I am not one to follow trends. I dress however I want (when not in front of a camera), I don’t shave my legs (never have), I don’t watch TV or read any magazines to know what’s “hip” fashion-wise. I’m not trendy at all.
But there is a trend going on now in these here parts that I am partaking in (do trends even “go on”? I’m so not a trendy person, I don’t even know what to call it!).
I am juicing. Yup. Juicing. Mind you, I’m vegan, but I don’t always eat as healthy and clean as I want to. You can be vegan and still eat a lot of unhealthy processed foods. From time to time, ever since I had my second son, I have done a few days of raw eating here and there, and I’ve found it works wonders for resetting my digestive system and helping my palette reset so that I don’t crave salty and chocolate all the blessed minutes of every blessed day.
I’ve been hearing great things about juicing, though, as you all have. My publicity team at Much and House Public Relations referred me to a woman named Shauna Martin who discovered juicing as a young mom when she got–and conquered–cancer. She started this company called “Daily Greens” and she sent me some samples. I was inspired by her story and decided to give it a go.
The cleanse Daily Greens recommends is a four-day flush where you drink the juices three times a day, snack on anything raw, and eat a raw dinner. Also, you have a cup of lemon water and green tea in the morning. (And consult a doctor if you have any health concerns beforehand.) Uh huh.
It sounded impossible.
I watched an incredible documentary the night before I started my cleanse called “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.” It motivated me big time. It’s made by a guy who goes on a 60-day juice-only diet and documents the changes that happen to his body, his mind, and his life. He meets a 429 lb. man who also takes on the challenges and it’s incredible. There are all of the facts in the movie about the nutritional aspects of eating a small amount of calories and how juice functions in your body, with Dr. Joel Fuhrman explaining how it all works really simply. I feel really empowered. I wanted to do what seemed to me impossible.
I went ahead and got my Daily Greens juices (they are so pretty, thank you, Daily Greens!) and also bought a juicer. Not too expensive, not too insanely fancy, but centrifugal, so I can really pulverize the things I planned to juice. I bought a lot of produce and although it was a lot of money for produce, that set of produce literally has lasted me almost a week with the only other purchases being things here and there to feed my kids. I bought three heads of kale, 12 apples, eight pears, 12 oranges, two bunches of beets, a bag of carrots, two bags of celery, four cucumbers, and a box of strawberries.
A lot of fear set in before I even started. I felt like I was preparing for the Yom Kippur fast of all fasts. I started to–just being honest here–panic. I was afraid I’d miss food too much. I would miss my junky food, I knew I would. I felt as if I would never get to eat things I liked again. That didn’t sit well with me. And the feeling that it didn’t sit well didn’t sit well with me. Food, like love, is not finite. I mean, it is. And thank God we can for the most part have access to food when we want or need it which is most certainly not the case for large parts of the world–and this very country. But I realized I had a lot of fear because of my/our unhealthy attachment to food growing up in a culture of excess and consumption. Swell. Noted.
Very nervous and already grumpy when I wake up. Daily Greens juices all look basically the same: green. It’s vegetables. And some fruit. And a smattering of things like mint or herb. But there are a bunch of flavors. The one with “Jalapeno” in the ingredients has me intimidated. I start with one dubbed “Purity” and I feel pretty pure. It tastes good. Okay, thank goodness it tastes good!
I have one for breakfast and honestly don’t really feel hungry for many hours. I go about my day. I feel slightly grumpy, but I have another for lunch and a big salad for dinner with beets on top and tomatoes and cucumbers with a little peanut dressing. Not sure if that’s cheating, but it had to happen.
My body was “cleansed” by late morning–which was not traumatic at all. I ended up peeing a lot throughout the day. Also not traumatic. I was not too hungry. Just a tad grumpy since I am presumably detoxing from all of the crap I put into my temple–er, I mean, body which I am addicted to: sugar, salt, grease, preservatives. Okay. Detoxing makes me slightly grumpy. But it’s not like fasting. I can eat. It’s just mostly liquid.
Day 1. Done.
I try “Renew” and it has watermelon and lime and it’s a different taste but still green. And not too shabby. I feel like I can do this as I start Day 2.
Going out is hard when you are only eating raw or juicing. My kids still wanted delicious foods you chew such as quesadillas, Shepherd’s pie, and banana bread (yes, all of those recipes are in my cookbook, “Mayim’s Vegan Table”–excuse the shameless plug). I got grumpy when the smell of delicious things cooking was not mine to have.
Again, I am noting how deprived and emotional I feel when I can’t have food I want right when I want it. Am I this way with love and affection too? Oy. Thank goodness I have therapy in a few days, I think to myself.
Day 2 went pretty much like Day 1. Two more juices. I made guacamole for a raw snack. Just ate it right out of the bowl. No crackers, no veggies; just guacamole. No traumatic bathroom situations. Just a lot of peeing. A lot.
I tried out my juicer with good results. My sons even tasted whatever that machine spit out and I seem to have a knack for good combinations that small people like. That’s a good thing. The juicer is dishwasher safe but I–who typically leave dishes to sit for days in my sink–rinse it right when I’m done juicing and it’s ready to go for the next time. I already feel this was a good sound purchase.
Had dinner from a raw place in LA called Sun Cafe. Insanely yummy raw pizza and tacos wrapped in lettuce and raw almond butter cheesecake. I know: it sounds nutso but it was delicious times a million.
I feel “healthy.” I mean, nothing bad is going into my body. I don’t feel guilty or regretful of what I have eaten for two days. I don’t feel like I am wasting resources by not finishing what’s on my plate. That feels really good.
Day 2. Done.
This day is going to be harder because my sons have things to do out of the house and classes to be taken to and I’m running around a lot. But I plan to come home to grab my juices at appropriate times. I make juice as a snack.
I take Little Man to the mall and there was a juice place in the food court! I looked at all of the choices on their beautiful menu, but knew it would all basically taste the same, let’s just be honest. The mall has things like pretzels and Chinese food and burritos tempting me, and I grumped at the woman working at the juice place, “I’m on a juice/raw cleanse. Hit me with whatever you want.” The cold-pressed juice she gave me was actually delicious and really filling.
So for less than the price of the food I would have bought for lunch, Little Man and I had a delicious green juice and we both loved it. That was a good trip to the mall.
I made more guacamole as a snack. I drank more Daily Greens. I still have not tried the one with jalapeno in the ingredients but we are getting down to the wire so it may have to happen. But not today. We will leave that for Day 4.
I sometimes feel hungry, but the juices make me feel full again and really satisfied. I sort of am avoiding mirrors because my hope is that on Day 4, I will look in the mirror and magically have the body of Jennifer Aniston. I assume that’s not what will happen, but my insides sure are clean. I have gotten to tackle a lot of fears I have about food (and love!?) and I like this kind of self-control since I am a control freak anyway!
Tune in next time to find out how the end of the juice/raw cleanse went. And thank you, Daily Greens, for the inspiration.