We’ve been married almost 20 years and have been through many, many trials, but I can easily and honestly say that the past week has been one of the hardest to endure.
Why? Two words: Juice fast.
It was my idea. I’d been reading Rich Roll’s inspiring book Finding Ultra and listening to his super-cool, super-smooth podcasts, so when Shane mentioned he’d like to go on a bit of a health kick before the festive season and shift a few kilos, I was excited.
I enthusiastically related how Rich Roll felt amazing after a seven day juice fast following years of neglecting his health, alcoholism and a self-described cheeseburger addiction. In fact he had so much energy he ran up a mountain after years of not exercising. Doesn’t that sound compelling? Don’t juice fasts sound great? Shall we do one? Wanna? Wanna? Hey? Hey?
Shane and Deb. Image: Supplied
Well. I don’t know what kind of veggies they’re growing in America, but I couldn’t even lift my head to LOOK at a mountain, let alone ascend it. Running? Not. A. Chance.
It started well enough. A trip to the fruit and veg store loading a box of pineapple, bunches of kale and 90, yes 90, apples into my trolley of goodness was fun in a virtuous kind of way. I was happy. I was enthused. I was eager to begin.
Time to be honest here. I expected it to be a walk in the park for me. A lifelong vegetarian and two-year vegan I envisioned glowing with health, energy and good vibes. I thought it would be harder for Shane, a tradie who has sausage rolls and Coke for breakfast.
Not so much.
The first three days were a write-off. Do not plan anything for those days. I didn’t have the headaches other people describe as fortunately I’d given caffeine the flick a few months previously, but I walked around in a haze of dizziness, hunger and misery. The juices were delicious but my body was not happy. I just kept telling myself that by day four I would, apparently, feel better. That’s what the online groups say - by day four my body would have detoxed and I would be bursting with good health and ready to run up a mountain.
Day four I was cranky, day five I was a bitch and day six I was weak and emotional. Did I mention I went out for lunch with friends that day? They had curry (dahl – my favourite) and I had a particularly grassy juice. Bite me, watercress.
Like most of us, Deb is all about carbs over carrots, any day. Image: Supplied.
To add additional pain, I hardly lost any weight. Meanwhile, Shane lost 6kg in six days. I’m not kidding. I started calling him The Biggest Loser and I kind of meant it in a mean way, such was my mood. Oh, did I mention that he was bristling with the rude good health I had envisioned? Yes, not only did he joyfully prep most of the juices by 5pm while I was wiped out for the day, he whistled while he did it. He actually whistled. He bounced out of bed. He played basketball. He had one bad day, but other than that, he was the Rich Roll. Where’s his mountain?
So what have I learned?
It’s not for me. A friend gently suggested that juice fasts are not for everyone and I think she’s right.
I’m writing this on day seven today and sods law I’m off to a cocktail party tonight. Everyone sipping lovely drinks while I have water and herbal juice…
BUT TOMORROW! Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow. I’m craving a baked potato, guacamole, Zambreros, butter beans, tofu and noodles. And y’know what? I don’t care.
All I care about is carbs right now. Lovely, delicious, energy-giving carbs.
I’d take a photo of my juice ('cause it’s social media and I realise photos are important) but I don’t have the energy.
Deborah Williams is a lecturer in public relations and a former journalist.