My Juice Fast Journey

Juice Fasting 101

I recently ended a 40 day juice fast and it was possibly the most transforming time in my life. The posts below will share with you my six week journey. But first, I'd like to share with you the who, what, why, when, and where's of juice fasting. I hope you enjoy your glimpse into my life and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and questions.

I have found that juice fasting is a longtime practice used to cleanse the body of toxins and to maintain a state of optimum health. Toxins, you say? Yep - nasty little things that hibernate in your fat cells depleting your body of nutrition, rest, and vitality. They don't just get to you by the food that you eat but by the air we breathe and things that come in contact with our skin.

Liquid is the only substance that will pass through the lining of your stomach. When you juice, you are sending all those vitamins and nutrients directly into your bloodstream, and in turn they are flushing out the toxins that are laying in wait to sabotage your good health and forces them into your bloodstream to be removed through excrement, your lungs, and your skin.

I have ripped my attention away from my cookware for the time being and turned it to our fabulous juicer...minus the dust it's collected from non-use (I know, I know...slap my hand with a ruler). The thing that makes our Juicer different than all the rest is the patented motor that boasts consistent torque. I learned that when you juice live juices, it's best to always get organic fruits and veggies because what's the point of flushing the bad stuff out if you are doing it with more bad stuff? If you don't have organics available, then you would need to peel your fruits and veggies because the pesticides, etc are located on the surface. Although, you should note that a lot of the nutrients and vitamins in fruits and veggies are in their skins - so, organics is worth it to me to keep those.

Simplicity's juicer comes with a book of recipes called "Juicing for Life" that has hundreds of recipes for every health need/condition imaginable. You need to add some supplements to your juice when you are going to be fasting for longer than 7-10 days. In the morning, I add a tsp of flavorless Fiber to my juice to keep my digestive system healthy while it's inactive. In the morning and evening, I also add a tsp or two of non-flavored, unsweetened Protein Powder to ward off any hunger pains throughout the day and keep me sleeping like a baby. It's best to drink a gallon (128 oz) to 150 oz of water a day - the more water you drink, the quicker you will flush those toxins out - and to have about 64 oz of juice per day. I just carry around a gallon jug all day and when I'm done with it, I know any other water I drink will just be bonus. Make sure you have a bathroom handy - you'll need it about every 20-30 minutes!

Ready made juices (Bolthouse Farms, Odwalla, and Naked brands) are great for when you are on the run but make sure to incorporate live juices everyday too by juicing. With the ready made juices, be sure to read the label carefully; not all of them are all juice/puree blends. Make sure they are free of anything with milk, caffeine (such as Green Tea), or sugar (even natural - like "cane juice / extract"). My favorites so far are "Odwalla: Orignial Superfood" and "Naked: Green Machine Superfood." The "Odwalla" brand gives you a big kick of super healthy stuff like Spirulina, Wheat Grass, Barley Grass, and Wheat Sprouts but you only taste the yummy Apple, Peach, Mango, Strawberry, and Banana fruit blend; the "Naked" brand is packed with the same as the "Odwalla" brand but even more, including, Broccoli, Spinach, Parsley, Chlorella, Blue Green Algea, Oderless Garlic, and Ginger. You want to make sure to limit the fruit juice intake b/c the body has to work extra hard to break down the sugars in fruits and you may find yourself crashing by mid-afternoon. Drinking naturally decaffeinated herbal tea once or twice a day can be beneficial also - I have found two that I really like by "Yogi Tea" - one is called "Fasting" and has a minty/jasmine flavor; the other is "Peach Detox". I add a couple of teaspoons of local honey from the farmer's market and both are yummy and calming.

Week 1..."In the Beginning..."

So...last Tuesday, I started a 40 day juice fast. It's something I've toyed with for many months and researched and finally just said, "Hey, stop thinking about and just do it!" Among other reasons (detoxing, body cleansing, health etc.), this decision was primarily spiritual for me. I work with food - I write about food, I research food, I talk about food, I cook food - there's just no way around it! In recent years, it's kind of become an obsession and while I eat a lot healthier than I ever have before and I have made significant strides in weight loss and nutrition education while being at Simplicity (in large part to my cookware, I must admit), I have yet to have a sense of real victory and freedom from the battle of the bulge. I am spending the next forty days giving this to the Lord so that in turn, he can clean house - I want whatever it is that keeps from the life He's shown me dead, gone and buried. So...as one of my wise chums put it...I've decided to kick down the door and start taking names!

Now...for the progress report...the first day was fine, I didn't feel hungry at all. I was excited and so ready for this. But...I'm not going to lie...the second day I felt like I was dying - absolutely wretched! As the toxins are forced into your bloodstream, they cycle through your body to get out - it does not feel good. I had the worst headache ever, I was nauseous and disoriented, had blurry vision and a fever, my whole body ached like I pushed way too hard at the gym, and my lymph nodes were really swollen in my neck. Just think, all the things that made me feel that way, were already tucked away living inside my body! YUCK! Luckily, I had read that my reaction is completely normal and I was prepped for it - most don't make it past that second day - but if you could just hang on, I promise it's completely worth it! I just chugged away on my water but had to forgo lunch and a snack that day. If I ever do this again - I would definitely double my water intake the first day just to get a jump start on the flushing. I laid down for several hours at the end of the day (but had to get up to hear my girl, Sarah Palin give her speech), found myself a juice recipe for migraine headache (spinach, apple, carrot, and fresh ginger) and felt much better by the end of the night.

I woke up on the third day with a headache still - though not as bad as the day before - but felt pretty good other than that. By Friday, I was feeling great - and even better on Saturday! I was energized and "bouncy" feeling! My roommate and I super cleaned our house and purged all of our junk and reorganized our kitchen - it feels like a new home. Yesterday, I still felt great, with lots of energy, but the food cravings, the real issue, started - pizza, peanut butter, and nachos to be exact! But - I know I am strong enough to resist and I'm not quite ready to let go of this complete state of well-being that I'm in now.

I weighed myself this morning - seven days behind me - and I'm down 12.4 lbs - and under a weight that I haven't been since I was a teenager! I feel amazing!

Week 2..."You're Glowing"

So...the news you are all here for...my second week's update. First of all, I feel amazing! I am full of strength, joy, and confidence. I am sleeping really, really well (I suffer severely with insomnia - sometimes not sleep for weeks on end) and I wake up feeling completely rested and ready for the day. I battled at the first part of the week with some hunger pains, but they only lasted about 24 hours. To tell you the truth, I didn't even know what they were at first - I mean, I've never had a hunger pain in my life...not even close! I miss food - I miss cooking it just as much as eating it and even more, I miss sharing it. I love to spend time with all my friends and usually lure them to my house by home cooked meals 2 to 3 times a week - it's awfully quiet around the house with just me and the animals - tick, tock, tick, tock goes the fasting clock.

I have to say, though I miss mealtime at my house, this fast has given me some clarity into some compulsions that I have that I never even noticed I had - ones that could definitely add up and sabotage my struggle out of this bondage that is my body. Such as, when I let my dogs out, I stand by the back door and automatically open the fridge and cabinet to check out what's going on in there. If something catches my eye, I munch on it for a minute. When the dogs come back inside, I give them each one of what I'm snacking on and then give myself one more for good measure. I didn't notice myself peering into the fridge every time I went by the kitchen on Saturday until the third time that I did it - the third time people! Although, this time, I wasn't eating, I noticed I have a serious grazing problem! I grounded myself to my room the rest of the afternoon to read and clear my mind and refocus. Any given Saturday, I could let my dogs out 4-5 times, think of all that unnecessary empty calorie snacking when I wasn't even hungry - just biding my time; the very definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and over and expecting different results and that's what I have been doing.

The Lord has just been so sweet to me this week - he has provided my every need. He has provided new opportunities to minister to a couple of people at work and even sent someone that I don't even know to minister to me at church this Sunday. He's just continuously letting me know, "I love you, I am proud of you, keep going, you are on the right track." I am filled to overflowing with joy and thankfulness.

Something that's definitely worth mentioning this week is that I have not had to brave this journey alone. My sweet sister and roommate, Jenna, has sacrificially joined me in this forty day quest to freedom. We are working like a team: we shop together, we juice together, and we "eat" together when schedules allow. I have to compliment her on her ability to "chug" - that girl can chug down a 24 oz glass of green Superfood mix in about 30 seconds w/o stopping - hat's off, Jen! At last week's weigh in, I got her permission to share her story along with mine and she lost 11.7 lbs. This week, she is down 2.0 lbs, making her total 13.7 lbs. Something she shared with me is that through this fast, she's realized that she needs to eat to live, she doesn't need to live to eat. Also, eating gives us satisfaction only until the next time that we are hungry - where should we really be looking for satisfaction - where should we be looking to be made full? Of course, our source of real hunger and thirst can only be satisfied by the Lord, "Come to me all you who are heavy burdened, all who are weak, come to the fountain, dip your heart in the streams of life. Let the pain and the sorrow, be washed away. In the streams of His mercy, as deep cries out to deep." This song has really spoken to me this week of how literal this scripture is. I was heavy burdened and weak, filled with pain and sorrow and just complete dispair that I was trapped here forever and that no matter what weight I lost, living in total fear that somehow I would always gain it back. I can literally feel that all of that stripped away and I feel fresh and clean and renewed.

I weighed in this morning, and as predicted, the weight loss has slowed down - I'm down another 1.4 lbs, so that's 13.8 lbs total. It's normal to lose 8-10 lbs the first week (which I surpassed) and then about an average of 3-5 lbs a week after that. Now, this is just an average, but I'm sticking pretty close to it. I'm not in this thing for weight loss though - but for freedom - the lbs melted away are just a bonus. The biggest physical difference I've noticed this week is my skin and my complexion. I have literally had people tell me every single day (at least 20 people total) that my face is glowing - just the thing every girl wants to hear! I've missed my glow in recent months, so, it's nice to get your bulb changed and even nicer for people to notice. My first week, I had some break outs as the toxins were exiting but my face is free and clear and smooth and shiny now. My skin everywhere else is super silky and soft too - something both Jenna and I can both attest to.

So...how did I get this glowing complexion you ask? Did you know you can keep your skin looking silky and "glowy" from the inside out? Your body has the ability to naturally boost and perfect your complexion when it's fed the right ingredients. A diet rich in Vitamins A, C, & E, is your new secret weapon to a flawless complexion! What better way to flood your body with these vitamins than by putting them directly into your bloodstream through juicing!

What minerals do I need to look for and what do they do for my skin?

Vitamin A: Maintains and repairs skin cells, helps prevent the skin from premature aging, has an anti-inflammatory nature, and has antioxidant properties that neutralize free radicals.

Vitamin C: Helps fight off skin damage and wrinkles, a great skin restorer, helps produce collagen which keeps the skin plump and smooth, and is important to building strong cartilage, joints and blood vessels.

Vitamin E: Important in eliminating pollutants from the body, helps the body form antibodies, builds natural antihistamines, contributes to a healthy circulatory system, aids in proper blood clotting, improves wound healing, and some studies have shown that vitamin E decreases symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and certain types of breast disease.

What do I need to juice to get clear, healthy skin? Let's take a look at the top five foods to incorporate into your juicing to get back that youthful glow and maintain your skin's vitality:

Berries

Berries are naturally sweet, which is what makes them so perfect for juicing - YUMMY! Berries pack a tremendous punch in the vitamin department. They are super rich in Vitamins A, C, & E. Berries are also an excellent source of folic acid which helps protect against colon cancer, lower cholesterol levels, regulate blood sugar levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Folic acid also prevents some birth defects. When eaten whole, berries are high in fiber; fiber protects against colon cancer, lowers your risk of heart disease, and helps regulate blood sugars.

Berries are flowing with phytochemicals. What is exactly is a "phytochemical," you ask? Well, they are a natural powerful antioxidant that berries get their distinctive color from. Studies have shown phytochemicals to be a leader in the fight against diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, alzheimer's, memory loss, and high blood pressure; they even curb the aging process.

Many grocers have berries that were actually picked before they were ripe and allowed to ripen on their journey to your kitchen. While these still contain many health benefits, they have significantly less vitamins and phytochemicals. The berries with the most benefits are of course fresh berries that you would pick from your garden or from the local farmer's market and, as always, are organically grown.

BERRY BONANZA: Juice a handful each of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries and add that to ½ Cup of Bolthouse Farms Berry Blast and ½ Cup of Odewalla Pomegrande pomegranate juice for an antioxidant punch. I have this as a snack every day and I wholeheartedly attribute it to my new complexion.

Spinach / Kale / Chard / Watercress

Popeye the Sailorman didn't just have bulging biceps - he also had a flawless complexion - ever notice? Spinach - and other leafy greens like cabbage, kale, chard, and watercress are also a great source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, E and the mineral iron. Iron is very important in keeping your blood healthy which keeps your skin looking bright and "glowing." They're also rich in B vitamins, so they have the added benefit of boosting your energy, which naturally increases your activity levels, keeping your body fit and your skin conditioned. All greens are rich in chlorophyll, which purifies the blood of the toxins that cause skin eruptions. If you are juicing, try adding a handful of any leafy green spinach or chard or one large kale leaf to any live juice recipe - it will turn your drink green, but not your tummy - you won't even notice! Try adding rocket, watercress, baby spinach, or cabbage to your regular salads and in sandwiches - you won't know it's there but your skin will thank you.

Mango

Mangoes contain more than 80% of the daily recommended dose of vitamin A and has fewer than 70 calories per serving, making it a perfect fruit for your figure, not just your face. Beta-carotene is dominant mineral found in mango; it is converted by your body into Vitamin A. Beta-carotene is so important to skin vitality, that it's often prescribed as a topical ointment for acne. It is the mineral that is responsible for the vivid orange color found in mangos, pumpkins, carrots, apricots, sweet potatoes, peaches, and, of course, oranges and that is accredited for improving eyesight and helping the body protect itself against sun damage. Don't just look for it in the orange foods though, plenty of beta-carotene can be found in dark green foods as well: spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce, and green peppers.

"A"- 1 Juice: ½ peeled orange, ½ peach, 1 apricot, 1 Handful Spinach, and ½ a Mango - mix with 1 Cup Bolthouse Farms Mango Madness - so yummy!

Acerola Cherries

Your average cherry doesn't supply a significant amount of vitamin C, but this is no ordinary cherry! One single Acerola cherry supplies 100% of the daily recommendation for vitamin C, which is great news for your skin. Acerola cherry is one of the top ingredients found in Bolthouse Farms' C-Boost.

"C" the Way - live juice 1 orange (peeled), 2 small Gala Apples and 2 Carrots and add that to 1 cup of C-Boost and you have a vitamin rich, face friendly smoothie to start your day off right. (www.lifescript.com)

SUPERFOOD: Wheat Germ, Spriulina, & Blue-green Algea

Don't let the "germ" scare you - it's actually just the embryo within a grain of wheat, and it's very nutritious. Wheat germ is a good source of biotin, a B vitamin that is crucial to skin health. Biotin is so important to healthy skin that a mild deficiency can actually cause dermatitis, a skin condition characterized by itchy, scaly skin. Spirulina and blue-green algae have cooling, detoxifying natures which keep the skin cool and the body flushed of any skin damaging free radicals. (www.lifescript.com)

SUPER SUPERFOOD: To get in these vitamin rich foods, twice a day, I drink 1cup of Odewalla Superfood mixed with 1 Cup Naked Superfood and mix that with a live juice combo: ¼ cantaloupe (with rind), 2 carrots, and a handful of spinach - I mix in my fiber & protein and I have a tasty, nutritious lunch and dinner that I know is nourishing, cleansing, and protecting my body.

Week 3..."Fight the Crave"

So...we have been baptized by fire this week...

Scene from a confession...

It was early evening on a Friday night. Jenna and Katie were exhausted from a long day of work and still needed to stop by the grocery store to pick up a few groceries to make their special treat dinner. They wandered silently through the grocery store, letting an awkwardness quietly build between them. The two roommates were rarely apart and were quick to share every detail of their lives with each other. There was something hidden in the silence, something both of them feared to say to the other.

They checked out and walked to the car. They silently bundled their groceries into the back seat and Jenna responsibly returned their cart to its home. They paused at the doors, Katie at the driver, Jenna at the passenger and their eyes locked - the unsaid still hanging like a tightrope between them. Jenna timidly caved first, "I have to confess, I ate a cheez-it!" Katie breathed a sigh of relief and said quickly, never breaking her gaze from Jenna's, "I have to confess, I ate a cheez-it too." They both smiled and shared a silent moment only the very deepest friendships understand; a moment that said their covenant for these forty days was not broken and the other was forgiven.

The scene above is the event as it actually happened. Remember the treat I mentioned giving my dogs when they come inside from the back yard? Well, Jenna and I both absentmindedly popped a Cheez-It in our mouths, at different points in the week, after administering the treat to our pups. It wasn't conscience, something we both do out of habit. After the cheez-it incident, oh, what a sad story! The sweet Cheez-It lullaby sung to me and called after me all week long - along with many others - this was my food craving week, for sure! To top it all off - I taught a cooking school Saturday and Jenna and I worked a bridal show on Sunday (right next to a caterer with yummy pork crostini and gorgonzola & walnut bruschetta, a cake company, and the famous Doubletree Hotel cookies - my fav!). Almost too much for the juice fast girls to endure...almost...

A Note from Katie:

So, this week went well in the weight loss department - I am down another 6 lbs, bringing my total weight loss to 19.8 in three weeks - woo hoo! That's not without saying that this week has been very difficult for me. I had a lot of food cravings this week: macaroni and cheese, sushi, chocolate covered almonds - just to name a few. Besides the cheez it incident - and that wasn't really an issue of self control, but more of not being aware of what I was doing - I was extremely surprised at easily I was able to resist. I know the Lord has just endowed me supernatural self control but it's surely isn't me! I can litterally feel Him calming me and distracting me - He's totally helping me take my thoughts captive and learn to refocus instantly. Being healthy - body, mind, & spirit is worth way more to me than a peanut butter cookie EVER will be. I had many obstacles to overcome this week - cooking school, dinner training classes, bridal show, numerous dinner invites - just to name a few. For the first time in my life, I was given the opportunity to exercise my practically non-existent self control skills. The best way to develop a skill is to place yourself in situations where you can practice using that skill - I guess I can check off self control from my "virtues to acquire" list now - so, that's definitely some good news!

Katie's Quote of the Week: "Such a small thing to keep from my destiny." ~ Pastor T.D. Jakes

A Note from Jenna:

So-this was also my week of food craving-and let me just say, when it hit, it hit hard! I have of course wanted food from the beginning, but on this past Thursday my craving kicked into high gear. I am working on my Master's degree in Biblical Studies right now and when I was in class on Thursday night, as my teachers were talking, I could not even concentrate, I just kept thinking: "I want macaroni and cheese...and a chicken quesadilla...oh, and a hamburger... really anything solid that is not good for me sounds sooooooo great." By the end of my fantasy foodcapade, class was over and I had no idea what I supposedly just learned. Let me also explain that I am a preschool teacher and every single day my kids bring in their snacks and lunches. I have to watch them eat while I sip my yummy juice. They bring in turkey sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, and my favorites, as you know, Cheez Its. Really though, many of the juices we are drinking taste great, but I'm really looking forward to the day when they are complimented by some solid food.

So, Katie may have mentioned this, but this past Sunday was our halfway mark. Katie and I celebrated this day by working at a bridal show, surrounded by caterers, cake companies, and yes, the coveted Double Tree Hotel cookies. Every time the caterer next to us lifted the lid on his food, we were able to smell a tantalizing whiff of food. To our surprise, with each other's support, we made it through without a problem. We just kept reminding ourselves that we only have 2 weeks and 4 days left. We can do this and we will do this! I'm down another 4.4 lbs, bringing my total to 18.1 - yippee! :)

Jenna's Quote of the Week: "Each time I crave macaroni and cheese, I just tell my body that it has 25 years of mac & cheese all stored up in there, so, it can feast on that for a few more weeks." ~ Jenna Blais, Day 15.

Something that I learned this week, that was of a tremendous value was that a lot of the time, when I am craving something, it's usually something that my body needs. Like, when I'm craving cheese, I need calcium. When I crave sushi, my body needs Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Make sense. So, since I'm not eating dairy, I started taking calcium tablets. Since I'm not eating meat, I'm taking Fish Oil caplets. The cravings have gone WAY down.

Something else I've learned is that your body will crave things that you have stored in your fat cells - crazy, I know! As your body detoxes over the course of the fast, your cravings for fatty, sugary foods will slowly diminish; by the end, you won't even want them anymore!

Week 4..."What's the Plan?"

So...a lot of you are asking how we've done it - what's the plan. Since we've got four weeks under our belts now, we've got everything nailed down to a science. Including how to save money while buying organic produce in bulk - which can get quite pricey with the volume of fruit you need to buy on a juice fast!

Before we get down to the nuts and bolts of organizing, planning, and carrying out the fast. Let me give you the run down of this week. This week went really, really well. The food cravings were way, way down, and we stayed focused. We both took a trip this weekend with our other two best friends to a church in East Tennessee. We all spoke about a trip to Israel that we had taken and my friend Kristen and I led worship at the church we went to. Kristen's parents hosted us for the weekend in the mountains - we had an amazing time, but we must admit, we felt a little left out because we couldn't partake in a couple of meals that were planned just for fellowship. But, all in all, it wasn't so bad. Kristen's mom had bought us a bountiful array of fruits to juice and we brought our pre-made juices to blend with. We got to share our testimony with her mom and she was really inspired. We walked away from the weekend with both of our friends deciding to join us this week on our fast - hooray! It's so awesome when your life inspires other lives. If nothing else came out of this fast, affecting the life of another human being for the better would be completely worth these past 28 days. I am down another 2 lbs this week, bringing my total to 22 lbs; Jenna is down 1.4 lbs this week, bringing her total to 19.5 lbs. So, needless to say, we are totally pumped for these last two weeks.

Keep reading for our grocery saving tips and to get the full juice fast plan.

I have found that the best way to save money on your grocery bill is to store hop. I start out at the lowest cost store in my area and work my way to the mid-priced store and end up at the specialty food store. That way, I get all the organic foods I need at the cheapest prices that I can. I also check the paper before I head out to see who's having a sale on items that I want. For example, I normally get my bagged Spinach at Wal-Mart b/c it's cheaper by .50 cents at $2.49 / bag vs. $2.99 / bag at Publix. Some weekends, Publix has their bags on sale 2 for $4.00 - which saves me $1.00, which really adds up after awhile.

In our area, I start at Wal-Mart first; they have many of the pre-made juices but they are usually .05 - .10 cheaper than any other store - when you buy as much as we do, that can stretch a long way. Wal-Mart usually has a few organic veggies as well; again, at a lower cost than any other store. I usually score organic grapes, carrots, spinach, & strawberries there. I would like to mention, though, the strawberries don't seem as fresh there, so, I inspect them carefully and if I don't feel they will last me, I get them at my next spot, Publix.

Publix is well known in our area for superior produce and meat departments. They are well stocked, extremely fresh, and have friendly, available, and knowledgeable staff. In recent months, their organic market had increased significantly. They are the only store, Whole Foods included, that I have found 5 lb bags of fruit. Instead of buying individual apples at 2.50 / lb, I can buy a 5 lb bag of organic Gala apples for $3.89. I usually go through 1 ½ - 2 bags per week, so that's a lot of savings for me. The same for naval oranges - they have organic ones by the 5 lb bag. I pick up organic raspberries and any pre-made juices I can't get at Wal-Mart and move on to my next stop, my favorite place on earth, Whole Foods Market.

At Whole Foods market, the produce department can seem quite overwhelming when you walk in. Its luscious displays boast everything from the ordinary to the exotic. I have to remember to stay focused and not let my eyes glaze over from the wonderful colors and smells wafting over from their grab and go section of pre-made foods. I don't have to guess which fruits are organic and which one aren't; I don't have to mill through boxes of berries to find the ones without mold - everything there is uber-fresh and maintained daily. I pick up cantaloupes, pineapples, watermelons, and blackberries from here.

Even when we're not fasting, we do this shopping routine. You wouldn't believe how much money price shopping really saves you. You have to spend a bit more time shopping, but it's totally worth it. When we get home, we prepare everything to be stored in the fridge. We've invested over the last year in several vacuum seal storage containers called Ultra Vacs - We've had a bag of spinach last over 6 weeks before in these suckers. So, needless to say, our berries stay fresh all week long! We wash all of our berries, grapes, apples and oranges and scrubb down all of the carrots. We ultra vac the berreis and grapes and rebag everything else in clean gallon baggies. Organizing, rinsing, and scrubbing the day of shopping helps you go quickly and smoothly throughout the rest of the week and saves a lot of time.

Now, for the calculations. We've gotten our measurements down to a science now. Here's our daily meal plan:

Breakfast:

1 Cup Bolthouse Farms C-Boost

½ Cup Fresh Juice (cantaloupe, apple, orange, & carrot)

Lunch:

1 Cup Odwalla Superfood

½ Cup Naked Superfood

½ Cup Fresh Juice (spinach, apple, & carrot)

Snack:

½ Cup Odwalla Pomegranate Juice

½ Cup Bolthouse Farms Berry Blast

½ Cup Fresh Juice (Grapes, Strawberries, Blackberries, & Raspberries)

Dinner:

1 Cup Odwalla Superfood

½ Cup Naked Superfood

½ Cup Fresh Juice (spinach, apple, & carrot)

So, with this menu in mind, I go about with my calculations. Juicing for two people, for seven days, I need the following in pre-made juices:

112 oz C-Boost:

3, 33 oz bottles

1, 16 oz bottle (Wal-Mart, Publix, or Whole Foods Market)

56 oz Pomegranate Juice:

1, 64 oz bottle

(Publix or Whole Foods Market)

56 oz Berry Blast:

2, 33 oz bottles

(Publix or Whole Foods Market)

224 oz Odwalla Superfood:

3, 64 oz bottles (Publix or Whole Foods Market)

2, 15 oz bottles (Wal-Mart, Publix or Whole Foods Market)

112 oz Naked Superfood:

3, 33 oz bottles (Publix or Whole Foods Market)

1, 16 oz bottle (Publix or Whole Foods Market)

The biggest benefit of a prolonged juice fast, in relation to grocery shopping, I'd have to say is that we know exactly how much fruit and veggies we need to last us through the week. So, we don't waste money or food; we only buy what we need:

Breakfast:

¼ Cantaloupe, 1 orange, 2 small apples, 4 carrots

(Yields 1 cup; 2, ½ Cup servings)

Lunch:

3 Apples, 4 Carrots, ¼ Bag Spinach

(Yields 1 Cup; 2, ½ Cup servings)

Snack:

1 Cup Grapes (black or green or mixed), 1 Cup Raspberries, 1 Cup Blackberries, & 12 Strawberries

(Yields 1 Cup; 2, ½ Cup servings)

Dinner:

3 Apples, 4 Carrots, ¼ Bag Spinach

(Yields 1 Cup; 2, ½ Cup servings)

For a seven day week, this is what our grocery cart is filled with:

3, Cantaloupes

2, 5 lb Bags of Apples

1, 5 lb Bag of Oranges

1, 5 lb Bag of Carrots

2, Bags of Spinach

2, Containers Strawberries

3, Containers Raspberries

3, Containers Blackberries

1, Small Bag Green Grapes

1, Small Bag Black or Purple Grapes

A couple of days during the fast, for an extra special treat, I have bought a couple of bananas, a pineapple, an Odwalla Tropical Energy, and a can of coconut milk. I juice ½ the pineapple and 2 oranges. I add that with the Odwalla juice, 1 Cup Pineapple, ½ can of the coconut milk, and 2 bananas to the blender and make a tropical juice smoothie. Yummo!

It's important to remember that our menu is tailored to our specific tastes. Neither of us have the stomach to juice all different kinds of vegetables; we did the first week to get a super charged detox week in, but after that, we just couldn't do it. If you don't mind it, we wholeheartedly say, "Go for it!" - juice all veggies to your heart's content: celery, parsley, kale, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. A Bolthouse Farms pre-made juice to combine is called "Veg" - it's tomato based, so, if you like Tomato Juice, you'll love this. Stay away from V8 - it's super high in sodium and V8 Splash has more high fructose corn syrup than actual vegetables! Stick with the all natural and organic juices in the produce department.

As always, feel free to email us with any questions: thejuicefastgirls@gmail.com and stay tuned for next week! Happy Shopping!

Week 5..."The Art of Splurging"

As I write this, I am both saddened and exited to say that we only have four days, three hours, and 44 minutes left on our juice fast. This week, Jenna and I both are taking a deep look into the inner workings of our fast and making our lists and checking them twice of everything, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically, that we have learned and are taking with us for the rest of this weight loss journey. I've finally gotten in the fasting groove, I think. I am down 2.6 lbs this week, bringing my fast total to 24.4 lbs and my overall weight loss total to 47 lbs. I am officially down three pant sizes and am a size right now that I have not been since I was 14 years old - oh, sweet release, it feels so good! The juices are tasting pretty good, I can only drink about ¼ of what I was drinking in the beginning, and my appetite is next to nothing as my stomach is about the size of a silver dollar now. I think the best thing that has happened to me though is my complete and total resolve to do this weight loss thing. I know after the past 36 days, come what may, I can do this. For the first time in my life, I feel like I have real victory. Every time I have started to embark on this journey, I live in constant fear of regaining the weight back. I desperately want to be a mom one day - it's a yearning that I can't even articulate into words. At the same time, though, I also have a fear of losing all this weight, getting pregnant when I get married, and then not being able to loose it again. I can honestly say that I don't have those fears anymore. I know that as I walk into this new life, I will not go back and I can rest assured that all the generations to follow behind me will not be the same. I know now that no temptation that will come my way will be too big for me to overcome. I always have the fact that I resisted for forty days, so, this one time, this one day, I can resist just one more time.

I'm going to get pretty real here and share a few things that I had in mind to deal with during this fast, my weight was only one of them. Three years ago, my dad was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer and my family and I literally spent the next two years in our own living hell. This past Christmas, my dad finally went home to be with the Lord. I am so thankful that I got those two years with him; we had many intimate, sweet moments that we would have never had before. I am thankful he is no longer suffering and I know in the deepest part of me that where he is now, he wouldn't want to be here. I am naturally a "jolly ole soul," but going through something like this is like having a slow leak in your tires. By January of this year, I was just depleted. Two years of saying "amen and it's still raining" effects you in ways you can't even think or talk about. I was simply just existing from day to day instead of actually living. I felt like God was still there but silent and that I couldn't hear Him because even He didn't have the words to say. I really believed if I went on like this, I would never get my joy and zeal back and would wake up one day when I was fifty and feel like I had wasted my entire life just wandering aimlessly in and out of each day with no purpose or vision. My number one thing that I needed to happen during this fast was all that junk to just lift off of me so that I could see again, breathe again, and live again.

The other major thing that I needed to deal with was my total dissatisfaction at being single. As I've mentioned, I long to be a mother and even more so, a wife. I really needed to reach a place where I am content with my life just the way that it is and not have any preconceived notions about what my life should be at this point - that only leads to disappointment and resentment. I work in the bridal industry; I get to help families start their homes every single day - sometimes that's not so easy for the single girl such as myself - but I just have to realize that this is not just my burden but one that spans my generation. I rejoice in telling you that I flit around now barely able to contain my joy. With that, just a peace about where I am at in my life right now - there is so much comfort in being able to just deal with today and letting "tomorrow worry about itself." I still yearn to be a wife and a mother but there is hope that just wasn't there before. Even if that never happens for me, I needed to be at a place where I not am not just okay with "me" but that I enjoy "me" and this precious life that I have been given up to this point.

Jenna and I usually take some time on Sunday to regroup and refocus. This Sunday, we talked about how in America, we seem to have this mentality that we can have it all. Well, we can't. We can't overextend ourselves and expect to be debt free. We can't eat whatever we want, however much we want, whenever we want and stay trim and healthy - it's not going to happen. I don't have the genes for it and I just have to be real with myself. All those little voices that come up saying, "You can eat what everyone else is eating," "You're depriving yourself," "You're not doing youthful things like eating pizza and ice cream and drinking soda," "You're too busy to cook, eat fast food," "You're too tired to get up early for the gym, you need your rest," are just tools meant to keep me in bondage and keep from the life I was meant to live.

I'm not saying I won't ever, ever splurge, that's just a ridiculous notion and a self-sabotaging, unattainable goal. But "splurging" can't be a lifestyle, a "splurge" is meant to be just that, a deviation from a normal, everyday routine. I happen to be the type of person who is going to plan my splurges - everything in moderation, my dears! During the fast, we've splurged a couple times with tasty shakes from Smoothie King - add a little fiber, protein, and a multi-vitamin and you've got a tasty treat! But how am I going to splurge in the real world? Well, I am giving myself 3 free meals per week - one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one desert splurge. This way, I can still go out to lunch with my co workers once a week (something I have desperately missed), dinner with my girls once a week (or maybe even a date should it ever come along), and have my McD's chicken biscuit or Cracker Barrel Eggs in a Basket w/ Bacon once a week (so not organic but just so good!). If I know I am attending a birthday party, a wedding, or a shower, then I have a plan for cake. I have choices built into my lifestyle. It's taken 28 years of bad choices to get me here but only 40 days of good choices to turn it all around - that's pretty incredible when you think about it.

I've decided to keep my fast in the forefront of my mind, I am going to juice fast once a week for the next year. I want to always remind myself what this time has meant to me. For years I have been camped out at a crossroad - well, actually, who am I kidding, I've already began to decorate my newly built house there! This fast has forced me to tear down those walls, pick up my belongings, and pick a path - there will be no going back. Plus, fasting once a week, shocks your metabolism back into gear and gives your digestive system a much needed rest once a week and since I've got a ways to go still, that's always good news.

Make sure to check back next week (sigh, my last week) to find out how to break a 40 day fast - and it's not to go hog wild and pig out - you've gotta take it slow or you'll be sorry!

Week 6..."The Finish Line"

I can, with complete certainty declare that we are changed girls! Last Saturday at noon ended our fast and we each had one serving of cheez-its and I (Katie) indulged in half a chicken salad tea sandwich leftover from a baby shower and neatly tucked away in an ultra vac (a baby shower that I failed to mention we had to endure last Sunday - and for which my famous homemade strawberry cake was the only thing requested by the new mommy - oh, the cruelty of making cream cheese icing and not tasting it!). We do have to say that this is NOT the way to go - we knew this though, but disregarded the warnings. What can we say - we're rebels! We weren't in intense agony or anything like that - we just felt bloated, a feeling we feel we both must have have become unaccustomed to in everyday life. It made me wonder if before the fast if I had just lived in a constant state of "bloated" and just didn't know the difference - I think there is truth in that thought.

After that, we went made our first trip back to the gym - we were super, super excited for the gym because we had paused all physical activity while doing the fast so we wouldn't overexert ourselves and end up hitting the pavement - so very embarrassing. 45 minutes on weights, 45 on the treadmill - it felt amazing. Afterwards though, we were both absolutely starving; we looked at each other and smiled and said simultaneously, "Well, let's eat!" We hadn't been to the grocery yet, so, we decided to get a kid's sandwich from Subway - it's about 3"long. I got turkey on whole wheat with tomato, cucumber, spinach, banana peppers, & lettuce. Jenna got turkey on whole wheat with cucumber, lettuce, and spinach. We split a bag of Doritos (complete luxury item). My first bite of the sandwich was a mix of emotions; on one hand, I don't believe I've ever tasted anything so wonderful in all of my life and then on the other hand, that bite was WAY too big and I felt like I could barely chew it! Now, it's important to note, I didn't take a particularly larger bite than I normally would have, but it just felt so BIG! I had already decided that I would be chewing my food a lot more before I swallowed so that it was easier to digest but I could barely get it chewed - this trend has continued and I am so happy to say that I am forced to take small bites now in order to get it chewed, and halfway through my 3" sandwich - I was completely full! I looked at Jenna and smiled and said, "I'm full - can you believe it?!?" We have found that we get full very quickly, however, we get really, really hungry every 2 ½ to 3 hours, which is normal and we're glad that we are so aware of our bodies and needs now.

That first night, we attended a chips and dips game night at a friend's house - I told her mom that she was trying to kill me with homemade cheese balls and brownies. We both snacked a little but didn't overdo it - we felt satisfied and included and it felt great. When I walked in, my friend Brandon exclaimed, "Oooo, girl, you look so good and I ain't even jealous!" It always feels so great and reassuring to hear things like that - so, thanks, Mr. Palma for boosting my ego!

Sunday, we got on track for breaking the fast properly. It's important not to jar your system too terrible much after a prolonged fast - your digestive system has been slumbering for 40 days - you need to be gentle when you wake it up.

The best way to start is with fresh, organic, raw fruits & veggies. I make a fruit salad that both Jenna and I absolutely love (recipe below). So, Sunday morning, I made a big batch and put it in an ultra vac to keep for the week. We add a little chopped almond or walnut and sprinkle on some organic granola and we have used it for breakfast and snacks throughout the week. For veggies, we bought all kinds of raw veggies: lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, & carrots and have had this as a small salad for lunch. At dinnertime, we have some frozen organic veggies that we make waterless in the cookware. For snacks, we have the fruit salad above or 1 slice of whole wheat organic bread with 1 TBSP all natural peanut butter w/ organic wildflower honey - so yummy (I've been eating this before we go work out and it's just what I need for a boost of energy to get me through it!).

It's really important to ease into eating with raw veggies & fruits for the first 4-5 days following your fast because they will act as nature's broom to start opening up your sleepy colon. It's normal to feel like your food is taking a little while to digest - because it is. After about day three off the fast, it will start to even out and you will begin to feel like all of your cranks are turning correctly. On Thursday, we began adding a little bit of meat back into our diets by putting a little cooked chicken on our salads. We have our favorite meal planned for dinner tonight - Citrus Tilapia, Orange Almond Basmati Rice, and lima beans.

The best thing to keep in mind throughout these first few weeks is that I have spent the past forty days retraining my mind and body - there is no need to go back to where I came from. Small bites, chew thoroughly, small portions, more meals, fresh, whole foods, and plenty of water and exercise.

We found a great list of healthy eating habits to maintain after our fast on www.healthrecipes.com.

1. Do not overeat! Listen to your body. Discover the amount of food that your body needs to live a vibrant, healthy life.

2. Eat slowly and chew your food well. Saliva has enzymes that assist in digestion. The enzymes in saliva can digest up to 80 percent starch, 30 percent protein and 10 percent fat.

3. Be relaxed. Try to unwind when eating.

4. Decide ahead of time what you want to eat and the amount rather than eating from an urge.

5. Make juices during the breaking period. Juice is gentle nourishment to the body. Most fasters continue to include juice in their daily routine for the rest of their lives.

6. Stay focused on eating rather than on unsettling thoughts. Pay attention to the texture, smell and the sensation of eating. Be aware of how it feels in the stomach.

7. Enjoy eating to the max. People are starving and you have the privilege to eat.

8. Work at making healthy food appealing. A banana and pear taste great without preparation but having them sliced into a fancy bowl, sprinkled with chopped dates and chilled in the refrigerator will maintain your enthusiasm for eating healthy.

9. Discern the difference between cravings and hunger. Never feed your emotions by eating from stress, depression or boredom.

10. You will feel satisfied with smaller amounts of food and sluggish and tired when overeating. Rich foods full of fat, salt and processed sugars will cause nausea, headaches and weakness. A handful of fruit will be thoroughly satisfying. Because the digestive system has to work less, there will be boundless energy to spare.

11. Have an exit activity for after eating. Make it something you want to do. It will be easier to move away from the table.

12. Educate yourself on how to begin a lifestyle of healthy eating. Fasting is a wonderful new beginning, a foundation for a lifelong, healthy diet

FAST BREAK MENU & SHOPPING LIST

FAST BREAK MENU

DAY 1:

Breakfast: ½ Cup Fruit Salad w/ 1 TBSP chopped nuts and 1 TBSP Organic Granola

Snack: 1 Slice Organic WW Bread, 1 TBSP Natural Peanut Butter, 1 TBSP

Organic Honey

Lunch: Small Raw Vegetable Salad

Snack: 1 Cup Live Juice (blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, & grape)

Dinner: ½ Cup Mashed Potatoes, ½ Cup Lima Beans, ½ Cup Broccoli

DAY 2:

Breakfast: ½ Cup Fruit Salad

Snack: 1 Slice Organic Whole Wheat Bread, 1 TBSP Natural Peanut Butter, 1 TBSP Organic Honey

Lunch: Small Raw Vegetable Salad

Snack: 1 Cup Live Juice (apple, carrot, spinach)

Dinner: 1 ½ Cups Veg. Medley: Squash, Broccoli, Carrots, & Onions

DAY 3:

Breakfast: 1 Slice Organic WW Bread, 1 TBSP Natural Peanut Butter, 1 TBSP Organic Honey

Snack: ½ Cup Fruit Salad w/ 1 TBSP chopped nuts and 1 TBSP Organic Granola

Lunch: Small Raw Vegetable Salad w/ Ranch

Snack: 1 Cup Live Juice (blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, & grape)

Dinner: ½ Cup Mashed Cauliflower, ¼ Cup Corn, ¼ Cup Peas

DAY 4:

Breakfast: ½ Cup Fruit Salad w/ 1 TBSP chopped nuts & 1 TBSP Organic Granola

Snack: 1 Slice Organic WW Bread, 1 TBSP Natural Peanut Butter, 1 TBSP Organic

Honey

Lunch: Small Raw Vegetable Salad w/ HM

Snack: 1 Cup Live Juice (apple, carrot, spinach)

Dinner: 1 ½ Cups Veg. Medley: Squash, Broccoli, Carrots, & Onions

DAY 5:

Breakfast: ½ Cup Fruit Salad w/ 1 TBSP chopped nuts & 1 TBSP Organic Granola

½ WW Bagel or 1 Slice WW Organic Toast w/ Peanut Butter & Honey

Snack: ½ Cup Odwalla Superfood & ½ Cup Naked Superfood

Lunch: Medium Salad w/ Chicken

Snack: 1 Cup Live Juice (blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, & grape)

Dinner: BBQ Pork Medallion, ½ Cup Mashed Potatoes, ½ Cup Peas

DAY 6:

Breakfast: 1 Hard Boiled Egg

1 Slice Organic WW toast w/ butter

½ Cup Odwalla Superfood & ½ Cup Naked Superfood

Snack: ½ Cup Fruit Salad w/ 1 TBSP chopped almonds & 1 TBSP Organic Granola

Lunch: Small Turkey Wrap w/ Organic Yogurt Ranch Dressing

1 Serving Chips, ½ Sliced Apple, 1 Serving Baby Carrots

Snack: 1 Cup Live Juice (apple, carrot, spinach)

Dinner: 1 Small Tilapia (make extra for dinner Salad Sat)

½ Cup Orange Almond Basmati Rice, ¼ Cup Lima Beans

DAY 7:

Breakfast: 1 Cup Fruit Salad

½ Organic WW Bagel w/ Peanut Butter & Honey

½ Cup Odwalla Superfood & ½ Cup Naked Superfood

Lunch: Eat Out, Your Choice - Stay Smart!

Dinner: Medium Salad w/ Egg, Tilapia, Sunflower Seeds, & Ranch

1 Cup Live Juice (blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, & grape)

FAST BREAK SHOPPING GUIDE:

For the menu above, here is your shopping list. You can assume that all of the ingredients listed are organic, whole foods.

FRESH PRODUCE:

1 head of lettuce

2 Bags of Spinach

1 Large Cucumber

1 Large, Firm Tomato

1 Small, Sweet Onion

1 Large Bag Carrots

4 Red Apples

4 Green Apples

1 Yellow Apple

2 Bananas

2 Pears

3 Large Oranges

2 Lemons

1 Yellow Squash

1 Green Squash

1 Small Yellow Onion

1 Golden Yukon Potato

1 Red Potato

1 Bunch Garlic

1 Bunch Green Onions

1 Small Bag Baby Carrots

3 Containers Blackberries

3 Containers Raspberries

2 Containers Strawberries

1 Bag Red Grapes

4 Pomegranates

FROZEN PRODUCE

1 Bag Corn

1 Bag Peas

1 Bag Baby Broccoli Florets

1 Bag Lima Beans

1 Bag Cauliflower

BAKERY

1 WW Bagel

1 Loaf WW bread

1 Bag Small Tortilla Wraps

MEAT

¼ lb Sandwich Turkey

1 Small Pork Medallion

2 Small Tilapia Fillets

1 Small Chicken Breast

DAIRY

16 oz Unflavored, low fat Yogurt

Butter

½ dozen eggs

1 Small Cream or Skim Milk

8 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese

MISC

1 Small Bag of Almond Slivers

1 Small Bag Chopped Walnuts

1 Small Bag Sunflower Seeds

1 Box Granola

1 Small Container Honey

2 Ranch Dressing Seasoning Packet

1 Box Low Sodium Chicken Broth

1 Small container BBQ sauce

1 Bag Croutons, any kind

For ease of use, I would do your shopping on a Saturday or Sunday when you have plenty of time to enjoy yourself. When we got our groceries home, we went ahead and prepared everything for the week so that breakfast eating and lunch packing would go quickly all week long. We washed all of the fruit and veggies. We chopped the lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions and ultra vac-ed each separately to keep all week. We shredded the cheese and about 4 carrots on our Master Kut (non-electric food processor) and stored those (you will save a lot of money by buying whole carrots and whole blocks of cheese and preparing them yourself vs buying them already shredded). I also prepared the fruit salad using the Master Kut and with the ultra vac, the fruit doesn't turn mushy and ruin throughout the week. We also prepped all of our fruit for our fresh juices to make all week long like explained in week 4.

FAST BREAK RECIPES:

Fruit Salad:

1 Red Apple

1 Green Apple

1 Yellow Apple

1 Pears

2 Oranges

1 Bananas

Shred the apples and pears on the #3 Cone of your master cut. Dice the bananas very small and mix in. Squeeze the oranges over the salad as the dressing; remove the pulp from the orange rind and mix into the salad. Serve in ½ cup portions with 1 TBSP almond slivers or chopped walnuts & 1 TBSP granola. Could also add 1 TBSP of raisins or dried cranberries to each serving as well.

Raw Veggie Salad:

1 Cup Lettuce, chopped

½ Cup Spinach, chopped

¼ Cup Cucumber, diced

¼ Cup Tomato, diced

1-2 TBSP Red Onion, diced

2 TBSP Shredded Carrot

1 TBSP Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1 TBSP Sunflower Seeds

5-10 Croutons

**add any other veggies that you like in small portions**

**after the first 4-5 days, you could add diced chicken, tuna, tilapia, or turkey, egg, and/or turkey bacon**

Yogurt Ranch Dressing:

16 oz Low Fat or Non-Fat, Unflavored Yogurt

2 pkgs Simply Organic Ranch Dressing mix

Mix all ingredients until smooth; use in portions of 1-2 TBSP.

Mashed Potatoes:

1 Golden Yukon Potato, diced

2 TBSP Chicken Stock

2 TBSP Cream

2 TBSP Butter

Minced Garlic (optional)

Salt & Pepper to taste

Scrub and dice the potatoes. Add them to the 1 qt saucepan with the chicken stock. Cover, whistle open, and cook on medium heat. When the whistle sounds, turn the temperature to low and the whistle valve to "V" for vent. Allow to cook for 15 minutes or until soft. Mash with a flat head masher and stir in the cream, butter, garlic (optional), and season with salt and pepper to your tastes. Makes 2-3 servings. (save leftovers for Day 5).

Lima Beans:

¼ Cup Chicken Stock

1 TBSP Butter

1 Cup Lima Beans

Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder to taste

Add all ingredients to a 1.5 qt saucepan. Cover, whistle open, and cook on medium heat. When the whistle sounds, turn the burner to low and the whistle to "V" for vent. Allow to cook 15 minutes. Makes 2, ½ Cup servings

Vegetable Medley:

½ Yellow Squash

½ Zuchinni

1 Cup Broccoli Florets

1 Cup Baby Carrots

½ Cup Yellow Onions, julienne cut

½ Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, #1 cone

Garlic Powder, Salt & Pepper to taste

Combine vegetables and seasoning in a 2 qt saucepan, toss to mix well. Cover, whistle open, and cook on medium heat. When the whistle sounds, turn the burner off and close the whistle valve. Allow to stand for 7 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with cheese. Recover and allow to stand for 2-3 minutes longer or until the cheese has melted. Makes 2 Servings.

Mashed Cauliflower:

2 Cups Cauliflower

¼ Cup Cream or Milk

2 TBSP Butter

1 Garlic Pod, minced

Salt & Pepper to taste

Add Cauliflower and minced garlic to the 2 qt saucepan. Cover, whistle open, and cook on medium heat. When the whistle sounds, close the whistle valve and turn the burner off. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. Uncover and add cauliflower, cream, and butter to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Season to your tastes with salt and pepper. Makes 2 - 3 small servings.

BBQ Pork Medallion w/ Smashed Red Potatoes:

1 BBQ Pork Medallion

1 Red Potatoe

2 TBSP BBQ Sauce

1 tsp Butter

1 tsp Cream or Milk

¼ tsp Garlic, minced

1 tsp Green Onion, minced

Paprika, Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat the small skillet on medium heat. Meanwhile, slice the potatoes on the #4 cone of the Master Kut. Add the minced garlic and season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Toss to coat well. Season the pork with salt, pepper and paprika. When the pan is hot, add the meat to sear. Add 1 TBSP BBQ sauce on top and cover, whistle open. When the whistle sounds, flip the meat and add the other TBSP of BBQ sauce. Layer the potatoes on top of the pork and cover, whistle open. When the whistle sounds again, close the whistle valve and turn the burner off. Allow to stand covered for 10-12 minutes. Take off the lid and remove the pork medallion to a plate. Add the cream and butter to the pan and smash the potatoes with a flat head masher. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes one serving.

Turkey Wrap

1 Small Tortilla wrap, any flavor (I love spinach and tomato basil)

¼ lb Deli Turkey

1 Small Slice Cheese, any kind

2 TBSP diced Tomato

4-5 Spinach Leaves

2 TBSP diced Cucumber

1 TBSP diced Banana Peppers or Pickles

1 TBSP Yogurt Ranch

Lay wrap on a flat surface and cover with Ranch. Add the cheese and turkey. Layer on the tomato, spinach, cucumber, and banana peppers. Tuck the sides in toward the middle and roll into a wrap.

Citrus Tilapia with Orange Almond Basmati Rice & Lima Beans

1 Lemon

2 Tilapia Fillets

1 Orange

2 TBSP almond slivers

½ Cup Basmati or Jasmine Rice

1 Cup Chicken Broth

1 TBSP Garlic, minced

1 Cup Lima Beans

¼ Cup Chicken Stock

1 TBSP Butter

Garlic Powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt & pepper to taste

Follow directions above for lima beans. Do NOT turn the burner on yet. Sauté the dry rice and almond slivers in a 2 qt saucepan until aromatic on medium heat. Zest the orange into the rice pan and add the garlic and stock. Season with salt and pepper. Cut the orange that youzested in half and squeeze the juice from ½ of the orange over the rice. Stir, cover, and turn to medium heat. Turn the lima beans on to medium heat, whistle open. Meanwhile, slice half of the lemon and the other half of the orange. Add to the bottom of the skillet. Season the fish with garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, & pepper (or Darn Good if you have it) on one side. Place the seasoned side down on top of the citrus slices. Squeeze the other half of the lemon on top of the fish and then season that side the same as the first. Cover, whistle open. When the whistle sounds on the rice and lima beans, turn their burners off and close the whistle valve; turn the burner on medium for the fish. When the fish's whistle sounds, turn the burner to low, and close the whistle valve. Allow to cook for 10 minutes. Makes 2 servings: 1 pc of fish, ½ Cup of Rice, and ½ Cup Lima Beans per serving.

Thank Your for Sharing My Journey

Thank you so much for sharing in our journey these long six weeks - please take heart in knowing that no matter what the reason for fasting, it always needs to be purposeful. We know now that if we had not had things locked away in our hearts that we sincerely did not want to deal with anymore, then we would have never made it through. We're not fans of fasting just to fast because it's something "holy" that you think you need to do. Fasting is purposeful and something that you do to say, "Okay, I'm depriving myself physically so that I can deal with and give up these other things that kill me emotionally and spiritually." If it's not purposeful, then you won't have any motivation to keep going when things get tough - and trust us, they do get tough when you go through this. We hope our journey, our thoughts, our encouragement, and our advice has inspired you for change, in whatever area of your life you need it. We know fasting isn't the answer for many of you - but - now you know, there is an answer, my friends, there always is! Our journey is not over, far from it. But we have hope for a bright and fat-free future! We pray that God will bless your futures exceedingly, abundantly more than you could ever ask or imagine.

Much love,

Katie & Jenna

Comments 58 comments

Alana 6 years ago

Wow!You are a fantastic writer and it was very enjoyoyable to read this. My dad and I started out juice fast today, although we will only be doing it for 7 days rather than 40.

Thank you for this, it was very educational and fun. :)


True Faster 6 years ago

This is actually a very low calorie diet (vlcd) rather than a fast. True fasting entails taking in only water. Calories from any external source, (no matter how minute the quantity) becomes a calorie restricted diet. It's a common misconception.


katiegirl80 profile image

katiegirl80 6 years ago Author

Alana: Thank you so very much - would love to know how yours went.

True Faster: I'm not entirely convinced you read my journey - not to smugly correct you on my personal story - but a "Fast" doesn't even have to be food. Obstaining from any one thing is considered a fast. Once for lint, I gave up all sweets - I fasted sweets - a sacrifice for me as I love my sweets. Once for lint, I gave up all media - a HUGE sacrifice as it was extremely isolating.

Also - a person should NEVER fast using only water for longer than 7 days. Medical Experts even say that doing a juice fast more than every two years can be very damaging to your body. I would never consider a juice fast a "diet" of any kind - that is not a healthy or balanced view of food or eating in any way. Comparing what I did to a diet is just ignorant - I could have denied your comment, but I didn't because it's important for readers to see that you didn't obviously read my story in its entirety. A "true" fast is something this is spiritual in nature - and should be purposeful - and have nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with food, loosing weight, or restrictive dieting and that's just flat out eating disorder zone there. I appreciate your desire for accuracy - I have a zeal for the truth too - I just don't believe you have a true understanding for the purpose of a fast.


tonga 6 years ago

I think it's awesome that the two of you made it through such an extraordinary journey, congratulations. I fasted for 40 days for the first time in 2008 and lost 35 lbs but slowly gained it back, most of it after Hurricane Gustav (without electricity I felt like anything went and so my weight quickly increased). I am now on day 7 of my first 60 day fast,God willing. I am planning to start juicing on my 22nd day for now I'm doing the MC and all is going well so far. I really hear you on the cravings thing though, I have had cravings from everything from pb&j to hot dogs, salads, fruits, anything pretty much especially pizza and burgers. Just wondering how much weight if any you have gained back at this point? I noticed you had a very thorough plan and that's the same tactic I plan to use to remain healthy post fast. Thanks for the inspiration.

Tonga


Karissa  6 years ago

Wonderful journey! I am so happy you and your friend went on this journey together! There is a lot of love in this world and it's wonderful that you both were able to see the love for yourselves along with the love for each other to struggle through this journey! This fits right in with my book Uncertainty to Confidence: A New Way of Living Your Life.

Sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. Life teaches us so many things! I stumbled across this article because I have embarked on a healthier lifestyle and wanted to see what others were doing with juicing. I think the juicer is one of the best inventions of all time! The drinks just taste so amazing!

After reading this article I most certainly was hoping I could post a comment to congratulate you and your friend on your journey! Keep up the good work! Love will find you! Marriage will come! Child shall be within if it is what you want!

I weclome you to listen in on my upcoming lectures; it's free, and all you have to do is listen. It's just inspirational talks - www.ineedashiftlecture.com

Thanks for sharing both your stories! Well said, and well done!

Karissa Thomas, Author

Uncertainty to Confidence: A New Way of Living Your Life

(Now available on Amazon.com)

www.newyoupublishing.org


RacheL 6 years ago

Thanks for sharing your journey. I've never completed a fast and have started researching fasting. Something struck me as I read your post. You mentioned that you and your sister felt bloated after your first food (crackers) after the fast. And you mentioned your father had colon cancer. I have celiac's disease and if I were to eat crackers I'd get bloated. Could your 6 week fast been a gluten free experiment? Celiac's disease and gluten intolerance has been tied to colon cancer (if untreated). I also have colon cancer in my family. After 6 weeks of removing gluten from my diet I had dropped several pant sizes and weighed less than I had as a teenager. Just something to think about...


Laura 4 years ago

It's Lent not lint. Lint is what you find in your pocket.


Adybaby 4 years ago

Have you gain the weight back?


katherine nichols 4 years ago

What is a good juicer to use? Something that combines effiency and is easy to clean


sharon 4 years ago

Am on my 30th day of juice fast. Was only aiming for 10 days. Now, am sooo terrified of breaking it.


bata 4 years ago

Hi. Ran acrossed your page while searching about how/when to break a fast. Am on my 30th day. Was only supposed to do it for 10. Am thinking of breaking it but now am more stressed thinking about it. Any advice? I have not consulted w my doctor at all. I was just challenged and now scared that i will lose control and experience hunger all over again. Am doing fine. With juicing. I consume 15-20 oz in a day.

Did you get scared too? How are you now? Am thinking of. doing this right...ease in into it. Scared to gain everything I've lost. How did you handle it? Would appreciate any support as i feel overwhelmed.


Rachel 4 years ago

Hi Katie, thanks for sharing! I'm on day five of what will likely be a 10 day fast, and I really needed to read this.

"Fasting is purposeful and something that you do to say, "Okay, I'm depriving myself physically so that I can deal with and give up these other things that kill me emotionally and spiritually." If it's not purposeful, then you won't have any motivation to keep going when things get tough - and trust us, they do get tough when you go through this."

The words above helped me reconvene my thoughts after a tough night/morning.

Thanks again for bravely sharing your journey!


Rachel 4 years ago

It's me again... Just read your profile and saw that you are a fellow East Tennessee gal! :) Would love an update on your journey.


Jacqui 4 years ago

Hi Katie! I enjoyed your journal do much! I heard about juice fasting then researched it and stumbled apon this webpage. I have been reading it ever since I started my juice fast 4 days ago.

I just want to let you know it has helped me so much. At first I was doing it for weight loss. And your journal made me realize there are do many other reasons. I feel like if I can turn down food when I haven't eaten. I can turn down any temptation.

I just want to say thankyou. I am so appreciative for this journal and you sharing your experiences.

Jacqui


Jamie 4 years ago

What protein powder did you use?


Dan 4 years ago

Today I start my juice fast half for weight loss half spiritual you could say. Thank you for sharing your experience with everyone, I feel confident and ready to face what's ahead.


Yazmin 4 years ago

I'm on day two of my juice fasting, and I was about to break it until I read your journey. And let me say "wow" congratulations! I'm only doing it for 10 days, because I want to convert to raw foodist I hope I can stay on it, but now that I read your story I'm sure I can. Thank you for sharing your journey it really help me a lot.


Matt 4 years ago

Hello!! Good story....did you notice any difference in your hair?

I've heard people might lose hair during a long juice fast but then have found it grows back thicker.


Lynn 4 years ago

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm on a 30 days juice fasting and today is my second day. you are totally right, i was so excited the first day and it went great. the second day which is today for me is going slow with headaches and hunger pains. however, I decided to read people's stories to encourage me to keep going. The most difficult part is cooking for my husband and kids even though he offered to do the cooking instead. but i said no, i have to test myself and get myself used to being around the tempting smell of food and be able to resist it. Thank you again for sharing. When I'm done i will share my story to help those who need it.


Ann 4 years ago

Very inspiring story and spiritual journey. I have been fasting for six days and am aiming for thirty. I feel very empowered and as if I am truly battling my weaknesses and worldly bonds. And on the marriage note, women as good and intelligent as you two ladies seem should be off the market soon and two more people are going to be very lucky! xo


Anesha 4 years ago

Praise God for you! It 's 2 am and your words are just what I needed to get me started. Thank you both!


juicingforhealth profile image

juicingforhealth 4 years ago from Spain

I've never done a juice fast for longer than 5 days myself, but your post is really inspirational. I think maybe I need to try one.

I find it very difficult to just juice, so I include nuts, seeds and bee pollen. This seems to work for me and even after 5 days, I feel fantastic (and lighter).


PAULINA 4 years ago

very good, I plan to do a 5 day, starting tomorrow, because of your story.


DrizzleMist 4 years ago

Great article. :) I wake up early and researched juice fast and found your article. You inspire me! Time to find and buy a juicer (since I don't have one *sad*).


Naishipae 4 years ago

This is really encouraging. Am starting on a detox / fast kind of a thing from tomorrow for 7 days. Thanks for the encouragement.


Stephanie 4 years ago

Very impressive and inspiring. I bought a juicer and have been juicing pretty much every day while trying to eat less and better. I want to do a juice fast and while researching I found your story. I am book marking your page and am going to read it everyday. I see this is older I wish you would update so we can all see how it is going. Thanks for the inspiration.....


Tootieman 4 years ago

After reading your story on this juice fast I have decided to start a 15day fast I need a spiritiual/Wgt lose. I will be able to give updates on my juice fast. Pray for me as I endure this upcoming fast. I'm also a fulltime student I hope it doesn't effect my studies?


Jennifer 4 years ago

Hi. How many pounds have you gained thus far? I would like to know so I can be prepared for approximate weight gain back.

Thanks! :)


Madisson 4 years ago

That was inspiring! I'm really young, but the Holy Spirit is leading myself and my family on a 7 day juice fast to pray and seek Him earnestly starting this friday, and this post encouraged me very much and stirred up positive faith in me that we can overcome everything by Jesus, who strengthens us. God bless you!


kim 4 years ago

I was just so touch by your story and your will. I thank you for acknowledging and giving all the glory to God.. You have giving me a lot of encouragement to do what I need to do and stop thinking about it... thank you so much for posting it so that some of us may follow the steps and to think of such a great motive,inspires me so much more....You are right in saying that your father is in much better place than this place we are living inn.. I hope and pray that you continue to be faithful and share to us again your next path of success which ever it may be... God bless


dawn 4 years ago

she hasn't blogged in 22 months, so you may not get a response. i would love to read more from her though.


Aurora 4 years ago

It is truly amazing how quick people (laura, true faster) are to criticize another. Will wonders ever cease. For those looking to purchase a juicer I recommend Braville or Jack La Lanne's. When coming off this juice fast and would like to keep the weight off do your best to avoid processed foods. It is that simple, yet also that difficult. For those that lose an insane amount of weight and inches you might have Celiac's disease. You can tell because when you wheat products you will discover that you bloat to 6-months pregnant and have sharp pains in your abdomen. It's a SERIOUS disease, while the government is creating hybrids with corn and wheat products (soy) your body doesn't know how to break it down...so it stores it as fat...(processed food). Processed food doesn't do a lick-a-good for anyone. After you finish a juice fast I would recommend going *Gluten free and living your life that way. Those that are allergic to gluten also tend to have a Dairy Allergy due to the (small intestine villi) that has been damaged you lack the enzyme to properly digest. Anyway, put that in your pipe and smoke it. If you read about Celiacs Disease i recommend getting tested by a doctor because its life threatening. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celi...


Abigail 4 years ago

Great Post! I'm on day 4... Feeling the best today! I can't wait to make it to three weeks!


GeorgieRogers100 4 years ago

Wow, reading this has really motivated me to do it! Thanks really helpful x


Limp okay 4 years ago

I use my Vitamix to juice my fruits and veggies. That way nothing is wasted.


Sarah 4 years ago

You've inspired me! I am going to do it. How are you all doing now that the fast is over? Keeping up with healthy habits and weight loss?


Lkm5644 4 years ago

You guys are awesome. Your definitely a motivation to myself and others I'm sure. I'm planning on starting a 7 day fast and depending on how it goes it could be longer. I'm doing my fast for health and I would like to simply cleanse my body. I have a question, have you ladies gained the weight you lost back??


charadeur 4 years ago

I got to the point where you said you were a Palin fan and could not take anything else seriously after that. How factual can you be about juicing if you believe the hyperbole Palin spews?


Heidi 4 years ago

What a beautiful account! I am very impressed with your ability to share your feelings and fears.You are an example to me, as I have done 4cleanses a year for 10 years and have lacked the drive to do yet another one. I must do them to keep my arthritis at bay. I now have the courage to go on.....


Eliza 4 years ago

You lost me at Sarah Palin...


Angela Cooper 4 years ago

Made it through half the day yesterday. Doing better today.


mismazda profile image

mismazda 4 years ago from a southern georgia peach

Determination..determination..what else can I say..and the strength of the....wow we can do anything with his help..Congrats to you both..I really need to do a body cleanse..this is a great article to help me get motivated, voted up and useful and interesting..


Dalia 4 years ago

Thanks for all the advice. I've been on a juice fast for 1week now and I've lost 10lbs! I'm planning to do it for another week. I just worry sometimes because I sometimes get a rapid heartbeat and feel dizzy but once I drink some juice I'm back to normal. This has done wonders for me and I'm motivated to stay on for another week or so. Will keep you all updated.


jason808 4 years ago

Yes this was very inspiring- everything from Juicing info to your walk with the Lord to Keeping true to yourself

Much Aloha ,

Jason


Michelle Ramos 4 years ago

Im just wondering, the lists of what juices you made for each meal, are they based on two servings or did you double that for the both of you?


Gabrielle 4 years ago

It frightens me the amount of misinformation you have put in the page on the breaking of a juice fast. You are the shining beacon of what not to do with dangerous repercussions. If anyone reads this article, do not consume dehydrated, processed foods, like cheese-its immediately after a fast, nor any complex proteins, like animal products, or starches like breads. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables for the next week, at the very least. Continue to consume plenty of fluids, and do not shock your system with sugary soda or caffeine beverages.

You have just spent 40 days purging your system of addictive, fattening foods, don't be in a rush to fill your body back up with them. If you do you will 1) gain back all the weight you just lost, plus add on more because your metabolism is so low, and 2) end up retching up that food you just ate, and finding things to be very difficult in the bathroom as you consume dehydrating foods. Do not use this blog as an example of breaking any kind of fast. Do your research and live in health.


Dubious 4 years ago

I have to agree with the commenters who are dubious about the approach this woman has taken with a juice fast (or whatever you want to call it).

Not only does Gabrielle have good points about breaking the fast, I have a serious problem with the fact that in addition to freshly juiced LIVE fruits and vegetables, this juice fast was supplemented very strongly with Naked and Odwalla packaged juices. What's the point?


diana jackson 4 years ago

I m about to embark on a 50 day fast. I have done 40 days before. My purpose is to lose the rest of my weight. I have had a very stress filled year with my job. Looking to change professions and I gain 20 pounds back. So need to get refocused and feeling better. So keep me in your prayers. I loved reading about your journey and the different combinations you juiced it all sound good to me.

I will keep you posted on my journey.

Thanks for sharing.

Diana Jackson, Delaware, Ohio


hareem 4 years ago

can we do it for seven or five days?


Janice Murdoch profile image

Janice Murdoch 4 years ago

I am on day one, morning one. I needed this so bad, thank you so much for sharing your journey,I am going for 7 days, would like to do more but 7 days is my first goal. I scared!


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alphamale34 4 years ago

Great journey! Sorry you're a Palin fan. I'm African-American and while I don't think she's racist, she sure says some inflammatory, idiotic things (shuckin' n' jivin'). So while it was hard for me to get past that, I did and I'm glad to say I was inspired by you and I've been shuckin' an' juicin' for 4 days. Bolthouse Farms is the best!


John 4 years ago

This would be quite an interesting blog... But no update I'm years?

No answer on the how much weight regain?. Wonder why... Hope this is not a sponsored blog from the juice manufactures.


Esther 3 years ago

Hi, I read your story just now and I have to say I'm really encouraged not only by your perseverance in going all 40 days, but also by the how you've seeked spiritual growth. This past week I've been planning to start my juice fast at the end of this week and was so focused on strictly health reasons, but did not even once think of the spiritual. Thank you for reminding me of the number one reason I should be doing this and renewing my faith in our heavenly father :) I will refer back to this blog always as a form of encouragement. And also, I loved the bible verses you added! Thank you! :)


mbsports 3 years ago

I like your story and your energy. I'm starting a 3 days juice fast, followed by one day of food and lifting weights, and then repeat. I see it as my best way to get ripped again. I've got about 10 lbs of fat to lose and don't want to lose muscle. Anyway, you sound kinda hot too. You and Jenna should post pictures of your success!


Teri Lynn 2 years ago

Would it be the same just to EAT only fruit as opposed to juicing it? I don't have a juicer, but I do love fruit and could eat it constantly....


Jacobb9205 profile image

Jacobb9205 20 months ago from Gloucestershire

I'm thinking of juicing soon! I may buy a juicer for my birthday on May 5th! :)


Dan 15 months ago

This is not a juice fast . Wtf

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