Observations on a juice fast

Observations on a juice fast

I’m a self-proclaimed holistic health junkie.

Silent retreats, the five Tibetan rites, self-urine therapy, castor oil baths. . . I’ve tried it all. Or so I thought.

After last month’s portfolio project intensity, it dawned on me that while I had done a great job of prioritizing my work, I had also cast aside my health. I missed many hours of sleep, cut down on my usual exercise routine, but most importantly, slacked on my nutrition.

I’m not proud to say it, but I survived the last month on mostly sea salt popcorn and almond milk protein shakes. Not the worst foods, but also not the best. Where are the greens?

And my body showed it. My usual healthy and glowing skin was duller. My energy levels were lower and slower than they used to be. Internally, my stomach still felt tight with stress even though the “big race” was over.

I wanted a reset button. An injection of energy, vitality, and health. Unfortunately, such a quick-fix has yet to exist. Fortunately, there exists something close: the controversial juice fast.

I’m currently on day two of a three-day juice fast. I’ve never done one of these before, although I have water fasted for two separate periods of two days during my communal-living days out west.

I’m following this plan by Joe Cross, best known for his documentary, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Each day consists of drinking five juices. Some are vegetable-based and the others fruit-based. Truthfully, it’s a lot of juice. I was unable to finish all five juices yesterday, so it’s safe to say hunger isn’t really an issue. The issue rather lies in cravings and habits. I’m not craving junk food, but something warm and palpable. Some crackers and creamy hummus would be glorious right now. . . but it’s probably best I stop thinking and writing about food.

A lot of people say juice fasts are bullsh*t. Others say they are the answer to the world’s problems. I’m somewhere in the middle. I don’t believe drinking vitamin filled plant-based juices for 3 days will do any harm to my body. But I also don’t believe a juice fast is going to work for everyone, both in terms of sustainability and in safety.

Regardless of other’s opinions and even my own, the only way to see what all the fuss is about is by doing. Two days in and I feel fine. Not great, not horrible, but just fine. Here are some little notes on how I’ve been feeling:

  • I would love to munch on something right now but it’s not impossible to curb the cravings.
  • Last night (day one) I went to bed much earlier than usual due to fatigue. I expected to wake up feeling weak and like I’d been hit by a truck but instead I had a surprising amount of energy.
  • The gazpacho juice is the worst and I really don’t want to drink it again.
  • My skin, especially on my face, looks very clear and healthy.
  • My face in general looks thinner and less puffy. My mom mentioned this to me this morning without me saying anything to her.
  • This morning my urine was pink because of all the beet juice I drank. I thought that was pretty cool.
  • The evenings are the worst and the mornings are the best. At night is when the cravings hit the hardest.


Overall, I’m happy with the results and progress of the fast. I can definitely see the benefit of incorporating a juice a day into my normal diet. But for the meantime, I’ll be taking it easy and trying not to dream of hummus and crackers.

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