Thankful Things Thursday: Day 10

The food’ll come out…tomorrow!!!

Thank goodness.

Yes, I made it to Day 10 of the juice cleanse.

On that note alone, I think we can jump right into the recently-neglected Thankful Things Thursday.

I’m thankful I get to chew food tomorrow. Before you start thinking I did something impressive by surviving a 10-day juice cleanse, let me clear a few things up right away.

I cheated. On Day 3, I had a wedge of watermelon. On Day 5, I had a few bites of cantaloupe. Somewhere around Day 6 I stole a small (huge) spoonful of almond butter straight from the container…and proceeded to do that again on Days 8 and 9. So yes, I mostly juiced for 10 days, but I also cheated more than once. Whatever, I’m weak. And I hate almond butter now. Go figure.

I was a bitch. I was miserable for the duration of this cleanse. I was happiest when I was in Boston because I got to be around my friends…

I'm on the far left.
I’m on the far left.

…and my best friend.

Babies in pajamas = the best.
Babies in pajamas = the best.

But overall, cleansing plus Crohnsing has taken a major toll on my emotional stability. You know that term people use — “hangry” — when you’re so brutally starving that you’re angry? I typically get “hangry” if I have to go 30 minutes between meals. This time, I went 10 days, so imagine my hangriness by this point. I have been irritable, snappy and downright rude.

I hope that most of my relationships are still in tact, but I’ve done my best to generally avoid people. I’m not a pleasant person to interact with.

I don’t feel as “fixed” as I thought I would feel by Day 10. Yeah, that’s a bummer. Back in February, I took a hefty dose of antibiotics, hoping they would “fix” me.

They didn’t.

Then I went on steroids, hoping, again, for “the great fix.”

It was, instead, a great failure.

Then, I checked into the hospital, doubled up on Remicade and was certain I’d be good to go within a few days.

Wrong again, naive Ali.

So then I resorted to this: a 10-day juice cleanse to give the digestive units a break. In my mind, doing this meant that by Day 10 I would feel incredible. My intestines would be de-flamed, I’d be bursting with energy and I’d definitely be running again! Optimism, baby! I was somehow still full of it.

I never want to see this stupid cooler again. Neither does my wallet.
I never want to see this stupid cooler again. Neither does my wallet.

Now here I am, about to start eating again (!!!), but still not feeling my healthiest. I’m still having unpredictable bathroom runs. I still panic when I leave my apartment. I’m still very weak and I definitely haven’t worked out in any way, shape or form of sweet sweat.

I find comfort in knowing that the juice cleanse didn’t make me worse. OK, emotionally it did. Emotionally I was on the ledge for a while. But physically, I don’t believe this could have done me any harm.

Sunny Central Park. Screw you.
Sunny Central Park. Screw you.

I’m thankful for Google Image searches. Or am I? I am actually not sure. But I spent hours this week looking at pictures of food. Mostly macaroni and cheese (Velveeta shells and cheese, specifically — leave me alone), eggs Benedict and Levain Bakery cookies.

Self-torture, I realize this. But I love food. And I’ve missed it so much. So I looked at pictures of it when I couldn’t actually have it or be physically tempted by it.

I should also note that, sadly, I won’t be eating any of those foods anytime soon.

The plan going forward isn’t to go back to my ways of the past. I’m not jumping off the cleanse and hopping into a bowl of Hollandaise. I’ll be easing back into things gently with a healthy, nutritious, clean diet.

And in the meantime, I’ll keep looking at pictures of this…

I want to swim in this.
I want to swim in this.

…and this…

Last night I watched "Man vs. Food" for the first time. I guarantee you, I could win any challenge on that show right now. Preferably a Benedict challenge. BRING IT.
Last night I watched “Man vs. Food” for the first time. I guarantee you, I could win any challenge on that show right now. Preferably a Benedict challenge. BRING IT.

…and this…

All of the above, please. Just kidding. 10 OF EACH OF THE ABOVE, PLEASE.
All of the above, please. Just kidding. 10 OF EACH OF THE ABOVE, PLEASE.

I’m done.

I’m thankful for last night’s awesome thunderstorm. I wasn’t digging the sunny weather. Sorry, people. But while you were all out prancing and playing and — booooo! — running in the good stuff, I was still sulking. The thunder, lightning and hefty-sized raindrops were way more my style and I welcomed them with an open umbrella.

Now THIS I like!
Now THIS I like!

I’m thankful for my incredible support system. There are a few people who have gone above and beyond for me recently, and I’m so deeply appreciative. There have been times in the past few days when I’ve wondered if I should talk to someone else…someone trained to talk to people who are going through a rough time. But truthfully, that’s not my style. I don’t want to talk to a stranger. Maybe someday, but for now I believe I can get through life on my own and with a few really great friends.

I’m thankful for my juicer. At this point, I hate that stupid device. But I can’t imagine doing a cleanse without it. So I guess that’s a love/hate relationship.

I’m thankful for “Boy Meets World.” I used to wake up with Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie. But then the “Today” show started reporting more on the Kardashians and whatever food trend Dr. Oz was hawking than actual news. And it turns out, “Boy Meets World” happens to air at the same time. So now I start my day with Cory, Shawn and Topanga and life is significantly better.

I’m thankful for the improvements I have noticed. Maybe my stomach isn’t fixed, but it’s not all bad. I wake up way before my alarm (which is set laughably late these days) and I’ve been getting tons of sleep. The apartment is clean (just don’t look in the kitchen sink, which is filled with stray spinach leaves and green-tinted wine glasses), the plants are watered and the DVR is empty. The night sweats are long gone and I haven’t had a fever in a while.

Honestly, I’m tapped out for today. That’s all I’ve got in me…a few thankful things and a whole lot of liquid.

It’s been a tough road to get to Day 10. I haven’t enjoyed this for a single minute and I’m so glad it’s over.

Cheers to the next step.

May the next step involve Velveeta…eventually.

YOU GO: What are you thankful for today? Gimme something good.



46 Responses

  1. I did Cooler Cleanse last year (only 3 days because I couldn’t afford more) and while I thought most of the juices were delicious, I was so f’ing over it by the last day. I can hardly imagine what ten days would be like. I’m quite proud of you. You will look at them again. Every time I come up to NYC, I have to stop for a peppery lemonade! That shit is fantastic.

  2. Wow kudos to you for getting through the 10 days! I have Crohn’s and never can understand how doctor’s say that food is not connected. My family wants me to consider the elimination diet but I LOVE FOOD! I always feel that we (crohn’s patients) get put in such unfair circumstances–either feel awful or pump your body full of toxins that may or may not make you feel better. I love your Thankful Thursday–they really help to put things in perspective. Thank you for writing such an honest and accurate portrayal of what it’s like to live with this disease.

  3. It’s a great accomplishment and a true testament to your desire for healing that you completed the juice cleanse! Well done. I’m a newer reader, but I’ve never commented. I wanted to write to give you encouragement 🙂

  4. I’m impressed, I could never do a 10 day cleanse — I get crabby going from lunch to dinner without snacks. I hope that you feel better soon..there must be a light at the end of the tunnel!

    I flip back and forth between The Today Show and Boy Meets World in the mornings too :).

  5. Hi Ali,

    I just got caught up on your blog after not reading it for a few months. Really sorry to hear you are not feeling well. I read that you are considering Humira. I have Psoriatic (Rheumatoid) Arthritis, which is (obviously) not Crohn’s but often receive the same meds because both are autoimmune. I did not respond to Humira but I DID respond to Enbrel, which I think is a bit stronger. It has been a wonder drug for me. Anyway, I wanted to tell you that if the auto injectors are too painful for you, I highly recommend the pre-filled syringes. I found the Humira auto injector to be SO painful and mentally challenging to take that I switched to pre filled syringes when I changed to Enbrel (it’s kind of weird to give yourself a needle but mentally I felt so much more in control of the process and it is not painful at all). Regardless, either mechanism is probably much less pain than you deal with on a daily basis! Just a tip if you decide to switch meds. Please feel free to email me with ANY questions. Best of luck.


  6. 10 days of juicing. Now that is impressive. I like juicing…in between my meals. Good luck with your new food plan. Only advice (since you didn’t ask – sorry you must get tired of advice), incorporate foods you love or it will never last.
    I’m thankful for weekends where I don’t have to work and can sleep 12 hours, even if it means falling asleep before 8 p.m. on a Friday night to do. I know how to rage.

  7. Wow wow wow…I am in awe of you. A 10 day juice cleanse…I probable would have has a melt down the first day…and I probably will. Starting my cleanse on Monday but only going for 3 ….I have absolutely no willpower what so ever! I really hope you do start to feel better soon Ali….You are an inspiration to me …

  8. I’m thankful you are done with the cleanse!! I’m also thankful for that eggs benedict picture, I can’t stop looking at it, I might print it out and hang it up in my cube 🙂

    I’m also thankful for the beautiful weather we’ve had down here and looking forward to a fun weekend playing in our new house!

  9. I know I’m a day late but I’m thankful I found your blog. Just back from my first run in over 6 months and since I was diagnosed with Crohns and I feel like I’m going to vomit (and that’s after only 1.5 miles). I desperately want to run another marathon again(I did London in 2011), and I took it for granted that I would, and then Crohns arrived and I’m having to rethink everything I’d assumed I’d have in life. Reading through your blog and relating to stuff you’re saying and having someon who I can relate to really really helps! Thank you for being honest.x

  10. I am thankful I had boys…….if we had a girl my husband wanted to name her Topanga!!!! Love it on the show, not so sure about real life!!

  11. Although you might not be quite back to normal just yet, you seem to be on the right track. Here in Wellington (New Zealand) there is a very well-respected immunology dietitian who specialises in bowel disorders. She has had her own battle with Crohn’s but, like you, employed a dietary approach to control it – with success. Although I am sure each case is individual, I thought I would pass on her story ( in case you might find it helpful. Keep your energy and drive – you will come out the other side.

  12. First of all, I’m sorry you aren’t feeling as awesome as you wanted to be at the end. 🙁 BUT, I’m going to be obnoxious and point out that it’s probably a little crazy to think that, after drinking only juice for 10 days, you’d feel MORE energetic. I’m on board with it as a way to help your intestines heal (and I’m sorry you aren’t feeling as much improvement on that front as you’d like) – but if I lived on juice for 10 days, I’d probably be exhausted, weak, and not too into working out at the end, either.

    [I don’t care what advertisements for “juice cleanses” say. 10 days of only juice isn’t much input, for someone who wants a full day’s worth of energy as an output – nevermind the face that you were probably under-nutriented at the start, after being sick for so long.]

    So take a few more days and see what happens as you add some more bulk back into your diet. I’m no MD, and I’m not a nutritionist (So what ARE you listening to me, after all?!?!), but you might find a bit of energy and spark returning then.

    What am I thankful for…hm. I’m thankful that I got to see my sister yesterday – even if just for a day. And I’m thankful that I can be where I am now, to support my Mom as she goes through a tough time. Also thankful for sitting on the back porch, watching the water, and enjoying a glorious breeze….

  13. Yay for surviving the juice cleanse. Did you know that there is going to be a new “Boy Meets World” sequel series to be called “Girl Meets World”? The original actors who played Corey, Topenga, and Mr. Feeny are going to be in it. 🙂

  14. Congrats on the juice cleanse completion! I did a 3 day one and was so ready for real food by the end of it.

    also i am loving the thunderstorms lately too. I’ve missed them.

  15. I have NOT done a 10 day juice cleanse and am still thankful for those cookie pictures you posted. HOT DAMN.

    I am thankful that my thesis is DONE (well, I still have to do the table of contents, but otherwise, the 95 page beast has been tamed). I cannot express the weight that has been lifted off of my shoulders to be done with my Master’s degree. And the raise coming my way won’t hurt either ; )

    Dive into some good food tomorrow, and enjoy every second of it!

  16. Do you feel that juicing helped at all, or do you think it’s a coincidence that you are feeling a little better? I’d love to hear what you think worked and what you thought didn’t make any difference.

    I’m NOT suggesting you do this, but if you juiced for longer, do you think you’d see more improvement? Again, not advocating for it, but I’m curious if you thought any healing that may have occurred was so incremental that it would take more time to be in full effect.

    My mom and others in my family also have auto immune diseases, so I’m always listening for things that help.

    1. I think the juicing worked in the sense that it has certainly given my digestive system a much-needed break. As much as I would have loved for this to have “cured” me, I also realize that’s very unrealistic after just 10 days. It’s possible that continuing to juice could help, but at this point I am so miserable doing it that I don’t want to continue. I need more substance because I’m not drinking enough juice, and as my mental state suffers, I know that affects my physical well-being as well.

  17. Congrats on making it 10 days! I’m sorry you’re not magically cured – that just blows! I hear ya on wondering if you should talk to someone who maybe has a degree in helping the crazy, but then realizing friends might be able help you more by just being there and listening. I hope you get to run soon or at least not freak out when you leave your apartment!

  18. Congrats on finishing the juice cleanse!

    I am thankful for the kitten I saw playing with a pinwheel on my walk to work this morning. It was adorable the way she/he stalked it!

  19. I’m really impressed you made it through the cleanse, hopefully things will continue to improve. Have you heard they’re doing a spin off of boy meets world with Cory and Topanga’s daughter? Hope they don’t make it terrible like the other Disney channel shows

  20. Someone that completes on the cleanse gets props. YOU, get a standing ovation. Seriously!

    I hope you get to chew on something tomorrow! (Wait…that sounded gross. You know what I mean!)

  21. A little bit in awe of you. Just kidding…a LOT in awe. No way I could do a 10 day juice cleanse. And I say this as a person who has the willpower to wake up for 6 am gym classes, train for marathons, nurse injuries…I absolutely could. not. do. what you just did. Like, I can’t fast for the one day of Yom Kippur. I can’t give up carbs for 8 days of Passover. Not kidding. No food willpower.

    Congrats on the accomplishment. I know it still sucks, but know that I (and I assume a lot of others) are just so, so, so impressed! Thanks for sharing your journey…

    Also p.s. I watched two full seasons of Game of Thrones in two weeks. Highly recommend binging on this if you find yourself cooped up some more…

  22. I just want to point out that Shawn, Cory, Topanga, and Mr. Feenie (spelling?) can teach you just as many life lessons as Matt Lauer (et al).

    (And thanks so much for responding to my e-mail last week. Your advice was appreciated…and good.)

  23. You’re amazing for getting through the 10-day cleanse (and I vote that watermelon and cantaloupe aren’t cheating)! I hope you enjoy your first real meal in over a week!

    Also, I’m so glad I’m not the only one who still watches “Boy Meets World”. I used to start my mornings with that or “Saved by the Bell”.

    And today, I’m thankful for my sweet pups. I had a rough morning and they’ve been snuggling, sleeping on the floor beside me. My older one has his head resting on my foot and it’s adorable – love the unconditional love that my boys give me 🙂

  24. Yay for finishing!! You are strong, I would’ve cheated way way more than that!!

    Today I’m thankful that it’s Thursday, that I’m going to the Bruins game tonight/the Muse concert tomorrow night with my boyfriend (who is someone I am thankful for regularly), and that my job grants me media all-access to the coolest things.. like the start and finish lines of the Boston Marathon on Monday =D

    xo Marie
    Chocolate & Wine

  25. Love lovelovelove this weather! I’m from San Diego and have been recently re-planted in DC. Holy crap, I hate winter with a passion! So waking up to sun and warmth just makes me grin from ear to ear. I know soon it will be 100* and muggy, but for now I’m just enjoying this!
    Great job on finishing the juice cleanse! I can’t believe your willpower…amazing!

  26. Great work on the juice cleanse! I love juice. You should just try and add them into your regular solid diet.
    I am thankful I got to run the Connemarathon in IRE Sunday with zero training and a busted knee! Luck o da Irish!

  27. Congrats on finishing the juice cleanse! I think those “cheating” days you had aren’t so bad. I’ve tried a juice cleanse twice and each time half way through the first day I dove into a bag of chips…..

    Today I’m thankful for this lovely weather and finally people not thinking I’m crazy for drinking iced coffee (since i drink it year round anyways)

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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