon not only make my fresh juices taste awesome, it also helps “super boost” the nutrients by increasing the absorbability. I add an inch of ginger and some onion for the extra kick sometimes.
Q: In your opinion, do you think anyone could do the program? Why or why not?
It is not advisable for just anyone to do an extended juice fast/feast, unless you know what you’re doing. There is bound to be healing crisis when you do an extended juice feast like this. The degree of healing crisis you will experience depends on your health level. Some can get very severe so you should anticipate these and know what to do, yet not be discouraged with it. A friend said her health had “gone chaotic” since she started eating healthy, not understanding that she was undergoing healing crisis and that she needed to stay on course till she gets back her “balance”.
Not to mention too, preparing so much juices require some work. There is the more frequent marketing to get fresh produce, washing and preparing the ingredients, cutting them up, juicing and washing up. Investing in a good gear juicer that gives you a higher yield/dryer pulp helps. A gear juicer is also so easy to wash up, makes juicing almost effortless.
Q: What is your best advice for anyone intending to do an extended juice fast/feast like this?
If you would like to embark on such an extended juice fast/feast, read up as much as you can about it. If you’re new to fasting, start with short fasts of half a day or a full day, gradually increasing the number of days till your body gets more accustomed to it.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to do a fast, do a juice feast instead. You don’t have to go without solid foods if you can’t or don’t want to, just avoid the harmful foods as much as possible, eat less solid cooked foods than your usual, step up on raw food (fruits and vegetables) and drink fresh juices as much as you can comfortably handle. This way you will encounter less healing crisis and you can probably go on a longer juice feast than if you just went cold turkey.
Finally, ENJOY the journey! All the best. 🙂