Of Cucumbers and Chia

On Monday I started a 3 day cleansing detox diet consisting almost entirely of vegetables and seeds. There’s a little fruit in there, but not much.

In my opinion, eating vegetables and seeds for three days straight counts as a kind of fast. Not a hardcore one, of course, but ‘no meat’ definitely qualifies as a partial fast, and an easy ‘no chocolate’ or ‘no obscure tropical fruits’ kind of partial fast.

And, I suppose, a fast is kind of what I was looking for. I’m a little scared by the idea of not eating at all for several days in a row. I get cranky when my blood sugar drops. Cranky and tired.

But over Christmas I very deliberately laid aside my ideas of what I should be eating and I feasted. To properly balance this requires some kind of a fast.

And that is how I ended up eating almost two cucumbers a day for the past three days. In my opinion, that more cucumber than could be considered reasonable for one person to eat.

I’ve actually enjoyed the ginger tea in the mornings (though I added a bit of honey to make it more palatable), and juice for breakfast is quite tasty and more filling than I would expect liquid to be. I get hungry in a couple of hours, but carrot sticks do okay at filling me up until lunch.

It’s at lunch when the problems start. My body does not want more vegetables at this point. The avocados in the salad are tasty, and the carrot and nori seaweed are entirely tolerable. But bite after bite after bite of cucumber with the above ingredients gets a bit old. I still eat two bowls because I’m hungry.

In the afternoon I get a couple handfuls of sunflower sprouts. I’ve read these are are amazingly good for you with high levels of vitamin E and selenium, and almost 25% protein. Protein is great, but they are still just seeds, and a couple handfuls is about all I want.

So far, I’m still doing okay. I’ve got just a bit of hungry feeling going on in the background for a good part of the day, but not enough to really distract me, and I know there’s plenty of food around if I get desperate… um, if I really want it.

Then we hit suppertime. Vegetable soup. Who ever thought that a soup made out of vegetables and water was a good idea. It’s not that it tastes bad. It’s actually pretty good. It’s just… thin. Two bowls do not fill me up, and I do not want any more, but neither do I want to go to bed hungry.

I think chia seed pudding is the only reason I made through this diet without breaking down into tears. Chia seeds, coconut milk, cinnamon and a touch of honey. Definitely the best thing I’ve eaten on this diet, and it makes me feel like I’ve eaten real food. Especially when I scarfed down three servings of it the first day trying to feel full… (This is okay because chia seeds are great at absorbing toxins from your system, so I’m pretty sure extra isn’t hurting the detox at all.)

This afternoon I mixed things up a little and put some sunflower seed sprouts in the chia pudding, which was also pretty good.

Over all though, my conclusions are thus:

I don’t want to see a cucumber again for at least four months.

I don’t ever, ever want to become a vegetarian or worse, vegan. I would starve while constantly eating.

I would totally eat chia seed pudding again.

I’d rather go back on gaps than do this detox again. At least then I got to eat meat and butter!

I’m glad I did this once, and despite my above comment, I might even repeat it sometime. It was a good ‘fasting while still being functional at normal life’ experience, and despite my complaints, it’s probably good for me to be hungry every once in a while.

I’m planning to finish out my third day with more vegetable soup and chia seed pudding, but I am going to add a little meat to my soup to celebrate making it through the detox, because I don’t think it will impede the cleanse much anyway at this point, and because I really do think my body does better with animal proteins and three days is stretching it a bit far on just vegetables.

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