Cleansing is all the rage. This is not news. From the cayenne pepper master cleanse to Kaeng Raeng‘s vegan, gluten-free, Kind-Diet-approved detox, the concept of refraining from our normal diets, washing away the preservatives and excess calories that clog us and restarting our metabolisms is one we’re all aware of, even if we’ve not all participated.
But let’s be honest: the draw of these cleanses is mostly weight loss. Sure, we may get rid of some toxins and gain some self-pride in the process, but we choke down lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper [Seriously? Has someone actually completed this? I’d love to hear the story.] and/or pay $100 for three days of juice because we want to be a few pounds lighter.
I am no exception. But for all my body issues and detox research, I had never completed a cleanse until January. As much as I may have wanted to drop a few, all of the options seemed intimidating at best, and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to see any of them through, and thus, do more harm than good to my metabolism.
I was introduced to Baron Baptiste’s 40 Days to a Personal Revolution through my yoga studio. We did the program as a group at the beginning of the year, and in addition to daily meditation and practice, it challenged us to a three-day fruit fast as part of the cleansing and renewing stage. In Baptiste’s words, fasting (or “active cleansing”), “is a way to allow your body to fully empty out and get clean, giving your metabolic organs a chance to rest and renew themselves.” And as an alternative to a full fast, Bapstiste developed the three-day, fruit-only fast.
That first fast was rough. I had to avoid some social outlets because I couldn’t handle any more pictures of food. On the first day especially, I was always hungry. And when the evening of the third day finally rolled around, I went to bed at the same time as most third graders so I could wake up earlier and eat oatmeal. Since then, though, I’ve completed the fast twice more, and we started a fourth turn today [Jacklyn’s first]. I can’t say it’s become “easy,” but it has become manageable, because I’ve learned what to expect from my body [not 10 pounds off the scale], my mind [more clarity — seriously] and my food [Grab your blenders, kids!].
So, here we go: the Sweet Teases Guide to Fruit Fasting.
1. You can have any fresh fruit you want, as much as you want. Juices count, as long as they’re 100% fresh fruit with no preservatives. [Arden’s Garden and Naked are great options. Store-bought orange juice is off-limits.] Remember that avocados and tomatoes are fruits; they will be saving graces when your pallet is tired of sweet fruits. In particular, I recommend Pomi strained tomatoes, which can be eaten as soup.
No alcohol. [Yikes!]
No caffeine. [EEEEEK!] Drink decaf tea instead.
Buy lemons. They liven up cherry tomato & avocado salads [generally, my choice for supper], fruit salads and smoothies.
Make smoothies. They are yummy, and you get to be creative, and there’s really no way to screw up. If you like the fruit, you’ll like it in a smoothie, so just throw stuff in there and see what happens.
Make meals. Snack as much as you need to, but make it a point to have meals. I typically have a smoothie for breakfast, tomato soup for lunch and tomato & avocado salad for supper.
Fast during the week. Being busy at work will distract you, and let’s be real: who wants to give up Saturday night wine and Sunday morning coffee? Not this girl.
2. You will lose weight during the fast, especially on the second and third days. But for the love of all that is holy and intelligent, please do not expect three days, after the thousands you’ve lived before them, to change your body permanently. When you begin to eat full meals again, the weight will come back. But that’s okay. The goal here is not weight loss; it’s detox. Truly. You’re shoving out all the bad stuff and starting over. You’re resetting your taste buds, your cravings, your organs, your metabolism and your digestion. Doing so sets you up p.e.r.f.e.c.t.l.y. for a well-rounded change in diet and lifestyle (and thus, weight loss), but this fruit fast itself (or any other cleanse) is not an end-all, be-all solution to shedding pounds. So get over that now.
All of that being said, if you need to lose 2-5 pounds to fit into a bridesmaid’s dress or stand in a bikini in front of your ex, this fast is the healthiest way I know to lose a few pounds quickly [and, if just the fast, temporarily].
3. It will challenge you mentally and emotionally. That may be a cliche, but it will. [Baptiste does a decent job explaining why, but you probably won’t understand all of it until after you complete the fast. I might take a stab at explaining how this one affects me later this week.] But you will encounter issues and dream solutions and put pieces together that you never thought of before. It’s a good thing. And it’s why I keep coming back to this fast.
As I write this, we’re at the end of Day 1. For me, it’s been the easiest Day 1 so far. Of course, that doesn’t mean Day 2 won’t be a bitch. 🙂