Day 10 – I did it!!!

I did it.  Me.  I DID it!

I’m so happy with myself for sticking with this fast.   There were times when I wanted to cheat, there were times when I REALLY wanted to cheat, there were times when I couldn’t stand the thought of juicing but did anyway, and there were times when I almost just said “why the hell am I doing this??”.  But, I stuck with it, and now it’s done!  Even though it was only 10 days and I don’t compare to those going for the gusto with many more, I am just plain proud of myself.

Juice.  Just juice.  Sounds easy enough doesn’t it?  “I like juice” you may say, “I could do that no problem” you may so naively add.  Really?  Let’s see you do it then!

As a reflection on my experience, I would say a couple of things:

1. If you need to lose a lot of weight, this is the diet for you.  I would recommend at least 10 days to start, but probably more like 30.  The results are HUGE and it is so regimented that there is literally no room for “fudging” the rules.  It’s straight forward, provides results, and is easier than going to the gym if you are someone that hates working out.

2. If you don’t need to lose weight and you are just doing the fast for a reboot in your bodily health.  I would say 10 days is plenty.  You feel the detox symptoms and get over them by about day 5, and after that it’s pretty much reiterating the point.  Of course this is just my opinion.  This diet will cause you to lose weight though, so if you’re not in it for that, then you may want to stick to a shorter fast length, or maybe just replace one or two meals per day with juice.  That option won’t give you the same hard core detox, but it is definitely still good for your body.

3. Make sure you have support from those around you.  I don’t know how I could have done this without the understanding of those I live with.  They tried their best not to eat around me, and my boyfriend actually committed to doing it with me, so I had a partner through the whole thing.  Without support, you will feel overwhelmed, and sad that you can’t partake in the food everyone else is eating.  Also, some people may think this fast is a bad idea, and let you know it…constantly…and annoyingly.  This is NOT good for your will power, and it may be better to avoid those people until your fast is over.

4. Keep in mind that it’s only a short period of time.  Think back to a 10 day stretch of last year…can you remember much about it? Probably not.  This fasting will fade in your memory like anything else.  So, if you just stick with it, knowing it’s not permanent and you make sure not to fight it the whole way, you’ll be a lot happier throughout the fast.

5. Be prepared to stay full.  This should really be #1 because it’s so important.  You can’t get through this diet if you’re hungry.  It sucks.  Buy fruit and veg in bulk, make large batches of juices that will last you for a couple of meals, and plan ahead if you’re going to be out late, etc.  I can’t stress this point enough.

Again, I’m not an expert, I’ve only done this for 10 days, but I know what I went through, and what I would like to have known before hand.

I won’t list my juices today, because they were both pretty foul. I guess I’m not an expert on recipes yet!

Congratulations to everyone who has completed their 10 day juice fast reboot, and good luck to those just starting or those partially through it all!

I’m glad I did it, I’m glad it’s over, and I can’t wait to eat healthy and keep this new squeaky clean rebooted body detoxed!

Thanks for reading.  I’ll continue to write about post-juicing info for anyone interested!

Day 9 – That’s why they call it a “Feast”

Well, I knew I would be saying things like this at the end…but here it goes…”Only one day left? Wow! That went really fast!”  Amazing how time heals all wounds…and erases memories of cravings!  I think after my little pep talk to myself last night, I really got into a good mindset for the last two days of this.  I managed to get to the gym again, and made some of my favorite and least favorite drinks of the whole fast.

Not much else to report today, just a little research I did because I was curious.  I was thinking how odd it was that I wasn’t really very hungry once I got used to the juice.  And I was curious how many calories are in an average meal from the juicer.  Turns out for an 8oz serving of the classic “Mean Green” juice from Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, you’ll be taking in 183 calories.  The recipe for this juice includes fruits and veggies: 6 Kale Leaves, 1 Cucumber, 4 Celery Stalks, 2 Green Apples, 1/2 Lemon, 1 piece of ginger.  Although my recipes differ from this one, I think over an average day my fruit and veggie ratio is about the same (all fruit in the beginning, all veggies at the end usually).  This means over the course of this fast I have ingested between about 1700 and 2900 calories per day. Wowza! I had no idea!

The moral of this story is: it’s not a “fast” it’s a “FEAST”!  When you can take in calories like that and know it’s all good for you, and still lose weight, and not be hungry, and still give your body everything it needs…what do you call that?  …Fantastico!

What I slurped today: (2287 calories!!!)

Breakfast (8 ounces): green grapes, strawberries, romaine, iceberg, lemon, lime, red cabbage, carrot, celery

Lunch (32 ounces): SO YUMMY! orange, lime, fuji apple, strawberries, blackberries, red bell pepper, red cabbage

Midday Snack (28 ounces): SO GROSS!!! (just using what was left in the kitchen before shopping) tomato, rainbow chard, butter lettuce, red pepper, green pepper, blackberry, lime, red cabbage, gala apple, parsley, pea sprouts, pear.  Don’t ask me why we thought this would be a good idea.

Dinner (32 ounces): green beans, red pepper, green pepper, carrot, celery, cucumber, tomato, kale

One more day…

Day 8 – I’m stronger than my cravings damn it!

Purple Power!

I think I’m falling into the “light at the end of the tunnel” trap and mentally counting down to freedom a little too much…and I might be missing the whole point of this fast.  Once day 10 is over, and I look back at what I accomplished, I’ll say things like “that went really quickly” and “maybe I’ll do that again in a few months.”  So why then can’t I just enjoy this experience for what it is knowing that I can eat again in a little more than two days?  Are my cravings really that dominant over all my other thoughts?  What if I don’t do this again and I look back knowing I spent the whole time whining about how much I miss food?  It’s like when you go traveling and spend the whole time home-sick…What’s the point?

Although it may be incredibly hard, I am going to try to actually bask in my improved health, smaller butt, and happier body for the last two days.  It’s like when you go to the movies with your partner and it’s their turn to pick out the flick, and you get stuck in Saw IV or Cowboys and Aliens and spend the whole time thinking “well, he did suffer through The Holiday, the entire Harry Potter series, and Finding Nemo with me…I guess he deserves this.”  Well, my body is the one that’s been through the hard times with me…we’ll leave them undescribed as of now…lots of booze, and cheese, and stuff…and it deserves a bit of a break.  I’ll be happy for it.

Juicing Art

Other than the normal cravings and the anxiousness about being so close to the end, there is nothing much to report.  Oh, one word to the wise…grapes are fantastic, but boy oh boy they are fighting in my intestines right now.

Today’s menu:

Breakfast (16 ounces): green grapes, cantaloupe, carrot, celery, kale, gala apple

Lunch (48 ounces): green grapes, carrot, celery, strawberry, lime, blackberry, cucumber

Dinner (32 ounces): green grapes, strawberry, romaine, iceberg, lemon, lime, red cabbage, carrot, celery

Day 7 – Staying busy and distracted

My kitchen has never looked so clean. Let me explain…

My job is extremely flexible and allows me to have a lot of free time.  Normally, this is a great thing: I now know where all the best happy hour spots are, where all the best lattes are made, and where I can get a killer ice cream.  Having lots of free time on a juice fast, on the other hand, is not such a great thing (believe me, my idle mind only thinks about food).  So, when I don’t want to go anywhere that will tempt me, which is most everywhere, I stay home and try to busy myself.  I think if I was on a long-term juice fast, I would have hairy legs, constantly wear pajamas, and never brush my hair.  There would be no need, because I would never talk to anyone or venture to the outside world.

Busying myself for these last few days has done wonders for my house cleanliness. If you don’t own a magic eraser sponge, I suggest you get one immediately.  I think I wiped down my entire kitchen with that thing, and it is literally spotless.  My appliances look brand new and my counter tops look 5 years younger.  I digress. I guess what I’m trying to say, is keeping myself occupied has helped with the constant thinking about this juice fast.  I feel like 24 hours a day, I am either prepping to juice, juicing, cleaning up after a juice, shopping for juice ingredients, thinking about how much longer I have left of juicing, or dreaming about what I’m going to eat after juicing.  It gets daunting.  I didn’t expect this diet to take up so much of my brain power.  Again though, I know I only have this problem because I am not distracted by a full work week where I’m out of the house and busy most of the time.

Anyway, whatever it took, I did the first 7 days!  That’s one week down! Yipee only 3 days to go!

One week weigh in:  Starting weight – 127, weight after one week – 122  Woo Hoo!!! I’m totally happy with that!  That right there is motivation to change my eating style when I get back to solid foods…I’m not going to put that straight back on…I worked really hard for this!  Hopefully it’s not just the weight I lost out of my intestines and I’ll gain it back when they’re full of food again…I’ll keep blogging to keep anyone interested posted about the “after juice fast info”.

Well, it’s really late, and it’s time for bed before I get hungry again…So, below is what I had today.  Another light day too, odd how you really don’t need that much to get by when it’s just about sustenance and not about a social gathering, flavor, or habit.

Breakfast/Lunch (64 ounces): Lime, green grapes, carrot, celery, iceberg, orange, kiwi, blackberry, cantaloupe

Late Lunch/Dinner (32 ounces): Carrot, celery, green grapes, cantaloupe, kale, gala apple, orange, cucumber

Towards the end of the fast, I’ve found that I’ve become bored with the veggie only juices.  I’ve started to include fruit in all my meals.  Today was an extreme example though because I was out of most of the dark greens. Tomorrow I’ll still have fruit, but it will be more balanced with the veggies.

Also, I went to the gym again…that’s gonna be my new thing to focus on after the fast.  Hopefully I can do a long stretch and see awesome results, and keep the weight off that I’ve lost by juicing!

I hope everyone had a great Monday!

Day 6 – Cravings and temptations

Well, day 6 was a bit of a curve ball.  I expected to continue on my happy, healthy, strong path…but along the way there were so many temptations and cravings.  What’s with you Day 6???  No, I didn’t slip up, but this was definitely a day to give kuddos to my will power. (although I did have a sip of fresh coconut milk, which I know is a no no…but hey, it came out of my juicer!)

I started the day back at the gym, yay me, and after that things got slippery…maybe it’s because I am burning the extra calories, so I have extra cravings? Whatever it is I need to figure it out.  As of now, I am going to bed a little hungry, because I can’t stand the thought of washing veggies, making juice, and cleaning up.  Hopefully the morning won’t bring ravenous hunger…and reintroduce “angry ali” to everyone, she’s not very nice. :(

Not much else to report because I spent most of the day running errands and having a lazy Sunday.

Today I have to admit, I was happy I was on the home stretch of this fast.  Unfortunately, I calculated wrong and thought I had only 3 days left, when actually there’s 4.  Boo.  I’ve started to plan my “re-entry” into solid foods, and I’m starting to get excited.  That’s probably why I was thinking about food so much.  I’m so envious of those that have the will power to commit to a 30, 50, or 100 day fast (<—…you know who you are!), I am happy to say I will be mostly vegetarian for the coming months, but I just can’t commit to no solid food like some stronger people can.

Hopefully I stay super busy the next 4 days and it zooms by.  Unlikely.

Here’s what I had today (not as hungry as usual)

Breakfast and Lunch (64 ounces): Strawberries, gala apples, kale, celery, cucumber, carrot, kiwi, orange, iceberg, blueberry

Dinner (14 ounces): Carrot, kale, celery, cucumber, iceberg, red pepper, green onion, tomato

Day 5 – A new me!

Finally! There it is!!! It wasn’t day four…it was day FIVE!!!

I can’t explain how much better I feel today.  I woke up with so much more energy, I actually had a smile on my face for most of the day, it wasn’t an effort to make conversation with anyone, and I actually turned down dinner tonight because I’m not hungry!!!  Just when I started thinking I was going to feel lazy and dazed the whole time, I finally think my body got used to no Red Vines, pot roasts, or cabernet sauvignon!

My man making me some lunch!

I also got my butt back to the gym today.  I may have been pushing my luck starting back this early, but it also may have been what cleared my head and got my body back in gear.  I took it easy, but I’ve got big plans :)  I’ll try to do the gym every day until the end of the fast to really kickstart weight loss and energy levels.

Hopefully everyone has read my post about WalMart Price Matching because I am loving the discounts.  I am averaging about $5-6 per day for about a gallon of juice.  That’s less than half of what I’ve heard people spending.  It’s not organic, which really sucks, but I wouldn’t be able to afford the $28 per day price tag I’ve heard quoted when you juice this way.  Feeling good and saving money, that makes it accessible to everyone!

I can’t get over how productive I was today! I went to a farmer’s market (so hard to resist hot coffee, yummy tamales, and fresh bread), hit the post office and the bank, went to the gym, cleaned the house, took my Christmas lights down, got a bag together for Goodwill, went veggie shopping, and bought a 34 bottle wine fridge.  …Keep that last one a little secret between us…  I really hope this is the new “Juice Fast Ali”  What a bummer it would be to go back to the way I felt for the first four days. yuck.

All veggies + lime

So today I had:

Breakfast and snack (64 ounces): red apple, strawberry, cucumber, celery, iceberg lettuce, carrot

Lunch (32 ounces): red apple, green grapes, strawberry, kiwi, lime, kale, cucumber

Late Lunch (32 ounces): Tomato, green pepper, red pepper, rainbow chard, kale, celery, cucumber, carrot, green cabbage, iceberg lettuce, lime, cilantro, parsley, green onion and romaine lettuce

Dinner: nada!

Thanks to everyone for the support, especially my boyfriend Mick, who is amazingly, not being emotionally or mentally affected by the fast…and may or may not have a hard time believing my mood swings are actually from the detox!  I’m officially half way to the recommended 10 day reboot, but I’m aiming for at least a little more!

Can’t wait until the 1 week weigh in!

Day 4 – Staring at nothing

Today was a bit of a step…sideways, i guess.  I have to say, I was on a positive trend for the last 3 days, feeling better and better each day, but today felt like, well, yesterday.  Not to say yesterday was bad, but I am still shackled with this foggy head feeling and lack of concentration and motivation.  I find myself staring for no reason…like I did just now at that last sentence…it was like 5 seconds!  I’m not quite sure what I can do to avoid this, other than drinking more juice.  I’m doing very well on having a gallon per day, so maybe it’s not that, and it’s just going to take my body another day or two to realize it’s not being Punked. :) I have to admit, I was a little disappointed in the built up “day 4 bliss” rumor.

Maybe going to the gym will bring me some clarity?  It usually makes me feel pretty good, so I guess it’s worth a try.  I’ve felt pretty sloth-like for this whole fasting experience, so maybe I just need to be perked up a little!  I’ll make sure to drink an extra jar of juice (I use 32 ounce mason jars) to replenish the calories I burn, and take it easy for the first go around.   I’ll let you know how it goes!

On an unrelated note, I met up with my friend Katie today.  She’s doing the fast as well and we have missed doing our usual coffee or happy hour dates, so we decided to go to the juice bar at Whole Foods to try and resocialize ourselves.  Um, holy expensive juice Batman!  They’re charging $6.99 for 16 ounces.  This isn’t any sort of amazing juice either…in fact it’s not even as good as the ones I make at home (and mine usually cost between $1-$4 for 32 ounces depending on the ingredients).  I do appreciate the availability they offer, maybe if I were visiting a different town for a day I could come here for my juice???  But wowza, what a rip off.  I know, I know, it’s like going to any bar/restaurant/coffee house: you pay for the atmosphere and convenience, so again, I appreciate the option to go out for juice.  It was just a bit of a shock.

So, here’s what I had today:

Whole Foods breakfast: celery, carrot, parsley, kale, orange

Breakfast #2: pineapple, honey dew, green grapes, carrot, cucumber, romaine lettuce, red cabbage

Lunch: celery, tomato, carrot, kale, iceberg lettuce, lemon, lime, green cabbage

Dinner: celery, kale, romaine lettuce, red onion, garlic, green cabbage, cucumber, tomato, lemon

Not much more to report for day 4.  Still a little brain dead, still taking annoyingly regular pee breaks, and still missing food.  I don’t really think that last one will ever go away.

Day 3 – Peeing as a passtime

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Yummy way to start the day!

I woke up this morning and didn’t want to move. You know that moment when you’re not quite sure how the day is going to go, and you refrain from any movement because you want to bask in that blissful moment of half-awakedness? Well, that moment came and went, and I’m so happy to say that I felt really good. No headache still (did I dodge a bullet?), no hunger pains, no foggy headedness (other than what’s expected from just waking up). I dare say, I think the “dreaded day 3″ may have been my day 2.

Armed with the knowledge of just how horrible you can feel on this diet if you don’t eat, I hurriedly made 64 ounces worth of juice to last me until lunch time. One of my best concoctions yet, I might add. One word: strawberries. (and honey dew, celery, cucumber, carrot, apple, kale, and romaine) I vowed to not be hungry today! It almost worked…Well, you know how work goes. Sometimes you spend more time out of the house than originally anticipated. Today wasn’t too bad, just an extra hour, so although I was quite hungry when I got home, I was not ravenous/murderous like I was yesterday. Baby steps.

Since I’ve been home I’ve made another 32 ounces, and now my boyfriend is whipping up some sort of gazpacho-y thing for dinner. A clue to those that miss the savory: add a half a clove of garlic (or less to start) to an all veggie juice, and maybe even some red onion if you’re up for it. It’s what gets me through the dinner cravings. That last juice should bring me to a grand total of 128 ounces (1 gallon) which is the recommended intake. Yay! Add in my 64 ounces of water, and that’s a recipe to become very good friends with your bathroom :) It’s odd what you start noticing about your bathroom when you spend so much time peeing. I realized that you can see the joins in my drywall under the paint. Looks like it was originally wallpapered, then they just stripped it and painted over it. Shoddy. I’ll have to do something about that some day.

Lesson of the day? Staying full and hydrated makes life much easier. Tomorrow I’ll make 3 large mason jars (96 ounces) to avoid any hunger at all throughout the day. If this is the worst of the detox pains behind me, then I think the rest of this fast will go just fine. I know…I’m counting chickens…

p.s. I still miss food.

Day 2 – Totally brain dead.

I’m glad I don’t have a job that requires operating heavy machinery, because today could have ended horribly.  If I take anything out of day two, it’s that you absolutely have to stay full.  I made the mistake of leaving the house on errand duty, and not getting back for about five hours.  At the end of that 5 hours I was light headed, shaky, and couldn’t link words together in normal sounding human sentences.  I did my best to drink lots of water, but it still left my muscles and brain wanting.

I don’t know if this feeling of sloth-like motivation and head-in-the-clouds thought processing is because I went hungry for the afternoon, or because I am actually starting to detox.  Hopefully my body is getting rid of all the crap I’ve put into it and it’s just making me feel a little down during the process.  I’ve heard bad things about the first couple of days of this, so I hope this is the worst of it, otherwise I’m just going to stay in bed until day four :)

A few things I’ve found that helped me today (or could help you in the future):

1. Drink herbal tea!  It gives you that warm satisfied feeling and gives your taste buds a little change. I’m sipping Cinnamon Apple Spice right now!

2. Start this fast in the heat of the summer, rather than winter like I did.  My boyfriend Mick (who is doing the fast with me) brought that to my attention today.  During summer time you don’t feel like eating anything heavy or fatty.  Salads and smoothies are a big part of our diets anyway when it’s molten lava hot here in Phoenix.  During winter, on the other hand,  our usual routine consists of hearty stews and roasts with warm crusty bread, or maybe yummy pasta or curry!  Needless to say, juice doesn’t exactly fill that void.

3. Don’t Get Hungry!

4. Keep telling yourself that it’s only a few days of this feeling.  I’ve been told that day four is the magic day where you feel better, not as hungry, no headaches, etc.  Because I have fantastically bad luck with this sort of thing, I’m expecting to be miserable until day 6.  I know I’ll get through this tough spot, but motivating yourself with a countdown to better days has helped me.

I would write more, but would probably ramble incoherently for most of it due to the “mushy brain syndrome,” so for now, I’ll say goodnight, and plop myself on the couch while my better functioning boyfriend makes a dinner juice for me.  Yay!

p.s. only the slightest hint of a caffeine headache today…I’m still waiting for the fury to be unleashed :(

Day 1 – Wait, no coffee?

That's my friend Katie and Me! Our first juice on our epic adventure!

Well, I did it! I made it through my first day of the juice cleanse.   I’ve learned a lot already…

1. I don’t think I fully realized how much I love coffee.  Starting the day off with a warm cup…mmm, hard to beat.  This morning was much less exciting without it.  So far, no caffeine headaches.  I’m hoping it will hit tonight, and I’ll sleep right through it.  I highly doubt I’m that lucky.  I’m sure tomorrow you’ll all be reading about how my head feels like it wants to implode. rats.  But, at least the lack of a headache today made it easier to see my way through my first day.

2. This is going to be harder than I thought.  Although I do recognize how hard it is to stay on a regimented diet (or any goal that takes will power), this one in particular is going to be tough.  There’s no reward system like I’m used to.  For instance, I used to count calories.  While counting, I could convince myself that I didn’t want to eat an extra snack in the middle of the day, because that would mean I could have cheese on my salad at dinner, or I could eat a few gummy bears while watching House Hunters before bed.  Instead, when you’re “good” on this diet…you have only more juice to look forward to.

3. Don’t go to the movie theater while on a juice fast…at least not your first day.  I thought sitting in a dark room being entertained would get my mind off of food.  Not true.  That jackass behind me had no idea how good his popcorn smelled.  And that chick in front of me with the noisy candy wrapper was surely digging into something sweet and delicious.  Honestly, I’d say avoid public places associated with food all together on your first few days.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll hit the car wash, the library, the bank, and the post office.  Those sound like pretty safe errands.

4. On a positive note, I am already impressed with the amount of variety you can get in juice flavors.  Breakfast was slightly sweeter, lunch a little more salad-like, and dinner was like a gazpacho! I never knew you could juice onions and garlic! Yum!

All in all, today went about as you would expect: I was hungry most of the time, and I missed the things I was used to.  Big whoop.  I’ll get over it, and after some time passes, I’ll start saying things like “Whoa, it’s been a week already!”

Once I get my system figured out, I’ll be adding exercise back in, and hopefully start to see a change in my body (inside and out).  I’m proud of myself already for not being completely overwhelmed with the task at hand.  Go me.

I wonder how hungry I’m going to be when I wake up…

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