So how does one schedule a Juice Fast? Well for me, if I don’t schedule and plan for it, many other things will compete for my time and I’ll find all sorts of good reasons why any particular week is a bad time to do it.
I recently came across some good advice ; schedule your holidays first, and the other really cool piece of advice; if it ain’t scheduled it ain’t real. I tend to agree with this statement and if there’s anything I know I want to do, I also know I need to write it down and preferably with a date attached.
Juice fasting is the best way to give your body a holiday without even leaving home. Fasting has been used for thousands of years as a purification technique and will rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit. While you may feel lethargic, headachy and nauseus for a few days during a fast, at the end of it you are most likely to experience a sharper mind and increased physical energy.
We are now coming up to the best time of year to plan a juice fast, which is the change of seasons marked by the beginning of Spring on March 21st. To refine this further I recommend considering the moon phases when planning a fast or cleanse. It may seem a little far out but based on experience, I believe there’s truth in it.
The Spring Equinox + The Waning Moon = The Best (and Easiest!) Time to Cleanse
It is widely reported that the two best days to fast each month are on the full moon and the new moon. This is when the moon’s gravitational forces exert their greatest influence on our bodies, which like the oceans are mostly water. Besides the actual full and new moon dates, the two week period of the waning moon, after the moon has been full until the next new moon is the best time to fast.
During this time that the moon’s influence is lessoning, detoxification is encouraged as well as the flushing of any extra water from the body. By contrast the period of the waxing moon leading up to the full moon is a time of greater assimilation, thus the best time to rebuild yourself with extra nourishing superfoods.
So putting all this together, that would mean the very best dates to start a juice fast or other type of cleanse this year would be close to Wednesday 23rd March or the following month, from Friday 22nd April. I can’t wait as long as April so I’ve scheduled mine to take place during the two weeks from 23 March. I don’t yet know how many days I will fast and probably one week will be sufficient.
Is there a scientific basis for fasting and cleansing?
In recent years there have been many articles ‘debunking’ juice fasting and cleansing, but most of these are misleading in my opinion.
For example some of these articles claim there is nothing extra you can do to ‘detox’ besides the normal functioning of your kidneys, liver and colon. Some go as far to say that since ‘toxins’ have not been specifically named by detox advocates, this means they don’t exist. For a little eye opener on how many environmental toxins maybe entering our bodies, consider this study published in 2009 which found more that 200 chemicals in the umbilical cord of newborns.
If you would like to read an article which thoroughly explains the scientific basis for juice fasting I recommend this one, by Dr. Ron Kennedy M.D.
To make a short summary of what the article explains;
At the biological level our physical body is a collection of individual cells.
While alive, every cell is constantly engaged in the processes of building up and breaking down (anabolism and catabolism).
Each cell is surrounded by a coating called a ‘plasma membrane’. This membrane is able to control which molecules and atoms are able to enter or leave the cell.
Catabolism creates waste products (such as carbon dioxide, urea and uric acid) and the membrane must allow these to leave the cell so that they can exit the body.
Any degree of overloading the body with food results in the collection of waste products inthe cells.
When the circulatory system is already loaded with waste products the cell’s membrane ‘knows’ this, holding onto its toxic wastes until conditions outside the cell improve.
Fasting reduces the concentration of toxic wastes in the circulatory system. This is sensed by the plasma membrane and the cell can then let go of its toxic waste.
Two ingredients to include regularly in your juices
Whatever else I am putting in a juice I normally start with a base of celery which comprises about half the juice. Its mild salty flavour seems to mix and even enhance almost everything that goes with it. In the past it has been used for breaking up gallstones, healing wounds and soothing irritated nerves. In modern times it has been found useful for treating respiratory ailments and its active constituent has proven in studies to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension.
Some of its most useful properties is to help you sleep at night because it soothe nerves and the sodium content causes it to be a natural diuretic helping the body flush out excess water, reducing puffiness, and thus improving your appearance! Being rich in potassium as well as organic sodium, makes celery a perfect post-workout tonic. It also contains sulphur and Vitamins A, B and C.
Beetroot is an excellent addition to any cleansing juice. Apparently beets detoxify the liver, whilst enhancing its function and even protecting the liver from the effects of drinking too much alcohol. Beets have been used in earlier times to treat disorders of the bladder and kidneys as well as to treat gout and jaundice and to prevent gall stones.
They contain Betains, a group of plant pigments (colours) also found in chard with the rainbow stems, goji berries and prickly pear (cactus fruit). Betain optimises the bodies use of oxygen, which stimulates red blood cell production and lymph activity, which in turn can improve physical performance and stamina. Betains significantly reduce homo-cysteine levels. Homo-cysteine is an amino acid which is associated with heart disease. Betaine also ‘donates’ methyl groups, assisting the liver to detoxify bad estrogens.
This article does not cover all the essential details of how to do your fast, and does not attempt to be a complete ‘How-to’ guide, but here are some last thoughts to keep in mind.
Tips for a smooth juice fast
Don’t push your body too hard, lovingly train it to fast.
Book a colonic on the second day of your fast, or use enemas daily.
Fasting brings up suppressed emotions, be warned. Massage might help.
Avoid eating heavily before or after the fast. The length of your fast determines the adjustment time before and afterwards. Simple fruits and blended foods are suitable foods the days before and afterwards.
Use a great variety of vegetables, with a lot of greens and moderate amounts of fruit.
Use organic produce.
In addition to 3-8 glasses of juice per day also drink abundant pure water.
Fasting is a great time for prayer or meditation, for staying at home and being quiet.
Include gentle exercise including walking, dance and rebounding.
Try to include yoga, saunas, and plenty of fresh air.
Author: Diana Store