Friday, February 8, 2013

Cleansing, fasting and living on veggies and fruit juice

I know, it's sounds extreme and in actuality it was. The idea of not eating for more then a few hours was a lot to take in, let alone DAYS! So how did I come to this decision you ask? Well it started with me seeing a post from my friend on FB that he was doing this cleanse. I've seen them before and of course I never thought I could do one. Not only that I couldn't do it, but that I thought they were unhealthy and just a quick weight loss thing and once you went back to eating normal you would gain it all back. I soon proved myself wrong.

This one was different. You actually have SO many micro nutrients (I just learned that fancy health that flood your body it's nearly impossible to think you're starving or depriving yourself. Did I miss food? Yes, a little, but not to the point where I wanted to run out and eat a cheeseburger. Even coffee and diet soda, 2 things I LOVE weren't going to be part of my daily routine anymore. I was actually happy about this. I had always told myself that if I could quit smoking that I could do anything. That was the hardest thing I've done.

So, I did my research and watched "Fat, sick and nearly dead" on Netflix. You can find it on Hulu too if that's easier. I was immediately inspired to try this juicing and help rid my body of harmful toxins, cut cravings for sugary carbs, coffee and fast food. I had also watched a few videos from Dan McDonald "The Life Regenerator" on Youtube. I just love Dan; he's great! I highly recommend watching both of these before starting your cleanse. They're both inspiring and gave me a lot of info about juicing and raw foods.

I ended up doing my fast (or cleanse depending on what you call it) for four days. Here's a basic idea of how each day went. Oh, and let me add that I started introducing  juiced veggies and fruit into my daily diet a few days prior to the fast. To me, or at least in my own head, this was preparing my body for what was coming.

Day 1 - Saturday morning

I started on a weekend that I didn't have my three younger kids. I did this on purpose because I didn't know how I was going to respond.

I didn't get my normal 24oz coffee with 5 creamers and 2 Splendas. Instead, I drank water and headed over to the juicer I had just bought a week prior. I was excited, nervous, hopeful and honestly a little confused on how in the heck this thing worked!

I gathered my apples, kiwi, broccoli, carrots, celery, kale and spinach and laid it all out. Once I figured out how to put all the pieces together I just started putting stuff in one at a time. I would stop and test it along the way to see if I thought it needed more of something and if it did I tossed it in the tube and pushed it down the hatch!

Green veggie juice

  The day went pretty well until about 2pm when the caffeine withdraws took over. This is when my headache from hell started in. I had been out at the mall shopping for a dress for my oldest daughter all day. By the time we came home I wanted to crash. I wasn't out of energy really, but the headache was enough to make me want to lay down. Long story short....I took some Advil, drank more juice and water and laid down. I continued to drink another cup of juice while we watched movies and then went to bed. That was that. I survived day 1!! Whooo hooo I was thrilled!

Day 2 - Sunday

I woke up Sunday morning and felt very relaxed. I can only think that must have been from the lack of caffeine in my system. It was very surreal actually; not something I'm normally used to.
Again, I was up and ready to hit the juicer. This time I made some green tea to help reduce any headaches I might get during the day. I basically juiced the same fruits and veggies again and drank about 3-4 16oz containers throughout the day. I had made plans to go to my sisters that day to visit her and my mom. I was really worried about what might happen being at someone else's house. Especially my sisters because she has soooo many good snacks! I'm happy to report I made it through the visit and drank only my juice!

That night I went home and juiced more veggies and fruit for the next day. Since I had work on Monday I wanted to make sure I was prepared. At this point I was still feeling pretty good. I was struggling a little with missing food. As I've come to realize it was never really about the food but I'll get into that a bit later. I had made it through day 2 and was feeling good. I was however worried about day 3. Most everyone I had talked to about this cleanse and who had done it themselves, warned me about day 3. They said it was the hardest day. That if I just got through day 3 I would be good to go.

Beet and greens juice

Day 3 - Monday

Monday morning I woke up feeling great again! Rested and ready to take on the day. Well, sorta...I was still a little freaked out thinking something awful was going to happen on this dreaded day 3. I got up, got ready, made my juice and out the door I went. The morning part felt pretty much the same as day 1 and 2. The afternoon is where I started feeling a little funky. By funky I mean out of it, spacey, euphoric, calm. It was almost like this floating feeling. It's really hard to put into words if you haven't felt it before. Regardless, I drank on! Had my veggie juice and even some really delicious pineapple, carrot and apple one I made. It almost felt like a little treat. Day 3 is when I was really starting to notice the lack of actual food and how much my body was having this internal battle with my mind and emotions. I felt as if I was in this constant argument of having to shut off my mind and ONLY listen to my body. Believe me, listening to your body is not the same listening to your emotions. That night, before bed, I was being tempted in so many ways. Why couldn't I have a little something? No one would know but me? But that's the thing, I would have known and that would have devastated me to know I gave in when I had come so far. I prayed. I prayed a lot. Then I went to bed so that I was tempted anymore.

Day 4 - Tuesday

I made it!! I completed all 3 days I committed to. I was happy and feeling great! Day 4 pretty much consisted of the same fruits and veggies as the first 3 did. As great as I felt I was excited to eat again. It wasn't like I was thinking "I can't wait to get my hands on a slice of pizza!" it was more "How can I transition to healthy food?

Day 5 - Wednesday

So the fast is over with and today I started to introduce solid food back into my diet. I had salad with grilled chicken. I also had 2 avocados throughout the day along with my juice. It was kind of an odd feeling to chew the first time. I know it was only a few days but still! It was long enough for my mouth to be like "Oh we're chewing again?"

I will continue to juice (as I have the last two days) along with making healthy eating choices. I can't stress enough how amazed I was that I had lost all my cravings. I didn't want the bread, snacks and fast food crap. I didn't even crave my coffee anymore. I don't plan on going back to that or soda either.

Helpful hints:

* Drink lots and lots of water

* The first two days your bowels will be moving and grooving. Be prepared

* Day 3 & 4 it will slow down. You might need to drink some  Apple Cider Vinegar to keep  things moving.
    (A friend of mine liked a tea called "Smooth Move")

* Women - I don't recommend starting this a week before your  menstrual cycle or during

* Banana's don't juice, they puree

* Buy a decent juicer and enough fruits and veggies to last you 3-5 days  
  (spinach doesn't seem to keep as long as broccoli and kale)

* Pray/meditate/chant or whatever it is you believe. This isn't only about cleansing internally but you'll feel a need to cleanse emotionally as well. Ask for strength and clarity while cleansing.

What I learned:

Even though this wasn't a 5 day, 7 day or even two week cleanse I learned some valuable stuff about myself. I've always known I am an emotional eater. I eat to celebrate, when I'm stressed (man am I a huge stress eater), when I'm bored, when I'm lonely and when I'm sad. Food is supposed to nurture us, not protect us from the things we don't want to face. I said to my aunt "why can't apples be comfort food?" and it's true. I don't know about you but I would much rather reach for a snickers then some apple! Like I mentioned above, one of the hardest things for me was having to compete in a battle of will between my body and my emotions. Physically I felt great; I had everything I needed. I didn't feel starved or deprived. I was actually getting more nutrients then my body has ever had. My mind and emotions however felt deprived. How was I supposed to comfort myself with celery juice?! "Damn it emotions just shut up and let my body do it's thing for once!" I guess when you go without your "pacifier", which in my case happens to be peanut m&m's or Taco Bell, you're forced to feel those emotions. Let me tell you, it ain't always pretty. All in all I got through it. Today I feel great. I feel empowered and excited to continue to do this every day. I've been telling everyone I know how great this is and hope they can give it a try when they're ready.

Of course, all of the things I've written are my experiences with this cleanse. You might find it harder/easier then I did. I would always check with your doctor first before starting anything like this. Do your research and learn as much as you can through blogs like this and so many others.

For those of you who have questions for me about what I juiced please feel free to contact me here or on my FB page.