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:
- It gave me a fuller, more satisfied feeling than just drinking alone; and, more importantly,
- 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.
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.
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.