I Juiced for an Entire Month and Here's What Happened
In 2022, I had blown up to my heaviest weight in a long time. At 240 pounds, my breathing was not great, my energy was low, and my clothes were not fitting properly. I was teleworking exclusively for most of the year, usually from my bed or the sofa. The sedentary lifestyle caused most of the weight to go to my mid section. Like many people in December, I decided that I needed to make some changes for the new year. I didn't have a plan, but I had been praying to God to deliver me from gluttony and slothfulness and to get me down to a manageable weight.
Well, in December, I received a text from my friend asking me if I wanted to join her in a juice fast for the new year. I asked her how long she wanted to fast, assuming that it would be for a week or so. Lo and behold, she wanted to do it for the entire month. I didn't know if I was ready for that, so I decided to aim for a week or so. Well, a week went by, and as you can tell from the title of this writing, I ended up juicing for the entire month. Here's what happened:
How much weight did you lose?
On January 1, I weight in at 234 lbs. By January 31, I weighted in at 209.4 lbs, for a total loss of 24.6 lbs. My goal was to lose body fat in my midsection while maintaining muscle mass and developing my shoulders. I only did moderate exercising, so I didn't get those exact results, but there was a noticeable difference. (The after pics are slightly farther back, but you can see the changes.)
How expensive is it to juice?
For most of the fast, I used my Breville juicer which had been collecting dust for the past three years. As of now, this model is going for about $180. For three of the four weeks, I purchased fruit from the grocery store. I was able to use a $10 coupon for most weeks by purchasing during a sale, and my grocery totals were as follows: $68.34, $48.76, $67.10, and $79.24 (no coupon). There was one week when I ordered a 7-day juice cleanse from Groupon for $225.
Based on those figures, it's definitely cheaper to juice yourself. Based on my averages, it costs about $87.81 a week to juice. It would probably be even cheaper if you shop at the big-box stores.
I did enjoy the week of the Raw Fountain juices from Groupon. It meant that I didn't have to worry about clean up or brainstorming about what to juice. They were tasty and fresh. However, there is a certain freshness that you get from juicing it right there in your home that can't be duplicated.
What recipes did you juice?
The majority of my juices used apples or oranges as the base, with other fruits and vegetables added. My green items were usually kale, spinach, celery, and cucumber. During the first week, I found recipes online. The second week was the week when I ordered from Groupon. So, I ended up keeping the Raw Fountain bottles and using the recipes on the bottles. The pic below is my first grocery haul.
How challenging was it?
I would say that about 85% of this fast was mental. During the first few days, my body would send me hunger signals. I would be going about my daily activities and then think about what I was going to eat, only to remember that I'm not eating. I call these "small deaths." The small deaths are these little moments of dying to the flesh until your body accepts that you aren't eating. After about 4 days, my body was no longer giving hunger cravings.
Once I made it through this phase, my body plateaued and I no longer needed solid foods. However, I did begin to experience what I have termed "social hunger". Social hunger is when I am aggravated with the redundancy of the juicing and desiring to eat simply for the sake of eating (not because I'm physically hungry). This seemed to be strongest around days 15 to 18. I was hangry and torturing myself by looking at food on Instagram.
After the social hunger phase, the rest of it was smooth sailing. Around days 20 and beyond, I was still tired of the same routine, but I had fully accepted the death. At this stage, I was just taking it one day at a time and plotting on Feb 1st.
Did you experience any complications or changes in your body?
During the first several days, my breath began to smell and my tongue became white. I presume this was from the detoxing and I was used to it from previous fasts I had done. Everything was pretty normal after about a week or so.
Also, around days 4-6, my body experienced some cramping. I had taken a few long walks, and my legs were cramping more than usual. I also got a cramp in my face/jaw which may or may not have been related to the fast.
I teleworked for most of the fast, but worked in the office on Wednesdays. About four days into the fast, it was my first full work day and full commute during the fast. When I came home, I absolutely crashed at about 7 or 8pm and didn't wake up until the next morning. This was one of about 2 days where I had low energy. Overall though, my energy level was much higher during the fast than normal.
Also, around day 26 or so, I experienced a sharp pain in my torso. I believe it could have been my heart and I was almost concerned enough to go to the hospital. I prayed for God to take it away and He subsided after about 20 minutes.
On a positive note, my skin was more radiant, I had mental clarity, and I felt much lighter. I was able to do exercises much easier and longer than before.
What did it teach you?
While this was not exactly a spiritual fast, it really gave me a lot of insight about gluttony and how it operates in my life. I realized most of the times when I think I am hungry, I'm really not. This has allowed me to be more intentional about telling myself "no". It also taught me that the human body can probably survive for a very long time with only juice. I am not a doctor or scientist, but in my case, I feel like I could have went much longer.
Overall, I'm just grateful for the reset to my body. Moving forward, I will try to be more intensional about eating a moderate diet and being more physically active in the gym. I don't recommend that everyone do a 30 day juice fast. However, I do think that a three, five, or seven day fast would be awesome for most people.
Comment below if you have any additional questions or comments! Shalom!