my year[s] of sweat!

After wasting a lifetime chasing quick fixes, I finally put my big girl pants on and took accountability for my health. I exercised every single day of 2013. And it didn't kill me. So now I'm continuing my journey of well-being into 2014. Please join me!

forks over straws

How Joe Cross did it for 60 days I will never understand.

I couldn’t make it past one day of just juicing. And, luckily as it turns out, I didn’t have to.

While I recognize there may be significant benefits to juicing, chief among them your body’s ability to very quickly and efficiently absorb key micronutrients, I’m not convinced that a 100% juice cleanse is the only way to achieve the type of ‘reset’ I was looking for.

As you all know from my previous posts, I began introducing solid food, in the form of raw fruits and vegetables, early on in the process (Tuesday/Day 2).

The benefits for me were two-fold:

  1. It gave me a fuller, more satisfied feeling than just drinking alone; and, more importantly,
  2. It gave me the psychological win of having ‘eaten’. Our minds are very powerful. When your mind tells you it’s hungry, just because your jaw hasn’t moved up and down, it can be very convincing. I fed my mind by giving my jaw some exercise.

In my last post I described how good I was feeling. Not only was I clear-headed and full of energy, but I was also down 3 lbs in 4 days. Win-win-win. With these amazing results I momentarily thought about continuing the cleanse much longer than the planned 7 days.

On the one hand, I felt like I was in my groove, not feeling quite so deprived, and no longer craving things with such intensity.

On the other hand, I was tired of feeling like a social outcast.

I hadn’t shared a meal with anyone in 5 days. In that respect, cleansing/detoxing is a very lonely endeavour.

Being a person who enjoys the social aspects of eating (recapping my day with my family, sharing stories, etc.). this was one of the biggest challenges I faced this past week.

Well that and that moment on Tuesday when my husband decided to cook bacon.  He’s a real gem, that one.

Did I mention that a couple of hours after I finished writing that post Thursday evening he decided it would be a fantastic idea to make his gourmet home-made pizza for his dinner?

Yes. Yes, he did that.

First he hit me with the bacon, then he annihilated me with the homemade pizza.

bastards_gif_pagespeed_ce

He is so unbelievably lucky that I was feeling really good by Thursday night. If those horrible headaches were still a factor, Mr. Enthusiasm might be missing a limb today.

Which would have made it super hard for him to roll out his dough.

I read about this Charleston, SC woman who attacked her husband with a ceramic squirrel.

untitled

Source

Poor bastard was sent out to buy beer on New Year’s Eve. The store was already closed so he returned home empty-handed, only to be attacked by his wife for his failed mission.

Can you imagine what she would have done to that man if he dared cook bacon or make pizza while she was cleansing? I shudder to think.

My unbelievable benevolence aside, by Friday night I found myself restless.

I wasn’t hungry.

I wasn’t cranky.

I wasn’t craving foods from the banned list.

Instead, I just felt like I was over it. I was ready to move on.

The Type-A overachiever who lives inside me snapped to attention. What?? Pull the plug short of the original 7-day plan? Impossible!

Turns out my ego, the one I thought I’d successfully benched a while back, is alive and well. That fucker has nine lives.

And just as I found myself in an endless loop of should-I or shouldn’t-I, I found my answer by way of a blog comment.

Sam, an amazing friend who is over halfway through her own ‘year of sweat’ journey, called Midsummer 365 project, wrote the following:

“If your goal was to achieve a physical and mental kick-start to eating healthily again, then it only needs to last as long as it takes to achieve your goal! 

This needn’t be five days if you feel refreshed and healthy and able to make sensible choices.”

Sam, you are absolutely brilliant.

My goal was, indeed, to simply reboot my system after a few weeks of unhealthy choices. I was feeling sluggish and foggy and couldn’t shake that residual cold & cough I had developed before the holidays.

Five days in, I felt terrific. Mission accomplished.

Could I have gone longer? Yes.

Did I need to? No.

Did I fall off the wagon and dive into a tray of chicken wings? No.

I gradually re-introduced banned food items back into my diet one by one, starting with brown rice, and then chicken.

As of the writing of this post I still haven’t eaten anything fried, nor have I had dairy. I have had coffee and also a glass of wine. Coffee and wine just make us civilized. I will not apologize for either.

Final verdict: My original plan was a 7-day juice cleanse. I failed on the execution of that plan the moment I introduced the consumption of fruits and vegetables. That said, this adjustment doesn’t seem to have negatively impacted my results in any way. There is no doubt that I benefitted greatly from the elimination of meat, dairy, grain, sugar and alcohol from my diet, regardless the fact that I ate my ruffage versus drinking it. I made it 5 days without killing anyone, deprived of caffeine, sugar and alcohol. And I lost a few pounds to boot. Final grade: A-minus.

I would definitely consider a 3-5 day cleanse once every few months, but would stick to a cleanse focused on elimination (dairy, meat, grains, alcohol) but not limited to juicing only. Juicing worked well for Joe Cross (and countless others), but it’s not for me. And that is okay.

Straw for you; fork for me.

Keep moving,

xoxo nancy

67 comments on “forks over straws

  1. Ice_Badger
    January 13, 2014

    awwww :-)

    I am glad I helped! I have moments of making sense sometimes :-)
    I am glad you achieved your goal too and have rebooted successfully!

    Coffee definitely makes me civillised! anyone who has seen me in a morning before coffee will wholeheartedly agree :-D
    :-D I am so proud of being quoted it had made my monday :-D
    xx

    • nancytex2013
      January 13, 2014

      I just love it when the universe gives you what you need at the exact moment you need it. Your words did that for me, Sam. You helped me see the difference between an ego based decision to keep going, versus seeing the clarity of the situation: that I had already achieved my desired goal. Brilliant. Thank you once again, friend!

      • Ice_Badger
        January 13, 2014

        :-D it sometimes takes an outside perspective to make these things clear.

        I am really glad to have helped!

        xx

  2. Winding road
    January 13, 2014

    This is great and really takes the pressure off. I am Type A too and will finish things if I start them. In the past, I’d force myself to finish a bad book just because I’d started it. ha, not anymore. Glad you listen to your body and intuition, amazing how freakin resilient that damn ego is, isn’t it? We have to constantly push it away. I’m fairly certain I could not juice for 7 days…heck, I’m fairly certain I couldn’t go without wine and coffee for one day! lol! nice job Nancy!

    • nancytex2013
      January 13, 2014

      Looking back now, I realize how ridiculous the internal argument was in the first place. I stated my goal in that first post: reboot my system; kickstart a return to healthier choices, etc. And yet, when I got there, and achieved all the side benefits: extra energy, clear headedness, etc – I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. I only knew I had to go 2 more days. So silly. I’m so thankful Sam’s words arrived when they did.

      And, totally Kerry re: coffee and wine. I’m not a lush or a caffeine addict by any stretch, but it’s amazing what that cup in the morning will do for you. I’m pretty sure the headaches were probably from caffeine withdrawal, even though I don’t drink much more than a cup a day. crazy!

      • Winding road
        January 13, 2014

        Yep, me too. I love that first cup, I could probably do away with the second. And I’m no lush either (most days..ha!, just kidding) but as with the coffee, I love that one glass of red most nights. I’m gonna try to switch to tea in the evenings. After that bad bout of insomnia last year, which I know the cause now, I really needed that wine to relax me. Now the issue is resolved and it’s time to shed off some old habits.

        • nancytex2013
          January 13, 2014

          It’s funny, I just love a great bottle of wine with dinner, but that said, it doesn’t happen every night. Certain meals demand wine as the accompanying beverage. For the most part though, I’m a crazy water drinker. Water, water, water and more water. When I have my wine, it’s such a treat. Usually a couple times a week.

          If you got into the wine at night habit to combat the insomnia, I totally get that. Nothing worse than not sleeping. Nothing.

          Good luck on resolving any remaining insomnia issues and moving from wine at night to tea at night. You can do it!

  3. joannesisco
    January 13, 2014

    Five Days? Sounds pretty awesome to me! … and your sense of humour is still intact :)

    • nancytex2013
      January 13, 2014

      Thanks Joanne! It was pretty awesome to get 5 days in, and especially to enjoy the results that came from it. Overall, a really hard but rewarding experience – and one that I may look to repeat every so often. Perhaps for 3 days at a time versus 5, though. ;-)

  4. PinotNinja
    January 13, 2014

    “Coffee and wine just make us civilized. I will not apologize for either.” — AMEN!

    Glad you’re off to a renewed and energized start to the new year!

    • nancytex2013
      January 13, 2014

      I’m glad you liked that line! I kind of stole and paraphrased from Steel Magnolias, where there is a line, “The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.” That is one of my all time favourites. I tried to pay homage to it with mine about coffee and wine. :-)

  5. Expat Eye
    January 13, 2014

    Well done you! And that ceramic squirrel story made me laugh out loud! She doesn’t look too repentant in that photo… this is why I don’t keep ornaments in my flat. Or men. But always have beer or wine ;)

    • nancytex2013
      January 13, 2014

      Not repentant at all. More smug, I’d say. :-)

      I actually do keep a bunch of collectibles and pottery and antiques in my house. Mr. Enthusiasm is just lucky I like my stuff too much to risk breaking it. My love for my bric-a-brac is his good fortune, indeed.

      • Expat Eye
        January 13, 2014

        Ha ha, I’d probably buy stuff I didn’t like that much just so I could smash it dramatically ;)

        • nancytex2013
          January 13, 2014

          That’s a plan I should consider for my next cleanse.

        • Expat Eye
          January 13, 2014

          Think how therapeutic it would be! Just avoid the ‘Wolf’ when getting smash-happy ;)

        • nancytex2013
          January 13, 2014

          Sound advice, indeed. That Wolf needs to last through the next power outage.

  6. Carrie Rubin
    January 13, 2014

    Making pizza while you were on a cleanse? He is indeed a lucky man to be sporting all four limbs. I think a jury would’ve sided with you on that one. ;)

    Congrats on reaching your OWN goal, not one based on mere numbers alone.

    • nancytex2013
      January 13, 2014

      I know, right? How nice am I?? Obviously way, way too nice. :-)

      Thanks Carrie — that’s exactly right – it was a win based on goal attainment, not on perfect execution of the plan. I need to be way more cognizant of that difference from here on in.

  7. eat less sugar
    January 13, 2014

    Coffee and wine definitely make us civilized! My cleansing experience was so similar to yours except I didn’t even give up coffee. I’m totally addicted and okay with that lol. I don’t think a cleanse has to be only juicing to work. I had smoothies, raw nuts, fruit and salad along with the juice and felt fab.

    • nancytex2013
      January 13, 2014

      the fruit & veg in it’s whole form, plus the raw nuts and seeds worked wonders for me! Maybe next time I’ll take my cue from you and leave in the coffee. I am 99% sure the headaches were a result of that deficiency.

      p.s. I feel even more sure of my decisions based on the vote of confidence from you, my eat-less-sugar healthy-living guru, Laurel. :-)

  8. NW Frame of Mind
    January 13, 2014

    Thanks for sharing your recap Nancy it sounds like you had a totally successful experience! Wish us luck, John and I are going to try a 3 day cleanse this weekend… I already think I might supplement with some fruits and vegetables like you did just to chew something but am just going to have to tough it through the no dairy and no alcohol parts. :( The plan I found includes one cup of green tea in the morning so at least I’ll start my day with a little caffeine!

    • nancytex2013
      January 13, 2014

      I was trying to decide what was harder to live without: bread, dairy or alcohol… it’s a toss up, but for me the lack of bread was a killer. To make up for his sins of bacon and pizza making during my cleanse, Mr. Enthusiasm made some homemade artisan bread with sweet potato for me on Sunday. YUM!

    • nancytex2013
      January 13, 2014

      p.s. Good luck to you and John! You got this!!

      • NW Frame of Mind
        January 13, 2014

        Thanks. :) I’ve made it through the no bread part fine (it helps that I haven’t found a gf bread that I like) but that means I am even more attached to my dairy and wine! Oh well, if I feel great after three days I’ll know it was worth it.

        • nancytex2013
          January 13, 2014

          I hope (and believe) you will. It’s amazing what even that brief an elimination of those foods does to reset us. Can’t wait to hear how you feel at the end of it!

        • NW Frame of Mind
          January 13, 2014

          I’ll let you know!

  9. Ingrid
    January 13, 2014

    Take away my coffee….I think not! There’s lots of things I can do without, but my true vice is my cup or two of coffee in the morning to start my day. Even when I’ve done the cleanse crap, I enjoy my coffee. Kudos to you for lasting 5 days and not harming anyone :-)

    • nancytex2013
      January 13, 2014

      I’m convinced the headaches were a result of the lack of coffee. Based on what I’m reading from a number of you, it seems like I can still achieve a good cleanse without forgoing the caffeine. Will definitely try that next time. I’m sure it’ll make me a kinder, gentler Nancy. :-)

  10. Rachael @ mummyflyingsolo
    January 13, 2014

    Wise choice, Nance. I’m not convinced starvation via juicing is the best route! Lol If you ever want to detox again look into Dr Joshi’s Holistic detox. It IS a 3 week program but it does include food. No supplements either. It’s a natural detox. I did it a few years back now and felt amazing. He is an Indian dude (of the sub continent as oppised to the native variety) so the holistic side offers some of that philosophy. Well worth the effort. I’ve been thinking of doing it again lately so will post about it if I do. The main thing is you got your reset. Yay! X

    • nancytex2013
      January 13, 2014

      Thanks for the reco Rach! I’ll bookmark Dr. Joshi’s detox for future reference. I didn’t do any supplements last week either. I’m always skeptical of detox/cleanses that ask you to give up everything under the sun but take little vitamin pills. Theoretically you should be getting your nutrients through the healthful raw foods you are consuming, right?

  11. Three Well Beings
    January 13, 2014

    I don’t seem to metabolize an all-juice diet very well, even for a very short time. I get some kind of low-sugar drop, or that’s what it feels like. I agree with you thatit’s very possible to achieve many of the same goals by simply eating well, but eliminating certain foods. Totally agree with you about coffee and a glass of wine. We don’t want to be extremists! Moderation rules. :-)

    • nancytex2013
      January 13, 2014

      Everything in moderation is a motto I try to live by. Had I not over-indulged in Christmas cookies, I wouldn’t have needed the detox! :-) Forgot my own motto!!

      All reset now, and happily having coffee, wine, bread, etc. Plan to have meat in the not so distant future. And then a whole whack of cheese. :-)

  12. whichwaynow101
    January 13, 2014

    Five days without killing anyone while on a cleanse is a definite accomplishment! And that squirrel stabber? There’s no way she ever was or will be on a cleanse! Of course she might have done the liquid diet if her husband had got to the beer store in time. “Hit reset button” accomplished. Well done!

    • nancytex2013
      January 13, 2014

      LOL on her liquid diet. You’re probably bang on with that observation!

      Now the trick will be ensuring I don’t need another massive reset anytime soon… :-)

      • whichwaynow101
        January 14, 2014

        You’ll be good with that hanging over you!

        • nancytex2013
          January 14, 2014

          I was just commenting to another reader that it’s amazing how I now notice how bloated I feel after eating the grains (bread, pasta, etc). Not enough discomfort, mind you, to give them up permanently, but I guess compared to the light/energetic feeling I had last week. Why does the stuff I love have to be so bad for me??? :-(

        • whichwaynow101
          January 14, 2014

          Your body is talking to you. My body tells me the same thing. Eat beans!

        • nancytex2013
          January 14, 2014

          Well, the beauty of being married 26+ years is that there is no shame in farting in front of your spouse. :-)

        • whichwaynow101
          January 14, 2014

          This might come as a surprise to you but they don’t always have that effect. Himself tried a diet advocated by Tim Ferriss in The 4-Hour Body which replaces all carbs with beans. He lost 25 pounds and his blood pressure plummeted AND no gas and no hunger. He only tried it because he didn’t have to give up red wine. lol

        • nancytex2013
          January 14, 2014

          Hmmph…that would involve divorcing bread, the one thing I cannot live without in this life. I’m all for adding the beans, but can’t give up the bread. :-(

        • whichwaynow101
          January 14, 2014

          Himself was hooked on bread and toast. C’mon, a health advocate of your caliber – you can do it! :-)

        • nancytex2013
          January 14, 2014

          Could = Yes, and did (approx. 15 years ago – for one year)

          Result = dramatic change to my body (zero pooch in front, best abs ever)

          Other Result = total and complete bitch 24/7

          Verdict = some things are too precious to part with.

        • whichwaynow101
          January 14, 2014

          Huh. :-(

        • whichwaynow101
          January 14, 2014

          P.S. He followed the diet rigidly for a month, lost 20 pounds, then eased off and ate a bit of pasta, bread and potatoes, lost a bit more weight and it has stayed off. It’s worth looking into. :-)

        • nancytex2013
          January 14, 2014

          see previous response. :-)

        • whichwaynow101
          January 14, 2014

          Got it.

  13. Andra Watkins
    January 13, 2014

    I absolutely agree with you. You accomplished what you set out to do, and there’s nothing wrong with moving on once that happens. I couldn’t last drinking juice for a day, let alone five (or 60????? WTF???)

    Proud to be from Charleston, South Carolina after reading this post. Ha. We sure do have some loonies down here, but it’s great writing fodder.

    • nancytex2013
      January 13, 2014

      Thought of you the minute I saw where she was from, and giggled. :-) How is it that you turned out so normal? Or do you have any squirrel attacks that I just haven’t heard about yet?

      • Andra Watkins
        January 13, 2014

        Oh my. If you end up meeting me in person, one of the first things I will tell you about is my 20th high school reunion. MTM turned to me ten minutes into it and said, “HOW did you turn out normal???”

        • nancytex2013
          January 13, 2014

          Even more incentive to meet you!

  14. tiny lessons blog
    January 13, 2014

    I think you need to give yourself a straight A. You did it! I agree that coffee could be included in the “allowables” next time. Not a day goes by (almost) without a new study finding how good it is for us (in moderate amounts, of course, like everything). Today there was a new finding that coffee boosts memory. What is there not to love? I will have a double-huge cup tomorrow morning…

    • nancytex2013
      January 13, 2014

      Okay, officially changing my grade to A!
      I just love all the great info you guys share with me!

  15. Rose
    January 14, 2014

    Amazing! I think it’s amazing that you did so well, even if it wasn’t all juices. I love the idea of doing it…. but not yet for me, lol!! X

    • nancytex2013
      January 14, 2014

      It’s funny how bloated I feel just a few days back at eating grains. I wish I had the resolve to give up breads and pastas, etc. I just don’t. Oh well, must look to reduce since I can’t eliminate those permanently. :-)

  16. IntrovertedSarah
    January 14, 2014

    I’ve been there, I’ve tried it, I’ve failed. A woman was not meant to resist pizza. On the up side it is a great thing to do every now and then.

    • nancytex2013
      January 14, 2014

      Between the bacon and the pizza I honestly don’t know how I managed not to a) kill him, and/or b) eat either or both.

      One thing I do know for sure though is I’m not ever giving up either permanently.

      Thanks for stopping by, and especially for taking the time to comment. I adore me some introverts!

      • IntrovertedSarah
        January 14, 2014

        I feel the introvert love :)

        • nancytex2013
          January 14, 2014

          Seriously! I feel a kinship to introverts, likely due to the fact that I shun superficial relationships/.interactions and can’t stand small talk. Maybe I’m a closet introvert. I think I might actually be.

  17. The Vanilla Housewife
    January 15, 2014

    Hahahaha Love this! Yes wine and coffee makes us civilized!If you get the result sooner that planned, then why not declare victory already?!
    The husband was lucky, had it been the a bad day..it would have made a hilarious post. But all is well and that is good!

    • nancytex2013
      January 15, 2014

      True…I thought about how a physical attack on Mr Enthusiasm would have made for a great post… Next time. ;-)

  18. eat less sugar
    January 29, 2014

    I’m a glutton for punishment, I think, so trying a (caffeinated) juice/smoothie cleanse again in a few days. Three days, no solid food. It’s going to be interesting!

    • nancytex2013
      January 29, 2014

      I will be thinking of you, brave lady!
      Helpful tip: don’t allow those you live with to cook bacon. :-)

      • eat less sugar
        January 29, 2014

        Haha I live with my dog. He can’t really cook. But if he could, he would definitely cook bacon :)

        • nancytex2013
          January 30, 2014

          thank God he can’t cook. :-)
          Good luck!

  19. Pingback: monthly challenges recap: January edition | my year[s] of sweat!

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