I have just recently finished my juice fasting program at the Sivananda Ashram in Kerala, India. It's really amazing the difference that I have noticed in my mind (relaxed and focused) and my body (I lost 10 lbs). Juice fasting isn't as pure as the original water fasting, but it has the same benefits, while allowing you to have the energy to get out of bed and still enjoy life. Do a Google search for "juice fasting" and you will find 865,000 results. It's certainly not a new concept.
The program I participated in merges the practice of yoga asanas, ayurvedic massage, clysmatics (gravity colonics), flower essences and alternative medicine, such as Kinesiology and Parasite zapping. Surprisingly enough, I rarely felt hungry (although that didn't stop me from discussing the Godmother sandwich, In n Out, pizza, Indian food and Mexican food with my fasting mates).
Each day we drank quite a bit of juice and then for dinner we had a fresh vegetable broth. All of our fruits and vegetables were locally grown, in season and picked ripe, for optimum benefits. We also took Bentonite Clay (absorbs its weight in toxins) and Psyllium Husk (for bulk) 3 times a day.
Example Menu: Orange Juice for Breakfast, Pineapple-Lemon Juice for Brunch, Carrot-Tomato Juice for Lunch, Mixed Vegetable Broth with Lemon for Dinner, each meal is followed with herbal supplements.
The key to fasting is to get as far away from temptation as possible. The Ashram was a perfect retreat for avoiding temptation. They keep you busy with chanting, prayers, classes, workshops and waiting in line for the Internet. There was a feast on Christmas day, however, it was vegetarian, so I don't feel like I missed too much.
Running the fasting program is Parameshwara (aka Frank) and Susannah, his assistant from Quebec. They are very nice people who have been involved with fasting for many years. Parameshwara is 76 years old and seems to be in great health. Susannah is a gorgeous older woman who reminds me of Jane Goodall. If only we could all age so well. Five times a day, before each juice, we would sing (Om Namah Sivaya) and say a prayer (thanking nature for our juice).
The last four days of the program are for breaking the fast, which means you start to eat whole foods, like fruit and vegetables. This is when the program seems the hardest because you feel like you can start eating anything and indulge. However, the stomach has shrunk and you will get sick if you overdo it. I feel extremely full every time I eat now!
Suggestions when fasting: Bring a great book to read (for distraction), relax, relax, relax (stress makes you hungry), make sure you get massages as a reward for your sacrifice
Photography by me.