Juice fasts are incredibly popular in the holistic nutrition world. Celebrities rave about them, and juice companies can even ship juice fasts to your doorstep! It's never been more popular or convenient to juice fast.
The truth is, juice fasting is not for everyone. If we’re not ready for it physically, mentally, and emotionally, our efforts will only backfire.
Whether a juice fast is beneficial for you is entirely dependent on your personal needs. The following guidelines will provide you with an idea of whether or not a juice fast may be right for you.
Juice fasting may be a good idea when:
1. You experience a stall in progress: When we eat a whole foods diet loaded with green vegetable juices and leafy green salads we usually feel full of energy. If you start to lose that vibrant feeling, it could be a good time to juice fast.
This sort of stall in progress is actually a good sign. Alkaline foods rehydrate old toxic matter in the cells and tissues. Sometimes we uncover toxicity that is so dense that our body needs some extra care to release it. This form of extra care could come in the form of a juice fast.
A long term juice fast isn’t always necessary for this. Taking a day or two a week and replacing your breakfast with a vegetable juice may be all that you need. A little bit of digestive rest goes a long way!
2. You genuinely feel ready to shed a layer: If you’re ready to lose those last few pounds that just aren’t budging, a juice fast can help us release this weight. Perhaps we are feeling a bit “off”, and would like to shed a stifled emotional layer; juice fasting can do this and offer us the most amazing mental clarity along with it.
The most rewarding juice fasts are the ones that involve the desire to shed both physical and emotional layers as well as a deepening of the spiritual life.
When Juice Fasting is Not a Good Idea:
1. If you are progressing while eating and living well: If you’re full of energy and achieving your health goals but still wanting to take things to a more intense level with a juice fast, I suggest examining your motives.
Do you genuinely want to fast, or is this an ego fueled ambition? Fasting for ego satisfaction can be very counterproductive. If we’re not emotionally ready for all that fasting entails, it can lead to overeating, or reverting back to other negative lifestyle behaviors once we’ve broken the fast.
2. A flare up of symptoms while you’re eating and living well: If you’re eating a highly alkaline diet but experiencing symptoms, then your diet may be too good! A diet that is high in raw juices and vegetables is very detoxifying. When you detox too deeply, the elimination channels become overwhelmed, and symptoms can arise. Symptoms will occur because toxins are in the bloodstream, but cannot find a way to be released.
The body manages this toxicity the best it can, but not always in a way that is pleasant. We can avoid typical detox symptoms during a juice fast as well as during our day to day life by making sure that we aren’t “muscling” our way to a diet that we are not physically, mentally, or emotionally ready for.
3. You don’t actually want to, but feel that you should, or that you need to fast in order to lose weight: A juice cleanse is never something that you should do. It is something that you must have a heart felt desire to do. This is not about the ego, or about what is trendy in raw food circles, it’s about what is best for you. If you’re feeling like you need to do a juice fast, then definitely take some time to think about it.
Juice fasting for weight loss does not work in the long term. A steady and balanced way of eating that lines up with your personal needs and desires will always lead to weight loss, and your most beautiful body!
Juice fasting does not have to be an all or nothing approach. Replacing breakfast or lunch with a vegetable juice can work wonders, especially when done regularly. It’s also important to keep in mind that any juice fast longer than twenty four hours should be administered under a professional with thorough knowledge and experience about fasting and detoxification.
For some a juice fast may never be necessary. For others, it can be a regular holistic practice that tunes us back into our center and reminds us what our true dietary needs are. Always make sure that your motivations are for your highest good, and always remember to nourish, indulge, and love yourself through a fast. The purpose of healthy living is to honor and respect your body, and we must never lose sight of that!