Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Reflections on 40 Days of Juicing

I set out the day after my 40th birthday on a journey of unexpected consequences. I determined to juice for 40 days. Many people asked me what program I was following. Well, in typical Monica style, I was developing my own along the way. I had watched several documentaries about the positive effects of juicing and read a few books. I thought that it would be a reasonable way to take hold of some less than desirable eating habits, clear my thoughts and initiate my way into the next phase of life.

I exclusively juiced for the first 10 days and drank only water ( and chewed on a lot of ice chips). The next 10 days I added a green smoothie that included at times greek yogurt. I also allowed myself protein in the form of eggs or raw peanut butter each day. The last 20 days I juiced two meals a day and ate raw foods for the last meal.

Was this a waste of time? No.
Was it hard? At first, yes.
Was it expensive? No, in fact I saved money.
Do I regret it? Not at all.
Would I do it again? Absolutely.

I'm still digesting (ha!) all that I've learned, but here are a few of my reflections:

1) Food is overrated. Juicing made my mind so much clearer and the energy I received from juicing went a lot farther. I had no afternoon sugar slumps or stomach aches that I often get from eating food or difficulty falling asleep at night.

2) I realized that I had some sort of weird addiction to food when I woke up the second night after juicing and had a panic attack. The fact that I had not eaten (though I had ingested plenty of calories for the day) just about sent me over the edge. Weird.

3) There is nothing sweeter and more satisfying than natural fruit juice. After having real apple juice, a candy bar seems sickening.

4) The flavor and satisfaction of the taste of fresh vegetables and herbs is beyond anything I've ever experienced from food. My mouth is watering right now thinking about it.

5) I can prepare food for my family and sit down with them and enjoy a meal even if I'm enjoying something different. (There goes that excuse.)

6) Food has had the wrong place in my life. I've known this, but it became much clearer when I was unable to manipulate my diet to meet my emotional needs. These past forty days have been a particularly stretching time for me. Because I was not able to eat away my cares, I found myself running to the only One who could truly help me.

7) Despite popular opinion, there is a difference between eating 1400 of "whatever I want" and 1400 of juice or raw foods. In the last 40 days I've dropped 11 pounds without exercise or starving myself. Obviously, the composition of food is a huge factor in health and weight loss. It's like my body is saying, "Thank you for caring."

8) I think I've finally found a way of eating that make sense to me, is truly healthy and sustainable.

I'll keep you posted.