Recovering from a Juice Feast
First of all – a disclaimer. I ain’t a juice feastin’ expert. I can only talk about my own experience.
And so I shall!
Ok, some background – why did I do a juice feast in the first place? Spiritual clarity, essentially. In the process of weeding my emotional garden, I knew that the lighter my food intake, the more detoxing I’d do, the more things would come up, and the more I could heal. Did juice feasting help with this? Definitely.
Yes, I drank this much green juice.
Now, what did I do? I juice feasted – which means drinking at least 4L (4qt) of mainly vegetable juice, every day. I did this for 30 something days. After that, I went straight into a water fast (hey! why not? In for a penny, in for a pound!).
While I was doing the juice feast, I had colonics every week (more on those later) – which helped enormously, btw. Did I manage to just drink juice the entire time? No, I “screwed up” on several occasions. Oh, I also drank psyllium & bentonite shakes several times daily for most of that time. Theoretically that should have helped clean me out. Did I notice anything? Not that I could tell. Between the shakes and sporadic eating, I suspect my digestive system never really got to the super calm, clear state that people talk about – but in terms of healing, ahhh, hehe, yeah, it was plenty intense enough, thankyouverymuch.
So, what have I learned coming off the feast?
1. It’s VERY easy to overeat.
Even though I’m not 100% my digestive system ever completely switched off, I find pretty much every time I eat that my stomach is hurting afterwards. I never ate much to start with, but I think I’m going to have to start making half portions – ie, about half the size of a child’s meal.
2. It’s VERY easy to underdrink.
Normally I drink 4-5L (4-5qt) of water a day. I have a big glass, and I just sip it throughout the day. When juicing, I’d drink maybe 2L of water a day, but 4L of juice. Take the juice away, and it’s been hard to remind myself to start upping the water again. This has, of course, messed up my ability to digest food (I’ve been more clogged up than I would be on water).
3. The “6 day feast breaking” is wayyyyy too short.
I’ve been off for two weeks now, and my body is still freaking out every time I eat anything. It’s not over after 6 days, that’s just the beginning of the adjustment.
4. You’re going to be drinking juice for much longer than time+6 days.
When I finished, I was all with the “Thank God!! I am SO sick of juice!!”. Ahhh, famous last words. It’s not just the feast breaking time, but also with a shrunken stomach, so reduced food intake, where will your nutrients come from? Juicing is still the easiest way to get them – without messing up your system. Psychologically this has been realllly tough for me to realise & accept. Must. Keep. Juicing.
5. Hard food is bad.
Even two weeks later, I can feel that my body is not ready for hard to digest food. Eg, I’ll juice celery, but I haven’t put it in my salads yet. I’ll blend (small amounts of soft) nuts, but not eat them raw, and so on.
6. Your tastes will change, drastically.
I just threw out all the toxic stuff in my house. I had a mouthful of something that had stabilizers, emulsifiers etc and instantly felt ill. Now I’m someone with a concrete stomach lining, so this is pretty unusual. Also, things that I used to like are just too sweet for me now. Kale, I can’t get enough of (never used to be able to stand it). Wuhhh.. what just happened?
7. The healing hasn’t stopped.
Several issues *cough*likethisone*cough* have continued to bubble up as I’ve been transitioning. I figured everything would just halt, but noooo, still more to go, food-in-my-belly or not
8. Pace yourself!
All those things you’ve been missing while on the juice? Ahhh, pace yourself. Think, as Kristen points out in terms of a couple of different things a week. Don’t do what I did, which was have all those things I’d missed in one day. *OW*. Yeah, it’s stupid, I figured that (eventually). I like to learn experientially. Thanks though.
All that said, it’s great to be back eating again. I’ve missed textures. I’ve missed subtle combinations of flavours (instead of everything-blurred-together-soup). Oh, and I’ve missed body fat. Holy crap I need some – it’s winter here!! What was I thinking?