How I Discovered I'm Addicted to Food
I tried a juice cleanse for the health benefits, but never dreamed it would teach me about my emotional relationship with food.
By Tara Lamont-Djite
Spaghetti, extra fluffy pancakes with maple syrup, cheeseburgers, gourmet doughnuts, chocolate, red velvet cupcakes. These foods are just a few that I enjoy. Don't get me wrong, I'm not sitting at my desk all day shoving doughnuts in my mouth, but, I have always enjoyed food. In fact, I recently discovered I'm addicted to it. I try very hard to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. I don't drink much, never smoked a ciggarette, buy organic as often as I can, don't drink coffee, and try not to over indulge. But, there's always room for improvement. So when I learned that one of New York's oldest juice bars, Liquiteria, (one of the only juice stores to cold-press their juice), was opening a new store in Chelsea and Union Square in New York, I thought it would be a good time to try a juice cleanse. Now, I'm not a juice cleanse virgin. I've tried two other cleanses, but have never tried a cleanse using cold-pressed juice. The deal with a cold press is this: The machine that extracts the juice from fruits and vegetables does not get hot, which removes nutrients from the produce you're juicing. The result is a juice that contains 100% of nutrients found in the vegetable. One of Liquiteria's all-green juices has the equivalent of five pounds of veggies!
One of the best parts about a Liquiteria cleanse is that you get a coach, someone you can call if you don't like the juice, or feel you want to quit. This was extremely useful for me, as I'm the type that needs constant encouragement. Boot camp style workout classes? I love those. I began with a Level 3 cleanse (not recommended for cleanse beginners), but sadly, I had to call my coach and opt for sweeter tasting juices. Day one is fun. You're excited to begin, and willing to follow it through. Luckily I didn't experience a horrible headache (common for people who drink a lot of caffeine or eat a lot of sugar), but did have to run to the bathroom very half or so, because (fun fact!), if you don't drink the equivalent of your body weight in ounces of water, the cleanse is ineffective. You may not be digesting bad foods, but you need to flush out toxins.
Day two shed some light on my relationship with food. One, I like to chew. I love the the texture of different foods, the process of eating. Also, that headache? It hit me. Day two I had to leave work early. I also discovered that I'm emotional eater. I look forward to planning my lunch, get excited about the prospect of a 3pm tea and piece of dark chocolate. And while I was feeling more alert, needed less sleep and felt significantly less bloated (all common side effects of doing a cleanse), I missed my morning cup of joe.
Day three arrived with excitement and one thought: I get to eat tomorrow!! I couldn't stop thinking about what I was goingto cook. Toast! Eggs! Apple pie! When day four rolled around I took a moment to look back on the cleanse. I did feel rejuvenated, healthier and lighter, and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I didn't see a significant weight loss, but my skin was much clearer, and had a definite glow that I hadn't noticed before. I considered it a well-earned lesson, and a bit of a boot camp for my body.