So, this was a pretty intense experience, but I wanted to make a major change and felt like going all-in on breaking some old habits was the way to do it.
Some of you know that my year started about pretty rough, with my dad passing away unexpectedly, and in the same two weeks having to shut down our first and only juice bar, which we’d just spent five years searching for and 6 months building out with our own hands. Details on that, here: https://www.goodnature.com/blog/the-war-on-raw-juice/
I managed my stress and grief by diving head-first into challenging new projects, soaking in time with my family, and giving myself free reign to be comfortable, with whatever food I happened to be craving, and wine in the evening whenever I felt like it. Personally, I feel totally okay with ALL of that. My food/wine habits may not have been sustainable, but I’m not beating myself up over it.
Regardless, I felt ready to move away from “comfort” and into a lifestyle that would truly support my work and family. Here’s how each day went down:
One of my best friends (and bookkeeper) Monica joined me on this, and I am so grateful she did, because having accountability was key, especially at the beginning. I was immediately tired on day one after skipping my coffee, though it may have been mostly psychological at that point.
I hadn’t realized how irregularly I was eating healthy meals, and also how often I was grazing on what just happened to be around me. I also noticed that it took a little bit of planning to take cold food on the go, but was totally manageable with a nice-sized cooler bag and cold-packs.
By the end of day one, I was tired, cranky, had a headache and couldn’t imagine it would get easier, even though I knew from experience that it would. Day two was more of the same, though my headache went away by the end of the day. I went to sleep earlier than usual every night, because most of my unhealthy habits happened after-hours, and it was easier to just go to bed than to change my evening routine.
I woke up feeling a lot better, and found myself craving veggies and looking forward to my juice. I also started to appreciate saving time by not having to make food or even drive through Starbucks this week. Documenting the process through the business Instagram stories gave me a nice incentive to stay on track.
I had a coffee date at a favorite local cafe (Alta Bakery!), and it was so weird not getting anything to eat. But after the first few minutes, the visit was all about conversation and connection. I'll be back, Alta!
My twin sons’ birthday was this day and not eating cake with them was such a bummer! Though, when I tasted it this morning, it was really unpleasant -- overly sweet and chemically. My crankiness was completely based in lingering sugar withdrawal. Without those cravings, skipping cake wouldn’t have been a big deal at all.
This is when I started to feel really good! All of my bloat and inflammation had gone down — probably about 10 pounds of it, though I skipped weighing myself so I could focus more on how I feel, rather than getting hung up on numbers. By day four, I was getting really excited about meal planning, and also wondered if it might help to do a few days of juicing each week to keep that healthy structure in my life and keep the nutrients flowing in.
By day five, I was prepping my whole-food plant-based weekend meals, easily doing my usual work, and feeling way more energetic. By day five, I was going to bed closer to my usual time, and comfortably hanging out with people who were eating and drinking things I'm not.
I actually preferred this to the Three Day Juice Feast, because I got more time feeling good at the end, with a longer amount of time to plan and prepare for new habits. I also saw more dramatic results than in past experiences, but that’s partly because I started off less healthy than in the past.
I definitely lost a lot of productivity in days 1-2 and would not recommend going through this if you’re on a major deadline or need to be high-energy on those days.
My biggest take-away, besides the immediate relief of not feeling bloated and mildly unwell, is feeling a sense of structure in my eating, going forward. I loved knowing exactly what would fuel me throughout the day and not having to make decisions about every meal, so I’m going to keep that up with meal planning and batch-cooking over the weekend. It’s also going to be a lot easier to pass up unhealthy treats after going a week without them.
Oh! And it is really, really nice to be craving healthy food. My threshold for sweets just gets higher and higher if I don’t set boundaries, and suddenly any meal that isn’t sweet and carb-y feels like a chore.
Hope that’s helpful, and feel free to share your experiences with me or check in throughout if you have any questions! Hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend.