Fad diets aren’t my thing. Yet, my peers, moms at school, guys at yoga, every health and wellness blogger on Instagram, they were all running to the juice shop like juice cleanses were made with water from the Fountain of Youth – bottled directly at the source, of course.
After one of my closest friends texted me that she was going to do a juice cleanse, I gave in to peer pressure and decided I’d see what this liquid diet thing was all about. I grabbed a bag of pre-bottled juice that was supposed to replace my meals for one entire day. According to the hype I’d read online, I would look ten years younger, twenty pounds thinner, and never want a cupcake again when it was all over.
Though I started off the day strong, in what I call my “Optimistic Phase”, by noon I was very hungry. Why the only protein drink is at the END of the day is beyond me, because I truly think I could have functioned better with one in the early part of the day.
Many text messages were sent to friends lamenting my inability to deprive myself of solid food with joy and fervent ecstasy. Blogs were read that tried to convince me my desire to eat was simply my addiction to food and not a normal healthy instinct to stay alive. I cried a little, then declared this inability to not eat as a monumental life failure and the reason I will never be skinny.
Thankfully, a very good friend talked me off the ledge by pointing out this didn’t make me a failure, it only meant I was not anorexic. I refer to these hours as my “Hangry Phase.”
By 5 p.m., my husband, who came home early by chance, looked at me sitting in the back yard sipping on my fifth juice of the day and voiced concern over the fact that I was speaking very quietly and stumbling over my words a bit and he said wasn’t particularly comfortable with me driving them to karate. This has since been dubbed the “Juice Drunk Phase”.
At this point, I threw in the towel and ate dinner. Never will I know the possible euphoria that comes from completing a juice cleanse.
My take away was this: If doing a juice cleanse makes you feel good, that is awesome, keep doing it! If doing a juice cleanse makes you feel awful, physically or emotionally, do not do it!
There are so many safe and healthy ways to make changes to your eating habits, including nourishing your body with clean, whole, organic foods, depriving yourself will never be the only or best answer.