A few weeks ago, a close friend challenged me to a 10-day juice fast. I love trying out new things, especially healthy things, so I excitedly agreed. I went out and bought an inordinate amount of fruits and vegetables, and started juicing. This is what happened…

The Rules: Consume nothing more than juiced fruits and vegetables, and water for 14 days. Note that this requires the use of a juicer, and not a conventional blender.

The Goal: Detoxification and healing.

Why This Works: When you consume only juice, not only are you giving your body optimal nutrition from fruits and vegetables, you are also giving it an extended break from having to digest solid food. The body can therefore use that extra nutrition and energy to heal and detoxify in a way it was previously unable to do. For example, many people reporting feeling pain in old injuries because the body is re-opening old wounds to heal them more thoroughly.

The Process

Day 1-4: Like most new things, the first few days are the hardest. I’ve read of people having bad migraines and nausea, but I just miss food and have to take a nap in the afternoon to keep up my energy level. I guess that’s not so bad. I have a newfound power where I can smell food from miles away. It’s torturous!

Day 5-7: My energy levels have returned to normal, and even surpassed normal slightly. I really like not having to time the time to prepare or eat food. However I should note that I do have to juice for two hours every two days, so it probably evens out. Food is still really appetizing. Occasionally Often I will chew a piece of food and spit it out even though not swallowing removes all satisfaction from doing so.

Day 8-12: I originally meant to go for 10 days, but I’ve been reading that the really great sensations happen during day 11 – 25, so I’m going to continue. Finally solid food has lost some of its appeal. I’ve tried to make juicing a point of pride so that I’m “too good” for solid food, and it’s working!

Day 13: Today I’ve been feeling very anemic, so I’m going to feel out my body tomorrow to see if I should stop.

Day 14: The anemic feeling hasn’t gone away so I think my body is telling me to stop. Most people only for a few days on their first juice fast, so I don’t feel like a quitter if I stop now.

Day 15: Oh my god, food is sooooo good…

The Results

I am down 15 lbs (6.8 kg) from when I started. I should note that weight-loss was not the goal because I’m actively seeking to gain mass. I’ve been eating like a monster since the diet and have almost gained it all back.

There is no body fat to be found on my body. I didn’t have much body fat before, but now I really don’t have any. Apparently the abdominals can hide under even a small amount of fat. I forgot to take a before picture so you’ll have to take my word for it.

I do feel ‘detoxed’. Maybe it’s placebo, but I do feel more refreshed and light overall. Plus I can’t imagine that my body is not cleaner after seeing what was being filtered out after not eating anything solid for over a week. I’ll just mention the word ‘putrid’.

The fasting period was accompanied by a surge of other changes. This big change acted as a catalyst for establishing other habits too. I began consistently waking up at 6am and meditating with the extra time that gave me. I also focused on remaining ‘mindful’ throughout the day (instead of only during meditation) to greater success than I’ve ever had. All of these habits have continued beyond the fast.

Recommendations for Other

If you’re interested in trying out a juice fast for yourself, here are some tips:

- Stay away from people who are not juicing. If you can get your housemates to juice along with you, or try out the fast while you’re on a retreat of some kind, you’ll have a much easier time. Seeing and smelling delicious food can be too much to handle.

- Buy a masticating juicer. Masticating juicers are a bit more expensive than normal juicers, but they’re more efficient (meaning you get more juice from less fruit) and they can juice wheat grass. Wheat grass is one of the only vegetables that provides a substantial amount of protein. Otherwise it’s wise to purchase an all-natural, organic protein supplement to mix into your juice.

- Find an all-natural iron supplement. I did not do this and was became pretty anemic after the first week of the fast. I think I would have had a much more energy had I taken an iron supplement. Also, being cold all the time sucks.

- Drink a LOT of water. Most of your hunger sensations in the first few days can be satiated with just water instead of drinking more juice than you need. Water also helps with the detoxification process.

- Enjoy your juice. If you just throw every fruit and vegetable together into a juice without much thought, the taste will make drinking your juice a chore rather than a delight. Taking the time to find recipes that you like is worth the extra effort.