Friday, March 29, 2013

Day 1.5 - Juice Cleanse/Detox and Final Thoughts

I've been procrastinating on writing up this final post about the cleanse/detox. I don't think I wanted to admit that it didn't seem to help me very much. This post completely resonated with me. Maybe it's because it wasn't long enough - most cleanses last 3 days - but I don't think I could have survived longer than I did.

When we left off I was experiencing hunger induced insomnia. I ended up laying in bed until about 6:30 am before getting up to get ready.

Had my last sweet greens juice when I left the house at 7:15. I was starving. So hungry, I was at the point of nauseousness.

12 oz sweet greens - kale, romaine, cucumber, celery, apple, grapefruit, lemon, and ginger

I met Betsy at my work at 8:00 and immediately followed it up with the wheatgrass shot and smoothie she brought me. Those curbed my hunger until about 11:00.

 Wheatgrass shot - with lemon wedge (not shown)

I had the 'Super Green Salad' with zucchini hummus around 11:30-12:00. It was HUGE and REALLY good, and I so much appreciated eating actual food again.

Super Green Salad - soft mixed greens, sprouts, peppers, celery, carrots and
homemade zucchini hummus with homemade tahini
Why I wanted to do a cleanse
Mostly, I've felt really out of control over the last 4 months. I thought of this as my way to "restart" or "reboot" my healthy eating habits I've so soon forgotten. Admittedly, I have done hardly ANY research into juicing or detox cleanses. I know there are people on both side of the fence. It comes down to the fact I just wanted to experience it for myself.
How I felt after the cleanse
I had normal "pizza and ice cream" cravings immediately following the cleanse. Again, I'm not saying this is everyone's experience, but this was mine. In the days following the cleanse, I've tried to eat as clean as possible avoiding dairy and meat as much as possible for the last few days. That said, my diet has not been 'perfect'. I was craving chocolate and ice cream so much I stopped and got some So Delicious No Sugar Added Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream Wednesday night. For dinner I had black bean and veggie tacos - meat and dairy free. 

I still had low energy Wednesday night and talked myself out of doing any workouts. Was this the cleanses fault? Well, technically it's an excuse. But since I only slept for about 4.5 hours on Tuesday night, my fatigue was real.

I will say the cleanse helped me realize how bad my coffee addiction was. I didn't realize it, but I was probably drinking 4-5 cups of coffee a day, loaded with half and half and sugar. I'm not comfortable with that and I'm happy to say I've cut back to either 1 latte (no sugar added) and 1 cup of black coffee or just up to 2 cups of black coffee a day. This is something I'd prefer to keep going.

The cleanse DID also help me reset my mental approach to what healthy eating should look like - FOR ME. More fresh veggies, fruits, beans & legumes, whole grains, and less meat and dairy. Also, my portions have been noticeably smaller, even if I have been hungry more often (every 2-3 hours instead of 3-5).

I returned to meat and dairy eating yesterday when I had a bowl of chicken tortilla soup and 1 chicken taco at my favorite taco place. Normally I would have the same portion of soup and 2 tacos, and I was stuffed just after 1. So, yes my portions have been smaller.

This morning I had a work breakfast and ordered eggs - first time since the cleanse and I ordered them without the cheese or sour cream. The salsa and veggies gave the eggs plenty of flavor and I didn't even miss them. This is how I hope to continue my lifestyle - cheese and high calorie condiments in moderation.

Will I do it again?
I don't want to say never, but I most likely won't. Don't get me wrong - the juices and salad were quite tasty. Betsy is a hugely talented raw and vegan food chef. Every dish of hers I've had is SO delicious. But - at no fault of her's - I felt like I was starving myself. By my calculations I consumed about 1400 calories on Tuesday. Not enough for my 6'0", 260 lb frame that needs twice that just to exist, nevermind the calories I burn by MOVING and EXERCISING every day. Like I keep saying, this was just MY experience, and other people may have a wholly different one.

I do think there is something to giving your digestive system a break from hard to digest foods (meat, dairy, high fiber beans and legumes). So I would consider a food cleanse, supplemented by cold pressed juices (low on the glycemic index, like ReBoot's) sometime in the future.
All in all I'm really glad to have had the experience. I'm chalking it up to another learning experience for what does and doesn't work for my body. And in the end that's what all of this really is about.