New Year’s Eve I had to work, and so did Dustin. By the time he got home around 11 pm neither of us really felt like going out. So we curled up on the couch and did our favorite thing. Turned on Netflix!
I’m a bit obsessed with documentaries and it’s a habit that I know drives Dustin a little bit batty! Don’t worry, my third list of amazing documentaries will be coming out soon so that you guys can enjoy some of the ones I’ve been watching lately.
But back to the story. I could feel Dustin’s eyes rolling in my direction when I turned on a documentary that’s been on my list for a while. Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. He huffed a bit, but I was in control of the remote so he had to deal with it.
For the first quarter of the documentary, he was doing his best to do anything other than watch the TV. He ate his dinner, messed around on his phone, and enjoyed some cuddles. But by the time we got to the segment on Phil he was actively watching.
We were both amazed by the difference in this one guy’s life. And he turned to me and said something along the lines of ‘could we do that?’
Y’all….I love food. And while I have been pushing since we met to go towards a more plant based diet the idea of living on juice alone, even for a couple of days, sounded like the worst idea ever. The absolute WORST.
I don’t even like to drink regular juice. Or smoothies. Or really anything besides water once I kicked my diet coke habit. So how could I possibly manage to survive on juice alone for 3-5 days?
But if I was willing to ask him to give up meat and cheese, then I would have to be willing to try this with him. Or at least that’s what I told myself.
So I downloaded the app, checked out the website, made a grocery list, and we agreed to try it for 5 days. You can survive anything for 5 days right?! I mean I went almost 7 weeks running around the Texas heat getting yelled at. I’ve traveled the world. I’ve always been up for an adventure. Five days of juicing wouldn’t kill me.
And then it was day one.
And oh. my. goodness.
I was pretty sure death would be better. Ok, maybe that’s exaggerating a bit. I was actually fine while I was at work and distracted with my job and co-workers. But the worst was when I got home and was all alone in a house full of food. Tempting me.
I crawled into bed and read. I tried to distract myself from a splitting headache. And the fact that I was freezing, which is something that almost never happens to me. And hoped that day two would be better.
And it was.
Day two had the juices I ended up liking the best, and I felt way more energized. I enjoyed the juices I took to work, I didn’t feel hungry, and overall was feeling pretty good.
Until I got in the car.
Now let me tell you something about food addictions. Like all addicts, one of the hallmarks of an addiction is doing it in secret. And my car has always been my food sanctuary. I would eat junk food, drive thru meals, and all the things I wouldn’t keep in my house could be eaten in my car. Away from judging eyes, even if they were my own.
So getting in the car on day two was the absolute worst part of the week. We were having some lovely Michigan weather, so my normally 25-minute commute took almost an hour. I was hungry and I felt hungry which I hadn’t experienced all day, and I just wanted to be done. I wanted to quit. I wanted to cheat.
But I didn’t. I kept reminding myself of that 17-year-old girl who flew off to San Antonio and thought every day about quitting. But somehow found the strength to get through.
And I made it to day 3. At this point, Dustin and I had gotten into a good rhythm. I would make juices when I got home from work for our breakfast and afternoon snacks. And then he would make the juices for our lunch and dinner.
I felt that it was really important to get him involved in making the juices. In part for a more equitable division of labor (something I am trying to get better about asking for) and also because I wanted him to have a sense of ownership over our ‘meals’.
And it worked pretty well. At this point in the week I know he was feeling pretty frustrated with the whole thing. His job made it a lot harder to stay on top of the juice schedule. So he was feeling hungry and irritable. And I sympathized. But we’d spent our whole food budget on this juicing thing so that’s what we were going to be eating.
Luckily, or unluckily, my sister had given us a free Blue Apron box to try and it came smack dab in the middle of our juicing experiment. And because of how the recipes worked out for us we were starting to run low on produce. So we compromised. Day 4 and 5 we followed our plan to the T except for dinner. Where we made our vegetarian Blue Apron meals.
And that was perfect.
Now almost 4 weeks since we started I am still juicing. Not solely. But it’s been a perfect option for me to have a good breakfast and afternoon snack. And sometimes lunch. I drink one on my way to and from work so that I can avoid my car pitfalls. And I’m really happy about it.
One of the main reasons why I wanted to do this was to get over the sugar/processed food addictions we’d let creep back into our diet. The last 6 months had been a pretty busy and stressful time for us. And we slowly let those excuses creep in.
“Oh, I’ll just grab drive thru tonight, I’m too tired to cook.”
“I don’t want to go grocery shopping, it’s fine if we just order pizza.”
“The holidays are too overwhelming, I’ll get better about meal planning after.”
Juicing ended up being the perfect reset for us. And it has made the transition back to a plant based vegan diet SO much easier for me.
I remember the first time I transitioned to a plant based diet in 2010. It was HARD. I did the 21 Day Kickstart which is an awesome option, but I had so many cravings.
This time around I am not missing animal products at all. And I’m amazed by how different the level of support is. More people are coming around to plant-based diets. I even have a co-worker who is also a vegan. With vegan or plant-based pages on Facebook, and Pinterest there are tons of ideas for meals.
And I still have my mad love of The Happy Herbivore. And just finished reading her book The Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living. It helped me a lot when we traveled to DC and I had my first tests of a plant-based diet while on a road trip, and eating in restaurants.
I still get a lot of weird looks from people when I say I’m plant based. And a LOT of questions on how I’ll get enough protein. Don’t worry I’m just fine is my usual response. But overall I am really happy right now.
And while I definitely didn’t do this change to lose weight, I am happy to report that I am down 10 pounds. And when you’ve got PCOS that’s an almost impossible feat!
I can’t tell you how Dustin is feeling, he has reintroduced meat and dairy back into his diet. But less than it was before. Mostly likely because everything I cook is all plant based. But he’s been making his own meals when he does want something. And it’s a good balance for us. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to convince him to come online and share his thoughts not his crazy experiment!
But I’m happy. And I feel amazing. And that’s the most important thing.