I know everyone is waiting to find out how my raw/juice cleanse went. Well, maybe not everyone. But some people. Including my parents. Hi, Mom and Dad.
I do not intend to disappoint you, so here’s how it all shook down.
As I discussed here last week, with the help of Daily Greens juices, I decided to participate in a juice cleanse with an emphasis on raw foods as I transitioned from juice. Days 1-3 went pretty well, with me consuming three juices a day, a raw dinner, and supplementing as needed with raw snacks or juices I made with my brand-new fancy centrifugal juicer.
How it all shook down was that I ended up eating raw for nine days. That’s right, folks: nine whole days! I know what the most frequently asked questions are, so I’m going to go ahead and answer them here.
1. Weren’t you hungry?
Nope. As long as I had food on hand, I simply wasn’t hungry. My palate very quickly adjusted to being satiated by vegetable and fruit juices and by all of the snacks that I had on hand for myself. The times when I felt hungry were the times that I wasn’t prepared with enough snacks. But it’s not like I was hungry all the time and constantly needed snacks. Rather, the few times I forgot to pack snacks and went somewhere where there was lots of food I couldn’t eat, I got a little bit grumpy until I was able to eat something!
2. What about protein?
I ate raw nuts like walnuts and almonds. I ate plenty of avocado, mostly in the form of guacamole, also known as the world’s best raw food. Could I live the rest of my life only eating raw and get sufficient protein? Honestly? Maybe. Probably. I challenge you to Google how much protein is actually recommended for normal healthy adults. You’d be shocked! The meat and dairy industries and their influence on the FDA has convinced us that we need a tremendous amount of protein in each meal, thus supporting the industries that make money when we do so. Books like “The China Study” and documentaries like “Food, Inc.” have demonstrated with real science over many decades how unhealthy it is for us to eat as much protein as we do and how unhealthy it is for a society’s main source of protein to be from animals. That being said, I got enough protein.
3. Did you have any energy?
Um… yeah. Tons. I didn’t notice any shift in sleep, exhaustion, or ability to function at any particular energy level. I felt great, to be honest. Really clear. Working out felt easier. I felt lighter.
4. What did it do to your body?
Well, meat eaters and dairy eaters who do this kind of cleanse often report a very different kind of cleansing. A more… thorough cleansing of the intestinal arenas, as it were. As a vegan, I don’t have many toxins in my body. I don’t purport that I’m better than you or anything elitist and obnoxious like that, but I simply don’t eat foods that contain the hormones of other animals, the byproducts of other animals’ bodies and flesh, or the antibiotics and medications in the bodies of most of the animals that we eat in this country. So basically, during these nine days, my body ran really clean and I had no reportable bathroom issues at all. (I hope that’s not TMI…)
So the question now is: what now? I have started to add in some simple non-raw foods, but I don’t really know that I’m ready to go whole hog…hahaha. (Vegan humor.) I simply don’t feel like eating all of the junky foods I had been eating lots of before my flush such as french fries, potato chips, and vegan Big Macs. I’m starting simple and just seeing how my body feels. I’m pretty sure that for whatever reason, my body doesn’t like gluten. Not in the significant way that celiacs can’t eat gluten, but I definitely notice a lot of yucky things going on in my body when I eat wheat, so I’m going to investigate a little more and see how I feel about not eating those things, or eating them in moderation.
I’ve learned a lot by doing this modified flush. I don’t feel desperate about food the way I did before and I think that’s a really positive thing. I want to keep my body healthy and full of good foods, and I also want to eat things I enjoy that taste good and that make my brain release happy chemicals. What I have found is that if I eat lots of raw produce in the form of juices, I can budget and splurge on meals from restaurants that provide raw options. There’s even a place here called Sun Cafe that makes raw chocolate cheesecake which is divine. And tacos that taste like Taco Bell, wrapped in lettuce. Yum.
The idea is not to deprive myself or to try and prove that I can martyr myself by not eating processed food. However, I have regained a sense of self-control about food and eating and I truly feel like I have hit the reset button on my body in a lot of ways. Will this last forever? Probably not. It doesn’t have to. Just for today, I’m happy with how my flush went and I am grateful, ever grateful, for my ability to say yes to change.