About two years ago we watched the film Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Afterwards we talked about trying a one day juice fast sometime but then forget all about it. To be honest even though I found the film interesting I didn't think that there would be any way that I would manage to only drink juice for a day. We moved house around that time and my juicer has been in the shed in our backyard since then! Last Monday at work something made me start thinking about trying a day long juice fast again, in fact feeling really strongly that I wanted to do it. On the way home from work I popped into Home Bargains and right by the till were the perfect reusable insulated juice containers at a bargain price. I took that as a sign that the time was right!
We picked last Sunday for the day to do it and bought all the ingredients in advance. I looked around the internet for a plan to follow. I actually ended up ditching the idea of using my juicer and decided on using the Vitamix instead keeping in all the fibre from the fruit and veggies. I've not ruled out trying a juice fast in the future but I felt like it was more likely to be successful if we started with smoothies. We had really late nights on Friday and Saturday with a friend's 40th birthday party and Matt playing at a festival. There was alcohol, lots of cake and crisps, burger and chips for both evening meals and lots of caffeine. Sunday morning we looked like this.......
.....a tired, grumpy Matt who muttered that he'd rather be doing real ale cleanse and a bleary eyed Caroline.
Despite the bleary eyes I did wake up feeling excited about the experience. Before body brushing and jumping in the shower there was a cup of boiling water with lemon and ginger. Body brushing is recommended alongside fasts. I've been doing it for years and highly recommend it. I takes a minute and always helps me wake up as well as giving you lovely soft skin.
I opted to follow a free plan from the Blender Babes website. The plan I found appealed to me because there were 6 big juicy smoothies, the recipes were for 2 people and there was a ready to print shopping list. The breakfast drink actually made two extra glasses and I opted to use half the amount of ice in the other smoothies and found this made just the right amount for our two cups. This one contained coconut water, orange, carrot, apple, pineapple, turmeric and ice. I enjoyed this a lot. It tasted quite exotic to me as I've avoided oranges for years after they gave me eczema as a child but have started to use a little bit of orange juice as a flavouring and am hoping to bring it back into my diet.
Drink number two was a mid morning snack juice. This one had coconut water, strawberries, raspberries, cooked beetroot, a pinch of chilli or cayenne, stevia (I subbed a couple of teaspoons of Sweet Freedom) and ice. This was lovely. The earthiness of the beets set off the sweetness of the berries and the beets gave it a nice velvety texture. By this point in the morning I was struggling with coldness. This wasn't to do with the fast as I do have issues with body temperature and suffer from chillblains and raynauds and often seem to hit a cold dip mid morning. I managed it as usual by putting on a extra layer and getting a hot water bottle but I did really miss being able to get a coffee. I find that a cup of coffee gets my body temperature back up and although I don't drink much coffee I nearly always have some at this time of day. I tried not to think about it and resorted to some more lemon and ginger hot water instead.
Mid way point and our lunch juice was our first green one of the day. This consisted of coconut water, kiwi, banana, pineapple, kale, cucumber and ice. At this point I was still craving coffee and had a bit of stomach ache. I was distracting myself with a day of watching films on the sofa. Matt was still in bed (an incredibly rare occurence) and was alternating between napping and reading. We'd deliberately made no plans for the day. We've got a very busy few months coming up so it felt really nice to have this quiet time.
The plan gave all the drinks names and the mid afternoon juice was another called I Am Spice and Hot. Ours weren't really hot as I didn't include the suggested jalapeno chilli as it's a cough trigger for me. I can get away with mild chilli powder though so I added a pinch of that and it also contained a good chunk of fresh ginger. There was also coconut water, pineapple, banana, apple, orange, lemon juice, spinach, kale and ice. We had this around 4pm and by this time my coffee craving has gone and the stomach ache eased. I didn't feel any more tired than I usually do at this time and the drinks were keeping me full enough. Matt said he was feeling some hunger though and was tired.
Dinner juice was made from coconut water, red grapes, orange, apple, fresh ginger, dates, cinnamon, ice and surprisingly to me some cooked sweet potato. I was expecting this one to be a little odd with the sweet potato but I absolutely loved it. It was so sweet and creamy and actually felt like a bit of a decadent treat.
We started with the juices at 10 in the morning and had our last one at 8.30pm. They spaced out nicely through the day and it didn't feel that there were big gaps between them. We had a few Pukka herbal teas throughout the day too. The final drink was made from water, dates, almonds, vanilla, cinnamon and ice. It tasted a bit like vanilla ice cream and was a nice one to finish the day on.
I'd be up for doing a day like this again sometime. It was quite expensive, although we have got lots of fruit, spinach, kale etc left that will see us through the week. I loved the use of spices in the drinks and it's got me enthused about making drinks like this again. I feel like I've not been eating much fruit recently and this has been a good way to get excited about fruity drinks again. Especially as we are going into summer I can see myself taking drinks like this into work for breakfast instead of overnight oats. I coped with it quite well and didn't really miss food. I did a bit of yoga but sat on the sofa for the rest of the time so I don't know if it would have been a different story if I'd had lots to do. Matt said he found it more difficult but he enjoyed the juices and we've decided we will definitely carry on making them. I picked up a Nutri Bullet smoothie recipe book for pennies the other day in a charity shop so I'll be checking that out for ideas too. I went to bed on Sunday and woke up on Monday with a slight coffee withdrawal headache. A small cup of coffee when I got to work on Monday sorted that out. I don't want to give it up as I believe in moderation that it has it's benefits. Where I really noticed the after effects from the day was on Tuesday where my energy levels were great, much higher than normal and I feel that has carried through to today too. Have you ever done a juice fast or do you have any favourite juice combos?
I am linking this post to Mid Week Munchies over at Blissful Yoga Journey blog. Check out what other vegan bloggers have been eating and buying.