As I mentioned in my last post, Zak is on a 40 day juice fast. To quickly recap, Zak watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, a documentary film by Joe Cross about his 60 day juice fast that lead to an 82 lb weight loss, freeing himself of his autoimmune disease and getting off all his prescription medications.
I watched this documentary a few weeks ago, but Zak watched it when it was first released in 2011. He was very inspired by the film and has talked about doing a juice fast “some day” ever since. Thanks to a Biggest Loser style weight loss competition at work, he decided the time is finally here.
With that, his juice fast began about two weeks ago and on Day 1 he weighed in at 195 pounds.
This morning on Day 15 he weighed 178.6
That’s a 16.4 pound weight loss in two weeks! I am freaking shocked, people. Of course he’s got a major calorie deficit going so obviously he’s going to lose weight quickly, but still – it’s crazy fun to chase him into the bathroom each morning to see what the scale is going to say.
Weight loss was not his primary objective here, but he knew a juice fast would lead to weight loss and he’s not sad about that. He says his clothes fit noticeably better and he definitely feels smaller. He looks thinner too. (He was last in the 170’s in 2011 and very kindly and thoughtfully gained weight along side me during my pregnancy with Kaz in 2011 – 2012.)
Zak’s main reasons for doing a juice fast were to detox from caffeine (coffee) and sugar. He was also looking forward to the opportunity to improve his relationship with food and to be more mindful when it comes to eating. Like so many of us, he’s prone to mindless snacking, raiding the candy dish at work, going back for second and third helpings simply because something tastes good, not because he’s still hungry. I’ve totally been there and still struggle with these issues myself from time to time – mindful and intuitive eating is most definitely a journey.
With all that said, here’s a run down of some noteworthy items from the past two weeks:
The First Week
was the toughest. He had caffeine withdrawal headache on Day 1, again on Day 2 (but less intense) and only intermittently on Day 3. He battled insomnia on and off during the first week as well.
The Second Week
At the start of the second week, he started sleeping very soundly through the night, waking up feeling unbelievably refreshed and full of energy – more so than he ever remembers before. He says he wakes up feeling great and extremely well rested, instead of sluggish and groggy and in need of caffeine NOW.
Frequently Asked Question #1 – Aren’t You Hungry ALL THE TIME?
Nope. He says juice is surprisingly filling and satisfying. When he feels hungry, he drinks juice and his hunger goes away. He also drinks herbal (unsweetened) tea and water throughout the day. He drinks Kombucha occasionally as well.
Even though he doesn’t feel constant hunger, he does admit that it’s hard to watch other people eat and to smell food cooking too. He says he definitely misses eating.
(“Missing eating” makes me hungry just thinking about that.)
Frequently Asked Question #2 – What Does a Typical Day Look Like?
He makes a big (28+ oz) container of juice twice a day. He takes the first round with him to work for breakfast and lunch. He juices again when he gets home from work for dinner, and sometimes drinks a fourth glass if he feels like he needs it, or he saves it for the next day. Most days he drinks three to four 16 oz glasses of juice. Like any new habit or lifestyle change, it took some time to find a groove, but he seems to have settled into a rhythm that’s working well for him.
Frequently Asked Question #3 – Don’t You Need Fiber?
It’s a little awkward to write about the final step in the digestion process (are you catching my drift?) but in short, the frequency of BM’s has slowed down, but beyond that they continue to be the same.
(And yes, he gets asked about the end of digestion a lot.)
The Grocery Bill
The grocery bill has gone up some, but not as much as I initially expected it to. The cost of extra produce for juicing is being offset by the foods I’m NOT buying. While I’m buying more produce, I’m buying less of other things. I’m not buying coffee and creamer (both organic, neither exactly cheap!) right now either. He’s also no longer going out to lunch a couple days a week or stopping for coffee on his way to work if he didn’t have time for a cup at home, so we’re cutting food costs there as well.
He also juices a lot of veggie scraps that would otherwise go to the compost. Broccoli stems, leafy green stems (like from kale). That was one way we’ve been able to stretch the produce budget a tiny bit more.
An Unexpected Perk For Me
I don’t have to make dinner! I feel like I’m on a little vacation! Of course I’m still making food for myself and the kids, but I’ve been keeping it very simple. There’s less planning involved and less worrying about the timing of dinner with the other things we’ve got going on during the day. Somehow it just feels easier.
Another perk? I’m drinking more juice right now than I otherwise would!
This morning is was beet, kale, cucumber, apple, ginger and lemon. With a wide mouth Cuppow lid to save me from a beet mustache.
Now Some Perks for You!
The timing of Zak’s juice fast just so happened to perfectly coincide with the 2 year anniversary of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. In honor of their celebration, I’ve been given the opportunity to give TWO readers a Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead prize pack!
Each winner will receive a “I Juice With Joe” Reusable To- Go Tumbler, a DVD copy of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, the companion book, and a nutrition guide for getting started with juicing.
Even if a juice fast isn’t for you, it’s still an excellent film, and juicing can be a great way to get a lot of nutrition in a condensed package. And who doesn’t love free stuff?! Keep these for yourself, give them to an interested friend, donate the DVD to your local library! (So long as they’ll agree to wave your late fees for the next year for you of course.)
Wanna chance to win one of these prize packs? Leave a comment below telling me if you’d ever do a juice fast (doesn’t matter what your answer is!) and I’ll randomly choose two winners and update this post on Friday morning, May 10, 2013 announcing who won. (This giveaway is open to continental US residents only.)
This giveaway is closed as of 5/10/2013, 7:55 AM EDT.
The winners of the Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead giveaway are
Courtney, who wrote:
I would love to try this, but as I am the cook for 3 young girls and a husband, it doesn’t seem doable for quite some time. So, for now I will be content to add juice to my diet and hope to benefit from the concentrated nutrients.
Kate, who wrote:
I probably would not do one, though the idea intrigues me. I have a hard enough time giving up my nightly scoop of ice cream (I have gotten it as low as a single spoonful, but for some reason I always feel like I need it!) so I can’t imagine giving up all solid foods for any real period of time.
Congrats ladies! I’ve sent you both emails to get your juicy winnings on their way to you!
if you don’t want to play if you didn’t win and just want to watch the film already? I mentioned this in my last post but it’s worth mentioning again – you can watch the movie for free on YouTube right now during the anniversary celebration.
That’s it for now, more juicy observations and notes to come in the weeks ahead. In the mean time, got any questions for Zak? Fire away in the comments!
As always, please don’t confuse Zak’s experience for medical advice. Don’t do anything that feels unsafe to you, please seek the support of your trusted health care professional before doing a juice fast.