Sixth week of the high raw diet and second week of juice fasting is starting... I tested my urine today and it is alkaline, despite having been drinking pasteurized fruit juices. I will keep testing this, and I also have a blood sugar reading device on order, so that I can see if my blood sugar stays at an ideal level or not... Generally feeling food, not many detox symptoms, apart from difficulty falling asleep in the evenings and phlegm coming loose in my throat.
I may stop the juice fast this week, depending on what my blood sugar readings say and what the pH levels continue to show, and also depending just purely on how I feel. I had many cravings during the weekend and it was very challenging to stay on the juice fast. That was purely because I didn't prepare for the weekend with a lot of juices ready but instead let myself get hungry in between 'meals'. But generally weekdays are so much more easy for me than weekends in terms of following a strict diet.
I am still taking adrenal glandular supplements, about 1-3 per day, less than when I was eating solid foods.
Woke up 8am.
Vitamineral Greens and hemp protein powder
I tested my urine soon after waking up and it was closer to a pH of 8 than 7. That means it is probably quite close to the ideal of 7.5, although may even be slightly too alkaline! But this is a very good sign, it means that the pasteurized juices are not harming me. Perhaps the live spring water is such an effective alkalizer that I can handle some more acidic juices...
To read more about why cooked food is acidic and to clear other confusion about this topic, read my article here:
The Truth About Alkaline and Acid Foods - Clearing Out Confusion
Feel a bit tired as I slept very little last night, but quite good considering. I went to bed about 1am and fell asleep immediately, but woke up at about 4am and couldn't sleep much anymore. I maybe got 1-2 hours more sleep, making it a total of 4-5 hours last night. Yet, I feel quite good now in the morning.
Just as I suspected. After drinking pasteurized fruit juices (from Marks & Spencer) all day, my urine is now slightly acidic instead of alkaline. It is a pH of 6.5. I also had two redbush teas with tap water, but the tap water in London is alkaline as well, at least it is at our flat. That's not good by the way, because the alkalinity of London tap water comes from the high amount of limescale. And limescale is not good for the body - it is a type of bad calcium. More about bad calcium and how to detox calcification here.
Juices drank during the day were: asparagus, apple and lime juice; raspberry, red pepper and apple juice (very nice combination!); mango and apple juice; pink grapefruit juice and some other one, can't remember. In total (3 x 750ml) + 1.5l = 5.25 litres of juice at work.
The reason my urine was alkaline this morning probably had to do with sleeping grounded but also with the fact that majority of the juices I drank during the weekend were freshly pressed. I also drank plenty of alkaline spring water during the weekend. It will be interesting to see what pH I have tomorrow morning.
Just drank a green juice, made of parsley, coriander, red cabbage, apple, cucumber. Will also drink some live water, take a bath and go to bed. I badly need my sleep.
I had some loose stools today, which could be detox, but then I also didn't feel too good cycling home. It could have been a feeling of heart burn, not quite sure. Some heaviness in the chest, or slight nausea, quite difficult to describe. That's why I also started suspecting that I might be acidic.
I also had very coated tongue today (have had every day of this juice fast) and a worse cough than in the last few days. I think the cough might be the acid reflux cough coming back, it feels similar and not like a detox cough earlier last week.
I still think that fasting on partly pasteurized juices is fine, although fasting on live juices is obviously superior. But now I think that with a non-live juice fast, a majority of juices should still be made fresh for the best effects. Or at least other alkalizing drinks should be consumed regularly. Since there is no opportunity for me to do a fully live juice fast now due to work commitments, I will quit this juice fast after I get my blood sugar measured (the device is in the post). I want to see how this kind of non-live juice fast effects my blood sugar levels before quitting. Then I will go back on the high raw diet with similar, or tweaked, rules..
Woke up at 8am. Had a really good sleep finally, about 9-10 hours, feel rested. Tested the pH of my urine, it is pH 8 again, so am alkaline again. I think the grounding sheets help a lot, and also the green juice and live water I had last night. I'm sure the grounding sheets alone won't turn you alkaline if all you eat is acidic food, but it seems they help.
lemon water, live water
Vitamineral Greens, hemp protein powder
Cycling to work in the sunshine.
9pm: Just tested my blood and it was 6.4mmol/L (millimolars), which equals 115.2mg/dL. This is an excellent reading, according to one chart. I used an Accu-Chek meter for testing.
Low blood sugar, i.e. hypoglycaemia, would be below 4.0 mmol/L or 72 mg/dl.
High blood sugar, i.e. hyperglycaemia, would constantly have levels above 126 mg/dl or 7 mmol/l.
An ideal level for blood sugar would be between 4 mmol/L (72 mg/dL) to 6 mmol/L (108 mg/dL), while up to 8 mmol/L (144 mg/dL) is acceptable.
(Conversion: 1mmol/L = 18mg/dL.)
Although generally I've been fine, I started feeling weak at the end of the workday again today. Now, at 9.45pm, I still feel like my muscles are a bit weak and achy, and my body is a bit tired. I also drank salt water before leaving work so it is probably not a sodium deficiency like I thought before when I linked this to adrenal gland weakness. I also used a grounding mousemat at work so that didn't seem to help for this specific thing [Later note: I now suspect protein deficiency].
My blood sugar seems to be optimal and my pH levels a little below optimal - but nothing that a couple of glasses of live, alkaline spring water couldn't fix, in my best guess. So this juice fast seems to be working fine for me in terms of blood sugar and quite ok in terms of blood pH too. Nevertheless, I will stay on the fast tomorrow and then give it up.
[Update: I originally had written here about how I would next do Dr. Mercola's nutritional typing plan but decided against it now - better explanation below.]
Tomorrow will be my last juice fasting day and in the evening after work I will break the juice fast with a salad or some fruit.
Woke up at 8am.
Weight: 58kg (128lbs, 9.1 stones). 2kg weight loss in 10 days, which equals to 0.3 stones and 4 lbs. It is not that much but then I am not very overweight.
Fasting blood sugar upon awakening: 5.2 mmol/L.
Urine pH: 8.0
My mouth is very coated again this morning. It might be a long workday, I have a lot of work to do. I will break my juice fast probably with some fruit and salad in the evening. Tomorrow I will be on a high raw vegan diet and the day after I will transfer into Dr. Mercola's metabolic eating plan. I feel like I need to test a very healthy cooked food diet before I can commit to a long-term raw food diet. [I later changed my mind.]
Juices at work:
3 litres of pasteurized juices: pineapple, mango and apple, etc.
2x redbush tea
Urine pH: 8
Blood sugar: 6.9mmol/L
I broke the fast at home with a little cupful of smoothie and a about 6 cashew nuts and 2 pecan nuts. You are not meant to have nuts to break a fast but I couldn't resist.
I had a rye-bread, butter and two organic scrabled eggs with salt and pepper. This is really not the best way to break a juice fast but I had cravings and was curious about whether this would take the weak feeling away from my muscles. The weakness is like a low-grade fever kind of feeling - achy arms and legs. Now my throat is a bit achy too, actually, not sure if this started only after eating the bread, though.
Note: my tongue is still very coated today so the cleansing my body needs in general is definitely not finished yet. Perhaps this is partly the detox from years of eating copius amounts of dairy.
I'm ready for bed now, feeling tired, taking a bath first though, 9pm.
In closing this 10-day juice fasting experiment, I have experienced the following benefits: flat belly, 2kg weight loss, a little clearer eyes, face looks better although I still have 3kg of weight to loose, more energy although I would like still more, easier cycling, workdays did go quicker again but it might have been because I've been so busy these last two weeks. Phlegm from the throat has started coming loose so my system must be clearing itself.
I have also satisfied myself that my blood sugar levels are fine on this fast and also that it is easy enough to keep my body pH alkaline, although I do wonder whether 8.0 is actually too alkaline and if so, what is causing it? Should I be eating more acidic foods?!
Possible downsides of the fast:
1) I felt that my cough was worse today again, and this time it felt like an acid reflux cough. So am not sure my digestion problems are solved on this fast. I also got very slight burbing.
2) Insomnia at the beginning of the fast was resolved during the second week - I guess it was some kind of readjustment of the body, or overdoing it on the first day with exercise, fasting, and work.
3) Feeling of physical weakness and achiness crept in again on a couple of days towards the end of the fast (including today), so far my attempts at juice fasting and raw foods have not solved it, neither has a general semi-junk vegetarian diet (which gives much worse symptoms). [Later note: I now suspect that the weakness is caused by a protein deficiency, which I probably suffered from with all the diets mentioned here.]
4) You feel like washing your teeth a lot on a juice fast because all the sugar from the fruit sticks to your teeth continuously. This can be quite annoying!
5) I didn't feel I got any specific spiritual/ mood/ inspiring thought benefits from the fast this time, although I have done in the past. This may be due to lack of time to reflect on my thoughts due to working long hours.
Would I do the juice fast again? Definitely. I think both, the pasteurized and the live juice fast - from my personal experience - can provide many benefits. But I feel I need to understand my body's metabolism in relation to protein first, before returning.
What would I do differently next time: I again didn't have enough green juices on this fast!
Blood sugar: 6.0mmol/L
Woke up naturally 10 minutes before the alarm clock, which rang at 7am. This is a good sign, maybe my body needed the protein I got from eggs yesterday.
However, my morning pH is a lot lower straight away since I ate the eggs and the bread, as well as a few nuts. This is a little worrying - is it that easy to become acidic?
I'm not going to do the metabolic typing/ nutritional typing diet after all. I have read some of Dr. Mercola's books about it now and, personally, I think it is nonsense. It includes way too much meat in the meal, recommends to eat dairy (although raw) and bans green vegetables for protein types! Although for carbohydrate types he recommends vegetable juices, even then fruit juices are limited. He also says other strange things like supplementing with hydrochloric acid may help with weak digestion - this just makes no sense to me. I am surprised because generally Dr. Mercola has good information. And I can understand how they get good results with the diet plan with some people, because they recommend eliminating gluten and much of the carbs, as well as eating organic and more raw food than normal (including raw meat!) but I've decided now this plan is not for me.
I may thus, instead, continue this raw food diet, although it may only be 50/50 raw in the beginning, so that I can include some cooked protein items to make it easier for myself. With a long-term view of hopefully transitioning back to vegan 80-90% raw once I have first established whether eating protein on every meal helps me to feel good.
I had eggs on rye bread for breakfast and a green salad with baby greens, boiled green beans, tuna, new potato, an egg and sunflower oil salad for lunch. In the morning I drank a litre of fruit juice. I felt tired after the lunch break, I guess it was the heavier food. I had sugar and honey coated cashew nuts for a snack. I also had some crisps and orange juice as there was a little event at work. I avoided the alcohol though. Very surpisingly, when I got home from work my pH was 8 again! Very strange. My blood sugar was a steady 6.3mmol/L again. The cashew nuts gave me thick phlegm in my throat straight away - probably because the nuts weren't raw and may have been rancid and even moldy - although you can't see the mold of course.
[Later notes: I drank some wine this evening, which caused a very acidic pH the next morning - pH 5.5. My blood sugar was still at 5.4 mmol/L which I guess is not bad. I took a few days off - Thursday to Monday - before starting my next diet and noticed that white rice made me very constipated straight away (sushi and Indian food). My belly started coming back very quickly. After eating the Indian vegetable curry on Friday night I started coughing quite a lot and also got a slight taste of blood in my mouth! Scary. Also the breakfast of rye bread and eggs, cooked in butter, made me feel tired afterwards. Another funny observation was that these foods did not seem to satisfy my hunger the same way juices did. I felt, specifically after a large portion of sushi, that I had a huge appetite and could keep eating more and more. It felt like an addiction more than actual need for food and was probably somehow the result of eating the white rice. As I wasn't drinking juices anymore I resumed the need for snacks.]
I originally wrote quite a long explanation in the above diary notes on how I would next start Dr. Mercola's recommended 'Nutritional Typing' diet, based on the more well known 'Metabolic Typing' ideology. I took a test online, provided by Dr. Mercola on his website for free, which identified me as a 'protein type' or a 'mixed type' according to my answers. I also reasoned that because my ancestry is from Finland, there must have been a lot of animal protein in my ancestors' diet during the cold winters when everything is covered in snow and ice for six months of the year.
I have now, however, decided against the nutritional typing plan. Although I respect many views of Dr. Mercola, this diet, on closer scrutiny, would seem to include way too much meat. It also recommends - for protein types - that every meal would include some animal protein, often in addition to eggs and dairy products as well! I cannot believe in such a diet plan, it seems nonsensical in view of what I have personally learned about health.
To Dr. Mercola's credit, however, he does recommend that the diet should include a lot of raw foods, and includes eggs and dairy in this, which is fine. But then he goes on to recommend raw meat products! He also advices his readers to eat as much organic food as possible, and says that green juices and vegetable juices should only be eaten by 'carbohydrate types' and in moderation by 'mixed types'. He doesn't recommend sugary fruits to anyone, even to carb types, which is something I would also find it hard to agree with.
In addition, the questionnaire online was not very thorough at all, in my opinion, and also Mercola writes that the 'type' you are can change over time. So you can change from protein type to a carbohydrate type. In one video, the closely aligned 'metabolic typing' plan was criticised by asking why is it that most people seem to fall into the 'mixed type' category.
[Later note: Please note that the following diet plan described here got shelved in favour of returning to a 100% raw food diet instead... I will leave the notes here, however, as I may use some of the ideas in the future...]
Nevertheless, I am not returning to the high raw diet as planned this time. I am taking a few days off and starting another, tweaked, diet plan soon. I will call this a 'Transitional Weight Loss Energy Diet'. I know it's a mouthful but it best describes what I will do, which will include the following improvements to my previous High Raw Diet:
This diet is called transitional because I hope to transfer afterwards into another high raw diet, with more success than this time.
I didn't have time for proper meal plans during the high raw diet, but will start them as soon as my summer holiday from work starts, when I have more time.
Although I am feeling more energetic on the juice fast, more confident, stronger in terms of cycling, and a certain amount of clarity, it does not seem enough for me in terms of the energy levels I am after. I feel something may be missing, and it may well have to do with the carbohydrate sensitivity diagnosed in the hair mineral analysis and/or with the protein deficiency. If I get my energy levels up by following the new diet plan, I can then perhaps see if there is a way of making a raw vegan version of the same plan.
I also got slight hints of a possible acid reflux while juice fasting, which seems impossible, but perhaps it can happen if the pasteurized juices are acidic.
It is worth mentioning, that the symptoms of alkalosis are said to be: para-sympathetic nervous system imbalance, slow-oxidative imbalance, achiness, fatigue, etc. It is possible I have been too alkaline on this and previous diets, although unlikely, despite the matching symptoms. I have the latter two symptoms and have been told that I have the former two as well by nutritionists.
On the other hand, the latter two are definite protein deficiency symptoms as well, i.e. achiness and fatigue. Could it be that too slow metabolism and autonomic nervous system balance are also linked to protein deficiency?
And, indeed, a quick internet search brought up suggestions that protein can, in fact, boost your metabolism quicker than carbs or fat. On the other hand, Dr. Lawrence Wilson writes that specifically animal protein is beneficial for the autonomic nervous system ("Autonomic Nervous System Health").
So despite this article: "Acid & Alkaline Nutrition: Shattering the Myths" ( Metabolichealing.com ) claims that most people suffer from alkalosis, it seems that perhaps many people in fact suffer from protein deficiency, with similar symptoms.
And perhaps this problem is highlighted by the promoters of carnivore diets mainly because it allows the animal protein products to come to rescue? Or perhaps they have just noticed the improvement of symptoms by eating more meat.
It could be as simple, however, as ensuring that we get enough protein in our diets, whether meat-eater, vegan, raw foodist, paleo-/ primal eater, etc. And it may well also be that different people need different amounts of protein, as the metabolic typing proponents believe. In any case, I think it is quite possible to get enough protein from vegetarian- and vegan-based diets as well, although it is of course easier to become protein deficient on these diets.
On the other hand, on a fruitarian diet protein would probably become problematic. Is that why Dr. Robert Morse mentioned in one of his videos that he believes that people living in colder climates need to eat more acidic foods? If I remember correctly, he gives this as a reason why people should not live in cold climates. But is it more acid they need or more protein? He says that the cold air is too alkaline, causing the need to eat acidic foods. But surely this would cause the body to become balanced, as the air gets breathed in the lungs and makes you more alkaline? In Dr. Morse's view, however, this will still cause the problems of acidosis in the body, despite the alkaline air.
So why does Dr. Morse think that people need to eat more acidic foods in colder climates? Is it because they get the so-called symptoms of alkalosis? Or is it because they become protein deficient? It has been said that the need for protein increases in the winter. In addition, the ancestors of people living in colder climates may have had more protein-rich diets, as the metabolic typers would point out.
So, in conclusion, I suspect that I suffer from protein deficiency, and not from alkalosis. Of course this is just an assumption and I may be wrong. But it seems to make most sense of these otherwise strange anecdotal comments referenced here.
And to address protein deficiency, there seems to be ample evidence that amino acids from various natural vegan foods are good enough.
However, in Ayurvedic Medical System red meat has sometimes been used as a medicine, to cure protein deficiency quickly (before presumably returning to the vegetarian diet), according to Dr. John Douillard of Lifespa.com. Apparently this is because the more acidic the food is the more it penetrates into the system, producing in this case quicker restoration of protein levels in the body.
Just something to keep in mind...
I didn't give the high raw diet a proper chance during this experiment because of the many cheat days and also the short duration. I do feel I was still getting some notable benefits, however, such as added confidence and strength of mind as well as fresher look on my face.
What is interesting to note is that I didn't get any of the dizziness symptoms I got on the dairy- and gluten free diet before. I now suspect the dizziness may have been in relation to some gluten-substitute I was eating at the time, which I may have been allergic to, instead of being caused by the brain detoxing from gluten and dairy, as I first suspected.
[Later note: Next I started a 100% raw food diet where I kept a count of protein, fat and carbohydrate percentages eaten, as well as a diary similar to the above.]
The Transformational Power of Fasting: The Way to Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Rejuvenation by Stephen Harrod Buhner
This book came out of a necessity to begin putting in one coherent place, neatly ordered, all the amazing ways we can use to naturally reclaim back our health, free of charge.
This book contains 70 brief chapters, each introducing you to the benefits of a certain technique, or a trick, to improve your health affordably. Methods suitable for busy lifestyles. Natural, noninvasive and easy techniques. Pick the ones that suit your lifestyle and interests best and begin enjoying the good life!
2013 Raw Food Diet, Part 2: Week 1, 100% Raw
Green Juice Fast
Juice Fasting for Hormone Health
21-Days Juice Fasting While at Work
Back to: Week 5, Juice Fasting
The plan and general notes on this diet: 2013 Raw Food Diet
Raw Food Diet Benefits
7-Days Water Fasting, Diary Summary
Will It Magically Heal You To Stop Eating for 7 Days?
Ulla is the Editor of Cheap Health Revolution, covering natural remedies and health solutions.