5 Interesting Lessons From My 3 Day Juice Fast

By Luke Jones. Connect with him on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.

3 day juice fast, luke jones, health room

Beetroot juice yo!

A few weekends ago I watched the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”, after weeks of my lovely girlfriend trying to convince me. Actually, who am I kidding… I was pretty excited to watch it.

The documentary follows Australian Joe Cross as he embarks across the USA on a 60 day juice fast, in order to try and lose weight and rid himself of his autoimmune condition. Yeah you heard right, 60 days! I won’t spoil the rest of the story for you, but the results are pretty astounding, and the documentary is well worth a watch.

I had always thought that juicing made no sense. Yeah, it extracts and concentrates all the nutrients from the food, but why get rid of all that great fibre? Why not just drink smoothies instead? But my mindset changed a little lately, and the documentary definitely got me thinking.

Without the fibre to break down, juicing gives your digestive system a rest. It gives your body a chance to focus it’s energy on other things, like growth and repair.

Perhaps a juice fast could be beneficial to my health? I’m always up for trying new things, and I’ve heard nothing but positive things about juicing. I’m by no means looking for any weight loss, but perhaps giving my digestive system a rest would help clear up some of my health issues?

I needed to give it a try.

MY JUICE FAST

Fast forward to this weekend just gone. I was due for a colon examination in hospital on the monday, so was instructed to take a low fibre diet 2 days before, and a fluid only diet for the day before.

What better time to start my juice fast?!

I planned to do it for 3 days, rather than the 60 Joe Cross went for. I’ve done a couple of water fasts before, but the longest being just 36 hours. So I thought 3 days would be a good start. Any more and I’d be looking at quite a bit of weight loss, and I don’t have that much to spare at the moment.

So, about my fast…

WHAT DID I JUICE?

3 day juice fast, luke jones, health room

Mainly vegetables: kale, spinach, romaine, salad leaves, broccoli, cucumber, beetroot and celery. Smaller amounts of carrots and tomatoes too. And then fruits such as apples, pears, grapes and mango.

I mixed it up quite a bit, but made sure the leafy and crucificious greens made up the biggest part of each juice.

HOW DID I DO IT?

Old school juice straining

Old school juice straining

Old school.

One barrier to the juice fast – I have no juicer. But I do have a blender, some muslin cloth that my mam usually uses to make jam, and some improvisation skills. And a little patience.

So yup, you guessed it; I blended my fruit and veg into a smoothie, then strained it through the cloth. It took a fair amount of time to do, and got a bit messy, but the pulp leftover was really dry compared to most electric juicers I’ve seen.

HOW MUCH JUICE?

I made up about three lots of juice a day, about a litre each time. So yeah, roughly three litres spread throughout the day. I think the amount you need to drink will vary though from person to person. The people behind ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’ suggest around 1200 calories a day.

I also made sure to drink a lot of water too, about another two litres.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Day 1.

I felt great. If anything I had more energy than normal. There were a few times throughout the day when I maybe felt a little light headed, but that passed quite quickly.

In the afternoon I did a normal strength training session; front squats, deadlifting, and a little bit of core work. I actually felt stronger than usual.

Day 2.

On the eve of day one, and the morning of day two I had to drink 3.5 litres of this nasty ass laxative, to make sure my colon was cleared out for the examination. I think this sped up the whole detox process, clearing all the old stuff out a lot quicker.

dumbledore1Tastes pretty bad though. Actually, really bad… I felt like Dumbledore in the half Blood Prince drinking that potion of despair to get to the horcrux. Nasty.

I felt good in the evening though when I resumed my juicing. No brain fog – it was actually really easy to concentrate on writing. Even more so than when I’m eating food.

Food did smell nice though, especially as my parents were cooking up a load of sweet potatoes and stir fried veg. But I wasn’t craving it terribly. Drinking another juice got rid of any temptations.

Day 3.

Still no detox symptoms of headaches or stomach cramps, but bear in mind that I came into this fast from a pretty ‘clean’ whole food plant based diet anyway, so I wasn’t expecting massive changes.

Again, food smelled nice, but I wasn’t really that tempted.

The process of actually making the juice started to get a bit annoying though. It takes so damn long, and the juice gets everywhere. It’s almost felt like I was milking a cow, except it produced kale juice, instead of that unhealthy milk stuff…

I would definitely invest in a decent juicer long term.

5 INTERESTING LESSONS

I noticed a few cool things over the course of the 3 day juice fast:

1. Detoxing feels good.

It felt good giving my colon a rest from digesting food, and I’d definitely do it again. I think it’s something we should probably do at least a few times a year. A couple of days on as I write this post, I’m still feeling great.

2. I could concentrate more.

As I said, writing was great during the fast. There was definitely less brain fog, more room to think, less distractions.

I found meditation was much easier too. I had less mindless thoughts flying around, and I found it easy to be present.

3. I had no drop in energy levels.

In fact I probably had a slight increase. Perhaps because my body didn’t have to waste any energy on digesting food. I felt light and nimble.

4. I lost a couple of pounds.

This definitely wasn’t the goal, but it happened. Mainly water weight, as it came straight back on as soon as I ate a big salad and beans. I can definitely see how easy it is for people to lose quite a bit of weight over a longer juicing period though.

5. Fasting can give you a better relationship with food.

There were occasions when I wanted to eat over the three days, but I was never truly hungry. That’s something we rarely experience in the western world, and we often take it for granted.

What we usually think of as hunger (belly rumbling, ravings…) is merely an addiction to food. These are just withdrawal symptoms. True hunger comes from the throat. That being said, I did really appreciate my first meal afterwards.

Amazing juice pulp

Amazing juice pulp

6. Juice pulp can be used as play-dough.

That’s a new market for you to get into – green, healthy, recycled play dough. Make it into any shape you want, then chuck it into the compost recycling once you’re done. Life changing.

ROUND UP

Overall it was a great experience. Every time I fast, I come out the other side with a sense of renewal, and the same goes for juice fasting. I’ll definitely look at going for a longer period sometime in the future. Perhaps once I’ve actually invested in a juicer…


If you’re interested in finding out more about juice fasting, I highly recommend checking out the documentary ‘Fate Sick and Nearly Dead. You can buy the DVD on Amazon here, but you can also find it on Netflix.


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Luke Jones
Luke Jones is a mover, blogger and wellness enthusiast. He spends his time exploring and sharing ideas in mindful movement, healthy living and adventure.

9 Responses to “5 Interesting Lessons From My 3 Day Juice Fast

  • Great article! I have seen ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’ and was really inspired at the moment to try juicing. But, alas no juicer was the obstacle for me, because I really have little time to “milk a kale cow”. I will definitely try this, eventually. Since you have a bit more experience than me on this subject, would you think smoothie fast would do anything, although still with fiber?

    • Thank you!

      I think a smoothie fast definitely has it’s benefits. You’re still taking in a lot of nutrient dense foods. May not have the exact same effects as a juice fast (giving your digestive system a rest) but i’m sure it would still be beneficial. It’s likely to be a lot more sustainable over a longer time period than juicing too.

      Give it a try maybe, and let me know how it goes!

      Love lots of your recipes by the way! Keep up the great work 🙂

      • I think a green smoothie fast would still be hugely beneficial 🙂 I have done them and feel amazing, you can also lose a lot of weight that way. I am not a huge juicing fan, although I can see some people may benefit if their digestive system needs a rest. I see green smoothies doing more for the digestive system in the long run because of the fibre, and I just can’t bring myself to throw it out, I am an environmentalist so the sheer waste doesn’t sit right with me! I juice maybe once a week or if I have a cold I juice a bit more. I eat a WFPB diet, and as juice extracts a part of the food, it doesn’t fit in well with that kind of eating. I do believe that nature delivers it in the way it is meant to be eaten and usually our digestive system can easily cope, and thrives on, lots of fibre. I don’t doubt people see benefits from short juice fasts though 🙂 Nice post!

        • Thanks for your comment, I couldn’t agree more!

          A juice fast can be good now and again for some people, but whole-foods are the way to go in long term, no doubt.

          Keep up the great work on the blog. We’re gonna give your lentil patties a go on the weekend 🙂

  • Three days seems short in some ways? Do you think that 5 days would be more effective or that 3 was definitely enough for your body to benefit from…basically are you still going?

    • Hi Ed!

      I definitely felt that three days was useful, but yeah five would probably have a bigger impact.

      I’ll definitely go for longer in the future, but I just felt like testing the waters first with a short three day fast, just to see how my body responded. I’m pretty lean at the moment so wasn’t sure how quickly fasting would have an impact on my weight. But it wasn’t that drastic, so will do a five day one in the next few months.

      Hope that helps!

      Keep up the great work on your blog!

  • I literally just finished a 3 day juice cleanse! I have to say, while I loved the cleanse, I had no idea how hard it would be to re-introduce food afterward. It’s something I didn’t realize would be a problem, until it was! Did you have any issues eating again? (I should mention that I’m also vegan, which is another reason I was surprised by my difficulties transitioning back to solid food)

    • Hi Jamie!

      I didn’t have any problems eating again, but I started with a few soft fruits like bananas and dates, then had a cooked meal a few hours later. Forgot to mention that in the post!

      So yeah, maybe easing back in with soft fruits or smoothies may be a good idea!

      Really like your blog by the way!

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  • 40 Days of Gratitude - Health Room :

    […] I’m grateful for smoothies and juicing. Doing a three-day juice fast refreshes the pallet, and lets you appreciate food even more. Smoothies are an awesome way to get a […]

    4 years ago

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