After 23 days I have now broken my Juice Fast so that I can enjoy Christmas Eve, eating the same food as relatives when we get together.
That has always been the goal, so it's not as if I'm failing. Have to tell you though, there were times when it was a real challenge to keep going.
Over the last couple of days I asked myself a few times if I should continue as I still need to lose a a whole bunch of weight? But, I recognized that I've been slowly burning out and the idea of continuing until February 1st (a brief pipe dream) just didn't seem realistic.
Still, I'm happy with the results. In 23 days, I've lost an estimated 30 pounds. I don't know what my blood chemistry looks like as I still need to talk my doctor into allowing me to take another battery of blood tests.
I may start up again sometime after January 1st. If not then, then definitely by March 1st. I'd like to lose another 50-70 pounds by the Summer. But, anything will be a victory.
Right now, I just have to teach myself better portion control and to keep an eye on what kind of ingredients I cook with. I've found a whole bunch of good ones on the Internet. Unfortunately, they're never single portion size!
My first official solid food since November 30th was a mixed green salad, with green onions, mushrooms, Blood Orange sections and water chestnuts. For a dressing it was Panera Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing, which I got for free at Safeway. Can't beat free!!
When that first slice of water chestnut hit my tongue I thought I was in Heaven. Never underestimate the enjoyment of that crispy crunch!
A little bit later I delved into a bag of Tao Kae Noi Crispy Seaweed snacks, which I grabbed at Berkeley Bowl West the other day. So much more flavorful than normal potato chips.
Not that I should be considering any type of juicing guru, but should people ask me for advice here's a few things I've gleaned from my juice fast.
1 – Get a really good juicer. You can buy cheap ones for about $100. But, they're a bear to clean up and wear out after extended use. I got a horizontal masticating one because I want to be able to use it for stuff beyond the juice fast. Before starting my juice fast one of the things I made was frozen banana sorbet. The texture was just as good as any fancy store bought variety.
2 – Plan on buying your produce at least a couple of times a week. When I first started I tried stretching it to a week and some of the stuff I bought had went bad. And when going shopping make sure to make yourself a shopping list. Sure enough, you'll forget something if you don't. I did a couple of times.
3 – Properly store your veggies. When you get home immediately remove the twist ties they use to bunch the leafy greens together. Additionally invest in some of those green ethylene produce storage bags. I had my doubts on them till I started using them. I had some radishes which were crispy three weeks later!
4 – Don't be afraid to try different juice combinations. Joe Cross' unwritten rule is to eat 80% veggies and 20% fruits in a day. Originally I had tried writing up a meal plan. However, it just didn't work greatly, and so I ended up adlibbing, usually with a 100% fruit juice for breakfast.
5 – You will probably eat more carrots and kale than you have ever consumed previously! At least the kale part. Kale is the main ingredient in one of Cross' most nutrient rich juices, Joe's Mean Green. Besides kale, it has cucumbers, lemon, ginger and celery. I doubled the lemon and played with the ginger to get a flavor I could drink.
Some juicers handle fruits and veggies differently. The one I bought blew me a way with the way it dealt with carrots. This was great because my favorite Go To juice was Ginger Paradise, which had carrots, ginger and apple. If I wasn't worried about burning out on it, I would have had this every day, twice a day!
6 – Get in the habit of washing your juicer immediately after use. I made it a practice of juicing, and then while the juice was sitting in the catch cup, I'd wash my juicer, scrubbing it with the big tooth brush they included so it would be clean and ready for the next meal.
7 – Don't be afraid to augment with healthy store bought juice if you must. I had issues with getting any juices that I really liked which included tomatoes. I ended up buying a bottle of Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8, and using the same glass size as I'd been juicing.
And as I pointed out, make sure to look for the low sodium variety. It slays me that they still sell the regular variety with all that salt added, when the low sodium one really tastes excellent.
8 – Don't be a scale watcher. Though it was really obvious I was losing weight quickly, I decided to only weigh myself on Sunday evening, and then wearing the exact same clothes as the week before. Seeing the scale go down 7-10 pounds in a week was a lot more exciting than seeing a one pound loss in a day.
9 – Don't buy properly fitting clothes three days before starting a juice fast. I bought some pants on Black Friday and three weeks later they're huge on me. Suppose a good problem to have.
Good luck to anyone that who takes up this type of a challenge!