Diet and nutrition has become a huge interest of mine in the past few years. It's relevance to how we perform both on and off the golfcourse is massive. What we put in our mouth effects who we are, you can not deny this. Out diet is the fuel that we survive off of and the quality of that fuel determines the quality of our lives period. You may think you can get away by feeding yourself on bad fuels for a while, but sooner or later your motor will eventually seize up!
Now I've been a bit of a fanatic eating mostly healthy for quite some time now and I feel great. But recently I've been reading and studying the positive effects of fasting for the benefits of cleansing my body's cells(Mostly my brain cells!....Hahaha..Stop laughing!) :-)
So I figured, why not attempt doing a juice fast for one week. Now today is my first day back on a regular diet again but let me tell you what I experienced during my week of juice fasting.
First of all, I had NO intentions of losing weight during this fast so I therefore did not weigh myself before and after. Though I will make a note that I definitely lost most of my "love handles" and a bit of my belly fat too.
I did not starve myself infact I drank about 4 liters of juice a day, plus a couple liters of water even though I was never thirsty.
The Juice was approx. 80% veggies and 20% fruit/berries.
I juiced my meals for the day fresh every morning and the ingredients varied from:
Beets, broccoli, celery, spinach, chia seed, avocado, carrots, blueberries, strawberries, lemon, ginger, apple.
The first 3 days were weird, I definitely felt focused, and my usual daily craving for drinking coffee all day was gone. When I got home after a long day of teaching, instead of unwinding infront of the TV I felt more active and appreciative of my surroundings. One evening I went for a nice walk on the beach with my wife and our dog and was amazed by the beauty of the environment(usually i take it somewhat for granted as my mind is half focused on my work, always).
Day 4 started like the others. I had a 3 hour clinic I was teaching and I had a blast as i usually do. High in energy with a ton of enthusiasm, helpful, and entertaining, as I usually try to do these clinics, it felt good. But later in the afternoon, I believe it all began to take its toll. I literally felt like I was driving with all tires flat. I felt weak and a little dizzy too.
The evening of my fourth day of fasting i had a guest that I'd promised to make a smoked salmon on the BBQ for, so when I'd prepared this fantastic feast for my guest, i tried a piece of this delicious smoked salmon myself, and it was delicious!
The Smoked salmon was of course not part of my diet for my week of fasting, but I feel it was necessary for me because immediately afterwards, all the air was back in my tires and I get strong and alive again.
Day 5 and 6 were back on track and I felt good again on my juice fast.
Though mentally, when I decide to do something like I've attempted with my week long juice fast, it is easy for me to stay focused on the task almost all the way through however the closer I got to completing the week(the finish line), the more i started thinking about what I was going to eat again on my first day back on a regular diet. This of course made it tougher, and I almost gave into the temptation of eating the night before!
Do I feel more cleansed? Couldn't tell you, I don't have the evidence to prove either for or against.
How do I feel now? A little tired but good.
What was the hardest part of it? Feeling the lack of strength to really do a hard work out, though I tried.
What was the best part of it? The fresh feeling of focus and clarity that I had on the first 3 days.
Would I do it again? Definately, though not too often, perhaps biannually. And I might try a different type of fast next time, perhaps 5/2 with only 2 days of fasting.
Recommendations: don't attempt this on a week of competition, look at your calendar and find some time where you will have time to recover afterwards before doing a competition.
For more information on how you should eat to take your performance to another level, there is an extensive chapter in the Golfers Handbook written by Performance Nutritionalist Pernille Steenberg
PGA Professional & TPI Medical and Fitness Coach
Featured writer for GolfWRX
Author of the Golfers Handbook - Save your golf game and your life!