So last week Nelson and I re-watched the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and decided Hey, juicing for a month can’t be that hard! Let’s try it!
And so Friday I embarked on this crazy journey of juicing, which at first was extremely overwhelming because I had never juiced a day in my life. Nelson ordered a Breville juicer (you can fit a whole apple in it, core and all!) and we went to Kroger and filled our cart with a crazy amount of fresh fruits and veggies. I pulled up some recipes online and I guess you could say the rest is history.
I wanted to document this journey, because really the thought of not eating any solid food for 30 days seems insane. If I can get through it, I really want to have something to look back on and remember it. Also, I figured that if it works for me – maybe it could help some one else!
So before I get started, some things that Nelson and I probably could’ve done better. First, I didn’t eat any foods the week before that would have probably made the transition easier. For example, my last meal was a bag of popcorn and a huge bowl of goldfish. I eat like a toddler; the meal before that was chicken nuggets. I also drink a large iced coffee from McDonald's daily. So if I could do it again, I’d probably try to eat more fruit and vegetable based meals before jumping straight into it. Second, Nelson and I bought our veggies in bulk (seriously – we purchased 40 cucumbers in one trip!) and looking back it’s probably smarter to purchase everything in smaller portions – maybe like enough for a few days max, rather than 2 weeks for 2 people. Our fridge couldn’t hold all of the food, and some of the leafy greens are starting to mold because they’ve been sitting in a wet bag for several days. Gross. Plus there wasn't room for the actual juice, so we had to throw a lot of our condiments out to make room (bummer, I hate being wasteful).
But we did do some things right! I obsessively researched the positives of juicing for almost the entire two weeks before the cleanse. I ignored the “nay-sayers” because let’s be honest, this is tough and it helps to remember the successes and positive results. Also, this article was a good way to get mentally prepared for things to come. So far, everything it’s said would happen has happened. Also, I chose to start on a Friday rather than waiting until the 1st of April. This allowed me to go through the hardest part/initial stages of the cleanse without having to be at work or around people. This weekend I pretty much stayed on the couch or in bed, and it was nice to have that option. Also, I have no self control and one thing I definitely did right was quickly spent all my money on raw fruits and veggies and got rid of all my cash. When I was at my weakest point this weekend, I had no money to purchase food even if I wanted it! Very effective!
So here’s how I’m doing so far:
Day 1 (Friday) – The morning and the afternoon went really well. I didn’t feel hungry at all, and was still on the “high” of trying out something new. I chose two juices that tasted pretty good, considering the icky green color. The tables turned however at about 4:00 pm. I had a celery based juice that tasted like compost pile leftovers mixed with the nasty liquid you would find in a lawn mower bag. Also, it suddenly hit me that I wouldn’t get to have my weekly pizza fix. I wondered the halls of my apartment building, smelling dinners that were cooking and imagining how they would taste. The cravings that night were extremely intense, and I had several “breakdowns” where I just started sobbing. I went to bed early and dreamt of Mexican food; beef nachos, specifically.
Day 2 (Saturday) – I woke up feeling really great! Unfortunately, the second I got out of bed things took a turn for the worst. This was the absolute hardest day of my entire life and I was certain I would die if I continued the cleanse. I tried watching tv to distract me, but quickly found myself on Red Lobster’s facebook page scrolling pictures of delicious deep fried shrimp, mashed potatoes, rolls…. All the while ugly crying my heart out. I began bargaining (which I read somewhere is normal for this stage) – telling myself that I could just eat raw veggies and it would be ok, or I could finish the cleanse if I just made it one week, or I could just start eating normal and give Nelson $200 for the groceries. The juice was so nasty that every time I drank a sip I would gag it back up. I only drank 2 juices and went to bed around 7pm. I was nauseated, dizzy, had a huge headache, hold/cold flashes, irritability, and little to no energy. I did actually "cheat" on this day and ate an orange, but I don’t regret doing that because it totally saved my cleanse. I felt soooo much better after that and it lifted my spirits just enough to allow myself to keep going. I didn’t dream of food that night, which was a relief!
Day 3 (Sunday) – I woke up around 10 am and was feeling pretty good. I did have some short-lived headaches that seemed to pop up sporadically, probably due to no coffee or processed sugar in 3 days. I had to finish the juices that I skipped over the day before (there were 3 and a half extra nasty ones), which was really tough. These juices tasted so bad at this point that after each gulp I would dry heave. I kept ice water with lemons nearby and that helped. I did cry but not as much as on Saturday. My cravings subsided and (because the juice was so gross) I began to cringe at mealtimes. But I finished the juices and was rewarded by a date at a local juice bar. Nelson (who start’s the cleanse on Tuesday) ate a meal in front of me, and it didn’t bother me. My stomach didn’t growl all day and I was very pleased that I could already fit into a pair of my “skinny jeans”!
Day 4 (Today) – I woke up at 7am and felt energetic and happy! I drank my morning juice (the same one I had on Friday that I liked – see recipe below) and was able to work throughout the day without any issues. I went grocery shopping with a friend/co-worker at our lunch break and the food didn’t bother me, nor did her eating a chicken sandwich next to me on the drive back to work, which I asked her to do just to see how it would effect me. I enjoy smelling, but don't feel like I will die if I don't eat anything. I came back and drank a beet based juice, which in all honesty tasted like dirt and looked like blood, but I didn’t gag or cry over it. I was a little “spacey” but it didn’t effect my daily routine. I came home, drank another juice, and enjoyed the rest of my evening without any tears. My first day not crying! I finally feel like I have the hang of things, and don’t feel quite as overwhelmed. Also, I weighed myself and I am down almost 15 pounds! Not too shabby for a weekend where I typically would've otherwise gained a pound or two.
Weird things I have noticed: My face started breaking out today, but washing it with this soap helps and it's not high-school terrible. My teeth feel gross. Using a straw helps, and extra brushing. Occasionally my jaw will hurt, probably from not crunching on delicious snacks. I crunch a piece of ice and that usually helps. Also, my nails are rock hard and white!
One thing that I have been surprised at is that food preparation isn’t as time consuming as I thought it would be. I think that’s the benefit of getting one of the more pricey juicers – they do most of the work for you. Each night, Nelson and I put together the ingredients for 5 juices. While he is putting one juice into the juicer, I’m cleaning and preparing the next round. It takes us less than an hour to prepare 5 juices AND clean the machine, plus it’s nice spending the time together. We have a pretty good system down, so I’m interested to see if/how things change once he starts the cleanse tomorrow.
I am not planning on going to the gym this week, because I want to give my body a chance to get used to all of the changes. I am going back next week and hopefully will be able to continue on with light workouts 4 times per week. More updated to come!
But first.... a juice recipe that doesn't make me dry heave!!
This juice contains: 1 grapefruit, 8 clementine's (or 2 oranges), 4 apples, and 8 kale leaves. YUM :)