Sunday, September 18, 2016

5-Day Juicing Challenge : The Aftermath

Drew, Stacey, and Stephanie's 5-Day Juicing Challenge Post-Game Show

I'm glad to report that all three juicers are doing quite well. We all took it easy on the food Saturday. No one had any issues. It was back to normal. Sort of...

Breakfast: 2 eggs, baked hash browns (instead of pan fried), 3 sausage links (instead of 5), 1 slice of Ezekiel toast with cashew butter (instead of 2 sourdough with gobs of butter)

Lunch: Turkey burger with cheese without the roll and a spinach salad with orange, walnuts, and vidalia dressing (instead of a bacon burger and mac-n-cheese)
Incidently, the turkey burger is a Tastefully Simple recipe and it is fantastic!

Dinner: Smoked salmon on a spring green salad with mustard vinaigrette (instead of a monster grilled 3-cheese sandwich and fries)
Before today, I never would have ordered this. But something in me said, "You want this." So I got it and it was fantastic!!! The initial smell of the greens made me tense up (juicing PTSD?), but I ended up loving this salad so much.

Our "We did it!" dinner at Americana Winery.
Surprisingly, we ordered healthy and couldn't even finish it.
Well, we finished the wine. That wasn't a problem.

We also got to enjoy The Delta Mike Shaw Band. 
Great show!

Commonly Asked Questions
Q.  Why did you do decide to do this?
A.  A couple of years ago, Stacey watched a documentary called "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead." She was so impressed by it that Drew & I also watched it. It's about Joe Cross' journey across America for 60-days with nothing but juice and a film crew. Along the way, Joe shared the story of many other people who tried juicing as a way to become healthier. It was fun, informative, and extremely motivating. You can watch it on Netflix. I highly recommend it, even if you're not interested in juicing. Joe is very charismatic and funny and he has an Australian accent that, quite frankly, I can listen to all day.
Ever since then, we'd talked about trying a juicing diet. When the 5-day challenge showed up in my email inbox, I shared it with my fellow future juicers and we all declared, "Let's do this! It's only 5 days. How hard can it be?" Famous last words.

Q.  Did you make up the recipes yourself?
A.  No. As part of the challenge, I purchased a book that came with a menu and recipes. I think the book was something like $9.

Q. Did you do this with a blender or juicer?
A. Juicer. It was all a juicer. I have a Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Pro Juice Extractor. It's a real trooper! I will continue to use my juicer for lemons and limes. I'm always buying too many, never using them, then throwing them away when they go bad. Instead, I juice them, freeze the juice in ice cube trays, and then keeping the cubes in a baggie in the freezer. When I need juice for cooking, I just pop out a cube or two!
Plus, freshly juiced fruit (without those dang veggies!) tastes so much better than store-bought fruit juice. I'm seriously thinking about getting a bunch of apples and juicing-freezing them too so I don't have to core-peel them for my smoothies. Anything to make eating healthy easier!

Like a baby with a poopy diaper,
no matter how neat you are this is a messy, messy job.

Q. What is the worst juice?
A. By far, it's sweet potatoes. The aftertaste will follow you around for days. Just horrifying. Beets and chard are a super-close second. If I never eat them ever again, I'll be a happy fatty.

Q.  Weren’t you hungry?
A.  Always. I’m hardly ever NOT hungry and that did not change doing this challenge. It just made it much more painful that I couldn’t eat something. Yes, I could drink more juice, or hot tea, or water, or (if I’m really desperate) coconut water, but it won’t change the fact that I wanted to eat something.

Q.  What about protein?
A.  There is some protein in fruits and veggies.  It’s not a concern unless you juice for more than 15 days.

Q.  That’s a lot of vegetables. Weren’t you worried about gas?
A.  Was I worried about gas the day I wrecked the chinese buffet like Godzilla on Tokyo? Yes, but I did it anyway. (And before you complain, I do know that Tokyo’s in Japan not China. But since the food on that buffet wasn’t really Chinese, I don’t really feel a need to try and make a geographically accurate joke.)
     But to answer your question more appropriately… No. I didn’t experience any gas above and beyond what I normally expel. Probably less, actually.

If you're worried about your own gas, ask Santa for some Shreddies!

Q.  Isn’t it expensive?
A.  It can be. Drew and I had been eating a lot of take-out, so it was only slightly more expensive than what we normally spend every week. Drew and I don’t have a lot of other extraneous expenses (ie. fantasy league fees, campers, monthly video game fees, self-indulgent mini-me wallet gobblers), so we decided it was a minor expense to invest in our health.
Plus, all of the pulp went into our neighbors compost pile. There was very little that was wasted. This coming week might be our smallest trash day ever.

Q.  What do you do after the five days?
A.  Whatever you damn well want! The 5-day challenge is really just a chance to cleanse your body and give you a reboot to start over with better habits. Will it work? Doubt it. I’m not sure if I did this for five years that I’d stop craving burgers and beer.
     However, Drew and I do have a plan in place to eat healthier. More veggies, less carbs. I’ll start making spinach and fruit smoothies again in the morning. Salads for lunch. Healthier dinners and less take-out.
     Although it’ll be hard not to want a Cali Chicken Panini from the Downtown Deli. I crave those everyday. As my co-workers at lunch can tell you. By day five, I know they were dying to scream at me, "Oh, just go eat a damn sandwich!"

Q.  Do you regret it?
A.  Not that it’s over! I know for the blog posts things are a little exaggerated (a trait that runs in the family), but it's not overexaggerated. I really did hate it so much. I really did sing to my drinks. During the last lunch, I hummed and rocked in my chair. Bonny had this look of fear that I was going to spew my juice across the table on her.

Not sure if I should call a priest or Domino's.

Q. Then why didn't you just quit?
A. Are you kidding? Writing these blog posts have been so much fun! I like to hear that people enjoyed them. Plus, it's something interesting to talk about. And if nothing else, I’ll have an experience to write about in a book someday. A book that will probably never get published. Maybe I should do a 5-day novel writing challenge! Haha! No.
We were all well aware of how terrible we were going to feel for the first few days. It was explained in great detail how this works. What we didn't get was the burst of energy by day four or the cravings for more vegetables by day five. Why? I think it's because all the goodness was overshadowed by one glaringly huge fact... the juices tasted awful. This was something we were not expecting. It seems like everyone else in the challenge raved about them and we were the only ones that hated it. Or maybe all the haters suffered in silence (for a change).
If the juices had been to our liking, this experience would have been far more enjoyable but not nearly as entertaining.

Q. Did you get anything good out of this?
A. Oh yeah. I do feel a bit lighter. I don't mean skinnier. I mean lighter. Not sluggishly full of junk food. And doing this as a group was definitely way better than going it alone. Being able to bitch, piss, and moan with other people going through the same awful experience is, in some weird way, nice.
My favorite thing was being in the kitchen with Drew. Washing, chopping, and juicing our fruits and veggies together was fun. Mostly. I was pretty miserable one night. But we got our process down to a science. I will actually miss that. Any other time we've tried to work together in the kitchen has been a disaster.
It's also nice to accomplish something I set out to do. Announcing it on the blog helped about a billion percent. We were all bound by the people reading and watching. That put a lot of pressure on us not to quit.

Q.  What’s next?
A. Juice porn.
"Beet me."
From Fifty Shades of Green

I don’t know, actually. Challenging yourself to do something outside of your comfort zone for five days is hard, but it’s not impossible. It’s not even a long time. It just felt like it. I expect to try more 5-day challenges. I don't want to get too boring.

Q.  Ok. We all want to know. How much weight did you lose?
A.  I didn't do the challenge to lose weight. I really didn't. I did it to give myself a kick-start on building better eating habits. Something to help clear out some of the delicious but unhealthy foods I'd eaten all summer long. As a way to--
Four pounds. Ok? It was four pounds. Jeez. It was only 5-days. What were you expecting?

Thank you all for reading and being our fans.
It was perfectly awful and you helped make it fun.

XOX Steph