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Day 9: Two weeks turns to four

Two weeks is turning to four… and that’s okay. Whilst I’m already feeling so much better in myself, I’m not completely out of the woods yet. Here’s hoping one whole golden month will do the trick!

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Showing the Elemental some love

In light of this news, I’ve made a very comprehensive list of the pros of not eating (surprisingly, there are quite a few!)

Pro’s of not eating

  • I’m saving a tonne of money – I literally haven’t spent a penny since Sunday. In central London, this is astounding
  • I am giving my body a total detox and rest
  • I am curing my own pain… which is a weirdly satisfying feeling
  • I am testing my willpower to the absolute MAX – after this, I reckon I could do anything
  • Did I mention I’m saving a load money?
  • My bikini bod is going to need very limited work (this is probably a good time to say that for the record, I am not doing this diet for weight loss reasons! A few pounds shed is merely a bonus)
  • This blog – despite the subject matter, I am actually really loving writing this blog
  • I am raising awareness for Crohns and Colitis – and helping people understand these cruel conditions. (No, I did not get Crohns because I eat badly! Yes, someone has actually asked me that.)
  • Oh yeah, and I’m saving loads of money.

Unfortunately, there are also some cons to not eating…

  • Not eating is actually quite a major con in itself
  • As is not drinking (especially Starbucks and alcohol)
  • People keep asking me ‘Are you ok?’, with a sympathetic head tilt that you reserve for people you feel sorry for. It gets rather annoying after a while
  • I keep accidentally staring at people when they eat. Strangers, colleagues, friends… anyone really. Which has resulted in some very awkward eye contact moments.

So really, there are actually more pros than cons. Apparently…

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Day 7: Oh the hanger!

No, that’s not a typo. I’m talking about the hunger induced anger – the hanger. It’s probably the most volatile anger out there, when you’re grumpy because you need to eat. And I am experiencing this on another level: specifically around mealtimes. Lunch time or dinner time, I’m one grumpy girl. Hanger is also prompted by delicious treats which make their way into the office.

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I mean… SERIOUSLY!!

Stepping away from delicious patisserie treats, I watched an amazing documentary this weekend given to me by a friend from work. ‘Super Juice Me’ documents 8 individuals, with 22 diseases between them, follow a strict 28 day pure juice diet. Living at ‘Juicy Oasis’, owned by Jason Vale, they underwent a fitness and wellbeing programme to help cure their medical problems. These ranged from obesity, heart disease, asthma to Crohns Disease. Whilst they struggled at the beginning, by day 28 they all looked amazing, felt great and more impressively, were weening off their medication. A young girl, Sarah, with Crohns featured in the film and took adalimumab, like me (a injection widely used by Crohns patients). By the end of the 28 days, she was off the injections and completely symptom free… I think that result speaks for itself. To learn more about Super Juice Me – click here.

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I further started reading up on Deliciously Ella – a huge London food blogger and writer that cured her Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, another autoimmune disease, with diet. Overnight she eliminated meat, dairy, sugar, gluten and any processed foods with additives – and now eats all plant based foods. Over the process of a year, she ate herself to full health, and continues to keep her condition under control with her diet. More about Ella, click here.

It really got me thinking about what I’m going to eat/drink when I finish this diet. I’ve always been aware of what I eat, which is why I completely eliminated dairy, after finding it to be an irritant. As a child, I tried eliminating all sorts, to no particular avail. Despite having 3 major abdominal operations for bowel obstructions, this is actually the first active Crohns Disease I’ve had in my gut since I had my large intestine removed when I was 12. Surely there must be an answer in diet?! Watching the results of Sarah and Ella has filled me with optimism – if I can feel so much better in 7 days, surely there must be a fix that isn’t big drugs with hideous side effects and surgery.

And here’s something really weird… I’m now craving kale, avocado and courgetti!! I have a feeling my journey will continue past this liquid diet…

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To learn more about my Crohns story, click here!

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Day 6: When you get hungry in the club…

Me on Friday! Oh wait…..

Anyone else every Friday?

I’m now on fantastical day 6 of the liquid diet, and I’m surprised one week has nearly passed. (Despite the hunger!) I’ve got through half  a working week and one whole weekend not eating or drinking – and I’m feeling pretty great.
Today we’re discussing socialising without food and drink. Can you think of a time you last socialised which didn’t involve eating or drinking? Thought not. Because it is absolutely pivotal to day to day life. Going for a walk? You’d get a coffee, maybe a cake! Seeing a friend? Drink, dinner? Having a movie night – what snacks? I could go on and on…
Last night I took on the mighty challenge of a night out in London town…. on liquid shakes and water. OH MY GOD THE WILLPOWER! Our night started with the standard pre drinking process at the flat – I poured my shake into a glass and used the ‘fun straws’ (coined by my flatmate) to get the night going. My main concern was getting hungry, so after some debate, I popped a carton in my clutch bag.
When we arrived at the first bar, we were greeted by a complimentary cocktail. Excellent..! I took the glass and held it as we chatted. Before I knew it, I was lifting the glass to my lips – it was milliseconds before I was going to take a sip I realised I couldn’t drink. Call me an alcoholic/food addict, but I can’t see that feeling going away any time soon. Retraining your brain to not expect food and drink at certain times of the day or at specific social events feels impossible.
 

What says party more than a grapefruit elemental?

 
This baby was cracked open around 11pm, whilst the girls tucked into their second bottle of wine.
Not drinking on a night out is NEVER something I would usually do – especially when we’re going onto a club. I mean, you just kind of need it don’t you? To not be bothered by the pushing, and the slippery floor, the disgusting toilets and the London bar prices (not that I was buying anything!) Despite all this – I was on top form.
Let’s talk about Sunday’s – the usual day for big breakfast and a Sunday roast. Today I had to find a good food free activity – which turned out to be exploring the London parks. Whilst I would have enjoyed it more with  a Starbucks in hand – I have to admit, there are other things to do apart from eat. (There, I said it!)
 

N’aww isn’t it pretty?

 
And something miraculous happened this weekend – I was symptom free for a whole 24 hours. And that makes it all worth it. (Currently mental mantra!)
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Day 2: No midnight snacks here

Who knew it was possible to lie awake thinking about how hungry you are. I’ve always been lucky enough to go to bed with a full stomach (a luxury I’m aware many do not have). Last night I lay awake until 12.30, until I decided enough was enough and I had another shake. It was categorically the most unsatisfying midnight snack I’ve ever had.
I then spent the whole night dreaming about food. In all different guises – sometimes I was eating, sometimes I was watching others eat – in one dream I was serving food! It is unsurprising, that I woke up today absolutely ravenous.
If that wasn’t a enough of a loony way to start the day – I got into work and shouted at someone who looked like they were carrying a plate of cakes to my desk. ‘Don’t bring that anywhere near me!’ I exclaimed. He looked utterly confused. It turned out to be a book with a make up powder puff on stop. I could have sworn I saw a chocolate eclair.
 

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A eclair as divine as this

 
So I’m hallucinating. I am seeing greasy cheeseburgers and pizzas instead of people’s faces. But that’s ok, right? I mean, it is only day 2. And they do say hunger does weird things to people…
I went to work carrying a super chic cool bag today carrying my food for the day – 5 delicious elemental cartons. The cool bag was debatably socially acceptable (you can make up your mind with the pic below) – unfortunately elemental are best drunk cold. I thought taking a bag of ice to work might be a step too far…(and the BBC doesn’t have a freezer)
 

Why don’t Mulberry do cool bags???

Today I’ve drunk 6 cartons and I can’t get over how hungry I feel. I’ve also felt pretty faint at times – THIS GIRL NEEDS CARBS! I am supposed to drink 9 cartons to maintain my healthy BMI – but I feel like I haven’t eaten in weeks, not days! I’m told my stomach will shrink in time and I’ll feel full with the shakes in due course. WHEN WILL THIS HAPPEN?!!?

If you’ve had a bad day – just imagine me shouting about non existent eclairs.

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Day 1: Rose tinted glasses

As I woke up this morning and walked to the fridge for breakfast, I had three tantalising options. Summer Fruits elemental, Grapefruit elemental or Orange & Pineapple elemental. On face value, that doesn’t sound too bad does it? A delicious fruity drink to start the day…
Unfortunately, I have remembered these shakes with complete rose tinted glasses. They are vile. I mean, they really are disgusting.

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For dinner, I had Summer Fruits. As you can see, I was delighted

These are the things they are not:

  • Not like a juice
  • Not like a milkshake
  • Not like a smoothie
  • Not like squash
  • Not an enjoyable beverage
  • Not enjoyable full stop.

Because this isn’t the first time I have been on a exclusive liquid diet. Twelve years ago I featured in the very cool (!) teen mag, Mizz. The headline was extremely dramatic and I was interviewed at home with a friend from school.

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I told you it was a dramatic headline

Back then, it was harder still, as I was required to drink even more of the shakes to aid my body through puberty. The volume of liquid I had to consume was so large, I had to have half of it passed straight into my stomach, via a nasogastric tube. This is a tube that is inserted up your nose, down your throat and into your stomach. In the photo above, I was 10 years old. I had to keep the tube in constantly and it tickled my throat. During the time I had the tube, I remember watching CBBC and some exciting S Club 7 news (they were my fave) came on the television. I leaped up in so much excitement, the tube completely slipped out of my nose. We went straight to A&E to have it reinserted.
Luckily this isn’t on the cards this time around. Now I’m a responsible adult (ha!), I am able to consume all the required shakes – 9 250ml cartons a day. *Gulp*…
People said to me at school, ‘why did you decide to write in and tell your story?’ I remember distinctively staring at them like it was completely obvious. ‘I’m miserable and hungry! I may as well make some money out of it!’ I wish I could remember what I spent the £150 on (probably more Mizz magazines), but it was hugely exciting.
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Mizz was the coolest magazine to read when you were 11 years old in the 90’s. (I also did enjoy the ‘Four cute poster boys’)!

Raising awareness of Crohns Disease and IBD is extremely important to me. Every 30 minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed with Crohns or Colitis. 1 in 4 of these people are under 16. A diagnosis of this kind is life changing. If you want to learn more about Crohns, Colitis or IBD in general, you can find more information on the Crohns and Colitis UK website here – All about IBD.
To find out more about my Crohns story, click here.
End of day 1 and I’m hungry… no surprises there. I’m going to leave you with something one of my oldest friends said to me today.

‘Remember, solids are for chumps’. Katharine, April 2016

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