Frequently asked questions:
FAQs about Juice Fasting
Q: What is fasting?
A: Typically it means to abstain from solid food and some kinds of drinks.
Q: I've heard of water fasting, do you recommend this over a juice fast?
A: I have completed a 7 day water fast and many juice fasts, and after experiencing both, I wouldn't recommend water fasting. I feel water fasting it is too harsh for the body and much, much harder to complete the 7 days, as the body is not taking in any nutrients. I found juice fasting much more enjoyable, safer and doable.
Q: What does juice fasting do?
A: Juice fasting helps rest and clean out your internal organs. It gives your digestion system a break. It can help you lose weight and release toxins from the body.
Q: How long should I fast for?
A: Each person is different. Typically a 7 day fast is prescribed, but you can go for less or as long as you wish, it all depends on you. 3 days can be a nice reboot, whilst 30 or even 60 days are also common for cleansing and weight loss.
Q: Will I lose weight whilst juice fast fasting?
A: What I have noticed is that people who have excess weight will tend to lose weight. But those who are already at their 'normal' weight will pretty much stay the same or just lose a little. On my first ever fast I lost quite a lot of weight, as I was over weight, but then on further juice fasts when my body was at its normal size, I only lost a little bit weight. It seems the body knows what to do
Q: Can I work whilst fasting?
A: Ideally it is best to not be working, this way you can take care of yourself better and relax instead of worrying about work. However, with enough juice intake, it is totally fine to work.
Q: How much juice should I drink?
A: To prevent fatigue and hunger pains, I recommend drinking 4 litres of juice a day. Drinking this amount of juice also helps you to be able to still concentrate and lessen headaches if you're working
Q: What is the difference between a juice and a smoothie?
A: A juice is when fruits and vegetables are chewed up by a machine called a 'juicer'. The juicer extracts the juice from the vegetables for you to drink as a 'thin like water' liquid. The pulp and fibre are discarded by the machine (you can make food by-products with pulp, you don't have to waste it) . A smoothie is made by putting all the ingredients into a machine called a 'blender'. The blender whips up all the fruit and vegetables and doesn't discard the pulp and fibre, typically giving a thicker 'milkshake' consistency to drink.
Q: So do I need a 'Juicer or a 'Blender' to make my drinks?
A: You will need a 'Juicer'! The best kind of juicer to use is called a 'masticating' juicer. Other names used for a masticating juicer are 'slow press', 'slow juicer' or 'cold press'. These types of juicers can often be more expensive but they are the best in my opinion and so well worth the extra money. Masticating juicers slowly chew the vegetables giving you more yield and nutrient content. If you can't get hold of a 'Slow juicer' you can use a 'high speed' juicer. High speed juicers are very effective at juicing hard fruits and vegetable such as apples, cucumber and celery, however they are totally not effective at extracting juice from the leafy greens such as kale and spinach. And it's the dark leafy greens that we really want to include because of their mineral content.
Q: Can I buy pre-bottled juice for the fast?
A: You can, but I always say fresh is best. If you don't have time to make them yourself then you can always pass by a juice bar. Buying a pre-bottled juice for me is always the very last option. If you are on the run and caught without a juice then try to buy a juice that hasn't been pasteurised. Pasteurisation uses heat, and kills the living enzymes and pretty much all the nutrient content, so your juice is pretty much 'dead'. Look for labels that say HHP, this means High Pressure Pasteurisation. In the process of HHP the juice is subjected to high pressure which only kills the bacteria and not enzymes.
Q: Can I make batches of juices and refrigerate them to save time?
A: Juice can last up to 72 hours in the fridge, but I personally prefer no longer than 48. As always when it comes to juicing 'Fresh is best'.
Q: Can I freeze my juices?
A: You can, but again fresh is best.
Q: Can I drink tea or coffee whilst on the fast?
A: Ideally the answer is NO! Tea and coffee are stimulants and not advisable for your cleanse. You can drink herbal decaffeinated drinks.
Q: Can I still drink alcohol on the cleanse?
A: Erm... No!
Q: Can I drink milk, or nut/seed milks like hemp, soy or rice?
A: Ive experimented myself drinking nut/seed milks whilst fasting and they have often made me feel sick and heavy in my belly, so now I tend to stay away from all milks whilst fasting. (I never drink dairy anyway)
Q: Can I drink coconut water during the fast?
A: Big YES! I really love drinking coconut water whilst fasting. Coconut water (As well as vegetable juices) gives your body electrolytes which are essential for bodily functions such as the heart, nerve function, muscle function.
Q: Do I need to buy organic produce?
A: Organic is always best, but its not essential. I understand it can be more expensive buy organic but ultimately it is better for you especially when juicing. If you can't afford ALL organic do the best you can.
Q: What should I do if I feel weak during the fast?
A: Drink more juice or water! I recommend drinking 4 litres of juice a day, this should be enough to not feel to weak. Obviously, because you are not taking as many calories as you are when eating its quite normal to feel a little a weak. If you are not working, you can even have a little sleep. But definitely drink more juice and see if you feel better.
Q: I'm getting headaches why is that?
A: If you get headaches, then drink more juice and water and this should sort that out. As well as a sign of not drinking enough juice or water, headaches can be a part of the detox process, or the with drawl from caffeine.
Q: Im getting cold, how can I warm up?
A: You can add spices to your juices like cayenne pepper and juiced ginger, these herbs give 'heating' properties. You can also drink hot herbal teas. Taking hot baths is nice too, its to put in the bath 'Magnesium flakes' or 'Epsom salts' to help the body detox and relax the aching muscles.
Q: Should I drink water? If so how much?
A: ABSOLUTELY drink water! I typically drink 4 litres a day when not fasting. You could get away with drinking 2 litres of water whilst fasting. YES - you can expect to pee a lot!
Q: Can I drink vegetable broths as a part of my juice cleanse?
A: Yes you can, although I've never drank them myself whilst cleansing, I prefer just sticking to cold pressed juice to benefit from the 'living' enzymes and nutrients. When a broth is made a lot of the nutrients and enzymes will be cooked dead.
Q: Will I still poo?
A: The longer you fast, the less poo you will have. If doing a 7 day fast, you will typically still poo the first few days as food waste which is still left in the colon pre fast will still be being processed. Normally after day 4, there is less poo, or if there is poo, it is watery and pretty green or purple if you've been juicing beetroots - don't panic, its normal.
Q: Can I exercise whilst juicing?
A: Yes you can if you feel that you have the energy. I like to do yoga movements or stretching whilst fasting. Exercising whilst fasting will also help you lose more weight as more calories are burned.
Q: Should I take vitamins or supplements?
A: There is no need to supplement with any pills at all. You will receive more than enough nutrition from the plentiful of juice intake. You can however supplement with enzymes and probiotics to aid the digestion and absorption process, though it is not essential. I have in the past also supplemented my fast with 'liquid zeolite' to help rid the body of heavy metals, toxins and mercury.
Q: My legs feel heavy and my calves cramp: What should I do?
A: Drink more dark green juice, coconut water and regular water. This will help give your body more electrolytes. When I did my water fast my legs became super heavy and my calves were aching a lot. This is another reason why I recommend juice fasting over water fasting, for there is less cramping.
Q: Should I have any physical treatments such a massage?
A: Massage is great when fasting. It will loosen up the muscles and helps the detox process. Also skin brushes can be helpful to clean the lymphatic system.
Q: What about colonics?
A: Colonics are amazing to have during your cleanse. When I had my first colonic, my therapist told me its the most amount of toxins she has seen leave a person in all her treatments - I must have been pretty toxic! If you know how to give your self an enema then you can also do that.
Q:What if I'm taking prescription drugs?
A: If you are taking medication then please ask your doctor before conducting any juice fast. Depending on your condition, I may not be able to work with you.
Q: What if I'm pregnant or breast feeding?
A: No - I do not recommend juice fasting whilst pregnant. Your baby and yourself need all the energy, nutrients and healthy sustenance available.
FAQs that people ask me about my experience
Q: How long have I been vegan ?
A: Since 2008
Q: Why did I want to change my diet?
A: Initially it was because I thought I was looking ill. I had very black dark circles under and around my eyes. People kept asking me if I had a hangover or if I was ill. I had also been overeating and had put on more weight than I was used to. I realised that I had been abusing my body for many years, especially with alcohol, drugs and late nights. I had been working in pubs and bars since the age of 16 and had started drinking around that age.
Q: What did you do to become vegan?
A: Well, I never actually intended to become vegan. My first priority was to clean up my body and hopefully clear away the dark circles under my eyes, so that I wasn't looking so tired and ill. I came across a book called 'The Tao of Health, Sex and longevity'. This book described to me about the importance of having a clean colon and stomach in order to have good digestion, so that nutrients can be digested effectively/efficiently, and be used by the body. This was the first book that helped me understand how to clean my insides out.
Q: So did this book help you go vegan?
A: Yes and No. It was the catalyst. Even after reading the book I still didn't have any thoughts about becoming vegan
Q: So why did you become vegan?
A: I became vegan by default really. The book suggested doing a 7 day water fast to clean my colon and stomach. Water fasting means abstaining from solid food for 7 straight days. The only substance to be consumed is water and herbal teas (herbal teas optional). After the 7 days water fast, for some reason, still quite un be known to me, I just felt like I didn't want to eat meat any more.
Q: So did you become vegan straight after the water fast and was there any transition from meat?
A: I didn't become vegan straight away. But I did instantly transition to a vegetarian diet after the fast. I didn't have to try to become vegetarian, it just happened automatically.
Q: Do some people need to time transition from vegetarian/vegan diet?
A: It seems so, but everybody is different. For me, I became vegetarian first, then I was on and off vegan for about 3/4 years. Some people I know instantly switch to a vegan diet and some it takes longer, theres no hard and fast rules.
Q: Did you have any cravings for meat after the fast?
A: None what so ever. But I did still want to eat cheese and milk. However, about a month or so after my fast, I went out with a friend to eat a traditional English fish and chips, and I also I drank a couple beers. Later that night I woke up feeling violently sick with a high temperature and then I vomited. That was the very last time that I ate any meat products.
Q: Did you know much at all about what food to eat as a vegetarian/vegan?
A: Initially I had no clue. The 3 main inspirational books for me in the beginning were 'Conscious eating' 'Spiritual Nutrition' and 'Healing with Whole Food'. note: since the time of reading those books, I do now not believe everything that is written in those books but they do have some good content for inspiration and ideas.
Q: Did you go to any educational classes to learn more about veganism?
A: Yes. After about 8 months of being vegetarian, I came across a place in Arizona called 'The Tree of Life Rejuvenation Centre'. It offered a 3 month apprenticeship program called 'Spiritual Live Food Instructor'. The course was intended to teach me everything about veganism, from cultivating soil in the garden to preparing delicious vegan food as a chef.
Q: Did you quit alcohol after the water fast?
A: Not initially, but I cut down a lot. When I worked in the bars, I was pretty much drunk every night, or if I wasn't drunk, I'd be having a few drinks. After the fast, I cut out beer and hard liquors. I mostly only drank Red wine in moderation, and very rarely got drunk.
Q: Do you drink alcohol now?
A: No, I have not had a drop of alcohol since December 2015. My last drink was a mulled red wine.
Q: Was it hard to give up alcohol and how did you do it?
A: Yes, it was pretty hard for me to give up alcohol totally. It took me about 7 years from the time I consciously wanted to clean my body up to TOTALLY stop drinking alcohol. From the time after my fast (2008) it was a gradual process, over the years I drank less and less until the day came when I didn't want it any more. Now it feels like poison to me.
If there any questions that you have not found in the FAQs then feel free to send me your questions and I'll do my best to answer.