Monday, January 14, 2013
Juice Cleanse 2K13
HI! Thanks for sticking with me while I took a month-long blog break to do Christmas, Disney World, celebrate both daughters' birthdays and spend lots of much-needed time with friends and family.
I started 2013 with a juice cleanse- much like the BluePrintCleanse (book version) I did last year with Julie and a bunch of her readers from the Daily Julie. I was disappointed that she didn't do one this year, but I suppose she had a good excuse as she and her husband are expecting their first baby this spring!
Anyhoo- the cleanse was equal parts horrible and terrific. First the horrible:
We (my husband and my brother and sister in-law) followed the instructions from the BluePrintCleanse book, "The 3-Day Cleanse: Drink Fresh Juice, Eat Real Food and Get Back into your Skinny Jeans." I'm really hoping nobody tells the guys about the whole "skinny jeans" part of this. K? Thanks. We considered splurging on the actual Blueprint Cleanse where they deliver the juice on ice to your door, but it's pretty spendy, so we decided on the DIY version. This saves close to $400 (if you already own a juicer) but it's a lot of work! There is a LOT of produce shopping involved, even thought we stuck to a pretty no-frills menu; I think between the 4 of us we consumed 120 apples! It is not awesome to buy 120 apples. They are heavy, unwieldy and not that easy to store. Then there's the endless cleaning, juicing and making of the actual juice. To be clear, the book prefers that you make the juice right before you drink it- but since we did the cleanse over a Thurs-Friday-Sat we made enough juice for 2 days on the first big juicing session and then made more juice on Friday night to get us through the final day. We also snuck in a Kale-licious smoothie from Whole Foods on day 3 which was $8 (each!) and HEAVENLY. My sister in law and I spent a good 4 hours the night before prepping everything, thank goodness we had each other to talk to because it is a messy and labor-intensive process!
So after you make all this juice, there is the drinking of the juice and the non-eating of all foods. This is especially tricky if you still have to prepare and serve food to your 2 and 4 year old, and then your 4 year old insists on a cheeseburger and french fries. (I dare you to try drinking salad all day and then touching french fries with your own fingers, not eating them, and not questioning your very existence on this planet). Anyway, we all had our ups and downs of extreme hunger, headaches, and mood swings (don't look at me). Plus there's the social aspect of eating (and drinking) that's easy to forget. No beer and chicken wings with football, no cake at a birthday party, no cocktails. It's downright amazing how much we entertain ourselves with food!
Lastly, it says in the book that you have to break the cleanse with basically more cleansing. You can't just eat a peperoni pizza the minute it's over, or you will find yourself in a very bad way. Well, I kind of sort of ignored this advice. I ate pretty "clean" for breakfast and lunch, but for dinner I had a salad, some "crispy" (okay, let's just go ahead and say "fried") brussels sprouts and 2 glasses of wine. MISTAKE. I paid dearly for this crime (sorry-the Les Mis soundtrack was playing in my brain as I lay on the bathroom floor Sunday night).
Onto the terrific:
My husband and brother in law both lost a crazy amount of weight (more than 12lbs each and neither is remotely overweight to begin with). I only lost about 3.5 lbs, but I noticed a BIG improvement in my belly/love handle situation. Clothes just fit better and I lost that post-holiday bloated icky-ness that I couldn't stop complaining about. My skin also looked better and was able to stop relying so heavily on caffeine to get moving in the mornings. But the real benefits didn't have anything to do with weight loss. As I mentioned above, it's stunning how much I use food as entertainment. Out to diner, out to breakfast, out to lunch, Starbucks drive thru, order a pizza, daily trips to Publix. Some of my conspicuous consumption is positive- even though our family dinners seldom go smoothly, I still pride myself on making the effort. But I had no idea how much garbage I was eating until I had to stop eating it. I was indulging in everything all the time until nothing was a true indulgence, and I was rarely enjoying a meal because I wasn't letting myself get hungry enough to actually TASTE a meal. We went out to dinner the night before the cleanse to celebrate my daughter's 2nd birthday and I ordered a ton of food that I wasn't even hungry for and then proceeded to stuff myself just because it was there. I was being completely un-mindful of what I was doing. And it was carrying over into other behavior like staring endlessly into my cell phone (for what??) Shopping for items that I didn't need just to fill an afternoon (hello?? It's January in South Florida: aka what toursits pay zillions of dollars to experience and I was spending it at Target?) Anyway - what I really learned firsthand was the classic lesson of being more present and taking the time to truly appreciate life whether it's through food, entertainment, time spent with loved ones, or just a peaceful afternoon.
I am definitely thrilled that it's over, and it's great to not have to drink jars of what my brother-in-law referred to as"pond scum" for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But I would be remiss if I did not rave about the tastiness of the cashew drink that you're supposed to drink at the end of every day. I don't know if you're just so hungry that anything tastes good- but I sincerely miss that concoction of soaked cashews, agave, cacao and coconut oil. It's like a cross between a peanut butter smoothie and melted cookies and cream ice cream. Glorious.
So tell me! Have you ever done a juice cleanse? What was your experience?