Day One.

The first day of my juice fast is coming to a close, and I am already blown away by this experience. Easily the most startling realization is this: I do not often eat because I am legitimately hungry. Today was so tough because I am used to my “food routine”- breakfast with Jack and Carolyn, usually a smoothie or granola. Lunch is usually leftovers, a salad, or a Larabar. Neither one of these meals is planned as far as cuisine is concerned, but it’s always something yummy.

Dinner, however, is a different story. Day-to-day, I put a lot of thought into dinner- usually, I either know what I’m cooking because my weekly meal plan says so, or it’s something I’m really in the mood for. I start cooking early, around 5, so that any hiccups with the kids won’t send me into my frustrated place because I won’t be able to eat until 9 or 10 that night. It’s a whole system I have perfected, and today it was thrown right out the window. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling, and by the time 8:30 rolled around I was seriously thinking that this fast could go to hell. I wasn’t hungry, but I wanted to eat something, which indicates that I am driven not by my appetite but by my emotions. Don’t get me wrong- I think that food should be an emotional experience…but it shouldn’t be an emotional experience to go without, and that is what is happening to me right now.

I drank about 5 liters of fresh juice today, and it was delicious. It’s no secret that I love my juice, but usually I juice only once in a 24-hour period. It has been a major adjustment, getting used to drinking all of my meals. I was hit with some killer cravings today, including veggie pizza loaded with pesto, Field Roast veggie dogs, quinoa and popcorn. Too much fruit juice can increase the severity of these cravings, so I’m making a conscious effort to only include as much fruit as I need to make the juice more palatable. This is easily accomplished with one or two green apples per liter.

Physically, I feel a bit tired. I found that I was less motivated to perform simple tasks such as putting in a load of laundry or doing a few dishes- things that are normally part of my evening routine. I have read and heard that this is normal, that the first few days are the toughest because your body is detoxing, and I believe it. I am definitely curious to see how I will feel in a few days. When I first went vegan, I remember thinking on several occasions that I wasn’t going to be able to do it- mostly at parties where there wasn’t an option that didn’t involve plain salad. Now, I wouldn’t dream of eating anything that came from an animal. The thought makes me sick, and I am not just comfortable but proudof my lifestyle choice. I no longer feel deprived and alienated, because I have created a new normal. This is the point that I am hopingto come to in one week’s time. I hope that I will find myself energized, refreshed and cleansed, with a glowing sense of accomplishment. If nothing else, by the end of this I will certainly have established some unshakable self-discipline.

I will continue to update on my progress and how my body is reacting. Despite wanting to devour an entire chocolate cake, I do feel a huge sense of pride. I have been working very hard to give my body the love and care it deserves, and this fast is just another rung on the ladder toward optimal health and life in balance.

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