Monday, March 5, 2012

An Honest Account

The other night, I went to a little party to honor my friend Rebecca on her birthday. It was a small ladies' get-together in her impeccably adorable apartment. I just now realized we didn't take any pictures which is a crime because we all looked really cute. I'll just have to substitute one with this picture of The Golden Girls.

Pretend this was taken at Rebecca's 23rd birthday party. Also, pretend I'm Dorothy. I would be, right?

Anyway, when I arrived at this party, little did I know that I had brought with me the best conversation-starter imaginable.

Ignore the man (I know. It's hard. He's so handsome) and focus on what he's holding.
This mason jar full of green liquid opened a floodgate of conversation at the party. And why shouldn't it? I'm sure you are gazing at this picture in wonderment right at this very moment with questions like:

What is that?

Why would Christy bring this to a party?

Wait. Is that the slime stuff from Troll 2?

"Half man, half plant. A goblin's favorite food"
These are all valid questions (especially that last one). The short answer is that the mason jar full of green liquid was, in fact, my dinner. It's a juice, actually. I brought it to Rebecca's party to consume. Also, it had nothing to do with Troll 2.

The long answer is a lot more involved, but considering how much conversation it brought up at a small get-together, I think it might be a road worth going down. 

---- ---- ---- 

For the past 10 days, Daniel and I have been on a program called Reboot Your Life. In this program, you eat nothing but fruits and vegetables for 5 days. Then for 5 more days, you consume nothing but juice. Then for another 5 days, you are back to fruits and vegetables (total of 15 days). It's based on the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (available on instant Netflix, by the way).

This poster is too genius.

In the film, this Australian gentleman (Joe Cross) decides to road trip across America while taking part in a 60 day juice fast. He meets a lot of cooky Americans, including gun shop owners and truck drivers. 

At the end of his 60 day juice fast, guess what happens! 

spoiler alert...

He loses weight!

Surprised? Of course you're not. You would have to be the Hamburglar himself in order to assume this guy wasn't going to lose weight after 60 days of drinking pure juice. 

I'm assuming the Hamburglar has no concept of calories, but that might not be a fair judgement.

He lost a ton of weight, but that is not what interested me. This is:

Before Joe started his juice fast, he was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called chronic uticaria. You can look it up on google images, if you dare. Actually, don't -- It's disgusting. But basically it created a super painful rash all over his body that flared up upon human contact.

By the end of his juice fast, he had no outbreaks and his meds had been significantly decreased. After continuing a vegetable-based diet, he is now off of his medicine completely. 

For me, this was intriguing and seemed like something worth evaluating. 

For the first couple of months of this year, I felt inordinately tired. Like, so tired I often felt like I was walking around in a dream. I couldn't really fathom a logical reason for this shift in my energy level. I was happy. I was exercising. I had my best friend Diet Dr. Pepper by my side at all times. How could this be?

I explained this situation to my employer/Health Mentor/Wisdom Provider, Michelle. At the time, she was doing the Reboot, and she was using words like "alert" and "energetic" and "great" to express how she was feeling. This seemed like the opposite of what she should be experiencing (I hadn't seen the movie yet). I thought that she must have meant to use words like "awful" or "garbage" or "death-like", but I realized after looking at her, that she clearly was feeling awesome. This is when I decided to give it a try.

Knowing I would have absolutely zero willpower, I asked Daniel if he would do it with me. Now you understand his facial expression in this picture.

The beginning was really tough. The week before, we were supposed to be preparing ourselves by gradually eliminating animal protein, processed foods, sugar etc. The hardest for me was letting go of caffeine. You guys, I will say with both shame and pride that I was absolutely addicted to Diet Dr. Pepper. She was a dear friend and saying goodbye to her was painful.

Literally. The headaches I felt on that first day of my Reboot were unreal. Like some elderly vampire, I spent the day cloaked in a blanket, hissing at the light.

It was also difficult to get myself super psyched to go grocery shopping all of the time. I hate going to the grocery store. I would rather have an annual root canal than ever have to go grocery shopping again. It was especially bad because we looked like an absolute freak show in the produce section.

People probably assumed we were shopping for our 50 rabbits.
As the days passed though, I was definitely starting to feel the benefits. It was amazing to not need caffeine. By day 5, I was on fire for veggies.

Then the juice came. 

Day 6 (Day 1 of drinking only juice) was for the most part alright. That was the day of Rebecca's party where I got to gladly share information about the Reboot. That night, however, right as I was supposed to be falling asleep, I started to get the weirdest cravings. 

You know how when someone is like "Hey, don't touch your face", all you want to do is touch your face? It's the same thing here. When this program said "Don't eat garbage", all I could think about was eating the most decadent, outlandishly terrible foods ever. This was my stream of consciousness:

Pizza, Calamari, Bread, Bread, Bread, Chick-Fil-A, Popcorn, Fried Shrimp, Fried Onion Rings, Fried Anything, French Fries, Spaghetti, Fried Oreos, Cookies, Cookies, Cake, Cookies, One of those chickens with ham and cheese in it, A whole fondu pot for myself, 8 Footlong sub sandwiches, Potatoes, Bread, One of those burgers with three patties and bacon and like a bunch of mayonnaise, BREAD!

As juicing went on, it got easier...I guess. That is, until I got sick. 


I've had a lot of people tell me that I probably got sick because of the juicing. Juicing does not give you a viral infection and fever. I just got a virus that I would probably have gotten anyway. It is possible that my defenses were down, but think about all of the awesome vitamins going into my body. Not. The. Juice's. Fault.

But being sick has made it a lot harder. I will confess that the other night, I caved and ate a big bowl of pho just to get some extra calories in my body. I think it was the right decision. 

Anyway, my thought on the juicing portion of this whole thing is this: my body really didn't like it. Maybe if I spent a little more time juicing, I would get used to it, but I have been crazy hungry and not particularly energetic. That's not completely fair for me to say since I'm sick as a dog. It's just bad timing, really.

The upside though is that I am super excited now to get back to fruits and veggies. The movie talked about that. It talked about retraining your body to crave micronutrients (vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans) instead of macronutrients (everything else). I'm excited to finish this program and think of my meals differently. 

Anyway, five more days left and it seems like a piece of cake (or kale, I guess) because I'm back to eating what I now love. 

A new favorite. Acorn squash with portobello mushroom.

There have been a ton of different opinions when I tell people about the Reboot. Some people think I'm clinically insane. Others say I'm crazy, but I can tell they kind of want to try it. A small portion think it sounds like an interesting idea.

To all of these opinions, I say I totally get it. Had I not felt this need to regain my energy, I would never have thought to do something like this. I would have considered this to be starving myself and super unhealthy. 

However, after having made it through these last ten days, I can say that if you are anything like me, if you feel like your quality of life might be affected by what you're eating, this might be something worth entertaining. It's fifteen days. You won't die. Trust me.


  1. This is gross, but I actually had hives like that for a week in high school. It felt like little biting ants were crawling all over my skin at all times of the day. Thought you should know.

    Anyway, I want to hear the recipes that you and Daniel have been using! I asked Michael the other day if he would ever do a juice reboot and he said "maybe". Which sounds like yes to me!

  2. Oh, and are you going back to Diet Dr. Pepper? I never thought I'd see the day you renounced it...

  3. Emily, that had to be SO painful. I cant even imagine.

    If you did the reboot, it would be so easy for you. You are already a lover of vegetables.

    Also, Diet Dr. Pepper and I will have some boundaries set in our relationship. Right now, I really don't miss it at all.

  4. I just found your blog today and this is so weird but my husband and I watched/did the juicing thing at basically the exact same time last year. I love this documentary. You are really funny, by the way.

  5. "Like some elderly vampire, I spent the day cloaked in a blanket, hissing at the light."
    You. Are. Hilarious.
    Love your blog!

  6. Troll 2, the best worst movie out there.


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