4.22.2012

Juice Feasting: Day 1

As promised, I've decided to chronicle this event for the benefit of others, as well as myself. My husband, who is also doing this with me, will also be providing his thoughts and feelings on the experience as we go along. He's returning to work tomorrow and will have juice in tow. It will be interesting to see how his day goes.

We've both agreed to do this through Tuesday, with the option to continue it if we're feeling up to it. Three days is the typical length of one of these fasts, and really in my experience, if you can get over that three day hurdle, things get much much easier. Ideally, I'd like to go longer, but I don't want to think that far ahead. The secret to things like this is to just live in the present.

After spending roughly $40 on produce last night, most of which will be used up within a few days (ouch), I got my recipes together. I decided to start with the recipe featured in the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, since it seems to be the most popular one for people undergoing a similar "reboot."

That recipe includes:

6 kale leaves
4 stalks celery
2 apples
1 cucumber
1 piece of ginger (I did about a 1-inch piece)
1/2 lemon

I had decided not to use my juicer for this because it's so time consuming, but I may try it for the next batch just to compare how much more juice I get in the final batch. At any rate, I put everything in the Vitamix (the more "juicy" ingredients on the bottom to help jumpstart the process) and pulverized it for about 30 seconds on high. If you don't have a lot of Vitamix experience, you really can't wimp out on this. You have to use the tamper to really push the food into the blades. It isn't long before everything is a smooth green paste. Normally, I'd drink it at this point, but since this is a fast designed to give the digestive system a rest, I don't want to consume all that pulp.

This recipe managed to net about 3 cups of juice after I squeezed it all through my nut milk bag. Frankly, I was hoping for more. Especially since we're doing this for two. But I'm going to test it out with my juicer later and see if I can squeeze out more. I'm actually pretty sure my Samson gear juicer nets out drier pulp, so it may be worth the extra time spent. Either way, here's the verdict on the juice itself:

AMAZING.

Really, it's very delicious. You mostly taste the apple and the slight spice of the ginger. It's very fresh, very drinkable. The apples give it the perfect amount of sweetness. This will be an easy go-to recipe.

So here is a rundown of how we're feeling so far on Day 1:

Early Morning (Around 6:45):
Ken: Woke up at 6:45. On the Hunger Meter (scale of 1-10), he was rating about a 2.
Allison: Woke up around 7:30. Hunger rating was more like a 0 (I rarely wake up hungry). Went into the kitchen and started making juice.

Both of us agreed the juice was great. Even better if served over ice.

About 30 minutes later, I chugged down a glass of water and started making more juice to have later in the afternoon.

Mid-Morning (Around 10:30am):

Ken: Feeling a tad bit hungrier than he did this morning. On a the Hunger Meter, he's rating about a 3. Energy levels are normal.
Allison: I'm kinda hungry too. Not starving by any stretch, but definitely having a, "I could go for some real breakfast" kind of feeling. Rating more of a 4 on the Hunger Meter at this point, but I'm also about to drink a cup of hot tea, which helps a lot.

Afternoon (Around 4:00pm)
We have both been drinking a lot of green tea, lemon water, and of course more of the green juice. It seems to lose the intensity of its ginger and apple flavor after it's been refrigerated for a little while. If only it was more practical to make it fresh every time you drank it, but it just isn't. Still, it's a treat to have when you're hungry.

Allison: Energy level is still decent, but man I'm hungry. Definitely pushing a 6-7 on the Hunger Meter, but it's helped to keep my head buried in my manuscript. I don't think my body is actually hurting for the calories just yet. It's probably using up what's left in my digestive tract and will soon be moving on to the glycogen stores in my liver. But my stomach is sending up a very familiar alarm of, "Uh, hey lady? We're reaching critical mass here! Send down reinforcements!" Eventually, I know the energy will start to flag a little, as there will be a lull between when my body uses up the glycogen and moves straight on to feeding on my fat reserves (of which there be plenty). I am doing my best to meditate on this feeling and let myself experience it and understand it. Fighting it, complaining, and fantasizing about how I'd totally fuck up a pizza right now is the easiest path to saying, "Screw it. I'll do this some other time."

Also, I'm peeing. A LOT.

Ken: He says he feels hungry, but he also feels good. Rating about a 3 or 4 on the hunger meter. I think he's better at this than I am.

Evening (Around 7pm)
Made a juice of the following vegetables/fruits:
1/2 beet, peeled
4 roma tomatoes
3 stalks celery
1 cucumber
12 baby carrots
1/2 bell pepper
2 radishes
5 sprigs Italian parsley
2 big handfuls baby spinach
I also added some Tobasco and a little bit of Fleur de Sel to kick up the flavor a tad. The resulting cocktail is a very pretty wine color.

I've decided to dilute the juices 50/50 with water. It stretches the juices more and it makes them a bit easier to drink.

Allison: I somehow managed to bake a loaf of bread and survive the smell of the kids' dinner without losing every drop of drool in my head. The energy level is starting to flag a little, and I'm feeling a a bit sluggish, mentally. I anticipated this, though. I'm reminded of my first couple days on Medifast, but I also remember how good I felt after the initial adjustments, so it's enough to keep me pushing forward. On the Hunger Meter, I'm probably about a 5, which is better than I was this afternoon. I think it's because my stomach has given up its protest for the time being. Been squelching it as much as possible with big glasses of water and cups of green tea. I can endure this because I know that food is as far as my fridge if I ever decide to break this fast early. Remembering the people who don't have it this easy, who don't even have access to vegetables to eat, let alone juice, is helping me to keep the histrionics in check.

Ken: Overall, he's feeling okay. He also says he's glad to feel liberated from eating the kids' leftover dinner. He's rating about a 5 or 6 on the Hunger Meter, so he's definitely feeling it now. I look forward to seeing how he does at work tomorrow, but overall, I think his spirits are great. That's the thing about Ken. He knows how to keep his struggles off his sleeve, and I admire him for that.

Aside from drinking more juice, water, and tea, I don't anticipate there will be much else to report between now and dinner. Will be back tomorrow for another update. I expect to sleep very well tonight.