Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Green Smoothie Attempt

So I thought it would be the best idea in the world to do a cleanse with my sister before the wedding. We looked at various cleanses and tried to find the safest most healthy cleanse out there. I had previously read and researched a bit about green smoothies and juicing. I've read about the various health benefits such as cleaning out the digestive system, giving organs a rest and detox from the loads of yucky preservatives and chemicals that are in most of the food we eat. However, since we both tend to workout often, the sister and I thought it would be best to work towards the cleanse slowly including some whole foods instead of just smoothies the whole day.

So, this was the plan:

Meal 1, as soon as we woke up: drink 8 ounces luke warm water with sea salt and lemon.

Meal 2, breakfast: 2 hard-boiled egg whites and dry bread (I used a whole wheat english muffin).

Meal 3, mid-morning: green smoothie (1 whole cucumber, 2 cups spinach, 1 green apple, 4 tbsp lemon juice, 1 1/2 cup green tea)

Meal 4, lunch: 1 piece of fresh fruit (only if hungry)

Meal 5, afternoon snack: fruit smoothie (1/2 cup cantaloupe, 1/4 cup strawberries, 1 cup water, 1 green apple)

Meal 6, dinner: plain baked chicken (3 oz), 1 cup fresh steamed veggies

** drink only water with lemon juice or green tea (with nothing added)

That was the plan. What actually happened? Did meal 1 and 2 correctly but it took me probably 3 hours to stomach the smoothie. By the time I finished I was so full I didn't eat the piece of fruit I packed in my bag (1 orange). Then, I tried to drink the fruit smoothie but after getting some advice that a fruit smoothie would mess with my blood sugar levels, I only drank about 1/4 of my 16 oz bottle. Then didn't eat again until about 8pm which was WAY too long between meals. By that point I was starving but still stuck with the plan. I ate the dry chicken and steamed green beans and carrots. Half way through the chicken I felt full but kept on eating since I figured I'd be starving again very soon.

By the way. It was awful.

Here's why and what I learned from it:
1. I didn't make my green smoothie right. Luckily a girl from work is a pro at green smoothies and informed me that I needed to skin the apple and cucumber--that's why it was exceptionally bitter and not smooth enough to drink easily. She also suggested to use a red apple instead of a green one and to add a banana or 2 to make it smoother and sweeter (again to help the bitterness of the spinach and cucumber). She suggested to add 1 or 2 stalks of celery as well for digestion help. In addition to all that, she told me to blend for several minutes to make sure I get all the chunks out.
2. I should have mixed my fruit and veggies instead of making 1 with veggies and 1 with fruit. The girl at work also informed me that it is important to maintain a balanced blood sugar level to control hunger, headaches, and fatigue. She suggested to add more fruit to my veggie smoothies and mix up the fruit in each one I make to get different flavors and benefits.
3. Smoothies are gross warm. Because it took me forever to drink my chunky bitter green smoothie it quickly became less and less appetizing as it became less and less cold. It's better to drink it quickly than to nurse it over several hours...this seems obvious looking back.
4. Smoothies are FILLING!! One of the other reasons it took me so long to drink my smoothie was because it was so dang filling! I was NOT expecting to feel so full after drinking half of my smoothie. Must be all those delicious nutrients saturating my body!
5. I have a lot of will power. My lovely fiance decided to be super cruel and stop at the food court at the mall we went to and eat 2 of my favorite foods. Sushi. And Auntie Anne's pretzels. In front of me. While I watched and probably drooled all over the table. Cruel. But somehow I was able to resist. Although his natural consequence was my extremely irritable mood.
6. Apparently detoxing your body from toxins and chemicals is taxing on your body. I felt fine all day, besides hungry when the fiance was eating in front of me. However, I woke up about 3am with severe hunger pains, a pretty awful migraine, nausea, and I felt extremely weak. Not fun. I took some medicine and tried to relax but by the morning I still felt bad enough that I needed to call out of work. Do not do this when you're body is already under a great deal of stress, and during a time you cannot afford to miss work or be very tired and weak.

Ultimately, although it really pained me to feel like a quitter. I had to really be rational and realize that my body was telling me something. I needed to eat more food. I only took in about 600 calories total yesterday and that was not enough. It's not healthy. If I was going to really do this I should have been drinking 4-5 smoothies throughout the day to get enough calories and nutrients to sustain myself. I needed to drink them evenly throughout the day without that large time frame where I ate very little food. And I needed to be able to rest instead of engage in stressful activities such as working on wedding things, shopping for several hours, and doing the seating chart with my parents for the wedding (the worst).

I decided to put off my adventures in green juice for another time when my body can handle the natural effects of detoxing in a more healthy way. I hope to try it again soon, learn from my mistakes, and have a much better experience. But for now, I am resting and taking care of me! And still making sure to only put in my body things that will have good nutritional benefits. On my way to clean eating!


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