Posted on September 30th, 2017
I recently watched the film Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and it shows the stories of 2 gentleman who decide to turn their lives around to address their autoimmune condition that is causing them pain and resulting in them living on medication.
To do this they adopt a juice diet (juicing fruits and vegetables only) for 60 days to shed weight and essentially clean up their diets and lifestyle. It is important to note that they are under medical supervision during this juice fast and are having blood tests and practitioner appointments nearly weekly. They also partake in small amounts of exercise during the fast. At the end of the fast the intention is to adopt a healthy diet long term that doesn’t include many animal products and maintain exercise to keep fit and healthy.
The 2 gentleman do a great job and stick the fast out well, losing weight and improving their health, in particular improving blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides but most importantly finding a way to manage their autoimmune condition. Their first week is the toughest as they experience excessive fatigue, low energy and withdrawals.
The movie is quite inspiring as they put themselves in situations where fast food is easily accessible in America and remain positive throughout their journeys. It really shows the importance of mindset during a huge change like this.
I think it is important to note that doing a juice fast for 60 days is not something that just anyone can start doing, you need to seek medical assistance before starting and throughout the whole process.
Juicing & Fasting
This is an interesting topic and one that many people share various opinions on. There are many people who are for and against juicing and I can understand both points of view.
- Provide lots of nutrition quickly (abundance of vitamins and minerals) – sometimes too much!
- Improves gut health especially if you are suffering from chronic gastrointestinal conditions.
- Improves skin conditions as it provides essential vitamins and minerals quickly that are easily absorbed.
- Can help boost energy levels and aid in weight loss as the body has to use stored fats to make energy and you are avoiding all processed foods.
- Gives the liver a good clean out – as the body doesn’t have to process food that is harder to digest.
- If not done correctly with supervision and regular testing it can cause more harm than good
- Juices can be very high in sugar if you are juicing lots of fruits.
- The first few days of a juice fast can result in detoxification symptoms such as; diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and cravings which can make it very hard to stick out.
- You can’t do a lot of exercise while fasting as you don’t have the energy stores for it.
- It can be expensive as you need a lot to make a juice and it does take time to be well prepared.
- Children cannot take part in juicing as they are developing too quickly and their bodies need protein, complex carbohydrates and fats.
- You don’t get much protein during the fast so depending on your circumstances and medical history it is not ideal.
I think it is important to weigh up the reason why you want to do a juice fast. If you are living a healthy and active lifestyle currently and eating limited refined foods than you shouldn’t need to worry about juice fasting. The human body is very capable of detoxifying itself daily when eating a well-balanced diet that incorporates fruits and vegetables.
If you suffer from gastrointestinal or skin conditions, a 1 week juice fast can be a great way to help address these symptoms, however you need to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet that is free from refined foods afterwards. You still need to seek advice from a qualified practitioner before stating.