How do I feel? Exhausted.
I have so many thoughts about this experiment, beginning with the fact that I underestimated how difficult it would be. Having to drink every two to three hours is itself a challenge. The tonics are not bad tasting, but they are not something you want to drink down immediately either. On average, it takes me about 30-45 minutes to finish a whole tonic, which means that it’s only another hour and half or so until I need to drink another one.
As I also mentioned yesterday, the drinks are not exactly filling. Aside from the sixth drink of the day, a Nourish melk made from hemp seeds, which has 260 calories, each of the other tonics range between 90-110, bringing my total caloric intake to under 750 calories. There is something to be said about actually chewing food, so once again I cheated by snacking on grapes and an apple during the day.
Despite having gone to bed at 9 PM the previous evening and sleeping “in” until around 730 AM, I felt exhausted all day. I hit my wall at 3 PM, and I hit it hard. Knowing that I had to teach a spin class at Georgetown University after work, I decided to skip ahead to the caloric melk (meant to be the final tonic of the day) so at least I would have more than 400 calories in my system before teaching at 530 PM. It worked in giving me a boost, and I was able to get through the class, which also including downing my fifth tonic. However, by the time class ended, I got off my bike with a serious headache and feeling both mentally and physically exhausted.
In full disclosure, the cleanse guidelines recommend minimal exercise. While yoga is recommended, I sincerely doubt that hour-long spin classes or other intense workouts are suitable during this type of detox. Therefore, I’ve already failed to adhere to the guidelines by eating real food and performing a sweat-induced workout. Knowing that I had to teach in the evening meant that I decided against an early morning hill workout with my training team. I can only imagine how fatigued my body would feel if it suffered from two intense exercise sessions and such limited caloric intake.
I have not quite decided how I am going to tackle Day Three yet. I have an 8-mile long run scheduled for 7 AM Saturday morning, so I’m worried that I will have no energy to do it if I go all day three on the tonics alone. Currently, my plan is to go through five of the tonics and actually eat something with a fork for dinner, most likely a salad of only fruits and vegetables.
Getting through Day Three will be tricky, but a bigger challenge lies post-cleanse and reintroducing solid foods back into my diet. Gouter recommends a post-cleanse diet of clean foods, like fruits, vegetables and raw nuts, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol. Among the many things these few days have taught me is that I may rely too much on caffeine as a boost in the mornings. Yet at the same time, the experiment has also made me more conscious of what I am putting in my body.
To prepare for the cleanse, I spent Monday and Tuesday of this week following the guidelines for post-cleanse: I ate homemade zucchini bread for breakfast, cauliflower and broccoli with hummus and fruit for lunch, and a salad of arugula, peaches, avocado, cranberries, almonds with pear dressing for dinner. Noticeably absent was an abundance of carbs, which surprisingly, I didn’t miss. As a vegetarian, I tend to rely on carbohydrates perhaps too much (yes, it’s possible) as part of my diet. With the local markets selling such great crops, from tomatoes to berries to basil to zucchini, there is no better excuse for me to back off of the carbs in favor of produce-dominant dishes.
Day Two put me in daze, but there’s only one more to get through. I will complete this challenge, albeit not entirely by the rules, but those tonics will be consumed one way or another. Now it’s only a matter of time between when my mother reads this and when I get a call from her warning me to eat and never do this again.