Saturday, February 18, 2012

Embarking on a juice fast

"The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” Thomas Edison
A few weeks ago I watched a documentary film called “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”. It follows Joe Cross, an unhealthy Australian man in his 40s as he embarks on a sixty-day vegetable and fruit juice fast in an effort to regain his health. He literally becomes healthy before your eyes and turns his life around.
Juice fasting is not a modern fad in western society’s quest to regain health and wellbeing. The history of fasting goes back thousands of years with many religions around the world using fasting as a healing process for spiritual purification and communion with God. Over the centuries doctors have used juice fasting to cure illnesses through resting the body from the high energy needed for food digestion and using the micronutrients in fresh juice to provide energy and support to the body while stimulating the detoxification process.
So with this inspiration fresh in my mind, on Saturday 4th February I began my own little experiment into the world of juice fasting…. actually it’s not completely fasting due to the odd snack of strawberries and my mild avocado addiction.
The last time I went on a fast was the forty hour famine when I was sixteen and I suspect it was an excuse not to eat boarding school food for a couple of days more than anything. From memory I was pretty hungry for those two days and didn’t feel particularly well.
This time around it’s a whole different story. Despite a number of friends who have juice fasted before me claiming that their energy levels and overall health had improved, I remained dubious. It’s taken me quite some time but thanks to Joe Cross, I’ve finally committed to doing one. Although I felt pretty certain that my stomach would be growling, I’d feel weak with hunger and the whole experience would be less than pleasant, I figured ten days without lamb chops and mashed potato, a pizza, red wine, rum and coke or coffee wouldn’t kill me.
Much to my surprise, ten days on (as I type this), I am feeling fantastic. With my twin-gear juicer whirring away on my kitchen bench, I’m drinking as much vegetable and fruit juice as I like and eating one of Barham Avocados delicious Reed avocados a day. I don’t feel hungry, I have more energy, feel clear headed and I’m sleeping well at night; the exact opposite to how I thought I would feel.
Experimenting with different juices I have discovered some mouth-watering combinations. Making the most of the summer vegetables and fruits by enjoying watermelon, apple and carrot; beetroot, apple, carrot and lemon; tomato, fresh basil leaves, celery, spinach and cucumber; Kurrnung Citrus oranges, fresh mint, pineapple and watermelon (a taste sensation); carrot, celery, apple, parsley and ginger; cabbage, apple, pear and blueberries.
When I began my juice/avocado fast (read: feast), I initially thought I’d give it a go for ten days. Now I’m thinking I may juice on till towards the end of February, just to see what that’s like. Bearing in mind the Regional World’s Longest Lunch is being held at the Goble’s Walnut Grove on the 2nd March with four courses, matching wines, tea and coffee (and I fully intend to eat and drink everything in sight), I will make sure my juice fast concludes four or five days beforehand so my stomach can get ready for a day of gastronomic indulgence.
Needless to say I’ll be heading over to Koondrook on Sunday morning to see what I can buy at the Farmer’s Market to put through my juicer ….maybe a Pacdon Park pork pie?!

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