Fantasizing About Food: My 7-Day Juice Detox

| May 23, 2011

For one week, every day at 3PM, I studied.

Studied every food menu I could find online. Food trucks, restaurants…I drooled over all the foods I planned to eat during the following week. I Google-mapped my eating plan by the hour. Dan dan mien, pork belly takos, chana masala…

…all the while, I was on a detox. A juice detox. No solid food. For 7 days. Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. Friday. Saturday. Sunday. 7 days.

That’s how many days not a single piece of food passed my mouth. Now those who have been reading Zomppa for a while knows I love food. And I love eating. A lot. And not a lot of fresh vegetables. Bad me. Pretty sure I’m full of toxins from years of overdoing it. I had even tried to detox a couple months back and nothing happened, remember?

So Zomppa Patty urged me – URGED me – to watch this documentary, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead. This guy Joe Cross was overweight and had this auto-immune deficiency condition which forced him to take a billion pills a day. He juiced for 60 days (NO solid food) and boom – no more pills. Healthy as can be. Same thing happened to truck driver Phil Staples. Incredible and inspiring. The movie has won all these awards and has motivated many people to change their lives. Watch the trailer:

These two men did NOT eat for 60 days, but they were supervised by their doctors and they were right as rain. How did they do it? They juiced everything – fresh, organic vegetables and fruits. Several times a day.

So after I watched the documentary, I said to Patty, let’s do this. For seven days. She was on like Donkey Kong.

What is juicing and what is it supposed to do?

Plant-based foods are high in micronutrients, and the idea is to eat more of these plant-based foods (macronutrients are found in carbohydrates, proteins, and fats – also critical for a healthy, balanced diet, in moderation). We all know we should be eating more plant-based foods, but many of us (I’m the first to admit my guilt) don’t get enough. Moreover, cooking often destroys many of the micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients) and enzymes essential for healthy digestion of food. Many nutrients also get trapped in indigestible fiber so you actually don’t get the full benefit. According to Living and Raw Foods,when you eat a raw carrot, you only get about 1% of the beta carotene because the rest is ‘trapped.’

Juicing separates the indigestible fiber and leaves only the micronutrients and enzymes. Juicing is done with a…juicer. Unlike blenders, a juicer has a super powerful motor that extracts the goodies. Because your body doesn’t have to spend the energy digesting the fiber and other stuff, the micronutrients get absorbed into your body – quickly and efficiently. It also gives your insides a chance to just rest and detox.

I thought, not a bad concept. I had wanted to detox, and I didn’t like the idea of pills. Fresh food detox? I could dig it. First thing was buy a juicer. I didn’t want to spend too much money, and read some reviews, and found the Breville to be a popular, powerful machine. So I bought the Breville Compact Juice Fountain for well under $100, figuring this was an investment for my health.

Breville 1.5-qt. Compact Juice Fountain

I LOVE this machine. It is not too bulky, super powerful, and SO easy to clean. Big fan.*

*When looking for a juicer, you want one with a motor powerful enough to leave fairly dry pulp – it should feel almost like sawdust.

The pulp should feel like sawdust.

What gets juiced?

For this detox, the idea is only fresh, ideally organic produce. Leafy greens, veggies, fruit. Reboot Your Life has this great list with recipes and benefits of certain produce. The combinations are almost limitless. I’m not sure I did this totally right…for you hard-core raw foodies and juicers, please don’t lecture me that I juiced wrong. I did add quite a bit of fruit – I LOVE fruit, plus fruit makes everything taste better – and know I probably should have done more greens. Now juicing is not for everyone, and if you have any pre-existing conditions, you definitely should consult with your doctor first. Too much fruit is not great for diabetics, for example, because fruit is high in sugars. Produce such as carrots, beets, and pears can spike insulin levels. You also can’t juice forever without eating because then you’d be lacking fiber. And you need fiber to live.

So be careful.

Patty made her poor husband drink juices with wheatgrass and spinach. I, on the other hand, may have cheated a bit and made mine really, REALLY tasty. (I forgive myself because I was, after all, drinking only fruits and vegetables AND eating more vegetables per day than I have ever in my life). I realized I don’t like spinach in my juices (ick), but LOVE kale in it. LOVE carrots. Beets. Apples. All kinds of apples. Some lemon to brighten everything up.

You can find recipes of all sorts. But you literally just wash, rinse, and throw stuff in the juicer (for my compact juicer, I had to do a teeny bit of chopping). One thing you need to do is drink the juice straight away because unlike juice you find in a store (which has been made to last longer on the shelf), freshly-made juices start to break down immediately after the extraction.

What does a juicing fast feel like?

I read a bit online of other people’s experiences. Many people (including those in the documentary) said by day 3 or 4, they felt terrible, like they got hit with the flu. That is a sign that your body is releasing some bad toxins. Folks also noted a white tongue and that they poop stuff they didn’t know they had. Then they report glowing skin.

I think I either juiced/fasted wrong or I have a really weird body.

Surprisingly, I did not get hungry at all. You would think I would, but the juices were quite filling (and delicious!). By the time I got hungry, it was time to juice again, and every time I drank a juice, it felt like a bolt of energy WHOOSHED right into my bloodstream. Pretty cool. I didn’t feel tired or weak. I did my yoga, I did a hard core Dragon Boat practice (talk about being sore), normal stuff.

I waited for the flu-like symptoms. I waited for the poop. I waited for the glowing skin.

I got the white tongue, but nothing else came. NOTHING.

I felt totally fine all week. I didn’t have much to poop (sorry if TMI, but you want to know the full experience, right?). Skin was the same. Now I know I probably did more fruit and root veggies than I should have, but come on! (If you are thinking of doing one, check out resources at the end of this article, or just Google for tips at doing it RIGHT).* One thing that I have noticed is that after the week, my normally dry scalp (a condition I have had since I was like 12) is feeling great. A result of the juicing? Who knows. I suspect the influx of vitamins that I was sure to have been lacking has something to do with it.

As I mentioned, I didn’t really feel hungry. What I felt was crazy. I fantasized about food all the time. Seriously, every afternoon, I looked online at all the menus of local restaurants and food trucks and just thought about exactly what I would eat when I broke the fast. Oh, it was torturous, but boy, did reading the menus make me feel happier (and sadder at the same time).

I also went out with friends, watching them eat while I had water or my juice. I even hosted a brunch at my house on Day 7. And believe it or not, I made it through. See stubbornness note below.

*Patty dropped out after day one. Yes, Day ONE. Can you believe it? And trust me, folks, it wasn’t will power that I had to finish. Just sheer stubbornness.

Morning, Noon, and Night

What happens after the fast?

When coming off the fast, folks note that they have to ease into solids carefully, maybe some soup, steamed veggies, and the like because their stomachs have shrunk and gotten accustomed to no food. So I was prepared. I even postponed my duck-fat tator tots and spicy-Szechuan noodles for Days 3 and 4, thinking I needed a couple days to ease my stomach back in. The first morning after my fast, I sat down to breakfast with some water and a small loaf of French bread.

Less than an hour later, I had put away 6-inches of French bread, one and a half ham & cream cheese sandwiches, and some fresh guacamole. And I was STILL hungry.

So much for easing back into solid foods. The funny thing was as soon as I had solid food, all food cravings stopped (though I did go for those duck-fat tator tots and dan dan noodles the next day. I mean, hello, it IS me).

Now that I’m eating again (thank goodness), I still juice, and I think I will continue to juice. I do one or two a day in addition to my normal eating, and to be honest, I CRAVE the juices. There is something lovely about the freshness and the boost of clean energy. If I have a huge, late lunch now, I am actually OK with a big juice as a light supper.

Detoxed or not, I’m realizing I am eating way more veggies and fruit than I ever have. I get to enjoy my cookies AND receive the benefits of juicing. My insides feel restful and happy.

All in moderation.

More information on juicing:

Juicer Recipes Now

Living and Raw Foods

Reboot Your Life

Check us out on Traditional Tuesday!

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Category: Featured, Featured Articles: Health & Nutrition, Health & Nutrition

About the Author (Author Profile)

With a flair for spontaneity, pizzazz, creative excellence and her own unique sense of aesthetic grace and perspective, we have our very dear friend, Belinda (or B, to some of us). Although an incredibly accomplished professional and career woman, B’s down-to-earth approach and demeanor transcends all scenarios, communities and people. She manifests, in her day-to-day, the essence of the word “Zomppa” as demonstrated by her extraordinary commitment to creating sustainable and positive change for us and future generations to come. She’s asked for a dog every year since she was five. Check out Belinda’s work on global education research and coaching: www.hummingbirdrcc.com or more about her portfolio www.belindachiu.com.

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  1. KALE CHIPS AND A NEW GADGET… » Simple Recipes | October 14, 2011
  2. Simple Recipes - Healthy Kale Chips | February 9, 2012
  1. Love the juices but it must be hard to stay on an all-liquid diet. I can imagine how good that bread tasted after the detox :)

  2. SO interesting. You are making me want to try this. Hmmm … counter/storage space for a juicer? Do I have it?

  3. Brandon says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I’ve been thinking about trying a 7 day juice diet, but haven’t made the commitment yet. Maybe I should purchase a juicer first!

  4. sweetlife says:

    I have a juicer and use it all the time. I have never tried a 7 day detok, but every morning I juice for my girls and have seen a real difference. hubby did not bekeive me, but now is addicted..a real boost to the energy levels.

    sweetlife

  5. great work! I am also an over-indulger (I like my food), and I do a liquid-only fast every spring, just to give my body a rest.

    I must say that sometimes it takes a bit longer than a week to see some of those “detox” symptoms you’re talking about. My longest fast was 18 days — I’ve never felt better — my eyesight improved, I could twist like never before when I did my yoga and the chronic shoulder pain that I’ve had for a dozen years disappeared.

    That 18 days was a little more extreme than my norm (I too believe in moderation), and I don’t recommend going that long on your first fast, but the results were startling.

    Theresa

  6. rebecca says:

    wow good for you a whole week I personally feel all juice diets are a bit much your conclusion at the end is more sensible

  7. i did this many years ago– but only for 5 days. Ya same I didn’t notice too much physical change but mentally I was somewhere else. Ur right, once you get over those initial hunger pains, you really just cruise and aren’t as hungry as you think you’ll be. But did u notice how you couldn’t experience extremely emotions? Either super happy or super sad or super anything? ur kinda just at a middle ground floating through your day. I do have to say that was interesting and I enjoyed it. Maybe it’s just my crazy self and the juice diet did wonders to control my emotions :)

  8. Juliana says:

    So funny…last night I was talking to my husband about detox…and I am here reading yours post. 7 days will be too much for me, I can tell you right now :-)
    Moderation is the key word…thank you so much for this nice post. Have a great week ahead :-)

  9. Liz says:

    love this post! it has raised my awareness to juicing. I think I will try. I want to feel a bolt of energy too!

  10. Erica says:

    I enjoyed this post! This is funny and amazing…Just drinking juice…God…I love to eat!

  11. Christy says:

    Juices are great for detoxification, and they can taste just as amazing:) It’s not easy for food lovers, definitely, but it’s essential too for a healthy living:D
    You can find more amazing juice recipes on the Internet, which I am sure you will love…in the meantime, do enjoy the 7-days detox, it’s just 7-days :p

  12. Baking Serendipity says:

    The story on the video is crazy! I’ve heard of these detoxes before, but never had the guts to actually go through with it. Sometimes smoothies leave me craving something to just chew on. I’m so impressed with your stamina though and definitely know I need to keep this in the back of my mind :)

  13. Jeanne says:

    Wow, this is fascinating! So impressive that you didn’t eat any solid food for a week!

  14. Cakewhiz says:

    i have wanted to try one of these detox diets for ages but i am so scared i would faint or something…lol
    plus, i have a feeling i would be like you… fantasize about food like crazy! haha

    congrats on completing your diet successfully :D

  15. Nami says:

    I know several foodie friends posting about detox…and now I got sick from not being healthy, and I should consider detoxing seriously…

  16. kristy says:

    Oh man, 7 days! Are you kidding me! Gosh, I think I’m gone crazy. hahaha…. Well done, girl. Bravo! I am much prefer to take tea for detoxification. ha… Hope you’re enjoying your day.
    Blessings, Kristy

  17. This is really interesting. Good for you for sticking to it. Like you say, maybe you did too many fruit and root veggies but you were eating more than you ever had before and that can’t be a bad thing!
    I’ve wanted a juicer for ages, good to read you can get a decent one quite cheap. I love beetroot in a smoothie, it’s my favourite thing to have!

  18. Tsering says:

    Amazing B, I have to say sheer will power (a generous dash of stubborness)…I would like to try it too, or maybe just make my husband try it..hmm….

    I love how you intertwine, humour, good health information, BEAUTIFUL Photos…and a lot of great writing!

  19. Eileen says:

    This is very interesting. I don’t have a lot of will power when it comes to giving up my food. I have been thinking about a detox though. You did a great job sticking to your plan – yea!!!

  20. Steph says:

    Belinda! Good for you!! I’ve been considering a juice detox too and you’ve totally convinced me that I should take the plunge. Wish me luck!!

  21. This was a fabulous read, so informative – I never thought about juicing for detox, but now I think I might give it a try. I am sure everyone’s body is different, and I try to eat mostly healthy, but I think anyone could benefit from a detox. Thanks so much for recounting your details and sharing resources!

  22. That’s something..60-day juice detox…
    maybe I should try at least one day…

  23. Jill Colonna says:

    What an amazing and inspiringly healthy post. I really have to do this. Great photos you have here – so colourful! Less of the bread for me and more of the wonderful juices!

  24. Terra says:

    I always get nervous thinking about not having any solid food for a long period of time. BUT that being said, I do know how amazing juicing is. I worked at a Breast Cancer research study during college. It was a nutrition study, so it is included juicing as a part of the study. There was so many different recipes, even the one that included fennel, YUM! I saved all the recipes, and really need to try some more of those lovely recipes:-)

    Thank you for sharing your experience, it doesn’t scare me as much now!
    Take care, Hugs,
    Terra

  25. Carolyn says:

    I would have been like Patty, giving up within the 1st 24 hours. I just like the feeling of solid food in my mouth too much! Sorry to hear it didn’t do more for you, though.

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