Depending on who you talk to, cleanses are either a cure-all that make you feel all svelte and alive and spiritual, or a ridiculous waste of time and money. People who do them regularly rave about how energetic and radiant they feel (well, after getting through the second-day grumps). And it's quite a fad in places like New York City, where an array of companies are lined up to offer you very expensive juices and supplements designed to cleanse you of unspecificed toxins, give your gut a rest from digesting solids, and other "benefits" which many nutritionists and doctors dismiss as bogus. The main benefit to be derived from detox cleanses or fasts is quick weight loss, and if you use it correctly, it can be a sort of jump start to healthier eating. Or you might just yo-yo, if you're not careful.
I did a sort of cleanse --- though it wasn't called that --- before starting Tony Horton's 10 Minute Trainer. It's a part of the nutrition program that comes with the workouts, and it's called the Two-Day Jumpstart. It's basically a semi-fast; the hardest part is giving up coffee for a couple of days. You have smoothies, green tea, low GI veggie and fruit snacks, and one solid meal a day (a salad with some lean protein, basically). It's super lowcal and you know, for two days, it's completely doable. I did feel better after having done it, but I also think the effects were mainly psychological. Sure, you're going to lose weight doing it because it's so low-cal, and what you're losing is mainly water weight. But it helps you transition.
I'm thinking about doing one again, before I set off for my next big trip. It'd be nice to feel just a little lighter, a litte more "on my way", so to speak. The inspiration this time is Groupon. An offer came for a juice cleanse, and out of curiosity I checked it out. A three-day supply of fresh juices (six 16 ounce bottles a day) costs $140 normally and was on sale for $69.
Hmm. Well, I have a Vitamix, and I know how to use it. I'm willing to bet that I could stock up on two or three days' worth of cucumbers, celery, parsley, spinach, beets, carrots, lemons, ginger, pears, apples, and cashews for a lot less than $140; and since the Vitamix emulsifies, you don't lose the fiber content and other goodies that you do with juicing. I'll probably throw in some protein powder, too; and have at least one salad-and-lean protein meal a day. I'll let you know how it goes.
In other news, it looks like Tulsa (my next long-term stop, to sing Marie in The Most Happy Fella) has great cycling trails and is, in general a bike-friendly city; so since I'm driving, I can take the bike! I don't yet know where I'm staying in relationship to where our rehearsals and performances will be , but hopefully I'll be able to get some good rides in. As much as I hate the stationary bike, I do love to ride when I'm actually going somewhere and seeing things. My goal will be to have lost enough weight that, when I get back in March, I'm in no danger of being over the BMI limit and can have my knee surgery at the surgery center, before my next gig starts in April. With any luck, by then the worker's comp stuff will be ironed out as well; at least, that's what I'm crossing my fingers for. While my knee is finally doing better (after about two and a half months staying off it, plus a painful cortisone shot), I can really tell that it's not right when I (carefully) work out, stand or walk too much, or go up or down stairs. I have plans to continue being active up until the day I die, so this will not do. Especially with hiking in Montana to look forward to.