February 2023

Abstaining for 21 Days: Detox Diet Diary Day 10

It’s 8:55 p.m. Give you an inkling what my day’s been like? I’ve tried, whenever possible, to write this food journal in real time, as events unfolded or immediately following. Today, whenever possible wasn’t possible. Here’s how it all began . . .

In a Galaxy Far Far Away, a Detox Diet Battles the Blackberry
Once upon a time, there was a big girl who worked too late every night, woke up very early each morning, and never ever ever got enough sleep. Now, this girl used her Blackberry as her alarm clock. And every morning, it went off at 5:45 a.m. She set it for 5:45 a.m. because she liked to hit the snooze button once or twice. This allowed her to wake up slowly before actually dragging her sorry—and until her detox diet is over, way too large—ass out of bed. One morning, this big girl heard her little girl shout, “MMMOOOOMMMM!!!” She jumped out of bed, as anyone with 14 years in emergency-Mommy-preparedness is trained to do, ready to fix whatever disaster had befallen the little girl.

Her mommy radar on high alert, she quickly processes the following: her room is brighter than normal, on school days she always wakes her daughter from a deep sleep after showering and dressing herself, and she doesn’t remember her alarm going off. Watch check—she would have liked to look up and clearly see the time on her cable box, but Verizon doesn’t have those in stock! Apparently a clock is a dream your heart makes. 7:55 a.m. Excuse me??? Little girl is supposed to be at school—now. How is this happening? Process . . . process . . . process . . . The poor big girl’s brain is uncaffeinated, so her thought process won’t sharpen until coffee is administered. UUUGGGHHH!!! She realizes either her alarm didn’t go off, or more likely, she hit “off” instead of snooze. Careless mistake! The big girl doesn’t have the time, or patience, for that sort of thing.

So, the big girl and the little girl throw on their clothes, grab school books and laptops and winter coats, kiss Sadie goodbye, and fly out the door to grab a cab to school. The big girl alerted school of the delay, promised the little girl she would take the blame, emailed her breakfast meeting she would be a bit late—it already being 8:23 and the meeting at 8:15—and strategically applied makeup at red lights and traffic slowdowns. Huffing and puffing, she arrived at her breakfast meeting and all was well. She did declined anything but coffee, since her beautiful Fairy Foodmother Yvette had delivered detox diet meals each day using healthy recipes to make freshly prepared food. And that is a happily-ever-after ending everyone can share.

Use the Force and the Detox Cleanse Meal Plan!
So, twisted fairytale over, breakfast meeting over, quick trip to the dermatologist—10:15 appointment, 9:00 a.m. juice still waiting—then land in the office. Katrina’s still feels sick—I worry—hunt down pics of pigs. Dania says they’re yucky-looking. I want to say, You’re yucky-looking, but a) I’d be lying—she’s gorgeous; b) I’m not in kindergarten; and c) I can forgive her for anything, including insulting my poor piggies. Just don’t show this to Pebbles and Bam Bam.

Editorial flow humming along, meeting with Melissa, story review with Daniela, edit Lindsay H’s story that she filed at midnight—very grateful, plus it’s great, so doubly excited. Older child calls and says, “What do you want? Stop bothering me.” OK, snarky is definitely inherited. Yesterday, younger child admired my leather gloves with fur trim at the cuffs. Would you like to borrow them? Yes, where’d you get them? Someone gave them to me for my 40th birthday. Oh, you mean they’re vintage. She didn’t really just say that with a straight face, did she? Wow. It was only after I raised an eyebrow—yes, I can raise just 1—that she smirked. Cheeky!

2:26 Yummy lunch—red lentil hummus in cabbage leaf. Takes about 30 seconds to eat, and that’s with making a concerted effort to savor it slowly! Everyone else had the roast chicken lunch special from the cheap and yummy place—I’m terrible with names—and I’m at peace with it. I’m not really hungry on this diet plan. Being able to reach for something 6 times a day is quite the diet meal plan. You don’t have much time in between to be naughty or even think about it. Practically before you finish 1 meal you’re on to the next.

Discuss story/video game plan with Lindsay. I swear, she pulls in more top names than someone with twice her on-paper experience. And her stories are better than theirs! Meet with Daniela, then dash home to make dinner for hungry older child. Wish Melissa good luck with her broadcast on my way out, but she won’t need it!

Phenomenal Food = Delicious Dieting
6:ish and I’m only an hour-ish late for lemonade. Not bad. Dinner for older child. Dinner for Sadie. Johanna calls, confused by my morning text about running late to drop off at school. Explain. Briefly. Must work work work. Mother calls, reminding me to call my brother to wish him happy birthday. His birthday’s tomorrow, I say, not having needed any birthday reminder. Mom: But he’s leaving for the week on an early flight. And??? I don’t get it. My brother hasn’t been without cell phone service since my brilliant sister-in-law decided they should honeymoon in Bora Bora—no cell phone service there.

Got sucked into the laptop, and yes, it’s 9:23 and I’m starting dinner now. It’s phenomenal. (What? You were expecting delicious?) Curry vegetable croquette and chopped greens. If there were anything in the bowl to lick, I would. Meanwhile, Sadie’s wound up like the Energizer Bunny, homework homework homework, and by the time I look up, need to get older child to go to sleep, emails, emails, emails . . . they’re like those little furry creatures from Star Trek. Get rid of 1 and a dozen more flood in to take its place. Sounds like what happens after most diets, doesn’t it? Get rid of 1 pound, and at a certain point, many come back to take its place. So, halfway through this cleanse I’m starting to think about life on the outside. Maybe Yvette wants to be a parole officer!—Nancy Rotenier

Related Links
Did You Miss the Beginning? Detox Diet Food Diary Day 0
How Did the First Day on the Diet Cleanse Go? Day 1
Does Day 2 of My Detox Diet Live Up to Yvette’s Dire Prediction?
Disaster Strikes—But It’s Not What You Think: Detox Diet Diary Day 3
Crying, Coffee & Customer Service: Detox Diet Food Diary Day 4
One Week Down: Detox Diet Food Diary Days 5, 6 & 7
Anger Management & Rapper D: Detox Diet Food Diary Day 8
Down on the Farm with Detox Diet Food Diary Day 9

Abstaining for 21 Days: Detox Diet Food Diary Day 8

food-cleanse-blog-day8Anger Management (Not!) and the Detox Diet
OK, so remember how I mentioned that the best thing to distract you from hunger while dieting is to be insanely busy? I just discovered another distraction—white hot rage! Oh, that’s right. My charming little tech friends at Verizon seem unable to provide me with reliable service. Tonight? No WiFi. Even with my laptop next to the router. I GIVE UP! I’m so out-of-my-mind aggravated and upset that despite it being 10:12 p.m., I haven’t had my dinner—scheduled for 7:00. But I think we’ve pretty well established that I work on a sliding scale with the appointed times of my Joulebody detox diet meals. Tonight, you can marry insanely busy with furious.

A Healthy Start to My Day and My Diet
The day had started with the usual dose of workday calm before the chaos. In the office having finished my coffee—yes, still drinking—I had my morning juice, which tasted somewhat peppery. Purely observational, not unpleasant. Doled out help, advice, snarky comments to amazing 12-year-olds that I work with—they’re all under 26, I’m decidedly not—as Katrina filed “Oscar jewelry for less,” Lindsay and Daniela knocked out PageDaily Awards for the best drugstore makeup products and a related piece on makeup bags, Lindsay Hahn was working on a broadcast segment with Melissa based on our “gifts that give back” article, and Dania was photoshopping collages for all that had everyone ooh’ing and ah’ing. It was a good morning.

Call with another of my favorite people, Claudia—she’ll whip me into SEO shape yet! She’s very tolerant.  Then, calls and calls and calls. Why does my phone ring more when I’m on deadline and don’t have time to breathe, much less chat?! At this point, it’s fair to say I never have time to chat. Luckily, friends are tolerant too—plus, they like my baking. I look up at 2:26 p.m. Huh. Apparently, 2:26 is the new 12:00—lunchtime! Yummy soup with shiitake mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, beans, and more. Staff meeting about production, meeting with Andy—the Lone Wolf—and Lindsay H. re: video slate/production, meeting with Melissa to review. Answer questions, calm anxieties, toss out story ideas, stifle own inner panic—need more hours in a day to even come close to finishing ANYTHING! But the only “free” time left is 2:00–6:00 a.m., and at the moment, that’s reserved for sleeping. But who knows? I did mention something about being flexible a few days ago.

Can You Spell . . . Floundering?
So, it’s 6:something, why is the office buzzing like it’s mid-morning? Dania’s gone goofy. It’s not her usual mimicking of other people’s speech. Instead, she’s cracking everyone up singing some rap twist on a song I am too sleep-deprived to remember, but there was a lot about chains and cold and who knows what. Gotta love a gorgeous girl with no self-consciousness about being silly. I work with the best people! (Fair warning about Dania: Do not go on seemingly innocent field trips to nearby pet stores with her in tow. She’s an enabler!!! I leave the office once in 2 years—ONCE!!!—and I end up with you-know-who. If for that and nothing more, I’ll love her forever. J)

Leave the office, and once home, I realize I’ve missed my appointment with the green juice and I’m close to 2 hours late on lemonade. You can guess which one I ditched. Laptop booted up, puppy and kids fed, study more vocab—clemency, floundering—pack up for school, PJs, read, brush, wash up. Bedtime, ding ding ding! Lights out, the list of to-do’s facing me is like looking at the face of Everest. But I can’t stay back at base camp. Forging ahead, I’m about to start editing when . . . and yes, the Jaws theme song should be playing in the background as you read this . . .

Detox Diet Déjà Vu, All Over Again
Ironic that we’re back where we started—10:12 p.m. Because I’m back where I started with Fios—no WiFi.

Interrupt my leisurely—yeah, right—evening to shoot off a choice email to the previously discussed Paul Sullivan, he of the prerecorded customer service phone call at the height of my Fios crisis. Then, long call with Tara, which lasts until just before 1:00 a.m., during which time—shhhhhhhh, Yvette’s sleeping, no need for her to know, we’ll just keep it between us—I have my dinner. Hello!!! It’s a work of art—sliced yams, chick peas, and round carrot slices arrayed on top like a flower. It may be a small portion, it may not be chocolate, but it still put a big smile on my face.—Nancy Rotenier

Related Links

Did You Miss the Beginning? Detox Diet Food Diary Day 0
How Did the First Day on the Diet Cleanse Go? Day 1
Does Day 2 of My Detox Diet Live Up to Yvette’s Dire Prediction?
Disaster Strikes—But It’s Not What You Think: Detox Diet Diary Day 3
• Crying, Coffee & Customer Service: Detox Diet Food Diary Day 4
• One Week Down: Detox Diet Food Diary Days 5, 6 & 7

Abstaining for 21 Days: A Detox Diet Food Diary Days 5, 6, & 7

Phoebe-250The Last Day of Diet Meal Delivery for the Week: Day 5
11:09 a.m. I’m at work. Katrina walks in from a fashion preview—how does she always manage to look feminine, exotic, and funky???—takes one look at my 9:00 a.m. juice bottle, dregs at the bottom, streaks of juice still clinging to the inside, and says: “This looks like barbeque sauce.” What does she know?! Uh oh, I’m starting to sound like a convert. It’s all rush, no play this morning. Racing home to take a conference call from there mid-afternoon. About to pack up, Melissa offers a ride—she’s headed my way for a lunch date. Grab very-sick-and-should-have-stayed-home-from-work Daniela and make her leave with me to go get into bed. She lives 2 blocks from me, so Melissa takes us both.

Midday Treats Not on My Healthy Eating Plan—Diet Coke & a Kiss from Phoebe
12:something or other. Stop off at parents (they live in my building) to steal a kiss from 1-year-old niece, Phoebe, who’s over for the afternoon. Kiss turns into coming to Aunt Nancy’s to see the puppy, Sadie. Mindy (my sister-in-law, Phoebe’s mother) calls them soul mates. They are ridiculously cute together. While wrangling puppy and baby, booting up laptop, answering call from the office, and nuking lunch—can’t wait, squash soup! I eat that in real life! Again, the look from my mother. Ignore. Final stories, hunt down phone code for conference call, respond to emails, grab soup and Diet Coke. So far, I have not relinquished my profound desire for coffee or Diet Coke. I am, however, only having 1 can a day. There’s so much drinking on the Joulebody diet cleanse—juices and soups. I mean, how much can 1 person drink? So, 2 cans per day (ok, sometimes 3) is definitely down to 1.

Detox Diet Food Journal Confession
4:47 confession: I am obviously schedule-impaired. I ate my 12:00 soup while on my 2:00 conference call, child arrives from school—she of the Fios/America’s Next Top Model meltdown. Must say her aversion to learning the new TV system is quite the boon—already a big reader, she’s read and then read more in the time she might have watched TV. Pack kids for weekend with ex, start 3:00 p.m. juice at 3:00 p.m. in some time zone, unfortunately just not the one I live in.

Kids both with ex, Sadie and I settle in for a night of fetch with her favorite little red ball, while I’m stationed in front of my laptop, writing this, editing, answer worried call from Howard—apparently Jamie has been calling and texting all week and I’ve been M.I.A. Obviously you haven’t been reading my blog, I respond, or you would know my radio silence was caused by my Fios disaster. Sorry sorry sorry. Feel terrible she worried, terrible I didn’t get back to her . . . sigh. I can’t keep up with my life. I spend my days apologizing.

Dinner was at 10:00 p.m. I know, I know. There is no 10:00 p.m. meal. I’ve learned to be flexible, this detox diet is going to have roll with me on that one, I guess. Skip the brownie—I’m actually too full, and stick with my cleansing tea instead. My treat will come in handy over the weekend, when I fly solo—no cleansing juices or diet meals from Joulebody. Wonder if Yvette has a support hotline—I’m starting to feel panicky. Bed sounds like a solution—and it’s 2:06 a.m. So it’s hardly a stretch to say I should call it a day.

Going Cold Turkey on the Delivered Detox Diet Meals—Days 6 & 7
Saturday and Sunday are a blur of work, phone calls, manicure with my mom, and a hot date with my best boyfriend Johanna and her husband Scott, who usually introduces me as his second wife. Poor guy is such a good sport—2 wives obsessed with shoes and chocolate. It’s not easy being him. I actually left the house on a Saturday night (or any night, since I work until 2:00 a.m., 7 days a week, writing and editing). We were seeing True Grit—Coen brothers plus Jeff Bridges? I’m in.

When Changing Eating Habits Means Eating the Same Thing
Ate identically both days—for me, diet meals are goal-oriented, not gourmet experiences. Function trumps form every time. So, for breakfast both days, I had a bowl of my kids’ organic whole-grain honey-nut cereal with skim milk—had to skip the nonfat yogurt that goes with. I don’t do yogurt, or pudding, custard, mousse, etc. Nothing creamy, gooey, or foamy. It’s a texture thing. And thus far, my desire—NEED—for coffee has not left me. Yvette, Joulebody’s founder and all-around superwoman, said to just go with it. Have it if I wanted, but at some point she expected I wouldn’t. Still waiting . . .

My Daily Meal Plan Doubles to Cover Two
On the way back from the manicure on Saturday, stopped at Columbus Deli—my alternate meal source!—and got a raw-vegetable salad with sunflower seeds and raisins, per the detox diet meal suggestion. Chopped, no dressing, and I’m out the door for $6.75. Given the portions Yvette had been doling out all week, I knew I could split the salad and have lunch for both days. Even cheaper. The salad? Delish . . . for a salad. If left to my own devices, I’d rather eat a cheeseburger and fries.

Date Night Delays My Diet Meal
Edited stories all afternoon, snacked on the most delicious orange cherry tomatoes I’d bought at Fairway, had some detox tea, and then hopped in the shower before heading out to the movies. UGH!!! I forgot about dinner and I’m going to be late. Oh well. Dinner sacrificed temporarily in the name of “date” night. I’ll deal with dinner after the movie.

Movie over, typical wonderful Coen brothers out-there, eccentric vision. Love. Home, got sucked into the black hole that is my laptop. Started editing and by the time I looked up, it was too late to think about, deal with, or otherwise entertain the notion of dinner. Bed.

Sunday Is Day 7 of My Weekly Meal Plan Detox Diet
Sunday was more of the same—cereal, working, blah blah blah . . . Sadie drove me to distraction barking at my bedroom door a good part of the day. Huh??? I opened the door several times so she could confirm there were, in fact, no dangerous intruders, vermin, or otherwise unwelcome visitors to the apartment. Didn’t help. The other half of yesterday is a blur of articles, emails, phone calls, and the Oscars playing in the background, although I must confess, I didn’t look up too often from the articles I was working on, and the volume was so low it might as well have been on mute. Honestly, I’m not all that interested in hearing a bunch of people I don’t know thank a lot of other people I don’t know. I just want to see the pretty clothes.

Delivered Detox Diet Meals: Ready for Week 2 of My Food Diary
The nice delivery man had stopped by earlier in the evening with my Joulebody diet meals for the week. My fridge and freezer nicely stocked with my detox cleanse needs, I was at peace. Unsweetened sweet dreams awaited, knowing that in the morning, I could just pop the top on breakfast and hit my day running.—Nancy Rotenier

Related Links
Did You Miss the Beginning? Detox Diet Food Diary Day 0
How Did the First Day on the Diet Cleanse Go? Day 1
Does Day 2 of My Detox Diet Live Up to Yvette’s Dire Prediction?
Disaster Strikes—But It’s Not What You Think: Detox Diet Diary Day 3
• Crying, Coffee & Customer Service: Detox Diet Food Diary Day 4

Abstaining for 21 Days: My Detox Diet Food Diary Day 3


The Oscars: Putting a Serious Cramp in My Cleansing Style
10:something a.m. And you can already tell what kind of day it’s going to be, if I’m getting to the 9:00 a.m. juice this late. And you would be right. It had already been a crazy morning, and we were barely getting started! One child dropped off at school, the other’s homework dropped at same—he emailed from my ex’s, no explanation, no thank you. Just attachments. Apparently my telepathic mommy powers would guide me. So, that done, plus 10-minute chat with friends in the school cafeteria. Heidi: “I’ve been reading your blog on the site. Are you really doing that?” I told you I was trying to fly under the radar on this one! Then, Johanna (best-“boyfriend” ever!): “I got you a present.” Only Johanna could find me a Jane Austen finger puppet while on her they-ski-but-me-never-again family weekend at Jiminy Peak.

Cabbed home with Heidi, fell a little in love with the driver who called me princess and laughed when I asked if he’d please tell my kids! Always puts a smile on my day when someone shares a little nice. Walked in the door of my apartment, and unfortunately, the day didn’t end there. Saw child’s school-play script on the kitchen table, a slight problem given the once-a-week rehearsal is today. Call school—please lend her a script so I don’t have to send my overworked, underpaid staff (my parents!) to school with it. They would be otherwise occupied manning my apartment while I went to the office.

Food Cleanse Is a Breeze Compared to Fios—Nightmare!
Fios is coming. Fios is coming. The electrician installed the outlet they were supposed to install last week because Verizon was coming today and needed the outlet. NOT a fan of last minute. I’m more the “what are you doing for lunch 12 years from Tuesday” type. While all subcontractor hell breaks loose, I’m on the phone with our staff, tracking down Oscar gowns for a guest editor, finaling copy, trying to keep up with emails—and getting to juice 1. Got it! Call Dania—what picture should we put in the cleanse blog today? Idea, idea, idea—go! I take a few so-so pics on the Blackberry and email them to her. They’ll do.

Major nightmare with wiring and emptying the broom closet—my sacred stash of Diet Coke—plus raising my voice when my mother comments about my doing a 21-day detox cleanse. “Just don’t, OK?” was the gist of my response. Sadie, plus juice/meal, puppy equipment, laptop, handbag, child’s sneakers (which I now realize I forgot to tell my ex to pick up at the doorman—best email him that I’ll drop those at school tomorrow morning), and I was out the door.

Sometimes, a Diet Cleanse Is 2 Steps Forward, 1 Back
It’s 2:27 p.m., and I’m about to eat my noon meal. Remember yesterday’s excitement about being closer to the detox diet schedule? Pride cometh before the fall! Big time. But let’s discuss for just 1 sec about how delicious it was. Well worth the delay. Red lentil hummus wrapped in cabbage. Who knew?! Knew Dania would love it and made her taste—I’m seriously so annoying! She did love it, though. Daniela said my skin looked great. Tara said I looked lighter. Lindsay said she was having fun reading these blogs. Made her promise to tell me if they got boring. More Oscar gown searching—I don’t think I looked this hard for a wedding dress! (Dior, btw, very spectacular in a John Singer Sargent sort-of way). Post-NY-Fashion-Week staff debrief, several calls from child protesting a scheduled visit to the orthodontist, 3:00 green juice, Daniela sniffed, Tara ran for cover—if it’s not run-over-by-a-truck-well-done chicken, she’s not interested. She took Sadie and walked away!

Late for Lemonade: My Predicted Favorite Cleansing Juice
Bolted into the house after 6:00, only to find Verizon had already left. Loudly aggravated with poor, harassed mother, who forgot to call and tell me when they were leaving. As I try to drink the lemonade, I manage a few sips here and there, between discoveries of the myriad problems left behind by my Fios upgrade. I’m sorry. Why did I sign up for this again? My phones didn’t work, my WiFi connection went in and out, killing all hope of getting my usual zillion hours of work done tonight (including not being able to talk to Melissa when she called at 9:00), the new remotes for the TVs didn’t control the volume, and there was a substantial delay between the pressing of a button and the appearance of the guide, channel change, whatever. Time to cry—4 hours on the phone with 3 different tech support people, each of whom “helped,” told me the problem was fixed, only to find out it wasn’t, or there was a new problem. Add to that no clocks on the cable boxes (that’s what was in inventory at the moment, according to a tech helper), and 1 cable box “installed” on top of my desk, which has now been rendered useless. I was on the verge.

It’s 11:00 p.m. Think I Can Still Eat My Diet Detox Dinner?
Hardwired to the internet at this point, having plowed through emails and sourced all of the Oscar dresses—thank you, Katrina!—talked to Tara, tucked in child, only to be scared senseless when he reappeared asking me to print something in the morning. Hmmmmmm. Too bad I can’t end here. There’s a certain symmetry I’m sure isn’t lost on you. However, 11:00 is for amateurs. I had copy to final and a blog post to write. Plus, dinner. Late, but so delicious. Vegetable croquette with chopped greens. One thing this cleanse has made me even more aware of—how the frantic pace of my life affects what I eat. I have to be able to grab what’s handy—no time for niceties. Right now, healthy foods and juices are readily available because someone else is making them and delivering them, and if you put it in front of me and don’t make me prepare it or think about what I am, or I’m not, allowed to eat, I can stick to this, no problem. But when I’m responsible? I’m not so responsible.

Can I Still Have My End-of-Day Brownie Reward for My Day of Cleansing?
My laptop clock says 1:34 a.m. (remember, I no longer have a clock on my new cable box!). I think it may be time to shut down the house—and I’ve just noticed that my internet connection dropped—AGAIN!!! Seriously, I’m right next to the router. How awful is this equipment? Blood boiling. Not exactly the calm, rejuvenating day Yvette hopes I will have. You know it’s bad if we’re less than 12 hours in and all I can think is: I miss Time Warner. Let’s hope tomorrow is a better day—for cleansing, and at-home technology. Pony Express anyone?—Nancy Rotenier

Related Links
Did You Miss the Beginning? Detox Diet Food Diary Day 0
How Did the First Day on the Diet Cleanse Go? Day 1
Does Day 2 of My Detox Diet Live Up to Yvette’s Dire Prediction?

Abstaining for 21 Days: A Detox Diet Food Diary Day 2


Day 2 of My Diet Detox Food Diary: It’s a Headache
9:32 a.m. I’m running around the house like a crazy person. Everyone needs something—URGENTLY! Kids want breakfast, copy editor can’t find the next story, my mother calls. It feels like dodging landmines just to get to the fridge to grab the 9:00 a.m. detox juice. At least I’m only a half-hour late today. It’s all about improvement, right?! Today, however, I am determined to have coffee and stave off the monster caffeine-deprivation headache that started yesterday afternoon, continued through the night, and required 2 Advil this morning. I make a triple-shot Americano and with that and my juice in hand, I assume the position—planted in front of my laptop, writing, editing, and fielding emails.

Detox Tea Time on the Diet Cleanse
By 11:00 a.m., I’m almost done with the detox juice—like yesterday, the Berry Chai Smoothie—and I decide to move on. Yvette Rose, my diet cleansing guru and all-around new favorite person, recommends detox tea as part of the program. I don’t like plain water, so—works for me. Detox tea it is.

Is It Lunchtime Yet? Detox Diet Hunger Management
It’s 1:23 p.m. and time for the next round of meal-prep (ever feel like your kids are out of school more than they are in?!) So, multiple sandwiches, a veggie burrito, assorted crudités, and beverages later, lunchtime for me! I started getting hungry around noon—perfect, since that’s diet cleanse lunchtime—but I was on back-to-back work calls, then the kids’ lunches, and an urgent editing deadline or 12, and it was almost 1:30 before I could get to my Kale Acorn Squash Soup. The solution to hunger management and sticking to a diet? Be insanely busy! No time to dwell on—or deal with—hunger! Too bad I can’t bottle that as a weight-loss program!

The soup, in case you’re interested, is delicious. Nothing diet- or detox-feeling about it. Tart and sweet and full of yummy acorn squash, yams, apples, and kale. I want the recipe! While I eat, Sadie has stationed herself under my chair, just out of the sun, and lies down to sleep once I have my last spoonful.

Last Cleansing Juice of the Day. Dinner’s Next!
6:49 p.m. and I just took the last spicy swig of the 5:00 p.m. lemonade (a/k/a Citrus Cleanse). That’s it for today’s juices. The 3:00 p.m. green one, which I managed to get to before 3:30, was just dandy. I feel like all I do is sip all day. Works wonders to keep feelings of deprivation at bay. My mother couldn’t quite understand why I wouldn’t have takeout Chinese with her and my father tonight. I shot her a look when she said, “But it’s a holiday,” and that ended the discussion. Somehow, I don’t think there’s a papal dispensation for cheating on a diet on Presidents Day. (Although my aunt and I have a running joke that as long as you don’t eat the garlic bread, nothing’s fattening—you’d be surprised how often that comes in handy!).

I know today was supposed to be worse than Day 1, but so far, not the case. Yvette warned me that since this was a detox cleanse, the toxins built-up in my body over time would be released—and cleansed—but the initial few days could leave me feeling angry, cranky, upset, along with other not-so-Suzy-Sunshine sensations. I have to say (my children may beg to differ) that I feel fine. Better, actually. First, with the first day behind me, my anxiety about whether or not I would be able to drink the juices is gone. I can. Second, I was closer to the schedule than yesterday—improvement always perks up my mood. And I am motivated by a sense of accomplishment. I know, 1 day into a 21-day diet cleanse is nothing much, but every little thing helps.

Does It Still Count as Day 2 at 12:19 a.m. on Day 3?
Welcome to my never-ending day. It’s well past pumpkin time and my bed is nowhere in sight. Dinner—what there was of it!—was delicious: a cabbage leaf stuffed with shredded carrots, red onion, brown rice, seasonings. The only thing not perfect about it? I wanted about 6 more. I got to it a bit after 8:00, losing some of my on-schedule momentum, but still . . . I was fielding calls about a celebrity stylist’s article predicting Oscar fashion trends for the red carpet, my daughter studying for a vocab quiz—think depreciation, recalcitrance, sedition, skiff. Really? In 5th grade? I was impressed!

You want to know about the brownie, don’t you? Didn’t get to it until 9:37 p.m., the treat of shame as it was supposed to be eaten at 8:00. Unfortunately for the food schedule, it takes a distant second place to demands of homework, bedtime routines, and Sadie, who decided that she needed to be held at all times today! But it was just as delicious as I remembered.

What I forgot? How tired I was yesterday. Usually, I have to make myself turn out the lights sometime between 1:30 and 2:00 a.m. Last night, my eyelids made the decision for me, and I went to bed at the indecently early hour of 1:00 a.m. We’ll see how tonight goes, but I can honestly say I’m tired. This whole detox diet may turn out to be even healthier than Yvette or I expected if it forces me to get more than my average 4 hours of sleep . . . I’ll let you know tomorrow! Sweet dreams.—Nancy Rotenier

Related Links
Did You Miss the Beginning? Detox Diet Food Diary Day 0
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Abstaining for 21 Days: A Diet Detox Food Diary Day 1


Day 1: The Cleanse Begins
It’s 10:06 p.m. Do you know where your day went? I can map mine out pretty easily, relative to what I was supposed to be eating or drinking when—but wasn’t—for this Kickstart diet cleanse. It started out innocently enough. Up early despite the Presidents Day holiday, editing copy and getting ready to wake up my daughter to go to an ice-skating lesson at Wollman Rink in Central Park. I hadn’t looked out a window in the hour-plus I’d been awake, but something about the wet sound of the traffic outside caught my attention. When I saw the weather, I called the rink (it’s outdoors)—no lesson. It was all downhill from there for my cleansing schedule.

Diet Challenge 1: Healthy Meal Plan Schedule
You see, the lesson was supposed to be at 9:00 a.m., as was the first juice. And it was day 1 of my 21-day cleansing diet adventure—I figure if I keep calling it an adventure, I can delude some part of my brain into perceiving this as fun! Once the 9:00 a.m. lesson was history, any pretense of a schedule for my day was too. The photos for 1 story had vanished, someone else hadn’t turned in her revised copy, 2 off-from-school children wanted breakfast—of course, not the same breakfast, which meant chocolate-chip waffles and an egg-white omelet with spinach, tomato, and cheddar coming up. (No one tells you that motherhood is synonymous for short-order cook!)

Now, it’s 10:30, but I haven’t had my 9:00 a.m. juice. More importantly, I hadn’t had my coffee. I think the last time I hit 10:30 a.m. without having had coffee I was 12. Me uncaffeinated—not an experience any of us want to repeat anytime soon, as in NEVER! However, late for my juice, I wanted to behave. The juice was labeled Day 1, 9:00 a.m., and I was getting anxious. So, I drank. The concept here is kind of Alice in Wonderland in reverse. Drink a big bottle and get little. Sipping more accurately describes my encounter with the Berry Chai Smoothie, but I do the same thing with my coffee—and 2 hours later, there was about 1/3 of the bottle left.

Keeping Up with the Daily Meal Plan
As the day progressed, I worked, children ignored my “request” that they do homework, I prepared more meals, put out more fires at work, and surprise surprise, looked up to see it was 2:30, and I hadn’t had the 12:00 Brussels Sprout &Shiitake Mushroom Soup. Cool. Food. Plus I didn’t have to think about what, or what not, to have for lunch. I did, however, have to text Yvette, Kickstart’s founder, to ask about the 3:00 p.m. juice I was now scheduled to drink. Do I wait, since I was supposed to drink it 3 hours after the soup? Do I skip it and have 1 less meal? Yvette responded immediately—“Don’t worry about timing, you need the nutrients.” Too bad. Skipping the green juice seemed like a good solution to me! Guess what? It was delish. No problems at all. A big surprise, since I don’t drink my food—I don’t do juicebars, I’ve never had a shot of wheatgrass, I say no to Melissa’s homemade smoothies. A few hours later and it was time for the spicy lemonade, which was as yummy as I expected. Dinner, Spring Detox Stew with brown rice, lentils, cabbage, and more, was perfect. And then a solid 2 hours late, my final “meal” of the day, the Balance Cacao Brownie, more spicy cake with turmeric and seeds than the brownies I bake, but it was sweet, delicious, and no liquid in sight. A tiny square of heaven.

Final Food Journal Entry for Detox Diet Day 1
Overall, there were a few surprises, and a few things I saw coming a mile away. What I expected? That I would have a headache and that my mother would be nervous about the whole concept of the cleanse. Got 100% on that pop quiz. What I didn’t expect? That I would be able to drink, much less enjoy, the juices. That I would be continuously consuming something to the point where I had more to eat and drink than I had the time to do it in. And that my 6-month-old puppy Sadie would follow me and my drinks around with more eagerness to taste than any other food or drink I’ve had.

Smart puppy.
—Nancy Rotenier

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Abstaining for 21 Days: A Detox Diet Food Diary Day 0


The Night Before Starting My Detox Diet
Ok, seriously, the things I do for you people. I’m T minus 10 ½ hours and counting. Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., Eastern Standard Time, yours truly is embarking on an adventure (translation: sugar rehab torture) with a 21-day healthy diet cleanse. Yes, you read correctly. Me of the Food Police Fesses Up: My Snacking Confession blog post, detailing my life of sugar-addicted crime. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Isn’t It a Healthy Chocolate Addiction?
To put this in the proper perspective, I miss my long-lost college mug that read: Chocolate. It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore. One printed Nancy Rotenier couldn’t have been more made-just-for-me. I haven’t told anyone outside of work about my little project. Honestly, I’m a little—ok, a lot—nervous about it, and I didn’t think the incredulous laughter would boost my confidence. At work, Tara keeps saying, “I can’t wait to see this.” Can’t you just hear the smirk?! Dania, who sits next to me every day, asked if she could work from home while I’m doing the cleanse diet and breaking my chocolate addiction. Starting to get the picture?

Why the masochistic diet cleansing? Somehow, it just feels like the right time—as in 4-weeks-away-from-spring-break-in-Florida right time with a body more Burka-ready than bikini. Add to that the basic need to lose some weight, the still-new year, eating habits that have gone from eccentric to abysmal, my friend Stacey’s convincing diet detox article, and meeting Yvette Rose, whose Joulebody Kickstart food cleanse program I’m undertaking. A fellow nurturer of everyone from family to total strangers, her warm, low-key approach is really what won me over—that, plus her promise that I didn’t have to give up my morning triple-shot Americano or lunchtime Diet Coke during the cleanse. I know my limitations!

Enter My Delivered Detox Diet Meals
So, I just got my first delivery of my diet food plan—5 days worth of freshly prepared food and juices that look like they would fit into 3 shoe boxes. (Hmmm, now there’s an idea for an end-of-cleanse reward!) Into that teeny tiny space fits all that I am allowed to consume for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack, an all-day, all-night affair, as far as I’m concerned.

Except that Yvette doesn’t think in terms of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She’s got another system entirely. My delivered diet “meals” came precisely labeled in recycled-glass bottles and other eco-friendly containers. The food delivery also included a detailed printout of the foods and juices and their ingredients for each day of the 5-day diet food plan this week—weekends, you practice what she preaches but make the foods and juices yourself. That way, you’re not left hanging at the end of the diet cleanse.

Here, a Peek at Day 1 of the Diet Detox Cleanse Plan:
9:00 a.m. Raw: Berry Chai Smoothie
12:00 p.m. Replenish: Brussels Sprout & Shitake Mushroom Soup
3:00 p.m. Green Joule: Green
5:00 p.m. Citrus Cleanse
7:00 p.m. Protein: Spring Detox Stew
8:00 p.m. Balance: Cacao Brownie

Allow Me to Translate for This Food Diary:
9:00 a.m. Brown Juice—I’m scared.
12:00 p.m. Vegetable Soup—Totally doable.
3:00 p.m. Green Juice—Going to pretend it’s green vichyssoise and eat it like soup.
5:00 p.m. Lemonade’s Cleansing Cousin—no brainer. I’m all over this one!
7:00 p.m. Another vegetable soup—I’m good.
8:00 p.m. Yay-I’ve-made-it-to-the-chocolate deal closer/better-go-to-bed-right-after-because-there’s-nothing-left-to-eat-today brownie.

To stave off what is starting to feel like my first-ever anxiety attack, I remind myself that the pre-diet cleanse email suggested stocking up on raw vegetables to eat in addition to the food that is delivered. Sigh of relief—at least if I’m ravenous, I can shove something in my mouth! And there was that vegetable soup recipe that accompanied her article, which said the soup, and the vegetables it’s made from, are also allowed when necessary, necessary being a euphemism for starving!

All snarkiness aside, I’m issuing a warning to all skeptics planning on forming a betting pool based on my failing my detox cleanse! I am highly motivated—I love my clothes and they’re just the teeniest bit—ok, a lot—snug right now. And when motivated, I have the willpower to forgo chocolate, French fries, and all other last-meal-on-earth favorites. But to get from here to there, I may be one cranky detox cleanser. Let’s just hope my family and friends remember I do, in fact, love them more than ice cream. Really, I do. Stop laughing.—Nancy Rotenier

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