“I’m going to do a juice cleanse,” I declared to my boyfriend while getting ready for work.
“How long?” He asked. After four years with a vegan, he doesn’t blink an eye when I cook up a batch of jelly-like tofu noodles, or if I go on an odd no-bread stretch for a month or two. But then maybe he thought I could use a juice fast. When we first started dating, I was ten pounds lighter and in the best shape of my life. I have a very fond memory of jumping on top of him on the couch and him saying, “well you could stand to gain a few pounds.” But then we quickly discovered our shared love of chocolate, and combine that with work (no more going to the gym between classes!) and the bonding experience of cooking and eating together every night…well, let’s just say that now, my boyfriend doesn’t object to me losing a few pounds.
Weight isn’t the only measure of fitness, and I was definitely starting to feel sluggish and heavy. While I choose healthy foods most of the time, vegan desserts and occasional glass or two of sangria were taking a toll. So I decided to do a three-day juice cleanse to hit the refresh button on my body.
Day 1 Friday
8:50 am I grab a 16 oz all green juice from the organic supermarket next to work. It has spinach, kale, celery, dandelion, cucumbers, parsley, and collards, so it is very bitter and unappetizing, but feels weirdly satisfying and cleansing after last night’s dinner of tofu steak bento box.
10:00 am At work we take turns bringing breakfast on Summer Fridays. Today my work friend Sean brought dozens of fresh bagels from Bagel Smith in Brooklyn, plus assorted cream cheese–including a tofu veggie cream cheese, just for me! Sean is the only one who brings tofu cream cheese for me, every year. It feels like a betrayal of his friendship to not even take a half a sesame bagel, but I bravely resist and make up for it by talking more instead.
1:45 pm On my way home from work, I swing by our favorite neighborhood juice bar and grab a 16 oz cleanser with spinach, cucumber, celery, lemon, and a scoop of hemp protein. The hemp protein gives it a kind of grainy, oatmeal-like nuttiness, and 11g of protein (more than a serving of tofu or beans!) I’m still only mildly hungry, which makes me think that this juicing thing is going pretty well.
2:00 pm I’m so weak that I have a hard time folding laundry. Finally I buckle and grab a medium banana, which I think is an acceptable bending of rules. After that I sweep half-heartedly around the apartment, crawl in bed and fall into a coma for the next 1.5 hours.
5:30 pm Boyfriend is being extremely supportive by not rubbing his eating in my face. He gets ready to go out to dinner with his friend at a Thai restaurant in Union Square, while I mournfully blend a banana, some ice cubes, and almond milk with a scoop of soy protein powder. It’s tasty but not exactly fulfilling after juices for breakfast and lunch.
9:00 pm-11:00 pm I feel unfocused and depressed. So instead of doing work (reading a French manuscript on Montaigne), I go the extreme opposite route and park myself on the couch for a marathon session of Ghost Adventures followed by the Dead Files followed by more Ghost Adventures. I cannot believe my sister wastes her time watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills when she could be watching the Dead Files. Instead of texting her all about it, I cheat by eating a cup of frozen blueberries, turning my hands and mouth completely purple in the process.
CHEATING: Blueberries, a banana
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling