I have been contemplating doing a juice fast since I started moving in the direction of a plant based, whole foods diet as recommended by the people at Hallelujah Acres. That was December of 2011. I have done 2 one-day juice fasts and the amount of willpower needed to get through 24 hours scared me away from trying anything longer. I am not lazy by any means but I like flexibility and the freedom to change my mind. I might occasionally commit to reaching a particular goal but I generally won’t agree to any time frame or specific regimen to get there. I am not naturally a disciplined or self-controlled person but then again, who is? And I know God can grow these qualities in me if I cooperate with His grace in my life.
Since December I have been eating a “healthier” diet, with “less processed foods and animal products.” I have eaten “more raw fruits and veggies” and “decreased my coffee consumption.” All this is good, but words like "more", "less", and "decreased" are all relative and very vague.
I have noticed differences since I started making “more healthy eating choices”:
- My nausea and heartburn have gone away, except for the occasions where I don’t eat well for a couple (or more) days or during a period of detox following a period of unhealthy eating. I had tried Prilosec and Prevacid to help my stomach problems but they did nothing. Finally I found that a combination of Nexium and Phenergan that kept the nausea and heartburn at bay so that I could at least function somewhat normally, although still pretty miserably. Now, I can happily say that if I eat well, my stomach feels well.
- My allergies have also gone away, as long as I eat well. I’ve always had seasonal allergies but since about 2008 I have had year round severe nasal congestion and itching (throat and eyes). I tried Claratin, Allegra, Zyrtec, Benadryl, and more but each time it would work for a few months and then I’d be just as sick as I was without the medicine so finally I just stopped taking it all. Now, when I eat well, my allergies are gone. It’s amazing. I can say though that my allergies are one of the first things that come back when I don’t eat well.
- My anxiety level has decreased. I suffer from general anxiety and panic disorder and as you can read about on my blog (www.PeacefulPanic.com), it was really disrupting my life. After months of struggle I decided to use Xanax XR to help me manage it but this has always been a temporary solution for me. Since beginning to eat better, I have been able to reduce my dose to about one half to one third of what I used to take, and I’m hopefull that I will be off of the Xanax again before too long.
I still suffer from chronic headaches and take Excedrine regularly.
I know that when I eat better, I feel better. And I know that I need to eat well more of the time if I want to feel better more of the time. If I eat junk one weekend, then I spend the next 2-3 days recovering from it. Aside from the heartburn, nausea, and allergies, my skins gets greasy, I get a bad taste in my mouth, and I feel lethargic and unmotivated. When I eat badly once, I have a hard time not doing it again. Then before I know it it’s been 2 whole days (or more) of unhealthy eating and I feel crummy.
So for the next two weeks I’m actually going to set some specific guidelines for myself and document what happens.
Here is my plan:
- I will drink only vegetable and fruit juice until dinner time. I will drink more vegetable juice than fruit juice. (Yes, I know that last sentence is once again, vague, but hey, I’m improving.)
- I will eat a small to moderate meal of whole, plant based foods for dinner.
- After dinner I will go back to juice.
- I will allow myself some exceptions. I know myself. I know that it’s better to be up front about these exceptions ahead of time rather than feel like I failed and give up on the whole thing. So my two exceptions are: If I go out to eat with family or friends, I will eat what I want. And if I’m really hungary before I go to bed, I will allow myself to eat one piece of fruit or one half-portion of 10-grain cereal.
And I will be posting about the whole experience here. You all can keep me accountable….ugh, why is it that last sentence makes me cringe?
I’m not sharing this with my friends and family (except probably my husband) in “real life” because I know they would all warn me to “be careful” and not “go overboard” and question if it is really going to do any good. Many people already say those about the changes I’ve made thus far. I know it does good. And to be completely honest, I’ve been feeling God’s prompting lately to take my healthy eating and discipline up to the next level.
I’m about to go to the grocery store to buy some fruits, veggies, and my husband’s food for the week. I’ll post soon to let you all know how it’s going! And if you think of it, I’d appreciate your prayers that God will help me out with self-control!!
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