I’m on the “Juice”
Don’t tell anyone, but I’m currently juicing. And from doing so, my health has improved, my day-to-day job performance has skyrocketed and the energy I feel overall is indescribable. Honestly, at times, I feel superhuman. Captain Ginger! OK, let’s work on a much better name sometime.
It’s not a performance enhancing drug I’m taking to feel like this. No.
It’s an exclusive vegetable/fruit juice diet. Yeah, sounds gross. And boring. And a waste of time. And stupid. And just awful. Yeah, I know.
On Saturday morning, I began a 5-day cleanse: Nothing but the nutrients of fresh fruits and vegetables — via my Breville juicer — 5 times a day. In the past, I completed the P90X diet for 3 months. That wasn’t easy. It broke me down at times, but I pushed though. I dropped weight, got in better shape and felt like the best version of myself.
This, however? A whole different playing field. Apples and oranges, if you will (ha!).
I’m not doing this to lose weight. I’m doing this because my entire motto —eat/drink whatever you want as long as you workout every day — was compromised for 10 days. I embarked on a 10-day road trip north to Chicago/Detroit, eating out every meal and never working out. Not my balance. My zen? Not existent.
So now that I’m back in Florida, I decided to start a cleanse: Rid my body of all the cheeseburgers, pizza, french fries, potato chips and ALCOHOL (yes, lots of alcohol) that I consumed in that 10-day time period. Pushing the “RESET” button felt like an obvious move for me. So that’s what I did.
So, it’s officially been 5 days. I haven’t chewed a piece of food since Friday night. And, I’ve never felt healthier.
For me personally, this lifestyle isn’t sustainable for more than a week or so. How Joe Cross did this for 60 days, I’ll never know. Major props to him for conquering that feat.
But there were things I learned in these 5 days that I couldn’t have predicted. Facts I learned via his documentary, but assumed he was overemphasizing the strength of them. Such as?
You feel full: I drank 5 glasses of juice a day. No solid food. And after day 3? My stomach never rumbled for food. I felt actually satisfied after a glass of juice. Why? Because vegetable juice fills your stomach and cells naturally, providing the nutrients they need to give you energy. When you eat a pound of french fries, you feel full simply because your stomach is just that, FULL. Not full of vital nutrients, full of starch and physical weight. Once you can train your body to feel great (after day 3) with just juice, the possibilities are endless for becoming a healthier, better-looking you.
Your palette is reset: You simply don’t crave salty, fatty foods by the end of this. Once your taste buds have only consumed vegetables and fruits for 5 straight days, you mentally forget what burgers and pizza taste like, and you don’t want them like you normally would. It’s incredibly weird. I woke up today (day 6) and immediately made my morning juice — carrots, celery, apples, ginger — because it makes me feel better in the morning than anything else.
You glow: Maybe it’s a mental thing. But my skin feels, honestly, healthier. When I look in the mirror, there is a glow there. I don’t have the guilt after eating a large sandwich for lunch. You know you’re only putting the world’s best types of food into your body, and there’s nothing you could be doing better for it. That alone makes you shine, as corny as that may sound. But those thoughts exist.
You lose weight: I didn’t do much extensive exercise during the last 5 days. I played basketball on day 1 and tennis on day 5, but other than that, only went for longer walks with Lionel. My total weight loss was 10.1 pounds. I house a lot of water weight in my chin/neck, and once I cleansed, this went away. Everyone gains weight immediately in a specific part of their body. Mine is chin fat. It’s annoying. So this helped against that.
Your brain functions better: While on this 5-day juice cleanse, I made a few videos — story of my life, right? — which meant writing scripts, filming and editing. My job isn’t physically tasking, so individuals who are reading this, want to try it and are skeptical because they move a lot for a living? I can’t weigh in. But mentally, I felt on point. Inspiration came to my mind quicker and writing/editing didn’t require as much stress as it sometimes does. Maybe it was because this was my first time doing a cleanse? Would I feel this way going forward with the cleanse? I don’t know. All I can say is that these last 5 days made me think clearer.
In summary — I’m proud of myself. Starting something and following through to the end is hard for a lot of people. Even me sometimes. But waking up today and knowing I conquered my 5-day goal? I have an extra little pep in my step.
Maybe it’s the juice that’s doing that?
Either way, I suggest trying this program. Click here for the regimen that I followed, with recipes, too.
[THE LITTLE THINGS]: “A bearded companion”
He lies still, eyes slightly open to remind me that his presence is there. His long, fuzzy beard poofs up around his nose as he puts pressure on the pillow.
His long, lean, goat-like legs extend in a gratifying stretch and his tongue curls up as he lets out an exhausting yawn, bringing his paw pads up gently to shield his eyes from the Sunday morning light illuminating from the window where the shades don’t quite do their full job.
It’s 7 a.m. and the alarm is buzzing wildly on the oak dresser across the bedroom. The ceiling fan clinks every few rotations yet keeps the room temperature comfortable from the smoldering Florida heat on just the other side of the wall.
Lionel — my 2-year-old Parson Russell Terrier — slowly makes his way up to all fours. He springs down into the most perfectly-executed downward dog yoga pose for a few seconds, before shaking back and forth violently just as pups do. White and amber dog hairs sail off his neck, where his fur is the thickest.
He gracefully scampers down from the tall bed, presses his nose against the closed bedroom door and sits attentively, glancing over his right shoulder blade to see my progress.
I’m not nearly as chipper as he is, but if I don’t shut off the alarm and get him his breakfast, my head might explode from the irritating Ennnggghhhh that vibrates off the walls.
I slowly pull the covers off, swing my legs to the left, spring up onto my feet, take a few steps and slide the alarm’s switch to OFF. I already feel accomplished. Back to bed, maybe? No way.
Lionel is doing circles, because he knows in just a few seconds, he’ll be devouring his food like there’s no tomorrow: His favorite part of the day. I push the door handle down, immediately exposing a tiny slit of space for him to push his face through to help me open the door.
Like a tiny, bearded kangaroo he hops out of the room, looking back at me every few seconds to make sure we’re on the same page. With Lionel, there’s no such thing as “letting your owner go to the bathroom first.” He doesn’t care how full my bladder might be. No, breakfast is top priority.
I scoop his food into a bowl and set it on the floor. His tail whips through the air like an angry snake, and he crouches down to begin eating. As excited as he is, Lionel always watches me. He follows my every move in between bites, perhaps excited about the next Sunday activity or maybe treating meal time like more of a social experience, which I inadvertently taught him to do.
Without fail, after his food bowl is empty, Lionel does what he always does: Let’s out a medium-sized burp deep from within his stomach. What a lil man. We don’t teach manners around here, so I normally praise him for it.
After a quick bathroom break outside — for Lionel, not me, although yes, I still really have to go — Sunday mornings are dedicated to spending time with each other. I know this sounds weird, but with all the time I spend on my computer, scripting and editing, as well as my phone, I simply treat Sundays differently.
No texting. No checking email. No watching YouTube. No TV. No technology. Nothing.
We play fetch. We wrestle over a thick rope. We go for long walks under the palm trees. We lay by the window in the living room and watch people head to the beach. We make peanut-butter filled ice cubes.
My entire life, I’ve been terrified of the thought of being a father. No part of me could ever comprehend being the caretaker of a young child’s life. Nor did I want that responsibility.
Adopting Lionel altered something. I know dogs and children are completely different, and I’m not saying taking care of a puppy is even remotely on the same level as raising a human baby. So, what I am saying?
Something changed within me.
I developed a priority shift. Looking out for him and doing what’s in his best interest has consumed my brain. I bathe him, clip his nails, brush his teeth and treat every moment I have with this little dude like it’s the last we’ll ever have together. I’m hooked. I love the ease he brings to my mentality. No matter what happens in life, he’ll always be there, the same reliable dog that’s been there for me for the past 2 years.
I cherish the chaos, too. His stubbornness. His refusing to go to the bathroom outside when he knows I have to leave to go somewhere. His every-so-often whining at the door as I’m locking up with him still inside. His barking at landscapers. It’s all part of the gig.
Owning a dog has, in my opinion, made me a better person. A lot of people say you should never have regrets in life … that whatever happens is simply a way to learn for the future.
But I have to be honest. If I could go back, I would do a million things differently in my life. But, adopting Lionel has been the single greatest thing I have ever done in my 26 years on this Earth. Indirectly, he’s taught me how to treat people better and not to sweat the small stuff, a quirk about myself I have no problem admitting.
Enjoy life’s little gems. They’re there. You just have to change the way you look at a situation.
And I’m happy to say a little 30-pound Danish and Swedish farm dog taught me how to do just that.