Concerned about time moving too quickly in these strange, repetitive Covid times? Try not eating for 5 days.
Without the usual anchor points of breakfast, lunch and dinner, and with a tummy constantly whining for food that never comes, seconds ooze out of the day in super slow motion.
This morning, on the final day of my Fuel Station juice cleanse, I went for a jog along the seafront. Energy levels were good. Pace was normal (slow). I played Chariots of Fire and felt proud of myself for sticking with the fast and not giving in to the powerful pull of my emotional eating.
I ended my fast with a small meal in the late afternoon. Unfortunately all I had in the fridge was half an old, rubbery, yellowish cauliflower and some vegetarian sausages. So into my wok they went, sprinkled with smoked paprika, a dash of soy sauce and a spoon of peanut butter, before being delivered into my confused mouth, which had become rather accustomed to gulping my dinner down in liquid form.
Immediately after eating, my stomach blew up like a puffer fish, no doubt unhappy with the age of that cauliflower. I went for a long walk to soothe it, and caught a beautiful sunset over Belle Tout lighthouse.
Did I benefit physically from the juice fast?
My skin is generally pretty good most of the time so I haven’t noticed any changes there. My digestive system behaved itself 100% during the fast (I usually suffer from frequent stomach pain) but that’s no surprise, seeing as it had barely any work to do.
I felt well-nourished and energised thoughout the day. I walked over 10,000 steps every day and did daily yoga, plus one day of high intensity cardio and weight lifting without any issues. My weight loss was fast and significant, but it plateauxed on day 4 with no change this morning (total loss of -3.5kg, or 7.7lbs).
Did I benefit mentally from the juice cleanse?
Yes! Weirdly, I did. I felt light and strangely free not having to cook, eat and wash up every day. My mood was good generally and I had lots of time to read and do all those self care things the Internet talks about.
Yes I missed food, but I really enjoyed the juices and thought positive thoughts about all the nutrients I was getting from the beetroot, kale, cucumber etc..
I don’t feel like I want to ruin all my progress with a big unhealthy feast now that it’s over. I’m already fantasising about the delicious, brightly coloured fruits and vegetables I’m going to buy from Sainsbury’s tomorrow morning.
My plan is to make a big vat of red pepper, tomato, chilli and garlic soup to have for lunches next week, and maybe even chop up a tropical fruit salad for dessert.
My body still looks the same to me, and that’s ok, because it’s mine and it’s alive and in many ways it’s beautiful…but I’m learning to listen to it now. Sometimes when I’ve thought I’ve heard hunger, what I’ve really heard is sadness, or anxiety.
It’s time to self-soothe in new ways now.