You might recall that I recently decided to participate in my church’s 21 Day fast and decided that I would fast off food from sunrise to sunset each of those days. However, I also to decided to completely fast off of coffee, too.
Well, my fast ended this past weekend and I decided to share my experience; highs and lows.
So, keep reading to see what I learned after fasting for 21 days.
How Did I Do?
Just like most first days of anything that you have to do (i.e. monthly visit from Aunt Flo), it was rough. Every Monday at work, the owner of the company brings tons of fresh fruit and containers of various plain, honey-roasted, salted, and even chocolate covered nuts. It’s awesome…when you’re not fasting for 8 out of the 9 hours that you’re there. On Monday morning (Day 1), I literally walked into the kitchen with all these delicious fruits and legumes being placed on one counter, while at the other counter a couple of co-workers were talking while preparing 2 fresh pots of coffee to brew. It was horrible. All I could do was give my morning pleasantries as I power walked to my desk before I got even the slightest whiff of coffee.
Now, since I was only fasting off of food from sunrise to sunset, I was still at work when the sun went down and as soon as I saw the clock at the bottom of my computer screen hit 5:09 (official sunset), I jumped out of my desk and headed straight for an apple and very small handful of chocolate peanuts. That was probably the most delicious apple and chocolate covered peanuts I ever ate or least it tasted like they were. Thirty minutes after inhaling that apple, I headed home to relax and for dinner.
I will admit that I thought that when I got home, I would pull a chair up to my fridge and pig out. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case. I’m not sure if it was the apple or the preparation for the fast I did the previous weekend (probably both), but I wasn’t that hungry and was able to prepare me a sensible dinner without snacking beforehand. *pats self on back*
It was a pretty smooth 21 days, but there were some rough moments/
Aside from Fresh Fruit Day and Donut Day at the office (Thursdays, FYI), the biggest rough spot definitely had to be the weekend, which I knew it would be. I will admit that I spend the majority of my weekend doing absolutely nothing other than maybe running an errand or two on Saturday morning and going to church on Sunday morning. Other than that, I’m usually just playing it by ear and rarely do anything.
So, I mostly just drank water and cold pressed juice to curb the desire to snack while watching TV or reading.
Since I was only fasting food from sunrise to sunset, I still had the option of water, green tea (no sweetners), and fresh squeezed juice (no concentrate). Luckily, I work next to a Whole Foods and on days when I felt my hunger, I would go buy a small bottle of grapefruit juice to sip on throughout the day. I chose grapefruit juice, because it’s a great antioxidant and appetite suppressant. Grapefruit is a very tangy taste, but I like it and it worked amazingly.
Once of the new habits I developed was valuing my mornings and using that time wisely. I’m an early bird by nature. Unless I go to super late, 2 or 3 am, I’m up no later that 6am. Even those very rare occasions when I have stayed up super late, my body would still attempt for me to wake up, but I will just go back to sleep.
When I usually get up in the morning, I lay around in bed, scroll my social media feeds, check emails, and repeat until I have to get up and get ready for work. However, since this fast required me to not eat past sunrise (about 7am), I had to get up out of bed and make me some breakfast. For breakfast, I usually grab something on the way to work or eat what ever I can grab and go from the fridge. Not necessarily the healthiest of routines to have first thing in the morning.
My breakfast during the fast mostly consisted of an omelet filled with peppers, onions, and spinach and topped off with a tablespoon of salsa. This has easily turned into my favorite thing to eat every morning. While eating breakfast, I would sit with a glass of water and watch the news, which is something I don’t do has often as I used to, thanks to social media. Yes, I turned into one of those people who gets their news while browsing their timelines.
After this fast, I’m all about waking up, getting out of bed, and making my breakfast before the sunrise and I like it.
I value my time so much more. Although I knew I could be doing something more productive when I wake up in the morning other than scrolling timelines for an hour, now I know actually do more than that. I still scroll, but for maybe 10-15 minutes and then I get up go prepare breakfast, read my daily devotional, and journal out my plans for the day. Clarity.
In regards to health related results? I did drop a few pounds, but the most important takeaway I received was the realization and desire to eat better and treat my mind, body, and soul with more attention. I’m telling you, little steps can lead to big results.
Would and Will I Do It Again?
I think next time, I’m going to try juice fast when it gets a little warmer. I’ve done juice fasts in the past, but not longer than 2-3 days. So, next time, I would like to try a 1-week juice cleanse, probably this spring. Hopefully, by the time summer hits, I will be open and committed to longer fasts.
QUESTION OF THE POST: Have you fast before? If so, for how long and did you fast off anything in particular (i.e. bread, dairy)? If not, would you fast?