For the past 55 hours, I have eaten nothing but fruit. Apples, pears, bananas, mangos, cherries, blueberries, coconut, avocado, peaches and zucchini. Holyyyyy.fruitcup.
Now before you go and freak out on me, let me explain. First of all, I’m already expecting for this post to raise some controversy. Doing any sort of “cleanse” is very controversial and I’m not here to tell you it’s the right thing for you. I’m only here to share with you my personal experience doing a three-day fruit “feast” cleanse (based on this book). The fruit feast is a cleanse traditionally part of Baron Baptiste’s 40 Days Program. Though I’ve completed the program before, I was always too scared to do the fruit feast at the end. It was daunting and scary and above all else, I HATE to be hungry. So, nope…the fruit feast was not for me.
But then when it was offered this time around, I said yes.
Partially because I like weird random challenges, but also because it seemed like a great way to jump-start summer. There was a whole group of us doing it at the studio, too, so I liked the automatic support system. Plus, I figure I could do just about anything for three days. What can I say? I like a challenge.
I told Anna (my instructor) that I would write a detailed post on the yoga blog about my experience going through the cleanse as part of our “Summer of Love” program to benefit the local food bank. Let me just say upfront that I’ve never done anything like this before and it definitely was not to lose any weight. Although detoxes are a great way to just wring out your system once in awhile (or so I’ve heard), many to most are not healthy at all and can do way more harm than good. The whole point wasn’t to cut any calories, either—it was just to replace everything you normally eat with fruit. Lots and lots of fruit.
That being said, I’m (again) not here to tell you to do this. I’m just sharing my experience because it was new and interesting . I went into this “thing” with a very open mind and an already healthy diet and lifestyle. I don’t have any previous eating disorder issues nor was looking to lose any weight at all.
The following is the journal I kept throughout the cleanse. I was going to edit it, but decided to leave it as is. At the end, you’ll find my final thoughts about the cleanse.
Lightly strenuous activity—kayaking for an hour and a half.
1 avocado, mashed
1 small bowl cherries
1 yellow squash
super juicy peach from the farmer’s market
½ avocado mashed with lime juice and chopped yellow tomatoes
½ carton raspberries
1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes
Frozen banana “soft serve” with blueberries
Lots of water and two cups of Rooibos tea
I was shocked at how much fruit I ate in only six hours! I felt like, on day one, I was starving all the time and actually started to get a headache around four o’clock when we were on the lake kayaking. Good thing I brought a pear! I know that I have a very high metabolism as is, but I wasn’t expecting to be this hungry all the time. Since I don’t drink much coffee I think I had that part of the detox easy….and also feel lucky that we have such an amazing farmer’s market here to stock up on fresh fruit. I’m typing this while I sip my tea after dinner and although I have a ton of energy (all that sugar!), I feel a little “empty”. I’m trying to focus on what Anna said about meditating and really trying to be good to my body right now above anything else. I definitely can’t see myself going for a hard long run tomorrow or a power yoga class, but maybe a short hike or more gentle kayaking would be nice. I went to bed early (around 9:15) feeling crappy with a headache.
I honestly want to quit, but have already promised a detailed blog post on the Three Dog Yoga blog about my experience.
What did I get myself into? I need cake.
Two hours of kayaking on the Russian River with Adam in our new kayaks! So fun.
1 carton raspberries
date stuffed with thai young coconut
½ cup thai young coconut meat
1 cup grape tomatoes
½ cup cherries
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 date stuffed with thai young coconut
3 slices watermelon
½ cup thai young coconut meat
Frozen banana soft serve with ½ chopped date
TONS of coconut water
Chinese “detox” tea
Woke up early at 6:30 and felt a little better than I did when I went to bed. Every morning, the first thing I do is make a big bowl of oatmeal so I knew this morning would take some discipline.
At about 9:00 I went to Whole Foods to stock up (again) and found one of my old loves, a thai green coconut. I used to buy them all the time in Florida and make raw ice cream with the flesh and frozen bananas. I got home, cracked it and drank the coconut water fresh and then started to feel really, really great. My energy had returned ten-fold and I felt highly caffeinated even though all I had to drink was a small cup of mint green tea. I really couldn’t believe that for the first time in twenty four hours, I didn’t feel hungry at all. I just felt great. I’m attributing it all to the coconut and also stuffed a large medjool date with some of the flesh—so delicious and cooling.
Now, as I type this its 8:30 almost and I just finished my frozen banana dessert. I have to say, all day long, I’ve felt pretty amazing. I’ve had tons of energy and even managed to kayak for two hours in the sun. Any food cravings I had yesterday (bread!) are now pretty much eliminated and my skin has started to glow a little, as cheesy as that may sound. The only other noticeable difference is that my palms are a little more wrinkled and dry—maybe I need more avocado tomorrow!
I’m so glad now that I didn’t cave last night even though I felt pretty awful. I guess that was just my body’s response to the detox and, really, there was only about four hours of feeling not-so-hot. I think since I already had a very clean diet and lifestyle, my body’s version of “detox” was a little more subdued than someone that is overweight and addicted to caffeine and nicotine, for example.
1 slice watermelon
1 date stuffed with thai young coconut meat
1/4th of a watermelon
1 cup cherry tomatoes
Mint green tea
Chinese “detox” tea
I woke up with boundless energy this morning! I was going to go to an early morning power yoga class but decided to get all my work done so I could go to a later afternoon class instead. Surprisingly, I didn’t wake up hungry at all like usual. It’s interesting that we’ve always brainwashed ourselves to think that if we don’t have any protein we will just keel over and die…but that’s clearly not the case! Obviously I’m not going to make a regular practice of “cleansing” like this (although I might do it again with the studio in the Fall!) but it really has made me aware of my body in whole new ways. For someone that seems to be always hungry, I just figured a cleanse was definitely not for me. But even though I was hungry all day on the first day, the benefits of the second and third day far outweigh the temporary discomfort I felt at that moment. It was like what Anna said about being in side angle pose….if it’s a good hurt, keep going. But if it’s a bad-I’m-about-to-pass-out hurt then stop! Looking back, I never felt truly awful enough to quit the cleanse although I was tempted on the first night just by my own mind and previous food addictions.
Again, I’m truly shocked at how great I feel….especially today. Adam and I were able to realize just how much of our weekend involved around food (not a bad thing since it’s what we love!) and instead of thinking about what restaurant to eat at, we spent our extra time planning a summer garden, kayaking and catching up on work. Coming to the end of the cleanse, I feel more grateful than ever for the food I eat and the hands that prepare it.
As much as I love fruit though, I am anxious for tomorrow morning when I can eat cake for breakfast again. I miss my favorite foods and baking most of all! Overall though, I’m very glad I did this. It was a great unique experience and I can now say I ate fruit for three days straight. Weird cocktail conversation, but true!
*note that I didn’t include dinner or more snacks today because I’m not there yet (duh). Not sure what it will be yet, but it will probably include fruit.