Fact: The juices were very nourishing and well balanced.
Hello February! I can't believe you are already here! January was such a whirlwind with most of the month packed with friends from far and flying far and celebrating. I spent a little over 2 weeks in the air and in India, visiting five cities in that short span and packing in many more days worth of food in to me, just like I said
For all that love of food, my body, however, just decided to remind me of my age and that I cannot quite keep on packing it in without consequences. For one who is very conscious about her health and eating well, there are times that I find myself embarrassingly parking away my sanity in an obscure place and ignoring with ostrich like stubborn-ness. India is wonderful land for mostly non-GMO, quality food that is entirely free of artificial growth hormones and other ragingly unhealthy things you find rather common in the Western world. Yet, if you eat too much of even the best that the land can offer, you will have indigestion! There I said it. I, a well informed, perfectly aware food lover made a complete fool of myself.
My only redeeming quality is that confession above and a pact to get back on track as much as I could when I got back. I was there for work as well which made things harder. Chefs feel rather forlorn if you send back their plates untouched however good your intentions.
So, anon, I was back, I chose to go on a juice diet
. My rationale had absolutely nothing to do with 'dieting' but more a 'cleansing' and to provide a relief to my overworked digestive system. With that in mind, I constructed recipes that were nutritious, filling and incorporated all the major food groups in natural form.
Originally, as I talked about it over the waning days of my vacation in India, I was confident of a 7-day cleanse. A touch of reality saw me paring that to a 3 day, 3 meal experiment at the end of which, I would reevaluate and perhaps rejig it to 2 juice meals with a solid one mid-day.
I lasted 6 juice meals
. I had a minor break on the 2nd evening and a complete melt by mid-day of the third. And, then I went back to regular programming.
Nonetheless, this experience was a great source of learning about and for myself as well provided me some insight to this whole juice cleanse thing.
Once I tweeked the quantity, my body was fine with the actual amount I was consuming, provided I ate a whole avocado for a mid-afternoon snack. I reasoned that I was eating raw and fresh, so it was ok. Besides, from experience, I know that pureeing avocados with other things, doesn't always work well on flavor or texture but they are a very good source of fat that was otherwise low in content in my juices.
Every juice I made, had a carb element (fruit, oats), protein (vegetable) as well as fat (nuts). They were all vegan and gluten free; in effect nutritious.
My problem with sticking to it was that
I just missed
! The thing is, I really missed chewing my food and relishing the flavors of every bite that I worked on. The juices were tasty and packed with flavor, as I made sure, but they just were no substitute for real, solid food. By the second day, I was looking onto that avocado with such desperation while barely holding on my resolve for a few more hours until I just decided that it was ok to eat a bit of pasta and ragu for dinner. Because,
the prospect of having another liquid meal was simply downright depressing!
So, judge me not people. I like to chew.
Nevertheless, not withstanding the texture of it all, the whole experiment brought to my notice the real elephant in the room -
I am not disdaining juice diets as fads. They probably work as diets. I was expressly trying to NOT lose weight, the concept does not afford that luxury. You
will lose weight
. By the end of day 1, I started feeling some effects of ketosis kicking in my body and then I realized that however full I felt at meal time, I had to fill myself again in another 3 hours. Besides, I probably chose a really bad time to attempt it anyway, given the general jetlag fatigue was not helped by this experiment. And, it is freezing cold (as by photo 1) So, the gist of it was that I was not very happy and I realised there are
better ways for me to get well
. Also, as I learned in the process, the cleanse breaks down even the insoluble fibers, depriving your body of those needed for a well-oiled bowel system.
That brings me to real issue. Of eating well. Of being conscious of what I am putting into it but ever more so of how I feel towards food. My relationship with food is not functional; it is a deep, riveting passion. Going on a
juice diet, for me, was like saying "
Let's have skinny sex
. No can do! I mean, is there even something like that?! I could not disrespect my love like that. I am usually a very healthy eater and I don't have to punish myself for straying once in a while. I just have to get back on track, maybe tweak it to be a bit more healthy to adjust but stay with food as I am meant to be :-)
Having said that, these smoothies are great as alternative breakfast some days because they are quick to whip up. The more savory one are great as first courses or even as shots/shooters for a cocktail party. And, once in while, they are fine as a meal too! But, if you want to do the diet and are ok with having juices all day, then these are great for making sure you are well sustained.
I'll leave you with a couple of articles worth a read -
- This empirical research by twins sheds light on the age old carb versus fat debate.
- If you want to cleanse, I think these recipes are absolutely fantastic, budget friendly and will not leave you feeling sorry for yourself.