JUICED: A Three-Day Diary

PRELUDE–Thursday, 8:11 p.m.DSC04473
Tomorrow, I’m starting a three-day juice cleanse. If you don’t know what that is: it’s also called a “juice fast,” and it’s when you consume nothing but fruits/veggies, liquefied in a blender (or a “juicer,” which is basically a blender with a more expensive name) for a period of anywhere from one or two days to….God, some folks do it for weeks. How they accomplish that, my steak-loving self just can’t comprehend—but it’s supposed to totally detoxify your system. (Or, as one of my more knowledgeable Facebook friends put it: “it removes all the poisons and contaminated fecal matter that’s caked on the walls of your colon.” His words, not mine.)

Here’s why I’m doing it: several weeks ago I scored a gig writing articles for a health/fitness website. Right away I was given assignments like “Eight Reasons Why Being Fit Will Help You Succeed” and “Seven Tips to Improve Your Health Immediately”—and researching and writing these articles was a constant reminder of how friggin horrible my eating habits have been since…well, since birth. (The cleverest name for my diet I can think of: the Grease and Sugar Plan.)

And then I was assigned an article about the health benefits of juicing. I only had a peripheral knowledge of it—I had an acquaintance about ten years ago who was into it—but when I Googled “juicing for health,” one website after another spouted the miraculous assets that juice cleanses will bequeath upon unclean bodies like mine. “You’ll feel like a new person!” they read. “All your health issues will disappear!” “You’ll be able to lift a small building!” (Okay, I made that last one up.)

As I was writing the article, I started to wrap my mind around the possibility of doing one myself. By the time I posted the blog on the site, I’d decided. You’re not getting any younger, buddy, I thought. I’m hoping this three days of hell—and it’s probably gonna be hell, more on that in a sec—will be a springboard for healthier eating habits. Plus…I live in California now. So maybe this juice cleanse will (insert Californian accent here) “tuhtally ahlaign mah ener-gehhh.”

So I’m ready. I just got back from the supermarket, where I spent $45 on produce. (Can we say “record?” The most I’d ever spent before on fruits/veggies was…maybe $5.) I’m to drink four concoctions each day tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday. No solid food. No salt, no sugar…and no drinks of any kind, other than water. Which means no coffee. No coffee? NO…COFFEE??? Oh shit.

Speaking of which: the fitness gurus warned of some side effects, including hunger pangs (duuurrrr), headaches, frequent urination, and spectacularly-colored poop. (C’mon, guys. That’s a side friggin bonus!!! But I made a promise to all my Facebook pals: no poop pics.)

I’ll update this diary each day, starting tomorrow morning, right after I enjoy my apple/pear/spinach cocktail. (Oh boy. My stomach just lurched as I wrote that sentence.)

In the meantime: say a prayer. For good poop.

DAY 1–Friday

8:37 a.m.
Okay, I’m drinking my first juice—2 apples, 1 banana, 1 pear. It’s actually more “saucy” than juice—kinda like a big glass of apple sauce. And know what? It’s not bad at all. I might actually be able to handle this.

12:12 p.m.
Check that. Now on my second one, and it’s ter-REEB-luh. Spinach and kale leaves, a cucumber, a celery stalk, and an apple. It a)is like drinking a plant, and b)tastes like what I imagined all these juice concoctions were gonna be like. (I got the recipes from one of the fitness gurus’ websites, and they’re supposed to mimic breakfast, lunch, etc.) At this point, I wanna skip to the last one, which is a dessert-themed deal—bananas, berries, and cinnamon/nutmeg. Oh well. I’ll be oka—

12:20 p.m.
Sorry about that—had to make a mad dash to the bathroom. And while I promised myself I wouldn’t talk much about my poop in this diary, I have to tell you about this one: I now know that my intestines are capable of producing green paste.

4:32 p.m.
Tried to take a nap…never fell asleep cuz I kept having to get up and pee. Headachey and shaky. No likey the juice cleanse at this moment.

6:56 p.m.
Okay, I’m better. Finishing up my third one, and things are leveling off. I can do this!

11:07 p.m.
Overall, a pretty good first day. 4 juices, only 3 poops, and TONS of nutrients. I probably peed at least 35 times….but hey. Small price to pay for good health, right? Catch ya on the flip!

DAY 2–Saturday

9:02 a.m.
Think I’m starting to feel some of those “incredible health benefits” the gurus were talking about. After getting up like five times in one hour to pee last night, I finally went to sleep—and slept great. Had a cup of green tea, then a juice first thing this a.m….and I feel more “smoothed out,” I guess I’ll say, than I have in a while. Coolness.

9:47 p.m.
Drinking my last one of the day—apple, banana, and peach—and it’s the best I’ve had so far. Today’s been kinda weird. Bout 2 o’clock, I became officially HUNGRY, and got pretty crabby and unmotivated. All I wanted to do was just lay there on the bed. I finally snapped out of it, and I went to mass with my fiancée Kari. That was enjoyable, because Kari’s doing her own juice cleanse this weekend, and said she was hungry too. So all during mass I’d lean over and whisper to her: “Pizza….” “Tacos….” “Pie….” She finally put me in my place when she simply whispered back: “Wheatgrass…”

I’m going to start buying more fruit, and making smoothies like the one I’m drinking, to have for breakfast. Cuz these, I can deal with. It’s the spinach/beet/celery ones that are horrid. Just ONE MORE DAY, though! And then I’m hobbling my ass across the street to KF-muthalovin-CEE, baby. I’ll leave you with this classic SNL sketch, the catchphrase from which has been running through my head all day:

Cheeseburger cheeseburger cheeseburger cheeseburger cheeseburger…..

DAY 3—Sunday

9:12 a.m.
Last day! And It’s gonna be a tough one. In addition to being hungry as a Middle Eastern hostage, I did my math wrong when I bought my produce. So I’m running short on stuff. And of course, it’s all the “good” stuff, like apples and pears. All the nasty plant-tasting junk like celery, kale, etc, I have plenty of. I can do this.

Cheeseburger cheeseburger cheeseburger cheeseburger….

1:27 p.m.
Mmm-MMM!! Celery, cucumber, spinach and kale. And my muscles hurt. It’s like having a backache in your entire body. Kari says it’s probably from lack of protein. I’m gonna make it though!!!

8:23 p.m.
Last one. LAST ONE!! Last half of an apple, a peach, and a banana. I’m hoping the Walking Dead episode I’m bout to watch is sufficiently gross, so I’ll stop thinking about CHEESEBURGER CHEESEBURGER CHEESEBURGER….

11:58 p.m.
Couldn’t hold out. All I’ll say is that this gigantic bowl of cereal I’m eating SHO…IS….FINE.

POSTLUDE—Monday, 11:07 a.m.
I’m sitting here, full as a pregnant tick after eating a nine-egg omelet, and I feel pretty good. The body-ache is going away, and I can drink coffee again. Kari and I are going out for pizza tonight too…so I got that goin for me.

Two takeaways from this thing: one, I know I now have more food options, particularly for breakfast. The all-fruit juices were actually pretty good. So I told Kari that we should start buying more fruit each week at the grocery, and I’ll have a fruit juice two, three times a week. The veggie juices, while…untasty, I can handle them every once in a while too. But only if I know my next meal will be some solid food. Like a bowl of rocks or something.

And two: I feel a certain sense of accomplishment, because I did it. Yeah, I slipped a little at the end, but I made it through. I don’t feel like I could lift a building or anything, and from what some folks said beforehand, I’d probably need to go “juice-only” for about a week before I noticed any real physical difference, but I did it. And I got puh-LENTY of vitamins and minerals in the doing.

And now, I have a date with KFC. Do they sell cheeseburgers, you think?