Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Juice on Juice Fasts

Because I'm a blogger, I get a lot of product offers. Boxes come to my house with salad dressing, small journalling notebooks, foot scrubs, environmentally friendly detergent, and this month, juices for a juice cleanse. The products I get aren't for sponsored posts, they're just samples, so the amounts are small, just enough for trying.

I was excited about the juice cleanse. I had just joked on twitter that for my shorts to fit this summer I either had to 1.) lose ten pounds in two hours or 2.) rent a medieval torture rack for my clothes. I had heard of juice cleanses – you either love them and post fifty pictures on FB of your new beautiful juiced body, or you hate them, and post one hundred updates on FB about how much you hate juice cleanses and the horse they rode in on.

The juice cleanse package promised to detoxify my body (can anything detoxify a gummy bear loving woman?) and clear my liver, colon, and intestinal track of its many toxins. In the juicing process, I would lose 3-7 pounds during the fast.

I'll be honest with myself and you, I could lose a few pounds. And break a few bad habits. And lose some toxins. I couldn't wait to cleanse with juice! There was nothing to lose except the bread dough disguising as my stomach. At this point, the juice company's promises sounded so promising I didn't care if I hated the juice fast or not. How hard could it be? I crossed my fingers and opened the box. The letter inside said that if I stuck to the juice fast for a total of fourteen days, I could lose ten pounds.

Since I'm a worrier it's no surprise that I first had to google “risks of juice fasts” because I didn't want to be headlining our small town newspaper with “Mom of Three DEAD from Juice Fast Fad.” Not the way I want to go. I'd rather die choking on a Lindt 100 percent dark chocolate bar – at least that way everyone could say that I died doing what I loved, eating chocolate.

Based on my quick internet research, juice cleanses are pretty much the same – made up of cold pressed vegetables and fruits, some with added fiber from grasses. The kit I received contained nine bottles, 8 fluid ounces each at only 100 calories a bottle. What I saw at first glance was less than appealing, but the ingredient list was impressive. Kale, spinach, clover sprouts, wheat grass, parsley, romaine, celery, and cucumber with a squirt of lemon. I like vegetables. I could do this.

I unpacked the white plastic bottles, but I couldn't help thinking that the contents looked like skimmed algae from the pond at the park here. I had heard how juice cleanses made you feel energized and gave you a radiant complexion -- who's not ready for that -- but could I get it down? I could barely look at how the film clung to the container.

You're supposed to complete the juice fast in three days, with a total of nine bottles required. There is a preparatory routine you follow to get your “insides” ready for the juice fast. The day before, you eat light. You stick to baked fish or poached chicken. I did just that and then I lined up the bottles of liquefied vegetables in the refrigerator so they'd be chilled, the package suggested cold for peak enjoyment. I'm all for enjoying my experiences.

When the alarm went off at 6:00 a.m. Monday, I popped open my eyes and was ready to start. I was to have one juice in place of a meal, three times in one day, and no caffeine, cigarettes, or alcohol. Still in my pajamas, I went to the refrigerator and unscrewed the first bottle of the day and took a sip. It was thick, sledgey, and I had to either sip all day long, or get it down in as few gulps as possible. I got it over with and slammed it down. Despite its thickness, it was good, with a sweet aftertaste. I'd try to sip the lunch one and make it last.

The 8 ounce bottle kept me full until 8:30 a.m. That's when I wanted a doughnut. But I stuck to the program because I wanted that ten pounds in 14 days promise. This was hard, because there was no new sense of renewed energy. When I looked in the mirror, there was no radiant complexion, either. I just saw a woman that wanted a bavarian cream filled doughnut. The hours crawled by, and all I had to look forward to was another 8 ounces of pond sledge at noon.

12:00 came, I fished the second bottle of liquid silt out of the refrigerator, and was so hungry or thirsty or just without calories that I drank it in one fell swoop. This time, my hunger pangs were back by 2:00. I looked outside my kitchen window and the trees looked like big fat crunchy pretzel rods. The leaves looked like broccoli flowerettes just awaiting cheez whiz.

You know what it's easy to learn? That a juice fast is not the time to log on to Pinterest for mealtime ideas.

At 3:00 I listened to my children crunching juicy apples and munching kettle cooked extra thick potato chips in the kitchen. I was strong and walked out, leaving them to their food party. I'd be okay, after all, it was almost 5:00 and time for another yummy pureed salad. At 4:59 p.m., I opened the last bottle of the day and drank it, fast. Again, a good tasting drink, no matter how ugly the consistency. I made dinner for my family and the smell of pork chops, broasted potatoes and sliced peaches was killing me. But I was determined. I sat at the table and was fed on good conversation and warm family love. HA! I was starving. My youngest heard my stomach growling and said, “Mom?! Was that you?? You need to eat really bad!” I lied and told him I was fine, fine, oh hohohoho Mama is so fine. And starting to feel delirious.

Truthfully, the last time I was this hungry was two weeks before my wedding when I stopped eating to fit into my princess cut wedding dress. My stomach growled again, my son asked me if I was okay since my stomach was “making really, really loud noises, mom.”

I usually stay up until midnight or later working on the computer, and I'll mindlessly have a bag of chips or a snackpack of the kids lunch stashes. I had the energy that night to go the full mile, but I put myself to bed early to end my hunger misery. I lay my head on my pillow and prayed that sleep would overtake me and help me survive these hours of hunger.

I awoke at 5:30 a.m. and started the routine again. Three juices, three times that day. I felt energetic but I think it was a manic phase facilitated by low blood sugar. Day #2 was over none too soon for me and I went to bed at 8:30 p.m., again with prayers to anyone above to hit me hard with a deep sleep stick. I dreamed of Easter hams, mashed potatoes, and watermelon balls.

Day #3, I slammed three juices throughout the day. I did not look good in the mirror. I looked sallow and really, you've heard the expression, your face or your ass? I think I need my face more. I was looking like Yzma from Emperor's New Groove. You could cut paper with my cheekbones.

I made it, though. Three days of nothing but three bottles of juice. Overall, I wish I could do the juice cleanse all the time, every once in awhile. It works because you starve yourself. With its clear restrictions of no food allowed, you of course lose weight. I did go to bed hungry, and that might be a good thing to do once a week. I didn't experience the energy high promised and I never saw the radiant flush of detoxification, but less handfuls of gummy bears throughout my day must count for something.

What I learned from my mini juice cleanse is that I can live without my sugar and late night boredom snacking, and that going to bed hungry one night a week won't kill me. I liked the taste of the juices, I can see maybe having one a day for breakfast.

Just as long as there isn't a special on cream filled doughnuts at the store that day.

*This was not a sponsored post since no product was named and no one gave me any money to starve myself. I didn't even lose weight, either. I just got dizzy and heard a high pitched squeal starting on Day #2.

* * *


  1. I've been doing the LEAP ImmunoCalm diet which is supposed to cure my irritable bowel symptoms. Two nights ago I dreamed I had an Altoid (can't IRL because I tested "reactive" to mint). Last night I dreamed of eating this decadent pastry with melty chocolate chips and M&Ms in it (can't IRL because I tested "reactive" to cocoa). I still don't feel great and daydream about quitting the diet about every 15 minutes. Who are these people that claim to get more energy from this stuff? Are they lying???

    So glad you made it through the juicing. I'm praying for my own strength to come out on the other end of my diet. Except some of my restrictions are for forever. I'm thinking I'd better start feeling good soon 'cause forever is a long time.

  2. Hi, Joey!! It's so good to see you! Yes, I know the dreams well. Mine were all meat. MEAT. I must have been a wolf in another life.

    Hi, Diane... thank you so much for the compliment. Writing is a lot of fun for me. I like it.

  3. I'm doing the opposite... trying to gain weight that fluoroquinolone toxicity took from me, along with my muscles, cartilage and sanity. Not a diet that I recommend!

  4. nice...i have done juice fasts...and they have not killed me...i don't think...ha...
    gummy bears are great sources of...some vitamin...i am sure...

  5. You know how this works? STARVATION! 300 calories a day? Wouldn't feed a hummingbird. But, for the record, the carrot juice and pineapple with ginger mix was the best!!! (thanks for allowing me my antics, everyone)

  6. I wouldn't have lasted the day.

  7. I can't believe you starved and you didn't loose weight. That sucks!

  8. Thanks for taking one for the team on this one!!! I shall make one less snack shack visit per day and consider it progress!



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