Earlier this year I was sitting on a plane when I noticed across the aisle, a man a few rows ahead of me was watching a movie on his laptop. From what I could see the movie was a documentary about health and fitness (my weakness!!) but the animation made it look like it was going to be fun – not preachy. I kept my eye on it for the rest of the flight and at the end I was rewarded with the title ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’.
I immediately went home and found I was able to watch the movie online – and was totally inspired by the story, the journey and of course THE JUICE! The movie told the story of Joe Cross and his journey back to health via a 60 day juice feast (or as he calls it – a ‘reboot’). If you haven’t seen the movie – STOP READING and go watch it now!! Well, maybe finish reading first 😀
Like most people who have watched the movie – I bought a juicer – which to my surprise and delight – came with not just a ‘booklet’ but a proper book on juicing and how to use fresh juice to improve your health. The book, Juice Master Keeping it Simple by Jason Vale, has inspiring recipes, health benefits of loads of fruit and veg and detailed instructions on how to do a 3 day juice detox. For many years I have been doing ‘fruit days’ where I eat just one fruit all day – at least 2 or 3 times a month – so I thought I could manage a 3 day juice feast. Well, I nearly managed but got a bit headachy and a bit hungry and ended up having whole fruit on day 3.
I really wanted to succeed on a juice detox so when I saw an event with Twist & Sprout – to do a supported 7 day ‘juice feast’ I jumped at the chance. I loved the idea of doing the feast with a group – and with a set start and finish date. No more excuses, no more putting it off til tomorrow or next week…….
Before the feast started we were sent a welcome pack with tips, guidance and recipes for juice (although there was an option to have juice supplied if you didn’t have access to a juicer). The juice feast then started with a group meeting – a chance to meet ‘Twist & Sprout’ (Lorna and Susan) and the rest of the ‘juicers’. We were all nervous, excited and by the end of the meeting, super motivated to go forth and JUICE!! In addition to fresh juice, we were provided with probiotic tablets (to top up our good bacteria – useful if juicing fruit which has lots of sugar), coconut water and some barley grass powder. Susan suggested adding a couple tablespoons of the barley grass powder to the coconut water for an instant green juice. It was fast, easy and tasted like malted chocolate milk – a winner!!! Susan also helped us prepare for the ups and downs of the next 7 days. Ups: we would be drinking pure nutrition – in a format that would be quickly absorbed and utilised, leaving more energy for cell repair, physical activity, and mental activity. Downs: we might experience detox symptoms like headaches, tummy upsets, mood swings. At any of these times we were encouraged to contact Susan or Lorna 24/7!!
I left the meeting armed with my juicing goodies, my recipes and my determination to make the most of the next 7 days; with the goal to nourish every cell of my body while giving my digestive system a well needed rest. I was also determined to meet any of ‘the downs’ head on – I was ready so bring it on!!
I was so prepared for the ‘downs’ that what happened over the next 7 days was a total shock! I felt GREAT!! I mean REALLY GREAT! I was actually a little disappointed that I didn’t have any downs to conquer – to test my resolve. I was full of energy and joy and excitement and loved every minute of the feast. Maybe it was because I was used to doing 1 day fruit fasts, or maybe because I don’t drink coffee or alcohol so didn’t have withdrawal symptoms?
But on reflection, I think I had such a joyous feast for the following reasons:
- Thanks to the advice from Twist & Sprout I was consuming FAR MORE liquid than I did when I tried the 3 day juice detox. I was super hydrated with about 3 litres of juice, 1 litre of coconut water, 1 litre of water, a morning mug of warm water and lemon juice, and 1 or 2 cups of herbal tea a day.
- Baths! I normally have one ‘home spa bath’ a week – but this week I had 2. A warm bubble bath with Epsom salt, dead sea salts and a blend of essential oils selected to support detox.
- Exercise – I managed to ‘bounce’ on my rebounder for 30 minutes a day, joined an aerial yoga workshop at Get Down Dog, and did yoga nearly every day at home.
- Fresh Air – nothing clears the cobwebs like a walk or bike ride.
- Preparation – I had all the equipment, fruit and veg ready and a space set aside in the kitchen. I was prepared for trips out by keeping a flask of coconut water with barley grass with me at all times – this is my new travel favourite! Instant hydration and stays fresh longer than juice.
- Group Power! By joining an organised feast I had set dates and targets and a support system including a mid week meeting, a facebook group to chat with other juicers and contact details for Susan and Lorna.
- I also kept myself ‘entertained’ by keeping a juicing spreadsheet (also known as ‘juicing for nerds!). Thanks to my spreadsheet I have a record of all my recipes and all my fruit and veg intake. My final tallies were:
On day 7 of the feast we all got together again to have a chat about what to do next. We received lots of tips on how to reintroduce solid foods in a controlled manner so that we could become more conscious eaters.
If you’d like to try juicing for yourself, I would highly recommend getting in touch with Twist & Sprout. You can also find information from books and online from sources such as Joe Cross of ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’ and Jason Vale ‘The Juice Master’. For tips on where to buy organic fruit & Veg, coconut water, barley powder and where to find juice bars in Edinburgh – check out my Edinburgh Healthy Food Map.
Healthy Scale: Juice Feast
Mind: (+) Seven days of super nutrients and hydrations gave me a clear head, added focus and a feeling of peace and joy.
Body: (+) I could feel every cell getting healthier, and lost a few pounds in the process
Community: (+) It is much easier to do something like this as part of a group – a mini community with common goals. We are very lucky to have ‘Twist & Sprout’ here in Edinburgh.