OK, so I can’t really say Ed and I went “foodless” for five days. Just fiber-less. A juice fast still gives us more nutrition than the majority of the people on the planet are receiving. Heck, more than we likely give ourselves usually!
As I mentioned last week, possibly the hardest part about the juice fast, search-for-the-perfect-eating-style and dietary changes is the culture revolving around food itself. It was not so much giving up foods I love but the hedonistic habit of eating, in and of itself.
The brain is remarkable in that what it needs and what we program it to need — well, it listens. That’s why food companies spend millions engineering foods to trigger reactions that make you want more. Check out http://foodbabe.com/2014/03/23/if-youve-ever-eaten-pizza-before-this-will-blow-your-mind/ to find out some interesting info on possibly one of your favorite foods (and ours), pizza.
What got me started was how tired I was of feeling so bloated all the time, no matter what I ate or when. I had heard munching a little throughout the day might be helpful. So, I tried. Didn’t work. Still had big-time sugar cravings. What I did notice was when I ate sugar or anything refined, sure enough — twist me up and call me a balloon animal. And I never felt satisfied. Mind you, I consider my diet fairly healthy!
“Self-discipline” is certainly not my middle name. Enter “intermittent fasting.” This is basically scheduling your “eating day” to consist of only 8 hours at roughly the same time each day with a 16 hour “fast.” This doesn’t give you carte blanche to binge in your designated noshing time, but your body gets a chance to actually digest a bit and other interesting systems are kicked in.
This is how I managed to start on this path with gusto. I’ve never liked the concept of “dieting.” My cravings are real loud mouths. However, this little “game” I made of “honoring my body by eating within these hours (which included lunch with the girls and dinner!)” created a noticeable shift for me.
This is a really good article online by obesity researcher and neurobiologist Dr. Stephan Guyenet at http://articles.mercola .com/sites/articles/archive/2014/04/05/calories- overeating.aspx on the subject of how what we eat triggers what. I know I’m an emotional eater and this report touched on that as well.
So, why juicing? Mega micro-nutrients without the fiber gives your digestion system a break and simply powers up your immune system and, well, every other system in your body. Pure goodness. However, be cautioned you cannot live by juice alone for long periods of time, especially women. We DO need fiber.
By the way, by juice I do NOT mean pasteurized apple or orange juice on every major grocery store shelf. We borrowed a juicer, crates of ORGANIC whole vegetables and some fruit and sipped what would have been 50 pounds of produce throughout the day, more or less. How did we feel? FABULOUS! Clear headed and vibrant. Pounds were lost.
And, now we’re back on food (which was almost hard to do as we wanted to keep up the feeling), it is MUCH easier to make healthier food choices and the little voices are merely mumbling. Nine days, as I write, without any sweeteners and only a smidge of whole-grain bread. THAT, my friends is a lifetime record!
Tired, foggy, sore, irritable? Your engine is only as good as the fuel you put in it. Start there. There are many myths we’ve been programmed with to shame us into feeling bad about ourselves which hasn’t helped most people. Processed foods, engineered foods — your body doesn’t crave MSG. It does not exist in nature. It shouldn’t exist in your diet.
So, I say to you, listen to your body. Long live real food! Long live YOU!
Dianne Brookes column is special to The Cambrian. Email her at email@example.com, or visit her website at www.ladytiedi.com.