Remission: Juice Fast

I first need to point out that I am not a healthcare expert or a doctor or a dietician. I’m simply a middle-aged, overweight man fighting back against his own bad choices over the years. My battle with Type II diabetes began in 2005 when I reached 310 pounds, had ringing in my ears, and had every joint in my body ache. What I talk about here, I do at risk only to myself. I write this to share with others with similar problems and to hold myself publicly accountable for improving my health. While you are certainly free to follow what I talk about here, please see your doctor. Your condition will likely not mirror mine, and I could very well post here about something that went horribly wrong in the near future. I hope not. All I can tell you is it’s a risk I’m willing to take, and I hope you will find and share your own path. – Jim

With the holidays over and done with, I decided to start the New Year off by purging. No, I didn’t crawl into the john at the corner bar at 12:15 to expel my New Year’s Eve consumption into the toilet. Dude, that’s just gross, both the restrooms at the corner bar and the expulsion.

Instead, I decided to fast. Not a real fast, mind you. I did that once, and never again. No, I did what’s called a juice fast. Eat nothing, and drink only juices for 24 hours. I don’t recommend this if your blood sugar is prone to radical lows or you need any kind of medication to function. And since my next drink would be the beer club’s weekly selection the following week, New Year’s Day is as good a time as any to clear out the digestive track.

I’ve tried juice fasts in the past. I did a three-day fast about six years ago and only made it through 2 1/2 days. That one came with a strict program to get back on solid food quickly. I tried it again four years ago, to which Nita thought I was insane. Living with a wife and a child made that more difficult as it’s easier to cook everyone the same dinner. And when your kid is a picky eater (even at 18, he’s picky as hell), it’s suddenly a bit inconvenient to sit out dinner with the family. I lasted a day.

But a day is all I need. All I’m doing is letting everything I ate over that final holiday weekend pass on without throwing anything down on top of it. There are a number of juice fasts out there on the Internet. Check them out, but choose wisely. Remember, some people have an agenda when they recommend these things, and while their purpose might be noble (or quite often not), it might not be in your best interests. So what did I do?

  • Begin the morning with a smoothie. Not really juice, and you’ll never see that on any juice fast regimen, but I’m improvising. I’m also trying to amp up my metabolism.
  • Drink 64 ounces of water. Not all at once, of course, but I’ve found water throughout the day counters the hungries quite nicely, especially for someone like me whose insulin is out of whack.
  • Drink orange juice and grape juice at various times. Somewhat filling, and I like orange juice. I wish I could drink it more often, but not until the weight comes off and I don’t have to worry about spikes in blood sugar.
  • Drink tomato juice or V-8 around lunch and dinner time. This is a no-brainer. Both are quite filling, and I have to scold Nita not to drink all my tomato juice until the next day.
  • No alcohol and no soda. Alcohol brings with it a whole host of problems and makes resetting your body chemistry a tad difficult.

The next day, I resume eating normally, whatever the new normal is. I suspect I’ve written a blog post about that since I wrote this. There’s a nice drop in weight the following morning, but remember, that’s because your not digesting anything more than a bunch of liquids you drank.

I’m thinking this might not be a bad ritual to perform after the holidays or vacations, when we tend to eat whatever’s in front of us, drink to excess, and generally enjoy ourselves gastrically. Let’s face it. I love food. It’s how I got into this mess in the first place. But at least I don’t weigh 310 pounds. (I haven’t since 2005.)