10-Day Smoothie Cleanse, plus a bag of Whoppers

I decided to do the 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse. It involved blending spinach and kale and fruit. I felt confident I could trick my taste buds into consuming what my dad calls “rabbit food.” I could do this. For 10 days. And eat nothing else. For 10 days. I recruited a friend to do it with me. For 10 days.

3 days, tops.
Day 1: I realize my blender has a “smoothie” button. (Had previously only been acquainted with the “milkshake” button.) I make the first smoothie with a lot of show, fingers running about the recipe with authority. I can feel my cells plump with nutrition. Spinach is consumed. Sugar is not. I walk around with a cocky air all day, one smoothie healthier. Until my head starts pounding at about 4 p.m. This is expected. I settle into being nasty to everyone around me and hold steady.
Day 2: Starving. My body is pulsing from all the green I’ve shoved into it. But I won’t relent. Not on Day 2. That would be an embarrassment for all involved. By 4 p.m., the headache is back and I’m meaner than ever. I decide to bike nearly 2 hours on a glorious fall day. It feels delicious until I bonk in the last half hour. I have to drag my body into the house and apply it to the couch. I sip the last of my smoothie slack-jawed.
Day 3: Get me a grilled chicken breast, someone, now. It’s “allowed” on the smoothie cleanse if, and only if, I can’t stand the starvation. That is correct. I can’t stand the starvation. My arms and legs are weak and lousy after 3 days of nothing but nutrition. I make a mistake then. I do some figuring. The smoothies amount to only 400 calories for the ENTIRE DAY. I am shocked. The only thing harder would be Naked and Afraid.
Day 4: A small Halloween-sized bag of Whoppers is consumed. 100 calories. They are glorious. They taste almost as good as the chicken breast did. I savor each one, allowing the waxy chocolate to disgust and appease me all at once.
Day 5: Wake with a blistering sense of shame. I did not even make it halfway. And worse, I woke up and thought about the Whoppers before I did my own children. I continue making the smoothies, announcing loudly to anyone who will listen that they are, again, only 400 calories for the ENTIRE DAY. My family says nothing. They also do not comment on the tiny Whoppers bags starting to dot the landscape.
Day 6: My partner in crime is holding firm. She has asked me to not send her calorie counts or to talk about Whoppers. I am trying to explain to her that I’m training for a bike race. I will disintegrate into thin air on this diet with one burst of effort on my bike. She asks me how Whoppers fit into my training plan.
Day 6, Evening: In bed, I think about never talking to her again.
Day 7: Go completely off the rails. Discover a smoothie is great with a bowl of ice cream.
Day 8: I weigh in. I have lost 3 lbs. I am overjoyed. I frantically try to regain traction on the smoothie cleanse. If I cleanse the next three days, I can lose 6 lbs. total. (This, the mathematical model for dieters everywhere.) The last of the Whoppers are disposed of through consumption and I vow to buy no more.
Day 9: Only 2 days to go. The smoothie cleanse has been way easier than I thought it would be. I have chicken breast for lunch and dinner. I also resume my relationship with Whoppers in the checkout lane at Tom’s by midday. I was never addicted to them before this but it’s clear now they are tied directly to the effects of spinach.
Day 10: A smoothie in the morning and the 10thday is checked off. I am relieved. I can continue eating my favorites without the guilt.
In the end: My friend, who never wavered, lost 10 lbs. I lost 2 lbs., hard fought after multiple negotiations with the scale, on and off, on and off, one foot raised, looking West.
But: The biggest plus of taking on the 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse is that it’s been three weeks and I’m still drinking green smoothies every day. My cells are, in fact, plumped. I am a robust model of how the greatness of kale can be drowned in the sweet taste of strawberries or peaches.

While I didn’t have the willpower for 10 days, I still recommend the book – 100 smoothie recipes that are easy to follow. Look, it’s turned a girl who eats bags of Halloween candy into a girl who (also) eats bags of spinach and kale. Bags.

And: My children and husband are eating smoothies too! We are cranking through spinach and swiss chard and baby kale like a regular herd of rabbits around here.

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