What a 10 Day Juice Fast Taught Me

10 days ago I started a juice fast. That’s right, no food. Just pure, fresh fruit and vegetable juice. Why? Because I wanted to increase my energy levels, reset my body and be able to start enjoying food again without worrying about what I could and couldn’t eat.

Going into it I was as prepared as I could be, I had done 3 and 5 day juice fasts before so it wasn’t anything totally new, just a longer time period. Here’s what I learnt in my 10 day juice fast:

1) Listening to my body:

  1. On day 2 I had a headache, this is normal and all part of the process. Solution? Drink more water, problem solved.
  2. On day 2 I had a headache, this is normal and all part of the process. Solution? Drink more water, problem solved.
  3. On days 4-6 I had cold symptoms (right around the time we had 40+ degree temperatures here in Melbourne) so I let my body rest as much as possible and dosing myself up on natural vitamin c from orange and lemon juice.
  4. I knew I was going to be tired, that was normal for me, so if my body was telling me to sleep, I did. There was no reason to push my body at this stage if I didn’t have to.

2)      Trusting my judgment:

  1. I had faith in the process and knew I was doing the right thing for my body and at the end of the day that’s all that matters. I could feel the difference day to day of my body detoxing itself and healing, so I just took it day by day and did the best I could.

3)      No one is perfect:

  1. I slipped up at one point, a very minor slip I might add. I took a couple tablets to help with the cold which I shouldn’t have. I don’t believe it was enough to destroy all the work I had done in the previous days so I continued on to finish the 10 days.

4)      You need to create the right environment:

  1. I wanted to start this 10 day juice fast a few days earlier, but I had plans that had me out of the state filled with meetings over meals for most of it. There was no way starting while I was there would be practical or beneficial, so I waited until I was home, in my own environment where I could control most circumstances because I knew I would have a much higher success rate.

5)      There are many ways to cleanse your body

  1. Fasting isn’t just about the actual fast, there are many other aspects to be considered:

               i.      Enemas or colon cleanses: Most people will tell you these are paramount to completing a juice fast properly to completely clear out your system, I would tend to agree J

               ii.      Physical activity: While you may not have the same amount of energy to begin with, some form of movement is necessary. A morning walk, some core exercises, jumping on a trampoline (my favorite way to build my nervous system) or any other form of exercise you can think of. Again, a must in any fasting protocol.

                iii.      Mental activity: Here I’m talking anything from meditation, reading, writing and drawing. Something I definitely did not do enough of in the first few days but managed to pick it up in the second half.

6)      Determination

  1. I’m just human, I love food, coming up with all kinds of creations to enjoy every day, and it’s exciting. I also enjoy my fresh juices, but that doesn’t mean I’m a freak who thinks a 10 day juice fast is easy, not by a long shot.
  2. The last few days were the hardest, probably, actually definitely, because I have immersed myself in a new business project writing recipe after recipe which just sent my mind wandering, oh how I miss my blender!
  3. I just had to remind myself why I was doing it in the first place, I had already noticed some of the benefits so that was pretty exciting, I didn’t have long to go so I had to suck it up, tell my mind to leave me alone and let me continue on this journey.

7)      Need vs want

  1. There were times when I wanted food. The idea of making a delicious salad or creamy soup was very, very appealing. Then I thought,’ Do I need it?’ the answer was no. we often confuse need vs want when it comes to food, more often than not it’s because we are simply thirsty. Drink 3 liters of water every day and I guarantee you won’t be eating the amount you would normally eat.
  2. Need proof? I just went 10 days without eating solid food, how’s that for proof? Give your body what it needs, not what it/you want and you will feel nourished every time.

8)      More is less

  1. Yes, you read that right. I’ve always known about this little trick yet never tried it. I put all the pulp from my juice back through the juicer and hey presto, more juice and less pulp!

While my first experience of a 10 day juice fast wasn’t perfect, it was a great experiment of which I have a greater understanding of now. I did get increased energy levels which is a huge bonus for me, I managed to create some new juice recipes which I love and I just generally feel much better than I did from when I started so to me this experiment was a great success, I can’t wait to do it again!