I have always said: “the greatest relationship you can have is the one with yourself.”
This includes the way you see yourself, the way you feel about your body, what you put in your body, and the impacts of your choices.
First of all, I did not go to a doctor or a nutritionist simply because I do not have health insurance. I’m a graduate student, and cannot afford to become ill. Like Vanessa, I was tired, sleeping poorly, and lacked focus and energy, and this was because I was eating things that caused inflammation in my body. You’re probably wondering, “Well, how do you know if you didn’t go to a doctor?” It’s because I FELT almost immediately (within an hour or so) awful after consuming something I know I shouldn’t have. I have a bit of a cheese addiction, but am well aware that I am lactose-intolerant. I can consume cheese in small quantities, but sometimes I would gorge myself over a HUGE plant of nachos (We’ve all been there, right?….right?). The result would be stomach craps, nausea, and well…other things I won’t elaborate on.
On the dates August 23-August 27, I engaged in my very first detox/juice fast! Now, most material I have read suggested preparing your body for fasting/detoxing. One should prepare your digestive tract by eliminating processed foods, only consuming broths, raw or lightly steamed vegetables, and fruits a few days prior to the start of your detox/fast. I, however, did not have the time to do so. I started classes on August 28th, and could not afford to be weak or tired (I have night classes). I originally intended to do 7 days, which I felt, for me, was too ambitious for the first time. Some people have more self-control, and are less impulsive.
I am not one of those people.
I need to be eased into things. I was eating cheese fries and swiss rolls like nobody’s business prior to my fast. That was a horrible decision. But, upon the consumption of my last cheese fry, I decided, “Enough!”
I decided that I would ease myself into my new plant-based diet, and if I faltered in any way, I would let it go, and continue on my journey. No journey is without obstacles and hardship, and it is perseverance that allows you to get through it. Everyone is different, keep that in mind. This is what worked for me.
In the morning, I would make a large quantity of juice (enough for morning and afternoon). I did this simply because I loathed cleaning the juicer. In terms of fruit, I used mostly apples, lemons, grapes, mangos and berries. Green apples were always a good idea in my juices. Except, right before I went to bed. I was drinking a refreshing green apple, cucumber, celery medley before I went to bed on Day 2, and ended up wide awake with energy til 4am! I left fruits out of my night time juices after that night.
Vegetables used included kale, red leaf lettuce, cucumbers, bell peppers (all colors), tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, celery, onion (this makes it spicy! I love onions in my “dinner” juice), watercress, bok choy, carrots, and whatever looked green and delicious at the Farmer’s Market.
Always, ALWAYS include celery, cucumbers, or zucchini because they are excellent in terms of water content.
I bought a gallon of water, and kept it near me at all times to remind myself to drink as much water as I possibly could.
The first day I did consume chicken broth, because I was suffering from a cold at the start of the detox.
Detox Day 1+2: I was feeling very weak (partly due to the cold) and had dull headaches. I was cranky, and had to take a nap in the middle of the day.
Day 3: I was feeling pretty good going about my day. I had a lot of energy, but was exhausted by 11pm. I lost 3 lbs of water weight/colon waste. I also encountered acne breakouts which I dealt with over the counter acne medication, and Differin.
Day 4: Continued energy, drinking juice was normal. I missed eating, though. I went to visit my parents, and could not partake in dinner. This was my most challenging day in terms of temptation. However, I did not falter, and was satisfied with simply smelling the food and drinking my juice.
Day 5: I felt really, really good. I really wanted to eat an avocado this day, though.
Day 6: My low in terms of weight loss about 5.5 lbs. I did gain a pound or so when I began eating again (this is normal). My acne took a few days to clear up after my Detox, but I also have acne prone skin.
- More energy
- Increased focus
- No cravings for processed food
- Less water retention
- Normal sleeping patterns
- Total loss of about 4lbs
- Do not give up if you slip, and have a piece of fruit; it’s okay.
- If you are feeling extremely dizzy, sick, or experiencing severe pain–eat something!
- Try to avoid sugary fruits in dinner time juices
- Drink as much water as you possibly can
- Drink juice immediately or within a few hours of making it (the taste does change if it is exposed to light and sits in the fridge for awhile)
- Share your experience with others, it’ll help keep you on track if you know others are looking to you for inspiration.
- Stay determined! Remember, you are doing this for YOU.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.