I’m not fat, sick or nearly dead. Therefore: I will never try to “cleanse” again.
It all started with a weekend at home, and therefore a weekend of binge eating. I showed no mercy on the five boxes of Girl Scout cookies my step mom brought home, or the syrupy waffles I made, or Lou Malnati’s pizza (followed by more pizza in the same day) or even an Egg McMuffin after a night out. And that’s just the beginning. Since my body was swimming with toxins after a weekend filled with little-to-know food from the earth, it was finally time to try the infamous juice cleanse.
I went to bed Monday without having eaten since dinner at about 5:30 p.m. I woke up Tuesday feeling ready to cleanse and the day went a little something like this:
7 a.m. – Woke up to beat the Meijer crowds before work. Spent $35 on fresh vegetables for juicing.
9 a.m. – Enjoyed a LARGE juice, about 32 oz, made of apples, carrots, one beet, celery, kale and lemon.
1 p.m. – Had my second juice of the day, this time about 16 oz, made of similar ingredients. At this point I wasn’t feeling hungry at all, just SUPER tired and groggy – I’m guessing because of caffeine withdrawal.
2:30 p.m. – Nap time! Still not hungry, just super tired and lethargic.
4 p.m. to 6 p.m. – I spent these two hours at my job as an editor, and could hardly concentrate on the words I was editing. Maybe I was just being dramatic, but I still felt extremely tired and unmotivated.
6 p.m. (the hour of my demise) – It was around this time that I completely turned on the idea of juice fasting. Anything that strips me of my energy and makes me feel sick can’t really be good for me can it? Or is it actually just my body fighting all the crap I had consumed. Either way, my self control was dwindling.
6:30 p.m. – I cracked. I ate a salad with chickpeas, vegetables and low-fat vinaigrette. It was a big salad – and it actually made me feel temporarily worse. I CAN’T WIN.
9 p.m. – Got home, ate an apple and some almonds, enjoyed a Skype date to occupy my mind.
11 p.m. – Accepted my defeat with little remorse, Googled raw vegan recipes, went to bed.
So I’d like to think I’d have the self control to follow through with it if I wanted to, but right now I don’t think I do. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to cleanse your body after a diet blunder, but I’m convinced there are healthier ways to do it than only drinking juice. Instead, I have decided to limit my food intake for a few days. So far today I’ve had oatmeal, 16 oz. juice, almonds, a banana and plenty of water. For dinner I will have a raw salad with balsamic vinegar and lentils. Maybe my body won’t completely “cleanse” itself, but if I have to feel this awful, I’m fine being uncleansed.
The moral of the story: fad diets and cleanses are unnecessary if you just maintain a regular, healthy lifestyle. If you can’t resist a Shamrock Shake, then just eat one and don’t feel guilty about it. What is there to live for if you can’t splurge once in a while?! One thing I will take away from my failed cleanse is this: no more “I’ll let loose now and punish myself on Monday” mentality. Bingeing made me feel debatably worse than starving – so I’m kicking them both to the curb. Boo ya!