May 16, 2014

Discover: Juicing

Last week my favourite Englishman and I embarked on the crazy adventure that is detoxing with juice. The idea really came out of nowhere while watching telly, when we both mentioned at the same time that we feel a bit uneasy about our bodies and what goes into them at the moment. Next thing we knew, we somehow had decided to try juicing.

Beginning last Monday we said good bye to any food that wasn’t vegetable or fruit in liquid form. With it being May Day (a bank holiday in the UK), it gave us the opportunity to set the sails and go before our daily work life might blow us of course.
It proved not to be an easy exploration. For our juice meals we followed this plan by Joe Cross. Its originally a 5-day detox plan, which we choose because of the variety of juice recipes that are on offer as well as the simple day plan. We did not do the recommended preparation week, simply because once we set our minds on doing it, we rather wanted to start straight away (so we couldn’t back out again).

Based on the day planner I made my usual weekly meal planner and filled it with the different juice options. Then I created a tally sheet under each day and marked of how many of each fruit and veg we would need. With that list I visited the market.

In case you have never made a juice at home (other than orange juice) you probably don’t know how MUCH vegetables and fruits are involved for one juice. I certainly didn’t, but after filling my market basket with 18 cucumbers and 26 apples for 5 days it started to dawn on me. It also dawned on me that I would probably never fit all the required vegetables in my bag. Despite arriving with my big travel bag pack, I had to leave before my shopping list was even half crossed off and make a run to the supermarket with the car. Once back home I had a hard time storing the humongous amounts of food.
These, however, weren’t the only problems we ran into. As I said, it was quite an exploration. We started the first morning slow, after all it was a bank holiday and there was need to get up early. As it was recommended by the plan I had a glass of hot water before anything else. Then we made our first juice: Apple-Carrot-Lemon. We expected the worst, but were pleasantly surprised.

Unfortunately I can’t say that for many of the other juices. Although we enjoy eating almost all of the veg and fruits on the ingredients list when whole, most of the juices tasted awful to us. On top of that on day one my fav Englishman was really struggling with the idea of not having anything to chew on. I, on the other hand, felt I couldn’t drink all of this liquid. I had expected to feel light and slim, since all that goes into my body was water. Instead I had a bloated belly that became fuller and fuller with liquid every time we had meals. This quickly stopped me from drinking the recommended (and very necessary) extra 2l of water and so I ended the first day with a raging migraine.

Thankfully things became easier on the second day – our first day back at work. Despite our fears none of us had to work on a hungry stomach, in the contrary we felt very energetic and happy. I even managed to drink the recommended amount of extra water and avoided another headache. It really could have been a great second day - but then we introduced beet root into our juices. OMG, how awful is beet root juice! I never minded the veg in its full form, but the juice was plain disgusting. In fact it was so disgusting that we decided there and then that we wouldn’t add it to any other juice we drink.

So after the beet root disaster, we started the morning of day three with an adjusted version of the planned drink. We thought without the beet root and the headaches the whole juicing experience really could turn itself around that day. All the craving for solid food had finally gone and we did feel light and healthy. That was until my fav Englishman came home from work that day, so tired and exhausted, he could hardly walk up the stairs to the bedroom. His work is physically very demanding and that day an urgent project had eaten up all resources. We quickly realised that the juicing experiment wouldn’t provide him with enough energy for his work day if we would continue the same way. We had a long discussions about the pro’s and con’s and what we wanted to gain from this experience and finally decided to call three days of full juicing enough. The next day, Thursday, we opted for a solid lunch in order to allow my fav Englishman to push through his work day. Breakfast and dinner (and dessert) still came in juicy liquid form. On Friday we then had a solid lunch and dinner and juice only for breakfast and dessert.
When Saturday morning came round and we packed the juicer away, we were somehow sad, relieved and anxious at the same time. Relieved, because we knew the struggles were over. Sad, because we still felt juicing did us a world of good. Anxious, because we felt healthy and slim again after a long time and didn’t want to blow it with the first meals.

Bottom line I think last week was quite an extraordinary week, which we would still repeat with a few adjustments and despite our fears I don’t think we blew it this week, where we were back on our normal diet. Instead we continued many of the good things that we learned, but that is content for another post.

Thank you so much for letting me share our juicing experiment. If you are interested in more info leave a comment or stay tuned, as I soon will share our personal pros and cons and some tips on going on your own juicing adventure.

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