The Kinky Green

Operation: Reboot

Posted in The Physical by Joy on February 13, 2012
Tags: , ,

"I hope this all goes to plan" by Sam Brown of

I’ve been in a slump since the fall. Add traveling to the land of cheese, and getting dumped, and traveling and traveling some more to the onset of bulky-sweater-and-savory-comfort-food season, and I managed to plump up by about 15 lbs sometime between September and November.

I got back into a workout groove sometime around the end of the plumping (which is, arguably, the only reason the plumping stalled). But the needle on the scale hasn’t tipped downward any noteworthy amount since then. And why would it? Tasty holiday candy and baked treats have been infiltrating the office for months, boozy gatherings have abounded (and, as often as not, have been followed up by indulgent postmortem hangover brunches), and my willpower seems to be on a lengthy sabbatical.

The thing is, I know exactly what I need to do. I’ve done it before, on a much larger scale, and with success. At the end of the day, it’s calories in vs. calories out. It’s making the choice, over and over again, that this piece of chocolate/pint of beer/cheeseburger, however tasty it might be, is not more important than my long-term health.

But, like I said, that willpower thing hasn’t been on call lately.

When I started changing my life before, it was a major, major overhaul. I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I never exercised. Every small change I made then produced some pretty big results. And because I knew I had a lot of work to do, I was very committed to doing things by the books.

Now I eat well most of the time, allowing for occasional indulgences; I exercise regularly; and I focus much more on my health in general. Maintaining my weight is relatively easy. But even an occasional indulgence seems to counteract all the hard work I’ve done, and I fall into the cyclical trap of indulging, seeing the negative impact of that indulgence, and throwing up  my hands in frustration… leading to more indulgence, etc.

What I need is a reboot. A way to get myself to focus strictly on my diet and nutrition. A way to prove to myself that my willpower is not missing in action.

After a friend recommended I watch Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, I was inspired by Joe Cross’s story. After doing some more research, I decided I’d take on a juice fast of my own.

First, I’d need a plan. I settled on a 10-day juice fast, beginning Tuesday, February 14 and ending Thursday, February 23. During this time, I’ll be consuming only vegetable and fruit juice, water, my daily supplements, and the occasional glass of green or white tea. (I’m a big coffee drinker. A substitution seemed necessary.)

Over the weekend, I borrowed a juicer and set about stocking up. I spent $11.60 at the local farmer’s market and took home: broccoli, apples, kale, cabbage, and beets. I spent $35.15 at the organic market and took home: wheatgrass, spinach, carrots, grapefruit, cucumber, celery, beets, lemon juice, and oranges.

Once armed with my local and/or organic produce haul, I went straight to the book my all-knowing mother gave me for Christmas a few years ago, Natalie Savona’s The Big Book of Juices & Smoothies, and started bookmarking recipes I might want to try this week.

When my stomach started rumbling on Sunday afternoon, I couldn’t wait to try my first juice any longer. Using Savona’s Grape & Green recipe, I combined:

2 large kale leaves
1 large handful spinach
1 stick celery
1/2 grapefruit
The recipe yielded 1 1/4 cup of dark green juice, which I drank right around 5 p.m. I found the saltiness of the celery and the tang of the grapefruit balanced the earthiness of kale pretty well, but the grapefruit tang was too strong for me. I added a small pour of 100% orange juice (store bought) to the juice and was okay with finishing it that way.
By about 6:30, I was hungry again. Since I hadn’t officially started the fast yet, I had an apple and some cheddar cheese, which held me over until bed time. (I’m still waiting for Tuesday to officially begin… I have dinner plans Monday night.)
During a typical, solid-food day, I generally get hungry every 3 hours or so. I’m not sure what other folks experience in terms of hunger during juicing*, but something told me an hour and a half between glasses wasn’t terrible.
* I’m sure plenty of good information abounds. I’m also pretty sure most of the folks who hold the key to that info want me to pay for it. Psha. Right. 

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