Sunday, February 2, 2014

Needing My Summer Cleanse


Back in the summer, I committed to Qi Juices' three-day cleanse. I wrote a diary of those three days back then, and family craziness, summer commitments and other daily details took over and I could not publish it. It has been sitting in my drafts since!

A few days ago, I was talking to a friend about how, since Christmas, I have been eating chocolate on a daily basis and in unbelievably sickening quantities. Nothing can stop me! Not only have I put on all the weight I was so happy I had finally gotten rid off before the holidays but I am feeling miserable all the time. Which is leading to more senseless eating! The same old nasty vicious circle we  know all too well.

And then it happened. Only a few seconds ago. I was eating an entire bag of m&m's while talking on the phone and although I was feeling nauseous and full, I just would not stop. I realized, with every handful I grabbed, I was actually waiting for that damn bag to be empty! I was not about to stop, even if it would make me sick!

And so I did stop. Thankfully, and to keep a shred of dignity, there still are a bunch of m&m's inside that bag, as a reminder that I can stop if I really want to. I am not hopeless and I am not an addict. I can control the food I eat and most importantly, I decide how much I eat of it.

And so I just remembered Qi Juices.

I really wish I could give them a call right now, and set me up for a good, fresh, restart. Cleaning out all the toxins and setting up some healthy habits, like, right now.

But I am in Dubai and I will have to find some alternatives. But in the meantime, and just for this revelation, I felt like I owed them my follow up article. People deserve to know why I miss Qi Juices right now.

So here you have it:

My Cleanse Diary

A few weeks ago, I was invited to meet Leila and Hana, two brilliant entrepreneurs who introduced us to Qi Juices, their brand new venture and one of a kind concept in Lebanon.

Lovely ladies and fun morning aside, I decided to commit to a cleanse before I head back to Dubai. 

But the summer is always packed with events and social commitments that usually involve not so healthy foods and drinks, and which unfortunately cannot be avoided: four weddings in total (no-no, no funeral, thank God), three in July only and just one completed so far! 

Excuses, excuses?

With hubby joining us second week of August, my me-time is looking slim. We have kids activities, a concert and a trip to Turkey lined up  and I must do the cleanse before that or I will have to drop the idea altogether as I am back in Dubai on August 31st.

Excuses, excuses?

Now that I am in Ehden, scheduling three days should not be this difficult but it is! I have so many things to finish around the house: we are moving in an empty apartment, a garden that looks like a construction site and working crews walking in and out from the early morning every day.

Excuses, excuses?

I do not know if all that counts as valid arguments but I do know, anyone can make a case when it comes to "time". So I decided, that is it. I am doing the cleanse now. My parents are in Beirut for a couple of days, so they can bring Qi's goodies with them and I will have to commit to these three days as I have no way of storing the juices for a longer time (no additives, no preservatives). 

And to make things ever more fun or just to save a little bit of my sanity when everyone is eating delicious homemade kebbe and I am sipping my green one, I have decided to write a diary to keep me busy. 

So here you go. 
Let's cleanse together ;)

DAY 1:  Wed Jul 24, 2013

As I have a wedding this Friday, I have decided today would be my first day. That way I can be done before the weekend. Qi were kind enough to press the juices all fresh this morning but still, and even though this day will start in the afternoon, I would rather not postpone and stretch the storage. So I have been fasting, and waiting. My parents are about to leave Beirut now and they should be in Ehden in about two hours, maybe more because traffic could be an issue today. Hopefully, I can start my day at around 4pm. I am not hungry at the moment and I have been drinking some water, which I usually hate and forget. But so far, so good. I guess having work done around the house and construction workers in my garden since 7am is a a good distraction and keeps my mind off hunger. As soon as I receive my goodies, I will snap a photo for your eyes only. 

My parents met with Qi's driver on the way out of Beirut and they now have my very own cooler with them in the car. Things just got serious, people! Traffic has been confirmed and they may take a while to reach Ehden but I think I can still do the 4pm start. Going to drink some water now, as I have not done so in a couple of hours.

Qi mentioned they were all about support and follow up. When we commit to the cleanse, they commit to us. And it has started: I just got a text from Leila confirming everything. Love them!

Hunger is starting to sink in! Waking up early in the morning is not that awesome! Mid-day feels like the end of the day! And yes, that's three exclamation marks in a row but I feel like an exclamation myself. Well, anyway, after all this wait, it would be the silliest thing to ruin everything so here I am, babbling on this diary to avoid temptation. Is it working? Yes in the sense that it is keeping my fingers busy on this keyboard; but it definitely is not a coupe-faim! ;) I think I have another hour to kill and then I can have my first juice. Also, I am waiting for my dad to get here so I can take the car. I have got some errands that should keep me occupied enough. Yes, I am typing my afternoon plans here now. This has officially moved from diary to planner. Anything that will keep me busy. 

Starting to count the minutes now. Ok, just so we are clear and I do not freak you out, this is not how the cleanse will feel (this is probably how all my friends fasting this Ramadan have felt on day 1 and I appreciate their efforts and dedication). This is just me being stubborn and keen on starting the cleanse today, and thus having to fast until the juices are in town. Thank you for understanding ;) Once I have my first juice and quick-start the cleanse, I will let you know what sort of new insanity liquid food does to my brain. Right now, no-food food is not so great.

Just phoned mom and she said they need another 15 minutes to get here. In mommy-language, that probably means about half and hour. Yes, we all are very Lebanese with the clock in the family. Looking at my kids now and all I can see are a roasted chicken and a gigantic Tom-and-Jerry ham. 


First sip NOW! Green has never tasted so good! ;)

So the fact I was not here nagging for almost three hours is a good sign, right? Juice number 2 is also green. I am not a fan of green stuff juiced ;) Well it is not bad but it is not my favorite. I cannot wait to get to the carrot though (tasted it at the press event and loved it). I will not lie, I have a slight headache. Not the unbearable kind, but still. Also, I think I am slowly becoming nasty. I am known to be a "B" when I am hungry and of course, this will undeniably transpire in the next few days. I almost hit my mom in the face just now. No no, do not worry, I stopped myself just in time. I think I need to sleep this cleanse through. 

Headache is getting worse so I just took some paracetamol, hoping it will make things a little easier. Actually I do not think that I am hungry as much as I miss chewing something. I just want to eat because it is more of a habit rather than a need. I will not pretend like I am not hungry but it is certainly not like I am starving and I can definitely do without food right now. But the fact that my intake is only in liquid form, I feel like I "should" be eating something. You cannot imagine how many times I went to the kitchen, with the unconscious intend of grabbing something to eat. As I served the kids their dinner, as I unpacked the groceries, as I opened the fridge to... Well just open the fridge because it is the worst damn habit ever!

I just realized what this is reminding of. Brace yourself because it is not going to be pretty. Holding that bottle and feeling like I must drink it all while not being allowed any food is exactly the same situation as when I had to undergo a colonoscopy following my pregnancy and ended up having to drink two liters of horrible colon "cleaning" formula. Yikes, I know. No, wait, I am not saying the juices taste bad, but this whole situation and its requirements reminded me of that experience. Bad analogy. Ok. Scratch that. I have been up since 7am and it is now 9:30pm and I have not had any food since. My crankiness might be to blame for this entire entry, so forgive me.

Throw-back to my very first Qi encounter :)

DAY 2:  Thu Jul 25, 2013

Surprising turn of events: the kids' entire sleeping schedule is upside down since we came to Ehden, they now nap longer during the day (Mia has not napped since she was 18 months!) which means that for whatever reason, they are waking up at night now, and it did not fail yesterday; we were all up at 3am. Well that is not what is surprising, what was shocking to foodaddict-me was that I was not hungry! I stayed up for over two hours and I did not feel any hunger! And this morning as well. I woke up and was fine. I never have breakfast anyway, but I assumed I would wake up, starving this morning. Well, no. I'm absolutely fine. I will be on the move today, all day. I have to go buy stuff for the house for the electric crew to be able to complete their work so I doubt I will be able to write another entry before 3 or 4pm. I also think this moving around will be helpful in keeping me busy. I will let you know later today ;)

So here I am. Back from my errands. Surprisingly, not hungry at all. Still not liking the green juices that much but I am loving my Carrot Boost so I guess, I will survive!

I just had a couple of cucumbers (allowed as per Qi's cleanse rules) because the headache is starting again and I wanted to fool my system into thinking solid foods are in. Whatever that means. 

I am feeling a little nauseous tonight so I did not feel like I could drink the evening bottles. But I am not certain this has to do with the cleanse itself because today I had to spend my morning and early afternoon in the heat of Zgharta and Tripoli before going back up to Ehden where it was getting chiller. So I might be getting a little sick.

DAY 3:  Fri Jul 26, 2013

Looking back at this diary, I think the whole structure of it projects a clear visual of what the cleanse feels like overall. The first day, I was writing every couple of hours. Then the next day, I only needed a few entries to keep me distracted a little but mostly just to record what was happening. Today, I haven;t felt the need to keep busy. The third day is almost over and I am absolutely fine. No hunger. No freak outs. Just a little worried I might go back to bad habits when this is all over and the rules I put on myself are less rigid. Oh well, we'll see. I managed to "be nice" at the wedding so it is a good sign. Have a great night and tomorrow, I'll wrap up this whole experience.

DAY 4:  Sat Jul 27, 2013 - WRAP UP

I'm so pleased to report that a cleanse does not at all equal to famine! Yes, the first day was difficult but I think it was just because I found it difficult to shake the habit of grabbing a bite. It was not really hunger but the feeling that I "should" be chewing something. This is exactly what I was missing rather than food itself. I was surprisingly full with the juices (and sometimes I did not even finish all the bottle) and I think this sort of break is definitely doable and maybe even a necessity from time to time. I know I eat to pass time (the worst kind of eating) or to feel better (the saddest kind of eating) and I know I could stay all day without having any food at all (had to do it, unintentionally a few times at work). But the difference between fasting completely and drinking healthy juices is that my energy levels were still up. Yes, I did have some headaches, which was to be expected. I had been warned. But still, I was not in a state of horrifying suffering, dying to have a bite of anything! 

Following the cleanse, I think I would feel guilty indulging in crappy foods. My body feels good and healthy (even if it is not in actuality but still, this feeling is amazing). It is also incredibly empowering to know I have the will to go through a cleanse is I ever decide to. 

Now I also know it will be a real challenge not to fall back in old, unhealthy habits. But at least, even if I do, I also do know I have the willpower to end it and make a conscious decision to take a better path. 


FAST FORWARD TO FEBRUARY 2, 2014 (present time)

I miss Qi Juices to say the least.

Reading through that diary just made me realize I could have used them right now. But it also reminded me it was all in me. My willpower. And I can definitely do it again. I certainly do not have the knowledge, patience or time to press my own juices (I can hardly find a moment to shower) but at least, I can make that conscious decision again to cut the crap and grow up! I am in charge of what I eat and I need to remind myself of that. All the time. 

Leila and Hana, if you're reading, this would have been a time when I would have needed your advice and encouragement. I'm sorry for not having written earlier and you definitely deserve all the exposure and support in the world. Thank you for the cleanse. But mostly, thank you for the valuable lessons this experience has told me. As you can see, I am still using them now, maybe more than ever!

Looking forward to more of Qi Juices  when I swing by Lebanon!

If you're interested in how I met Qi, click here ;)

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