Don’t forget your powerjuice!

When his wife confronted him in the bathroom with the blinking truth, the button had to be turned. Journalist Jan Dijkgraaf went juice fasting. Does a man survive at all, a week without eh …. almost everything?


I was a little angry with Mrs Dijkgraaf a few times lately. Very sweet, of course, that she was prepared to wash my clothes every week, but it seemed like she was going to make a habit of doing that at too high a temperature. My T-shirts, polos and shirts seemed to shrink with every wash. The wake-up call came in the bathroom on a Sunday morning. “Can you still see it yourself,” she asked, when she saw that I was not looking in the mirror, but looking down. “I do not know if you sometimes weigh, but you’re really working on setting a new record, I think.”

Pats. Boom. Au. Of the skinny, super-sporty and flexible badminton player (well, not all men can kickboxing) of 60 kilos clean on the hook I was when I was eighteen, nothing was left for a few decades later. Or rather, there was a lot of it left. No more sporting body of rubber, but more than one and a half times as many kilos. When I once again stood on the scale, I even scored 93.3 kilos. And I could not see it anymore. At rest then. And without leaning forward. What gravity did for me thanks to my sturdy cup B, which developed over the years, by the way.
Well, I’m a weird one. If the button turns on me, the button will also change. So from that moment on I decided to walk 10,000 steps a day. I accepted that my carbohydrate-rich diet of mainly bread (I am greek on bread), potatoes (sweet fried), cookies (lots of cookies) and paprika chips, maybe a very little bit disappointing was suboptimal I wanted to lose kilos. So I finally said ‘yes’ when my lovely wife proposed to go on a diet together. And I went to Fuerteventura for a week. With Health Holidays. Juice fastening.

Herbal tea

If I can say it in my own words (and I do it anyway): juice fastening is an all-inclusive holiday where you get nothing to eat and water and herbal tea after actually not drinking anything. Well, a juice three times a day. From vegetables and fruits, even without fibers. And the time you save because you do not have extensive tables (or work) then you follow an extensive sports program, so that the muscles that have been stimulated throughout the year … have been brought back to life. If you stick to that regime for a week, then the management of Health Holidays promises men up to a kilogram of weight loss. Per day!
But more important than that weight loss: that the garbage accumulated over the years goes out of your body and that you return home physically and mentally as reborn. A profit warning is issued at the introductory round. It happens regularly that participants clean their body and mind so thoroughly that they decide to make a radical change when they return to the Netherlands. You would not be the first to resign or divorce, we learn.

Poison cup

That happy time comes from Henny. She is the widow of Rob, the founder of the company. Henny does the juices. Ilona is sitting next to her. Ilona does the muscles. In the case of juice fast weeks, I learn, by doing so, people only have a first name. Henny is sweet. Ilona is fun. So I’m looking forward to it.
That sentence is extra fueled by Tanita. Tanita is a bitch. Tanita, unlike Henny and Ilona, is not blonde, but a woman of steel. A body composition analyzer. Or: a scale. At “I am Jan” the following figures are recorded at the intake: weight 88.5 kilos, fat percentage 26.3 percent, BMI 27.9, visceral fat value (fat around the organs) 13 and metabolic age 59. In summary: too high too high, too high, too high and older than in reality. And then I lost almost five kilos thanks to the walking and the diet we followed and I do not even dare to write my blood pressure. Soooo….
Tanita also reported that my ideal weight would be 69.7 kilos. But that seems to me exaggerated. In the long run to a length of minus one hundred (so 78) is the goal. Moreover, Mrs Dijkgraaf did not give me the explicit assignment on Fuerteventura. So I wanted to make sure that something was still to be found. I was prepared for that concession, but Tanita had awakened me. If I wanted to make something of the rest of my life, I had to drink the poison cup completely. Well, the juice glass. And I played sports.
The day program looked something like this. At half past seven a brisk walk. a glass of lemon juice at nine o’clock. That caused the stomach reduction and stuff. At half past nine a glass of tasty juice. Then take the thermos with the tomato-tasting ‘lunch’ from the fridge (Henny: “Do not forget your powerjuice!” I: “Shit, caught …”). Aqua jogging at ten o’clock. At five o’clock another sport activity, ranging from a – for me – heavy boxing training from the wind and in full sun to yoga on a mat by the sea. The last juice at six o’clock. And then ‘free’. And oh yes, during the day you could drink as much water and herbal tea as you wanted. In fact, those who took less than two liters were gone. We also received the advice during the hours that no activities were planned to sleep, to relax, to visit the beach, to lie on the edge of the swimming pool and to spend some hours in seclusion to process some things, because during Juice fasting quite a bit on people. “Both physically and psychologically.”

Overall malaise

Let’s start with the physical side.

First: the pooping.
Anyone who takes Henny’s magic potions and does not secretly hide the Mariakaakjes in the hotel room will stop pooping after a day. That’s weird. Especially for a man. Because most men go to the pot with their mobile phone or tablet twice a day to relieve their burden. That is a meditative moment that has prevented many divorces. We need that. Or let me speak for myself: I do. Do you keep that habit if nothing more comes to pass? Or worse: if that seemingly bizarre water consumption only makes it come to the front? Then you are suddenly of a tough guy who transforms the useful (pooping) with the pleasant (rest!) Into a sitting peeing.

Second: detox dementia.
Did you see those two d / t errors in the previous line? ‘United’ must of course be ‘unite’. And ‘changes’ ‘changed’. If you are in the first days of your juice culture week, you can become as demented as a door. As crazy as my grandmother, who at one point put her coffee maker on a (burning) stove, I did not make it to Fuerteventura. But I am not exaggerating when I say that I was looking for my key card at least 469 times during the first half of the week, checked what time we went aquajogging again and wondered which day of the week it was. That I forgot my ‘lunch’ from Henny’s fridge had a different cause. I think tomato cucumber juice is gross. Almost as gross as pea juice. But the darling had done her best so that I did not want to disappoint her. So that that was caused by detox dementia, was a lie for good.
Third: general period.
If you get stinging headaches, become sick, you feel like a mop and you do not have drank 24 beer, that means that during a week of juice fastening, 911 should not be called. No, it means: it’s going great! Then you are detoxing.
Well, it went pretty toppie with me, then. Of course there was no question of headaches, but during the first days I had a constant feeling of general malaise. And I could sleep all day. So that went well. The old body was getting rid of garbage and was prepared for a fresh start of the rest of this century. An idea that got even stronger from day four, because then there was a reversed path on the horizon: I felt energetic. I even went to ask ilona for an extra hour of aquajogging on day five, but because I did not like the highest word in a group, I swallowed that request anyway.
Fourth: muscles.
If you go juice fast (I’ll tell you if I have excited you with my poison, poo and piss stories) chances are you burn more muscles than fat. And that is of course not the intention. To prevent that, you have to exercise. Well, the five to eight kilometers that we walked in groups for me, as an experienced former Four-Day Prosecutor, was not very popular from a technical point of view. But I was gripped by another ‘sport’: the aforementioned aqua jogging. Never know that with foam rubber attributes you can hurt your muscles like since that week on that Canary Island. At least if you participate fanatically and do not let yourself be distracted by an emphatically present Spanish lifeguard or irritation about the emphatic Spanish lifeguard at your neighbor. Fortunately I can shut myself off well for Spanish lifeguards and irritated neighbors. So I became acquainted with muscles that I had forgotten I had. With which we have treated the ‘physical’ part of ‘both physical and psychic’. Then the psyche.

Iron discipline

Let me start with the most important windfall. Windfall 1: for no moment I got the tendency to resign or to get divorced. Well it helps with that first that I am an independent entrepreneur, but of course it is the idea. In the second half of the week I got very nice new ideas for the rest of 2018. And if I am away from home for more than three nights, I always miss my wife. That was no different this time. So that’s nice.
Windfall 2: when it comes down to it, I still have an iron discipline.
I know that because every evening after dinner I make an extra walk on my own from the hotel to the center of Corralejo. I do not know if you know Corralejo (if not: keep it that way), but that is a place where you can find a hundred restaurants. And there are about two nice shops. So then you walk there with your empty stomach in the evening like those restaurants, then you smell all those tasty fresh fish (and that fast foodmoke) and then you decide on each tent, despite the fact that the euros rattle in your walking shorts; I walk on. I can do that. I am strong. What is a week living like a monk on a lifetime?
Windfall 3: happy jerk.
It may have been because I had nothing to process, but I did not feel depressed for one second at Henny and Ilona all week long. Or lonely. Or pathetic. Or otherwise not nice in my head. That week I found juice fast a great way to give the ‘Less Jan’ project that started a few weeks earlier in and to give the Frisian hamlet of Eesterga a powerboost on a warm island. If I left a tear, it was because of the fact that I had become orphaned a few months earlier and I wrote a book about it during my juice week (I do work anyway); but I did that at home as well. In fact, more. The distraction was fine.
Windfall 4: home!
Very crazy, but no matter how much I love the sun and the sea and sometimes just a few days away, never before have I been so happy that I could go back to the windy, rainy Netherlands. Nothing to the detriment of Henny, Ilona or the other participants (mere women and thank God also one man), but man, man, man, how glad I was that after the daily “open your heart” with which Ilona closed the aquajogging my mouth has to open again and something may gnaw. Because if I have learned one thing during my juice development it is this: I have to chew a few times a day to be perfectly happy. That is there after breast and / or bottle feeding slowly by my mother and I can not miss that. So if it ever comes to the point that I become permanently dependent on liquid food, then I can take the plug.

But it does not come that far. Because? Because Tanita! Weight minus 4.2 kilos – BMI minus 1.3 – visceral fat value minus 1, waist circumference minus 9 centimeters (!), And metabolic age (measured three weeks later) minus 7 years (so lower than my actual age). That tastes like more. Or rather: to less. Tanita shakes those 69.7 kilos, but I’m going to get 78 thanks to my walking and diet regime. And if not, then I will go for punishment later this year!

Would you like more information about Health Holidays in Fuerteventura? Click here to read more!

Bron: Vrouw Glossy, Januari 2018
Text: Jan Dijkgraaf

July 4, 2018