What a healing experience.
In September 2011 I stopped chewing food for 30 days. I lost 17 pounds and by day 15 I felt more amazing than I had in a decade. Friends were curious so I wrote a FAQ I forwarded to all those who asked.
Here it is.
I will create more in-depth posts on this subject, but if you want to drink in the Juice Fast overview like a blast from a fire-hose, read on. :)
"What is up with you eating nothing just juiced fruits and vegetables for 30 days?!?!"
How It Started
I watched the movie "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead" on Netflix.com. You can also rent it on Amazon or watch it for free on their website. I had no idea you could "just juice". I had done a Master Cleanse before but that was drinking alemon/cayenne pepper/honey concoction for a week. Not the same thing and not sustainable.
Why I Did It
After going gluten-free and then dairy-free for six months I still didn't feel right. I got tired of dancing around trying to make the Standard American Diet work with food intolerances so I said "enough" and started a juice fast.
Why Juice and Not Just Eat Vegetables?
If you watch the movie you will see this in action. By stripping the fiber from the food and just eating the juice (the straight nutrients) your digestive system doesn't need to work and it gets a vacation. The nutrients go right into your blood stream and super-charge your body. 100% of your body's resources go to healing you since a) it has major nutrients now and b) it's not busy digesting.
Here is an interesting article about blending vs. juicing:
It's Not A Diet….
So it's not a diet, it's a cleanse. (My words.) Yes you lose weight, but your entire intestinal track gets cleaned out. So, um, yeah. Not going into details there but…. that's the point. One famous juicer guy said that all diseases are caused by constipation (and most people don't realize they have it). You are backed up and then toxins get into your blood which causes allergies and then leads to all of the diseases and ailments you can think of. That's why this is called a "Reboot" in the movie. You are literally rebooting your entire insides to start over so they can work correctly.
Come On, Tell Me The Truth, Does It Suck To Do This For 30 Days?
The first 11 days for me had many high points but it also had some low points. I did not suffer food cravings like many do because going gluten-free solved that issue months before. But I still had detox stuff. That means you run to the bathroom. Or you feel tired. Or you run to the bathroom again. But I didn't complain because I WANTED to detox. How am I going to detox if I don't detox? Besides, it passes. But geesh, after I juiced my first huge collard green I had a terrible hot flash. I looked it up. It seems my body is finally able to, you guessed it, detox! So again, no complaints there.
It does take a lot of time and energy.
You don't have to deal with cooking but you are doing a new hobby 4 times a day. You have to go to grocery store every other day. You have to plan and think about things. You end up reading more and more articles about it. So pretend you are going on vacation and get your To Do list cleared up in advance and then devote time to it. Or let things side for a week. No biggie.
By Day 11 my major detox was done. By Day 15 I had turned a corner. Juicing was no longer some weird experiment; eating raw was now my normal, natural life.
Want To Try It?
Here are my resources.
The Movie - "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead" FatSickAndNearlyDead.com. To watch it free, go to JointheReboot.com.
This is also a site where you can join the community get reboot support and resources. JoinTheReboot.com
I love Reboot site. It's so inspiring. There are people on there from all over America and you see their profiles and their weight if they post it. You hear how they are changing their lives. I recommend signing up for it.
When I joined JoinTheReboot.com I was asked to fill out a questionnaire. Every answer leads you to instructions on how to do a Reboot which includes eating food. (That's OK, too, but I would have failed at that. The only reason I am succeeding is because Juice Only is an All-or-Nothing game. That works for me. Many other people I know who tried to eat while juicing never completed their goal, either.)
If you want to do a Juice Only Reboot the instructions are here:
Will I Get Enough Protein?
You can research this on the net but the bottom line is dark leafy greens have a lot of protein in them. Plus you are not doing a reboot forever. An article on the Reboot site for protein questions is here:
What Are Your Juice Recipes?
Mostly, I fake it.
Base of apples and/or carrots and/or pears and then stick in greens like kale, chard, dandelion.
Or I google "Juicer Recipes" and then try them.
Or I get a vegetable like beets and then think, "What the heck do I do with this?" And I will google "How to juice beets".
I have read and found to be true that acid in the morning doesn't feel as good. So I'll skip apples and just have carrot-spinach drinks in the morning and use apples later in the day. It depends on how I feel.
What Are Your Keys To Success?
I announced it on Facebook. Then when I was considering starting "Tomorrow" on my intended start-day I did not procrastinate. I had already outed myself! So I started. So, announce it.
I made a poster and put it on my wall. One box for each day. In the morning I list my weight. At the end of the day I mark the box. SO helpful. And then when my 7 year old said "Mom, when you finish I'll write "You did it, Mom!" at the bottom. Now I had to finish because how can you disappoint your 7 year old with something you are doing to be more healthy for yourself?!?!
I joined the JoinTheReboot.com community and I logged in that first week and I cheered on other people. That really helps during that first detox week.
I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. So I hit my wall. I think each person can only know for themselves if they have hit their wall, too.
What Juicer Should I Get?
No juicer is perfect. There are a zillion choices. Before I make your eyes cross with information remember this:
1. Juicing is better than not juicing at all, regardless of which juicer you have. :)
2. A juicer that is easy to clean is a juicer that is used.
So don't stress out about picking a juicer.
That being said, here is my research if it helps you:
What to look for when shopping for a juicer:
No juicer juices soft mushy fruits really well.
(Here is an article on that http://www.discountjuicers.com/juicingfruits.html)
I am OK with this. After my fast I plan on eating or blending juices, per the article. I want something that juices greens well. I plan on juicing greens long-term.
My favorite site for juicers is DiscountJuicers.com.
The site owner, John Kohler, is a juicer expert and raw foodist and nice guy.
Tons of articles, videos and help on that site.
What Juicer Do I Have?
Omega 8004 single-auger masticating juicer.
I had an Omega 1000 non-continuos juicer from long ago when I started my reboot but I couldn't juice enough ounces without needing to dump it out and re-set it to keep going. So I wanted a continuous juicer where the pulp pops out as you go so you can juice as much as you want in one sitting.
After many hours of research I bought the Omega 8004 from DiscountJuicers.com.
http://www.discountjuicers.com/omega8004.html (or the 8006 if you want chrome).
It's not as fast as a centrifugal to use but it juices greens really well (my top priority), has multiple functions for later use, is easy to clean and does a nice pulp-free juice if you strain it (I don't like pulp).
After I got it and used it I thought "Egads, this is so much slower to juice things with!" So I made a juice in the other one a few days later and then thought "Egads, my juice is so much better coming from my new juicer! It's colder and it juices greens so well and the juice just feels more alive!" Now I never use the other one. I love my Omega 8004. LOVE IT.
Need A Low-Cost Juicer?
If cost is an issue or you just want to try out juicing and aren't sure if you want to keep up, there is a low-cost, great centrifugal juicer John Kohler recommends: http://www.discountjuicers.com/lequipmini.html (also comes in grey).
Want A Fast Juicer?
If you don't care as much about how much juice you get from the greens and you are in a hurry in the mornings or you like things to go fast, the centrifugal ones are much faster at the actual juicing part. With a wide-mouth you don't even need to cut up your apples or pears. You can go to his website and watch videos of him demonstrating the juicers so you can see the difference in actually using them. :)
My Geeky, Long Juicer Summary
You can read an article about juicers here from the expert:
This is my summary:
Centrifugal juicers are fast. They do carrots and apples and hard stuff really well and do high-yield on them. They are easy to clean. Some have wide mouths so you don't even have to cut up your apple first. But they run at a high RPM which heats up the juice and can kill enzymes before you drink it. Minimally, probably, but the raw foodists mention it. And they are not nearly as good at juicing dark leafy greens. I did notice when I switched from a centrifugal to a single-auger juicer my juicers were way colder when I drank them.
For me, the point of juicing is for the leafy greens. I can always eat fruit or make a fruit smoothie but I don't want to chew a bucket of kale. I recommend one that does continuous juicing if you get a centrifugal, though, even though it has less yield because the pulp spends less time in the spinner before it's shot out. Mine does not do continuous and it gets filled up and becomes unbalanced and starts to dance around the counter and I have to empty it to keep juicing.
Because I want leafy greens done well I want a masticating (AKA single auger). I could get a double auger but they are harder to clean and the yield isn't that much better to compensate in my opinion.
Same with the twin-gear. And with the twin-gear they recommend a fruit juicing part to add on. I don't want to mess with multiple parts. Although they do juice wheat grass and have the best yield and maintain the most nutrients with greens, they are a mostly-green juicer and for needs I wanted something a bit more towards the easier-to-clean, fruit side than that.
So the masticating (AKA single auger) juicers are way better for greens than the centrifugal although the yield on carrots and harder stuff is slightly less. But not so much less... and you get such great yield on leafy greens.
For the masticating juicers you can get an Omega VRT 330 HD but it makes a pulpier juice, which I don't like. The Omega 8004 (or 8006 if you like chrome) does a smooth juice so that is my choice. Omega has been in the business for 30 years and that one has a 15 year warranty, the longest warranty for a juicer, ever.
Have You Read This Far?
Seriously?! You must be wanting to do a juice fast! Or a juice FEAST, rather! Or at least start adding juicing to your life! Let me know and I'll cheer you on!!! Yay! :)
P.S. In 2020 I moved this post from a different website of mine. In 2014 on my old blog there were some comments. Here is an exchange from that time.
"Inspiring blog! I've struggled with weight all my life, and found out two years ago I had major allergies to gluten, yeast, dairy, even chocolate (eek!) The allergies have created major bloat and inflammation. I've lived in denial, being occasionally inspired to start down a healthier road (like after watching Fat Sick, and Nearly Dead), but then the reality would sink in that I'd have to give up everything I like and add yet another item to my daily to do list and I'd procrastinate some more. I have two juicers (one at home and one at work) and literally zero excuse not to just start...I think the fear of failure has held me back. Thanks for sharing your story and being an inspiration, I think I will start with Joe Cross' 30 day cleanse (since I, too, am an all-or-nothing person) and will let you know how it goes!"
"Thank you! I highly recommend Joe's site. I cannot recommend having a support system enough. Every day I got onto Joe Cross' site and cheered on other people. Cheering them on kept me going. Their support reminded me I'm not alone. Also, the huge poster I put on my wall did, too. I marked it off every day. I kept picturing at the end of it writing "Yay, I did it!" and posting a photo of it. It's things like that that kept me going.
It's true, you will have to give up everything you like. Then you will have an uncomfortable bit of time in the middle before you find you like other things. The uncomfortable part doesn't even last long! Just mere weeks! I could not imagine life without chocolate, bread, cheese... then after my juice fast I went years without cocoa. I eat it occasionally now and it's not even my favorite. Can you believe it?! :) Do you know what some of my favorite things are now? Cold, fresh fruit. A bowl of awesome raspberries or blueberries just makes me happy dance the way a donut or cake used to. And... honestly.... the other day I could not wait for my sautéed kale. That took a couple of years but you could knock me over with a feather with that one.
What I am saying is - if you get through the transition time - you will still adore things you eat, it's just they will be different things because you will have detoxed the rest. And you will feel awesome and adore yourself for it.
I am totally cheering you on!
Yes And Living Kitchen Sink
If it's not personal growth or education it goes here - food, health, wacky experiments, products, off-beat posts. This is the kitchen sink of it all.
New? Start Here.