In January of 2014, I saw a story on the Doctor Oz show about the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” by Joe Cross, an Australian man who juiced his way to losing 83 lbs in 60 days. Cross was on the Doctor Oz show promoting a 3 day weekend juice cleanse.
I sought out the documentary and watched it with great interest. Cross weighed over 300 lbs, was on meds for his health issues and had gone on a physician-supervised 2 month juice fast, spending 30 days in New York City, and then 30 days traveling by road across the USA, juicing out of the back of his vehicle, talking with people and sharing his story. I was inspired to try the juice fast myself.
I had spent most of 2012 and 2013 dealing with severe carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists and finally had surgery over the winter of 2013. Then came months of chiropractic and occupational therapy to get my hands working again all while running my own business selling my hand made baking mixes and oatmeal bar cookies (called PMS bars) at farmers markets, festivals and craft fairs.
As many people do at the start of a new year, I set some goals to drop weight and get back in shape. Now that my hands were almost back to normal, I could focus on diet and exercise. I had already started the new year off on a diet of homemade veggie soups and salads, which became kind of a primer for the juice fast. The timing was perfect. I was up for the juice challenge as a way to re-set my system.
Cross recommends seeing your doctor before and during the juice fast, which is good advice. I didn’t feel that I needed to. I was not on any meds, had no health issues other than extra weight to lose, and I had been eating a pescetarian diet (seafood/vegetarian) for decades.
First I had to buy a juicer. I owned a blender and a NutriBullet, both designed for blending fruits and veggies into smoothies. I needed to buy a juice extractor that would remove the pulp. See my review of the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor here.
Then I was off to the grocery store to buy veggies. I bought organic veggies when I could find them, which meant shopping at several grocery stores in my area. The good news is grocery shopping went much faster. I would go to the produce section, get what I needed and head to the check out line.
I used the juice recipes from the 3-day weekend juice cleanse chart. I drank 5 juices a day, but did not have the veggie meal for dinner, as the chart recommends. I wanted to follow the “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” program of only juice for as long as I could stand it.
The first two days took some getting used to but I was doing alright. I also gave up coffee for the entire juice fast, which was not an easy feat at first. The third day was the toughest. I was hungry and my tummy was screaming for food but I kept going with the juice and tried to keep my mind off my hunger. I kept telling myself that this was only temporary and worth the effort. Sleeping helped.
One of my concerns before I started the juice cleanse was would all those liquid fruits and veggies give me diarrhea? But that was never an issue. Elimination was normal until I had no solid food in me to eliminate. Nor did the juice make me need to pee every half hour. As a vendor who sells at a farmers market or festival booth, I have no one to fill in for me if I need to run to the restroom, however far away it may be. I have to limit the amount of water I drink if there’s no restroom near by. The juice never gave me the urgent need to find a restroom.
I was making the juices the night before my work days to save time in the morning, both for breakfast and to bring with me. I poured the juice into several BPA-free reusable beverage bottles that were easy to carry with me. Having the bottles within reach while I was working or running errands kept me from mindlessly grabbing food while I was focused on other things.
I was weighing myself every day at first then about every other day. I was losing about a pound a day! Seeing progress kept me going. The juices were delicious. When I got hungry I made a juice. I still cooked meals for my husband but wasn’t tempted to eat anything, for the first couple weeks, anyway.
Near the end, I found myself day dreaming about food. It was time to eat again. I had gone 3-1/2 weeks without solid food! I dropped 21 lbs in 24 days! I started eating small veggie meals with a little protein along with a juice or two a day for a few days before I started eating solid food for every meal. Over time, I put on about 5 lbs but managed to keep the rest of the weight off.
I’ve read many customer reviews of the documentary, mostly positive, which also included a few comments that Joe Cross’s weight loss success was because he was a wealthy businessman who could afford to take 60 days off from work to travel and juice his way across the USA. The traveling was where his expense was, not the juice fast itself. If you can afford to buy vegetables and a juice extractor, you can afford to do the juice fast, and you don’t need to take time off from work to do it.
Personally, I wouldn’t want to travel and stay at hotels while starting a juice fast. I think having the first 3 days at home is important just to focus on how you feel and in case you need to spend extra time in the bathroom. Maybe being away from home and out of his element kept Joe Cross on his juice fast. If he had stayed home and juiced the weight off, no one would have heard about him or his success. Juicing out in public and talking with everyday people, sharing his own story, kept him focused and inspired others to try the juice fast or to at least look at what “food” they were putting into their bodies.
I recommend this juice fast re-set. It wasn’t easy, but it sure was an accomplishment. You have to have the right mindset and make the choice every day to stick with it. The best thing about it was there was no counting calories, no cooking, no packaged diet food that contain foods I can’t eat, no supplements, just real food that your body knows how to use to heal itself.
I have done a few 2-day juice cleanses since then, when I felt like I needed it. I include juices in my diet from time to time, not every day, and smoothies, too. When my husband and I came down with the flu in March of 2016, we had no appetite and no energy to prepare meals. I turned to my juicer and that gave us the nutrition we needed to get healthy again.
Have you tried a juice fast? I’d like to hear about your experience or answer any questions you may have.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Bailey is a professional pastry chef, blogger and owner of Beachouse Baking Company.
This work by Laura Bailey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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