Every now and then, I like to give my blender a vacation and plunge head first into a three to five-day juice fast (or juice feast, as some prefer to call it).
I used to juice fast specifically for health reasons – to lose weight, to reset my body after getting off track. Everybody was talking about juice feasting way back in my raw food vegan days!
I think that while juice fasting has its place, there are good and bad reasons for doing one.
Don’t do a juice fast for weight loss. Long term weight loss is best facilitated by permanent lifestyle and diet changes rather than short term liquid starvation diets that are not sustainable.
When you end the juice fast and return to old eating habits, the weight will always come back.
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As far as detoxification, cleansing requires fiber, which even the greenest of juices lack.
Juice fasting can kick off a change in diet – a sort of reset, if you will. However, a 1-5 day juice fast can also be part of a spiritual cleanse – helping you get in tune with your physical body while you work on your mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Juice Fasting With The Moon
I write a LOT about working with the phases of the moon. I use the moon and lunar astrology as a spiritual calendar, and an anchor for my mindfulness practice.
The best time of the lunar cycle to do a juice fast is during the waning moon.
A 1-3-day juice fast beginning at the Full Moon can help you kickstart releasing and letting go of old patterns, habits, and energy.
Be sure to incorporate dandelion greens and citrus fruits to facilitate detoxification and for their symbolic use in clearing away what no longer serves your greater good.
My 5-Day Juice Fast Protocol
The first time I did a 5-day juice fast, I followed a protocol that involved starting the day with coconut water and lime.
Then I made a large juice using lots of fruits and greens for breakfast.
My lunch juice included vegetables and greens, but less fruit.
My dinner juices were savory and usually contained no fruit. On average, each juice was about 32 ounces.
I also drank tea whenever I felt like it.
I purchased an Omega 8005 masticating juicer to do this juice fast (I ordered mine from Amazon.com). I always wanted to get a juicer so this was a good excuse to finally purchase one.
I didn’t come up with my own juicing recipes and instead relied on an e-book that outlined a 5-day fasting protocol complete with recipes.
I’m actually glad I followed a program because it guided me though everything I needed to know about my fast and gave me lots of great recipes.
I’m not sure I would have been as successful with the juice fast had I tried to wing it on my own.
My Juice Fast Results
I thought that the first day was going to be the toughest. It wasn’t. In fact, I felt amazing during the first two days.
I can see why people would fast for spiritual reasons. Waking up on day two with the feeling of nothing inside my body felt great.
I can’t say that I felt an increase of energy. My energy levels stayed the same. I reigned in my usually intensive workouts during the five days to conserve energy.
I was surprised at my lack of hunger. I thought that it was going to be a struggle, but for the most part I was never starving or craving food. I was also surprised at how much water I drank in addition to the juices.
I did however, have a mild headache almost every day. It wouldn’t last all day, though. On the second day, I made the mistake of waiting to have my green juice for a couple of hours after I woke up.
It’s normal to feel detox symptoms during a cleanse, and there are things you can do to alleviate them.
Despite enjoying the feeling of “lightness” during the first two days of my juice fast, I stop noticing it by day three.
As my juice fast progressed into the final three days, I grew frustrated at the fact that I couldn’t work out at the intensity I was used to. I was ready for the fast to be over. I really missed my intense workouts.
I did take it easy over the five days that I drank nothing but green juices. I watched several movies, caught up on some reading, and socialized with friends – all the while exercising my willpower to not join them in dining out.
What I Liked About Juice Fasting
1 – Green Juices Are Delicious: With the exception of one “vomit-flavored” concoction (I probably blended something wrong…?), the juices were delicious and a pleasure to drink.
2 – Spiritual Feeling: It’s hard to explain the feeling I had during the first two days on the juice fast – lighter, more connected, in tune with something higher than the mundane…
I can definitely see why someone would do a juice fast to experience or enhance a feeling of “spiritual connectedness”.
I recommend incorporating a self-care regimen into your juice fast. You can do some of these 25 self-care activities while you cleanse.
While doing any type of cleanse, like a juice fast, be sure to incorporate your own spiritual practice. I start my day with a 10-minute routine that Davy and I call “Magick Morning”.
You can also incorporate juice fasting into my Lunar Balance practice.
3 – Weight Loss: Okay, so I “sorta” like this aspect of juice fasting. Weight loss is a big reason why many people do a juice fast.
I didn’t need to lose weight, but I wasn’t at all surprised that I lost about five pounds over the five days. Juice fasting results in a severe reduction of calories so there’s some weight loss with that.
I’ve heard of people losing 10 to 11 pounds on a 5-day juice fast. It just depends on how much weight you have to lose.
However, I do not promote or agree with using juice fasting for weight loss. Juice fasting is a temporary “quick fix” solution that will not facilitate long term weight loss. It’s not a healthy habit long term and can lead to nutrient deficiencies and metabolism disruptions if done too often or for too long.
There’s no getting around the fact that a juice fast is basically liquid starvation to facilitate weight loss.
What I Did Not Like About Juice Fasting
1 – Mess & Clean Up: This is an often cited disadvantage of juicing. There is simply more cleanup involved with juicing than with blending. Blending is easy to clean up after, which is one reason I prefer to make green smoothies for breakfast every day.
2 – Less Convenient/More Time Consuming: Making a juice is not as convenient as making a green smoothie. On average, it took me about 30 minutes to make a juice from start to finish (including the clean up). I make a green smoothie in under ten minutes. Juicing requires more steps, more prep work (chopping) and clean up.
3 – Requires Twice As Much Fruits & Greens Than Smoothies: It takes a lot more fruits and greens (and veggies) to make a green juice because you’re losing all that wonderful fiber. This means that juicing is much more expensive than smoothie making.
4 – The Waste: I hated wasting all of the pulp. Inevitably, you’re tossing vitamins, minerals and other nutrients when you fractionate foods.
5 – Oxidation & Rapidly Perishable: While not a concern for me because I drink my juices and smoothies immediately after making them, juices simply cannot be stored for very long.
Juices oxidize much more rapidly than smoothies. They lose their nutrients faster when they sit.
For this reason, juices should never sit more than a couple hours. You can’t make up a huge batch of green juice and drink it throughout the day or over a couple days, unlike green smoothies.
Juice Fast Conclusion
All in all, I enjoyed my first 5-day juice fast. After completing it though, I really don’t feel I need another one. I’ve heard of people doing 30+ day juice fasts, and this is absolutely not a protocol I would recommend under any circumstances.
I’ve done 1-3-day juice fasts every now and then since, and as I said, I think it’s a good way to kick off a new habit, or to incorporate into lunar rituals during the waning moon phases – just don’t juice fast every month.
If you are curious about juice fasting, and working it into your spiritual or magical practice, feel free to try it out for a day, or five.
You can also read about how I blend green smoothies as a simple way to incorporate herbal magic into my daily routine.
The correspondences and intentions behind these smoothie ingredients work exactly the same with juices, although juice fasting is (in my opinion) better suited for rituals and intentions associated with releasing and letting go.
Do YOU incorporate juice fasting into your spiritual or magical practice? Leave a comment below and let me know!