by Michael Snyder and John Rose
Mike: Hello John, thank you for joining us today. would you like say a little bit about your area of expertise and what you do as a wellness consultant.
John Rose: You bet. I specialize in weight loss and, more specifically, juice
fasting. In all of my research I've discovered that the cause to
almost every one of our problems is our weight. We've got junk
inside of us that really creates a lot of havoc. That's the main thing
I do, but as a wellness consultant, obviously, I just don't look at
nutrition, I look at all the factors that determine how healthy we'll
be and how sick we'll be. So I pretty much am open minded to all
of my research. There's hardly anything I won't consider looking
into to find out if there’s anything to it.
Basically, I teach a very simple philosophy of just cleansing and
rebuilding the body. Of course, not everybody is ready to do
something as aggressive as a juice fast, but it is the fastest and
easiest way to take care of all four things that we need to do to be
healthy. And that is to cleanse, to rebuild, to re-hydrate, and to
alkalize. Again, a lot of people are quite overwhelmed by that
whole process. They think it's going to be difficult. They think
they’re going to be hungry. They think they're not going to have
any energy, but yet those are the three comments I get from
everyone I coach. They can't believe it's easy. They can't believe
they have all this energy and they can't believe they're not hungry,
which is kind of funny in a way because to do a juice fast correctly
you’ve got to drink about a gallon of juice a day, which is close to
16 pounds of food. So, you get more nutrition when you're fasting
probably than any other time.
Mike: Since you're an expert in fasting, how many fasts have you done?
John: All together I've done 125 fasts. Now one year I fasted one day a
week to see what that was like. So there are 52 one-day fasts, but
my longest was 90 days. I’ve gone 60 days. I've done a 43-day
fast, five for thirty and then my first five years of trying to be
100% raw, I wasn't always that successful and I always found after
I fasted that if I stuck to 100% raw food diet I didn't gain any
weight. As soon as I ate anything cooked, and it didn't matter if it
was bean squash, or broccoli, or potatoes, or whatever I gained
weight. It plugged up my colon again and that's why I had to fast
so many different times. Currently, I've done all that research a
long time ago. So, now I fast maybe one time a year for like 30
days just to remind myself how exciting it is. Especially when you
get up to day 19 or so, it's hard to describe how euphoric the
Mike: That's amazing stuff. I think if people who are eating a completely
healthy diet, a perfect diet, than they wouldn't need to fast but I
think that it's the unnatural foods that are the cause of the need for
fasting. Why should people be fasting?
John: You bet. That's the main cause, of course, nowadays since we've
been eating unnatural foods for so long and since we're polluted
ourselves, we're not very bright, and we pollute our environment.
Even if we're eating ideally, it's not a bad idea to fast to help rid
the body of toxins that we get from other sources besides our food.
Our air and our water is not really all that great and there's so
many other factors, electro magnetic radiation, and on and on and
on. So in this toxic world we live in now, it's not a bad idea to
periodically fast especially at the times of the seasonal changes, in
the spring and in the fall.
Mike: What's your current diet? How long have you been eating this
John: Well, it took me five years to get to 100%, but I've been at 100%
right at ten years now. I am raw vegan. I consume no animal
products whatsoever. I don't cook any food. I eat a lot of tropical
fruits. Today I had a durian for dinner; on top of that I had a salad.
My typical dinner is about 3 pounds of fruit and about a 3-pound
salad. I usually only eat two meals a day. I'm very active still.
Today, I walked about 8 miles and played tennis for two hours and
I'll be turning 51 my next birthday and I don't feel like I'm
slowing down one bit. This diet is so exciting, what can you say
about it? Wow.
Mike: That's great. It's truly a high-energy diet.
John: Exactly; very-high energy. In fact, that's how I got involved in
this many years ago when I was playing competitive tennis. I
became a vegetarian for athletic reasons and that's the first thing I
noticed. My endurance level skyrocketed and that's what got me
excited. I wanted to know more. Since then I've been like a
sponge and I can't read enough about the subject matter.
Mike: I've done couple of fasts in the last couple of years but, when I tell
people that aren't familiar with fasting, they're shocked and
concerned and a little scared for me. They're like, why are you
going to starve yourself?
Mike: I tell them there's a huge difference between fasting and starvation,
can you talk a little bit about that difference?
John: You bet. In fact, the body is not stupid in any way. It knows how
to rob Peter to pay Paul, so to speak. It knows that when you stop
eating after several days it goes into a self-digestive mode and it
goes after the bad stuff before it goes after anything else. We've
got reserves of fat that it can use, but obviously we're not giving
the body everything it needs.
So it does need to, like I said, rob Peter to pay Paul. You're not
using your pancreas much at this time, so it breaks part of it down
to make sure that you have all of your heart and your liver and
your lungs and your brain in tact. In fact it's interesting if you've
ever read any of Herbert Shelton's books, which I've read all of his
books on fasting and he states that even when animals die of
starvation, they still have all those main organs in tact. What you
end up dying of starvation is you basically just freeze to death.
You just run out of fuel to keep your body warm. And, of course,
when you go on a water fast, if you water fast, your hunger will
disappear after about three days, which goes to show it wasn't true
hunger to begin with. It was just a withdrawal symptom. And
then when your hunger returns that's a sign that you're ready to eat
and if you don't eat at that time then you'll go into starvation
Now a juice fast, many people will argue that it's not a true fast,
and perhaps it may be a misnomer, but the one thing about our
language is it's quite flexible and it adapts to the changing times.
Perhaps it might be best to call it a juice diet, but yet everyone you
ever talk to that you say juice fast, they know what you're talking
about. And, indeed, the two are two different things, as you well
know Mike. During a water fast you turn your body into an eating
machine. A juice fast is more of a cleansing machine, so it's not
quite the same thing.
Mike: I've had many questions from people asking that maybe their
diabetic, or they have an eating disorder, or they're too skinny. So
they just want to know if it's safe for them to fast. Is it safe for
John: I missed the very first part. Did you say anorexic?
John: Diabetic. Okay. That's what I thought you might have said.
Actually with a juice fast, I've worked with a lot of diabetics and
they just have to be more selective at what they juice. They've got
to stick with juices that won't raise their blood sugar and most
vegetables will not. A lot of my students that are diabetic can
actually handle carrot juice. The master cleanser uses maple syrup
they can't handle, but I find that the agave nectar works great.
Ever since I've been using the agave nectar, all of my students
were able to pretty much not even need their medication from day
one and use the nectar with lemon juice and cayenne pepper and
Whether or not it's unsafe for anybody, I don't think so. No.
Perhaps for a few people who may have some very severe
psychological issues about eating, this might complicate the issues,
but I don't think it does because in order for them to think clearly,
the blood needs to be pure and if their colon is full of garbage then
they're not going to be thinking very well either. So, no, I don't
think anyone would be contraindicated to doing a juice fast.
Mike: So for a first timer, should they start out with a water fast, or a
John: Oh, a juice fast by all means. You know water fasting, you've got
to, even though I would bet that probably 99 out of 100 people
could probably water fast for several weeks, three or four weeks, if
not longer safely. It's still something that you need to be
supervised with because even if one out of a hundred people die of
a heart attack because they run out of potassium, I don't know
about you, but I wouldn't want to be that one out of a hundred. So
if you did a water fast, I think that most people could fast safely
but I think the real issue here is being practical. Most people just
can't take a vacation from life and say okay I'm just going to do
nothing but drink water and lay in bed and not worry about
working, or taking care of my family. With a juice fast you can
maintain a normal life and actually have a better quality of life.
Your energy will skyrocket during this time. You can, now when I
did my longest fast of 90 days, I couldn't put in my normal seven
hour, eight hour exercise routine that I was doing while I was
playing competitive tennis, but I could still put in a four hour day.
I just couldn't juice 5,000 calories but I was still active and that's
the great benefit about the juice fast is you're still able to go to
work, take care of your family, take care of your financial
responsibilities. So, I would strongly recommend the juice fast as
the best way to start. You bet.
Mike: Well, how about if someone is going to work and they don't have a
juicer at work, should they just juice for the whole day at the
beginning in the morning, or do you recommend substituting with
the Master Cleanse?
John: I knew you'd be asking some good questions. That's a good one,
Mike. Yeah, you bet. Most people can't be tied down to a
machine and most machines don't make a good enough quality
juice to take, to make up ahead of time and take it with you. So,
most of my students do have to work, or go to school and that's
where they use the Master Cleanser, that lemonade fast. They can
make it up ahead of time and take it with them, and then while
they're around their machine, or as often as possible, and before
they go to work, even if they can come home at lunch and juice
and especially when they come home at night. Put as much good
quality fruit and vegetable juices in them and then use the master
cleanser while they're away from the machine. Great question.
Mike: Yeah. So that's a great combination of the Master Cleanse and the
juice fast, but would it be okay to combine water fasting with juice
John: No, not at all because they're two different things. Even Shelton
mentions in his books that you don't even want to drink lemon
juice while you're on a water fast because that's going to take
away that self-digesting mode. The body realizes it's getting
nutrition now and it stops having to self cannibalize itself. So, it's
very important that when you're on a water fast that you consume
no calories at all, no nutrients at all. And on a juice fast it's
important to consume a minimum amount of calories to prevent
what's known as gluconeogenesis.
In fact this is what got me into this sixteen years ago when I was
writing a book on weight loss, I came up with a very complicated
mathematical procedure to monitor my caloric activity so I could
keep track of my very small carbohydrate fuel tank. In fact, I've
played tournaments and sometimes I'd play two matches in a day
because it was very important for me to make sure I had plenty of
energy and not lose any of that precious muscle I worked hard to
get so I could keep running around that tennis court.
So it's very important when you're fasting to give your body
everything it needs especially the carbohydrates so that you keep
your carbohydrate fuel tank filled up which is a very small fuel
tank and we can empty it in one day if we're not careful. The
average woman needs about 12 hundred calories a day. The
average man needs 15 hundred, maybe 18 hundred. Of course if
you're more active, or if you're above average in size in muscle at
least, you'll need more calories.
Mike: I'd just like to clarify that where we're talking about fresh raw
juices, not the pasteurized and bottled juices that you can find in
Mike: Don't fast on Odwalla juices, because that wouldn't be too safe.
What types of liquids would you consume? We have fruits and
vegetable juices, leafy greens, and young coconut water.
John: Yeah. You just took the words right out of my mouth. Yeah,
coconut water would be great. You can drink any kind of teas. I'd
stay away from the black teas, anything with caffeine in it, so
chamomile tea, peppermint tea, those kinds of things. As long as
that doesn't interfere with getting everything else you need. A lot
of people that I work with are not used to drinking water at all and
to get them to drink a gallon of juices is like pulling teeth out them.
So, if you don't have any problems drinking the minimum amount
of calories you need, which is close to a gallon of juice a day, then
you can drink as much water as you want, as much herbal tea as
you want. Of course, the young coconut water has almost a
hundred calories per pint so you can use that also. As you can see
if you were drinking nothing but coconut water, for women, they'd
need 12 pints of that day.
So that's why it's important that we get a good wide variety of
juices in our diet everyday. Some juices are pretty high in calories
and some are pretty low, like celery is really low and cucumber is
really low. On the high end we've got your berries and your green
veggies like parsley and spinach, but if you get a good variety,
you'll probably have no problem at all of getting those minimum
amount of calories.
Mike: So, I guess one of the main reasons for doing a cleanse is just to
detoxify and clean out your body. The pictures on your website, a
lot of people have questions about that. It's a real controversial
subject. Some people say there's no such thing as mucoid plaque.
Other people are saying yes, there is, you've got to get it out. Is
mucoid plaque a myth or reality?
John: I'll be honest with you; I don't like the term mucoid plaque. In fact, I
sat down one day and I came up with 116 different names to call it
besides mucoid plaque because there is so much controversy over
it. I can tell you one thing for sure, I don't care what you call it, or
where it's at, I know it's there. When I did this, I was in extremely
great shape physically. Exercising 7, or 8 hours a day, anyone
would be; 50 hours every week. That got my body fat percentage
down to 5.8%.
I only had about nine pounds of total fat on me and
I always wondered why I didn't have this little bitty skinny waist
like you see on little 15-year-old kids. It still was a 31-inch waist,
which wasn't too bad. It didn't look too bad having a 41-inch
chest. It was a good contrast but still it just didn't seem right.
When I did my 90 day juice fast, I saw my colon shrink right
before my eyes. You've got to keep in mind that I got into this
because I perfected this very complicated mathematical procedure.
I was spending four hours everyday matching all of my exercise to
all of my calories and I spent a lot of time keeping track of calories
in and calories out. It wasn't until day ten of my first juice fast that
I realized I was documenting the wrong information. On day ten
of my first juice fast, I lost five pounds in those first ten days and I
only had nine pounds of fat, and that's when the light bulb went
off. I'm thinking to myself I'm having stuff coming out of my
everyday. I've lost five pounds. I wonder if I pooped those found
pounds out of me. So on day eleven guess what I started doing? I
started documenting what came out of me because I wanted to
So, when I did my 90 day fast, I actually weighed everything that
came out of me and I had 45 pounds come out of me and I lost 20
pounds on the scale. I had a good chance to look at it. It just
didn't go in the toilet and disappear. If I couldn't tell what it was,
I'd get out the rubber gloves and put it in a bigger bowl and I'd
look at it. And I know this stuff wasn't fiber that turned into it and
I know it wasn't psyllium bentonite. We hear that excuse all the
time: "Well, it isn't mucoid plaque, that's psyllium and bentonite
that's turned into mucoid plaque."
Well the first six long fasts I did, I never used psyllium or
bentonite and that's when I saw all of that stuff come out of me.
And then when I finally tried the psyllium and bentonite I never
saw anything come out of me like that. So, I don't care what you
call it, I know it's there. I've coached thousands of people and if
they go long enough everyone sees it.
It reminded me of a long time ago, I was coaching this woman and she must have been on day 53 or something like that. She kept swearing to me, "John I
don't see it, I don't see it", and I said "well I know this is kind of a
disgusting suggestion, but try to trap some of that. Try to catch it
and take a better look at it". She called me back in about ten
minutes and was all excited saying "You're right. You're right. I
just couldn't tell because it was in the toilet and it was all murky
and I could never see it, but you're right. It looks exactly like
Mike: That is amazing.
John: It really is.
Mike: I noticed that one of the hardest aspects of fasting that I'd like to
address next, is that fasting is actually easy, but the hard part is
breaking the fast. I think there's a quote by Herbert Shelton that I
love. It says something like "Any fool can fast, but it takes a wise
person to break the fast."
John: Yeah. I love that one too, and I can't believe how true it is.
John: I'm amazed at how many people I coach and I call them up the day
they're breaking their fast and I ask them what they did and I'll
take a double take and I'll say "WHAT? You did what? I mean,
how many times did we talk about this and you did what?" It's just
amazing, yeah. When you don't eat for so long your brain goes
back into your taste buds. Yeah, you're right. It's so important.
I've found if you break the fast the right way, it's like taking a
giant step forward, but if you do it wrong way, you take a giant
step backwards. The last thing we want to do is erase a week's
worth of juicing because it takes a lot of work to make these juices.
So you bet. Breaking the fast is the most important part of the
program and what I find that works the best for me, I follow the
advice of Professor Arnold Ehret because when I started fasting I
looked into Shelton and I studied everyone else. They said, boy
when you break that fast you don't want to eat too much. You
don't want to overwhelm the system.
Then Ehret comes along and he says all those experts are wrong.
When you break the fast, you want to give your colon something to
work with. You've got to eat a lot of food, but just make sure it's
laxative in nature. I've tried that out. I've been using myself as a
guinea pig to try these things out and sure enough he's right. If
you take about a half a pound of prunes and soak them in a pint of
water and drink that prune water and eat those prunes. If you're
clean, you'll start seeing everything come out of you in about an
hour, and if you're real, real clean, it'll all come of you in about
two or three hours, and if you're not clean, it won't come out for
maybe eight hours.
In fact, I've done this many times and I've ended up saying this is
my prune test. If I realized I wasn't clean enough, I'd need to get
back on that horse and go a few more days. So, breaking the fast is
very important. Basically, a rule of thumb is for every four days
you fast, you'll take one day to break it and that's probably true up
to about a month. Once you get up to six days of breaking the fast,
you don't need to take too much longer to break the fast.
What I do is I introduce three main food groups in this time period.
I'll give you a couple of examples to illustrate how this works.
Let's say you go 24 days on nothing but juices, or juices and
lemonade, and on day 25 you decide to break the fast. Well, since
we went 24 days, divide that by four, we get six days to break it
and since we're going to introduce three food groups within that
six-day period, every two days we're going to introduce another
food group. The first food group we introduce are laxative foods
like prunes that you soak overnight. I find that they work so good
that it just doesn't even pay to try anything else out. So what you
do on day 25, you start your day. You consume the prunes. Now,
for me I do eight ounces of prunes in 16 ounces of water. For most
of my students who are women, they can only tolerate maybe four
ounces of prunes, and this is before you soak them in water.
Four ounces of prunes will swell up to maybe six ounces
afterwards, but you want to eat as much as you can. Someone can
maybe eat six ounces. I even find some men have a hard time
eating four ounces of prunes, but that's what you do for day one
and then the key is you've got to go back to your juices to make
sure you get all of your calories. This is what makes it so hard
because once you start eating you sort of wake up a giant that's
inside of you that wants to eat and eat and eat, but you can't go
back to the three squares and two snacks a day.
You've got to respect your body's limitations. So that's what you
do the first day of breaking a fast. The next day it's not so
important that you use the prunes again. Maybe you can use
something else that's relatively laxative like cherries or figs or
something. Then once again you go back to all your juices. Now
the next two days you get to introduce one more meal, which
would be juicy fruits and since it's not that important to stick with
laxative fruits, I basically have my students do two meals of juicy
So you might have some mangoes for breakfast and some
watermelon for lunch, or whatever. You know, two meals a day
spread out anyway you want as long as you leave at least four
hours in between. Then you go back to all those juices to make
sure you're getting those 12 hundred, and 15 hundred calories,
Then finally the last two days, we get to introduce that last meal, or
food group, into the breaking period and that meal would be a
salad. Keep the salad simple. Usually three green leafy
vegetables, no more than. No fats at this time. Keep the salad
simple and then once you've finished the breaking period,
hopefully, you can go to what I call the ideal diet for building or
maintaining, which is basically 100% raw foods.
Now to give you one more example to help illustrate how this
works. Let's say you go on a short fast of only four days. You
divide that four days by four days and you get one day to break it.
So it's really a five day fast. On that fifth day, we're going to
introduce three meals, laxative fruits, juicy fruits and a salad. So
there is your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These aren't etched in
stone. You can pretty much play with it as you feel you need to.
Just respect your body's limitations. A lot of people seem to want
to eat a salad the first thing, but that's not the best way to break a
fast. You want something that will jumpstart your colon because
many times when you're fasting you need to take something to
make sure you have a bowel movement, like herbs or something.
If you were doing that, you'd want to get off the herbs. You want
to make sure the body can take over on its own and you can get
back to working on its own normally.
Mike: Speaking of the peristaltic action during the fast, there's no food
going in to simulate this action and you're not going to have a
bowel movement. So what do you think can be done about this?
Do you recommend herbs? What specific herbs, or enemas,
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