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Kale Fail

While sitting on my couch eating extra-cheesy macaroni this past weekend, I had never felt more grateful in my entire life. I had just finished a seven day long juice cleanse, and I had been indulging in my favorite foods the entire day. For the past week, my dreams were full of Nutella, Minsky’s pizza, Starburst, and frozen yogurt. After much pain and suffering, I finally got to binge and live all my dreams.

I really love food. I eat when I watch TV. I eat when I am bored. I eat when I read. I eat when I don’t want to do my homework. I eat when I don’t want to clean my room. Sometimes I even eat my feelings. What can I say, I’m, a regular junk food connoisseur. This cleanse was not easy for me to say the least. I started juicing in attempt to kickstart a healthier lifestyle, but I ended up cheating so often that it was pretty much worthless.

My juice cleanse consisted of drinking five to six juices every day, plus an allowance of a handful of raw nuts for protein. All of the juices I made used kale as the base, with apples, oranges, grapefruit and lemon for extra flavor. After completing this cleanse, I never want to eat, see or even smell any of those foods again.

I learned quite a few valuable things after finishing the cleanse, the first being that I have absolutely no self-control, whatsoever. I cheated multiple times, once with P.F. Chang’s for my mom’s birthday dinner, and again with a large cup of White Chocolate Mousse TCBY yogurt with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on top, and lastly with big bag of salty lime covered Chipotle chips.

Another thing I learned is that juicing is extremely time consuming. The juicer has to be cleaned after each use, which takes about 15 minutes alone. There are five main pieces: the base, which contains the motor, the filter, which prevents pulp, the blade, which does the obvious, the lid, which makes sure kale pieces don’t go flying everywhere, and the waste bin, that catches  all the shreds of your cash that’s going to waste because of all the unused produce. The whole process, from washing the produce to cleaning the juicer, takes almost 30 minutes for just one juice. For a busy bee like myself, it’s much more convenient to grab a granola bar and go. I could use the time it takes to make one juice instead to knock out a chemistry assignment. In reality, the cleanse was definitely not worth it.

Let’s not overlook how hangry I was the whole week. ‘Hangry’ is my favorite hybrid word: a combination of hungry and angry. I am inherently hangry all the time, so living off of juice for a whole week put me at an all time hangriness high. I am 99 percent positive that all of my friends hate me now because I was so mean to them all week. Whenever I was mean to them, they would tease me with their food, flaunting their delicious looking burritos and Chick Fil A sandwiches in my face. But, I displayed exceptional restraint and didn’t give in to their tactics.

Also, for the first three days, I was absolutely exhausted. I would come home after school, fall straight asleep and then make sure I got up before 5:30 p.m. to avoid my mom yelling at me when she got home. Then, I would go right back to sleep at 8:00 p.m.

And for those who are wondering, no. I didn’t lose any weight. I might have shed some water weight, but I put it back on within the first day post juice cleanse.

“Like most fad diets,” said Huffington Post reporter Melissa Valliant, “a juice fast is not an effective way to lose weight, and keep it off.”

All cleanses really do is cut out all the fats from your diet, and drastically lower calorie counts. Juice doesn’t provide all of the necessary nutrients for your body to function properly and can cause the body to lose a significant amount of electrolytes. Loss of electrolytes can drain your energy and cause muscle spasms. For example, I had this incessant eye twitch going on. Basically, I was tired and crabby the whole week because I wasn’t getting the nutrients I needed.

Scientifically, cleanses aren’t good for your body. At least not for long periods of time, like a week or so. In the future, I could see myself doing a one or two day cleanse, but never again will I do it for an entire week. I just love food too much, and the binge session I had afterwards probably cancelled out any healthy habits I may have developed.

In the end, I learned which foods are worth indulging in. Potato chips: not worth it. Tortilla chips: totally worth it. You know what else is worth it? Frozen yogurt; White Chocolate Mousse to be specific. Please excuse me while I go have a large cup of it… or maybe I should have a small.

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Anna McClelland

Shawnee Mission East senior Anna McClelland is entering her third year on staff as Art & Design Editor. Informally, she holds the title ‘Chief of Annoying Grace Chisholm.’ She has previously worked as Spread Editor and a staff designer. Beyond The Harbinger, she serves as head Varsity Cheerleading captain and as a Pep Club Executive Officer. Anna also professionally mismatches socks. Read Full »

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