Big Juice Cleanse and Liver Detox Experiment, Day 2:

A delicious evening cleansing dessert of ginger, carrot, and apple. So far, so good, but STUFFED to the gills, to the point I have not even done two of the juices for today – I am so totally full! Habits slowly ebbing, the raspberry herbal tea was actually delicious, and the beckoning almonds and other handful snacks I enjoy far too much through the day didn’t holler too loudly for me. I might just DO this thing after all! Yay, me!
I neglected a Day 1 post, so here it is:

A little tough because I decided on a whim to start without having gone grocery shopping, so by mid morning I was scraping the bottom of the baby carrot bag. So after a business lunch (cheating already with a vegetable soup and a simple salad!), I headed to the grocery store, where every solid food screamed at me ‘buy me, eat me on the way home!’. I already wanted to chew on ANYthing…rawhide even?! Mid afternoon had me feeling pretty great though, lots of energy. As I walked through the kitchen I grabbed a homegrown ripening Roma tomato and realized mid-bite….ugh! Dang it! As luck would have it, there is actually some chewable food in this regimen, a dinner meal of fish, cooked veggie, salad, and rice…and even a fruit dessert. By that time, I’d had 5 juices and was so full I couldn’t even eat the fruit! But a good day overall for a first one, easing into it with only a couple glitches. NOT hungry, just ‘chewy’. Day 2 was a little easier, except for being so dang full I couldn’t complete the entire repertoire of food and was almost OVERfull all day long.
BEHIND THE BIG JUICE EXPERIMENT:

I’m a basically healthy person, but as a health coach, I work with many people with chronic illnesses (most of which, by the way, are VERY responsive to dietary and lifestyle changes, so yes, there’s hope for all of you out there suffering! – message me for a free consult to see if I can help you too). I also yearn to learn, a compulsion I embrace as I build my health coaching practice. I’ve been exposed to a number of avid juicers, the born agains, the uber psycho (nothing personal, it’s just that you’re a little crazy) tri and marathon athletes, and some friends who do their best to infuse good stuff into their bods to stay healthy. It was another ‘thing’, but one I hadn’t tried or been tempted by. I liked juices well enough, but the WASTE! Geez, why would I pay GOOD money for ORGANIC produce to simply compost and mulch most of what I just paid for? Didn’t make sense. Smoothies, yep, love ‘em. Delicious and filling, the caveat is they often are totally loaded with calories, as in 400-800 per 16oz glass. Nice if you need to gain healthy, but frankly, not ever a hint of an issue for me. Not even close.
A recent week of free health movies on a health pay channel offered up the film “Super Juice Me”, shortly after a documentary I watched treating a half dozen folks with Amazonian remedies and juice, but I digress slightly. Point is, I was inspired by the transformation the majority of these chronically ill folks experienced in the month they were on this juice deal. Was there really something to it (never mind the Gerson Institute centers their dietary protocol around it, duh) that I should check out? What about my own clients, friends, and family with health issues,? Could it help them, too? I then checked out a juicing book from the library – again, that cheap side coming out…why buy when you can borrow? The only book on the shelf was fortunately a good one, “Juicing For Life”, which includes a basic intro to the why, what, and how of juicing. It also offers a sizable section specific to 60 different ailments and illnesses with specific advice and recommendations for each. Getting more interesting by the page (I eat this stuff up – apparently now literally as well as figuratively), it’s third section had some really interesting juice recipes. Hmmmmm…..
No question I was curious. Even more so, I was very aware that if this protocol worked for better health, I might want to recommend it to some of my clients to try. After all, that book recommended everyone doing at least a couple cleanses per year for general good health.
But I could not in good conscience do that without trying it myself first. Would it even make a difference for a generally healthy person? Was I willing to go without solid food for 3-5 days to begin with? And if I wasn’t, how on earth could I expect a client to do it? I was going to have to be the guinea pig and learn first hand. Was it expensive? Time consuming? Would it even taste good? Would I be hungry? And then there’s the, er, elimination question….would I have to be home near the bathroom 24/7?? Would I lose a couple pounds (hopefully)? How would I feel – bloated, energized, gut-wrenched, sick to my stomach, great? Only one way to find out. Debate about it in my head for a few days. Right.
Yesterday I woke up and just decided. Today. Nothing like jumping in. By mid morning, I had decide that not only would I do the basic cleanse but I might as well add a couple days and to the full out 7 day Liver Detox – why not? I was 5/7 of the way there already! Besides, it adds more food to the mix, and I was worried about getting hungry. Also by then, as I mentioned above, I was scraping the refrigerator for any vegetables to use since I hadn’t exactly planned it out, other than to make sure I started AFTER my evening group presentation on stress – I for SURE didn’t want any lovely digestive “anything” to get in the way of THAT!
After lunch, I hoofed it to the grocery store. $117 later, I was loaded with foodstuff for (primarily me) and the family including massive amounts of nearly all fresh organic veggies (broke protocol with flash frozen green beans as my cheap side came out), some milk thistle supplements, and an awesome fresh ON SALE, wild caught slab of alaskan salmon – yum! Ok, that was $20 but 6 servings of incredible healthy mouth watering protein, right? Packing out the refrigerator was pretty interesting (wish I’d taken a photo then…keep in mind this photo is AFTER 2 days of juicing, so we are down an entire shelf of veggies and fruit. So far, so good.
Deciding to do the Liver Detox was both a blessing and a curse. It added 2c of steamed vegetable broth (actually a slurry), a carrot salad with lemon and olive oil (delicious and entirely satisfying with that oil!), two green juices (on top of the already 6 daily!), 3oz beet juice (basically 3 beets) and the milk thistle supplement (potent liver cleansing and protecting) to the day. Wow, that turned out to be a day in the kitchen! So far, it’s been pretty time consuming, but streamlining the process as I go, we’ll see. I was able to make a double batch of the vegetable broth for 2 days at a time, but the juices are supposed to be as fresh as possible for the best results, so not too much make-ahead there. I’m not sure someone really sick could handle this without a personal chef managing the kitchen and grocery trips – I’m sure there will be at least one more, and that’s just for a week, not a month! Planning is also an issue to get those beets and green juices in (the green juices are strong and need to be mixed with a fruitier juice to soften the way down the gullet and avoid a sore throat). And then there’s this quantity thing, that at 9pm I am still short 2 juices on the day’s agenda. Anyway, most of the juice is absolutely delicious and easy to savor and enjoy. Miss the coffee. A lot. Getting accustomed to herb tea. Energy good, belly mostly good – it kind of gurgled on the hammock a few times but it was probably just settling down for a nap. So far though, the bathroom has not been required on a best buddy arrangement, and for that I’m grateful. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s update, and we’ll try not to get too graphic if, well, you know….. =

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