Well, I can't just let you guys have all the fun, can I?
It may be a cliche, but I love tackling new goals on New Year's Day. If you believe we're all connected by a universal energy, there's really no better time to ride those vibes than right now. Also, prime hosting/partying season is over and I need to work on my accounting anyways, so it's the perfect time for a cranky week holed up at home in my pjs.
To start, a confession: I have been pressing and selling 3 Day Juice Feasts for almost four years, and drinking nothing but juice for three days straight is still incredibly hard for me to do. I have given up on doing them "perfectly," and now focus more on the new habits I'm launching into. The photo above is my "before," and I'll share an "after" this time next month, when my new habits have started to make a visible difference.
My Health Journey
To go waaaay back, I was clinically obese as a child. Literally in the 90th percentile. The heaviest child in my class. The only person in my family who chronically struggled with weight. Thank goodness for my parents' good instincts getting me into competitive swimming in elementary school. I still yo-yo'd through my twenties, but swimming helped me develop a confidence and sense of resiliency that I'm not sure I would have found otherwise.
Nearly three decades of struggling to get healthy have taught me a few things:
1. I am a bit of an extremist in my habits. All the running! All the work! All the wine! All the food! Moderation and balance have never come naturally to me, and I love to treat myself for all of my hard work. Reprogramming myself to think of healthy food and activities as "treats" has been a long road.
2. Some foods in particular have an addictive quality for me, even when they make me feel terrible. When I'm not eating a clean, plant-based diet, I am constantly feeling the pull of sugar, dairy and white flour-y foods. Even if I'm at a healthy weight! Every meal is an uncomfortable decision. I am constantly using my willpower to eat only a little of something unhealthy. I know moderation works well for a lot of people (see: everyone else in my family), but for me, it is easier to have clear boundaries for my diet, and not have to make that choice every time I head to the store or sit down for a meal.
3. I am extroverted like nobody's business, and I thrive with accountability. Part of the reason I started my business was to force myself to be accountable for my and my family's health. Starting and operating an organic raw juice business seemed easier than just juicing and staying healthy on my own. Good health can be really hard, guys!!!
So, rather than fight my instincts, I am learning to flow with my natural style of eating and living. For me, Juice Feasts are the perfect transition to a clean, plant-based diet. And sharing progress and connecting with our community is a great way to stay on track. Which doesn't mean it's easy.
Katie's Juice Feast Experience
The first day, I was so exhausted that I took a long afternoon nap for the first time in months. My husband (who got the day off) had my back 100% with this challenge and covered for me with the kids while I curled up into a whiny little ball and chatted on about coffee and popcorn and chocolate all day. Granted, it could have been worse! We'd already given up casual drinking (keeping it to special occasions), and I've been a vegetarian and largely dairy-free for over 4 years, so my body was primarily in withdrawal from caffeine, sugar, salt and fat.
On the second day, I felt kind of awesome! It was farmer's market day, so I was really relieved to have my energy back. I did notice on day 2 how often I eat out of habit, and how often I eat my twin toddlers' leftovers. Like, am I really supposed to throw away their perfectly good half-eaten bananas? No. I also realized that if I pushed it and forgot to drink my juices on schedule, I got crazy hungry and immediately regretted it. Even though the juices are really filling, I definitely needed every bottle to feel satiated throughout the day.
On the third day, we hosted my sister-in-law and her friend, and everyone had wine, so I had a glass of wine. My face turned bright red and I went to bed early, and the world kept spinning. The next morning (today), I decided to add an extra day of juice + raw veggies. The rest of the week will be only raw fruits and veggies, and I may repeat the whole deal next week, because I really do feel flipping fantastic.
My favorite thing about day 4 is that veggies that seemed fairly bland and flavorless to my holiday palate are kind of delightful now! Raw carrots, green beans, oranges, bananas and grapefruit were all on the menu today. And while I can't say I'm completely past craving sugar and salt, it's more of a whisper than the screaming siren song of yester-week. And I realized something else -- I don't have any intention of giving up coffee with non-dairy creamer, so why torture myself? I want all of my habits to be sustainable in the long term, so I'm gonna go ahead and have my juice and my coffee too.
Cheers to everyone who joined me this week, and feel free to write if you'd like to share your experience, ask me any questions, or even just whine to someone about how much you missed popcorn with your movie at 9PM because of your stinking Juice Feast. I feel you -- we've got this.
In solidarity and Happy New Year to you all!