After all the juice fasting talk this week, I’d like to discuss here the concept of juice feasting: the Golden Standard of fasting for health reasons.
Juice feasting is similar to juice fasting, but is designed specifically to completely nourish the body and stay clear from any form of deprivitaion. Why? So that people can sustain on liquids only, for very long periods of time. How long? The official juice feasting protocol is 92 days, which equals 3 months.
Now before you go yell ‘that’s crazy!” hear me out. Juice feasting, as opposed to fasting, provides all necessary nutrients (minus B12 and vitamin D, as is with vegan diets) to the body, day in day out. In fact, it’s safe to say that during a juice feast your body receives many many more nutrients than normally. The second very important thing to realize about juice feasting is that the calorie restriction is minimal. 1500 calories a day for an average woman is the bare minimum (more if you need/like), which is more than you can say from most fad diets! If you are overweight and your body needs to release weight then yes, you will lose weight. If you are a healthy weight to begin with, you will lose some weight initially, weight loss will stagnate soon, and the idea is to rebuild this ‘weight’ (aka tissue) afterwards with healthy cells, built from healthy foods (whereas the old cells were probably built on less than stellar diets!).
So as you can imagine by now, the main goal behind a juice feast is not to lose weight. It is to regain health, and built a cleaner, stronger, healthier body. As I explained in An Ode to Juice Fasting, when your body gets a break from digesting solid foods, it has a lot of energy to spare. All of this energy is now redirected to cleansing, healing and reparing your body on a cellular level. The longer the fast, the more thorough this process. Of course, as with any type of ‘fast’, there are many more motivations than just the physical benefits, such as spiritual ones or rebuilding a healthy relationship with food.
In general, people on juice feasts report much higher levels of energy, expelling tons of scary waste material from their bowels (up and to the very last day!), requiring less sleep, getting more frequent and more intense workouts, the dissapearance of ailments such as migraines, painful joints, wards, acne and many more, seemingly ‘random’, ailments. I have yet to read an account of someone juice feasting and experiencing hunger past the initial 2-3 days. Of course, you should also expect many detox symptoms on a juice feast, the whole idea is to expel old toxins, and these usually don’t leave without a bang…
The ‘official’ length is determined at 92 days because, supposedly, there are 92 known elements in the body that are needed to function optimally. Another fun fact: is is being said that for every day you juice feast, you go back 120 days in time, physically as well as emotionally. This means old cells but also old emotions will be releasing in that fashion (I have read some pretty cool experiences from juice feasters who could actually trace back certain seemingly out-of-place emotions back to a time in their life where their fast had now chronologically placed them!).
- Drink a minimum of 4 litres of fresh juice daily
- Including one entire head of celery per day (for electrolytes)
- Including 2 pounds/1 kilo of greens per day
- Coconut/hemp/flax oil are allowed, as required
- Enemas/colonics are strongly adviced to facilitate the expelling of waste material
Juice feasting is not a small undertaking. It will take a lot of time and effort (prepping and drinking the juices) and, depending on the season and where you live, money for good quality produce. Some have said it to be a full-time job. On the other hand, you do gain more energy and clarity, which enables you to get more out of your day.
There are plenty of well-documented juice feasting journals out there, where you can read the ups and downs, the highs and the lows of a 92 day juice feast, which gives you a very candid idea of the whole ordeal. Some of my favorites:
- 5 day juice feast & kundalini yoga challenge
- a juice feasting couple (scroll all the way down for day 1)
- my personal favorite: angela monarch juice feasting in costa rica (scroll all the way down for day 1)
While doing my own little three day juice fast I got really excited. It simply resonated with me on so many levels. Like I wrote in my juice fast recap, I didn’t experience anything unusual, however I did feel completely in my element. I felt comfortable. And although I do still think juice feasting is a little intimidating (the effort that goes into it, not the feasting itself), I can only imagine how absolutely amazing it would be to nourish your body so profoundly for an extended period of time.
While reading Angela Monarch’s journal of juice feasting in Costa Rica, I got enamored by the idea of taking some time off, resort to a beautiful and laidback place on this planet (aka the opposite of Holland) and spend some time in nature, nurtering my body and soul. And if you know me, you know that once I get an idea in my head, its virtually impossible for me to not act upon it. I decided right then and there, next year, next summer, I will fly my ass to some exotic location and juice feast. And I knew of just the perfect person to join me: Saar! As a fellow health junkie but also a travel-addict, I couldn’t think of anyone better to do something cool like this with.
So now, we’re planning, plotting, scheming our get-away. We’ll be doing a 30 day juice feast by the way. A warm-up for the official 92 days? Perhaps. New Zealand, Taiwan, Bali, Thailand… now all we have to do is set on the setting! A setting with an abundance of fresh, seasonal and cheap produce, and coconuts! I am really excited about doing this, about traveling to Asia, learning from different cultures, retreat from the Western society for some 6 weeks, and focus on this beautiful thing I’ll be doing for my mind & body.
Enjoy your weekends all, I’ll be back Monday after a jam-packed weekend!