By Carla Douglin, Author of Juice 28: 28-Day Juice Detox Plan
Through the ages, many cultures have used fasting for many different reasons, including religion and health. Today, people use fasting for similar reasons, and now also do things like juice fasts. With a juice fast, one drinks nothing but a wide variety of fresh, nutritious juices bursting with flavor, to cleanse the body, boost immunity, and shed unwanted pounds. They fast for a pre-determined length of time, anywhere from 1 to 100 days.
Prepping for the Fast
Before starting the juice fast, it is important that the body is prepared for the fast. This means that the cleansing process should have already begun before actually starting the fast, by eliminating anything processed or difficult to digest. Preparing the body will help to make the fast easier, and the symptoms of detoxifying will not be as severe.
Therefore, а week before the fast is due to begin, one should eliminate or at least reduce the intake of fast foods, processed foods, and sugar, as well as alcohol and caffeine. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables are essential, as they are high in fiber and will help to get the cleaning process going. During this time of preparation the body will begin to experience certain detox symptoms that are associated with juice fasting.
During the fast all solid foods are eliminated from the diet, which makes it absolutely essential that lots of fluids are consumed, especially fruit and vegetable juices. These juices contain high amounts of nutrients that the body needs, in order to function and cleanse the body. Since you are getting all your nutrients from fresh juices, it’s vital that you get enough juice each and every day, and that you vary what you put in your juices. You should be consuming at least 64 oz of different kinds of juice per day, on top of the same amount of fresh water. If you are hungry, err on the side of caution–more juice should be consumed, rather than you go hungry. More nutrients are a good thing!
Symptoms associated with а juice fast include а headache, fatigue, dizzy spells, body odor and moodiness. These symptoms are merely а sign that toxins are leaving the body, and the worse they get, the more toxins are leaving. This is why someone who is used to fasting on а regular basis does not experience these symptoms to the same degree as someone who has never done а juice fast before.
Breaking the Fast
Breaking your fast is just as important, if not MORE important, than the fast itself. You must re-awaken your digestive system with the proper foods, at the proper time.
Remember the rule: Allow yourself one third of time spent on fasting to get your digestive system used to solid foods again.
• If you fasted for 3 days, build up for 1
• If you fasted for 5 days allow 2 days
• 10 days of fasting needs at least 3 days
How you eat after the fast is а big part of detox and cleansing. Think of the time you are breaking your fast, as that you’re still fasting, but now you’re eating some solid food too. Have lots of juice the first day, and throw in a smoothie made of fruits and vegetables with a high water content. Gradually move on to salads, while continuing with the juice, again with soft vegetables and fruits that have a high water-content. It’s best to take longer to transition, than to cut it short and pay the price. Avoid junk and processed foods at all costs during the transition period, and consider including clean, whole foods in your diet afterward.