3 Days of eating only fruit and vegetables, doable I hear you say, and it certainly is doable but it’s also challenging and a great learning experience.
In the week coming up to my cleanse I started stocking up on fruit and veg and made sure that I would have more than enough to keep me ‘full’ for 3 days, no one likes being hungry all the time and that’s not the point of a cleanse.
Day 1: I was working from home so was able to prepare my meals and I felt satisfied despite the lack of protein and simple carbs (although fruits do contain carbs).
I was quite excited by the challenge of preparing an exclusively veggie meal and found inspiration by looking at my colourful table. I was surprised by how delicious my oil free dressing was and made me reconsider the fact that I would never normally have a salad without olive oil. I won’t stop consuming olive oil because I love it and it’s actually a good source of fat but I have now realised that it is not an essential ingredient.
I went to bed feeling a bit lighter than usual and even contemplated doing a 4th day at the end of my cleanse.
Day 2: I woke up hungry, my stomach felt flatter than usual and even after my kale, banana and peach smoothie it didn’t seem to change much. That day I was at work and I felt prepared psychologically, I had carrot sticks and some beetroot for snacking and a BIG salad for lunch. I felt strong until my colleague turned up with a naked burrito, funnily enough I wasn’t fantasising about the chicken or even the rice but about the black beans. I tried to focus on my pretty salad but after chewing for 30mins I still felt empty and I gave my jaw a break while realising I still had more than a whole day to go. One word of advice, avoid eating around others if at all possible.
The afternoon was easier and when I got home I made myself a melon, mint and lemon smoothie which made me think I will be having more fruit smoothies as snacks in the future.
That evening I went to my neighbour’s Birthday dinner, brought my own food and felt a little embarrassed having to explain why I was eating oil free roasted courgettes aubergines onion and tomatoes but once I had, I enjoyed eating around the dinner table with everyone else. I thought I would feel uncomfortable, but I soon realised they were more focused on what was on their plate than what was on mine.
Day 3: I woke up starving so I made myself another power smoothie, with spinach, banana and pear this time (I dreamt about adding a spoonful of peanut butter but resisted the temptation) and I sipped it on my way to yoga. I did a one hour class and was surprised by how much energy I had as I assumed I would feel weak. This made me realise that my body doesn’t need as much animal protein as I always thought.
After class I practiced my handstands and I felt light and agile, I didn’t think 3 days of changing my eating could make such a difference.
I went home and had my 6th avocado in 3 days, followed by a beautiful broccoli, fennel and green bean mega salad. Half way through it I imagined how much better it would be with a bit of olive oil and some cashews but I powered through, knowing I only had half a day left to go (the thought of doing a 4th day now seemed like a hilarious idea).
I snacked on crispy kale that I put under the grill with a bit of salt and tricked myself into thinking they were a bit like corn chips (my weakness) and I dined on more green stuff planning what I would have for breakfast today (smoked mackerel with philadelphia and gherkins on rye bread, FISH, DAIRY & BREAD!!!) I tend to get excited about food but this is a whole new level, I appreciate the taste of everything I put in my mouth and am more conscious of how much I really need.
These 3 days were tough, but having an amazing support group talking about their own experience and sharing recipes made it all a lot easier.
Would I do it again? Yes, probably once I’ve forgotten how hard it was 🙂