Thursday, August 14, 2008

My juice feasting experience - Lost 30 pounds!

I juice feasted for 30 days and lost 20 pounds juicing and then another 10 eating mostly raw. I had to stop because I was losing weight too fast. I knew if you lost weight fast and shocked your system, you could temporarily lose hair and could take it about 8 months to regrow again. Well I was too late to save myself from the shock (will discuss this in a later post).

I would post a pic...but I'm on a different computer and my camera's software is on my broken one. I'll post one as soon as I can.

Anyway, since I'm diabetic, this meant at least 4 quarts of green juice a day. Sometimes it tasted pretty damn good, sometimes it tasted like pond scum. I really liked the experience.

I didn't have many withdrawal symptoms. On the very first day for a couple hours I was really nauseated, but that was it.

It was a time-consuming, messy experience, but it got faster and cleaner as I got a routine down.

I drank at least 4 quarts a day. Each quart usually contained the following:

1/2 pound of dark leafy greens (2 pounds total for the day)
1 bunch of celery
1-2 big cucumbers

Dark leafy greens meant spinach, collard, kale, shard, dark green lettuce, etc. For the day I tried to juice a pound of the really dark stuff (spinach, collard, kale, or shard) and then a pound of the lighter lettuces.

Keep in mind the above would usually make enough to make a quart....but if there was low water content or the celery or cucumbers were smaller, I'd end up having to throw more stuff in. If it was just like 1/2 a cup short, I'd put in 1/2 a cup of water.

The extra stuff I would throw in would be - 1/2 an apple, a carrot, bell peppers, squash, jalepeno, cilantro, parsely, jicama, ginger, green beans, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, prickly pear cactus pads (dethorned), etc. - whatever was on sale or I got given to me.

So I would buy for three days. My 3-day list looked like this:

3 pounds of dark leafy greens
3 pounds of lighter leafy greens (but not too light, no iceburg lettuce)
12 celery bunches
12 large cumbers or more smaller ones
A bag of apples
A bag of carrots
Ginger root

Then I'd cruise the veggie section, looking for what was on sale and try to buy a bunch of it.

At first I used a Juiceman juicer, but it died. Then I used a Breville juicer, but it died. Then I used a Breville blender and would strain it through a paint strainer bag (not sure how safe this is, don't copy me, nut milk bags are safe). Then I used my grandma's old Oster meat grinder from the 50's that she used to make tamale masa and strained that. Out of everything, her old meat grinder shows no signs of stopping - they sure don't make things the same do they. The Breville blender still works, but I don't want to break it, so I don't overuse it.

I would start the day with cleaning up my juicing area. I would get out the juicer, 4 jars, 4 lids, a peeler, a knife and cutting board and three huge bowls. I would fill one bowl up with the lettuces. The other with the rest of what I was using. I cleaned and rinsed the lettuce and threw it into the third bowl and put it by the juicer and rinsed out the dirty bowl. Then I peeled the cucumbers if they weren't organic and threw them into the rinsed bowl, cut them up if I had to. Then I cleaned and cut the celery and threw it in with the cucumber. Rinsed out that bowl and put the cleaned extras in. I kept my cutting board right by the sink so I could just scoop the scraps into it, I tried to have a strainer in the sink. I made a LOT of scraps. At least 1-2 plastic grocery bags full, including the pulp. I had my 4 jars ready with their lids and also had a small saucer to fill the jar on to catch spillage.

Then I juiced or blended/strained or grinded/strained. If I strained, I poured everything into a paint strainer bag and then would massage it to get all the juice out.

I would pour the juice into a quart jar with a canning lid, making sure it was overflowing a little. I pressed the canning lid on (some of the juice would squeeze out making an air-tight lid) and screwed the ring on. I kept them cold and drank them through the day. If I had to go somewhere, I stuck them in a lunchbox with an ice pack or cooler with ice.

Then the fun of cleaning up started lol.

If I used a juicer, my dogs loved eating the pulp. They didn't like the strained stuff so much. I live in Tucson and it's HOT (I did it in June) so I would scatter the pulp outside on the ground and it would dry up and I would stomp it into the soil. Sometimes I saved it in baggies and used it in soup. I used the scraps for broth when I could. Next time I'll have a compost pile and maybe even a little earthworm farm (much easier and cleaner and unsmelly than you think - and you get great fertilizer from it for your plants or to give away, this stuff is black gold believe me).

Anyway, I juiced for 30 days. At the beginning I put in supplements - spirulina, bee pollen (later found out I shouldn't have added yet as a diabetic), green powders. But I found I didn't *need* them. I also would drink some water with lemon juice and MSN. At first I did this every morning, then I tapered off.


About halfway through I allowed myself a little veggie broth, I would cook veggies lightly and drink the broth. It was sooooo good. Towards the end I let myself drink any broth, even if it was a meat broth, but not often. Then I started to have avocado halves once in a while.

I was bad and didn't do the "breaking of the fast" like it is suggested by so many others. I didn't want to shock myself with the sugar from soaked prunes. I just started adding more avocado, more broth, then had lightly cooked veggies. Remember I'm not 100% raw vegan.

I was doing 100% raw for a couple weeks but had to stop, I was losing weight too fast and my skin wasn't keeping up, so I put myself into a holding pattern so it could catch up. And it is.

Juicing wasn't cheap. Sometimes I could spend $60 - $100 dollars for three days - more expensive when I added the supplements and bought all organic.

I couldn't afford all organic and I figured something was better than nothing so I started to go to more discount groceries. I got some really good bargains at the local Mexican and Chinese groceries. At these places sometimes my bill got down to around $38.

I worried about the pesticides, but I read an old book, can't remember by who - Dr. Jensen or Dr. Walker...can't remember, but he mentioned that pesticides reside in the fiber of plants and have an opposite attraction to the juice - so when you juice and remove the pulp the pesticides are repelled by the juice and stay in the pulp. True? I don't know, but it made me feel better about not getting all organic. But made me feel bad for my dogs, haha.

Recently I've been sprouting alfalfa, sunflower greens, microgreens, and growing wheatgrass. Next time I do a juice fast, I'm going to do a lot of sprouting and try to have a ton of lettuce growing.

Another thing I will be more faithful about, I need to be more faithful with the techniques to help move more toxins out - like skin brushing, hot/cold showers, massages, and making sure my intestinal tract is moving thing out. When you juice feast or eat raw, your body is de-toxing big time and will do so through the skin, colon, etc. If the toxins aren't removed in a timely manner, then your body may re-absorb them.

I don't know if I will do another 30 day fast again though. I may do shorter ones through the year. Maybe even once a month or once a week, not sure yet.

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