Last week I embarked on a second attempt at a juice fast. The first, which I undertook a few months ago failed miserably with me demolishing my kid’s nachos after the first day of consuming more green juice than I care to remember.
Without thinking about my past failure, or the hunger pains that went with it, I suggested to a friend who sits in front of me at work that I was thinking of doing another fast. She wasn’t the person to tell this to- fit as hell, international karate champion, vegan and all round poster girl for healthy living, she would nail the fast and I would, if I didn’t follow through, feel like a complete failure.
So on the back of both of us wanting to detox and feel a bit better, we ordered our organic juices from a local supplier. It wasn’t cheap and it wasn’t going to be easy, but this time, I was determined to do better than my last attempt.
I had a few days to psyche myself up. We had ordered the juices and they were ready to pick up Monday afternoon. In total, we were supposed to consume 6 juices a day. They were all different- we were doing the ‘rainbow’ variety rather than purely the ‘green’ fast. It couldn’t have been made simpler for us. Each juice was labelled with a number to ensure we consumed them in the right order and we were instructed to have a shot of aloe vera in the morning as well as hot water with lemon before we began consuming any liquids. You’re not supposed to care, nor worry, but out of interest I calculated that we consumed nearly 1300 calories per day in juices with the majority of the calories (about 500) coming from the final juice for the day which was a chai seed and cashew nut milk drink. I thought it would be horrible, but believe me when you hit 6:00pm you are craving some substance and this juice did a good job at providing just that.
Besides the juices, the only thing we were allowed was herbal teas and water. Now a disclaimer here is that I am used to intermittent fasting. I regularly do the 16-8 fast. I.e. don’t eat for 16 hours and then eat all meals within an 8-hour period. However, I wasn’t used to not having a morning coffee- my very own pick me up which helps me get 3 kids and a puppy out of the house on time.
Day 1 was not too bad. I brought my cold bag into work with the juices sitting beside me and I kept well away from the coffee shop next door and refrained from going past the coffee machine that sits about 2 metres behind me.
I didn’t weigh myself before the fast (to be honest I was a little scared to) and thought I would do so after the 3 days. By the morning of day 2, I was tired and my husband told me I looked pale. I was craving a coffee but determined in my resolution to get through the day and so I grudgingly drank my green juice (which was the first juice we had to consume in the mornings).
By mid-morning, I was falling asleep. Literally. At around lunchtime, my friend whom I was doing the juice fast called me to check in and I thought as I went to answer the phone ‘if she quits then so am I’. She and I both had a laugh and she lamented that she was at a morning tea where they were serving scones with jam and cream, but that she was staying strong. If she is, then so am I, I thought.
To be honest, the hunger wasn’t a problem on day 2, it was just the tiredness. I put the kids to bed at 7:00pm following straight after. I thought it best to resist temptation and take my hot water to bed.
Day 3 was easier than day 2. I felt energised and wasn’t at all tired. I think from a psychological point of view it was easier as we knew this was the last day and we just had to get through it. By the end of day 3, I felt really good and I went to bed texting my friend with a high five emoji and the words ‘it’s the final countdown’.
I woke up the following morning having successfully completed the fast and feeling light and ready to take on the world. I jumped on the scales and although I didn’t weigh myself previously I’d suggest that I lost at least 1 kilo or maybe a little more. The thing I noticed most was that my stomach was completely flat (besides the lovely roll I have from 3 caesarean births).
It may be a bit off-putting but I’d suggest that my bowel worked overtime during the fast and I was ‘very regular’. Not as good as a colonoscopy but close.
Regarding exercise during the time, I did manage to do my regular 30 minutes each day on my cross trainer. The fast didn’t dampen my willingness or ability to exercise but I can imagine that this may vary for other people.
Would I do another fast? Absolutely. But here’s the thing. I’d always do it with a friend or someone else. Having that support is essential and just like group fitness sessions, we motivated each other to keep going.
I’d also suggest that you don’t do a fast over the weekends. Ours was done during the week, which made it easy as social engagements were minimised.
I’d also suggest that if you are going to do a fast, if possible, do it with organic juices and if you are new to fasting, start with a ‘rainbow’ fast rather than just a straight green juice fast. The variety of juices made it all the more bearable.
Finally, if you re really wanting to do a fast seek consultation with a medical practitioner or health care professional. We are all different and juice fasts aren’t for everyone. Most significantly if you are pregnant or breastfeeding then Juice fasts are an absolute NO NO!! The toxins that can be omitted from your body during fasting are potentially dangerous to your unborn baby or breastfeeding baby. I am no health care expert, but when I was pregnant I was absolutely advised against it and as I said, I’d never undertake a fast without talking to a health care professional first. In some instances, it may do more harm than good, but in my instance, circumstances allowed me to do it and I am pleased I did. I won’t say it was easy, but it was worth doing and I felt better for it. It gave my body a chance to reset, restore and recharge. Now, coffee anyone?
Read more on our three day fast via Tammy's blog Seed
Clare Sultmann is a wife, mother of 3 and the founder of Dear Molly. As a survivor of a catastrophic accident, former barrister at law, published author, and nationally accredited mediator Clare has returned to work in a different capacity. Relocating to Noosa shortly after the birth of her first child, Clare found it difficult to make meaningful and real connections with other like-minded women away from her own network of friends. With this in mind, Clare’s idea was born. Dear Molly aims to provide connections for like-minded women in a real, meaningful and positive manner. It a platform to share, communicate and inspire other women about their ‘real’ life.