The other morning I was on the phone in the kitchen when my husband, Paul, came in grabbed a box from the cupboard that contained a 14 Day Organic Herbal cleanse and proceeded to open it. I immediately put my hand on the box, signaled for him to wait, and hung up the phone. I asked him”What are you doing? and he said, ” I want to start this cleanse.” I said, ” Okay, but before you do can we sit down and talk?” And we did.
If you are experienced at cleansing then perhaps you can just jump right in and there is no need to read this blog post. For those of you who have never embarked on the journey of a cleanse, particularly a juice cleanse, please read.
An internal cleansing of the body is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. It is not easy by any means, but, with enough preparation it can be done. Depending on how toxic your are within will determine the intensity of your detox symptoms. The whole time you are cleansing you are experiencing detox symptoms, but, the most intense usually last between the first 1-3 days. After that you are on your way. I describe those first few days as your “make it or break it days.” Those are the days that will test you on just how dedicated you are to yourself.
Do you Remember the scene from the movie Castaway? Do you recall the scene where Tom Hanks is finally getting off the island. He waited until the perfect time of year when the winds were going in the right direction, planned, prepared, and thought about every detail including what he was going to need to build on his raft to give him every successful chance of getting through the surf and into the vast ocean. When that day came he took his raft into the ocean, floated head on into the pounding waves. He was running into some trouble and could have turned back, but, he prepared his raft with an accessory to work with the wind to get him over the crashing waves. It was turbulent and scary but he stuck through it and eventually he got to the other side and was on his way home. That is how I view the first days of a cleanse.
A cleanse can bring you back home to your body. Years and years of toxins from refined sugars, fats, caffeine, nicotine, drugs, alcohol, meat, environmental toxins, emotional toxins, and the Standard American outdated Diet (SAD) are stored within your body. These toxins weaken your nervous system, create a haze within the brain, keep you emotionally imbalanced, and numb you from being able to listen to what your body is crying out for you to do. Our bodies know what they need. We are just to bogged down in toxins to be able to listen.
I have been contacted by several people inquiring about juice fasting. I know of a few who are preparing to embark on their own personal journeys. Instead of writing each person and repeating the same thing I decided to blog about it. Let me remind anyone reading this first of all I am not an expert. I just did the research, contacted those around me with experience, and read my juicing books everyday.
What I have to share is from my own personal experience and the steps I took that allowed me to succeed far beyond what I ever expected…… changing my life.
The Setting Up For Success Phase:
1. Get a journal. Anything. A spiral notebook. A fancy moleskin. Whatever. Sit down at a time when you aren’t going to be disturbed or have to rush anywhere. Take a couple of deep breaths and think about all the reasons you are considering going on a cleansing journey. Write down everything from the way you feel mentally, physically, and emotionally. Create Strong intentions. Strong intentions. Get honest. Get Creative. Get Simple and to the point.
I wrote in my previous blog about how I embraced a moment at Whole Foods when I was feeling absolutely horrid from the inside out. I wanted to remember every feeling I was having in that moment because I never wanted to feel that way again. Well that little moment of complete awareness got me through a couple of pretty intense times in the first couple of days. The image of what I wanted to look and FEEL like carried me through a pretty intense headache. I had strong intentions set and those intentions carried me through the crashing waves of those early days.
What do you want to look like? How do want to feel? All of these images will be important tools to use when a huge wave may be pounding on your body!
2. Set your start date. I know some people think that doing it this way is just prolonging the event and they would rather jump in. Everybody is different. This way worked for me. This gave me a chance to set the date I was going to start my “entry phase” and allowed me to get the supplies I would need and gather my support team. Consider the time of year and any events going on in your life. Do you want to be cleansing during the holidays? Consider starting on a weekend or whenever you hve 2 or 3 days off in a row to start your cleanse.
Set a goal date to end. I chose 10 days. That came down from 30 days:) You can choose any amount of days. 3 or 5 or 10 whatever you feel is best. Reboot Your Life.com has great programs you can follow. They include an entry phase, a 3 or 5 day cleanse and an exit phase. It is all about taking it one day at a time. Day 10 turned out to me my “break open day” and after that day my body just flowed with the juice cleanse. It needed to cleanse more. Each day after Day 10 I gave myself the choice to stop or go another day. I went until Day 15. Set a reasonable goal.
Also think about what you want to happen after the cleanse is over. Is this a true life change or just a seasonal cleanse. Begin to think about that and what steps you may need to continue the life shift.
3. Gather a support team. Support=Success. In my preparation period I let certain trusted friends know what I was doing and asked if they would be part of my support team. I thought about what other support I needed to assist and care for my body through this time of release. I contacted my favorite local energy healer, set up colonic sessions, and joined online support groups.
4. Assist your Body– Research other ways you can assist your body in the detoxifying process. You can help your body release toxins by:
– Dry brushing your skin before you enter the shower.
– A cold shower is an excellent detoxification tool to flush the organs of toxins and replenish them with fresh blood along with changing your glandular secretions.
– Utilizing Pranayama (breathing techniques) such as Long Deep Conscious Breathing (inhale 7 secs. hold 7 secs. exhale 7 secs.) 7-10 times or Breath of Fire. See video to the left of blog post. The breathing will help move toxins out of your lungs and blood and assist with moving through addictive urges.
– Choose light exercises while on a cleanse. You want your energy to be within your digestive system helping to move out all the backed up, built up wastes you have been carrying around. Choose exercises that will support your bodies detoxification processes. There are several hatha yoga postures as well as Kundalini Yoga sets that support detox.
– DRINK PLENTY OF FILTERED WATER
5. Meditation and Mantra is very helpful. Mantra will help refocus your thoughts and change the way you feel while going through tough times. Meditation can also assist you in gaining control over your mind and balancing that internal battle a lot of people have: Physical Vs. Mental Vs. Emotional. You know the, “I want to be healthy but something in me always fights it.” I used a specific meditation for that inner conflict and it has added to not only the success of my juice fast but the shift within me towards living healthy.
6. Choose juice combinations that appeal to you. At this point you should have bought or checked books out of the library about juicing and started writing some recipes down. Learn about what the benefits of each vegetable are and create your own cocktails specific to your cleansing needs. DO NOT OVERDO THE FRUIT JUICE. Just because it is juice does not mean anything goes. Fruit may not be refined sugar but it is still sugar. Balance out your intake. I stuck to using green apples (low in sugar) and lemons.
In the beginning I used a lot of carrots apples and beets as I was focusing on my liver. I cut way back after a couple of days and shifted to green drinks. Your tastes will change as your brain reboots. What you never thought you would like may suddenly become the greatest tasting vegetable ever. I hated cucumbers before the cleanse and now I like them. Remember carrots are high in sugar too. Just balance.
7. Stock up on electrolyte supplements. That was a comment I would hear from people. “Oh that is so dangerous you have to think about your blood sugar.” Usually that was followed by their own fear of cleansing by commenting, “I could never do that. My blood sugar would drop.” Hey that’s valid and very important to think about. If you are hyper or hypo glycemic of course you are going to consult a physician before doing this. This may not be suitable for certain people. I did my research thus I was prepared. My first 3-4 days I had plenty of coconut water available. I took it with me everywhere. It helped. Yes. My blood sugar levels would dip. I was prepared. The wave did not knock me down. When it would hit I would drink the coconut water and it balanced.
When I got tired of the water and felt I needed something more I made up a batch of potassium sodium mineral water AKA vegetable broth. Talk about heavenly to drink in the middle of a cleanse! Be careful when preparing as the smell of the fresh veggies filling your house will test you. If you already have been cooking for others it shouldn’t be as bad. Don’t forget the electrolytes! Be prepared.
8. Think about fiber supplements or other ways you may need to assist your elimination process. Think about colonics, enemas, and teas that may be right for your body. And don’t forget the probiotics. You will be losing good bacteria along with the bad. You want to replace the good bacteria in your intestinal tract. Also if the usual comment comes up from a concerned family member or friend, “Oh your cleansing? Well, that is just bad for you! Don’t you know that takes away your good bacteria!” You can say, “Yes. I know. I am prepared! I got it covered!”
During your prep phase you should be cutting down on the caffeinated beverages junk foods, meats, etc. You can go cold turkey if you want. I don’t suggest it. It is all up to you. This is why you set your date. Slowly introduce juice into your system. It can be potent at first. Start each day with a small juice and build it up to more.
I set my date for Sept. 1st. This was the day I was going to go totally “juicy”. I began my entry phase 3 days prior and my Setting Up For Success phase days before. I increased my juice intake each day and decreased my food intake. When it came to my all out “juicy” day I did not want solid food anymore. I was ready. There are many resources out there to help you prepare for this entry phase. They should be in your juice fasting books.
Don’t forget to journal through out your journey. It is a personal journey. Your journey will not be like mine. Your awareness will be different than mine. It is so exciting and life altering you do not want to forget the experience. The ups the downs the pains and the discoveries. It is living life to its fullest. Learn from this beautiful experience and one day you may be sharing with others in your circle looking for inspiration and support.
All I have to say for this phase is create a routine!
Always have veggies and fruits available so you don’t run into a pitfall of nothing to juice!
Call for support. Let someone know how you are feeling. Get it out.
Treat yourself with love. You will be in an intimate vulnerable state. Take epsom salt baths for any aches, create a healing loving enviroment for yourself. Take a break from the world as much as you can. This is a time for you.
Get a massage…this assists in moving the toxins out and feels good!
You may cry and get emotional. Don’t suppress this. Buried feeling are being released. You may feel lonely, angry, frustrated. Just go with it. Scream. Scream some more. Your subconscious will mess with you. Your mind will want its fix and try to take control. You will want your normal routines that are associated with food or drink. Use your tools. Do you want the familiar path or do you want the exciting new path. Read my past blogs. I had tools for these situations. The most intense painful moments can end up being your most profound life changing moments.
Pray, Surrender, and Let Grace come in…..
Don’t give up!
When you reached your goal or you heard the calling of your body that is was time to end the cleanse prepare for your exit phase. I started really craving avocados and almonds the day I knew it was time to stop. I wasn’t hungry. It was just a strong inner knowing. My body was craving fat. What is remarkable is the very day I got that “knowing” I weighed myself. I had dropped 16 lbs and was at the exact weight I was supposed to be at for my frame. The body knows what to do if we just listen! If I would have continued I would have been going on ego and crossing into the unhealthy realm.
Be sure to start your exit phase by eating high water content fruits only. It is important you do not throw back a huge salad or a bowl of beans or a burger. Your stomach has taken a rest and the digestive enzymes need stimulated. Slowly wake your stomach back up. I started the first day with just taking a few bites of a watermelon. The second day I ate watermelon and apples. The third day I drank a smoothie with almond milk. The fourth day I made a veggie soup and was super excited to eat the vegetables. I took it nice and slow for 5 days. I am still not eating whole nuts or beans. I will soon.
So my husband is wanting to embark on his own journey now. I did not suggest it to him or coerce him in any way. He came home and was blown away with how I have changed. Eating foods that heal instead of steal from me is a priority in my life. That is what he noticed and inspired him. It is in my core now. So we sat down and talked and I shared everything with him that I just wrote above. If he wants what I have in the way that is for his highest and best good he needs to set himself up for success. He has set his date and this weekend we are watching Fat Sick and Nearly Dead together. Monday we are beginning a Eat Healthy Class at Whole Foods. He is ready for his Set Up For Success Phase!
So I will end the blog with this …..
I was completely addicted to caffeine and high fat foods. This was not easy. My intake of caffeine was equivalent to an everyday coffee drinker. It was destroying my nervous system and my liver will be detoxing for another 30 days now as I shift into a liver specific detox. I have no desire for caffeine. None. The levels of energy and health I have touched and want to keep are far more uplifting that any false energy caffeine gave me. My body was screaming for nutrients and the caffeine was stripping them from me causing an emotional and energetic roller coaster. Caffeine is a drug.
I know some of you out there are struggling with this very thing. Others are struggling with sugar. Both are drugs. I want neither and I was addicted to both. Your body is screaming for nutrients. Juice is the most potent way to get them into your body.
My personal experiences have led me deeper into the world of nutrition and recovery. I had no idea the things that happened to me during this cleanse would raise my awareness to the importance of nutrition and addictive behaviors. This journey was so much more than I could ever have imagined. All I had to do was plan, prepare, and connect to the love with in myself and know that a power greater than me would have my back.
I thank everyone who was there for me during those 18 days. I thank everyone on the Reboot Your Life Community. I thank my mom for not lecturing me. I thank Joe Cross for his “glow” and amazing bravery. I thank Dr. Joel Fuhrman for his amazing research into a way of eating that creates health not dis-ease. I thank all the support from Facebook and I thank the light of self- love within me that guides my way always. I feel truly alive!
I send you nothing but support and loving energy on your journey and if there is anything I may be able to help you with please contact me. If I can help I will and if I can’t I will refer you to someone who can.
Here is to your “juicy” journey to vibrant health and a whole new you from the inside-out!! Glow Baby:)