Rebooting Your System With Periodic Juice Feasting!

Brad West, ND

Periodic juice dieting or fasting is one of the quickest ways to increase the elimination of wastes and enhance the reparative process of the body.  Although fasts are generally safe, consulting a doctor or expert for a physical exam and evaluation before undertaking a fast is wise.  If you are on any medications or have any chronic illnesses, slight alterations may be necessary.  Joining a group is ideal for support and success.

The ideal time to begin a fast is when hunger disappears or at the first sign of illness, fever or sluggish feelings.  A short fast can be implemented at any time.  Choose a weekend or period of time when you can prepare yourself with time, supplies and a good plan. Decreasing your stress and activities while making sure to maintain or even increase your exercise is essential to burn fat and retain muscle mass.  The more you can rest during the fast, while also balancing with up to two hours of lower-intensity exercise, the better your results will be.  Walking up and down hills in a peaceful place, doing yoga, moderate weight lifting and aerobic activity are ideal.  Your energy will often increase, actually, during this time and can be directed towards detoxification, weight-loss and healing, instead of other bodily functions such as immune, digestive and stress responses.

A positive mental outlook towards fasting is essential.  So, it helps to know that the benefits include decreased weight, clearer skin, increased elimination, tissue repair, decreased pain, inflammation and allergies, increased concentration, and rejuvenation.  Perhaps the greatest benefit is the satisfaction that you can play a major role in optimizing your health.

Only filtered, organic juices, teas and pure water should be taken by mouth while fasting and filtered or spring water is best.  Vegetable juices such as carrot, beat and celery are very nutritious and alkalizing, which help offset our acidic diet and lives. Using juice would actually be considered an elimination diet since nutrients are ingested.  The quantity of juice and water should be dictated by thirst and symptoms, but you need to drink at least half your bodies weight in ounces (i.e. a 150lb person drinks a minimum of 75 ounces).  Losing vitamins or minerals is not usually of concern in a short fast.  Humans have adapted biochemical mechanisms to exist for long periods without food.

Staying warm and cleansing the skin with saunas and lukewarm water is encouraged, but extremes in temperature can be innervating, so avoid.  Try to also avoid deodorants, soaps, sprays, detergents and synthetic chemicals.
Sunlight is essential for healthy cells.  Try to obtain at least 10-20 minutes per day.  Rest is the most important aspect of the fast, try to take a nap or two during the day.  You will probably require less sleep at night, since your daily digestion and activity has decreased, however, more sleep may be required as well.

Enemas or colonics are not always necessary during a Tahara juice fast but this will depend on your individual health.  If you are worried about constipation, extra emphasis on pre-fast meals of fresh fruit and vegetables will assist with elimination, and a gentle laxative can be used the night before beginning the liquid diet.  Colonics and coffee enemas can also be utilized periodically to increase cleansing and detoxification of the liver and skin, particularly, and fasting is an ideal time to do this.

Body temperature usually drops during a fast, along with decreased blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate.  This is further evidence of the inherent wisdom of the body to conserve energy.  Try to stay warm.  You may want to use a hot water bottle to stay warm at night and dress up during the day as well as while exercising to promote warmth and sweating.

Most discomfort during fasting is usually brief as the body works quickly to restore homeostasis (balance).  In the beginning, you may experience headaches, dizziness, nausea, a coated tongue, bad odor, mild palpitations or mucous discharge.  These symptoms are generally all normal.  You may experience any or none of these.  If your symptoms are INTOLERABLE and PERSIST, notify your doctor or break your fast with an orange or watermelon and resume fasting when symptoms disappear.

While fasting, it is imperative to avoid coffee, caffeine tea, juice pulp, soda, cigarettes or anything else by mouth.  Avoid the smell and sight of food if possible.  If you have to prepare food for other family members, satisfy your senses with the aroma. Try to keep your mind off food by reading a book (especially a book on fasting) listening to music, writing a letter, or watching a movie.  Do not spend too long at any one activity.  Remember: balancing rest, exercise and honoring nature is the key to a successful fast.

“Any fool can fast, but it takes a wiseman to break it”, is an old saying, bringing attention to the extreme importance of doing it right.  Foods need to be simple and whole that are easy to digest.  Eat food slowly and thoroughly, limit the quantity, and enjoy!  Overeating can undo the benefits derived from a fast, so be VERY careful and review the types of foods to start with first and avoid sodium for the first week or two, at least.  Food allergies and intolerances are much easier to identify now, so have a plan to do this.

It is important to realize that fasting is only one part of a total health optimizing program and that fresh air, rest, exercise, sunshine, pure water, emotional poise and wholesome food are equally important to build and maintain health.

About the Author: Dr. Brad West is a Naturopathic Doctor specializing in women's health and hormone balancing as well as natural therapies for all conditions including skin growths, blemishes and lesions. To learn more about natural, proven treatments and therapies that can help prevent, treat and heal chronic pain, diseases and conditions, please visit
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