I have had many people ask me if they can do a juice fast using store-bought juices. No! No! No! I cannot say No! emphatically enough. Believe me, I have tried. I really wanted it to work, because it is definitely more convenient than making my own juices.
Dr. Don Colbert explains in his book Toxic Relief that fresh, live fruit and vegetable juices have nutrients and live enzymes that your body needs to survive. Store-bought juices are pasteurized to ensure that there are no live bacteria in them thus giving them a much longer shelf life. This process compromises the valuable nutrients and enzymes needed during a fast.
When I attempted my second juice fast, I decided to cheat and use store-bought juices since I had a skeptical, "Yeah right" attitude about Dr. Colbert's theory. By day three, I was completely wiped out, I had absolutely no energy, and I could feel my body starving for nutrients. (You will learn to listen to your body when you fast and you will be amazed at how well it speaks to you.) When I went home during the third day, I juiced fresh fruits and vegetables, and then I was completely re-energized after drinking it. It was as if someone had jump started my battery. I ended up quitting the fast early, but it taught me a valuable lesson about using store-bought juices for my fasts and I was a believer ever since then.
Now, not to be completely difficult, I have found two store-bought drinks that seem to work for me, but they don't replace the fresh juices - they are simply a supplement.
Synergy is one brand of kombucha tea that is supposedly raw. Many times there are strands forming in the bottom of the bottle as it ferments and this is perfectly normal. Its flavor and scent have a vinegar hue to it; it's a little off-putting at first, but it's not that bad. Please be aware that the kombucha teas are usually carbonated, but I am not sure if this is by design. I actually despise the tea when it's not carbonated, because it tastes like a flat soda. I occasionally purchase one, taste it outside of the store, and if it's properly carbonated I will go back in and buy the rest that I need from the same case.
Warning: Do not open Kombucha teas in the car! Every now and then I will buy a jar that is super carbonated and it will overflow with foam when I open it; you don't want this happening in your car.
NOTE: Kombucha teas use yeast for fermentation purposes. This can possibly cause candida problems for those suffering from candida overgrowth since this fungus supposedly feeds off of sugar and yeast.
Gerolsteiner Mineral Water
In addition to the kombucha teas, I love Gerolsteiner mineral water despite not liking sparkling and mineral water in general. I find Gerolsteiner mineral water to be clean, crisp, and refreshing - especially when cold. In addition to being a general refreshment, there are many other ways that I use it:
|Kombucha teas & Gerolsteiner|
- Upset tummy
My aunt also disliked mineral and sparkling waters, but I gave her a bottle of Gerolsteiner when she was feeling very nauseous. I explained that it's like an over-the counter effervescent drug; but it is natural without chemicals or other additives. Also, it would either make her feel better or just get it over with and she can feel better more quickly. I told her that we keep a bottle in the cabinet just in case we ever feel bad the same way other people keep medicines in the medicine cabinet. To this day, she keeps one in her fridge just in case she feels nauseous because it worked so well for her.
I prefer buying the Gerolsteiner mineral water in glass jars, because I have found that many times when the water is packaged in plastic jars it loses its carbonation before I even open it.
I do not rely on these two liquids alone for a juice fast. They are merely a supplement to the real juices. They're just convenient to grab if I am running out of time in order to hold me over until I can juice. Based on my personal experiences, fresh juices are the only way to have a successful juice fast.
Update (7 August 2012): I have since learned that yeast is required to make kombucha teas. I originally thought that this would cause problems with my candida, but it did not. That was my personal experience. Please use your best judgement.