I had kind of a funny weekend. Last week, I came home from work and my roommate was watching a documentary called “Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead.” It’s a very inspirational story, full of very obese people implementing juice into their diets to cure their illnesses. One 400+ pound trucker from Iowa was having severe health problems, and to lose weight and hopefully right his poor health, he began a 60-day juice cleanse. It was great, it worked, he quit trucking and began traveling the world to tell people of the powers of juicing, he lost the weight, he’s happy, I maybe (definitely) cried. Pretty standard documentary centered around food and health.
So when it ended, my roommate and I were all hyped up about juicing. This guy lost half his body weight in two months consuming nothing but juice?! His enthusiasm for the practice in the documentary transferred to us in real time, and we decided that we should do a juice cleanse. I had reservations – mainly because experts advise against intense exercise during a juice cleanse, and I’m training for a half marathon, so… intense exercise happens frequently for me. But also: why would we do this? My roommate and I are young and pretty health conscious. She almost always springs for organic options, and I don’t eat meat. We really had absolutely no reason to do a juice cleanse. But we did it anyway.
Saturday, the two of us headed to the grocery store and spent waaaaay too much money on produce. Like, so much money. I have so many regrets. We brought it all back to our tiny house, where we had no fridge space for it. We broke out the juicer and jumped right in, all excited. Our plan was to prep two days worth of juice, and then Monday night (tonight) we’d regroup and make our last six juices for day 3 of the cleanse. We each made one serving, and then the juicers engine overheated and died. We had so much produce, there was no way we could eat it before it went bad. So we headed back out to Target, bought a new juicer (spent waaaaay too much money on that, too… really not understating my regrets here) and resumed juicing. I juiced fruits and vegetables and herbs and whatever else for 10 hours. It was awful. Already I was feeling malevolent toward this whole plan, but I just kept juicing.
I tried to go by some of the celebrated recipes I found online, but they were barely yielding enough juice to make half a serving, so I found myself throwing whatever produce was in front of me into the juice. If you’ve never juiced before, it’s a loud and messy process. There is beet juice on our ceiling. Long story short, we juiced until 2 in the morning, then cleaned the kitchen until 3. We started our first day of the cleanse very tired from lack of sleep, which is exactly what everyone recommends you don’t do.
I woke up yesterday already hungry, but I used intensely concentrated self-control and grabbed a mason jar full of sludgy, vomit-looking juice. I choked this down, only to feel more ravenous as I gagged my way through the liquid. Mmm. I’m exaggerating a bit, they really didn’t taste that bad. They were just generally unsatisfying. I had a 9 mile run to do yesterday for training, so I set out on that shortly after my first juice. I thought I was going to die, and cut it short by almost 3 miles. It was a weirdly nice day yesterday, but I couldn’t enjoy it because every time I smelled the grass and leaves and such, I was reminded that I had to drink something that smelled a lot like that for a solid three days.
I gave up at about 6 p.m. I had been yawning all day, felt faint and out of it, and really could not stop thinking about food. I felt like a failure (especially because my roommate’s still going strong), but then I remembered that I was doing the cleanse for absolutely no reason at all. Like, for fun or something. But it wasn’t fun, so I quit. I know all the juice-fanatics say that there’s a three-day slump, and once you get over that you feel amazing and you start reaping the benefits of glowing skin and superpowers, or something. I felt the slump after three hours, so there was no hope for three days.
I probably gave up too soon, or should have followed the recipes more closely, or shouldn’t have run. But really, that was awful. I just feel like there should be at least one blog out there that’s honest about how hard a juice cleanse is, because I know all the ones I read in my research were so positive about it. Props to anyone who can do that for 3 days, though. You guys keep me going. (You also weird me out. If you can demonstrate that much self-control in the kitchen, I don’t like thinking about what else you’re capable of.) ◊