“You are doing a what!?”
This question is one I have now answered about ten billion times this past week, and is exactly what I would have asked myself a year ago. “A Juice Feast” is the correct answer, and was something I had never heard of before my host family in Florida introduced me to their juicer during a visit last summer. Back then I didn’t really buy the concept of not eating, which goes against everything I had learned about health growing up in Sweden.
Strokes, cancer and high blood pressure run in my closest family and so my new found interest for a healthy lifestyle was confirmed by those host parents. They made me watch movies, read books and search the internet to find out more about how to make changes towards a healthier life back home in Sweden. In the world of veganism that was opening up in front of me, green juice seemed to be the holy drink and I changed my attitude about it. As if avoiding animal products, eating raw pizza and cutting down on gluten wasn’t enough, my friends really labeled me as crazy when I started bringing “liquid cucumber” to school. I wanted to try a juice cleanse but didn’t know how to, and had zero support from anyone around me, and then I stumbled over Courtney online.
My first days of my Juice Feast went by extremely smoothly. I wasn’t even hungry. I drank my juice, went on with my daily life and defended my bottle of greens from the skeptical frowns of others. My body felt good and I was proud of doing fine without eating. I couldn’t believe how easy I thought this was and I was almost a bit disappointed for not having to struggle more like many other Juice Feasters I’d heard about. I questioned if I was doing it right, and there were times I started doubting this form cleansing.
When I woke up on the fifth day I felt down, but still I went on with my morning routine as usual and started making my juice. Halfway through I got really upset and started crying. I hardly ever cry, so this was both confusing and also frustrating because I couldn’t see what was causing this sudden emotional outbreak. After talking with Courtney and doing some journaling, I now believe that not only were my cells were detoxing from my juice cleanse, but my emotions also were. I have always been good at dealing with others’ emotions. When in need of a listener, my friends turn to me for comfort and support. But for whatever reason I haven’t taken the same time to listen to myself.
Suppressing feelings was easy when my normal life was going on, but without food around I now lacked one of my strategies to deal with them, and so old feelings popped up. Now that I was given the opportunity, I could deal with emotions I should have let out years ago. Fasting has taught me to live in the present, and I am now trying to do constant check-ins with myself. I already feel more connected to myself and the life I am living. It is exciting to find out what my inner me has to say!
Now, as one of the many Juice Feasters out there, it is easy to see what I gained from completing my first 7 days of drinking green juice: my confidence is high, my body feels fantastic and full of energy, my friends think I am amazing (and still a bit crazy), my mind is clear and I have grown as a person. But I also remember what it is like to be on the other side, to not believe in the benefits of juice cleansing and to only see the downsides of giving up food. Today I am very happy that I dared to face those thoughts and give it a try. I dared to win, and I won!
Thank you Courtney for leading the way through my old believes and habits towards a better, fuller life. Your support and great knowledge helped me complete the first of many Juice Feasts to come!