Tag Archives: juice fast

Breaking the Fast

14 Jan

So…broke my fast today. Had some berries for breakfast and sweet potato for lunch. For dinner I had a veggie stir fry. And then my parents came with Thai food, so I had a couple of spring rolls. And some peanut M&M’s.

For those of you who are wondering: yes, this is bad. Don’t do this.

Day 5: Juice Fast Finale

12 Jan

Today is the last day of my juice fast. Hallelujah! For those of you who have been paying attention, yes, I did say it was going to be a 10 day fast, but here’s the deal: I’m about to drop over $800 on heating oil. Yes, I am a dummy for letting the tank get so empty. So be it. But I can’t afford to keep spending so much money on produce I’m only ingesting half of (the pulp half goes in the trash).

Also? It’s freakin cold out, and not eating enough calories means I get cold really easy. But I will try another short fast at the onset of spring. I think that, when you’re not trying to lose weight, but simply trying to detox your body, frequent short fasts are the way to go. I will keep chronicling my progress and, if I feel like getting creative, will probably post some recipes for plant-based meals. Whaddya think of that, kiddos?

Because my journey to clear skin is about more than just clear skin. It’s about the reason for my breakouts, the underlying cause of acne that may affecting other areas of my health that I’m not even aware of yet. For example, I’m in the grocery store last night again (and spent $50, which brings the tally of this little experiment to $350), and I’m looking around at all the people, and maybe it’s just the abysmal lighting they have at most grocery chains, but I find myself thinking, damn, so many of these people look sick! Mottled faces, pale lips, dark circles under the eyes, generally tired and bedraggled looking. And then I remember that the day I started my fast, that’s what I looked like.

Even though I am breaking out pretty badly (btw, I did some reasearch on acne and juice fasts, and juice fasting can actually cause you to break out, especially if you’re drinking a lot of fruit juices since they contain a lot of sugar) my skin is more even toned than I can remember it being since I was a pre-teen. I feel good, I have energy, and I get a little nauseous at the thought of eating the things I was craving a few days ago, things like bacon and melted cheese and chocolate. Mostly I would love a salad with heaps of veggies and some chicken.

And maybe some melted cheese.

Some more progress pictures (and listen, people: these are not meant to be pretty. They’re meant to be honest, so that if I do get better, people can find this blog and see that they can cure themselves, too.)

Day 4: Over the Worst

11 Jan 2060014296_6403f7a281_bjpg-599x400

Well, I made it through the first three days, and they’re supposed to be the hardest, right? So…in a sense…it’s all downhill from here!

And truth be told, I feel pretty darn good. I figured out yesterday that I hadn’t been drinking nearly enough water, drank almost three liters, and felt like a new woman. I even got up off the couch for something other than juice and water.

So, today I start out with a Purple Power juice, and the first ingredient is:

6 cups of Concord Grapes.

Seriously?

Okay, I understand that the man who devised this plan comes from the Land Down Undah, so maybe they have Concord grapes year round there, but where I live they’re in grocery stores for, like, five minutes and everyone buys about ten boxes and then they are GONE. So I bought black grapes instead, and I’m really not sure I bought enough, but…we shall see.

I wish I could have Concord grapes, though. So tart and tangy and delicious. If you’ve never tried them, wait until September/October, then stake out your local supermarket. Fancier stores like Whole Foods tend to carry them for sure, but I have even found some in Stop & Shop. Then, even if you don’t feel like buying a box (or several), go over and smell them. You know that grape smell that’s in every grape-flavored thing but doesn’t smell anything like the red and green grapes you usually find in the store? That smell comes from the Concord grape, and it smells like purple.

But enough waxing poetic about rare produce. Let’s move on to the purpose of this blog, which is to track the progress of my skin as I move away from a traditional Western diet to a plant-based diet.

The truth is I am breaking out like a mother:

Day 4

 

BUT: I think that’s normal. See, as my body detoxes, all the pimples that have been lurking under my skin for weeks, maybe even longer (I call them lurkers: the ones that you can feel as a hard bump under the skin, but that take forever to come to a head) are coming to the surface in a manner that is both fast and furious. Which means my body finally has the resources to fight them off. I think. I hope. If anyone out there reading this is a scientist, please let me know if there is any cold, hard evidence to back this up.

Also, on an almost completely unrelated side note: does anyone’s sense of smell feel way more intense? Because I can smell EVERYTHING.

Day 3: Hibernation/Detox

11 Jan

Haven’t left the house. Barely left the couch. Slowly sipping nut milk. Mostly just thirsty. So tired of vegetable matter. Just want some rice and beans and chicken and cheese.

Whose idea was this anyway?

Day 2: Is It Over Yet?

10 Jan

 

Stewed chicken and refried beans wrapped in a warm flour tortilla. Steamed clams and mussels in a garlicky white wine and tomato sauce. A crispy chicken sandwich with bacon, tomato, and iceburg lettuce on a toasty bun covered in mayo and melted swiss cheese.

That’s right, ladies and gents. I am craving the protein.

It’s the end of day 2 and I’m about to head up to bed, but not before putting a cup of almonds in a bowl and covering it with four cups of water. The mixture will soak overnight, and tomorrow I will puree it in a blender, add some vanilla and cinnamon (and possibly some stevia if I’m really at the breaking point) and drink the crap out of it. There are no nuts on the Reboot program, but I’ve never been one to follow all the rules.

Besides, I haven’t been drinking the coconut water that is on the Reboot menu, so…this will make up for it, I’m hoping. Feeling cranky, hungry, and headachey. As for the coconut water, I should probably get on that. I forgot to buy it when I was at the grocery store today.

Speaking of grocery stores, what is with these grocery bills? The one thing no one mentions to you when they tell you how ama-a-a-a-a-azing a juice fast will make you look/feel is how ho-o-o-o-orribly it will hurt your bank account, especially if you are a gardener on unemployment. And I can’t imagine doing this while I was working. Actually, I can’t imagine being around people at all would be a good idea right now. I’m okay on my own, but even when I’m just normal, haven’t-eaten-in-a-couple-of-hours hungry I tend to go for the jugular. If I had to be around my loved ones right now, heads would be rolling.

But I digress.

Okay, so let’s tally up the bills so far:

Omega 8003 Juicomatizer: $230

Groceries: Day 1: around $35. Mostly vegetables.

Day 2: $28, mostly fruits.

Granted, these should last me a few days, but…still. We’re at almost $300 dollars. Well, not we. I am. But we’re in this together, right?

Right?

::crickets::

Fine. I have a headache and I’m going to bed. Enjoy your food, jerks.

Day 2 — Morning

9 Jan

There was a feeling of lightness today that replaced my usual grogginess. Is that how much energy I lose to digesting crap foods?

I am having some cravings. Mostly for chocolate. I bought these chocolate covered caramel pecan things three nights ago and almost died. I ate them all within three or four hours of purchasing them. I’d like to say I regret it because that kind of sugar intake is sure to spike my insulin, which may/almost certainly will result in another breakout but…dear God they were good.

But! I’m about to take out the trash and then head to the grocery store after some nice herbal tea with lemon. Juice is good. Juice is good. Juice is good.

Day 1: Juice fast, ho!

8 Jan

That was not meant as an imperative. I’m not calling you a ho, dear reader. I use “ho” in the exclamatory sense, meaning, “we/I go there,” as in, “Westward, ho!” or “Seaward, ho!” even though I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying in my house, but my body is going on a juice fast.

I am going on a ten day juice fast as phase one of this experiment to see how what I eat affects the way I look: primarily, my skin. I am twenty-five and have suffered from acne since I was a wee lass of ten. That means I’ve had acne for fifteen years, or, for all you fraction lovers, three fifths of my life thus far. That’s a lo-o-o-o-o-ong time to have had acne.

And I’ve had treatment. In addition to the many creams, salves and unguents prescribed by my erstwhile pediatrician and  dermatologist (the most recent of which is a mild and pleasantly tingly combination of aloe vera gel and tea tree oil–effective at speeding the drying/healing process of pimples that have already formed, but has done nothing to prevent them from forming), I have been on antibiotics and accutane for my skin at various points in my life. To be fair, I was unable to complete the accutane treatment because I had to move, so although I did see many months of results from it (almost a year, in fact) my acne has returned, perhaps worse than ever. Right now my jawline acne is among the worst it’s ever been:

So I’m changing things up. Most dermatologists will look you dead in the eye and tell you that there is no research supporting a correlation between what you eat and what your skin does, but I have a feeling that that can’t be the whole truth, and I’ll tell you why: pharmaceutical companies make a buttload of money selling you creams and pills that sort of work (and which keep you coming back for more because the only sort-of work), but they can’t make money off of your diet. Why would they spend money conducting an experiment to see how diet interacts with acne if they aren’t going to make money from its results?

You can check out this article from Web MD on how the Western diet (sugar, white flour, dairy, and loads of fat and sodium) affects acne. I’ll admit it. I’m a Westerner. I love pizza, cookies, french fries and most of all, CHOCOLATE (although according to this article, the original study linking cacao and acne is a big, fat phony.) But if I want to cure myself of acne once and for all, I think I need to cut that shizzle out. And my plant-based diet begins with a juice fast to clear out all the crappola that’s been hanging around–like that cheeseburger I ate three months ago–and to ensure that I’ve got only good stuff in my system.

I bought myself this juicomatizer for Christmas, and after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (which you can watch for free in its entirety here) I am starting the 10 day Reboot program. FS&ND chronicles the adventures of a tubby Aussie with a rare disease which causes him to randomly break out in hives all over his body. To prevent these hives from popping out, he takes fifteen mg of steroids/day. Understandably, he becomes depressed and desires to change his life, but unlike many middle-aged men, instead of buying a car and shacking up with a cute twenty-five year old, he decides to drink only juice from fresh fruits and veggies for–get this–sixty days. And it works. He drops an incredible amount of weight, but more inspiring is that his hives vanish.

So I’m not going sixty days, but I am giving it a shot. So far I’ve made a green lemonade and a ABC juice (recipes can all be found at Reboot). And then on to a healthy diet. It could take a few weeks, a few months, even longer, but this is a lifestyle change. If you’re reading this, are of a healthy weight and have skin like a marble statue, please eat a heaping plate of lasagna, wash it down with some red wine and finish the meal off with some chocolate-covered caramels, and think of me while you’re doing it. Okay? Thanks. I’d appreciate it.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.