Musings on juicing from Ibiza in 15 easy lessons.
I’m a girl who loves myself, but lately there has been bit too much of me to love. Having decided that I wish to spend the rest of my life in flip-flops, I relocated from the UK’s dodgy weather to Ibiza. But with paradise all around comes a glut of beautiful, toned, sun-kissed bodies, which caused me to remove the layers of omnipresent British winter-woollies and take a long, hard, cruel look at myself in a full length mirror. Frail human that I am, I flinched at my own British bluish-white dimpled flesh.
In addition to the vanity, I’d recently been having all kinds of gut problems, fibromyalgia pain, fatigue, depression and general lack of oooommmmmph. I decided to re-examine my diet. My body and mind had been in such poor shape that I struggled to continue with even gentle yoga—quite a fall after being a regular and passionate Bikram practitioner for over three years.
I just kept getting injuries that seemed to get worse. It was a blow to my yoga ego and pride. I felt that I needed to ‘reboot,’ get well and strong from the inside out.
I decided to embark on a juice cleanse—my first one ever—after hearing wonderful reports about the results. It’s duration was not fixed in my mind, just a vague notion that I need to partake in nothing but nutritionally dense liquids for at least 10 -14 days, to give my digestive system a rest.
I innocently thought going on a juice fast was just a simple matter of buying a juicer, buying some fruit and veggies and off I go. Well, let me tell you, the reality has been one hell of a steep learning curve. Allow me to share a few bits from my enlightenment.
- After day one, I felt like eating my own flesh. I was headache-y and hungry—apparently a good sign. To cheer myself up, I made myself a ‘Bruschetta Juice’, an appetizing combination of juiced tomatoes, celery, cucumber, lemon, garlic and basil. Sounds yummy; made me want to rush out and devour a pizza. I was told that this should ease off after three or four days.
- By day two, I was too weak to slice my own fresh pineapple; I needed a pineapple roadie to bring it to me and a minion to cut the tough skin off. The resulting juice, though, mixed with kiwi and lime, was probably the most delicious thing I have ever tasted.
- Never, ever take the lid off the juicer when it’s still spinning, not even slightly. You will end up with juice and vegetable matter all over the walls and ceiling. Not recommended.
- Bananas will not juice in a cheap juicer; they just turn to mush. Freezing them first doesn’t seem to work either, they just rasp around in the juicing shoot. Blending bananas as a smoothie negates the basic principle of a juice fast; no fiber is to be consumed. The gut must have a complete break and cleanse.
- There is a big difference between a ‘juice’ and a ‘smoothie.’ I am happy to take advice from more seasoned juicers on the issue of juicing bananas and other softies like avocados.
- When a recipe says ‘one clove of garlic,’ it means ‘one clove of garlic.’ Do not be a smarty pants and think, “Hey, I really like garlic, I will put 6 cloves in.” You will lose all your friends because you will reek for ages after just one sip, and you will throw up. And believe me, throwing up on a juice diet when you haven’t eaten anything solid for days means the dry heaves. Not nice.
- Try not to live with people who eat actual food. You will grow to hate them.
- Do not go for long walks along the seafront where loving couples are gazing into each other’s eyes whilst scarfing pizzas and other delicacies. You will get more depressed than you can imagine.
- Consider it a triumph of willpower when refusing the free peanuts and nibbles at the juice bar. A polite and firm ‘no, thanks’ will suffice. Biting the waitress is not good manners, no matter how hungry and frustrated you are.
- Pizza cannot be juiced.
- Bowel moments cease. On the plus side, you save a fortune on loo roll (Brit speak for toilet paper). This is handy because you are spending a fortune on fruit and vegetables.
- Actually, I did have one bowel movement and it came out exactly like fresh spirulina, I kid you not. I could have sold it to a health food store. Bet you’re glad I shared that with you!
- Considering that you are not doing any actual cooking, you will find yourself doing more washing up than a Le Cordon Bleu chef.
- Beetroot is indelible. If you do not wish to walk around like Lady Macbeth, wear rubber gloves when cleaning out your machine after juicing beetroot. Do not sip beetroot juice whilst sitting on a cream sofa.
- Delightful side effects of the toxins leaving your body manifest themselves in pounding headaches, spots and stys, aching all over and alternating between tearful episodes and temper tantrums. Stay away from other humans. Animals don’t like you much either.
If you survive the first three days, you’ve cracked it. All of the above horribleness ebbs away and you feel wonderful, thinner and more energized. It’s really true! Skip off to a lush juice bar and treat yourself to the most expensive drink on their menu. You’re worth it!
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Assistant Ed: Katharine Spano/Ed: Sara Crolick