We've been doing it our whole lives - every moment shaping out body by what we're doing with it. Fortunately, a lot of those processes are automatic (like growing up when you're a kid), and we're going to take advantage of those automatic processes. Our big brains will lead the parade: read, reflect, practice - that's the big brain's department.
March first I will begin a pre-pre-fast in anticipation of my adapted version of Pamela Serure's 1997 juice cleansing program "3 Days to Vitality," which I plan to start on March 28 with the pre-fast. I did this twice in 2009, July and October, intending to schedule two more in a 12 month period, and am confident that it is not harmful when approached seriously and carefully.
I say carefully, because I have two sources that have spoken against this type of juice fast. First, very importantly, my personal physician did not recommend it because I have chronic acid reflux. "Pouring acid onto acid?" she said, shaking her head.
I have come to respect the variables of PH levels in my body, both through reading and my own reflux problem. Since I have been on a course of medicine (Nexium) I have no longer experienced reflux, and did not during the juice fasts. My decision to step across Dr.'s orders was based on my feeling at the time that I was ready for drastic action, and my perspective of "drastic" had been repositioned by my friend's gastric by-pass (see previous post "There's Drastic ...")
Another source that speaks against juice fasting is Dr. Christine Northrup, M.D. in Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, (rev.) 1998, Bantam Books. In her excellent chapter on menopause, the subchapter "Adrenal Function: What Every Woman should Know" is a good read. Many of the symptoms she describes as indicating adrenal gland stress apply to me, and I value her advice. However, when her helpful "Adrenal Restoration Program ..." states "Avoid fasting or cleansing programs, which can weaken you further," it does so in the context of nutritional support of recovery.
I believe that paying careful attention to my diet with a three weeks of "pre-pre-fast" stabilized my nutrition / mineral metabolic self prior to my three days of juice-fasting, and the program did more good than harm.
Here's the reason I did the fast, and it worked: I wanted to stop being addicted to sweets, refined flour, and large quantities.
I believe losing those addictions has made Pamela Serure's juice fast (adapted by me for me) a determining factor in my present success on my two-year weight loss program. I lost 40 pounds in 2009; I will lose 35 in 2010 to reach my goal weight of 145.