Periodically I do a juice fast. Sometimes I get stuck making the same few recipes and then feel bored. Or we start eating more cooked food that we should. Maybe the fast pace of life leads us to eat out more often, gain weight, and succumb to temptations such as cooked soy based meals. Eventually I feel bloated, heavy, and less able to focus. That’s when I know it’s time to fast again.
After 7-10 days on a juice fast I feel MUCH better. I lose weight and my clothes fit better. My commitment to eating right is renewed and my energy level and focus increases. We usually do a short fast 3 or 4 times a year. On occasion we may do longer fasts lasting 3 weeks or longer.
In his medical practice my husband Dr. Nana Kwaku Opare uses juice fasting as a healing tool to help patients detox their systems and allow their bodies to heal naturally. Many are able to discontinue their medications during their fast. If they make permanent diet and lifestyle changes and adopt a vegan diet they are often able to reverse and heal their medical problems and therefore not need medications anymore.
Here is the method Dr. Opare recommends to his patients and the method we follow when we fast. This method is safe to use for extended periods of time. For more details see our Juice Fast Training.
Before: It is always best to taper down what you are eating before you start your fast. You phase out cooked food, and reduce the amount of food you eat for a 2-3 days beforehand. If you are eating meat you should eliminate that too.
Beginning: The first day of the fast it is important to empty your digestive system of accumulated waste. We use a purgative of some sort to cause the bowel to empty out. This is similar to the process you might have done if you have ever had a colonoscopy.
The first three days we stay at home as much as possible. These are the days when you are most likely to feel the strongest detox effects. I often get a headache, and get irritable. This is called "hitting the wall" and often happens on the third day. Once that phase is through I feel great! From here on in many people report a surge in energy.
During: While fasting it is important to mix all our juice 50/50 with water. We start the day with a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. I have a Hamilton Beach citrus juicer that makes fast work of juicing oranges, lemons and limes. I use an Omega BMJ juicer to make fruit juice for the first part of the day and vegetable juice for the latter part of the day. We drink plenty of water throughout the day.
My favorite fruit juice combo is apples, berries, lemon, ginger, pineapple. My favorite veggie juice is cucumber, celery, carrot, bell pepper, garlic, basil, kale. You can go simpler if you desire. I think about what I would put in a salad.
To aid the detox process and prevent ourselves from getting headaches, bad breath and other side effects we do a daily dry brush massage and enema before our morning shower. It is important to drink as much water as possible.
It is also important stay away all forms of toxins during your fast. Lotions, deodorants, fumes, smoking etc. In fact this is a great time to break additions.
For those with serious health problems or who are taking medications it is very important that you consult a health professional who knows about juice fasting to help you tailor the program to your needs. Your medication needs will likely change rapidly during the fasting period. In our medical practice we offer a Supervised Juice Fast that provides daily support and monitoring from Dr. Opare during the fast.
Ending: When you are ready to end the fast it is important to introduce food back to your diet very slowly. The first day you may eat only an apple or a small green salad as well as your usual juice. Each day you will continue to drink your juice and add a bit more food until you have reached your desired eating pattern.
This safe method of fasting can be maintained for quite a while. The juice provides the nutrients you need while allowing the body to rest and detox. Done in this way I find I can maintain most of my regular functioning and that my energy is high. I have done as much as 21 days and we have seen many others who have gone much longer than this.
Combined with journaling, mediation, prayer, and serious self-reflection your juice fast can be a powerful tool for turning over a new leaf in all aspects of your life.
Want to know more? Coming in Mid September, our On-line training Juice Fasting For Health Wellness And Weight Loss will provide all the information and resources you need to follow the same protocol Dr. Opare uses with his patients.
We’d love to hear from you! Comment below and share your favorite juice combos, ask a question, just say hello!