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.


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.

Keep moving,

xoxo nancy

67 thoughts on “forks over straws

  1. 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 😀

    😀 I am so proud of being quoted it had made my monday 😀

    • 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!

  2. 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!

    • 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!

      • 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.

      • 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!

    • 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. 😉

    • 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. 🙂

  3. 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 😉

  4. 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.

    • 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.

  5. 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.

    • 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. 🙂

  6. 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!

  7. 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 🙂

    • 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. 🙂

  8. 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

    • 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?

  9. 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. 🙂

    • 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. 🙂

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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

    • 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. 🙂

  14. 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.

    • 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!

  15. 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 would have made a hilarious post. But all is well and that is good!

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

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