I just completed a 10 day juice cleanse. It was intense. It was up. It was down. It was a beautiful thing and I learned a lot.
I broke the cleanse yesterday - gently and easily, so I wouldn’t put too much strain on my newly-cleansed digestive system. I drank only juice until the evening hours, which felt good. The first thing I ate was an orange. It felt odd at first eating something solid – my instinct was saying to just juice the orange instead! But later in the evening, I had some steamed asparagus, and that felt like Thanksgiving dinner. I felt really full after eating it.
Now, 2 days after the cleanse, it’s almost 6pm and I’ve only had green juice, coconut water and tea today. My body feels good on that. I’m roasting some Brussels sprouts in the oven right now with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. I’m going to stick to just veggies and fruits for a few days until my body feels ready to re-introduce other foods. I’m really listening to my body and I don’t want to overdo it. I want the crystal clear cleanse feeling to last.
A few people asked me what my key takeaways were from the cleanse.
Here are a few things I learned:
- My body feels much better on less food.
- Overeating kills creativity.
- Drinking green juices daily makes (almost) everything feel better.
- 10 days (or more) of just juices is totally healthy and fine (for me).
- The first few days were the hardest. By the end I was just sick of using the juicer so much.
- A clean body = a clear mind.
- Detoxing the system involves emotional detox, too.
- Homemade almond milk is the most delicious thing on the planet. I’d take it over ice cream any day.
- Depressing moods aren’t permanent. Neither are ecstatically blissful ones.
- Juicing your own juice is a time-consuming process (but the juices are super fresh).
- Cleaning the juicer is a less-than-fun activity. Music and singing helps.
- Cleansing can be a part of my daily life even when I’m not on an “official” cleanse.
- Cleansing is about moving forward by getting rid of old, negative stuff from the past that’s weighing you down. Literally and figuratively.
- I started to see more clearly what’s positively enhancing my life vs. negatively dragging me down. I realized that some things in my life do both. It’s not all black and white.
- My ipod has too many songs on it that bring me into the past. On the agenda: detox my ipod and include more songs that are motivating and inspiring.
- The cleanse made me want to clean out my whole apartment and get rid of everything that isn’t enhancing my life.
- During the cleanse and after, the foods I craved the most were vegetables.
So I’m moving forward in 2012 with a clearer feeling physically and mentally. More deeply in tune and conscious about how what I eat affects my life. Able to see the benefits of detoxing the old in order to move forward with a fresh perspective. And way, way more excited about fruits and vegetables than I already was before.
Here are the 10 recipes I made during my cleanse:
- Green Juice (my absolute favorite)!
- Carrot Juice
- Cilantro Juice
- Almond Milk (this delight helped me get through the week)
- Spicy Green Juice
- Mojito Juice (my other favorite – very refreshing)
- Grapefruit Green Juice
- Beet Juice
- Pear Orange Juice
- Pineapple Green Juice
If you’re thinking about doing a cleanse, you probably have a lot of questions. Following along on my documented 10-day journey will help, but there are some other great resources out there. Although the following 2 links are specific to certain cleanses, there’s a ton of info contained about general cleansing and health here:
So before you embark on your first cleanse – check those links out, do your research (if you’re anything like me, you’ll read every word!), get psyched up and enjoy the wild ride.
Oh, and remember – you can make small steps towards a clearer mind and body every day. Just begin to notice when you’re doing things that are creating a less-than-awesome experience in your life, and next time you’re about to do that thing…think for a minute, and maybe, just maybe...make a different choice.
All you cleansers out there….what did you learn from your cleanses? Any cool insights to share? You know I love learning from you.
Do you love health, nutrition and wellness? Check out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition!