This juice fast has brought on some major self-realizations:
- I have bad habits. Before the fast, if you’d asked me how my eating habits were, I’d have said I was doing pretty okay. Not as good as I could have, to be sure, but not terrible. But I realize now that I wasn’t doing that well at all. We’d buy tons of fruit and veggies at Costco, but I’d often just not eat them because they weren’t appetizing to me. I ate lots of carbs (rice, bread, etc.) because they’re filling and tasty. Not to mention the fact that I rarely exercised. The biggest indicator to me of what my eating habits were like pre-fast are the cravings I’m experiencing now: french fries, tacos, burgers, nachos (let’s not forget my “arch-nemesis”, popcorn)…anything cheesy and meaty and salty and bad for me sounds delicious. I wasn’t eating fast food every day, but I had no qualms about “treating” myself to some fries or a candy bar or a fancy, frothy coffee drink several times a week.
- I don’t drink nearly enough water. One important thing to remember when doing a juice fast is that juice, although it may seem like it does, doesn’t replace water intake. A good rule of thumb is to drink one or two big glasses of water along with your juice, or just before or after. And I think I’ve had more glasses of water per day this week than I normally have over the course of a couple of days. I’m a sipper when it comes to water; unless I’m at a restaurant or remember to carry my Nalgene, I usually just take a few sips of water at a time instead of drinking a full glass. After we finish the juice fast, I’m going to continue the rule of having at least one full glass of water with every meal.
- I eat too much sugar. Here, the indicator is how surprised I was to find that fresh fruit juice is incredibly sweet. Part of it, I’m sure, has to do with the flavor comparison between a juice made of, say, kale, celery, cucumber, and other vegetables and a juice made almost entirely of fruit. After church today we had a pineapple, pear, kiwi, orange and ginger juice, and while it was super tasty, it was almost too sweet. I’ve always heard that if you’re craving sweets, have a piece of fruit — but after tasting candy and soda and other processed sweets, can fruit really compare? Well, now it does. One goal of the juice fast is to retrain your tastebuds, and now I know that when I’m craving sweets, I can just reach for some fruit (or make a juice; for some reason, I feel like drinking it in juice form makes it taste sweeter, but that might just be in my head).
Overall, things are still going well. If I don’t have enough juice, I get hungry, and then I crave bad-for-me foods, but as long as I get enough juice and water in my system throughout the day I feel fine. While I must confess that I kind of want to have a burger when this is over (or maybe split one with Jordan =), I’m actually excited about eating healthier foods. I’ve been looking for tasty vegan/vegetarian recipes online (Forks Over Knives has some good ones, and also another food documentary by the same name, if you’re interested), and I’m generally looking forward to eating better, living better, and breaking these bad habits.