The Juice Fast Experiment: Part 1

by - Monday, February 03, 2014

Good morning and happy Monday! I promise I have a post today that's more enjoyable than last night's Super Bowl. My friend Jason -- you may remember him as the friend whose marathons I tend to spectate frequently -- decided it would be a fun experiment to try a juice fast.

Jason Jess ice
Me and Jason icing our knees after MCM 2012

He asked me if he could write a guest post about the whole process, and I said that would be an awesome idea. So today, I've got the first part of his post. It's his rationalization for trying this whole thing and the beginning stages of the fast. Later this week, I'll post his recap of how the whole thing went, along with his takeaways from the process.

So on that note -- here's Jason:

When I decide to do something, I often approach it with an all or nothing mentality. The first race I ever tackled was the marathon and hit distances of 5k, 10k and “the half” only along the way. So, when my roommate asked me if I would consider doing a juice fast with her, there was no hesitation: I was in.

Jason running RnR USA a few years ago

I have friends who are vegetarians, pescatarians and vegans, so I know a lot about limiting your menu in the name of a healthier lifestyle. But the juice fast was going to require research, investment and most importantly, some guts.

Over the holiday break, I was out with some friends and got to talking about the juice fast. One friend, a clinical pharmacologist, shook her head in disapproval at the idea. She explained that the theory behind a juice fast: Namely, the idea of resting your body from the daily intake of toxins was absurd. She pointed to the kidneys and liver as proof that we can eat various whole foods and process them without needing to take a break.

Though she’s right about the function of our bodies, the real theory behind the juice fast is broader and takes an holistic approach to our health. By taking only fruits and vegetables and then juicing them the only thing going into our bodies is water and nutrients. We’re eliminating the gluten, whey, casein and various other proteins that we find in bread, milk, and meat. We’re eliminating all refined sugars and every gram of fat from our diet. In essence we’re fasting but allowing our bodies to remain fueled by a few essential components.

Photo (49)
Mmmm juice...

Does our body get to “rest” because we’re avoiding the pasta, chicken, and steak? The truth is, I don’t know. The internet is full of contradictory information and there’s no consensus on the benefits or detriments of this fast.

So, why exactly am I doing this? To me, just like the marathon, it’s a chance to see how my body reacts to a new set of norms.

Consider your experiences while training for long distance races. While reaching new speeds, distances or other limits we feel our body react and learn a great deal about ourselves. We find out that we love running in the heat, or late at night, or on an empty stomach. We figure out the perfect ratio of miles to stretching only after a painful experience with IT band syndrome. We try new things, we push further and the results inspire our next moves to be faster and stronger.

Ultimately, I just want to see what happens. Will I get weak or push through? Will I sleep better or have headaches all night? Will my skin dry out or glow? And always the question on our minds: will I run faster?

Let’s find out!

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  1. Scott1:36 PM


    Some tips from when I've done this.

    - lower your workout load initially and when ramping up again be conscious of how you feel.

    -cucumbers, carrots and apples yield a lot of juice.

    -leafy greens don't juice well in normal juicers. They make some that are better suited.

    -you might lose 2-3 pounds a day.

    -drink a ton of water.

    -try not to end the fast by crushing a few will feel bad.

    I've done anywhere from 3 to 14 days of fastening, some of them less strict than others and I will say that you will see results, but they might not be permanent.