So here is how it started…
I had a shitty day. It happens to everyone. Sometimes it’s easy to think you are not good enough at life…at least for me…it’s one of the horrible parts about knowing so many talented people (but hello! not completely complaining here…it’s also a huge privilege!). I love my parents for always praising me when I was young, but I have learned that there will always be someone smarter than me, more beautiful than me, more outgoing than me, etc. That doesn’t mean that I’m not good enough…but I think everyone can struggle with self-esteem sometimes. Amiright?
How am I reminded that my life is still amazing after a craptastic day? When I came home after said shitty day, my lover was there to talk with me, cuddle me, and then of course guzzle gin tonics and eat greasy pizza. #letsorderthemostgreasypizzaever #cuzwedeserveit #iwillloveyouwhenyourfat
I felt better already.
But what is greasy about a vegan pizza? *shame* The truth is that in the past years, when I started this blog actually, I was very strict vegan with some periods of gluten free or mostly raw. I have let myself do a lot of “cheat” meals since I have moved in with the lover-man. On one hand, I know that eating a strict, plant-based diet is what makes me feel wonderfulest. Read: loads of energy, glowing skin, positive attitude, peace and love ‘splosions! But I also like to go on a nice date or out with friends and not have to worry about harassing the waiters and chefs about whether the vegetarian dish has a trace of egg or butter in it. #justwannarelax
So while eating our Domino’s pizza loaded with cheese and probably tons of frankenfood ingredients, we decided to do the most logical slothful activity: Netflix! After browsing the usual suspects, we settled on Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, a documentary which follows the 60-day journey of Australian Joe Cross while he does a juice fast. During this juice fast (as in completely not eating…only drinking fresh juices), Joe manages to lose nearly 100 pounds, stop taking medication for an autoimmune disease, and also inspire other people along the way to try the same thing.
*sets down pizza slice and reflects on life*
Granted, we are not morbidly obese. Most people would even say we are super fit…but we both had the feeling that we were letting ourselves go a bit out of control lately. We want to have a healthy lifestyle with less cheating.
So we decided to do our own version of a healthy fast for 7 days that included:
No Sugar- The occasional cookie, cake, sweetened yogurts–GONE! Also did you realize that nearly everything from dressings, hot sauce, and breads are loaded with sugar? This does absolutely nothing for your energy.
No Caffeine- There are studies that suggest caffeine is good, some say caffeine is bad. What I know for sure is that we were having nearly 5 + espressos everyday and having little to no fresh water. Caffeine is a drug: it stresses your digestive tract, makes you restless, and among other proven hazards it increases overall stress.
No Chocolate- Everything in moderation is a decent way to live, I think. However when you are eating loads of chocolate and and having acne breakouts…it might be time to reset your chocolate craving clock.
No animal products- Because eating bits of dead animals, stealing breast milk from others, or eating literally chicken periods (eggs) is not only a bit disturbing…it has also been linked to a gazillion health hazards.
No refined flour/bread- Whole grains are simply more nutritious. Period.
Alcohol – I thought about this one, but the liver is able to process about one alcoholic beverage everyday. We didn’t drink that often…but this one we will keep.
So after setting up our limits, we went to the turkish shop and loaded up on fruits and veggies. For a whole week, we did LOTS of juicing, salads, and whole grains. We didn’t take any of our “forbidden” items. So how was it?
Well…it wasn’t easy. Firstly, if you want to do a detox, you should expect that it will be far, far, FAR from pleasant. The most noticeable consequence for the first 5 days, I’m not exaggerating, for 5 days we both suffered from caffeine headaches. We were asking ourselves, “Why are we doing this? We are not going to stop with coffee and tea! We like it too much.”
Of course, that is just the addiction talking. We had decided to suffer through this, so suffer indeed we did. The first two days, which were luckily on a weekend, we took LONG naps. We felt like we had absolutely no energy. I cried several times for no reason. The side effects of caffeine withdrawal are SO f-ing real. We felt horrible. This may have also been from the detox of sugar, but who knows.
This was the only serious negative experience for me…I really enjoyed having so many fresh juices. Lover had some serious chocolate and sugar cravings, but otherwise he was also fine. A typical daily menu this week:
Breakfast: 500 mL fresh veggie juice
snack: oats/soy yogurt with fruit
lunch: HUGE salad.
snack: 250ml fruit juice
dinner: rice/beans; veggie stir fry; smoothie; or skip
To prepare all of these strict meals, we did a LOT of meal prep in advance. I brought to work with me loads of bananas, apples, pre-made juice, and salads. It was a lot of work, but it is really great to have so much nice food everyday : )
The last day of our fast was the following Friday, and I had planned for a lovely meal at an Amsterdam restaurant with some of my girlfriends where I could indulge and celebrate all the great things I did for myself the previous week. I had a great vegetarian meal at the Vergelden Eenhoorn with lovely red wine and proper girl talk. #thebesttherapy #treatyoself
Since habits are surprisingly easy to start, I decided to keep up with the fast for one more week. It was really easy! I didn’t want any of the things I was restricting myself from anymore. And what a great way to slim down a bit before my upcoming vacation to Spain? The best part is that I felt super light, less hunger, and with all the benefits I expected including clear skin, clear mind, and loads of energy.
So in summary, I think overall you should do what feels best for you. If you are always tired, feel heavy and lethargic, maybe try a detox. It doesn’t have to be for the whole 7 days or longer. Trying a short 3 day detox might be the jump start your body needs to feel fabulous.
Cheers to summer!