The Big Bad Cleanse
Posted on February 13, 2012
I did my first cleanse a few months ago (second post here). After it, I mentioned I might like to try something a little more challenging. Apparently by challenging, what I really meant was let’s just not eat anything for three days, and drink only liquid vegetables. Sure, that sounds like a GREAT idea. Totally doable. Easy peasy. …PSH.
Well I got my challenge. OHHH did I get it. After receiving my new juicer and watching the documentary Fat Sick and Nearly Dead I thought I’d like to give it the old college try. Heck, if that guy can drink nothing but juice for SIXTY days (no, really, six-zero), I can do it for 3. I’m a vegetarian! I’ll happily drink my veggies.
I decided on the Omega Vert 330 (I got it for a better price than the one listed there) after getting some advice from a family friend who knew what he was talking about. The only thing I knew I wanted in a juicer, was a low-oxidation rate. This means that you can store the juice and drink it within the 24 hours after juicing, without losing many of the enzymes. The Omega did well, and held up even after making juice for 2 hours.
So, here was my thought process that lead up to the whole shebang: drinking this juice is very good for you. It gives your body a rest, while supplying it with all the vital micro-nutrients you need. When your body isn’t spending all of its time digesting that short rib sandwich you ate for lunch, it has more energy to put into other fun things… like those excel charts. People pay hundreds of dollars for a few days of juice, so why couldn’t I just do it for a fraction of the price, and still reap all the benefits. Why wouldn’t I want to give myself that? I figured at the least I could give my body a break from red wine for three days. Sounds so easy, right? HA.
I needed a little moral support. I wanted to go through it with friends so that when I felt like grabbing a Billy’s cupcake that had been brought in for a co-workers birthday, I had people there to steer me clear.
On Monday night, Kathleen and I filled up our shopping cart with the greens and veggies that would be sustaining us over the next three days. Boy, did we look like idiots. A shopping cart overflowing with kale, romaine, spinach, carrots, beets, apples, cucumbers, oranges and grapefruits galore could not have seemed sane in the eyes of those around us. Who on earth would need that much romaine lettuce? You were right fellow judgmental Fairway shoppers… you were right.
The picture below was taken after we realized we wouldn’t have enough room in one cart for both of our juicing shares. I should have known then.
Post-Bachelor, we stayed up late churning out juice after juice, getting my money’s worth from my new juicer. I thought to myself, welcome to your new home, juicer. We’re never going to let you rest… and you thought you were going to live in one of those homes where housewives would only take you out to make fresh grapefruit juice to impress their friends. I’m going to juice you to your grave, 10-year warranty or not.
We made 6 juices, that we were to drink every 2 hours (along with hot water with lemon throughout the day):
1. carrot, orange, grapefruit
2. greens: all the good stuff
3. carrot, apple, beet, lemon, ginger
4. greens, again (never enough)
5. grapefruit, orange, beet, apple
6. almond, date, cinnamon
First day really wasn’t so painful. The worst part was thinking about getting home from babysitting and knowing that I had to devote a significant amount of time to juice for the following day. You know, that significant time that’s usually reserved for my apartment’s bad reality TV habit/devotion. Making the green juice was probably the most difficult, because the spinach and celery pulp would build up and get caught in the filter, and I would have to disassemble juicer-man, clean him out, and reassemble. Let’s also not forget about washing everything and peeling/cutting/chopping all of the produce first (spinach, why must you insist on hanging onto so much DIRT that requires numerous washings?!). As I’m sure you can imagine, this got old. Fast. The fruit juices were always easy. The beet juices made our kitchen look like a scene from Dexter. Perhaps we should have draped our white cabinets in plastic wrap before starting? Why am I only thinking of this now? I’d be a terrible serial killer.
Second day I was feeling tired, but I would have random spurts of energy that puttered out quickly. I’m pretty sure this was a result of my brain remembering that I was forcing myself to drink JUICE for three days. My savior was this Zico cococnut water. I would drink it when I was feeling hungry, thirsty, needed something sweet, angry etc. You get the picture. I’m not sure if this would be allowed on a professional cleanse because of the sugar in it, but I didn’t really care.
There were a few times where I let too much time go before drinking my next juice, and I would feel pangs of hunger. It took me about an hour to drink one juice, and by the time I had refilled my lemon water it was time to drink again. One extra meeting at work, and my schedule was off… #firstworldproblems.
A few minutes after chugging my next juice, it would subside.
The end of day two, is where it all went downhill. I came home only to find Kathleen glaring at me, angry for making her torture herself alondside me. “Fine,” I said “let’s call Carrie. I know this is really tough, but I bet she’ll be able to talk us through this. I want to quit too, and we need some support!” Didn’t help. Carrie was on our same level, and was deep in the cleanse-hunger-anger hole: “I just want to eat an egg. I’ll even eat it raw. I just want a freaking egg,” Carrie yelled. For me, I wanted something to crunch. I wanted some watery lettuce, or something! I was delirious, and knew things were not okay if I was craving a carrot.
At that point I realized, okay, this isn’t meant to be this hard. I know that you get hungry/frustrated on these things, but you’re supposed to be able to push through it! I said to Kathleen and Carrie “OK, go eat! I’m defeated.”
Cleanse: 1, Alex: 0. I still wanted to continue, except I decided I would just eat the remainder of the veggies once or twice, and keep drinking that gosh darn juice.
Crunchy lettuce. I had died and gone to heaven. It was not okay that my dream meal was lettuce, but what can you do. Juice can do weird things to you apparently. It totally skews your sense of normal eating. I knew something was off when my roommate Liz offered me a double-stuffed Oreo, and I DIDN’T EVEN WANT IT. It wasn’t appealing to me, because all I wanted was LETTUCE.
Day three, I drank about 5 juices, and had another romaine salad with carrots, cucumber and celery at lunchtime.
At the end of day 3, I met Kathleen and Carrie after work at an event (where we got to see The Vow!), and afterwards we went to dinner where I ate a real meal. I ordered the pasta & vegetables dish, and my tummy couldn’t have been happier. When coming out of a cleanse, it’s important to eat carefully because your body will have to readjust to breaking down any food that isn’t grass, essentially.
So, as it turns out, I’m not as hardcore as I’d like to think of myself when it comes to these health-ventures. After being able to eat salad, I felt great. I had an unnatural amount of energy. (I was literally skipping around my office… I think people wanted to smack me. First cleanse was too easy, second cleanse started out to be too hard, so I adjusted this one to make it juuuuuuust right (just call me the little red riding hood of cleanses). Peanut butter toast the next morning never tasted so good. Carbs, I will never let you go.
If you decide to try this I have two things to say: 1. Don’t make your own juices. Not worth it.
And 2: GODSPEED.