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On the Juice: Day 13

Some people start the New Year off with a few poxy resolutions scribbled down somewhere only to be forgotten by February. Me? I'm going on a two-week juice fast.

Day 13: Here's looking at chew
I went to the grocery store today, not only to buy enough juicables to get me through the next couple of days, but with a mind to stock up for my slow but inevitable return to eating. I dallied in the produce department for ages, eventually abandoning my plan for a broader shop altogether. It suddenly occurred to me that I have no idea how to plan a meal.

When you juice, you don't have to think about things like flavor, balance, harmony. You don't have to saute anything or boil or roast it. Whatever you put in your juicer is going to come out the other end tasting vaguely similar to everything else. The idea of making something pleasing to the palate is sort of ridiculous; you drink for nourishment and to cleanse your body. That's it. In these terms the thought of cooking a meal is kind of disturbing.

This is a total about-face for me. At the beginning of the fast I wondered in this space whether I would be able to go two weeks without preparing food. Now, I'm wondering how I'll ever manage it again. Of all the crazy side effects I've suffered through the past 13 days, this is possibly the most bizarre.

Of course, I have a practical concern at the moment about how to shop. I have absolutely no idea how long it will take for me to return to "normal" eating. I'm planning on giving myself a few days to ease back into the swing of chewing and swallowing, but beyond that I don't know what to expect. Right now my appetite is minimal. My tastes are simple. I used to love spicy, rich, salty foods. I think if you stuck a lump of Pepper Jack in front of me right now I'd faint. I don't know if that feeling is going to last. I don't know if I've permanently altered my relationship with taste or if this is just a passing phase. Once again, I'm entering a period of extreme uncertainty. The fasting is almost over; now there's the small matter of the rest of my life to worry about.

As I get ready to break my fast, I realize there are things about this experience I'm going to miss. I'm certainly more in tune with the rhythms of my body now than I have been in quite a while. I like that I can tell the difference between food lust - the arbitrary urge to stuff my face with tempting goodies - and actual hunger. I hope that understanding doesn't fade from memory. I also like knowing exactly how much fuel I need to get me through the day, and how much is too much. These are changes I'd like to make permanent.

Along the same lines, I like the deliberateness of drinking my juice. It's nice in a way to be forced to consume your calories slowly. Like a lot of people, I tend to rush through my food and drink. There never seems to be time to really enjoy it or to properly assess proportion. Now that I know I can have a small amount of food and feel satisfied, I hope I can approach eating the same way I do juice-drinking. I'd like to sip, to nibble, to savor those tastes that I've missed so much. I hope I never lose my appreciation for them. I hope eating never becomes some frenzied thing I do; that it remains a healthful and nourishing and joyful thing. I'm looking forward to going out with friends and spending an hour drinking a pint of beer, just enjoying its texture and flavor again.

Yes, there are a lot of things I'm going to miss. But don't worry - that doesn't mean I'm not ready for this long two weeks to be over. Bring on the solids, I say.

Day 13 Hunger Level: I think my body is starting to feel hungry. It's difficult to determine how much of this is because my brain is telling it that the fast is almost over. Whatever the case, the idea of eating doesn't seem quite as daunting as it did a few days ago.

Day 13 Energy Level: I was pretty wiped out today, but to be fair I've had a brutal work schedule this week. I think I would most likely feel just as depleted if I were eating.

Day 13 Physical Condition: Here's a funny story. Collette, one of my other fast buddies, gave me some Kombucha drinks today. For those who don't know, Kombucha is a Chinese drink made from steeped, fermented mushrooms. It's slightly fizzy (a nice change of pace), and probably 0.005% alcoholic. And boy howdy, after a glass or two, I was feeling pretty well hammered. Any illusions I had that I'd return to my pre-fast lifestyle seamlessly were dashed - I'm now a certified light-weight.

Day 13 Mental State: Apprehensive, eager, confused, a bit nostalgic. Really, no more or less manic than I've been for the lion's share of two weeks now.

Day 13 Juices:
#1: Broccoli, Mango, Spinach, Banana
#2: Beet, Carrot, Celery, Orange
#3: Purchased Synergy Kombucha Drink (full bottle)
#4: Broccoli, Chard, Kiwi, Apple

Total amount: approx. 46 oz.

Previously:
* On The Juice: Day 1. If you can't beet it, juice it.
* On The Juice: Day 2. Fire in the glory hole!
* On The Juice: Day 3. Sipping point.
* On The Juice: Day 4. Brush with destiny.
* On The Juice: Day 5. Food for thought.
* On The Juice: Day 6. Dinner-free dinner party.
* On The Juice: Day 7. The longest chard.
* On The Juice: Day 8. The daily grind.
* On The Juice: Day 9. Driving force.
* On The Juice: Day 10. Sprout to get me.
* On The Juice: Day 11. Bottle rockets.
* On The Juice: Day 12. New World Order.



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Posted on January 13, 2007


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