ROBERT ST JOHN: Movie inspires me to undertake a 10-day juice fast

By Robert St. John

I love to eat. No, seriously, I love to eat. It’s what I do. It’s how I make a living. Eating is my career. I cook and serve food to people, but I also travel and eat, and write about traveling and eating. I have written eight books about, you guessed it, food. When I venture out of town – visiting restaurants and researching new dining habits and trends – food becomes my hobby.
A beach vacation in the St. John family is spent driving along the coast between breakfast and lunch locations in search of fresh seafood. Typically we hit the beach just before sunset on our way to dinner. At breakfast we talk about where – and what – we will eat for lunch. During lunch we talk about dinner. At dinner we discuss that day’s previous meals and begin to plan the next day’s eating schedule.
Food is my profession and my pastime, but it’s also my passion. Many of the greatest memories in my life are centered around a table, sharing a meal with family and friends.
I like the entire process of eating. I like cooking meals for my family and friends, I like developing recipes for our customers, and I like talking about food. Hell, I like to chew.
So, it would be completely reasonable to wonder why someone like me is going on a juice fast for 10 days. Today, I am wondering the same thing.
Just a few short weeks ago, I didn’t even know what a juice fast was. My longtime friend Laura had just completed a juice fast. She said it did amazing things for her “Body, mind, health and spirit.” She recommended a movie, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.” In it, Joe Cross, the movie’s Australian director and star, went on a 60-day juice fast in the United States (30 days in New York and 30 days traveling across America). The movie inspired me to try a juice fast of my own.
Juicing is exactly what it sounds like: Extracting the juice from various fruits and vegetables and drinking it. There will be no solid food consumed at all. None. That’s a giant leap for a man whose daily existence revolves around solid food and the consumption thereof.
Initially, it seems easy – just squeeze some oranges and extract the liquid from a few apples and grapes, and get on with your life. Not so fast, my carnivorous friend. There are vegetables involved in this juicing business, too.
Vegetables? You think to yourself. That’s no big deal – I drink V8 juice, I’ve tried carrot juice. Yes, but a juice diet includes spinach and kale. That’s an entirely different ballgame.
For some reason, green juice is a big part of the juicing diet. I don’t know why, but I’m about to learn.
Unlike many diets or eating plans, there aren’t as many rules with juice fasting. Mainly because there is no solid food involved and there aren’t that many things to do while juicing other than sticking fruits and vegetables into a juice blender, turning on the switch, and trying to gulp it down.
In 2009, for the entire month of September, I was a vegetarian. There are a lot of rules involved in that lifestyle choice, and I learned them all. In September 2010, I took vegetarianism a step further and adopted the vegan lifestyle for 30 days – more rules, even harder. Last year I was in Europe for the entire month of September, so I was able to skip a year.
This year I am going raw for the month of September, but in the days leading up to the raw diet, I am living on juice and juice alone.
I will be blogging and journaling the juices I make and drink each day – the good, the bad, the not-so-good, the not-so-bad, and the downright gross. Follow the 10-day juice fast on Twitter @robertstjohn or on my Facebook fan page www.facebook.com/ robert.st.john or better still, join me for 10 days and we’ll juice together. In the meantime, pass the kale, please.
Onward.
Robert St. John is a restaurateur, chef and author of numerous books.