#VeggieBuzzing on Juice!
So I just got back from a short trip to London last Tuesday, fitting in just about enough time for a 3-day juice cleanse from Thursday to Saturday, just in time for a beach weekend in Mykonos. Perfect! Or so I thought…
A minute after I paid for the juice cleanse on Tuesday afternoon I received an email from Essentially.ae with pre cleanse instructions on what I could and couldn’t eat starting from 3 days before the cleanse! No animal products including eggs and dairy, no caffeine, and no bread or any refined starches! Whoops! I had already had a breakfast of Indian scrambled eggs on toast and black tea that morning and Thursday was only 2 days away! Now a juice cleanse isn’t exactly cheap (Essentially typically charges AED 897 for a 3-day cleanse), so I figured it would be best to do it right and push back my start date to Friday – 2½ days of following the rules was definitely better than 1½. So I skipped my usual afternoon coffee and tried to follow the rules for the rest of the day.
For breakfast the next day I whipped up a delicious vanilla chia pudding and topped it with blueberries, Alphonso mangoes and sunflower seeds. I was a little irritable and zoned out without my morning tea (I am sure the rest of the VeggieBuzz team will agree), but I somehow managed to get through the day with a light lunch, 2 green teas, and no caffeine headache (phew)!
The thought of eating vegetable broth or steamed veggies for dinner just wasn’t gonna cut it for me, so I ended up getting a little creative in the kitchen and made myself some quinoa, carrot and sweet potato mini burgers, which were actually quite delicious! I had this alongside some freshly made guacamole with raw veggies.
Get ready to juice!
As I read through the instructions before bed on Thursday night, I am thrilled to see a cheat sheet! Apparently I am allowed to cheat with vegetable broth, cucumber slices, celery sticks or ¼ of an avocado. I am also supposed to include chia seeds and a probiotic each day. Luckily I have both on hand.
Good morning Friday! I was slightly dreading waking up today, so since it's the weekend (Friday is the first day of the weekend in Dubai), I sleep in a little. I start my late morning with some hot water and lemon as instructed, and 30 minutes later I’m ready for my first juice. It’s a green start to the day with “Essentially Green”. Hmm the juice isn’t as thick as I had hoped but once I get through it I do feel satisfied. Despite all the stories I have head about how bad green juices taste, I actually quite like it; it’s like a vibrant green salad in a savoury drink.
I still have quite a bit of energy, so I decide to head to the pool and take my Pineapple Powwow with me! After a little dip in the pool and about 20 minutes of laps, I happily lean back on my lounge chair and slowly sip on the refreshing juice on the rocks. It tastes a bit like a refreshing pool cocktail, so I start to feel like I am on a tropical holiday. Although, I have to admit, I am starting to feel a little bloated on liquid as its 2 full glasses of juice per bottle! I go slowly with this one. Bloated is better than hungry I guess!
Ok, I spoke too soon. It’s 3:30pm and my stomach is definitely starting to grumble. I down juice 3, which is another green juice. This helps a bit, and I head out to meet some friends to try to get my mind off food. I take the 4th juice with me in a cool box and leave it in the car so it stays cold for a couple of hours. The first thing I notice when I get to the mall is the yummy smell of food, which I don’t usually pay attention to, but today its as potent as ever! I try to distract myself with some impulse shopping, which seems to work quite well. My friend and I finally sit down at a coffee shop where she orders a coffee and I sip on Juice number 4 – a light lemonade with agave and cayenne pepper. I’m not that hungry anymore, and it’s a little too sweet for my liking. My friend insists that my body probably needs the sugar right now so I end up polishing it off and continue shopping. I’m not really in the mood to try anything on, as I feel quite bloated on liquid, so we end up just window-shopping.
I head home for my dinner of red juice, which is essentially a beet and carrot mixture. It’s quite good, and enough to hold me over for a couple of hours. The instructions say that I am supposed to have my cashew milk concoction no less that 2 hours before bedtime, but this scares me. The last thing I need is not being able to sleep due to hunger pangs, so I break this rule and have it an hour before bed. Besides, I was a little late on juice no 5, so need a bit of a break. It’s like a nice thick milkshake right before bed, which is super filling and tastes pretty good! Thankfully, I don’t have any trouble sleeping.
I expected to wake up to a growling stomach but surprisingly, I am not that hungry and have loads of energy! I have to admit I didn’t believe the juice company when they told me I would have energy. I get through the hot water and green juice ritual and head to the office for a couple of hours, taking 2 juices with me.
I sip on the pineapple juice during the course of a one hour meeting and continue working for a couple of hours. I lose track of time and almost forget about my next green juice, which is strange, because I would normally be dying for lunch by 2pm. I head home and consider going for a walk, but end up just doing a few things around the house and keeping myself busy. I do notice my grumbly stomach a few hours later; late afternoon is definitely the hardest…
While sipping on my 4th juice, I have a brainwave! The instructions said I am supposed to include chia seeds into my diet. So I decide to make a mini chia pudding out of a small amount of my cashew milk for later tonight. Why didn’t anyone think of this? And it’s not really cheating because all I use for the pudding is a tablespoon of chia soaked in a ⅓ cup of cashew milk. I leave this in the fridge to do its magic – I hope it works!
I spend my evening at the movies with a friend and I take my dinner with me, aka beet and carrot juice. I get so caught up with the music in Pitch Perfect II, that by the end of the movie I realize I am only half way through it; I end up downing it on the way home.
Yippee! My chia pudding has set perfectly, so it’s a nice little late night snack and at last, something to chew on! I polish this off along with the rest of the cashew milk. For some reason I am not able to sleep very well tonight, and of course after tossing and turning for a couple of hours I do start to notice the hunger...
Today is the hardest. It’s a working day so I head to the office and take the first 4 juices with me but I definitely don’t have much energy and I’m not as enthused about the cleanse as I was on the first two days. Perhaps it’s the lack of sleep. The funny thing is, although I would like to think I am excited about getting back on solid food tomorrow, I am not really craving what I thought I would. I am actually just thinking about healthy food! How weird is it that I am not dying for some hot French fries or cheesy pizza? Anyway, I struggle through the day in a bit of a daze. I have a friend over for dinner and watch her eat, but somehow I am not the least bit tempted to join her. I sip on my cashew milk as she finishes her meal, but it doesn’t taste as great as it did the first 2 nights. I get through half of it and just waste the rest. I sleep like a baby at night as I’m quite exhausted.
You’d think I would jump out of bed and sprint over to the kitchen to finish making my oat porridge that I soaked overnight, but I am happily working on my laptop with a nice cup of herbal tea in my bedroom. Yup, I’ve decided to stay off caffeine for now – I am super excited that I am not dependent on my morning tea anymore! Lets see how long this will last…
Would I do the cleanse again? Not anytime soon, but it has definitely given me a nice jumpstart this summer, as I definitely feel lighter and healthier! I have lost a bit of weight, but I guess only time will tell if it stays off…
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