Why I didn’t take pictures of my first (legit) juice cleanse.

As I embarked on my first detox/cleanse I was not sure what lie ahead. The only intentions for doing this:  #1 it was a new calendar year, #2 I’ve always wanted to try, and #3 I’ve been doing a lot of research in toxins found within our bodies from all sorts of foods/personal care products, so I thought it would be a good idea to release as many as I could.

I shared with A-man that I intended to begin on a week day. He reminded me that if we wanted to stock up on organic veggies it may be a good idea to wait until Saturday to hit up the farmers market for the best selection and prices. Good thinking so we (yes he embarked on the journey with me) decided on Saturday – Monday. 3 days. A popular question that comes up when talking about juicing/cleansing/detoxying is “How long?” For me, I think 3 days is a nice chunk of time to rid the body of toxins. However I can now see the value in taking part in a longer program. And I realize a ‘program’ doesn’t have to be the same for everyone. I know of people that participate in a 30 day detox that involves a slow start by consuming broth soups & cooked veggies with a transition into only juice & tea with a finish that looks similar to the start before introducing grains and high glycemic fruits that one may consume during a non-cleansing time. I also know of people that think 5-7 days is best.

TIP #1: choose your time wisely. look for a chunk of time in which you are able to give in to whatever comes up & out. Example: my 1st day, i needed a nap. 2nd day, i needed a nap AND alone time. by day 3 i felt great. you want to be able to honor your needs.

I tried Dr. Junger’s CLEAN program a few years ago. And it is a good one. Yet I ¾ my way through it because the emotional issues were not yet dealt with properly so there wasn’t room to give it my fullest potential. I even wrangled up my mom to do it with me because I knew then I would take it more seriously. You see, there is so much more to a cleanse than ridding the cells of toxins we only think are in the foods, drinks, medications, toiletries, etc we choose. What about the thoughts we create? They are just as toxic to our cells. And the thoughts surrounding our actions have to be addressed in order for REAL, LASTING change to occur.

TIP #2: TRY THIS for at least a one full day: throughout your entire day, pay attention to your thoughts. write them down word for word (no editing to make them seem less harsh or more intelligent, etc). you know when you catch yourself day-dreaming at the office, in the car, on the yoga mat. those thoughts that just happen to creep in day in and day out. get real with yourself and be honest. a bit before bed look over what has been written down. how do your thoughts make you feel as you read them? do you cringe at the negativity felt? we have to start using our own capacity to contact positive energy. REMEMBER: Your inner mindset decides whether or not you invite happiness & abundance into your life.

So this time around shit had been dealt with and momma was ready to do this! I thought about taking pictures and honestly it just didn’t feel right. You know those moments when you think the “I shoulds” but “I’m REALLY not feeling it!”. I wondered why it didn’t feel right and sat with the wonderment for a good bit. I found by honoring the resistance to not take pictures, I was guided into a more internal process. Part of that was saying “talk to the hand” to being plugged in to the external. Isn’t the point of cleansing & detoxifying an internal thing?

TIP #3: It’s important to understand that cleansing/detoxifying is unique to the individual. So before you dive in, honor your unique experience and be ready because it may not turn out how you thought it would.

To share openly, there is NO WAY I could have prepared for what happened as my cleanse was coming to an end. AND there was NO WAY I could have prepared for what happened the couple of days following. Ready for this, I WAS SURGED WITH ENERGY. No joke. I functioned on less sleep and my functioning was shockingly productive. And not only productive, I’m talking insanely creative & intuitive work! Below is a bit of what I accomplished the last day of the cleanse & the couple of days after:

  1. The stuff that came up and out (emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually) was awesome to say good bye to. A-man and I were able to talk through a couple hot-button issues and my fiery nature was more calm, cool, and collected! I came to the decision it is time to sell my dad’s car. I’ve had it since he passed and felt attached to it because it was a part of him. All-the-while we are outgrowing it. I participated in Our Naked Life challenges with gusto (www.ournakedlife.com)!
  2. I functioned more productively on less sleep and literally had more energy that carried into 2 days after the cleanse. Ready for this… the first day off the cleanse I had so much energy and mental/creative stimulation I woke at 2:30am and worked on misc. things (yoga playlists, dance classes, future articles, etc) until about 4am. At which I tried to fall back asleep and couldn’t because of the natural energy pulsing through my veins. So I hopped up again and faced the fact that I was truly awake so why not be productive. For those that do not know, I am a sleeper. Always have been. The 1st the fall asleep at a slumber party. The 1st or close 2nd to call it a night at a party or out on the town. So this was hugely strange yet exciting and so productive.
  3. My taste buds changed drastically. Because of this I was able to identify with my body’s messages on what it did (sautéed & steamed greens) & did not want/need (chocolate covered almonds). The 2nd day off cleanse I took a bit of oatmeal and had to spit it out. The moment my teeth chomped on the first bite, I knew my body didn’t want grains in that moment. Below is what I cooked up instead.
My first meal after cleansing. Sauted greens with coconut oil, lightly steamed with raisins, topped with pumpkin seeds. SO GOOD!

My first meal after cleansing. Sauted greens with coconut oil, lightly steamed with raisins, topped with pumpkin seeds. SO GOOD!

Some great resources for juicing/cleansing/detoxifying:

  • http://www.nourishandbalance.com Malissa Schwartz is one of a kind. She is a health coach as well as a cleansing specialist and a super cool lovely! Full of knowledge, passion, and spunk she is a great source of support when considering a detox/cleanse or whatevs you’d like to call it.
  • http://www.cleanprogram.com I think this program is well done however it does cost a pretty penny. Website is very informational so check it out if you like.
  • Use local resources. Juice bars are opening up all over the place so research your area. Making juice at home is 1st best but juice bars are always a great way to help out during busy days! In Sarasota, Whole Foods juice bar is always a great option. Earth Origins (both locations) also serves up delicious fresh juices. SRQ is also lucky to have a couple newbie juice: Sarafresh Juice seen at the downtown Farmers Market as well as on Facebook. Two Girls Food is also a newer addition, check out on Facebook.

CHEERS to moving on up!

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Cleansing/Detoxing: Part 1

The new year is now 4 months in and we may start hearing the words DETOX or CLEANSE ALOT! Many people (including myself and sig other) are setting the intention to lighten the dietary load on their bodies and there is no better time to do so than SPRING almost SUMMER. “Spring cleaning” is not just for the things that build up in our closets, cabinets and such; it is also for our bodies, minds, and spirits.

A detox or cleanse is a way to LIVE and EAT cleanly, ridding the body of toxins and pollutants by introducing only high-nutrient, whole foods. Our bodies know how to cleanse and restore, so by detoxifying we are giving it a helping hand. With the MANY varieties of detox’s or cleanse’s, the goal is to get rid of toxins that have been stored (in our fat cells) for who knows how long, giving our organs (think skin and liver which play major parts in the detoxifying process) the chance to revitalize. Yet it is not just about diet. Hydrotherapy, facial exfoliation, skin brushing, manual lymphatic drainage massage, and deep breathing exercises will all help expel toxins by improving circulation and enhancing lymphatic flow. And what about the toxic thoughts and feelings that occur in the mind? Did you know adrenaline and other chemicals our bodies produce in reaction to stress cause the body to produce toxic substances and free radicals?

I first heard of cleansing while growing up with a catholic grandmother. What is known as fasting, I saw as cleansing. In my younger years I saw my devoted grandmothers ways a way of service, to her faith and her self. This thought was so inspiring to my young mind. Then in college, The Master Cleanse was brought up in discussion and I have yet to take on the challenge. Nowadays, there are juice, RAW foods only, or soup cleanses.

What I have learned and put in to practice is that there are things that should be considered before, during and after all cleanses. Below is a guide based on juice cleansing. NOTE: If you are on medication, have a serious illness or are pregnant please consult your healthcare practitioner. Here’s to squeezing out the old and letting in the new!

BEFORE:

  • Plan ahead and stock up. Whether you are making your own juices or ordering from a cleansing company, its a good idea (and cost effective for shopping) to plan ahead. Maybe make up a meal plan to guide throughout the allotted cleanse time. When shopping, stock up on herbal teas because you can have as much as you like before, during and after cleansing. Take a look at your calendar and limit social engagements. Unless you are super strong and can resist usual temptations at social gatherings.
  • Purchase a dry brush. Sound crazy? Trust me! Dry brushing is known for pumping up the lymph system and getting rid of dead skin cells. Want your skin to glow in time for summer? Start with dry brushing by removing the top dull, dead layer of skin and encouraging new cells to regenerate. There is a certain technique. Make sure your brush is one of natural bristles and has either a handle or straps to reach those hard to reach places (SEE BELOW FOR ROUTINE).
  • Purchase a journal if you like that sort of thing. Journaling will help get out your thoughts and feelings wether postive or negative just get them out! Writing shit out may also spurt creativity that has been locked away.

5-minute skin brushing routine:

KEY PARTS- Preferably in the am BEFORE showering and in a warm room. Start at feet and work upwards towards the heart.heart-hands-karl-addison

  1. Place towels underneath where you will stand or sit comfortably. Begin with the sole of your Right foot. Using firm, rhythmic strokes, brush the sole several times. Then move to the top of your foot, brushing upwards toward your ankle. Then go on to your lower leg, making sure you cover the whole surface-shin and calf. Always brush in an upward direction. Stand up and brush the area from your knee to the top of your thigh. Make sure you cover the whole area several times, using long rhythmic strokes. Brush your buttock area as far as your waist. REPEAT the whole procedure on your Left leg, starting with the sole of your foot.
  2. Starting from the top of your buttocks, brush the whole of your back several times all the way up to the shoulders.
  3. Next, brush your right arm. Start with the palm of your hand, move to the back of the hand and then brush from your wrist up to your elbow, always upward. Brush your upper arm, working from your elbow towards your shoulder, again covering the whole surface of the arm. REPEAT on your Left side.
  4. Very gently, brush your abdomen in a clockwise circle. Cover the area several times but with less pressure than on your arms and legs. If at any time this feels uncomfortable, stop.
  5. The neck and chest are also very sensitive so be gentle, always working towards your heart.

Next week, tips “during” a cleanse.