Juice feasting isn't a typo. It's not a fast. Rather, it's a long-term cleansing and detoxification program that relies on abundant consumption of fresh, raw fruit and vegetable juices. Juice feasting is the brainchild of Karen and David Rainoshek. More information about the formal juice feasting program is available on their website.
Basics of Juice Feasting
The actual juice feasting program appears at first glance to be simple and straightforward. Each day, participants blend a combination of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables using good quality equipment such as a Vitamix_Juicer. There's no limit to the amount of juice consumed on a juice feast. The typical juice feast lasts 92 days.
Why Drink Juice
Many credit juice feasting with weight loss and reversal of so-called chronic or incurable diseases, such as diabetes or cancer. Michele Tune, known online as the "raw juice girl", credits juicing with her 100 pound weight loss and reversal of many health conditions. Others agree.
Reasons people go on a juice feast include:
- Detoxification: Our bodies detoxify naturally each day, shedding the typical toxins created during metabolism. These are the by-products of breathing, digestion, and assimilation of food, air and water. However, our bodies weren't designed to handle the modern-day onslaught of toxins. If you eat a Standard American Diet (SAD) filled with fast food, processed foods and frozen foods, your body is likely to contain a high amount of toxins. If the body can't easily get rid of a toxin, it pushes it into the fat cells and buffers it with water to protect vital internal organs. During a juice feast, the body sheds fat, excess water, and toxins.
- Weight loss: Most people on a juice feast lose weight. The goal isn't to starve yourself or fast, so participants are welcome to drink as much fresh juice as their bodies crave. Overweight people typically shed pounds. Underweight people may actually gain weight.
- Alkaline state: Dr. Cheryl Hart recommends a diet rich in alkaline foods for optimal health. There's a good amount of research, including some by a Nobel prize winning scientist, that indicates an alkaline-food diet decreases risk for cancer and other degenerative diseases. Juicing creates naturally alkaline foods and creates an alkaline state in the body.
Are these statements endorsed by the FDA? No, and many conventional researchers and practitioners do not believe in the power of juicing. But then again, mainstream science didn't accept the germ theory when Lister promoted it over 100 years ago, and doctors once thought that the body's humors created disease. Unless you have a serious medical condition, you are likely able to participate in a juice feast. If you do have a serious disease, find a naturopathic doctor or a medical doctor familiar with alternative health and juicing to guide you.
It's best to participate in the official juicing program offered by David and Karen Rainoshek. Their Juice Feasting website provides three membership plans, each priced differently. Each plan provides access to the entire suite of written materials and videos to guide you through juicing and raw and living foods. The different plans limit the amount of time you can access the online membership area and community forums.
Have the Right Mindset
Before embarking on a juicing program, cultivate the right mindset. If you're doing a juicing program with the idea that it's just for weight loss or following it half heartedly, you might not be successful. It's okay to try other things first, such as adding a green juice or green smoothies to your daily diet to get used to juicing before embarking on the full program. Be sure to surround yourself with positive, upbeat people who support your juicing efforts.
Equipment and Supplies
It will be nearly impossible to go on a juice feast without the proper equipment. A good quality juicer uses all parts of fruits and vegetables to create a rich beverage filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The resulting juice also contains living enzymes. That's why you can't go on a juice feast with store-bought juice. Bottled and refrigerated juices at the store are usually pasteurized. Pasteurization means subjecting the liquids to a flash of extremely high heat. This kills bacteria, which lengthens the shelf life of the product and makes it easily transported. Unfortunately it also kills life-giving enzymes in the process. Fresh juices are filled with enzymes, which raw food diet followers believe help the body function optimally.
Purchase organic fruits and vegetables prior to embarking on a juice feast to ensure your kitchen is adequately stocked. You may want to purchase a travel container or a thermos to carry juice to and from work or school. While juice must be fresh on a juice feast, you can make the juice in the morning and refrigerate unused portions to drink throughout the day.
Is Juicing Right for You?
Some people believe juice feasting is just a fad, a quack diet that really doesn't provide any benefits. Others credit it with rejuvenation, reversal or disease, and amazing weight loss results. Only you can decide if juice feasting is right for you. Again, if you have any serious medical conditions, are pregnant or nursing, don't juice feast and talk to a doctor familiar with juicing for help.