Juice cleanse--Follow up
Monday, July 15, 2013
Good morning and Happy Monday!
I thought I'd re-cap the end of the third day of the juice cleanse and document any remaining impressions.
By the end of the third day I was really in a different world mentally and emotionally. Honestly, when I look back upon the 3 day journey, it's almost like I was down the white rabbit hole. Even now it seems like I was somewhere far away and in another land. In some ways, I still feel like I'm returning home.
Fortunately, due to some other factors, I was able to leave work a couple of hours early and get home about 3pm. I had very low energy and crawled into bed. I feel very lucky and it was exactly what I needed to ride out the last day/evening of the process. Here's the weird part. You know how I said I hated kale (raw kale in juice and smoothies only) and beets? My juice at this point (second to the last one) was mainly beet, kale and cucumber. By the way, I have also learned that I don't care for cucumber juice either. Weird, since cucumber is a fairly innocuous veggie but something about the juice is just gross to me. So back to my story... At my very weakest, on the last day, my penultimate juice was "Cool Kale Energy", a blood red concoction that there is no way I would have been able to finish on the first day. It didn't taste so bad. In fact, as I drank it, I truly could feel its "life force energy". It was like this elixir that I was happy to derive my sustenance from! Amazing! It even pepped me up enough to go out and run some errands with Manfriend. Came home later in the evening and had the very last juice of the day which was lemon and cayenne. Boy was it strong and astringent. I could easily imagine it was the final drain cleaner for my system.
The next morning, I did not wake up hungry at all so I downed some water. I didn't have any more juice so now came the part about deciding what to put into this now pristine body. I can't remember exactly but I think I maintained the fast until 1pm or so. The first thing I consumed was a non-dairy pro-biotic drink that was basically coconut water, strawberry puree, and pro-biotic culture. My reasoning was that if my system had been cleaned out, the best thing to do would be to boost that intestinal flora. Then I got to cooking up a major batch of organic veggies from the CSA. I had green beans, collard greens, cucumbers and tomatoes. Instead of eating this in one fell swoop, I slowly ate it course by course. For instance, I ate a serving of green beans, made sure to chew well and not gorge, and then let it sit a while. 30 minutes later, I ate a tomato in the same way. Repeat with next food. I also boiled some fresh shrimp and had a dozen or so of those. I felt good, not overstuffed and way under calories. While it seemed like I was eating a TON, I was not. I treated myself to some coconut milk ice cream for dessert. So very very indulgent. I felt guilty even.
Yesterday I upheld the trend of loads of veg. Started my day with some fresh fruit and ended on veg and leftover shrimp. It felt like I ate massive amounts but at the end of my day I tracked and realized I had only consumed less than 500 calories. I do feel better for eating again. During the fast I was advised to go "half or quarter throttle" and indeed, I could hardly imagine myself doing anything much on that second and third day. Based on how I was feeling, exertion was inconceivable. Heck, I felt like a ghost by the end of that third day. But yesterday, I mowed the lawn and went to Zumba last night and was able to fully particpate in and enjoy my class.
I am continuing to eat clean and well (much as I was before) but giving everything I put into my body much more scrutiny. I find that I want to stay away from dairy as much as I can--except for my daily kefir. I'm getting plenty of Calcium through my dark green veg. Also, as a current flexitarian, I plan to consciously eliminate even more meat. I don't eat it much anyway but I'm only declaring my intentions. I mostly eat seafood and that may only be once or twice a week and maybe a turkey sandwich at Subway once in a while. I haven't introduced any sort of grains yet. That will inevitably come, I'm sure.
I'm sure a lot of people are curious about any difference in weight. My weight boosted up the days immediate preceding the fast sure to normal fluctuation and water retention. From the day I started the fast to the day I quit the fast I lost around 6 pounds. I am not logging my weight yet into SP because I'm waiting to see if there's any rebound weight gain just from eating normal again. I am expecting my net loss to be around2-3 lbs when it's all said and done. I want to emphasize that weight loss is that last reason someone should undertake a juice fast and it should be viewed as an opportunity to cleanse and to reset oneself to start again. No use in cleaning out to re-start the same old food habits. I feel right as rain and would definitely recommend it to anyone serious and knowledgeable about their health (as opposed to someone wanting to lose a few pounds on a whim).
The whole process was eye opening to several things. First off, I could write a whole separate blog on the liberation from making food choices and how food obsessed our culture here in the States is. How strange it was to not worry about food but then it was astounding how much food came to my attention just going throughout my normal day. It wasn't because I was hungry that it came to my attention. It intruded itself via advertisements, websites, off handed discussion with folks, driving down the road and seeing a strip of fast food joints, etc. I can't even articulate this aspect well. Food is everywhere. Unhealthy food is everywhere and we are bombarded by it, many times subconsciously so. There are many, more than can be healthy, social values placed on food in this country.
Secondly, my own perceptions of food and how I've chosen to live my life can be extremely limiting. I limit myself and what I am capable of. The beet juice on the third day made me realize this. I know it sounds crazy, but that experience was magical to me. It may be one of those things that "you had to be there." There are experiences to be had and wonderful ones, even though I am barely aware of them, that are available to me.
Thirdly, I have never taken "your body is a temple" as seriously as I am right now. It is sacred space. I cannot imagine seeing a cheeto and wanting to put it in me. As salty and crunchy and delicious as I perceive it as being, it is garbage and I don't want to defile my body. I feel conflicted already for consuming animal products so quickly (shrimp and kefir) but that's my own spiritual/ethical struggle to deal with in my own time. As food sources they are reasonably healthy and I make no judgment on anyone else for their choices. This is my observation for myself and a subject I've been processing for many, many years. Bottom line, everything going into my mouth will be considered above and beyond calorie content.
Lastly, I feel fantastic. My body is happier for sure.