Well Being: Juice Cleanse!
As I mentioned in my last blog post, I did a 5-day juice cleanse last week. I finished on Sunday and feel great! My favorite juicers at Drought sell their cleanses (called washes) in one-day increments, with a recommended pre-wash rinse the day before you begin and a post-wash rinse the day after you finish, to help ease you into and out of the wash. If you don’t live in Michigan, they do ship but beware, after you have their juice you won’t want another brand. P.S. I also love them for their local roots – a Michigan-based company started by five sisters whose intentions truly come through in the quality of their product.
Day 1: Rinse (one each young thai coconut water; green #1 and beet #1). Three juices spread throughout the day.
All solid food I had on this day was vegetarian, I consumed lots of water (80-90 oz). I also cut out any caffeine, alcohol and sugar.
Day 2: Wash (number 1 – fruit & veggie based) and lots of water. No solid food, coffee or alcohol.
1. green #1: chard, cabbage, apple, celery, kale, lemon
2. pear, cayenne
3. green #1: chard, cabbage, apple, celery, kale, lemon
4. apple, lemon, ginger
5. beet #1: apple, beet, carrot, lemon
6. blended coconut: young thai coconut water, coconut meat (to DIE for)
(photo credit: Drought)
Day 3: Wash (number 2 – veggie based) and lots of water. No solid food, coffee or alcohol.
1. green #2 : collards, broccoli, cabbage, celery, lemon
2. coconut water
3. green #2 : collards, broccoli, cabbage, celery, lemon
4. beet #2 : beet, parsley, lemon
5. apple, lemon, ginger
6. green #1: chard, cabbage, apple, celery, kale, lemon
(photo credit: Drought)
Day 4: Wash (number 2 – veggie based – same as day 3) and lots of water. This day I opted to drink the 4 of the juices and begin adding solid food but in raw fruit/veggie form. I did this by making a smoothie out of the green #1 (just added half of a frozen banana, ice and stevia and blended together) and beet #1 (added frozen cherries, ice and stevia and blended together). I also consumed raw almonds and lots of water.
Day 5: Rinse (one each young thai coconut water; green #1 and beet #1). Three juices spread throughout the day and lots of water. Consumed regular breakfast (egg whites and oatmeal) along with regular lunch and dinner. No caffiene or alcohol.
How did it go?
Great! I will say from the get go, this isn’t a quick-fix weight loss solution, nor did I embark upon the cleanse with that goal (I don’t believe in ANY quick fix – but that’s a separate blog post entirely). While our bodies do have their natural detox and elimination processes that work just fine, I do believe our digestive system and organs of filtration need a break once in a while. I drink one to two cups of coffee every day (with sugar and usually whole milk), I consume wine one to two nights a week on average and I eat chocolate at least once a day. Sprinkle in the occasional pizza, fries and ice cream and it begins to add up. I will say my diet is on the positive side of moderate though, and my biggest realization in recent years as it relates to diet is not what I’m actually eating. It’s HOW MUCH of it. Which brings me to my main takeaway from the cleanse: moderation is key. We usually crave a cleanse or detox when our life isn’t moderate. Or another word for that would be out of balance – when our food choices aren’t so great and/or the quantity of what we’re eating is more than necessary. From that standpoint, a cleanse is a great reset button. We are, however, a society that demands a quick fix to everything, and I believe in nothing other than a moderate diet and exercise to garner results. Here are my takeaways from the cleanse and what I think we can all learn from our relationship with food.
Emotions and Food
The essentials of survival: food, water and shelter. Energetically, our first chakra (side note: if you don’t know much about the chakras, I highly recommend learning about them – quick article here or there’s a fabulous book called The Wheels of Life by Anodea Judith. Understanding them is a profound tool for self discovery and growth.) Our first chakra is our space of survival, trust and comfort – our ground and our foundation. Closely tied to that space is our second chakra – our space of emotion. Think of the times when we indulge in otherwise “un-moderate” food choices or quantities – they are usually highly emotional events: family gatherings (any range of emotions can apply here from utter joy to hatred – yes, unfortunately), holidays, celebrations, etc. We live in a world where food and beverage are the centerpiece of most gatherings and from a young age, we subconsciously correlate food with emotion. Through the years I’ve noticed about myself that when I have a reaction of stress or an influx of emotion during my day, I reach for food. It’s easily explained from an energetic standpoint. When we’re stressed for whatever reason, we instinctually and subconsciously grasp for our space of trust and ground – thus we reach for what grounds and comforts us as it relates to survival: food (and usually carbohydrate- and fat-based comfort foods, surely not a pile of vegetables). Being aware of that energetic response to emotion has allowed me to differentiate between actual hunger and an emotional need for comfort, trust and reassurance that it’s all going to be ok.
Relationship with Food
Whether we like it or not, food is yet another relationship in our life. We need it. It needs us (sort of) – but we need it more than it needs us therefore we are in control of creating a healthy and moderate relationship with it. I say it this way because during the three days I went without solid food the biggest thing I noticed was how the days dragged on without the “reward” of meals. This made me dig deeper and realize the “control” food had over my day in a sense – how I’d been positioning food as a reward and source of excitement in my day rather than a source of proper and healthy nourishment and energy for my body and mind. My boyfriend and I joked during the cleanse that we didn’t know what to do with ourselves without having meals to prepare and eat – we were bored! It was also an opportunity to examine what hunger really means. Was I really hungry or was my emotional attachment to food making my mind tell me I was STARVING. When I returned to eating food, I ate less. I realized I didn’t need so much. I ate slowly and mindfully and enjoyed it, but didn’t overeat. It was also a reality check into my relationship with caffeine and alcohol. After the cleanse concluded and I was “allowed” to have them, I didn’t enjoy them as much as I used to – I realized I consumed them more out of habit than enjoyment (morning ritual with coffee and obligatory wine with dinner). Did it break me from ever drinking those things? No. I just feel like I have a healthier more moderate relationship with my diet in general. Like any relationship in our life, there are times when it feels refreshing to detach for a minute and return with a fresh perspective.
Should you (or can you) do it?
Yes! Here are some tips:
- Don’t do it as a weight loss program because you’ll be disappointed. Your purpose should be deeper.
- Do the pre- and post-wash rinse, especially if you aren’t used to juicing.
- Stay busy through the hours from 10am-2pm. I was most hungry until 2 or 3pm and after that felt fine.
- Six juices in a day may not seem like enough but I found that I actually had a hard time getting them all in (sounds crazy but that’s true).
- If it’s your first cleanse and you’re only doing one day, try wash #1 that includes fruit. If you’re doing more than one day, try at least one day of wash #2 (less fruit/sugar).
- Control your mind. There will be moments your mind has thoroughly convinced you that you can’t go another minute without food. I likened this to what a true addict must go through when detoxing. Being on a cleanse is a mild form of detaching from something we are “addicted” to.
- However many days you choose, devote yourself fully to allow your organs to be bathed in nutrients and rest, and to allow your mind and emotions to detach from habits, addictions and cravings. You’ll emerge with a fresh perspective and will feel cleaner and clearer from the inside out.
- After it’s over, as the saying goes, “all things in moderation, including moderation.”
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. Happy cleansing!
Be well xo