Exclusive interview between Juicing-for-Health.com
and Leslie Jackson who completed a 60-day juice fast
together with her husband and achieved amazing results.
Leslie and her husband watched “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” one afternoon and that documentary changed both their lives. They began juicing immediately after, with no intention whatsoever to launch into an extended juice fast. But one glass of juice led to another and another and another … they were hooked!
“I feel like I’ve swallowed twinkling stars!”
Read on and see how an extended juice fast had improved both Leslie and her husband’s health in so many ways. Fats began to melt and between them, they lost over 170 lbs, and feeling HEALTHIER!
Read Leslie’s AMAZING story, in her own words …
Q: Please introduce yourself, what do you do for a living?
For the past year, my husband and I have been in the cheese business. Prior to that, we owned and operated an Italian Bistro for the better part of a decade.
Q: Have you done similar fasts before this?
No. I am not good at fasting. It gives me headaches and makes me very cranky. LOL.
Q: What inspired you to start the 60-day juice fast?
Well, we have always been “foodies”, ie, Food Network junkies, dinner parties for entertainment, etc. and also “health food nuts”, so when I came across a random Facebook comment that mentioned an interesting sounding movie title that could be accessed for free on Netflix Instant Queue called “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead“, I was intrigued by the title alone.
My husband and I watched the movie that afternoon … in stunned and wide eyed silence! At the end of the movie, we turned and looked at each other and simply said, “You wanna try this?” “Yep!” We got up and went to the kitchen and cleaned out the refrigerator. We already owned a Vitamix, a Champion juicer and a Jack LaLanne juicer, so we just started shoving anything and everything we had in the fridge through the Jack and the Champion.
As I said, I’m not good at fasting, so the only stipulation that I had was that I did NOT go hungry, meaning that, as busy people we both had to be in this 100%, each of us participating fully and juicing for one another whenever necessary. So, that afternoon and on onto the evening, we juiced and juiced, inventing one concoction after another, until we just couldn’t hold anymore! LOL
I stayed up late, waiting for hunger to come, so I could nip it in the bud, but it never happened! Now, at this point, a 60-day fast was not the plan! We were happy to have gotten through the afternoon and evening. Frankly we thought we’d make it for a day or two, maybe three and just see how it goes.
Then, we woke up the next morning and just decided to juice for breakfast … then decided to juice for a mid-morning snack … then lunch … then mid-day snack … then dinner … then bedtime snack … frankly just waiting to fall off the wagon!! LOL Then, with that same process, just one meal decision at a time, one day turned into another. Within a couple of weeks, we just didn’t think about it much anymore, we just juiced!
Q: Were you personally facing some health issues that you were hoping this fast would help address?
Well, we’re not spring chickens, so we had begun to accept things as “old age”! We didn’t know it at the time, but that’s just HOGWASH! Like Charlotte Gerson says, in our society today, malnutrition is masquerading as old age! Bone crushing fatigue was a constant companion.
We don’t drink soft drinks nor coffee and just felt like the hyped-up Starbucks generation was just whizzing by us! Mental fatigue also was just a daily reality. Muscle and skeletal weakness was also just accepted as old age. So much so, that we literally had to actually lean on one another to put on our pants or pajamas. It was pitiful, but again, just accepted as old age. It wasn’t that we expected the juicing to make things better, we didn’t! We just thought we’d be better off to hopefully impede this “old age” process.
But more to the point, we were both seriously overweight. Me even more so than hubby. A decade in the restaurant business had not been kind. But I want to make mention here, that it was NOT from overeating!! Not at all! As I said, we were always “foodies” and “health food nuts”, so we were very conscious of what we ate. But, in spite of how hard we tried, it always seemed, the harder we tried and the less we ate, the fatter we got! This was ALWAYS both baffling and frustrating at the same time.
Our staple diet in the restaurant was soup made in-house, salads with house-made dressing and home-made meat balls. Can anyone spot the problems here? We did not! No sugar, no pasta, no white flour of ANY kind! But still, the unbridled weight gain continued….. The problem, we later discovered, was the soup ALWAYS contained a thing called “soup base”, which we never realized was LOADED with HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP and MSG!! The meatballs were stored in a broth that was made from this same soup base and the added ingredients for the in-house balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing, that we thought was such a wise and healthy choice, was also loaded with the dreaded HFCS and MSG, and a whole host of other diabolical chemical additives and health destroyers. So much for having a high priced chef! LOL.
Q: What motivated you to continue and complete the 60-day fast?
Like I said, we NEVER DARED think in terms of 60 days! I was just happy to get from one meal to the next and having stayed on the juice course! Then, meals turned into days and one day turned into another. Then days into weeks, but all the while, my ONLY focus was my NEXT meal and not to get hungry or a headache! LOL
But it wasn’t long before the most amazing thing began to happen …!! I wasn’t hungry, no headache and my scale began to do the most amazing thing! It actually began to return some GOOD news for a change!! And in some STUNNING increments!! I was gob smacked!! I hadn’t actually LOST any weight in years and years and now it was suddenly MELTING off!! That was it, I was HOOKED!! We’d tried EVERYTHING to lose weight over the years, with no sustainable results.
People cannot reasonably maintain an existence on a few lettuce leaves a day. THIS was REAL eating! This felt natural and right, totally doable and most of all, sustainable!! You can starve yourself for a short time, maybe even a long time! But sooner or later, pure survival instincts are going to kick in and you will return to eating “normal” again. When that happens, and believe me it WILL happen, most folks wind up regaining even MORE weight than they lost, because starvation simply is not humanly reasonable and in fact, is damaging! This juicing, however, was not that! Quite the opposite, in fact! This was eating to LIVE!! This was EATING my way to good health and balance, not starving myself to death, literally! THIS was something that was TOTALLY sustainable, enjoyable and life giving, instead of life robbing. I can do this indefinitely!! We began to physically FEEL: bright, alert, awake, energetic, youthful, rejuvenated, invigorated, fit, YOUNG …!! THIS is what HEALTHY feels like! Every fiber of our being, every cell in our bodies is alive, awake, well fed and well nourished.
Q: What were some of the challenges you faced during the 60 days?
HOT DOGS!!! LOL. We now work at outdoor markets and are SURROUNDED by fair food everyday, with all those smells wafting through the air! Hot dogs, corn dogs, sausage sandwiches, meatball subs, elephant ears, roasted corn, peanuts, cotton candy, you name it!! But we’ve never succumbed, not once, because what we’ve found is precious!
Q: Were there days that you felt like ending the fast? If so, can you share with us what happened?
No. I never felt like stopping. In fact, quite the opposite. I began to be concerned if we would ever eat again! We just began to feel so good, so alert, so energetic, so young! And melting weight like a cheap candle, who would want to stop!?
Q: Did you experience any healing reactions? If so, can you please tell us about it?
Yes. One day, while at work, we both just suddenly and unexpectedly, seemed to sort of run out of steam. We tried drinking more juice that we carried with us, but to no avail. We couldn’t think, became dizzy and nauseous, couldn’t focus, ran out of energy, just couldn’t go on anymore. So we just closed up shop and packed up, went home and went straight to bed. The next morning, we both woke up fine and simply carried on. We were never really big junk food eaters, so it really wasn’t that bad.
Q: What are some of the physical changes you experienced at the end of the fast?
I don’t know where to begin … Well, beside the obvious return to normalized weight, we both look a good, solid, TWENTY YEARS younger, brighter and fresher! Strangers comment to me all the time how my skin glows! No facial cream on earth could do this! Eyes are whiter and brighter. Wrinkles actually disappeared. Hair is thicker and shinier, nails are longer, stronger and whiter.
Hubby was starting a bald spot that has now completely filled in. Aches and pains are a thing of the past. Brain fog is gone, replaced with laser-like focus. What used to seem like a daunting mental task, like new computer programs, or just a new recipe, is now just a wonder at why it seemed like such a big, overwhelming deal. Fatigue is a thing of the past, both mental and physical.
I’m currently reading six different books simultaneously and my appetite for new information is insatiable! I have always been a night owl, going to bed, often times, just as my husband was rising to go to work. Waking up early always gave me a headache for the whole day. I’m now naturally awake before 5.00 A.M., not just awake and groggy, but awake, alert and can’t WAIT to attack the day!
Various cysts have simply vanished, a surgical scar I’ve had since 1976 is gone! It has always looked like a fat, red worm. Now it looks like a thin, flesh colored thread. Aches and pains are gone! I didn’t realize it until one day, maybe only a few weeks into the fast, from across the room, I saw my husband, who could NOT put on his own pants unassisted, LEAPT up onto a wooden table to hang up some signage. He didn’t even realize it! He did it as a natural occurrence, without a second thought, like a teenager! I just stood there with my mouth open in astonishment!! I was confused! I wasn’t sure what I was seeing…!! Seriously!! Now, not only do we not need help in clothing ourselves, but he is doing push-ups and I am using workout resistance bands!! Woohoo!! We’re on the go, 14-16 hours a day, like teenagers! I didn’t feel this good when I WAS a teenager!
Oh, did I mention we are 170+ pounds lighter between us…?? 100+ for me and 70+ for my hubby and still dropping!
Q: What were your family members’ reactions when they heard you were going on the extended fast? Were they supportive of you during your 60-day journey?
“Where do you get enough protein?” Mostly skeptical, but the outward changes were undeniable.
Q: Did you have to turn down lunch/dinner/party invites during this time?
Nope. I never run from a challenge. We carry juice with us wherever we go. Otherwise, we just use the produce isle of the grocery store or any local farmers market for our own personal “fast food”!!
Q: What was your feeling at the end of the 60-day fast?
Sad! We didn’t want to stop! So we didn’t! We just added one steamed veggie meal per day and continued juicing.
Q: What are your plans beyond 60 days?
Just to continue juice feasting. We’ve added a few raw nuts and seeds, a little quinoa now and then, and the occasional fish and even organic chicken soup. Also, some grass-fed beef now and then, only every couple of months or so. But still 90% plant-based foods.
Q: What juicer do you use and why?
Currently the Omega J8006 for the following reasons:
This is a single gear/auger, masticating juicer. There is a greater initial investment, but I reduced my grocery bill by 30+% immediately after upgrading from the Jack Lalanne. This is due to greater efficiency, producing a far drier pulp, less waste, greater yield, as well as greater quality juice.
This juicer produces a richer, noticeably more nutrient-dense juice, which is why we do this! It also processes leafy greens much more efficiently, as opposed to our former juicer that just spit most of them out the back, which to me, just equaled dollars ending up in the compost pile! This juicer has been redesigned, over the earlier 8000 Series models, to include an eight times hardier and thereby more durable auger to stand up to serious use.
This Omega J8006 comes with a full 15-year manufacturer’s warranty, as opposed to just 10 years on earlier models. Finally, this juicer cleans up in a snap, literally a simple rinse, eliminating “clean-up dread”, which can psychologically inhibit avid juicing, due to the chore of cleaning a juicer that requires tools to take apart, every time you juice! So, this juicer has not only given me more juice and a higher quality juice for the same amount of produce, but also afforded me more nutrients, by way of more frequent juicing, due to the sheer ease of use. It also makes pasta, sorbets, nut butters and baby food!
Q: Can you please describe the program that you follow?
We start juicing at 5 AM and juice throughout the day. My husband and I travel, so we have to juice for the day and carry it with us in glass jars, in a cooler packed with cold packs. I never like to hold juice over till the next day. But it never lasts that long! We usually wind up squabbling over who gets the last bits! 🙂
Q: Please share with us briefly what a typical day would be on a “busy” juice-fasting day?
We generally juice fruits for breakfast, carrot, apple, celery, oranges, grapefruits and ginger. That usually lasts through lunch. Then we switch to snack juices, like pineapple and cucumber, or maybe just carrot and apple, something simple to tide over till dinner, which would be greens, typically Mean Green, often times with beets added in.
Q: What were some of the common/favorite ingredients used during your juice fast?
Carrot, apple, celery is a staple “base” juice for us. You can add almost anything to that, more fruit, or loads of greens. Every day for breakfast, we juice carrot, apple, celery, oranges, grapefruits and fresh ginger. This is my favorite. I could drink this all day and sometimes do! We will also add berries, cranberries, melon, grapes, pears, pineapple, whatever is fresh and on hand. I also love the Mean Green, which is kale, apples, celery, cucumber, lemon and ginger. Sometimes we add a beetroot and its greens to this juice. Carrot and apple, or pineapple and cucumber are great, quick juices for snacks!
Q: Please share how you break this extended 60-day juice fast?
First with raw foods, fruits, mostly, but grapes, apples, oranges, carrot and celery sticks, tomatoes. No limit, as much as we wanted. Then slowly, we started out with steamed spinach, because it’s mild. Then gradually added other vegetables, like Brussels sprouts, turnips, broccoli, cauliflower and the like, just with sea salt and freshly-squeezed lemon juice. Now we have added the occasional soup, nuts, dates, raisins and quinoa.
Q: In your opinion, do you think anyone could do the program? Why or why not?
I think anyone could. It’s really all in the “want to”.
Q: What is your best advice for anyone intending to do a extended juice fast/feast like this?
One day at a time, one good meal decision at a time. One foot in front of the other. Don’t go hungry and drink LOADS of water. Also, invest in a good, masticating juicer. What you don’t spend on a juicer, you WILL spend in wasted produce. Spend it ONE time up front, or spend it EVERY time you juice.
And remember, NOTHING tastes as good as HEALTHY feels!