Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been at it again with the Juice Feast (hashtag #JuiceFeast!), along with my friend Marie Leggo who I’m guiding through the process. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the gist:
We are drinking only fresh pressed juices for seven days in a row following the same programme I did last year.
Someone on Facebook asked if I could elaborate on WHY we’re doing this, and I thought I would summarise my answer here. My earlier blog post (Juice Feast in Review) explains why I did this in the first place: largely, curiosity. But having done it I’ve amassed all kinds of reasons to do it again. Please note that this post is about why I juice feast, not why it works. But I’ll touch on that below.
7 Reasons Why I Juice Feast
- The Uber Reboot: I’ve just come back from a four week trip to Chicago and like many of us have been feeling a little sluggish and soft around the edges as a result of holiday gluttony. I feel eager (impatient?) to get back to how I was feeling pre-Christmas, and to push myself further to feel even better than before. I talked about one way of rebooting at my New Year Reboot class last week (heavy emphasis on soups and smoothies). Well, juicing is another way.
- Mental benefits: Last time I did the Juice Feast, by Day 4 I was on fire. I can’t remember the last time I felt so clear-headed and energised. I got so much done. It was during that time that I wrote almost all of Smarter Fitter Smoothies. Here’s what I said in my earlier post: “So after Day 3 is when things really got crazy. I suddenly had all kinds of energy that lasted from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed. It was marvellous. I got so much done. I was focused. I put in lots of time on everything. I had to force myself to go to bed at night even though I wasn’t tired. I felt like I did things with purpose.”
- Physical benefits: Exercise is an important part of the Juice Feast and I’ve been mostly keeping up with the gym and my 10,000 step goal (Fitbit!). As with my brain brain, my body is feeling better, too. In fact, I’m feeling pretty sprightly, especially with my cycling and weightlifting, and again, purposeful.
- Reflection: This ties in with #3. I’ve recently felt like much of my thinking around exercise has been skewed. The warning sign is this: often when I go for a walk or a swim or the gym, I find myself looking forward to the end as soon as I’ve began. And my motivations are wonky: I’ve found myself thinking “I should go because I need to work off all that cake I ate over Christmas” rather than “I should go because I want to”. And when I think that way, I find the act boring, or worse, I push my body beyond its limits, thus subjecting myself to injury. So I’m using this time as an opportunity to think about all of my intentions and how I’ll see them through at the Juice Feast. This goes for my physical activity as well as other life stuff like building up my business and tweaking some of my thinking around food (a subject for another time!).
- My winter solstice mission: At winter solstice last year (mentioned in my Chicago Trip Highlights) I decided that this winter would be all about nourishment. For me, this Juice Feast is part of my way of mentally and physically nourishing the body, but also thinking about how to carry on that theme of nourishment for the rest of winter (see #4. Reflection).
- Catch up on life: The nice thing about juicing is it frees up a lot of time. Juicing is quick and easy compared to cooking, and I’m not spending time eating meals, either. Granted, I miss meal time, one of life’s great joys, especially with friends. But for a week, I can do without, and it’s nice to have a chance to catch up on things, and also feel a smidgen of time freedom to invest in that needed reflection I mentioned above.
- Get AMPED for feeling awesome. In the end, I’m doing the feast for sustained benefit. I know juicing isn’t a sustainable way to live and I wouldn’t want to. But by the end of the juice feast I should be in a great place physically and mentally to carry on doing the things that are best for me. This is all about feeling awesome all of the time – my eternal quest! The juicing should leave me in a good place to carry on with gusto. (See #1. The Uber Reboot.)
Of course, we all have different reasons for Juice Feasting. Marie summed up hers on Facebook:
For me its not just about the weight loss I’m doing it to feel great – as Jason Vales book says: ‘power-pack your body wth nutrients and enzymes to make you feel energised and invigorated’
And speaking of those enzymes, as I mentioned earlier, this post is all about why I Juice Feast, not why it works. In fact, there isn’t a whole lot of evidence out there that it “works” for any of the reasons claimed by most juicing “celebrities”. A lot of it reads like a lot of detox mumbo jumbo to me (and in fact much of it is). One argument makes some sense: Juicing gives the digestive system the ultimate spa break. How? The act of juicing makes the nutrients in the juice super easy to digest, so the body not only gets flooded with nutrients, but it also has energy for repair (energy that would otherwise be spent digesting solid food).
But beyond this, the evidence is anecdotal at best. And I suppose my own anecdote is enough evidence to convince me that the Juice Feast is worth doing.
Three days left and a world of possibilities lie ahead. Bring it on!