I am not going to lie to you, doing a long juice fast or cleanse is not easy. It requires mental and physical preparation, commitment, determination and sheer will-power. You also need to be able to explain your actions to the naysayers!
By now, after doing several juice fasts, I have all this down-pat. But yesterday I struggled.
For me, the hardest part is the smells of family cooking. Not the actual food. I wouldn’t normally eat the pies, pizzas, potatoes or pasta anyway.
No, it’s just the smell.
Before I gave up dairy, my favourite food was cheese. I love/d cheese and never for a second did I believe I could ever go a day without it. It would be my luxury item on Desert Island Discs!*
When I was a student, I was in cheese heaven. The local market would sell huge rounds of Lancashire cheese, both crumbly or creamy, take your pick or have both, why not?! I would buy a wedge to take home but would have consumed it all on the way back. Too irresistible.
When I met my husband, he would only ever eat cheese sliced with fruit cake once a year at Christmas! It’s a Yorkshire thing. Now, he eats it practically every day.
But it’s not the fact of cheese being around, it doesn’t bother me. I really have no desire to eat it.
It’s the smell of cheese melted that is the thing that is causing me the most problems on this juice fast. Melted cheese. It’s there, every day. On pizza, on pasta, on rice, on jacket potato and, his pride and joy, home-made cheese and herb sausages!
Don’t get me wrong, I definitely don’t want to eat the cheese.
There’s just something primal about certain food smells that are tied up with memories. They conjure up the pleasures, the joy, the social rituals, family get-togethers.
The saliva glands start to work overtime and the digestive juices begin to gurgle. Your tummy rumbles. I practically drool, the juices are flowing so freely.
Until you do a juice fast, you aren’t really aware of how much of your day is spent thinking about, preparing, cooking and eating food. My juices are made in the morning, and take very little time to consume, so that leaves a huge chunk of empty hours where you find yourself looking around for something to occupy your thoughts and distract you from the smells while others are cooking and eating.
My husband, though, doesn’t get this.
Every mealtime we have to go through the same ritual when he asks me what he should have for lunch/dinner etc.
Should he have quiche? Pizza? Pasta?
Then, this morning I woke up to the smell of freshly baked bread!
(And don’t get me started on his toasted cinnamon fruit teacakes!)
Oh, the smells, the smells!!
Copyright: Chris McGowan