Now where do I even begin? I’ll just jump right into it. It’s been one week since my detox and it’s been one difficult ride. There are days when I think I’m on the brink of insanity because I can’t eat that thick-juicy hamburger on that crusty buttery bun or even worse having to photograph a steamy mug of locally roasted coffee and then not being able to have a single sip.
So I’ve decided one thing: the worst possible idea that a food photographer can ever do is go on a
stupid juice detoxification. I have to rant a little bit about this entire experience to make up for all the mental anguish that I’ve been suffering this past week. This entire detox has been a complete mind trip.
I bought this juicer -- Breville Ikon 5-Speed Smart Juicer - Stainless-Steel BJE510 last Monday and embarked on a mission to pull myself out of this chubby slump I’ve been in. I’ve been interested in doing a juice fast for a couple years and finally decided to go for it. Little did I know it’d be a mentally draining process that would send me through an entire rollercoaster of emotions: anger, anxiety, extreme happiness, you name it. There hasn’t been one night where I haven’t been thankful that I didn’t break the fast because I (still) ever so badly wanted to bury my face in a tub of creamy Blue Bell Ice Cream -- vanilla, please.
Every morning, afternoon and night I juiced the following: 2 apples, 1 orange, 2 cups of spinach, 2 cups of kale, and 3 carrots. I’ll mix it up sometimes and use different veggies and fruit like broccoli, watermelon, bananas, flax seeds etc. Unfortunately most concoctions have been ranging shades of pukey green, sometimes red if I use a beet – by far some of the most visually displeasing colors for a drink or any kind of food really. I would repeat the following mantra to myself several times a day to get me through the pain: This is for my health. This is for my well-being. Focus on what your body is telling you.
It was what my body was telling me that messed me up emotionally. I’d drink these pukey magical drinks and they’d somehow cure hunger. I guess it makes sense when you’re dumping in a pound of vegetables for every meal into liquid form, but my mind believed otherwise. Anytime I caught the slight whiff of fried, you know that smell – I’d go crazy. Night time seemed to be the worst, when my food monster would be full blown wanting to devour everything in sight. Don’t get me wrong, when it got too bad I’d allow myself to eat some raw veggies and fruit but you know, it just kind of sucks. Mama wanted a big fat steak.
I’ve been keeping a journal of how I feel day to day to see if there was actually any noted progress -- so far, so good...kind of.
9:45 am – Just finished bloodwork. Thankfully I had a good nurse who knew how to work with my tiny veins, hurray!
10:30 am – First juice. Not so bad – beet, 2 carrots, 2 apples, handful of spinach and kale. Not as beety as I’d imagine but just a tad too earthy for my liking.
8:42 pm – I’ve thought about food at least 20+ times today through various outlets, I want nothing more than a big juicy hamburger right now. I think I may be addicted to food…
Day 2: 7:35 am – Hey not too bad! Haven’t felt hungry thus far. Morning juice pretty stellar. Note to self: don’t juice a banana idiot. (Blend it instead.)
9:50 am – There’s a yummy sandwich in the fridge asking to be eaten. Maybe I’ll take just a little bite.
9:57 am – Okay I see where this is going. I just need to step away and calm down. The sandwich is evil… the sandwich is evil.
6:50 pm – Busy day today and didn’t feel hungry at all. I still have that burger craving, it’s killing me.
8:00 am – Every time I drink this juice it hurts my stomach. This is stressful. Not to mention the multiple trips to the loo. Why is this happening?
2:36 pm – You know I feel awesome. If I can do this I can do anything.
9:30 pm – I’m making myself go to bed because if I don’t I might eat that stupid yummy sandwich Carter won’t get RID OF.
9:45 am – So I’m sorry I’ve been absent. What can I say it’s been horrible. It’s a constant battle with my mind and my body. I know my stomach is not hungry yet my mind tells me I should be eating. I crave sugar, I crave meat, I crave something other than these freaking green juices.
10:00 am – how the hell does anyone do this for more than 14 days? Every time I have to photograph food I feel like crying. It’s this bittersweet sorrow where my emotional needs longingly reach out for sustenance only to be replaced with the harsh reality of: why are you eating if you’re not hungry? Or better yet, what kind of freaking idiot goes on a detox when their job almost entirely involves food. Oh wait that’s right, me.
7:30 am – For the first time during this entire detox I’ve gathered something new – I am not only detoxifying my body (supposedly) but I am also detoxifying my life. I’ve realized all the times I unnecessarily consume food purely for emotional purposes. While it’s okay to have fun with food, most of the time I should be responsible with what I choose to put into my body. My energy levels do feel much better and this may sound funny but I feel my mind is clearer. Maybe because my food monster has made me delusional or maybe my body doesn’t have a bunch of junk floating around it (sugar, fats, salts…).
12:15 pm – It’s hard to believe it’s been a week as the change has been both rewarding but challenging. I understand why many religions may practice fasting as a form of enlightenment. I notice when I get caught up with work and become too involved, the other aspects of my life greatly suffer and an imbalance appears. In order to keep a healthy balance, you need to be in the right frame of mind and the easiest place to always start is your health. If there is one thing I would take from this experience is that I would definitely incorporate more juicing into my everyday regimen – maybe as a breakfast option and a pre-dinner drink. I’m finally getting use to the juicing and gradually feel my separation anxiety with food dissipating, this is weird but cool.
So there it is: my first week's experience with a juice detoxification program. I figure not everyone would have the same experience, I read online that many get over the whole food anxiety thing by the 3rd day. (Which I find ludicrous, because any NORMAL human being would take 7.) I finally feel okay and have come to terms with the whole “Solid food isn’t vital for you to live so just suck it up” thing. My skin looks healthier, lost some poundage, and overall I really do feel better. I’ve come to terms with my unhealthy attachment to food, my excessive habits in everyday life and ultimately have brought me a peace of mind that I haven’t felt in a long time. If you choose to do this, just be warned, it will be one of the most miserable experiences in your life. BUT once you get over the miserable hill the other side is really nice too. I like this side; I think I’ll stay here awhile. My goal is to finish next Monday but who knows. If I wake up in the middle of the night and catch myself trying to eat Collin in my sleep maybe it’s a sign that I should stop.