Juice Feast, Take 2

Before we start, let’s get one thing out of the way.  Whoever euphemistically called this a feast should be shot.  While it’s not a fast, it’s no Fat Tuesday either.

sweet potato orange juice image 225x300

Sweet potato, orange, and pineapple juice. Yum, for realz.

I didn’t beat myself up over failing at my ill-fated first attempt at a juice cleanse.  It ended, one and a half days after it started, in my chasing my wife around the kitchen for a loaf of bread, followed immediately by a glass of wine, followed immediately by a beer.

I like to think that failing in my attempts to qualify for Boston for so long taught me to handle failure pretty well.  To use it as motivation to do better, rather than as a reason to quit trying.

So this time, I did it better.  Last night I completed four days of taking in nothing but liquids in my first successful attempt at a juice cleanse.

Why I Did It

In short, I got all pumped up after going to Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within seminar earlier this month.  (If you click the link, you can see me over Tony’s right shoulder for about a quarter of a second at 6:06!)

When my wife and I got back from that, we committed to a 30-Day Challenge, an extended version of the 10-Day Challenge that convinced me to go vegetarian.  More on that once it’s finished in about another week.

Part of that challenge though, is a cleanse in some form or another.

Did I need a cleanse?  Maybe, maybe not.  But it was a challenge and a chance to experiment, and I’m not one to turn those down.

The ‘Clean’ Details

With talk of cleanses comes talk of shitting.  I’ve kept that to a minimum, and relegated it to the “Dirty” Details section so as not to contaminate the food.  Here’s the happy puppy-dogs and lollipops stuff.

I based my cleanse on the guidelines Tony gives in his cleanse pack, which are somewhat flexible.  Here’s what I decided on for the daily rules:

  • At least 32 ounces of fresh, raw fruit juice per day
  • Lots of fresh, raw vegetable juice
  • 64 ounces of water per day, with greens powder
  • Cold-pressed oils
  • Lots of sea salt
  • Supplements, including Senna Tea, fiber, probiotics, and antioxidants
  • Seasonings okay, including a tablespoon of miso soup mix

(Big thanks to my experienced juicing friend, Shane, for helping me figure out what to eat.)

As you can see, the diet is almost entirely fluids and completely raw, except for the seasonings, which I used sparingly.  The point here is to give your digestive system a vacation by letting the juicer do most of the work.

But what made this cleanse SO much easier from the last one I tried is the inclusion of fruit juice.  Fruit juice tastes good.  To drink it for breakfast and throughout the day is Christmas compared to drinking pure vegetable juice, especially the green variety.

Dinner was the hardest part.  Come 5 or 6 pm, Daddy wants his dinner and he wants it salty.  Not fruity.

Problem is, every soup recipe I could find was either (a) not raw or (b) pureed, not juiced.  So I had to improvise, and I couldn’t believe how great the results were.  At the end of this post, I’ve included two soup recipes, one that I made up and one that I adapted to juice-only from here.

At the end, I’ve also listed every single thing I ate during these four days, for those who are thinking about giving it a try.

The ‘Dirty’ Details

So here’s how it went.  I bought Tony’s cleanse pack, which consists of Senna tea, some antioxidant pills, some fiber pills, some immune system pills, and probiotics.  (As it turned out, I think I could have saved myself 150 bucks and assembled it myself at Vitamin Shoppe for around 30 dollars.  Oh well.  Tony has done a lot for me.)

I’ve seen Senna tea sold as “Smooth Move tea,” in case you were wondering what it does.  The fiber pills do the same thing, the antioxidant and immune pills keep you from getting sick, and the probiotics repopulate your intestines with good bacteria, since you pretty much shit out whatever is in there.

Really, this part wasn’t that bad.  Let’s just say the cleanse wasn’t quite as “gentle on my body” as advertised, but it wasn’t that horrible.  And if nothing had happened, well, I’d have wondered why I was drinking all this juice.

How it went

Day 1: Love it.  Fun.  Exciting.  Amazed at how you can mix any three fruits together and get something delicious.

Day 2: Hate it.  Craving chocolate chip cookies, kettle corn, and anything that smells like anything.  Taco Bell Grilled Stuft Burrito on TV looks fantastic, as does raw piece of steak I see in woman’s cart in grocery store.  Grocery store trip derailed by emergency bathroom run.

Day 3: Easy.   Cravings have subsided.  Completely sick of miso soup and vow to never eat it again.

Day 4: Body has calmed down and seems same as yesterday.  Realize I’ve slept six and a half hours or less the previous three nights and not felt tired during the day. Thinking about food less, as cravings disappear once I put some juice in my stomach.  Noticing that I feel good, but nothing extraordinary.

So why did I stop after four days?

I’m not quite sure.  I kind of just got tired of drinking juice.  If my body had still been expelling random things from it, I might have been tempted to stay longer, and with the right motivation, I have no doubt I could have.

A lot of people say that with a cleanse, Day 3 or 4 is the worst, and then you feel great afterward.  I hated Day 2 the most, and then Days 3 and 4 were very similar and pretty good, so I figured maybe I was just a day or two ahead of schedule.

Next time, in six months or so when I do one of these again, I’ll try to stay on it a little longer.  For now, and  in comparison to the last one I tried, this was a victory.

I figured out at Unleash the Power Within that I need to celebrate my victories more by rewarding myself.  So that’s what I’m going to do now.  Maybe a cup of coffee. icon smile

The Blow-by-Blow

carrot ginger juice soup image 300x225

Raw carrot-ginger juice soup

This is me harking back to my food blogger roots and listing everything I ate for several days. Enjoy!*

Day 1

  • Senna Tea
  • Apple/Orange Juice
  • Water with Greens Powder
  • Miso Soup w/ Bragg’s Amino Acids
  • Apple/Orange Juice
  • Rooibos Tea
  • Water with Lemon
  • Tomato/Celery/Cumcumber/Basil Soup
  • Pineapple/Mango/Coconut Water Juice
  • Carrot/Ginger/Lemon Juice with Flaxseed Oil
  • Yogi Bedtime Tea

Day 2

  • Senna Tea
  • Apple/Orange/Grapefruit Juice
  • Water with Lemon and Greens Powder
  • Miso Soup w/ Bragg’s
  • Apple/Lime/Carrot/Celery/Kale Juice
  • Water
  • Apple/Carrot/Grapefruit Juice
  • Carrot Soup with Ginger (recipe follows)
  • Coconut Water
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Grapefruit Juice Again

Day 3

  • Senna Tea
  • Grapefruit/Orange/Mango/Apple Juice
  • Water with Greens Powder
  • Apple/Lime/Carrot/Celery/Kale Juice
  • Carrot-Ginger Soup
  • Water with Lemon Juice
  • Sweet Potato/Orange/Pineapple Juice
  • Butternut Squash/Apple Soup (recipe follows)
  • Honeybush Tea
  • Orange Juice

Day 4

  • Senna Tea
  • Carrot/Celery/Apple Juice
  • Grapefruit/Celery/Carrot/Apple Juice
  • Water with Greens Powder
  • Carrot-Ginger Soup
  • Peppermint Tea
  • Carrot/Celery/Apple Juice
  • Miso Soup with Braggs
  • Water with Lime Juice
  • Grapefruit/Celery/Carrot/Apple Juice

*Bowel movement schedule available upon request.  (That’s a joke and if you actually request it, you are banned from this site.)

Carrot-Ginger Juice Soup

Ingredients (for 2 servings):

  • 5 large carrots
  • 1 celery heart
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • thumb-size piece of ginger
  • 1/4 small shallot
  • 1/4 cup coconut water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Seasonings:

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • sprinkle of cayenne pepper
  • cold-pressed olive oil to drizzle

Juice all ingredients except lemon juice and coconut water. Warm soup in a saucepan until just barely warmer than room temperature.  Add seasonings to taste and finish with lemon juice, coconut water, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Butternut Squash and Apple Juice Soup

Ingredients (for 2 servings):

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled
  • 1 apple
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/4 small shallot
  • 1/2 cup coconut water

Seasonings

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg
  • cold-pressed olive oil to drizzle

Juice all ingredients.  Warm in a saucepan until just barely warmer than room temperature.  Add seasonings and adjust to taste, then finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

What do you think?  Ridiculous?  Ready to try it?  Leave a comment and let me know.

35 Comments

 


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Comments

  1. I’m kind of like you and think it would be fun to try for the challenge. I think making it to 4 days is outstanding! I love solid foods so I know it would be tough for me. Good work!

  2. It is so great you did a cleanse for yourself! Were you drinking 4 quarts of juice a day? Just wondering as that is what is considered Juice Feasting. Including 1 head of celery and 2 lbs of greens, per day. 1 gallon of juice a day allows enough calories while you are cleansing so you can continue your daily activities. Below that amount is more like juice fasting (great also). I hope to do one in Mid Jan for 10-30 days… we will see :) If anyone wants to follow someones blog that Juice Feasted for 92 days search Angela Stokes and read the beginning of her blog. She shares her journey of overcoming morbid obesity and juice feasting. If they want to learn more about Juice Feasting (for any amount of time) they could visit the site by the same name. I have nothing to do with either, just find them so inspiring because of all the people I know that have done it and their major health issues turned around :)

    • Hethir, actually I had no idea that’s what Juice Feast technically was. I figured it was a euphemism people employed instead of calling it a fast. Thanks for the tip.

      Although I wasn’t too far off from 4 quarts. I’d estimate I drank 3 quarts of juice a day.

  3. I’ve never tried doing a juice fast before but it seems like they would be easier to do in the spring or summer time – I can’t imagine drinking a lot of cold juice in winter. Were you cold?

  4. Awesome! I think you are as crazy as I am. I want to try it as soon as I come back from my vacation. Thanks Matt!

  5. Thanks for the recap. Not sure I could try it though. Are you familiar with Gena’s blog, http://www.choosingraw.com/? I think you’d find it interesting and informative

  6. This is definitely something interesting to think about.

    First I’d have to get a juicer though! Any recommendations?

    Also, what’s a good recipe for Miso soup?

    Approx. how many calories do you estimate you were taking in per day with your daily breakdowns above?

    Thanks!

    • Kim, my juicer is a Breville Juice Fountain. It’s the 100 dollar version; there are more expensive ones that are probably better but I’m very happy with mine.

      Real juicers and even just healthy eaters swear by the Vitamix. They’re like 300-450 bucks, but I think I’m going to break down and get one soon.

      I don’t have a miso soup recipe. I just used instant packets from the health food store and made sure there wasn’t anything fake in them.

      Calories, I have no idea. If you want to try to calculate it from the listing of what I ate, estimate that each glass of juice was 12 ounces. If I had to take a guess without doing any calculations, I’d say it was 1200 calories a day.

    • Kim, I have an Omega juicer and I love it. It was expensive, but I have no doubt that it’s worth it. It’s auger based instead of using a spinning mechanism, which means more thorough juicing, and also less heat, if any at all. Lots of powerful spinning juicers get hot as they juice, which some say may damage the juice in its rawness.

      In other news, I’ve decided to start my 4 day juice cleanse tomorrow. I’ll let you know if I stay alive. :P

  7. Matt, well done for sticking with it for 4 days! That’s awesome! Your whole post had me laughing – thank you for always intertwining fabulous comic relief with the factual info!

  8. So how much time each day did it take you to prepare your juices? I work full-time so finding time in the kitchen is tough enough as it is and I hate being in the kitchen. I know that juicing is best when it’s fresh, so it’s not like you can prep 4 days of juices in one day.

    Did you do any exercising during the 4 days?

    I’ve considered doing this many times, but………. ya, I’m a wimp.

    Thanks

    • Shannon, I must have cleaned the juicer two dozen times during these few days. That was annoying, but it wasn’t so bad, since I was saving so much more time that I usually would have spent cooking and cleaning dishes! It wouldn’t be too hard to prepare the day’s juices in the morning, when you consider that it’s your breakfast, lunch, and dinner you’re making.

      Nope, no exercising during the 4 days. It’s not recommended, which was fine for me since I’m taking it easy on my knee right now.

  9. Thanks for sharing all the details: the good, the bad, and the ugly. My partner and I did the Master Cleanse once. She did it for 5 days, I did it for 7 days. That Smooth Move tea sure helped us in breaking the “bathroom talk” barrier. Prior to that cleanse we never acknowledged that either of us ever pooped. Thank you Master Cleanse, for officially bringing us closer than ever and killing the romance ;)

    • AJ, best comment yet! So very true. My wife and I got pretty comfortable with that talk during these 4 days. Kinda weird, though, I guess.

      I looked at that Master Cleanse. Now THAT seems crazy to me. How did it work for you?

      • The Master Cleanse was a bit ridiculous, but I lasted 7 days. This was about 3 years ago and I certainly wasn’t exercising then like I do now, although they claim that you can exercise on it. I did it during a time when I was very busy so my mind was taken off how much I wanted to eat. I tried to do it a second time and nearly killed my partner in the process…haven’t attempted it since!

  10. It sounds interesting — I have never done a cleanse and wonder how I would feel after. I would need to do this during a break from work, though. My teaching schedule generally does not permit emergency trips to the bathroom.

    And yeah, I don’t have a juicer, either.

    • Heather, they actually recommend you do these when you have some time off and can relax. That makes it much easier, especially because then you’re not in your normal eating routine where it feels so foreign not to eat solid food.

  11. Hey Matt –
    I was interested in this the first time you mentioned it. I tried a few years back, but also got stuck at day 1.5 (several times!). I am feeling bloated and toxic after a bit of thanksgiving abuse though, and this sounds like just the trick. I even have a juicer in the cupboard. Maybe we could start a group on the message boards, where we can share recipes and toilet stories? ;)

    ps – you also inspired me to go vegan for a month. Except now it’s been 2. I took on your flexible approach re. friends and prior engagements, and am slowing reeling that in. I read NMA primarily for the running (and the jokes!), but it seems you’ve had a big impact on my nutrition too :)

    • Alison, good idea! Let’s start a thread first and if there’s enough interest, make a category for it.

      Really glad to hear I’m converting people to veganism when I’m not even fully vegan yet! :) But that’s fantastic, and I’m getting closer every day. I’ve really felt great this month and don’t plan on eating much dairy, if any, after this.

  12. I was wondering if you still worked out or trained during the cleanse?

    • Nathaniel, no, I didn’t do any serious exercise. I bounced on a trampoline a bit and jogged for a few minutes, but I’m taking it easy on my knee right now. Although I think usually they don’t recommend much exercise on these things anyway, and even go so far as to suggest you do the cleanse when you can relax and rest. That’s why we did it on a long weekend.

  13. I can’t imagine how this must have felt. I just got back from a cruise, where I didn’t eat so healthy. Upon returning I was back to smoothies for breakfast and salads for lunch. Just that resulted in some pretty fast (nasty) cleansing. I’ve never tried the juice fast, but I just might one day to further detox.

  14. Love how much you’ve outlined here!

    I’ve tried doing my own type of feast/fast a couple times. I don’t like juice, so I do homemade smoothies (they consist of water, greens, frozen fruit, and supplements – that’s it). In addition to the smoothies, I eat some raw fruit and veggies. I never last very long. I think I’ve only managed two days total. Every other time I do it I pretty much cave and eat something with sustenance in the evening.

    I’m still working on it though – I’d like to be at the point where I’m doing one day of a smoothie feast every week. I think it would be nice to just do one day each week to ground myself and get away from obsessing over food!

  15. NikkiLeigh says:

    I’ve been obsessed with trying a juice cleanse for the last year. I’ve never been able to jump in and actually commit to doing it, but would do just random days here and there. Congrats on your four days of juicy goodness! I’ve been making green smoothies for the last two and a half years – sustaining on those for a few days in itself is a moderate cleanse! Have you read the book “Green For Life”? It’s a quick read packed with tons of great information on smoohin’ some greens. Congrats again – you’re quite inspiring as a vegetarian runner. Thanks for bloggin.

  16. Yes you are ridiculous! But actually out of most juice fasts I hear about you clearly know your stuff and you have taken the time to actually research what you are doing. Coming from someone who has fasted before for religious reasons and no liquids. It is an experience for sure.

  17. I am proud of you Sir. 4 days is a great effort and a lot longer than most people last.

    Juicing is not for everyone, it takes determination and a strong belief that what you are doing really works.

    I have juiced twice for 7 days and love the effect it has on my body. Since I started juicing and running I have lost 33 pounds and thats in 12 months. I ran my first half marathon, I could not even run for 10 minutes last November oh and I gave up alcohol. Juicing sent me on a great journey.

    These days I tend to juice for breakfast and lunch and have a nice meal in the evening. I dont beat myself up if I dont want a juice at lunch, I will just have a nice green salad.

    I have recently started a blog on running and juicing. You can actually run whilst juicing but not great distances. During my 7 day juice fasts I ran 3 or 4 times a week and around 4 miles. I felt fine. I am sure the energy my body did not use digesting crap gave me a boost.

    Well done Matt!! And readers..get those juices out of those cupboard and get juicing. It does not have to be complicated, just try freshly juiced apple and carrot. Delicious!!

  18. Matt

    I can heartily recommend the Blendtec. I have never used a vitamix so cant compare I just know my blendtec is awesome.
    Here is a video I made this morning where I blended frozen banana, hemp seeds, chia, vega, frozen blueberries, spinach and collard greens combined with a freshly squeezed organic apple and pear juice.

    http://www.runningonjuice.com/2010/12/04/is-the-blendtec-really-worth-400-bucks/

    I am no Spielberg though!!!

  19. Why did you feel the need to do a juice “cleanse”? Your body is not dirty and it does not need to be “cleansed.” Furthermore, if you really did have “toxins” lurking in your body (note, of course, that these toxins are never named or quantified), the solution would not be to drink fruit juice and miso soup for a week.

  20. Barbara Donato says:

    I loooooved it!! It was delicious!!! Definitely gonna add this to my arsenal of recipes!! Thank you!!

  21. I had no idea that you can juice sweet potatoes and butternut squash. ????

  22. Alicia Blair says:

    I can’t make out if you’re actually excited about/recommending this cleanse or not? I have recently, and abruptly become vegan, and have heard good things about juice cleanse’, but holy cow. I’m thankful for your insite from an athletes perspective! Im learning this whole world of raw cooking! YIKES! It’s overwhelming really….but, I think I’ll need a week off to do a full juice cleanse and sent up a tent in the bathroom! haha. So, after all this rambling, do you REALLY recommend a cleanse now or not? You don’t seem too excited or impressed with the results….

  23. jhon jessica says:

    I want to say THANK YOU. I am doing a ten day juice fast and I’m five days in. Whenever it came to dinner I was missing FLAVOR and it was making me miserable and grouchy. I made your carrot soup recipe and I absolutely LOVE it. I will probably be having this for dinner my last five days. THANK YOU AGAIN!!!!

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