Ever since life after college, I have experienced many digestive issues. After my second year of teaching and struggling with vertigo in the classroom on a daily basis, I decided to eliminate gluten from my diet. Although vertigo was the most inconvenient symptom, I was also dealing with eczema, upset stomach, and fatigue. After going gluten free I immediately felt much better and have been very strict about it now for 4 years.
Since then, I have improved my eating habits by cooking almost all of my meals, reading labels, and eating more fresh produce. However, there are still times when I feel the symptoms of inflammation and have tried to eat less processed foods. I do have a sweet tooth though which has made it difficult for me to experiment with eliminating refined sugars and dairy. Through this juice feast, I hope to feel more energetic and be motivated to live a healthier lifestyle. I am thankful to be a part of this case study!
Juice Feast Daily Recap
Everyday I went in the same order of which juices I would drink when. The order was: Tropical Greens (breakfast), Gold Rush, Army Greens (lunch), Evergreen (dinner), and Heart Beet.
Tropical greens was already one of my favorites, so it was a good way to start off the morning. That morning before drinking the juice I went for a swim and afterwards felt great. I went to work from 12pm-6pm and during that time (around 3pm) I had a headache.
During my time at work (I work at the Carmel Youth Center supervising children, so snacking and drinking juice is acceptable), I felt the need to chew so I had some raw pumpkin seeds, pecans, and almonds. I do usually drink a cup of green tea in the morning so it may have been the lack of caffeine, or more likely a sugar withdrawal. The headache lasted until I had dinner around 7. It was then that I decided to eat a bowl of brown rice and organic black beans with the Evergreen juice. One of the reasons why I ate rice and beans was to make it easier to drink the Evergreen juice. I learned quickly that I am not a fan of cilantro, so the juice was bit challenging to drink. I added the ginger bomb water to it (made a pitcher of water with it and drank it throughout the 3 days) and it was better for me, but I was only able to drink 8 oz of the Evergreen with dinner. I ended the day with Heart Beet, but only felt hungry for about 1/2 of it.
I realized that my stomach was feeling great and I had a lot of energy today! I resumed my routine of the juice drinking with also drinking the ginger bomb water in between. I found it a little difficult to drink as much water as I usually do (which is a lot) because I felt like I was always drinking. However, I never felt dehydrated and only got a slight headache in the afternoon. After work I went to my routine yoga class and felt stronger than ever! I ate dinner after yoga (brown rice and black beans) and drank 1/2 of the Evergreen juice. I ended the night with a little bit of the Summer Cider (which is my favorite!).
I felt really hungry when I woke up today, but the Tropical Green juice and a large cup of the ginger bomb water helped significantly! On this day I didn't work until 2pm, so I had a snack (pumpkin seeds) and 1/2 of the Heart Beet before work. During work I drank Army Greens and Gold Rush. I had no headache today and had lots of energy. My stomach felt great and I could feel the sugar cravings subsiding. For dinner I had my brown rice and beans with 1/2 of the Evergreen juice. I ended my juice feast with the rest of the Summer Cider. Delicious!
Conclusions and Suggestions
Overall, the juice feast was easy with a few challenging moments. With my type of job, it was fairly easy to work into my daily schedule. I also have to say that it was nice not doing very many dishes for 3 days :). As I said in my day-to-day summary, I felt like I had to eat raw pumpkin seeds, almonds, and pecans for an afternoon snack and then brown rice and black beans for dinner. I believe I would've been fine without the nuts and seeds, but felt that by the end of day I really missed chewing (especially since I am a person who loves to have little snacks throughout the day) and need to eat something.
My husband was very supportive (especially when I was struggling to drink the Evergreen juice), and he may be interested in doing the juice feast once he is done with school at DLI. My coworkers were also supportive and were jealous of the delicious juice I was drinking! I gave them some samples, so hopefully you will have some new customers!
I found it a little difficult to finish all 5 bottles in one day. Usually I would drink about 4 total (leaving 1/2 of the Evergreen and Heart Beet). I love ginger, so the ginger bomb is one of the things I regularly purchase from your farmers market stand. I usually freeze them into ice cubes and make a "tea" with it adding hot water, lemon juice, and honey if my stomach needs some help. For this juice feast I decided to add it to a pitcher of water which ended up being helpful. I almost wish I had a larger ginger bomb to do both!
We asked: What's missing? Would a tea in the evening make a big difference? Do you wish it had more structure or more guidance? Would it help to have supplemental materials to help you find healthy food out in the community or recipes for homemade juice and smoothies? Is there anything else we could do to improve the experience?
I would love to have had an evening tea! I am a tea drinker myself (no coffee), so a good way to end the day is by drinking some herbal tea (usually peppermint for me) at night. I liked the freedom of deciding when to drink which juice and found it easy to develop a routine (which helped me to be consistent during the 3 days). I love to make juice of my own, so homemade juice and smoothie recipes would be great to continue the healthy eating process after the juice feast.
With my history of stomach issues, I was a bit worried that my stomach would be upset but overall it felt better than ever! From this juice feast, I'm now motivated to eat fewer (maybe none at all) refined sugar products and reduce my dairy intake because I know that they could be a factor for inflammation.
Thank you for this opportunity! It was pretty cool to be able to do something like this and see how it would turn out. I enjoyed it, and hope that my experience encourages others to try the juice feast!
Thank you, Kristi!