Exclusive interview between Juicing-for-Health.com
and Steven Robalino who completed a 30-day juice fast.
This is Steve’s first juice fast. He went into it a beginner and learned along the way. The result? He emerged as a champion with better-looking skin, lost some weight and feeling good!
Steve shares his journey with interesting and honest insights into some of the challenges he faced during the 30 days. Read all about it here:
Q: Please introduce yourself, what do you do for a living?
My name is Steve, born and raised in Queens, New York. I’m a single parent raising my son the best I can. Best job EVER!
Q: Have you done similar fasts before this?
No, never. In fact, before I did this fast, I think the longest I went without eating was when I slept at night. I came into this fast a rookie but finished it a champion.
Q: What inspired you to start the 30-day juice fast?
There are a lot of things that inspired me to juice fast but the catalyst for me to truly begin came from a documentary I saw. I’m sure many people in the juicing community have watched “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”. If you haven’t, go check it out.
Q: Were you personally facing some health issues that you were hoping this fast would help address?
No, but If I continued treating my body the way I did before, there’s no doubt my health was headed for disaster. I tried fasting in the hopes that I could change my quality of life. I wanted to reset my system, so I did a do-over to take control and live healthier. Not an easy change when you’re a foodie like me.
Q: What motivated you to continue and complete the 30-day fast?
I’m very proud of my 30-day fast. It was like torture at first so maybe I’m a masochist. After the initial dark days passed, I began to notice the changes to my face and body. I would weigh myself every Sunday when I went to visit my dad and the scale’s numbers kept on dropping. My clothes fit loose and I noticed my complexion had cleared. It’s easy to get motivation from your results because they give you a reason to press on. You start to look in the mirror and actually like what you see. My friends and family gave me support but I know a lot of them thought I was nuts for doing this.
Q: What were some of the challenges you faced during the 30 days?
In the first week, there were days when I would have nightmares about breaking my fast with the craziest combinations of foods, like giant orange gumballs and Cheez-Its. I’d wake up feeling so relieved. The process of juicing became a bit repetitious.
Maybe I was lazy but cleaning my juicer every 3 hours became a chore. After the second week, I could assemble and dismantle my juicer like a soldier would his rifle if asked by his drill sergeant AND in record time! There were light-headed moments when I got up too fast. To resolve that, I would drink water and the dizziness would go away. I found myself leaning against a wall more than once whenever that happened. Scary stuff.
I had sleepless nights when I would toss and turn with hunger pangs. Sometimes the hunger would cause migraines. I chalked the headaches up to the detoxification process. I started sleeping better after the pain phase passed. The last challenge was probably the grossest. I would wake up with a bacteria swamp in my mouth. I knew that this was my body releasing toxins, but it wasn’t pleasant. Thank God for mouthwash!
Q: Were there days that you felt like ending the fast? If so, can you share with us what happened?
It was tough when I would cook for my son, David. One night he asked if I could make him chili for dinner. That’s a dish that requires a cook to sample multiple tastes during preparation. It was difficult for me to smell the aromas from that pot and not be able to lick the spoon. I almost broke my fast that day. I should also mention that cooking is my specialty.
Q: Did you experience any healing reactions? If so, can you please tell us about it?
I had headaches that became increasingly worse at times. The throbbing kind. The headaches were mostly at night, so I would force myself to go to bed early just to put myself out of my misery.
Besides that, I should mention the one thing that people are too shy to discuss on forums. Going to the bathroom is an experience when fasting. If you’re a regular person, you might find it strange not having bowel movements. I knew going into the fast that my digestive system would react differently. A juice faster can expect to save a lot of toilet paper. Urinating frequently is a guarantee, however.
Q: What are some of the physical changes you experienced at the end of the fast?
The end yielded the best changes, the most obvious being the weight loss. I went from 205lbs to 177lbs, almost 30lbs shed in 30 days. My body mass index is normal for the first time in ten years.
Q: What were your family members’ reactions when they heard you were going on the extended fast? Were they supportive of you during your 30-day journey?
In all honesty, not everyone agreed with what I was doing. Some feared for my safety and others found amusement by taunting my efforts. I had a small team on my side that I relied on to give me a boost of motivation with positive support.
Q: Did you have to turn down lunch/dinner/party invites during this time?
I tried to be a hermit but there were birthdays and other events that required my presence. I had no problem showing up but ordering water at a pub was something I did when I needed to sober up. The bartenders thought I was the most sober looking drunk ever. It didn’t really change my social drinking life much. Before the fast, I hardly ever drank and whenever I did, it was very little.
Q: What was your feeling at the end of the 30-day fast?
I was feeling a bit anxious, actually. I was nervous about everything that comes after the fast. I didn’t want to ruin my efforts by running to White Castle, buying 30 burgers and putting back on the weight I lost and some. There’s no way I’m going back to that. A person doesn’t go a month without eating then throw it all away at the end. I went food shopping and now I have a fridge full of raw food diet groceries. This is my life now.
Q: What are your plans beyond 30 days?
I’m excited about the future. This is a lifestyle change and juice fasting helped me sharpen my discipline. I’m on a high raw food diet and I’ll be juicing every so often. I’m also walking people through their first juice fasts now. I can’t believe people are asking me for health advice these days.
Q: What juicer do you use and why?
I have the Jack Lalanne Power Juicer. It belonged to my mother and she probably used it once, so I dusted it off and put that machine to work. If you’re looking to buy a juicer, you need to buy a reliable one. Shell out for the expensive one because if you buy a compact model, you’ll be at it forever trying to make juice.
Q: Can you please describe the program that you follow? What’s your favorite recipe?
I was told not to exercise to the extreme while fasting. I followed that advice and did minor calisthenics and lots of long distance hikes. As for my juicing regimen, I drank 3-4 pints of green juice daily along with plenty of water.
My favorite is the “Mean Green” juice:
- 6 Kale Leaves
- 1 Cucumber
- 4 Celery Stalks
- 2 Green Apples
- 1/2 Lemon (I was juicing them with the peel until the last two days and it made for better juice)
- 1 piece of 1-inch ginger
And there’s a drink that I made whenever I felt low in energy, I called it “My Snickers Bar”.
There’s nothing chocolatey about it. It’s one pear and one granny smith apple. That’s it! It was like heaven for me when I drank it. My taste buds needed a change and the Snickers Bar satisfied.
Q: Please share with us briefly what a typical day would be on a “busy” juice-fasting day?
I wake up, brush my teeth and mouthwash like a madman. Make sure my son is ready for school. Once he leaves, I make enough juice for breakfast and for my lunch 3 hours later. Clean the juicer and make sure it’s ready for later. Then, I go for a walk and soak in the sun if it’s out. Nothing out of the ordinary. I get to work from home so I’m not stressed with a commute or being somewhere on time. Later, I have lunch and juice my dinner and the next day’s breakfast. My son gets his dinner and we watch TV and talk about our day. On days when I have to travel I always put my green juice in a bottle and head out.
Q: Please share how you break this extended 30-day juice fast?
I was looking forward to the day I got to break the fast since day 1. I saw videos on Youtube of other people breaking their fasts with prunes soaked in water overnight. They would start by drinking the prune water and then chomping away. I always imagined it would taste sweet and syrupy. Yesterday was my first bite into a soaked prune and it was incredible. It felt like a marathon had ended and that first bite signified my crossing the finish line. Everything I ate after that was orgasmic. I had a peach, an apple and two bananas after that. I couldn’t stifle the moans. I think dog poop would probably have tasted like a five star restaurant gourmet meal to a juice faster at the end of their fast, but I’m not going there.
For the next week, it’s all about fruit and veggies in their raw uncooked state, lots of nuts and seeds and smoothies galore. I’ll be making homemade vegetable soups and vegetarian sushi rolls. I have to buy a dehydrator. You can make a ton of healthy snacks with one of those. My kid won’t eat any of this stuff but the way I see it, it’s like when you’re on an airplane and they give you the instructions in case of an emergency … parents have to secure their own oxygen masks before putting on their child’s. I’ll nudge him into healthier options. My number one challenge is getting him off soda.
Q: In your opinion, do you think anyone could do the program? Why or why not?
It takes a lot of focus and discipline. For some people, this could prove to be more than they can handle. It can get scary and it is very challenging. I don’t think it’s for everyone but I believe that if I can do it, anyone can.
Q: What is your best advice for anyone intending to do an extended juice fast/feast like this?
See a doctor first. Remember to stay hydrated. Surround yourself with positive support. Commit to this challenge and vow to see it through to the end. I believe in you.