by Caroline Airson September 2015
Having decided to embark on our five day cleanse on a Saturday (mistake one), we leisurely made lovely fresh juices, packed them up and toddled off to a shopping centre (mistake two). After consuming a gallon of juice within an hour and becoming, like the fickle creatures we are, bored, we began to question whether doing a juice cleanse was even healthy; mammals need protein too right? “Nandos for lunch it is then”. Oops.
After the Nandos, we tiptoed with the drunken grace of an elephant back into the realm of solid eating and decided the day was already lost anyway and ordered Domino’s pizza for tea.
So with that abject failure many moons ago, it was through sheer stubbornness that I started my juicing experiment. I longed to lose no weight or cure myself of any ailment (although a little liver detoxification wouldn’t go amiss), I am just plain stubborn. I dislike being thwarted. I set myself a five day goal of surviving on nothing but vegetable and fruit juice, plus a builders brew or two. And to all those juicing converts yelling heretic for my consumption of copious tea during this experiment, please take pity on a woman just out of newly wed status who doesn’t want to test her fledgling marriage with both hunger and caffeine deprivation.
Feeling remarkably pleased with myself, yes I would rather have eaten but I certainly wasn’t ravenous or faint. Apart from having to clean the juicer and deal with colleagues trying to tempt me with snacks, it’s been an easy first day. Note to those attempting this: having a long car journey with a foodie discussing amazing cheeses and what foods to break the juicing habit with was not helpful, step away from the cheese discussion. And as you asked…….I plan to eat it ALL come Friday evening.
I woke up suspiciously not hungry having had juice induced dreams. The majority of the day went really easily, not hungry, and self-sustaining on green sludgy juice. Then the evening hit, and watching my husband eat food I’ve prepared and watching people eat on TV, the gnawing urge to eat begins. It’s not hunger, it’s greed! I want crisps I exclaim to my husband, “no you don’t, you are fine with juice” he coaxed. Lies!!! Vicious lies!!! I want crisps, cheese, pizza, pasta, bread, steak. I want it all!! Struggling? Not this gal.
I managed to avoid temptation, although I did sniff a block of cheddar lustfully. Having broken the hump of the week, I am feeling less panicky about succumbing to snackers greed. Keeping busy certainly helps.
I don’t know where I’ve got this amazing energy from, but I like it! This evening I have painted the hallway, weeded the garden, dusted, cleaned the kitchen, hovered the house and done the laundry.
I am a food camel. I didn’t even feel hungry till noon, which doesn’t feel like a good state for a body to be in. Also roast chicken is officially the most tempting smell. Now that my experiment is drawing to a close, I’m more than a little excited to get my gnashers round some solid food.
So what have I learned from surviving on naught but juice from 9pm Sunday till 9pm Friday and losing six pounds in five days?
• I was clearly deficient in certain vitamins and minerals as my lethargy I put down to work stress has vanished. Plus my skin, hair and nails have all improved.
• Your dentist will hate you for this, even the greenest of juices contain lots of sugar. Tooth wise you might as well be living off molasses.
• The mid-afternoon snack you think you need, you don’t. It turns out half my ‘hunger’ was greed.
• Your body will turn amazingly akin to Joseph’s Technicoloured Dreamcoat.
• You will crave carbs and protein. How I longed for chicken sandwiches and sweet, sweet steak.
Am I going to stick to it for longer than five days? As I sit here writing this I have cheese, crackers and beer balanced at arm’s length. I adore food and I plan to enjoy putting this weight back on, but I’ll certainly be incorporating some elements into my diet as I like this juice induced pep in my step.