Jewish Journal


November 9, 2011

Day Three of the Cleanse: cheat, quit, or metabolic shock



This is the stupidest thing I have ever done in my entire life. 

At about 6pm tonight, the third day of my stupid ayurvedic cleanse for my yoga teacher training, I started to feel really ill.  I hadn’t been feeling well all day, and it had progressively gotten worse and worse, till I really felt debilitated.  I had a pounding headache, my stomach was painfully aching, I was freezing but sweating, my hands were clammy, and I pretty much wanted to die.  Then my heart started racing and I really thought I was going to faint.  I knew I had to do something but I also couldn’t think clearly enough to figure it out.  I was just lying in my bed cursing yoga. 

My yoga teacher who had designed the cleanse had said that if we felt like we were really going to pass out, we should eat an avocado and then we could continue on the program.  I finally gave in.  It took me five minutes to peel the thing, I was so weak.

I know part of this is my own fault.  We were supposed to drink three veggie juices today for our meals and they were just so gross I couldn’t get anything down so I just drank water.  Plus, the last two days, we were supposed to be having these Ultimate Meal smoothies.  But it is no joke, the absolute worst thing I have ever tasted.  I really tried and tried that first day to get it down but I couldn’t.  I even cut the amount of ultimate meal in half that I put in my blender and it was still too repulsive to swallow.  But that smoothie has all the calories and protein we’re supposed to need, so I knew I wasn’t getting enough of what I was supposed to. 

The first bite of the avocado was amazing – I never realized how complex the flavors are.  But after I swallowed it, I became more nauseated.  I ate the whole thing.  Then I threw it up.  Yeah, that’s when I started to wonder if I was going to die for real and was seriously considering calling the hospital.  Luckily, I’ve had the same family doctor for years so I got through to him.  He said it might be severe dehydration (even though I told him I was drinking lots of water) or I might be on the verge of metabolic shock.  HOORAY FOR CLEANSES!  Apparently drastically cutting your calorie intake from like 2000 calories to 10 for three days can do that to you.  He said to try eating something a little lighter like soup and if I still felt the same, I should go to the hospital.

I called my boyfriend who was on his way home from work and he offered to come by with miso soup and OJ.  He said the traffic was bad and it might take an hour.  I was just relieved that if I did pass out, someone would realize it quickly and get me to the hospital.  I feel like I closed my eyes for a minute and he was there but it must have been 45 minutes and he came in bearing liquid food for me.  Eating still seemed repulsive to me so I just had a few sips of soup.  Mr. DB stayed in bed with me, coaxing me to eat more and rubbing my back.  About fifteen minutes after my first bite, I realized I was feeling better enough to probably not need to go to the hospital.  About an hour later and I had kept a few sips of OJ down and a few ounces of soup.  He had been doing the cleanse with me and felt ok but had said he would end it after Wed night because it was starting to affect his performance at work.  So he ate his own miso soup as my face started to slowly change back from greenish to just pale.

I still feel pretty miserable but a thousand times better than a few hours ago.  So now that I’ve essentially “cheated” on this cleanse because I thought I might die, I have to decide what to do for the last two days.  Should I give up completely and have cereal in the morning or do some modified version where I have like a sweet tasting fruit smoothie and veggie soup and stick to liquids?

I’m just so mad at myself for even trying this.  It wasted so much of my time and money and it didn’t do anything but put me in incredible pain.  Plus, my doctor added that there is no proven medical benefit to these cleanses or fasts and that a sensible diet is the healthiest thing for everyone.

I can’t believe I bought into this BS.  I thought I was going to feel guilty if I cheated and went back to my yoga teacher training this weekend and admitted that I didn’t finish.  Now, I just feel annoyed that I even tried.  I guess getting off of coffee and diet coke was good for a few days but it doesn’t really seem worth all this.  I can’t wait to give those self-righteous cleanse-aholics a piece of my mind this weekend.  Although my mouth is probably going to need a good cleanse after that…

Tamara Shayne Kagel is a writer living in Santa Monica, CA. To find out more about her, visit www.tamarashaynekagel.com and follow her on twitter @tamaraskagel. © Copyright 2011.

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