This 7-day live juice fast was part of the 100-day raw food diet challenge.
A summary of this diet is provided here: 100 days raw food summary.
I had no written notes for this day, just the budget:
- (9.30am) Lemon water (13p)
- Juice (10am): 3 pink grapefruits (£1.50), 2 apples (20p)
- 10ml Floravital iron supplement (38p)
- Green juice: some spinach (33p), some Swiss chard (20p), ginger (5p), 1 apple (10p), 4 stalks of celery (20p), 1 carrot (9p), 1 parsnip (27p), 1 cup of home-grown broccoli sprouts (5p), 1 cup of home-grown mixed sprouts (5p)
- Juice with 3 grapefruits (£1)
- Juice with 4 apples (40p), an orange (40p), 1 mandarin (20p)
Evening drink (9pm):
- Juice: 1 bunch of romaine lettuce (89p), 4 apples (40p).
TOTAL COST FOR DAY 29: £6.84 ($10.89, €7.94)
31st October 2011, Monday
Day 30 of raw food diet.
Yesterday I was not tired at all anymore. I guess the caffeine withdrawal was complete (I am used to it taking 2 days).
This was the state when boredom became a challenge, again. The first two days you expect to be slightly uncomfortable so it feels challenging in a good way and you are happy just to get through the days. The challenge makes it exciting.
But on the third day the fast becomes easy and you start getting slightly bored and start having cravings and contemplating quitting the fast and making a nice raw food cake! Or dehydrated potato cakes!
Honestly, I almost bought a chocolate bar in the shop when shopping for fruit. But of course I didn't... Since I got this far it would be silly to stop now.
If I bought a chocolate bar it would only serve to 1) strengthen my cravings and the addiction to processed foods (processed sugar, fat, additives). 2) It would not satisfy me, but I would just want more after the minute-long vague 'enjoyment'. 3) I know myself, if I let myself have one piece of processed food, I would allow it more and more in the coming days, which would make me completely fall of the track. It has to be all or nothing. It was the same problem I had when giving up cigarettes some years ago.
My weight is 51kg today, so I weigh officially less than in my teenage years now. I am hoping that it is because of the juice fast and once I am back on raw solid foods and healthy-type of fat my weight will go back up. I'm generally worried about losing too much weight.
I had another bowel movement this morning so I won't bother with enema. They say it is meant to be extremely good to do an enema or a colonic irrigation while fasting but I am not sure of that. My worry is that it may interfere with the bacteria balance in the colon. The often-quoted remedy for this is to take probiotics but for those to have any effect you have to take them for very long time. So I would rather not interfere with the bacteria balance unless I have to.
[Later Update: I have completely reversed my view on enemas now. On the later, longer juice fast I experienced over and over again how the salt-water enema almost immediately took the detox symptoms away.]
But I can't say that I am feeling any kind of explosive energy or feeling of lightness like so many juice fasters say they do. That is a little bit disappointing. But it is nice to know that I am quite healthy, since I am not getting many detox symptoms. Or maybe they are still to come. In any case, I do get little nice feelings here and there, quite subtle, like nice energy building up or internal 'shivers'.
6pm: The laksatea worked and made me go poo, so I've had two bowel movements today. That's a good clear-out and no need for an enema! I also went for a long walk in the nearby park with a friend. It is unusually warm for this time of the year in London, the leaves have only now gone yellow, some of them are still green. And there is not much rain either. Quite a beautiful autumn.
1st September 2011, Tuesday
No breakfast, extending the night's dry fast. Stopped eating at 9pm and got out of bed at 9am. That gave my body a 15-hour dry fast period (until noon, when I had a tea and a juice).
Lunch (12 noon):
- 20ml Floravital iron supplement (60p)
- Laxatee (from 'Ideal Health') (1 teabag, containing Senna Leaf, Fennel Seed, Camomille Flowers, Common Centaury) (12p)
- Juice: a cucumber (50p), 1 bunch of celery (79p), 1 lemon (17p), 2 apples (10p).
- (2.30pm): another Laxatee (12p)
- Juice: 3 pink grapefruits (£1)
- Juice: VitaCoco coconut water (500ml, £2.70) (not from concentrate but most likely pasteurised)
- Juice: 2 pink grapefruits (66p) and 4 apples (40p)
- Two lemon & ginger teas (8p) (by Dalgety)
Evening drink (10pm):
- Juice: 2 grapefruits (66p), 4 apples (40p)
- Lemon & ginger tea (8p)
TOTAL COST FOR DAY 30: £8.30 ($13.24, €9.62)
2nd September 2011, Wednesday
It's 12.30pm, I have been up for four hours but still not hungry. I drank two teas with senna, ginger and lemon, all of which are stimulating herbs, perhaps that's what took my hunger away. But I think it is more likely to be the diet, I am just getting used to not eating. Kind of scary.
Since my nose is still blocked (it's never been completely blocked but enough to annoy me) and my tongue still gets a white coating every night (during the dry fast of the sleeping hours) it seems as if my body has not yet cleansed itself completely and there is still too much mucus and toxins being expelled.
[Later note: Two things I have to add here...
1) It is unrealistic to expect results so soon on a juice fast, especially without enemas. Although a juice fast seems like a drastic change in diet towards the better, one has to accept that the body is always cleansing, day by day, and what you eat each day has an equally strong effect on your health as a juice fast does.
Secondly, 2) I didn't know at the time but I had an intolerance to carrots and celery. Drinking juices with plenty of carrots and celery in them most likely slowed down any beneficial effects I would have felt otherwise.]
Because the fast seems so easy, I have been contemplating whether I should continue it for the next week, while at work. I could make two or three juices in the morning to take with me and there is a juice bar nearby for emergency hungers. I could even take pasteurised fruit juices with me to save money and make transporting them easier.
There is a theory which says that your body will let you know once the cleansing is complete and it wants to eat solids again. You will suddenly get a strong feeling of hunger. However, I am not sure whether this applies to a 'dry fast' only, or to water fast, or whether it indeed applies to juice fast as well. Some people have performed lengthy athletic feats drinking only vegetable and fruit juices, like running across America. This would imply that juice fast is a diet that can potentially be continued indefinitely, or, in fact, be made into a lifestyle. If this is the case, it is unlikely that the body will alert you to eat.
In the end, I decided against extending the fast past seven days (I will break my fast on Saturday morning, as originally intended). This was mainly because of my mum, who adviced me against it. She has fasted herself in the past and got varied results, some very encouraging ones. She is also very knowledgeable about health herself and open-minded. But she told me of someone she knew some time back who went on a fast and afterwards this person's body started rejecting all solid foods. This lady could never put the weight back on. So I would like to try a longer fast but only after I have come off this one safely!
Since I am at 50kg now (7.9 stones or 110lb), which is 2kg (0.3 stones or 4lb) below my teenage weight, I think I am pushing the boundaries of what is healthy. One has to take everything with 'a pinch of salt' - not only the medical doctors' views but those of the health gurus as well - because everyone's body is different. And fat is an essential part of the diet, I believe. This is the first time I ever fasted in my life so I feel that I best make sure that my body is balanced and healthy enough to return to normal eating before attempting a longer period of juice fasting.
I feel fine but that does not guarantee that I am not slowly becoming deficient in important nutrients. I also have no certainty that I don't have an underlying illness or imbalance of some sort, which might be adversely affected by fasting (which I believe must have been the case with the woman mentioned above).
If your body is out of balance, almost anything you do can run a risk of bringing it more out of balance.
I don't mean to fear-monger, I just think it is commonsensical to undertake a 7-day fast first, see how the body recovers from that, and decide from there about any future fasts.
Still, I am very anxious and impatient to get my body into perfect health! I'd be tempted to fast until my lungs and sinuses feel very clear. But remaining patient is wiser, especially when it comes to your body. It has been said so many times by all kinds of health 'gurus' that a gradual approach is always better than detoxing too quickly.
The other reason I am anxious to cleanse is because I want to naturally start putting more weight on. According to some theories your body loses weight until it has managed to remove all the toxins, which have been stored in the fat cells. It then starts building the weight back up. David Wolfe reckons that he can now fast without losing any weight, because his body is so clean.
There are many, also, who refute such statements and warn against extreme weight-loss on a raw food diet. Whatever it takes, I want to reach a state of healthy weight. I think the safest way to keep weight up is by eating enough fats. Keeping at an ideal weight just by muscle-building is not really an option for me since I think overly-muscly women (and men!) look unnatural.
So, decision made, back onto solids and raw foods from Saturday onwards, when I will gradually introduce sprouted grains and other carbs, as well as fats into my diet.
1pm: I just got out of a hot bath and am suddenly feeling hungry and weak. I think it is because I just drank tea and didn't have any juices so far today. I will now make a big juice and see if it helps. My belly feels like it is being sucked inwards. It is very flat.
2pm: Drank two juices and feeling fine again.
I am trying out a new organic delivery company, "Growing Communities Hackney" having used Abel & Cole in the past (when I had more money). I signed up for a 1-month trial with "Growing Communities", and paid £85 for the first month. This gets me their largest veggie bag (£50 per month) and the largest fruit bag (£35 per month). This gives the price of £11.63 per veggie bag and £8.14 per fruit bag (counting 4.3 weeks per month).
I was disappointed by the amount of produce I received. The service is no-frills and you pick the boxes up locally yourself (I give them credit for the pick-up points, though, there are plenty of them) and the vegetables and most of the fruit are locally grown, which should reduce the shipping costs. This is what I got (price roughly divided), so that I can calculate the price for each item, and record them in my daily diary):
Standard (no potatoes) organic veggie bag (£11.63):
- a bunch of spinach (£1)
- a bag of mixed leaf salad (£2)
- 3 beetroots with green tops (£2)
- 2 carrots (40p)
- 2 sweet potatoes (£1.20)
- 5 green chillies (£1)
- 3 green peppers (60p)
- an onion (20p)
- an avocado (£2)
- 7 small tomatoes (£1.20, or 17p each)
Standard organic fruit bag (£8.14):
- 4 small apples (£2.04, 51p each)
- 5 mandarins (£2.04, 41p each)
- 5 bananas (£2.04, 41p each)
- 2 large pears (£2.04, £1.02 each)
If I bought the same fruit and veg from the local veggie shop, I would pay much less. Plus I would get to choose what I buy. But I would not get organic.
I would be happy to buy from this company just to support locally, organically grown produce, but I can't afford to spend any extra now, that's why I think I'm unfortunately going to have to cancel the service.
[Later note: If I remember right, some of the food Growing Communities produce is grown in the city. I called them and queried about possible historical industrial contamination of the ground, etc. They said that they use raised-bed planters and some of the food comes from the countryside nearby as well. I am of two minds about growing food in the cities. Plants are of course needed but making apple juice from apple trees in the heart of London? (As an office I was working for was planning to do...) In Finland we are generally advised not to pick any berries or mushrooms near the roads but only deeper in the forest, due to air pollution.]
Weight: 50kg (7.9 stones or 110lb)
My Body-mass index (BMI) is 19.29, which is meant to be on the skinnier end of a healthy weight spectrum.
- Juice of 1/2 lemon in water (13p)
- 2 teas with dried leaves of Senna (1p) and Dalgety's lemon and ginger tea (8p)
- Juice of 1 grapefruit (33p)
- Floravital iron supplement 10ml (30p)
- Juice: 1 tbsp spirulina (70p), 2 gem lettuces (£1), 1/4 of a red cabbage (13p)
- Juice: 2 grapefruits (66p), 2 carrots (amazing colour!) (7p)
- Glass of water with pinch of himalayan pink salt (2p)
- Juice (4pm) (organic): 1/2 beetroot (33p), greens of 3 beetroots (free), 1 bunch of spinach (£2), 1 carrot (20p), 2 limes (non-organic) (50p).
- Tea made with previous tea bag and 1 additional pod of senna (1p)
- Juice: 2 pink grapefruits (66p), 2 organic apples (£1.02).
- 2 x Lemon and ginger tea (16p) (I recommend this company, Dalgety, their tea is made of real bits of ginger and lemon, and has a very powerful taste. I love it! It is much stronger than any English lemon and ginger tea. I found this one in a local Caribbean shop, together with the dried senna herb.)
- Floravital iron supplement 10ml (30p)
- (9.30pm) Juice: 2 grapefruits (66p), 2 organic apples (£1.02), 1 orange (30p).
TOTAL COST FOR DAY 31: £10.42 ($16.62, €12.09)
3rd September 2011, Thursday
- Juice: 2 grapefruits (66p), 2 apples (20p)
- 20ml Floravital (60p)
- Juice: 1 bag of mixed leaf salad (£2), 1/2 beetroot (33p), 2 organic tomatoes (34p), 2 apples (20p), 1 organic pear (£1.02)
- Many teas (lemon & ginger, sometimes with senna) (36p, I use the same teabag 3 times)
- Juice: 1 artichoke (59p), 1/2 shallot (small onion) (10p), 2 bunches of coriander (£1), 1 lemon (20p), 4 small apples (40p).
- Juice: 2 grapefruits (66p)
- Juice: 6 apples (60p) and 2 carrots (30p)
- Juice: 4 apples (40p), a grapefruit (33p), a lemon (20p)
- 10ml Floravital (30p)
TOTAL COST FOR DAY 32: £10.79 ($17.30, €12.54)
4th September 2011, Friday
Day 33! 1/3 through the 100-day raw food diet AND completely through the juice fast! Tomorrow morning I will break the fast by eating some juicy fruits. They are meant to be the best thing to break a fast with, apparently flushing loosened mucus and other toxins out. Fruit has plenty of (soluble) fiber so that must be part of the reason. The next two days will be transitioning days to a 'normal' 100% raw diet, gradually including more solids and heavier foods.
Later note: fiber from fruit is easier to digest than that of vegetables - it is called 'soluble' fiber.
I am amazed how easy it has been to fast. On the other hand I am a little disappointed by the results... I didn't feel amazing lightness or unusual levels of energy. On the one hand it seems that my body must be quite clean since I didn't get many detox symptoms at all, yet, on the other hand, I feel like there is quite a lot of detoxing to do still. My tongue still has a coating in the mornings and although my energy levels are good, they are nothing out of the ordinary. Yet I know that extraordinary levels of energy are achievable on both, raw food diets and fasts. I can only conclude that it must be my body's way to detox slowly and that the benefits are still to come. I have heard so many times how each body detoxes in a completely different way. Who knows what amazing processes are happening in my body right now on a cellular level? In any case I know that this is very good for me so... I have to practice patience.
Update: Note that there is a difference between a juice FEAST - which is what I was doing - and a juice FAST. The first one is a form of a liquid diet where you can get a normal amount of calories from drinking juices. Even then weight loss and powerful detoxification result. The second one, a juice fast, is when the calories are restricted and only small amounts of juices are included. I will keep referring to both types as juice fast on this website because more people are familiar with the term and both are powerful cleansing methods. In the conclusions I always make sure to clearly explain the difference.
Later note: It's possible that had I drank less juices I would have experienced more 'lightness' and energy.
I am already pretty broke again for the next month, but there are a few things I would like to improve on in my diet and lifestyle - to try to gain this feeling of explosive energy before the end of this diet experiment. If I don't achieve clear benefits by the end of this, I might be a little disheartened by raw foods.
In any case, the improvements - if I could afford them - would be the following (all help the body to detox quicker):
I have, however, got some hints of what is possibly to come once my body reaches a high level of cleanliness... This morning in the bath I got this feeling of something like 'sparks' inside my upper body, they felt like fresh (slightly cold) energy bursts at a very small scale. Exactly like little energy sparks. It felt very nice and so alive. I thought to myself, if only my whole body could be filled with such energy. Perhaps one day it will be!
The other thing, my bones keep making small cracking noises but every time it happens it feels like something gets loosened. It feels quite nice, as if my body is becoming more flexible and clearing some jammed up joints!
Queen Afua says that you should fast one day for every year that you have lived. That would make me (7/32) 22% through the goal. [Update: I have been juice FEASTING, though, whereas Queen Afua refers to juice fasting...]
David Wolfe, on the other hand, explains that each month on a (80%+) raw food diet is able to clear out the damage done by one year on cooked foods.
That would make me, by the end of this experiment (130/382 months) 34% through this goal (my previous raw food experiments added up to this 100-day one). I will aim to complete both of these goals and will keep count on this website. (They don't, of course, need to be completed in one go.) However, I think how you do these will influence the results. You can't detox if you are eating a 'junk' raw food diet or lacking certain minerals or other nutrients, or fasting irresponsibly. So as important as the length of detox is the quality of the diet/ fast you do.
- Juice: 4 oranges (67p), 1 lemon (20p), 1 organic pear (£1.02)
- 10ml of Floravital iron supplement (30p)
- Juice: 1 bunch of spinach (50p), 3/4 bunch of romaine lettuce (67p), 1 lemon (20p)
- 10ml of Floravital
- 6 lemon and ginger teas (2 teabags 36p)
- Juice: 2 bunches of coriander (£1.36), 1 lemon (17p), 2 pink grapefruits (66p)
TOTAL COST FOR DAY 33: £6.41 ($10.28, €7.45)
5th September 2011, Saturday
I broke my fast this morning with an apple, followed by a tomato, some tea and little later red grapes. My belly feels completely normal.
I did not eat any nuts yet, although was tempted to. A small amount of fat today came from some olive oil in the tomato sauce I made. I also ate three olives - a treat. I must say, it is nice to eat solids again!
No special feelings today to report. I did have lots of energy, did a proper clean-up in our flat.
It's bonfire night tonight and I am chilling out at home with my man listening to tunes in the candle-light :)
Oh, I almost forgot to mention, I have decided to start my next 30-day cheap health challenge on Monday, parallel with the 100-day raw food diet, which will be David Berceli's 'trauma release exercises'. I have heard lots of interesting reports on these, both in the internet and first-hand from people I know. I have tried them here and there but this time I will continue to do the exercises systematically for 30 days.
Don't forget to light your candles and oil burners, it's that time of the year!
Later note: Eyes red in the evening and the next day > an intolerance to cherry tomatoes or dates? Or a reaction to sugary maple syrup?
- 1 apple (10p), 1 organic tomato (34p)
- 10ml Floravital iron supplement (30p)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon in water (10p)
- 1/2 bunch of red grapes (£1.17)
- 1/2 punnet of strawberries (£1), with 1.5 tbsp maple syrup (54p) and juice of 1/4 lemon (5p).
- 6x lemon & ginger tea (36p)
- Sundried tomato marinara with 'pasta': 1 large courgette (64p), 2 cups of cherry tomatoes (£1.23), 5 sundried tomato halves (45p), 3 olives (19p), dash of olive oil (13p), 2 dates (10p), 1/2 bunch of fresh basil (75p), 1/2 teasp rosemary (free), juice of 1/2 lemon (10p), 1 teasp pink Himalayan salt (2p), 1 teasp thyme (1p).
- 10ml Floravital (30p)
TOTAL COST FOR DAY 33: £7.88 ($12.47, €9.04)
6th September 2011, Sunday
I slept quite badly last night but as the sun was rising I put the earplugs on and that helped. There were many noisy vehicles and people on the streets, neighbours having a party through the night also (with some loud puking included....). But earplugs really help! Try sleeping with them even if you don't think you have much noise around you, you might be surprised how refreshed you feel in the morning!
Also, my eyes are red and puffy. My bf said that they were even red last night. Why is that? It must have something to do with ending the fast.... is my body now flushing out all toxins and loose mucus, as I finally put fiber in? Or is it a reaction to the less healthy food I ate yesterday, like the salt in the tomato sauce? (I made it according to a recipe and it became too salty.)
I get red eyes easily from alcohol but obviously I haven't drank any. Is it a dehydration symptom? [Later note: Might be, from to much insoluble fiber...]
[Later note: At later visit to a Chinese Doctor, she explained that both my eyes and face got red easily because of weakness in my liver. And the liver weakness was linked to too much 'emotional energy'. I also realized later that both eating sugar and tiredness made my eyes go red as well - both of which are very dehydrating and the liver needs water to function efficiently. So one of the major problems I have is imbalance in the fluids in the body and resulting dehydration - this effects hormones, as well as the endocrine balance. So this day just after the juice fast I probably didn't drink enough water or used bad quality salt. Natural rock salt is by contrast said to be hydrating.]
You're meant to take 3.5 days to come off a 7-day fast but I will only take 2 days to come off of it, since I am going back to 100% raw instead of going back to a cooked or meat-based diet. So I will try to make dehydrated sweet potato cakes today, and possibly a cake, if I have enough ingredients. Raw, of course.
Tomorrow I'm back at work, but I don't mind too much as I am a little concerned about what's happening to my project when I'm not there! Anyway, I have two more long weekends to come before Christmas, which I am looking forward to!
Lunch (12 noon):
- 10ml Floravital (30p)
- Smoothie: 1 banana (22p), 1 apple (10p), 1 tbsp raw organic cacao (33p), 1 tbsp goji berries (26p), 5 small romaine lettuce leaves (20p), water.
- 10 raw cashew nuts (71p) and 2 olives as a treat (13p), some mixed nut and raisins (approx. £1)
- lemon & ginger tea (12p)
- tomato sauce and courgette (zucchini) 'pasta': 1 courgette (54p), 1 cup of cherry tomatoes (33p), 1/2 organic avocado (£1), 3 dates (15p), 3 sundried tomato halves (27p), water, dash of shoyu soya sauce (5p), thyme (1p), rosemary (free), black pepper (1p), 1 tbsp olive oil (13p).
TOTAL COST FOR DAY 33: £5.86 ($9.42, €6.85)
Total spent in Week 5: £61.76 ($98.92, €70.67)
Average per day: £8.82 ($12.97, €9.43)
A summary of this diet is provided here: 100 days raw food summary.
Conclusions on this juice fast: 7-Day Detox Juice Fast
To read about my later, more successful, three-week juice fast while working: 21-Day Juice Fast While Working.
Juice Fasting to Balance Hormones
100-Day Raw Food Challenge Week 1
"Good Life Meals: Inspiration on how to eat and live healthy anywhere, while not restricting your life. My daily meals recorded. Good health makes good life!"
Ulla is the Editor of Cheap Health Revolution, covering natural remedies and health solutions.