The unique aspect of this fast is that the juice I am drinking is made entirely from low-sugar leafy greens. As I mentioned in my article, A Little Bit About Me, I have done a wide variety of fasts over the past 30 years, including dry, water, fruit and vegetable, wheatgrass, and lemon. I have benefitted from all of them in one way or another and consider all of them to be good experiences. However, I have never done a juice fast with only low-sugar leafy green vegetables.
The wheatgrass juice fast I did in 2001 at the Optimum Health Institute in Lemon Grove, California was the closest thing I have done to what I am doing now, but it contained much fewer calories and was more like a water fast with wheatgrass juice added. It was very beneficial in many ways, but not something I could sustain for an extended length of time and still have the energy needed to meet the demands of my everyday life responsibilities.
For me, fasting from solid food is much like pushing the "reset" or "reboot" button for my body. Joe Cross, creator of the widely popular DVD Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, has captured this same idea with the title of his new book Reboot With Joe.
Fasting from solid food gives our body a chance to rest and regain its natural balance in much the same way that meditation calms the mind. When you remove hindering influences, whether they be foods or thoughts, the body and mind are then free to return to their natural state of well-being.
I firmly believe that health and happiness are our natural birthright, but sometimes we need to get out of our own way in order to allow our true essence to manifest. As my favorite spiritual teacher Abraham often says, "You just gotta stop doing that thing you do that is preventing you from being who-you-really-are." Abraham often uses the analogy that we are like a cork in the water that naturally rises to the surface if we don't do things that hold us under, i.e. think negative thoughts or take actions from a place of misalignment.
Like most spiritual teachers, past and present, Abraham recommends meditation as a valuable method for helping us to re-discover the joyful being that resides in all of us. Interestingly, they do not recommend any specific dietary or lifestyle programs because they feel the path to well-being is unique to everyone. Instead, they recommend finding your personal inner balance or alignment first, and then taking the inspired action. In other words, if we focus on feeling good emotionally, then the action path to our well-being in all things, including physical health, will light up beneath our feet.
For me, fasting - in all its various forms - has been the single most valuable action path that I have discovered in my own journey toward greater physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. There is no right or wrong way to health, and the way that works for me may not work for you. But it is my desire to share my knowledge and experience with this unique therapeutic modality which has proved to be so incredibly valuable for myself. Perhaps the information I offer here will resonate with you, and you will feel inspired to give it a try. But please, do only what feels best for you and your body.
Okay, so now for the details of my program...
Each day I have been consuming an average of 4 quarts of juice. I make 1 quart at a time, and I drink the juice immediately while it is fresh. I do not make juices in advance and store them for later consumption as many people who juice fast are inclined to do. Once the nutrients have been liberated from their cellular enclosure, they begin to oxidize rapidly and much of their beneficial quality is compromised.
Dr. Max Gerson of Germany designed a diet-based therapy to treat cancer back in the 1950s. The foundation of Dr. Gerson's program, outlined in his book A Cancer Therapy: Results of 50 Cases, was 13 freshly pressed 8-oz. juices per day, consumed hourly. He insisted that his patients make and drink each juice fresh, and he also insisted that they use a Norwalk Juicer which "presses" the pulp, rather than centrifuging or spinning it at high speed. The reason for these specifications was because he observed that his patients had better results with the diet therapy when they did so.
Dr. Gerson had a clinic where patients would come and stay for extended periods of time when first starting the therapy. As you can imagine, his therapy involved a tremendous amount of work which is not always easy for someone who is ill. In 1989, I spent 10 months helping a woman with late-stage breast cancer do this therapy, so I know - first hand - that making the juices and preparing the food is a full-time job.
Now, all this being said, I completely understand that not everyone has the ability to make each juice fresh and drink it immediately because of conflicting work schedules or other responsibilities that make it necessary to be away from home. I have been using a Norwalk Juicer throughout my fast, and it takes approximate 30 minutes from start to finish. So, that is a good 2 hours every day.
Now, many people who like to cook will spend that much time preparing gourmet meals, but others either do not have the time or do not enjoy the process of cooking. If you cannot make each juice fresh, then I would strongly recommend making and drinking a fresh juice in the morning and then preparing just enough to get you through your work day. Once you return home, you can make and drink your evening juices in a freshly-made state.
I am also aware that most people do not have and cannot afford to purchase a Norwalk Juicer, and unless you are embarking on a juice fast as a way to heal from a serious imbalance such as cancer, it is certainly not a necessity. I will say, however, that have used many different juicers over the years, and none of them produce juice that even comes close to what a Norwalk can do. Nevertheless, a very affordable and good choice for a juice fast of this type is, in my opinion, the Jack LaLanne Ultimate Power Juicer sold through Wal-Mart for less than $100.
Not all juicers have the ability to juice leafy greens. The Jack LaLanne Juicer is not a very good juicer for most greens, but it will do an okay job with the firm, inner romaine lettuce hearts that I am using from Costco. It may not do such a good job with the softer, outer romaine lettuce leaves from a normal whole bunch. So, it depends on what type of lettuce you have access to and will be buying for your fast.
Another good choice for softer leafy greens is the Green Star Elite GSE-5000-B Jumbo Twin Gear Juicer which costs about $600, which is still considerably less than a $2,500 Norwalk Juicer. The advantage of the Green Star is that you can also juice fresh wheatgrass in it if you have access to flats of wheatgrass and want to use that instead of the freeze-dried powder.
The money you spend on a juicer is one of the best investments you will ever make in your health. I like to think of it as a form of health "insurance."
My Green Juice Recipe:
-- 750 gms. Romaine Lettuce Hearts (from Costco)
-- 500 gms. Celery Hearts (from Costco)
-- 1 tbsp. Wheat Grass Shots (by Green Foods)
This amount of lettuce and celery will make exactly 1 quart of juice. I have found that 3 Romaine Hearts and 1 Celery Heart (from Costco) equals very close to this amount most of the time. Sometimes they are a bit lighter or heavier depending on the batch, but overall the weight is fairly consistent. Also, while the quality of these two items is pretty good most of the time, once in a while the lettuce will be pale and weak and not the best choice. In that case, you may need to shop around for a better source.
The Lettuce Hearts come in a 6-Pack and cost $2.99 per package.
The Celery Hearts come in a 4-Pack and cost $2.99 per package.
The amount that I use in each juice equals a cost of about $2.25.
If you times this by 4 juices a day, that equals $9.00 per day.
The Wheat Grass Shots costs $37.99 per 10.6-oz container and the normal retail price, and each container has 40 tbsp. So, one container lasts me 10 days, and each tbsp. cost about $1.00.
When I add the cost of the Wheat Grass Shots to the cost of the lettuce and celery, the cost for each juice is $3.25. Thus, the total cost is $13 per day for 4 juices, which is pretty affordable for most people.
If you are interested in ordering Wheat Grass Shots at an awesome discounted price, you can do so here: http://goo.gl/veQHqV
As just mentioned, the normal price is $37.99, but Vitacost is offering it for $26.99 with FREE SHIPPING when you order 2 per more containers. Plus you will get a $10.00 discount on your first purchase if you use the above link!
According to the on-line nutritional database Cron-O-Meter, each quart of this green juice contains about 250 calories. So, with an intake of 4 juices, I am consuming approximately 1000 calories per day. The most amazing thing about this fast is that I have not been hungry at all. It is very similar to being on a water fast in that regard.
Once in a while, my stomach will growl, but I have not felt any desire for solid food at all. The juices are incredibly satisfying on so many levels of my being, and 4 per day feels like plenty. If I felt like I needed more, I would not hesitate to add another juice to my daily intake. If you decide to try this program yourself, I recommend that you drink as many juices as you feel you need. If you only want 3 per day that is fine, and if you want 6 a day that is fine too. Listen to your body and drink whatever amount of juice feels best to you.
For a detailed description of the nutrients contained in these juices, please see my article Nutrients in the Juice.
Here is a video I made on Day 28 of this fast that gives a verbal summary of this program, plus a demonstration of how my Norwalk Juicer works.
For the first 2 weeks of this fast, I also added the juice of 1 lemon to each drink, and that is something you can experiment with if you feel so inclined. Lemon is very alkalizing for the body and is low in sugar like the leafy greens, so it does not cause the blood sugar to rise and fall. When included the lemon juice in my program, it did not affect the way I felt one way or the other, and it can be a nice addition if you find the "green" taste a bit hard to take in the beginning.
In addition to drinking the juices, I am also using coffee enemas to assist the natural detoxification processes of my liver. It is not necessary to include this therapeutic modality in your own program, but it can certainly be helpful. If you would like to read more about them and how they work, please read my article Benefits of Coffee Enemas.
Love & Joy, Esmée