Losing weight always seems to be a struggle when I am traveling for business.The last 3 weeks or so I have been on the road, I am supposed to be dropping the weight but my scale is pointing north.
So on my return to San Francisco I decided to jump straight into a juice fast. If you have read my Juicing Starter Guide (over 3,500 copies downloaded!) then you will know that I recommend a ‘slowly slowly‘ approach by using phases.
I definitely suggest a phased approach if you are new to juicing. Let’s face it the detox effects in the early days can be horrible. Especially if you are a caffeine addict and love your coffee.
As an experienced juicer – I decided to jump right into a fast. It does reflect my all or nothing approach to life. I gave up a 40 a day cigarette habit by going completely cold turkey.
In the past I have blogged each day whilst fasting. This time I have decided to describe the juice fast in one post. It will give you a snapshot into the life of a juice faster.
If you are in a hurry and do not have time to read this post. Scroll to the bottom where I listed the benefits of the juice cleanse.
Jet lag can be a killer. I travel a lot and I have tried all the different mechanisms to beat it but so far I have been unsuccessful. I was wide awake at 5.45am and decided that rather than trying to sleep I should slip on my running shoes and get a few miles in. Running at 6am was truly inspirational. The streets are quiet and you get the occasional thumbs up from other early bird runners. In the past I have put a lot of miles into my running regime when juicing. Mainly to show others you can train whilst juice fasting. This time though I am only going to run 3 miles but I will run it every day of the fast. When you go on a juice fast by day 3 or 4 you feel very energetic, your body has excess energy because it is not working to break down your food. I don’t want to waste that energy on long runs.
I can tell you this, nothing beats knowing you have completed your workout by 7am! I am going to try and run at 6am each day.
After my run I made the now famous Phil Staples Mean Green juice. I do add some supplements, chia seeds (great natural source of Omega 3), Amazing Grass Green Superfood and Vega whole food optimiser. These are not necessary but I wanted to make sure I was adding a lot of additional nutrients to my juices.
I made some extra and took it to work in my SIGG flask. Nothing is nutritionally superior than drinking your juice right away. Most of us work though and not all of us have access to a juice bar so I recommend sticking your flask in the freezer (without the top on) and then filing it up to the top, top it with water or ice if you do not have enough. Its important that the bottle is completely full.
I did go to Jamba Juice, now you know I have some issues with Jamba Juice – now I only drink the juices that I can watch them juice, namely orange and carrot. So I had an orange and carrot juice when I started to feel a little hungry around 11am.
The Miracle Juice Diet Lose 7lbs in 7 days sounds like something a snake oil pusher would offer you. I love this book by Amanda Cross though, it was one of the first juicing books I bought, it is a great introduction to juicing and I like the fact the juice recipes are varied rather than the same thing. They are healthy and can be exciting to make for instance last night I made the Big Red Juice:
400g (14oz) tomatoes
a few basil leaves.
This was delicious and a little different – only comes in at 122 calories and its very filling.
Day 2 of the Juice Fast
I think my decision to only run 3 miles is paying off. Felt great this morning and yes another 6am run! Unheard of for me. I don’t usually run at 6am unless its race day.
Of course everyone is different, maybe for you a 5 mile run is low mileage, 1 mile may be too much, you know your own body and its capabilities. I am just trying to get a good 30 mins exercise at a low pace. As you can see by my photos I am not a gym rat or an athlete.
This mornings breakfast juice recipe is again from Amanda Cross’s Miracle Juice Diet:
Orange Super Smoothie
1 large carrot
1 frozen banana
1 fresh/dried apricot
You can swap the banana with 1/2 a small avocado.
I am topping up my juice with Amazing Grass Green Superfood, again if you are on a budget this is not essential. It is added boosts that’s all.
I actually am not feeling hungry on this fast, I am not feeling deprived or miserable at all. I think it is because I am mentally ready for this juice detox. Really there is no point in starting a juicing detox or cleanse until you are 100% mentally ready.
I have a special event at the end of the June, my birthday and I am having a relaxing break. I want to be a certain weight by then and the thought of that is really motivating me.
I will touch more on the importance of GOALS in another post just remember the saying ‘If it’s to be, it’s up to me’.
Dinner was inspired by my juicing friend Jay Kordich, he posted his green tonic on his facebook page and I gave it a try – yum!
Jay Kordich Green is Great Tonic
Jay’s Green is Great tonic
1 Large Lime Juiced (skin and all)
1 cup Spinach
1 cup Parsley
1 Green Apple
6 ribs Celery
1 large Cucumber (unwaxed)
Ok drum roll the bit you have been waiting for…the weight loss – 3lbs in one day! Fantastic – there are 2 schools of thought on weighing yourself whilst on a juice cleanse.
- Weigh yourself at the end of your juice detox. This is great if you want a nice surprise at the end of the cleanse..and if you are patient..I am not a patient man so its on to option 2 for me.
- Weigh yourself once a day. Some dieticians are aghast at this but I love it. Just make sure you jump on the scales at the same time every day. Personally I hit the scales first thing in the morning. I like to see the weight loss as it inspires me for the rest of the day. It also helps me if I am tempted by a colleagues birthday cake. It is funny I walk past 30 or so restaurants and fast food places on my walk to and from work. I need all the motivational help I can get.
Days 3 & 4
Very similar to the first two days. Up early and a fantastic morning run.
I have not really suffered any cravings until Friday night. I usually treat myself on a Friday night and found myself skulking around the kitchen.
However it was cherries to the rescue
I discovered my tastiest juice recipe yet! I think I will keep this one in store for when I am really wanting a treat.
My legs were aching and I decided to have a rest day. I have never run 4 days consecutively before and it is important to listen to the body.
I have felt lethargic all day. This is wierd, I usually suffer detox issues earlier on in the fast not on Day 5. I think it is a sign I need to drink more water. I am suffering with headaches, maybe it is caffeine withdrawal. I just juiced most of a watermelon (always include the rind as that is the most nutritional bit.) Watermelons are good for hydration so may be it will work its magic power on me.
I hopped in the sauna/steam room today in place of exercise and had a good sweat.
I really want to continue with this juice cleanse but I have a very important visitor in town tomorrow from Europe who wants to go to dinner. It is the story of my life – yet I have got in 5 days of a juice only detox – I will continue to make more juices this week and start to transition very slowly into solid food.
UPDATE: I went for dinner and had a starter only, it was a beet salad, with greens and walnut, no cheese, no oil. Technically I have broken the fast but look what I chose? A week ago it would have been steak and fries/chips and a dessert with several glasses of wine. I have resolved to carry on the juice fast for at least 10 days so please keep reading.
Today was bloody awful. I was falling asleep at 8pm. I then remembered the words of Jason ‘Juicemaster’ Vale who said this can be a side effect of juicing and that it is best not to fight out and just go to bed.
Day 6 and 7
A glorious sleep even though I must have been in slumber by 9pm. Woke up much better, Jason Vale was right, best not to fight it.
Just hopped on the scales before heading out for a run. Lost a whopping 8 pounds! I think that is my best result yet. On saying that I think it is because I had put a fair bit on these last few weeks.
It does put me within striking distance of my goal weight again.
Juicing has many detractors – many critics but this is a cleanse and regime that works for me. A friend said to me yesterday ‘I cant believe you have not had real food for the last five days!’ Of course that is where he is wrong, I have had more real whole food than he has probably consumed. The difference of course is I have extracted its nutrients and drunk them in its purest form.
Today has been a fascinating day. I woke up with an abundance of energy. I went out and completed my 3 mile run and when I came home look what I made:
The almond milk was very easy to make, I used a nut milk bag which I bought at Whole Foods and my blendtec. I had all this and my Green is Great Tonic Juice all prepared by 7am.
As I wrote in the update above, I did go out for dinner, I had decided not to eat anything but it felt totally wierd. So I opted for a small beet salad. Transitioning to solid food after a juice fast should be gradual and I think that this was the best thing on the menu. With my job it is almost impossible to have 10 days where I am not traveling or having a business lunch/dinner. Still as you can read there are ways around it.
Of course the next big step is transition. This is where I have a tendency to mess up. It is now all too easy to splurge. The transition after a juice cleanse can be more important than the cleanse itself. Right now my body is in a vibrant alkaline state – I need to make sure I eat no processed food or crap for awhile.
I actually juiced for a further 3 days – rather than seeing it as an extension of my juice fast it was better framed as part of the transition.
My plan now is to have one ‘solid meal’ a day and the rest of the day will be juice. I want to do that for the next 5-7 days.
For me this is harder than juicing. I find that once I start eating food I have tendency to eat more – at least with juice fasts the rules are clear. Eating food can be a minefield.
How do you transition after a juice cleanse? Any tips?
Next week will be a real challenge. I am at a conference for 4 days in Las Vegas of all places. Well actually the resort is 20 miles away from the strip so I will have no supermarket/health food store options for supplies. I have bought a personal blender!
That purchase has been long overdue with the amount of travel I put in. I also bought Garden of Life Raw Meal Replacement food – this is action packed with superfoods, nutrients and it is vegan. I will make one of these with a banana in the morning and may be for dinner though it will be tricky as this is a business conference.
I have tried the Garden of Life Raw Meal Replacement before and whilst it does not taste the best I can stomach. It keeps me satisfied until lunch time as well. I am hoping there are some fruits at breakfast that I can spirit back to my room for my blender.
I will review the Hamilton Beach Single Serve Blender when I get back from my business trip.
Benefits of a 7- 10 day Juice Cleanse
- Lost at least 10 pounds and definitely some inches around my belly!
- Feel amazing – I know it is a cliche. I read celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow talk of how their skin is glowing. Well you know I am not a yoga housewife or new age practitioner but yes I have had several compliments from different sources that I am looking younger. (Some from my staff – are they after a pay rise?)
- Obliterated my caffeine habit. These last few months I had got into a bad habit of 3-4 Starbucks Coffee a day, plus tea and I was always guzzling way too much of my favourite drink..rootbeer! Juicing for 7 days straight has reduced my need for coffee.
- No longer craving crap and sugar. I broke my fast with toast!!! Whole wheat of course. With some almond butter rather than peanut butter.
- I ran almost every day of the cleanse. I took a rest day as it is important to recover. I ran a gentle 3 miles every morning.
- I woke up early – 6am every morning having had a great sleep and went out running every morning.
- My energy levels are through the roof.
- Reset my body – changed my mentality. I had got into the habit of eating something sweet after a meal (usually chocolate or ice cream.) I also got to grips with the mental association of ‘it is the weekend therefore I can go mad and treat myself.’
- OK boys don’t really admit this but it has given me back my self confidence. I feel like I am walking tall and with a swagger again.
- Discovered a great new green smoothie drink from Jay Kordich called ‘Green is Great’. It is very similar to the Mean Green Juice that Phil Staples and Joe Cross drink in Fat Sick and Nearly Dead with a little twist. Variety is the spice of life after all.
It is important to reward yourself after a juice cleanse/fast. We are not talking about a trip to the eat as you much as you like restaurant. It may be something along the lines of a weekend break, spa treatment, new books. In my case it was clothes I need a nice new suit and decided to splash out on a beautiful Ralph Lauren suit that I saw. Expensive yes but not as costly as not making the healthy changes I need in my life.
What other benefits do you experience after you have juice fasted/cleansed?
The key to a successful juice fast or indeed any weight loss regime is to have clear goals and to develop productive habits.
In my business life I read a lot of self improvement and motivational books. On the flight back to San Francisco I was inspired by Darren Hardy’s book The Compund Effect, Darren is the Publisher of SUCCESS magazine and soon I will share with you how I used his book to go about my 7 day juice fast and succeed.