One of my favorite things about the New Year is that it always brings hope. Hope that THIS might be the year for whatever you are wishing for. The new year can also be very blah: little sunshine, cold temps, returns to five day work weeks and post holiday credit card bills. It also seems that most women I know from size 2 to 22 seem to enter the new year with a little bit more of them. With holiday parties galore, family gatherings, and an tendency towards indoor activities its hardly shocking, which is perhaps why cleansing is such a popular new year activity. Last year I ate raw food the first week of the year and while I got back onto my old habits within a few weeks I remember how good it felt after. At this new year I could let my past failures continue to define me or I could take a big serving of that new year hope. This year, I choose hope.
So with a good big or go home approach I decided to juice cleanse for 3 to 5 days, depending upon how hungry I got.
Call me a cheat, but I basically reviewed the plan of a local business that sells a 5 day cleanse for $300 did it myself. I used the Evolution Fresh juices from whole foods ( on sale 2 for $7 for the green juices and 2 for $5 for the more fruity ones) and used shakeology and milk as my protein shakes. I started this on a Monday after a four day weekend and logged my thoughts as my mood changed:
8am: green drink, yuck!
10am: finished the green drink. I feel awake, REALLY awake. Maybe that's also the excitement of new beginnings. I'm a little hungry but not tummy growling or punch anyone in the face . . . Yet.
10:30 am: Master Cleanse holy moly this lemon juice has A LOT of lemons! Each swig has to be chased with water, I might dilute it tomorrow. Some Splenda wouldn't be too bad of a cheat maybe.
Mid day: shakeology. I'm on top of the world, I'm never eating again!
45 minutes later: wow, that is a lot of poo.
2pm: lime juice is downright delightful
4pm: hmm, tummy grumbles and I'd love to chew something right now. Hello buckeye candy my coworker left on my desk (hey, it was one piece). Also, I hate grapefruit juice
6pm: detox salad at whole foods. I have never before eaten vegetables with such enthusiasm.
9pm: gym. running cramps or hunger pains, who knows. I might vomit but I do know that grapefruit juice will only taste worse coming back up.
11pm: exhausted and headaches, time for bed
8am: green juice Oddly enough I am more tired than hungry. And my headache was better but not gone when I woke up.
10am: limeade, still delightful
12:30 : shakeology
1:30: seriously? I haven't eaten solid food in 48 hours, how is there still waste in my body?
4: oops, forgot my green juice in the afternoon, guess I'll save it for tomorrow.
5: ugh, I really want a salad. A ginger salad from Red Koi, mmmm. But nope, I'll go home and have shakeology
8pm: oh, I should go get tomorrow's juices (I fell asleep instead)
Today was not nearly the roller coaster of emotions that yesterday was, there were a few times throughout the day where I had to overcome the urge to grab a snack but it seemed like a craving to chew more than actual hunger. In fact, I only had two juices in addition to my shakeology during the day because I wasn't really hungry. Today has really shown me how much I eat as an activity vs hunger necessity. I'm a little sad to not go he and have dinner but again, taste and activity sadness not omg I'm so hungry I want to eat.
8am: orange blend juice why am I not hungry???
Work work work work
2pm: green juice: oh crap, my tummy is growling because all I've had today is orange juice. This stuff still sucks in the taste department
6pm: shakeology for dinner
FML I feel asleep before going to the store and all I have across to until I go he is shakeology with water and snacks in my desk. I will not eat those desk snacks.
11am: shakeology, which is really chalky when only mixed with water. Took 2 hours to finish
7pm: I've had nothing but 150 calories of protein powder today, I am eating FOOD
745: wow, I only ate half what I usually would have eaten, go me
9pm: ugh, I do not feel good!
8am: green juice, which it turns out isn't the most terrible thing in the world
12: shakeology with milk, omg so good
1pm onward: my tummy hurts a lot, get out last night's dinner!!!
5pm: tired, glad it's the weekend.
7pm: dinner with my dad, order chicken tenders with the intention of eating 2 with healthy sides, polished all 5 - I regret nothing.
One of the things I was shocked about was I never had omg I'm going to chew my hand hunger, in fact the only time I got hungry was when I skipped a juice. I'm a little sad I messed up and had to eat food on day 4 but also proud that I was able to go 3 whole days without solid food. My super fit boss did the $300 cleanse and was hungry all the time! We decided the shakeology really made the difference, oh yeah shakeology!
This week also made me more aware of how much I need to listen to my body. When I feel sluggish don't just drink a coke, think about what I hate at my last meal and what my body might need. Don't eat just because food is there, or because its 2pm and you're bored, but do make sure to fuel throughout the day. Be careful of what goes it, keep and eye on what comes out, drink fluids when signs point to dehydration. It's not rocket science stuff but a week like this is nice to reset my settings and get back intouch with myself.
After this experience I've decided to try only eating one meal a day. I drink green juices during the day and have shakeology for lunch. I'm trying not to be crazy with dinners and to eat less of whatever I do get: this week's dinner highlights were veggie pasta, Japanese bento box (of which I ate half), and grilled chicken pita. Sundays are treat days. Coke, fried chicken tenders with fries, chocolate . . . Stuff that I love. And then a shakeology for dinner.
So basically, I'm hooked on shakeology. But I could see myself doing a juice cleanse for a week every other month or so, especially if I fall off the wagon I see it as a nice way to get back on as the hardest part was keeping up with all the drinking, it's 96oz of fluid a day when done right. Hopefully by the next time I do this Ill have found a green juice I actually like, or purchased a juicer. Stay tuned . . .