“Can I just eat now?”
“No… you must pull through. Only one day left.”
“Omg why did I do this to myself… I would love a chocolate molten cake right now…”
“I am literally feasting with my eyes. I can taste that warm chocolate goo and crunchy outside.”
“I’m so sick of peeling lemon. It’s impossible!!”
“12 more hours and I can eat again”
These are one tenth of the thoughts that went through my head during my 3-day juice detox from Monday to Wednesday.
A week and a half ago, I talked to my sister. The last time we heard each other’s voices was probably before the new year- suffice to say that a catchup was definitely overdue. We caught each other up on our lives, and being the awesome, ever so knowledgable big sister that she is, she sends me documentaries (because that’s what she’s in to) over Skype. One of them was called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. I watched it right then and there, and was immediately inspired. The video is about a man (Joe, from Australia) who goes on a juice fast for 60 days around the U.S to try and get his health back. As he was driving to somewhere in the east coast, he meets Phil, a 430 pound man, who asks Joe for help. Phil goes on a juice fast himself, and manages to inspire his community and family to do the same. They are now super healthy. I asked myself- why not go on a juice detox? I’ve never done one before, heard only good things about it, and it can’t be that bad.
Sounds simple, no? But it definitely wasn’t.
There’s a lot of preparation when one decides to go on a juice detox/fast/reboot (same difference). To prepare myself, I downloaded the 3-day juice detox plan from Joe’s website. I went to the grocery store, loaded up on vegetables (80%) and fruits (20%), and had a glass of fresh juice every day for one week.
I really wanted make sure I had all the ingredients for my 3-day detox (Monday to Wednesday) so I wouldn’t have to walk by roasted chicken in the grocery store. To do that, I wrote down all my recipes and woke up early on a Saturday to go to the farmer’s market in town. It was sunny for the past three weeks, but it just had to rain on that day. Still, I grabbed a backpack and headed down.
I bought the easy stuff first- apples, beets, lemon. But what I really wanted to find was kale. I even researched at home before to see if kale was sold in Switzerland, but didn’t find any concrete information. So when I saw this one stall that had a bunch of different types of vegetables, I google-imaged kale and showed the dude. I was so happy when he said the two french words “— kale”. I was like “YES! KALE!” They looked a lot more different than I thought, when I asked “juice?” he said “oui”. I bought six stalks of kale, went to the supermarket to get the rest of the things (they didn’t sell cucumbers and I had to buy eight..), and trudged back up to school.
And so Monday morning comes, and I start my juice detox.
Oh I got hungry. I never left my house (except for class on Monday) because I was scared I would be tempted.
I quickly realized that my teeth missed mashing up whole foods and my jaw missed chewing; my tummy hated being empty and sent deceiving signals to my brain. That was the worst- when you feel your stomach muscles contract because it needed something to grind up.
I would say that my sense of smell is quite strong, so when I was in my bed watching The Voice, and someone was cooking pasta at 10pm, I almost went nuts. I went online and started searching for tacos, burgers, pizzas, just so I could feast with my eyes. I tried to ignore every temptation and every desire to grab that packet of cereal and pour it in my mouth (that was the only carb I had in my house). Looking at the pictures helped, because I could almost taste the juiciness of the minced beef and the oiliness of the cheese.
From day 1, I knew. I knew that I could not eat. I knew that my body was telling me it was hungry, but my brain could ignore it. I knew that I wasn’t actually hungry, but I just missed eating. Water helped a lot- just drinking a mouthful can alleviate the hunger feeling for ten minutes.
This made me realize- people eat when they have nothing to do. Next time you decide to buy that packet of fries at the drive-through, ask yourself- are you really hungry? Or when you decide to buy that packet of cookies at the grocery store, ask yourself- why do you need this? It’s so hard to describe hunger until you’ve experienced it, but even then, I don’t think I have. I think those 10.9 million undernourished children have, though, and they don’t even get unlimited access to water.
It’s not exactly fair that we get to lavish on foie gras, gourmet pizzas, organic chicken, when there are 10.9 million children who cannot afford the simplest of foods- bread, rice, milk- foods that will help them survive another day.
It’s all mind over matter for us. If we eat whenever we are actually hungry, we’d probably be eating once a day or even once every two days. But dieting, keeping fit, healthy and nourished requires us to eat at least three times a day. On top of that, feeling full is a feeling of content, satiated-ness; happiness. I’m not trying to start a movement or a campaign here; I just want people to be more mindful of what they consume.
Today is the end of day 3. I plan on going to bed early just so I can wake up early and eat my cereal and soya milk. I love the effects of this juice detox on my body- I poop once a day and I feel healthy- I also don’t look 3 months pregnant after every meal (who else has that problem?). Since the beginning of this year, I have started to eat more healthy and stopped snacking; I’ve only bought food that I need to keep nourished. There are those occasional indulgences, but I hope people will start to be more aware of what they buy and what they eat.
Have you ever gone on a juice detox? What was your experience like? Did you have any revelations? What are some of your favorite recipes? If anybody has any questions on juice detoxing/dieting/rebooting, please do not hesitate to comment!