I’ve chatted about this in previous posts, but how many of us struggle with the concept of ‘falling off the wagon’? We reach for a special treat or an extra little snacky during times of celebration, stress, when life gets tough – and although we may not have actually or completely derailed those days of healthful living, those positive resolution focused thoughts and gusto, the emotional toll can be just as frustrating. Back to square one- goodbye magical world of supreme healthfulness. The Wall Street Journal recently shared an article ‘The Week Resolutions Die’ finding come the third week of January, New Year’s weight loss and fitness resolutions tend to taper off, indicating not only the difficulty of forming a new habit, but the power of specific and realistic goal setting in contrast to vague vows. Researchers have found were most likely to carry through with resolutions if they’re shared with intimate friends, if we’re reminded of them often, and if they’re prioritized, allowing us to feel closer to and truly identify with them and set ourselves up for long term success. Living in the past few weeks of post-holiday back-to-work rigor, of everyday life- how do we avoid feeling overwhelmed or disarmed, how do we stay on our path of resolve? Maybe our new eating and exercise habits haven’t gone completely to the wind, but how do ensure they don’t? Again, I challenge us to embrace the mantra of gradualness, celebrating each victory, each run (however long), each piece of fruit (instead of that cupcake), each attended yoga class. By acknowledging our incremental efforts and successes, however minute or grand, life and our attitudes about it suddenly take on this monumentally positive spin and we find success in ever day. We keep our momentum, our gusto, our positivity. And if we fall off, remember each day is a new day, a new opportunity to thrive. [line][line]
I can honestly admit this is the first year resolution setting ruffled me – it wasn’t so much there weren’t things I could work on (I’m sure there are boat loads), but this notion that the me in the present wasn’t enough, that I wasn’t there yet. We live in a world that requires so much long-term planning and rapid action, but how many of us actively step away and consciously reflect on the world we’ve created, this world as it stands now, and appreciate it for its successes and flaws? Over the next three days I’ve committed to a primarily raw-juice only ‘total detox’ diet (depending on how I’m feeling, I may incorporate light vegetable based soups and smoothies) provided by Fruitive. a Southeast Virginia vegan restaurant and juice company that’s recently been popping up at Washington, DC’s farmer’s markets. Three days to reset my digestive system, to allow myself the opportunity of reflecting on and celebrating what I have accomplished in the now, and to give you a space to ask any questions – about juice drinking, plant eating, or otherwise. Per your enthusiasm, I’ll be ‘live blogging’ the experience – the goods, the bads, the everythings – biggest love xx
[DAY ONE] JANUARY 26, 2015
[10:17am] before we begin my ‘live blogging’ I want to be sure to assert a few minor (yet serious) cognitions: I am always very hesitant recommending anyone do a raw juice cleanse; so often the intention is not to “cleanse”, but to expedite weight loss. No different than any other ‘fad-diet’ in our marketplace, it worries me that so many in our society believe long-term weight loss and maintenance can be achieved without intentional lifestyle and behavioral modifications. Although the raw juices are packed with an insurmountable amount of incredible and easily assimilated nutrients, unless you go into the cleanse with a clear long-term plan for life afterwards- for instance the reduced consumption of processed foods, incorporation of more plant based foods in the diet, a greener juice with a meal each day, dedication to an exercise regiment- then I really believe the cleanse will not only be a waste of your time and finances, but will serve no other purpose than as a quick and temporary weight loss solution. No weight loss or improved wellness will be maintained unless behavioral changes are made as well.
[1:15pm] what is a ‘Total Detox Cleanse’? .. you may ask. – In the wise words of Fruitive: The Total Detox cleanse takes care to nourish, nurture, and rehabilitate the liver – your body’s natural built-in detoxifier. This Signature series is chock-full of all the best nutrients derived from dark, leafy greens, and rich, earthy roots to fill each bottle with high concentrations of chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, and pure, living enzymes. Our most nutrient-dense and flavor-intense cleanse, Total Detox empowers you to combat unhealthy habits so you can start fresh.
[1:28pm] what do you eat (drink) on the ‘Total Detox Cleanse’? .. you may ask. Seven raw cold-pressed juices per twenty-four hour period (spread 2-3 hours apart), supplemented with plenty of lemon water and herbal tea to ‘enhance the detox process and flush out toxins’.
- (1) DANDY (2 oz) – wheatgrass, dandelion root greens & lemon
- (2) RED ROOT RISING (16 oz) – carrot, cucumber, beet, green apple, lemon, celery, ginger, turmeric
- (3) GREENS ETC. (16 oz) – cucumber, green apple, lemon, curly kale, spinach, romaine, celery, parsley
- (4) ALL GREENS (16 oz) – cucumber, celery, spinach, swiss chard, curly kale, parsley, cilantro
- (5) COCONUT CUCUMBER (16 oz) – coconut water, aloe vera, E3 live, mint
- (6) GREENS ETC. (16 oz) – cucumber, green apple, lemon, curly kale, spinach, romaine, celery, parsley
- (7) INDULGENCE (16 oz) – alkaline water, cashew, dates, vanilla bean, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt
[1:42pm] fun fact about parsley – this nifty little herb helps fight halitosis. Note to self: drink GREENS ETC. and breath on someone to verify.
[1:56pm] it’s about that time of day I’ve had both a creamy banana avocado ‘ice cream’ with all the fixin’s + a winter buddha bowl with chewy farro, wilted kale, perfectly roasted sweet potato, more avocado, kraut, and LOTS of sesame seeds. It could even be snack time about now. I could chew something. Luckily, it’s GREENS ETC. time. The creature of habit isn’t striking today.
[2:28pm] sipping, sipping, sipping on GREENS ETC – ‘the ultimate elixer to keep your body hydrated and your blood oxygenated’. Strikingly tart, though that’s not such a bad thing?
[3:36pm] ‘Are you training while juicing? I’ve always wondered if people do that and if so how it works out” – maddie, @eastcoasthealth. >> GREAT QUESTION! This is actually something I’ve given a lot of thought to; although this isn’t my first juice cleanse rodeo, this is the first one I’ve done while simultaneously training for a half-marathon. I’m currently 8-weeks into training, with today being a rest day (I usually go for a 30-40 minute casual walk), a 3-mile run tomorrow, and a 4-mile run Wednesday, etc. The plan (though life is never concrete) is to complete the runs at whatever pace feels right and energizing for my body. If I’m feeling too fatigued or sluggish, I may swap rest days and move the runs to later in the week! My aim is to really listen to and nourish my body, so I’ll do whatever feels right.
[4:11pm] the first point in the day where I could seriously eat (though I’m not sure if I’m actually hungry or if I miss my everyday mealtime preparation routine and chewing). Cracking open juice four – ALL GREENS. Although I tend to like my juices with an extra squeeze of lemon, this all green juice is surprisingly smooth, bright, and savory. A true salad in a glass.
[5:16pm] it’s a bizarre feeling when reaching for a banana feels like a moral dilemma.
[DAY TWO] JANUARY 27, 2015
[10:42am] Last night (at about 7:30pm) I had some Chunky Tomato and So Many Vegetables Soup and a perfectly ripe banana – does this make me a bad juicer cleanser? NO. In the midsts of half-marathon training and recovering from a stomach bug (and this COLD), returning from training last night I found myself practically wilting. Although there were still two juices left beckoning in my fridge, I couldn’t help but crave something a bit more substantial. Now, did I reach for extra-creamy-cheeseburger-soup? NO, and that’s probably not best choice for any night of the week, cleanse or not, but what I found most helpful was having a few cups of brothy and vegetable rich soups handy should I need them. Beginning cleanse morning, day two, I want to emphasize the importance of listening to your body. Regardless of if you’re in the midsts of a juice cleanse, training for a race, or have recently made dietary changes, that sense of deprivation is only going to set you up for failure. We need to feel nourished in our bodies to really shine. Onward and upward!
[12:33pm] funny enough, today feels so much ‘easier’ than yesterday – as if my body is slowly, but surely settling into this. There was a brief moment of panic this morning (perhaps the real underlying issue here is a banana addiction and the temptation of having them perfectly speckled on my counter). Reaching for (3) GREENS ETC. as we speak.
[3:53pm] “No one is holding a gun to your head”. I’ve chatted about this in previous posts, but how many of us enter into contracts with ourselves- these mini resolutions, goals, intentions- and actually come out on the other side with a success? Sometimes they’re just too big, or unspecific, unrealistic. Sometimes we never really had it in us to give them a go in the first place, we weren’t ready. Before signing over your soul (to yourself?) I challenge you to reflect on what is appropriate and feasible for you- can you give up refined sugar (cold turkey)? Can you run 70 miles/week? 40 hours into this cleansing experience, there have been more than a few occasions of temptation – from the warming waft of Andrew’s perfectly toasted poppy bagel to the ripe bananas chilling on my kitchen counter. What if I took a bite, would the world end? No. As with every aspect of life, I’m taking this in strides – listening to what feels right, my energy levels, my mood. A glass of ALL GREENS couldn’t feel more rejuvenating, but supplemented with another warm bowl of Chunky Tomato and So Many Vegetables Soup – lunchtime perfection.
[5:11pm] So I may have gone a little out of order on my juices.. and added chia seeds. And raspberries. And almonds. HELLO (7) INDULGENCE in the middle of my busy afternoon. No sweat – this completely raw, fiber and protein rich snack is just what my body was craving, especially before heading out for a run.
[DAY THREE] JANUARY 28, 2015
[9:33am] This is the first morning I woke up notably hungry, slightly moody, and down two pounds (which admittingly was quite the early-morning mood booster). In a usual everyday day I try to hit an energy target of about 1800 calories and although I came pretty close yesterday (clocking in at about 1500 calories of 3 raw juices and nut milk supplemented with soups, chia porridge, and banana), tacking on a vigorous three mile run was probably not the smartest idea. I may (or may not) incorporate a few more solid bites into today, depending on how I’m withstanding. I had planned a four-mile run this evening and want to be sure I can make my way through it! Currently supping on (1) DANDY – note to self: dandelion is the most pungently bizarre, wonderful treat in the universe.
[12:12pm] What’s in my bowl (^)? 1½ cups lightly roasted spaghetti squash, ½ cup Chunky Tomato and So Many Vegetables Soup, 1 cup wilted kale & 1 tablespoon raw hemp seeds + (3) GREENS ETC. Light and nourishing. Although I wasn’t necessarily HUNGRY – I have a lot to get through today, including class in half an hour and a four mile run later this evening, I want to be sure my energy is up so I’m really on my game.
[1:54pm] That time your professor calls you out in the middle of class to inquire on what you’re drinking and why its green..