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I hate juice.
I hate fruit juice.
I hate vegetable juice.
I hate freshly-made juice and I hate Cooler Cleanse juice.
So yeah, The Great Juice Cleanse of 2013 is going supremely well! Clearly.
To refresh your potentially short-term memory: I am in the midst of a self-Brian-mandated 10-day juice cleanse. The goal is to clean out my digestive system and let my body recover, heal and restart itself in the wake of the most brutal Crohn’s disease (“CrohnsColitis”) flare-up I’ve ever had.
Today, Monday, April 8, marks Day 7. I have officially been cleansing for one week.
I will wait while you rush my office door to pat me on the back.
I mentioned last week that Day 1 was really hard for me. On Day 1, I didn’t think about feeling better or moving forward. Instead, on Day 1 I thought about grilled cheese sandwiches. So I had a tough time embracing what was ahead.
Day 2 was easier, and Day 3 was simpler still. In fact, on the evening of Day 3, I got a little treat with my dinner.
I was admittedly not drinking enough juice throughout the day, so by nighttime I was starving and empty-feeling. I needed something with more substance, so Dr. Brian gave me a hunk of watermelon upon the agreement that I would “really carefully pick out all the seeds first.”
Those few bites of watermelon…oh man. They were like dunking my head underneath a chocolate fountain. I savored every little nibble.
Day 4 kicked off what I knew would be a challenge: a weekend road trip to Boston both to see my family and to attend my college friend’s bridal shower.
Family = food.
Bridal shower = food.
Road trip = chicken nuggets.
I went into the weekend feeling strong, though. My stomach had begun to ease up and my bathroom trips were less frequent and more enjoyable, if that’s possible. OK let’s go with “less painful and sob-worthy” instead of “enjoyable.”
The drive up to Boston with my friend Lauren got off to a fine start. I took a trip to Juice Generation before we left so I could stock up on juices for the weekend (I wasn’t bringing the juicer with me). Lauren even brought some juices of her own in support…
…and then her hangover demanded that we stop at McDonald’s for Chicken McNuggets. Lauren’s lucky she was such a spectator extraordinaire when I ran the Hamptons Marathon, otherwise I may have dumped my juice over her head, punched her in the face and run away with her remaining nuggets.
Yeah, I’ve seen the pink slime videos. I know what those McYummies are made out of. But on Day 4, I really wanted one. Or 12.
I resisted though! And we powered on to a little town north of Beantown where my brother, his wife and my best friend forever reside.
My parents came down for the night, too, and they decided to order in Italian food for dinner.
Dinner was hard. I sat there with my Grapefruit & Mint Cooler Cleanse as they chowed down on pizza, cheesy garlic bread and pasta with some sort of buttery scampi sauce.
But again, I stayed strong. And, oddly, I really enjoyed being around their food and smelling it. While they went to town on bread, cheese and saucy things, I positioned my nose dangerously close to the opening of a bottle of A1 steak sauce and took many deep whiffs.
I love A1 steak sauce. I would bathe in it.
Maybe I should bathe in it…and then drown in it for a little bit.
No. I’m not a steak.
So I got through family dinner without giving in! Hooray! I’m so strong!
By Day 5 I was in my groove. Breakfast? I’m good. Bridal shower food? I can say no to that. Even the crab cakes. Ryan’s nachos and pizza for dinner? Whatevs, I’ll have my juice. Also, Ryan, are you sure we have the same disease? Why can you eat that and I have to eat…nothing?
On Day 5, I also reached a critical halfway point realization. I had miscalculated! Juicing for 10 days did not mean juicing until Saturday. My math is gross! It means I can eat again on Friday! That discovery was critical to my mental state.
There were times during Day 5 (Saturday) when I really liked the idea of breaking the cleanse and mauling a jar of peanut butter. But I liked the idea of feeling better even more, so that kept me going. During the bridal shower I repeatedly reminded myself that I want to be healthy and dancey at my friend’s wedding, so I need to make little sacrifices now. That’s doable enough.
Another thing that helped while I was at the shower was the fact that I had run my mouth so much leading up to it. I had announced to the world (or whatever) that I was doing a 10-day juice cleanse. Not a one-day cleanse. Not a nine-day cleanse. I was doing 10 days. I would feel like a tragic loser if I reported back saying I had only made it to Day 2 before I threw in the towel and threw back a plate of BBQ chicken.
The more I talked about juicing, the easier it was to do it.
That’s not to say this has been easy.
By the end of the weekend, my passing cravings included cheese and crackers, macaroni and cheese, sea bass, a sweet potato in any form, Levain bakery cookies (I’m thinking the peanut butter chocolate chunk ones), those McNuggets, a foot massage (Brian!!!), sleep, Oreo’s and a meat lover’s pizza.
The cravings all passed quickly enough…except for the still-unfulfilled foot massage one. (Brian!!!)
But then Day 6 arrived.
I woke up on Day 6 ready to quit. I knew I could keep going, I just didn’t want to.
I was hungry. I wanted to chew. I wanted Eggs Benedict.
I was tired of liquids. I was tired of drinking all my meals and I was just plain tired and energy-less.
The first thing I noticed when I woke up on Day 6 was that my boobs had disappeared. Naturally I’ve lost a bit of weight already by doing this (based on how things fit, since I haven’t actually weighed myself since my last doctor’s appointment), which was not the goal. But between the flare-up and then eliminating solid foods, my pants are slightly baggier and, evidently, I have gone concave up top. That’s a sad loss.
Day 6 generally sucked. For six days, I had remained mostly positive. I was excited to feel better and I was motivated! I was going to prove to the world (Brian!!!) that I could do this! I could juice for 10 days like it was no big deal and I was going to emerge with happy, healthy intestines! Ka-pow, bitches!
On Day 6, though, I started feeling frustrated again. I just wanted the cleanse to be over already. I didn’t want to plan for another week without food. I wanted more energy and I wanted to run or spin or do anything active after just about a month off.
So I teetered around Meltdown Territory for a while once I got back to my apartment. I sulked around, drank half a juice and whined like the brat we all know I can be sometimes (all the time).
It was also cute that every single commercial on TV Sunday (still on Day 6 here) was for food. Domino’s! Velveeta! Ragu! Maybe it doesn’t help that I tortured myself by watching “Hell’s Kitchen,” but still. Sunday from 3 PM until 11 PM will not go down in history as being my “finest hours.”
It should also be noted that on Day 6, in a fit of tears-about-to-happen, I stomped my way into the kitchen, took out a spoon and slowly enjoyed a tiny (heaping) scoop of almond butter.
So I guess I technically cheated, both by having that bit of watermelon and the almond butter. But I don’t care. Judge me accordingly and then shut up. (Love you.)
That brings us to Day 7.
I’m so close to the finish line that I can taste it.
I can taste food.
And I can hear my sneakers crying from the closet where I have banished them. We miss each other so much.
The upside? I haven’t had to do laundry for a month.
The other upside? I’m not running for the bathroom crazy-often. And I’ve slept through the night three nights in a row without painful interruptions.
So maybe this will work. Maybe it won’t.
I’m going to keep throwing juicer tantrums either way.
Stay tuned, my friends! We’re in the home stretch.
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