I couldn’t sleep last night because my mind was restless and unable to stop thinking. At 3 a.m. I finally had to get up and write down some of my thoughts and feelings about the current state of my Juice Feasting experience. I started this journey 58 days ago. In the beginning I was very excited and enthusiastic. I read about the Juice Feasting concept and prepared myself as much as possible. I felt it was the right thing to do for me and hoped that it would bring me more clarity, energy, more profound happiness as well as a stronger connection with fresh & living food, particularly greens. (I’ve been on a raw food diet for about a year but had a couple of fall-backs to cooked vegan food.)
Looking back on these past two months I see several positive changes that took place. Especially the first two weeks were a major cleansing experience in which I eliminated a lot and consequently reduced weight and attained a nice feeling of internal cleanliness. My skin cleared and rehydrated and surprisingly even my eye color changed. There were a lot of ups and downs with regard to energy but after a few weeks that stabilized…unfortunately, however, not at the level I anticipated. Even after these two months my energy levels are still quite low, I lack a certain drive and need more sleep than usual. Most likely that’s because my journey has been more of a juice fasting than feasting experience, because I never seemed to be able to get into a mindset of abundance. In fact, it all still feels rather restrictive.
For one thing, I rarely manage to drink 1 liter of water (with squeezed lemon) in the morning and another 4 liters of juice throughout the day. That’s probably because my metabolism has slowed, but also because juice preparation has become a bit of a burden. In the beginning of the Juice Feast I tried to make all the juice for the day in the morning. For only 3-4 liters of juice it took me a minimum of 1.5 hours, which became very uncomfortable after a while. Especially because it seemed like an everyday chore. Starting out on the Juice Feast I wanted to establish a routine. I was looking forward to having things structured and planned out: waking up at same time every morning, drinking 1 liter of water with squeezed lemon, doing the hygiene routine, preparing juice, doing some exercise, etc. However, instead of easier this routine actually became harder. In fact, it wasn’t just this particular routine, but I actually developed quite a strong dislike for routines in general. Routines make me feel very restricted and I’m tired of trying to adhere to protocols. I expected to become more free as a result of Juice Feasting, but instead I feel rather tied down.
Another restrictive factor is the availability (or lack thereof) and cost of produce. There is actually much less green produce available around here than I imagined. Right now we do have a small variety of green leafy vegetables but it’s mainly just very similar lettuces…there isn’t even any spinach or kale! In fact, during the first month my staple of leafy greens was just romaine lettuce and swiss chard with some occasional head lettuce and parsley. Even with regard to sweet fruits it wasn’t until the second month that I ventured from just apples, carrots and beets to more fancy sweets like pineapple, berries, coconut water, oranges. There’s a greater variety of fruits than green leafy vegetables but it’s not just an availability issue but also one of cost. Most fruit doesn’t grow locally and organic quality is even more expensive (just like organic leafy greens), especially in large quantities needed to make juice. Organic is quite important to me as that’s a quality standard I generally prefer anyway. Going into the Juice Feast I knew that my food expenses would be higher than usually and I thought I could accept that, but I notice how it is still quite an inhibitive issue. I’m sure that if I had an unrestricted budget getting into a mindset of abundance would be much easier.
Aside from the aversion for routines, the limited availability, and the cost issues there is another factor contributing to my overall restrictive experience: the preoccupation with food. I recently read Angela Stokes’ account of her Juice Feasting experience and a few weeks into it, she identified one of the major reasons for feeling so mentally clear and free. It was because she no longer was thinking about food all the time. Well, for me it’s almost like the opposite. Even after two months of juicing I still seem to constantly be preoccupied with food/juice. I either think about what to juice next, how nice it would be to have some solid food again, all the different things I’d like to eat again, and I even spontaneously created a couple of recipes in my head that I’m eager to try out. I also still have cravings for both raw and cooked foods, which aren’t always very strong but they are very present whenever I smell food, see people bite & chew, etc. I even miss simple smoothies and the fact that I can’t even have those leaves me feeling very restricted.
So, right now I’m quite torn. On the one side I set out to embark on this journey for 92 days and I generally want to finish what I start (which, in part, might also have to do with a fear of failure). Even though I’m pretty sure I probably could continue, I just don’t know if I should or want to. I’m not concerned about it health-wise, I just have no joy left and my energy levels are quite low. I keep telling myself that maybe it’s still just mental/emotional detoxification going on, and that I need to finish the full 92 days in order to reap all the benefits of this journey. On the other hand I feel progress is stagnant and I wonder if there really is any more change to come. If I have so little motivation/joy/enthusiasm left and I’ve been feeling mostly restricted throughout this adventure instead of empowered, abundant and energized, does it really make sense to continue? I just don’t know.