My Dogs Are Barking

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So, I am mid way through my August journey, my month-long juice fast, and, oh, my dogs are barking.

Which is to say:  Juice fasts, no easy thing.  Not that you are hungry.  If you do it right, you are never hungry.  Or, at least, that is not the word for what you are.  If you do it right, you literally flood your system with so many nutrients, juiced and ready for the simplest act of digestion (which is to the usual act of digesting a large fried clam dinner as flicking away a housefly is to tossing aside an elephant) that you can never get hungry.  Getting hungry is death to the juice fast.  Those who want to go the distance know to keep yourself sloshy-full at all times, so that your stomach feels next to bursting with “food” and you therefore never yield to cravings.

So it is not eating exactly that you miss.  It is, instead, the sensual aspects of food, the smell of it, the taste of it, the chewing of it.  Think about it:  chewing is something that almost exclusively linked to one thing–eating.  Other than chewing gum, there is no other reason to work that particular set of muscles than eating. So when you are not eating, you are not chewing.  And something inside your brain notices this and fixates on it.  That something is a little voice that tries to get you to gnaw on the corner of books, on magazines, on doorjambs, on anything that will let you.

Last time I did the full 30, as we juicers call it, I could not have anyone in the house eating, including the dog.  As there was active rebellion on this particular point this time around, I have had to learn to live with a refrigerator filled with food and with the full knowledge that, just outside my bedroom door (where I retreat after each juice to let others have their meals in peace), they are all chewing chewing chewing, including that little dog Django, who loves me, but who has his limits.

I wonder if they were to all stop chewing a once and if they listened very, very carefully, if they could hear me quietly gnawing on my bathrobe on the other side of the door?



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For those of you, like me, who are undergoing a juice fast, a simple note:  if you are including beets in your juices, then calm down.  You are not having an anal hemorrhage.  It is the beets, not blood.


Julie and Steve


Day three of the juice fast and I should be very busy working (if my agent Bob should read this, I am only joking, of course and I am very busy working working working), but  instead, due to the whoo whoo of the juice fast, I find myself transfixed by Turner Classic Movies.

Each August, TCM presents Summer Under the Stars for the whole month of August, during which each day is dedicated to twenty-four full hours of the best movies by a particular movie star.  And while each year for some unknown reason we have to endure yet another tribute to Katharine Hepburn, other days bring unexpected bounties.  Yesterday, the second day of my juice fast, was Julie Christie day, which is, for me, the best of all possible days.  The Go-Between.  Far From the Madding Crowd.  Dr. Zhivago, of course, and the part in which they are living in the ice palace and he is writing the poems for and about Lara and she is there with him, more beautiful than any actress ever before or since. And, of course, Darling–one of the best of the best of the best movies ever made.  Julie Christie was one of the rare actresses who was so beautiful and, at the same time, radiated such intelligence and charisma that it was easy to accept that, in a movie like Far from the Madding Crowd three men all love her enough to be willing to die for her or kill for her, or that, in a movie like Dr. Zhivago (which would have been a long, slow-go without her), the Russian revolution seems to have been caused because of her.

Today, it’s Steve McQueen.  Not quite the same thing, but similar in terms of charisma.  Again, something in him transcends acting, or renders acting unimportant.  There is something that happens when the camera points to him that makes him seem cooler, slicker, smarter and much much braver than you and I.  With The Blob done and Junior Bonner yet to come, it is another day done, a mixture of carrot juice and old movies as August continues to burn away outside my window.

Three days of fasting and I continue to fast.


Juice Day Afternoon

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Experts in such things say that the two times of year in which the human body responds best to a juice fast are in the earliest part of Spring, just as the buds begin to show on the trees and during the high heat of summer, when the idea of eating anything much seems more than humans can bear.

Today, I begin my third juice fast.  As always, I have chosen to begin during the Dog Days of Summer, hoping to ride out the heat of August with the cool calm that the juicing brings.

A juice fast is not, in fact, a fast at all.  Key to the whole success of a juice fast is that you so cram yourself full of freshly-made organic juice that you cannot imagine eating or drinking anything.  You have to stay full, in order to fast.

The whole idea of a juice fast is that if the body is supplied with enough nutrients that have been presented in such a manner (ground up and liquified) that the body does not have to digest them, then the body will be able to take the energy (and a great deal of energy it is) that is applies to digestion of the fried, greasy, doughy, cheesy, and/or mawkishly sweet things that are usually eaten and use that energy for the sake of rebuilding, repairing, and generally healing the body.  And, as the body is flooded with nutrients and not with poisons, it will have a chance to detoxify itself as well.

Detox, in fact, is the sole purpose of the first week to two weeks of the fast, depending upon how toxic the system is going in.  Detoxing is a nasty thing, nasty to go through and nasty to watch.  As you detox, your tongue turns white, your mouth can get filled with blisters, your whole body can give off a nasty smell, as things come pouring out of your skin, sinuses, bowels and and urinary organs.  With mixed pleasure (it feels good once its gone) and horror (it looks terrible as its happening) you get to watch your bloat unbloat, your swollen feet unswell, rashes come to the surface and then fade, and your tongue, your once normal pink tongue, turn into a flokati rug for days and days, until that magic day about half way into the month-long fast, when you look in the mirror and see that it is clean and pink once more, that your eyes are shining and that you have cheekbones once more.

By the second half of the fast, you are not longer tired and achy as you were while undergoing detox, instead, you are filled with clarity and energy.  By the end of the month, should you make it all the way through, you find yourself seeing auras and talking to trees.  At this stage, it is best to begin to slowly re-ontroduce solid foods.

In the past, when I decided to undertake a fast, I did so with great organization.  I prepared, as you must, beginning the week before the fast, by slowly, slowly giving up on specific foods, from proteins to grains, from complex to simple, all the while beginning to juice, once a day in place of a meal, then twice, then, finally juicing all day, four or five good juices, but no meals.

And so I have begun today, without the strict determination of past years.  Instead, this year, I started because, through a freak accident, I managed to dislocate my jaw while eating flan.  (Another story, another time.)  Even after I had my jaw realigned by my chiropractor, I found it too painful to chew anything very solid, and, as August was just around the corner, I decided that it was a sign from God, and began to prepare for the fast.  My goal is, as always, a full month of juicing.  But whether, under the circumstances, I will have the strength to go the distance, time–and this blog–will surely show.