Day One: A Vegetable Grudge

17 Jan

I am writing on day one of my juice fast. I was glowing about it last week here, but I’m not glowing anymore. I crave bread and butter, salty chips, and mocha ice cream, and I discovered in just 24-hours that I don’t really like vegetables; I love the stuff that you sprinkle on vegetables – plenty of salt! This is how I want to eat vegetables.

Even better is the stuff you can smear on vegetables -butter!

I’m writing on day three of my life without coffee. Pouring a cup was always a worthy excuse to consume sugar and cream. I can’t believe how much my life has changed since last Friday, when I comfortably sat in a friend’s kitchen, mopping up a tomato and feta love story with fluffy pita bread, and digging into a heavenly omelet. It paired perfectly with my piping hot, sweet and creamy coffee.

Why did I give it all up for tepid glasses of beet, kale and spinach  juice? Come to think of it, beet, kale and spinach should never be used as adjectives to describe a beverage! Beet juice is so conniving. It looks so sprightly with its dazzling red color; it begs to be gulped. Do you know what beet juice actually taste like? A mouthful of dirt.

You may be wondering what keeps me from quitting. Well, for one, I’m stubborn and when I decide to do something like this I am compelled to finish. Another reason I keep going is because I’ve joined a Dead Poet’s Society of kindred juicers – women who have vowed to detox like me and keep the health-nut momentum going even after the fast. The foundation for my detox is to strengthen my body, and dilute my nafs (ego), in order to strengthen my resolve to Be a Big Girl. I’m making a lot of du’a (prayers) lately.

Our first meeting, the night before Day One, took place at a local buffet which serves only halal food. I haven’t been to a buffet in ages, but it seemed fitting to swear off naughty food at a naughty place.

Here is a naughty moment courtesy of my friend and mother of four. I told her I was going to post this photo online. She just smiled and said, “Go ahead,” followed by more poses. That is just one of the reasons I love her. No big girl should ever take herself  seriously at a buffet.

Isn’t that the grossest thing you’ve ever seen, and yet, it did not give me half the trauma of raw, liquified kale and beet juice?

This is my new buffet – our local fresh food market. These vegetables look so innocent. They’re not.

I prefer to loiter in the fruit section; and of course, with a juicing fast one is not allowed to consume too many of the naturally sweet fruits. I want a “Vegetables are Bullies” bumper sticker.

I had such romantic visions of purifying my body with clean vegetable juices. After day one, in all honestly, I have a vicious vegetable grudge. My fellow juice-faster and friend coached me to visualize nutrition flooding my cells with each sip, but all that responds is my gag-reflex.

I did not realize how much comfort I derived from food and coffee; indeed, how tethered I remained to meal times and rituals. This is probably one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve ever done. Others who have tried this path and conquered it tell me that everything gets better at some point in the first week. I left a pitiful voicemail on my friend’s phone just to be sure. She called me back and reassured me again, as did my brother-in-law. They say that you will even start to crave vegelicious foods. Crave raw kale? Really?! I’m dubious on the veges.

In regards to coffee, I am a believer. After just 48 hours off the caffeine I felt more calm, and slept more peacefully. I even woke up without the customary fogginess. Regrettably, though, I did suffer considerably during the initial 24-hour haze and even ended up attending a fundraising event wearing my red house shoes. I forgot to change into my black pumps on the way out the door and did not realize the mistake until well after leaving home. I was so delirious I did not go to any length to hide my fashion hiccup.

As for the juicing, here I am, chugging along – literally. I hope to fully recover from my vegetable grudge. At this point, I feel that the only antidote is a warm, buttery croissant.

Much Love,



10 Responses to “Day One: A Vegetable Grudge”

  1. Pam January 17, 2012 at 7:58 am #

    Assalamu alaikum, Hang in there! Insha’Allah it will all be worth it. How many days are you doing?

    • CollardGreenMuslim January 17, 2012 at 8:59 am #

      I am in for 10 days God willing. Then, I hope to overhaul my dietary habits. Thank you for cheering me on. I actually feel a little better today Alhamdulilah.

  2. Hajer January 17, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    You can do it, Danette!! Masha Allah, you and the other juice fasters are becoming my inspiration! Although, I don’t think I am at the place where I can do the full fast, I am starting with baby steps 🙂 (battling the nafs is REALLY difficult!) I’ve started cutting out some of my yummy sugary cold drinks and replacing them with water, for both myself and my kiddos! My son tried putting up a fight, but he finally gave in, alhamdulillah. May Allah make it easier for you and all people that are trying to better themselves for HIS sake!

    • CollardGreenMuslim January 17, 2012 at 9:06 am #

      Poor boy ~ inshaallah he will not miss them too terribly. I know your struggle, a few years ago I stopped buying fruit juice and my kids were freaked out, but now they are habituated to it. Good for you! We will have to get together sometime for a juicing breakfast. Thanks for reminding me to stay motivated.

  3. hilthethrill January 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    I know you are dying, but your blog looks so happy and colorful. I looked at your pics versus my pics in my reader, and mine are black and bleak and wintery. Think of all that happy summer sun that will go in your body. Hang in there, Toughie. I know you will feel great around day 4.

    • CollardGreenMuslim January 17, 2012 at 11:56 pm #

      Thanks for the feel-good vibe! ‘Toughie’ – lol – good one! I am already starting to feel better. Tomorrow I shall think of summer sun all day – thanks!

  4. Nora January 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Salam alaykom, I so know the feeling, having just completed a 7-day juice fast. I felt both fantastic, and at times, truly miserable. Here is my confession, on the 5th day I just went ahead and had a meal. Things went so much better because of that, or in spite of it, or whatever. Truth be told, in the end I felt like if I was gonna fast, I wanted to do it for God alone and earn nearness to Him. On the other hand, the fast did have some positive aspects: realizing that I can do with much, much less than I normally consume, also a small amount of weight loss (6 or 7 pounds off is always welcome), improved skin (got that glow thing going on, and I’m not even pregs), and lots of almost manic energy once the initial shock wore off. I support you Danette and will be interested to read how things turn out for you.

    • CollardGreenMuslim January 17, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

      Manic energy – heck ya! Pass some of that over here. Thanks for your support Nora. I need every bit. I am impressed that you endured. I don’t know how my will power would measure up inside a food-culture like Morocco. As the spring is approaching please pluck some bes-bas (fennel) from the market and eat it for me. Even better, take a picture of it. It just doesn’t taste the same here. That is my favorite vege in Morocco. I’m so glad to hear that your fast had positive, enduring effects. I have to renew my intention ever so often during this process to make it for spiritual growth- to breakdown my nafs and exchange old habits for new, healthy habits- to have the energy I need to be more sincere and mindful in my salat.

  5. Jacqueline January 17, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    Asalaamu Alaikum Danette,

    I am very pleased to hear that you are sticking with this inshaAllah, because, guess what, you got me in on it!!!!!! You are my partner in this and you inspired me to do this alhamdulilah, and even though there are some low moments, overall I am feeling great because I feel that I am purifying myself for the sake of Allah. The vegetables and fruits look delicioussssssssssssss. The other stuff looks dark and dead. I have to admit though it was yummy. All that was missing was some colorful veggies. Like it was said “NUTRITION FLOODING OUR CELLS!!!!!!!!YAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

    • CollardGreenMuslim January 17, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

      I’m so very glad you are in this boat rowing with me Jacqueline!! You grit is rubbing off and your visualizing techniques are finally being put to good use with me. Every time I take a sip of that green juice I feel like I’m becoming anew. I look forward to juicing with you this weekend!!

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