Sound Bites: Thoughts on Food

By Stephanie Soussloff

Upon arriving home last May after my first semester of college, I was convinced I had destroyed my body.  I had been hearing about this new phenomenon known as “juicing” – when you drink only juice for a given number of days.

One juice cleanse in particular, The Blue Print Cleanse (BPC), caught my eye with its simple slogan: “BPC: Work Hard. Play Hard. Cleanse. Repeat.” The BPC promises to rid your body of built-up toxins, subsequently restoring your energy and all around well-being.

I was itching to get started, eager to feel revived; I ambitiously chose the four-day foundation cleanse, committing to 96 hours of substituting food with six bottles of juice per day, consuming the juice at specific four-hour intervals.

I thought to myself, “I love juice, so how hard could it really be?”

Day one went by fairly easily; I was excited by the novelty of my new elixir. I could not admit to myself that the green juice I was supposed to consume four times a day was unbearably sour and that the watermelon juice was too heavy on the cayenne pepper. I loudly promoted my new way of living. The next morning I sat at my kitchen table staring at the bright green glass in front of me: breakfast. I plugged my nose. Determined to drink it, but wanting to avoid nausea, I reasoned I didn’t have to finish every bottle.

I failed to consider how famished I would become, depriving my body of half of the already quite limited energy it was scheduled to receive.

The one highlight to each day was the final juice, a cashew milk that tasted like the most delicious substance ever concocted. For four painful days I watched the clock, waiting for time to pass. I tried to distract myself with friends, but the sounds coming from my crying stomach were too loud.

On the evening of the third day I sat around my family’s dinner table, scraping any remnants of cashew milk I could salvage from the bottle – any last bit of energy for the hungry, restless night ahead of me.

My family was convinced I was going mad as my extreme hunger brought on uncontrollable fits of laughter.   They told me multiple times to just give up. I’m not sure if it was the smell of the pesto wafting from their plates or my survival instincts taking over, but I gave in.

The Blue Print Cleanse defeated me. I was not the stubborn, determined and completely relentless person I thought myself to be. The next morning I woke up feeling not guilty, but ecstatic at the thought of a solid breakfast. A meal with utensils!  Should I have granola and yogurt? Sliced fruit and eggs? The options were endless. For weeks I rebelled against all things liquid. Even a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice evoked traumatic memories.

I guess you could call this past summer a bit of a juicy journey: a three-month period where I experienced my highest highs and lowest lows with regards to liquids.

While I don’t think I’ll be “cleansing” myself BCP style again any time soon, I can proudly say I’ve developed a new appreciation for the sheer volume of nutrition one can pack into one small glass.

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