Oh so many times when I explained to someone that I was on juice cleanse, their response was, “I could never do that.”
I never thought I could either. I was absolutely terrified to go an extended period time without food, oh, so precious FOOD. It took me a while to see the benefit of it and it definitely took me time to build up to 7 days. I started first with a 1 day, then after a month or so, did 2, then after some time, did 3, and eventually did 5. At the end of 5, I knew I would try 7. And, believe it or not, I feel ready to go for 10.
I feel stronger now, but I know I would have never been able to start doing this, without my husband doing it right along with me. I am not sure I would have been able to hang in there alone, and it would have driven me a little insane if he was cooking or eating while I was cleansing. We have done every juice cleanse together and I feel incredibly fortunate to have his support.
Juice cleansing was not my idea. It was his. I shot down the idea to do a detox or fast, many, MANY times, before I finally went for it, even with apprehension (and know I am NOT an easy person to convince or sway). I thought it would be fun for you all to hear from my husband, on why the heck we do this.
Why did you want to juice cleanse?
I wanted to juice fast because people have been fasting for years and it seemed logical to do something like that. For centuries people in many different societies around the world and many different parts of the globe have been fasting. It is mentioned in the Bible, Torah, and Quran that people fasted. One can only assume that as our genetic make up was evolving over the millions of years before our present day cornucopia of food that human beings must have needed a mechanism to deal with times of feast and famine. We are not designed to eat to satiation every day three times a day. I am not convinced that the FDA food pyramid is the end all be all of nutrition.
I had this theory that I ate far too many calories than I needed and after our first juice cleanse I realized that I ate way too much and that I pretty much have eaten too much my whole life.
I originally wanted to lose weight but it became more than that. It became a way for me to re-evaluate my entire life by realizing I don’t need as much as I think I do (not just in food, in everything). It made me realize how incredibly social the act of eating is, and how poorly (even as a vegan) I have been eating.
How has it changed the way you eat when you are not juice cleansing?
Counting nutrients, not calories. Eating more for nourishment than pleasure, or finding the pleasure in nourishment.
The cleanse is a way to store up nutrients for the times when you are not on the cleanse. In America we tend to see a meal as not being a good meal if we move away from it not “FULL”. The sensation of being full is just a mental trigger to tell you to stop eating. By juice cleansing, I noticed that this mechanism actually has a perpetual delay and that the act of being “full” really has nothing more to do with stuffing the little bag that is one’s stomach and not actually tied to the amount of nutrients and fuel being put in to the body.
After realizing this I have learned that I had to unlearn many years of (sorry mom) poor instruction about what and how much to eat.
What have been the benefits of juice cleansing?
- Better digestion.
- Weight loss.
- Muscle gain.
- Clearer skin.
- Brighter eyes.
- Clearer thoughts.
- Improved sleep.
- Increased energy.
What is the hardest thing about juice cleansing?
Being tempted by food that I want, (not need). I smell and see food, and psychologically want it, but it’s not what I need. I was seeking out calories and not nutrients. I got tons of nutrients from juices
The French word for food is “nouriture” nourishment, but how much nourishment was I actually getting from my food.
We as hunter gatherers naturally seek out food. In order to sustain ourselves through the millions of years of really rough times humans evolved to seek high calorie foods like fats and sugars. They are good to fill the belly but not nourish the body.
How has it changed your relationship with food?
I realized that most of the food that I eat is just fun food. Seeking out food, hunger and satiation is mostly psychological.
Do you think juice fasting is easy?
No. Eating is social and when you are not eating people can interpret it as you are not being social. It is also about unlearning everything you have been taught about how much and when to eat.
It has been one of the best things I have ever done. It showed me even though I am vegan, I still had a lot to learn about nutrition, the way my body worked, and how little I actually need to survive.
I will continue to juice fast for the rest of my life.