Today I had to deal with some difficult physical problems with my juice feast, making this an even worse day than yesterday. The last time I had a day like today was when I had food poisoning.
Heartburn, Indigestion, Acid Reflux… Oh My!
I began the day as usual with a quart of water with lemon juice and MSM. About an hour later, I drank a 14-oz glass of water with a tablespoon of HealthForce Nutritionals Intestinal Drawing Formula. This stuff is supposed to help draw toxins out of the digestive tract and prevent them from being re-absorbed. I’ve taken it several times during this juice feast so far. It includes such delicious ingredients as charcoal and clay — and tastes about as you’d expect. It’s like drinking water mixed with black chalk dust.
For breakfast I drank a quart and a half (48 oz) of watermelon juice, something I’ve had several times before on this juice feast. Unfortunately I started feeling very poorly about 20 minutes later.
First, I began having some heartburn and indigestion, like the watermelon juice just wasn’t going down. Then I felt a painful burning in my esophagus, which I imagine was acid reflux. I never had digestive problems like this in the normal course of my pre-juice feasting diet — at least never in recent memory.
I gave it some time, hoping the watermelon juice would eventually go down, but I only felt worse and worse. I soon became nauseous, and a bit later I was in the bathroom dry heaving. My mouth was producing tons of saliva, but nothing was coming up from my stomach. I started feeling faint and felt like I was going to pass out. I think the blood was draining from my head and extremities.
Somehow I managed to do an enema, thinking that might help. It did seem to help a little with the nausea and faintness, but I was still experiencing heartburn and indigestion.
Then I tried drinking a cup of peppermint tea, and that seemed to help settle my stomach. I burped a lot after that, which also made me feel a bit better.
But after a few hours without consuming any more liquids, it seemed like my stomach was still full, as if digestion simply wasn’t progressing. I felt queasy and continued to endure mild heartburn in waves of discomfort. I also felt a lot of pressure inside, like I was backed up with too much gas.
I tried lying down for about an hour, sleeping for part of that time, but I only felt worse when I got up.
Ginger Juice to the Rescue
Then I remembered there was a suggestion at juicefeasting.com about using ginger juice to settle an upset stomach. I looked it up and followed the recipe — a tablespoon of fresh ginger juice with some lemon juice in a glass of water. Fortunately I had plenty of ginger on hand, and it only took me a couple minutes to prepare this ginger cocktail. Supposedly ginger juice helps to open the pyloric valve, which flushes the contents of the stomach into the intestines. The taste was a bit strong, but I drank it down.
Within minutes I could tell the ginger was having an effect. I burped a few times, and 15-20 minutes later I was feeling much better. I could feel my stomach emptying, so this remedy definitely worked.
About an hour later, I drank a pint of coconut water. I figured that would help to move things further along, since coconut water is a natural laxative. That also seemed to help me feel better. The coconut water was especially soothing going down my esophagus.
By this time it was already past sunset, and I’d spent most of my daylight hours dealing with these digestive problems. I couldn’t get much work done today at all.
Throughout the day I had virtually no appetite. I managed to drink a quart of tomato-cucumber-greens juice around 9pm, but I’m feeling some mild indigestion afterwards, although it’s nowhere near as bad as what I experienced this morning. I’m only coming in at 3 quarts of juice today, but I doubt I could stomach anything else today.
For the past 90 minutes, I’ve also been having diarrhea, heading for the bathroom every 20 minutes or so. I’m just glad everything is finally moving out. I’m also burping a lot too, feeling a sense of relief each time.
I wish I knew what caused today’s problems. Was it some kind of healing crisis? Did I drink too much watermelon juice? Was it the Intestinal Drawing Formula? Since I don’t know what caused it, I don’t know how to prevent this from happening again.
Maybe the Intestinal Drawing Formula and the watermelon juice had some kind of battle in my stomach. It says on the instructions you can take that formula with fresh juice though (as well as following it up with more juice), so that seems doubtful. This formula never caused me any grief before. I’m at a loss to explain this. Even now as I type this (almost 10pm), I’m still feeling some indigestion and queasiness. But at least I don’t feel like I’m about to pass out.
To top it all off, I had to deal with some emotional detox today as well. I woke up this morning still feeling very stressed (see the Day 11 update for details on that), and I oscillated between mild stress and depression throughout the day. At least this part wasn’t as bad as yesterday though. I guess the upside was that I could hardly pay much attention to these emotions given the physical issues I had to deal with.
Sneezing and Itchiness
I sneezed several times today. I imagine this is another detox symptom. At least this one is much easier to handle.
I also experienced bouts of extreme itchiness at different times, mostly on my scalp but also on my face, arms, and legs. Each time it only lasted a few seconds, but the onset was always strong and sudden. It sure felt good to scratch though.
I weighed 175.2 pounds this morning for a net loss of 3.8 pounds in 11 days. That’s a new low for this juice feast.
Some people report having solid bowel movements all the way into their third month of juice feasting. In my case it’s been virtually all liquid once I got past the first few days. What comes out is always this foul-smelling dark green/brown liquid, sometimes with small clumps of yogurt-like consistency. (I can’t be certain of the exact color because I’m colorblind, and in this case I’m unwilling to seek a second opinion.)
Some part of me is amused by the fact that I can earn a living by publicly sharing details of my bowel movements. I assure you that wasn’t part of my original plans when I started this website. But perhaps this quote from How to Make Money From Your Blog (which I wrote in 2006) was more prophetic than I realized:
If you’re going to do this, then fully commit to it. Don’t take a half-assed approach. Either be full-assed or no-assed.
I took the full-assed approach… and that made all the difference.
Stay tuned for the exciting sequel: “How to Make Money From Your Bowels.”