Let me preface what you are about to see by stating that the following is clearly not expansion-worthy and that I sincerely hope you never have to experience a post like this from me again! Also, I do not advise that anyone follow my eating example ever … and especially not in this post, as it is obviously atypical. Also, I did not photograph all the water I’ve been drinking (the post is boring enough already!) but please rest assured that I am keeping hydrated 😛
To recap, I completed Saturday night’s “cleanse” fully determined to make the second time be the last time. There was no way I was going to even entertain the thought of using the two additional packets that the ER doctor prescribed last week. Since my body had indicated it wasn’t into digesting solid foods, avoiding another “irrigation” meant relying solely on liquids to begin my journey back to eating.
I started Sunday morning with a cup of scrumptious watermelon jello-water.
Jello-water was on the approved list of foods that the ER doctor handed me on my way out last Wednesday. I don’t know what jello-water is, so I made it up. My jello-water involved two cups of jasmine green tea, two cups of immersion-blended watermelon, and one Knox gelatine packet:
I sprinkled the contents of the gelatine package over one cup of cold watermelon; I boiled the other cup of watermelon with the tea. All got mixed and poured into a 13x9x2 pan to chill in the fridge.
(You know you’ve left the city when trees are reflecting in your jello instead of pigeons and cement.)
Anyway, watermelon jello-water (my preferred liquid breakfast) was born. I sipped every last bit of pulp from the cup and was on my way to the bus because life in Brooklyn was calling my name and I couldn’t procrastinate forever! I got home to the city and dove into a cup of the clam chowder broth my mom made (and sent back to NY with me!) from clam bake leftovers:
Mmm, dinner never tasted so good. I went to bed at 8 and slept until 6:30 Monday morning when I had to get up for work. A day of 100 calories (if even!) will do that to you.
I mentioned before that I was loosely following this plan for recovery, so my goal was to stick to liquids Monday with perhaps a bit of fruit thrown in there. I began the day with tea:
And rounded out my breakfast with more jello-water and prune juice diluted with water:
Lunch was wicked exciting (and, yes, worthy of the MA lingo influence) because I finally had a reason to buy something from the juice bar around the corner from the office (aka my fresh coconut supplier, aka the best-quesadilla-ever supplier as experienced through tastes of my coworkers’ lunches … sigh … will I ever be able to taste my coworkers’ lunches again?!):
I ordered the “Spritz It Up” with spinach, celery, ginger, and apple. Back at the office, I diluted my juice with water (thereby creating two juices and lunch for Tuesday, yessssssss!):
Also for lunch on Monday, I had more diluted prune juice, more herbal tea, and more clam chowder broth:
While leaving work Monday night, I had dinner, aka a life-changing experience:
Best pear ever … and also my first bit of solid food in over 48 hours. I made sure to chew thoroughly.
The energy from that pear kept me going for the next 12 hours! You can ask me how I was able to function after consuming so little, but I would not be able to give you an answer. This is all quite new to me. I tentatively continued my foray into solid foods on Tuesday, as I still was not quite convinced that my body remembered what to do with this strange thing called sustenance.
Plus more liquid-esque items consumed in order of digestibility from easiest to hardest: watered-down prune juice, watermelon jello-water, and (something new!) a bit of thawed rhubard-blueberry compote from last week:
Lunch was an exciting packet of miso soup that Edward & Sons sent me a while back.
It tasted delicious, but I’m not sure how much stock you could put in my taste buds at that point.
I also drank the other half of Monday’s green juice:
(I did not eat that apple on the side. A mom gave it to me as I was leaving a visit earlier in the day, but I didn’t want to push my luck. I saved it for another time instead.)
I drank my lunch in the company of the ladies who had brought food to share as usual.
I refused the cheese, ate one grape, and told Maria that I could not rescue the other half of her banana. I almost cried.
Later, though, I got hungry (yeah, I don’t know why my stomach was not in a constant state of hunger, either) and went wild on a CSA apricot. It was so juicy and rich inside!
I kept telling everyone all day, if I do well with this fruit, I can have a salad for dinner tonight!!!!! I almost wrote a song I was so excited.
I had to stay super late at work Tuesday night for a visit, so I took my CSA peach with me for the subway ride home just after 7.
Nothing like being able to chew!
I got home just after 8:30 and really had no indication at that point that my body was fulfilling its requirements for digestion (aside from my extreme state of shrinkage and utter lack of fullness). I threw caution to the wind with a green leafy CSA salad with romaine, arugula, basil, a few pieces of broccoli, baby bok choy, and cucumber:
(Oh right, I also had a prune for an appetizer. And more tea for dessert.)
I savored the salad over the next hour while I finished up more mountains of work:
Yesterday morning, I downed some more “everyday detox” tea and then walked over to my doctor’s office so I could finally meet with my PCP. She referred me to a gastroenterologist just as I had hoped, so immediately following the appointment and a nice full breakfast of watermelon jello-water enhanced with actual watermelon chunks, I systematically worked my way through the list of providers with my insurance until I found one with an opening in the afternoon. I zipped up to work for a couple of hours (and more tea and water) and then headed back out for doctor #2.
I told my whole long saga to the gastroenterologist, including all of this liquid. He said, And you’re not hungry? I said, Are you kidding? Of course I’m hungry!
I gave my best I’M STARVING AND I NEED FOOD NOW face:
(Look how gaunt I got!!)
With that, the gastroenterologist did a quick exam and told me to stop over-thinking everything. He explained that, as there was nothing in my body and I was in no discomfort aside from my hunger, I should return to living my normal life. If there is an underlying problem that caused all the intestinal drama, it will come back when I resume my regular lifestyle, at which point I should schedule an immediate appointment with him. I amended his recommendation to continue eating the way I normally would to include a “within reason.” I have a feeling my nonstop unreasonable over-eating somehow led to all this … and I would much rather never have to go back to the gastroenterologist! The subway ride back to my office after that appointment may have been one of the happiest rides of my life 😀
In conclusion, I am beyond awed at my ability to survive through three days with hardly any food entering my body. After I ate that first pear, all of my strength came back miraculously. Honestly, I only ate what I did on Tuesday because I thought I should and was worried about how little I was taking in. I was shocked that I wasn’t ravenous and unconscious the whole time … but I guess that had to do with a combo of my body adjusting to starvation rations and my very present fear of having to do another round of irrigation. I now know that it’s okay to feel a little bit hungry sometimes — waiting for food won’t kill me. Also, I am now confident that I could survive with no food in an emergency situation … as long as I had some jello-water handy!
And there you have it: my life on liquids.
If you had to pick one food item that defines your diet this week, what would you choose?