What juicer to buy? Amazon's list of Best Sellers in Kitchen Small Appliances includes juice extractors. In a juice fast, we drink just juice; we do not consume pulp. A 'juice extractor' will separate juice from pulp whereas a 'blender' will make a smoothie with juice and pulp mixed together.
I first thought of buying a cheap $35 juicer with good reviews. Later, as I browsed around the web for juice recipes and juicing articles, Breville caught my attention. So I bought a Breville BJE200XL Compact Juice Extractor. In Feb 2012, buying directly from Breville's website was cheaper than buying from Amazon.
What is the composition of juice?
The success of the movie 'Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead' inspired a website called Reboot With Joe. One of the sections at this website is juice recipes. I browsed through all the recipes and concluded that basically, I need some mixture of green vegetables, fruits and roots. No nuts. Citrus fruits are to be generally avoided unless you have cold. Roots like ginger and turmeric are awesome. I learnt that we could also add raw yams. On the third or fourth day, I added avocados and raw coconut too.
Making your own juice with organic ingredients is important. Organic food in California is found in local Farmers Market or Whole Foods. Juice sold in bottles and cartons is full of chemicals. For those who need convincing, please read Squeezed: What You Don't Know About Orange Juice (288 pages, 2010) by Alissa Hamilton. The gist of the book lies in this article: Book Review of Squeezed.
Juice storage and many other questions: I found two resources. First, Juice Fast Experience is a wonderful article with answers to many practical questions. Second, RebootWithJoe FAQ (YouTube Playlist) has 18 short videos in Q&A format. Doing Less and Accomplishing More: A Technique for Successful Fasting is another good article.
Books and videos:
I discovered two wonderful resources several months after my juice fast:
Fasting - Safe and Effective Use of an Ancient Powerful Healing Therapy (55 minutes) by Dr Michael Klaper. This is an awesome video by a medical doctor who supervises fasting. The video answers many questions like: how many days should we fast? what symptoms should we expect? when should we break a fast? who should fast? who should fast only under medical supervision? If you have a medical condition, then you must definitely watch this DVD before you do any sort of fast.
Fasting and Eating for Health (255 pages, 1995) by Dr Joel Fuhrman. He is the doctor who supervised Joe Cross' juice fast. Joe Cross is the hero of the documentary 'Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead'. Dr Fuhrman is an advocate of Plant Based Diets and one of the few medical doctors who has authored a book on fasting.
Supervision: All websites for juice fasting, including the movie 'Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead', recommend doing the fast under supervision. This is especially important for people with ailments. I didn't approach any supervisor, doctor or nutritionist for my fast - I did it myself, gung ho! My plan was to visit a doctor if something surprising came up or if I felt really sick. I was kinda confident that since I'm generally healthy, I should be able to fast without any problems. Through online reading, I learnt of two issues for which a supervisor would be very helpful:
1) Healing Crisis: During multi-day fasts, people experience a phenomenon called "healing crisis". A slew of symptoms makes you feel really sick. However, the body is not sick; it is healing itself. A seasoned supervisor can help you distinguish between "healing crisis" and real illness.
2) It's important to come out of a fast properly. We cannot suddenly eat regular food after consuming only juice for many days. I still don't know the right sequence of steps to make this transition. I could not find a website or an article where the process of gradually shifting to regular food is described adequately. I used my intuition and it took me about five to seven days for my stomach to start feeling normal.