I’m a sucker for a detox, even though I know that a) they will make me more hangry than the Incredible Hulk, b) the headaches that I get from withdrawing from my conspicuous caffeine consumption never fail to make me question whether I have a brain tumour, and most pertinently, c) THEY ARE UTTER NONSENSE WITH NO SCIENCE OR SENSE BEHIND THEM. Our bodies are jolly good at detoxing themselves. Even if you’ve been on a two weeks processed food + booze binge, in most cases, your body is still going to be able to get itself back to normal in relatively little time, thanks to the biological wonders that are your liver, lymph system, digestive system, and cellular waste disposal system. I know this. So why do I love a little juice cleanse every six months or so?
I think, psychologically, I quite like a bit of carrot and stick. Perhaps it’s the Catholic in me, but sometimes a little bit of deprivation goes a long way. And have you ever tried not eating for a day or two? Your stomach goes so flat it’s practically concave. It’s quite a novelty. I generally follow Slimming World, where you can literally eat and eat and eat if you like- it is the perfect eating plan for a greedy guts like me- but sometimes, just sometimes, I want a break from the food.
After last week’s excesses, and pre LA, I decided to follow the three day version of the five day cleanse I did back in January. However- Day One and it is NOT going well. Whereas before, I’ve always been able to break through the pain barrier, today all was going well until I went for my lunchtime run, where I felt dreadful. Had I not been meeting Helen, I would definitely have turned back- whereas I usually love my fast run up to Regents Park, today it was a massive effort. My legs were heavy, my breathing laboured, my head was pounding (definitely missing my coffee), and I just felt exhausted. I did do my long run yesterday- but eight miles isn’t far enough to make a recovery run this hard, and I’ve run further recently, and recovered better. In fact, the possibility of failing to recover well played on my mind for the first half of the run, as I kept thinking about my four halves in September, and how I would recover in between each 13.1, when today’s 3.5 was so hard.
I do think that today’s bad form was more to do with the juice cleanse than anything else, but I am puzzled by quite how much it knocked me for six, when I can happily go out for a long run or tough circuit session after just a banana and a coffee in the morning. As I said, I am quite carrot and stick though, so I think the prospect of no lunch when I got back to the office was also subconsciously demotivating! I felt so odd that I scrapped the plan anyway, and had some yoghurt, strawberries, and seeds to get my blood sugar back to normal. The siren call of the coffee shop was ignored for another day.
I also had a light, early supper of steamed greens and salmon- not exactly a Burger King, but not exactly sticking to the juice cleanse rules either. But if anyone tells me that I can’t have that, I’m liable to punch them in the face- see, that’s the hangry coming out. I’m going to try and stick to the juices tomorrow, perhaps with the odd bit of fruit and a salad in the evening. We’ll see how that goes!