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Lasting Effects of Juice Feasting

  • Profile photo of Alexa Darrin Jul 9, 2012


    Wait, how did I become vegan? I thought we were just going camping? And where did all this maca powder in my cupboard come from?

    That’s how I feel sometimes.

    In the Summer of 2008, my friend made me a glass of fresh spinach juice while explaining his newfound love of juicing. He heralded the health benefits of juicing your own organic fruits and veggies, and explained how good he felt after sipping on a glass of the green stuff.

    I was skeptical; both about being able to drink the juice without gagging, and that vegetables could somehow cure me of my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

    Then he told me about something called a Juice Feast. Juice Feasting is a 92-day process during which the juice feaster consumes only fresh veggie and fruit juice, with some bee pollen and other supplements. The purpose of a juice feast is to clear out your system and restore your health. The good news, they say, is that you can drink all the juice you want. But who wants to gorge themselves on celery juice, anyway? I thought.

    Then I had a sip of the spinach juice. It wasn’t terrible! After finishing the glass, I felt really clean. And I wanted to know more about the Juice Feast.

    So I did some research. Testimonials about the success of juice feasting mention a loss of interest in cooked and processed foods upon breaking the feast. Never crave a cinnamon roll again! You will be so thrilled with your energy and wellness, and your body will crave the purity of bee pollen and Spinach-Apple-Celery juice, that you will wonder why anyone eats chicken nuggets and spare ribs!

    But that kinda scared me.

    What sort of cultish brainwashing is a juice feast capable of? Who knew produce were such proselytizers. I am sure that Amish people don’t miss electricity, Tea Party Republicans don’t miss their souls, and if you’ve never watched Modern Family then you certainly don’t get excited about new episodes…but is this necessarily a good thing?

    I mean, what good is perfect health, the Fountain of Youth, if you can’t find joy in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s?

    Juan Ponce de León went in search of the Fountain of Youth. Some say he was looking for a cure for sexual impotence, which may be one and the same, but that is for another post… Although he never found the fountain, he did discover Florida. He thus began a trend in the United States where old people migrate to Florida to search for the Fountain of Youth. It is kind of like the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, only instead of the ritual Stoning of the Devil and shaving your head, you play bridge and wear Hawaiian Shirts.

    It made sense to me that the real Fountain of Youth would be healthful eating. Or in the case of juice, drinking. Making the necessary changes, however, is not as easy as one might assume. Armed with the awareness that I could increase my energy and focus, avoid illness, and remove toxins from my body, you would think that I could swear off frozen yogurt and bacon, and simply ride off into the sunset with a Green Smoothie. But all I could think about is how I would miss out on food at social gatherings, how I would survive on only liquids for 92 days, and how I will go on a date with anyone without looking crazy. Come on, I like to hide my insanity until at least the 5th date.

    More than any fears about the actual juice feast, my biggest fear was that I would lose interest in some of the foods I once loved. How terrible would it be to never want an In n Out burger again? Or a piece of Grammaw’s ollalieberry pie? To miss out on these pleasures of life seems like a steep price to pay for the Fountain of Youth.

    To Juice or Not to Juice… This was my question.

    And I said “Yes!”

    The first ten days were the hardest. During that time, my body was going through “animal protein withdrawal” according to what I read. The first morning, I woke up early to make my juice to take to work. It was kind of exciting, kind of like the feeling I had as a child while getting ready for the first day of school. The excitement wore off by the time I was driving to work, sipping on the green juice, and thinking, this is my life for the next month? What am I doing?!

    I was very tired on Day 2, but not very hungry. On Days 3 and 4 I was hungrier and much more fatigued. I was a high school teacher with a classroom is on the third floor, and by the time I finished climbing the stairs I felt like Weight Watchers drop-out after they scaled the Eiffel tower. On Days 5 and 6 I was also very fatigued, mildly nauseous, and stuffed. It felt like I had two Inn ‘n Out burgers in my stomach, without the pleasure of having tasted them. Day 7, when I had my colonic, was much better. By Day 10, I felt amazing. I only needed 5 or 6 hours of sleep a night, and walked around all day like I was on a cloud. And you know what else? I LOVED my juice.

    My favorite juice:
    1 small head of celery
    1 cucumber, ¼ of a pineapple
    1 apple
    1 small head of romaine lettuce
    3oz spinach
    1 T coconut oil

    In the early afternoon, I would treat myself to a small portion of fruit juice. For example, grape, or cantaloupe, or watermelon. One of the crazy things about being on a juice feast is that you taste everything much more intensely. When I drank the grape juice for the first time, I felt like it was the best thing I’ve ever tasted. And I’ve had some good food in my time.

    I made it through day 38, then felt it was time to end the Juice Feast. In the early days of the Feast, I had fantasies of eating a bacon cheeseburger with fries, an ice cream shake, and all the bad food I could get my hands on. But at the end of it all, when I had the opportunity to eat whatever I wanted, all that junk food sounded… gross. What I really wanted to eat, was a salad.

    Four years later, I am still juicing and blending on a regular basis. I feel energized and happy when I stick to my vegan diet. I no longer crave In ‘n Out Burgers or bacon or cookies, and I rarely get sick. Although, every time I see my Grandma she asks me if I’m still eating goat food and green sludge.


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