I cheated (Day 13 of my detox)

roast chicken
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Here I was, having made it through 13 days of just eating vegetables and fruits, five of them drinking only juice, and ready to celebrate this weekend by making it to 15 days. But I cheated.

My son had put a whole chicken in the refrigerator a few days ago to defrost and I knew he wasn’t going to cook it, so I took it out and decided to prepare it for my children in case they got hungry later. I squeezed lemon all over it, and rubbed salt and lemon pepper everywhere, including under the breast skin. I also put some mint leaves under the skin for an extra flavor kick. Then I stuffed the cavity with chunks of onions and put it in the oven. The giblets and neck were left over, so, I thought, I’ll just fry these up with some pepper and salt. That was when I knew I was going to eat them. I just couldn’t take it, I could imagine the tasty pan-fried giblets, and the fried skin on the neck…my mouth was watering.

I told my daughter that I was going to eat the chicken.

“Be careful mom,” she warned. “You have to come off these detox things slowly, so you don’t get sick. You should eat only soups and salads, and maybe some nuts and grains first.”

I’ve been eating salads and soups for two weeks, I thought to myself, and I’m done. I want chicken.

“But if your body is telling you that you need it, go for it,” my daughter added.

That bit of encouragement was all I needed. I finished frying the giblets, heart and neck, warmed up the Japanese eggplant from last night, and sat down to eat. I savored every bit, eating every piece of meat off the chicken neck, even popping it in my mouth so I could suck all the juices out. It was so good.

And I didn’t feel one bit of regret. It was worth it, stopping two days short of my overall goal.

I can always do this again, and do the whole 15 days, but in a place where there are no people ordering pizzas, tacos, steaks and wine in front of me, away from restaurants. I’ll have to become a monk or nun or something. Those people are used to self-denial. I am not, but I have learned a great deal about myself these past two weeks. I can deny myself the many pleasures of food and drink, knowing in the end what I am doing will be good for me. I can sit with people eating and exert willpower. And I have learned that there are many interesting and tasty ways to prepare vegetables.

A few hours after I ate the giblets and neck, I tore a leg off the chicken and ate that, as well as some of the tasty crispy skin that was soaked in lemon. Just a little, that’s all. Then I made a juice with apples, cucumber, parsley, and celery to make up for my transgressions.

I feel good.


Eating food a violation (Day 11 of my detox)

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Today was the first day I have eaten solid foods since five days ago.

In the morning I had a blend of banana, kale, apples and coconut water, for lunch baked zucchini with tomatoes and leeks, and baked sweet potatoes and carrots. In the late afternoon I had a “snack”– a salad with red leaf lettuce, avocado, chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, and radishes with balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. For dinner: sautéed broccoli with onions and some potatoes. I added balsamic vinegar and some soy sauce to that.

I felt heavy and sleepy after eating lunch. As I was eating I felt like I was violating myself, even though it was fresh, or only slightly cooked, vegetables and fruits that I was eating. For a moment I felt like I wanted to continue juicing. “I’m going to miss it,” I thought. But heck, not as much as I miss pizza and wine!

Seriously, I’m going to stick to more fruits and vegetables from now on. In just one glass of juice I’ve eaten more vegetables than I would have in a week. Health advocates, according to RebootYourLife, recommend that a meal consist of 50% plant foods, 25% animal protein, and 25% of some sort of grain. Most Americans, according to the Reboot program, eat 50% animal protein, 25% overcooked vegetables, and 25% white starch foods for a meal.

I have four more days until I start eating other foods. The Reboot guidelines for going back to solid foods after juicing is to eat only plant-based proteins, salads and smoothies during the first week, and then slowly reintroduce animal proteins and other foods, limiting, or even eliminating processed foods if possible.

But I won’t give up the pizza, or salami and cheese. I’ll just limit the intake, which will allow me to fully savor those foods when I do have them…


I smell the pizza…(Day 6 of my juice detox)

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It’s almost the end of Day 6 of my juice detox. 6:23 to be exact.

And I can smell the pizza that I baked (store-bought) for my youngest son. My mouth is watering and I had the wild vision of tearing off a piece, just a small one, of the pizza with the cheese dripping and the sizzling pepperoni and eating it quickly. I swear I almost did it–in my mind at least. Instead, I went into the kitchen, where half of the pizza sat on the cutting board and grabbed the rest of my dinner that I bought at Jamba Juice–banana, mango, green apple and Spirulina. It has no frozen yogurt, but with the banana, which you can’t really juice, and the Spirulina  I wonder if I broke a cardinal rule of my juice fast. I don’t think so, but the smell of that pizza is killing me…

I know people have faced trials larger than this, and I’ve come up against a few more serious things in my life, but after a lifetime of eating whatever I wanted, most of the time whenever, it’s a difficult thing to wean oneself off delicious things such as pizza, or salami and cheese paired with a nice cold Chimay beer.

They say the first three days are the hardest. This is day six of the entire detox, but day one of the really hard part–no solid foods, just juice.

I take heart in that to exert willpower for the greater good, my health in this case, is a good trait to practice.

I will persevere.




Doing the Reboot–A Fruit/Vegetable/Juice fast

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Today is the sixth day of my entry into the 15-day standard “Reboot” program, wherein I am solely ingesting fruits and vegetables — raw, slightly cooked, or juiced.

The idea is to detox my body–eating only pure, fresh food and leaving out processed foods, meats (which includes fish and poultry), dairy and eggs, and all grains and nuts, caffeine and alcohol– in order to re-balance my body and purge impurities, reintroduce myself to fruits and vegetables, of which most Americans do not eat enough, and hopefully, in the long run, create healthier eating habits.

A big bonus for many doing a Reboot is the loss of weight that comes with this program, as well as, according the documentary film, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” even clear up some health problems.

The film is where the Reboot program was born. Australian Joe Cross was overweight, had a terrible skin condition that required medication, and was unhappy with his eating  and overall health lifestyle. He decided to hit the road, the American one, and juice for 60 days while filming his progress and interactions with people across the country. He did quite a bit of juicing from the back of his car (using a generator) and steadily lost weight, cleared up his health problems and began educating others.

One of those people he came across was a trucker, Phil Staples, who was morbidly obese, weighing 429 pounds. Joe told Phil about his personal quest to lose weight and become healthy, and told the trucker if he decided to try juicing, Joe would help him. After Joe went back to Australia in his new trim and healthier state, he got a call from Phil who said he wanted help. Joe set him up in a cottage by a lake and showed the trucker a shirt that was at least five times too small. Joe told Phil that by the end of sixty days he was going to fit into that shirt. The effects of the juicing diet Phil went through could be immediately seen on his face–it glowed and he seemed happier. The film follows much of the quest of trucker Phil, and by the end of his fast, he had lost more than 200 pounds–and fit into the shirt. He quit trucking and began educating others about juicing and eating healthier.

However, the film alone was not the sole impetus for me to start my juice detox. My son had come home one day with a Jack LaLanne juicing machine and said he was going to go on a juice diet. He asked me to join him, but I told him: “No Way! I love food too much!” I also like my wine, chocolate and coffee.

But then, during the same weekend I saw the film and went through an accidental coffee withdrawal. I had forgotten to drink my coffee one day–I was drinking at least two cups a day–and I got a massive headache that lasted three days. Also that same weekend I had received a deep tissue massage and my whole body went into some sort of shock–I lay in bed for the most of three days feeling miserable. I thought if not having coffee (read: caffeine) can make me feel so horrible, it’s got to be bad for you. Then the film’s message of how we consume so much that is not good for us resonated within me.  It was educational about the nutrition received from fruits and vegetables, and not overdoing it on animal protein (which the film’s makers do not recommend giving up, but to balance meals more with veggies and fruits), and how processed foods are just not that good for you.

I decided to do the detox, or Reboot as it’s called.

So the past week I have eaten only fruits and vegetables–and I am amazed at how many vegetables and fruits I do not eat! In one cup I’ve “eaten” a grapefruit, apple, pear, two carrots, and a cup of blueberries. I never eat that many fruits in week! For a dinner I made a delicious vegetable soup with carrots, celery, tomatoes, kale and Swiss chard, onions and leeks, served with baked zucchini that also had leeks and tomatoes with fresh herbs. To have that many vegetables in a week was also rare for me, but now I am having all of this everyday, several times a day.

To be honest, I am hungry quite often, which means I need to eat more often. But when I do eat, I am very satisfied. Today, though, I start ingesting only juice, and will do so for five days straight. The program is five days fruits and veggies cooked or raw and juiced, five days only juice, and then back to the combo.

I don’t know if I can handle it. But I will try.

By the way, I did cheat on my first day of this program. I went to a birthday party where gourmet Mexican food was served, and a tres leches cake. I had a bite of the cake. It was so moist and delicious, the taste made me feel as if I was in heaven. But I stopped at one bite, and vowed to stick through this program. It’s hard.