Ten days… No food.

Well, no solid food, that is.

Starting on Monday, April 8 I will be embarking on perhaps the most intimidating food adventure I’ve been on to date. Yes, scarier than trying sushi (yuck!) or that one time on a cruise where I briefly considered trying escargot (except I didn’t). No, this will be a challenge worthy of the name.

A 10 Day Juice Fast.

So I bet you’re thinking, “Amanda, are you crazy?” And I’m thinking, “Yeah, probably a little bit.”

Now I bet your first inclination, especially if you’re female, is that I’m planning to whittle my middle by not eating for ten days. I’m not going to say that it wouldn’t be a welcome side effect, but the truth of the matter is that is not why I am choosing to do this.

Somewhat recently, my health-concious husband went on a documentary spree thanks to Netflix. After watching such films as “Hungry for Change” and “Forks over Knives,” he decided we needed a juicer. I came home from work and was informed thusly one day. I was also informed that it was already ordered and that Amazon would have it on our doorstep in a few days.

After re-watching those two films for my benefit, we decided to watch “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.”  Here is IMDB’s synopsis of it:

“100 pounds overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Joe Cross is at the end of his rope and the end of his hope. In the mirror he saw a 310lb man whose gut was bigger than a beach ball and a path laid out before him that wouldn’t end well- with one foot already in the grave, the other wasn’t far behind. FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD is an inspiring film that chronicles Joe’s personal mission to regain his health. With doctors and conventional medicines unable to help long-term, Joe turns to the only option left, the body’s ability to heal itself. He trades in the junk food and hits the road with juicer and generator in tow, vowing only to drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice for the next 60 days. Across 3,000 miles Joe has one goal in mind: To get off his pills and achieve a balanced lifestyle. While talking to more than 500 Americans about food, health and longevity, it’s at a truck stop in Arizona where Joe meets a truck driver who suffers from the same rare condition. Phil Staples is morbidly obese weighing in at 429 lbs; a cheeseburger away from a heart-attack. As Joe is recovering his health, Phil begins his own epic journey to get well. What emerges is nothing short of amazing – an inspiring tale of healing and human connection. Part road trip, part self-help manifesto, FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD defies the traditional documentary format to present an unconventional and uplifting story of two men from different worlds who each realize that the only person who can save them is themselves.

I’d highly recommend it. It’s on Netflix. And Hulu (for free here: FS&ND). And Amazon. And iTunes. Get on it.

We spent the next month or so trying out different concoctions, most with some level of success and tastiness.

Then, roughly two and a half weeks ago, we were informed that we would lose our second child to a second miscarriage. Heartbroken and searching for answers, the thought popped into my head that my body might need to be cleansed just as much as my spirit does. From this, the idea of a juice fast was born.

In the last year and a half, my body has suffered the effects of two pregnancies, the loss of both babies, and my skin has been attacked by some mystery illness that two blood tests and a biopsy could not identify. Though my skin has largely cleared and my body will heal from the most recent loss, why not help it along some?

Here are the benefits of a “Reboot” as described on Joe Cross’ website, Reboot with Joe:

During a Reboot, you’ll commit to consuming only fruit and vegetable juices for a period of time.  3 days, 5 days, 15 days, 30 days? It’s your choice!  The goal is to help you break a cycle of an unhealthy lifestyle and simply enhance the quality of your diet by increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables.

The results? Excess weight starts to pour off, your belly starts to flatten, your skin glows, you start to think more clearly, you start controlling a disease naturally rather than depending on medication, and overall you are a happier, healthier person. When you consume only juice, your system is flooded with an abundance of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that help your body stay strong and vibrant.

A Reboot program, followed by a healthy lifestyle helps you:

–  Boost the number of fruits and vegetables you consume daily

–  Break the cycle of unhealthy eating and crave healthy foods

– Jumpstart a weight loss plan

– Manage a healthy weight

– Lower the risk of life-threatening diseases

– Promote longevity

– Decrease aches and pains in joints and muscles

– Boost your immune system

– Release stored toxins

– Increase energy levels

– Promote beautiful and healthy skin, nails and hair

– Ease digestion by accessing digestive enzymes locked away in whole produce

Pretty much what our fridge looks like right now.

Now I don’t know about you, but all of those things sound like good things to me. I’m hoping that in cleansing my body of toxins and allowing in crazy amounts of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients in their place, I will be prepping my body for the healthiest season of my life. I’m hoping that I will be preparing the way for a healthy lifestyle, and most dear to my heart, a healthy pregnancy.

Is it going to be easy? No.

Do I have the willpower to see this through? I’d like to hope so, but honestly it’s more likely my stubbornness that will guide me.

Will I probably feel awful for a few days? Yes. Most of the research I’ve done points to the first 1-3 days as being the hardest.

Will I constantly be tempted to break my fast? Absolutely. In fact, on day 1, a restaurant is delivering free breakfast burritos to my place of employment to promote their new product. First thing in the morning. Temptation thy name is green chile.

Will my husband seriously regret marrying this crazy person? Yet to be determined. Though he is offering to be a huge help to me through this process, even though he can’t currently join me due to the intensity of the workouts he’s doing for p90x.

Thankfully for me, three of my favorite people in this world are joining me. From two other states. After themselves watching FS&ND, they too have purchased juicers and are prepared to fight this battle with me. I couldn’t be more thankful for the support.

Be prepared. There will be blogging involved. I haven’t decided yet if it will be daily, every few days or just one long blog at the end chronicling the journey. I might include my favorite recipes from the fast. I might include stats such as total weight lost (though not the before and after numbers, it’s not nice to ask a lady to do so, either!), total number of fruits/veggies consumed, or number of people I irrationally snapped at during the dark days at the beginning.

After ten days of fasting, I will break my fast on one of my most favorite days of the year: our anniversary. What greater joy could there be than celebrating the end of this fast with a celebration of the day I began of the best adventure of my life?

Stay tuned.



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