My name is Brandi, I’m almost 38 years old and I live in Hawaii! I’ve been thinking about doing some sort of cleanse for about the last 9 months, but really since my son was born in 2008! Only just now am I finally ready to commit to the process. After great thought, I have decided that 21 days of green juice, with the support of a juice coach like Courtney, is just what I need to get clear, lose weight, find inner peace, have sustained energy, and replace negative food patterns with a whole new way of plant-based eating. I am ready to have a new outlook on life and the way I eat and to feel better than I have in a very long time. The first step of a long journey is a deep cleanse with green juice. A flush that will purify my organs, brighten up my eyes, and heal my entire body with extraordinary, unmatched nutrition. I am so ready for this and I cant wait to see where this journey takes me!
As I enter into this awesome and daunting experience, I realize that I am not sick but just plain “run down.” There are certain signs of this that I have been noticing in my body. The first thing is my weight. I currently weigh about 25 pounds higher than my ideal weight. I know weight is just a number, but I feel it straining my system. Also, my eyes seem dull and cloudy, my belly is bloated, my armpits are smelly and my breath is bad. My face is puffy, my gums bleed, and in the morning when I wake, my fingers feel stiff and my feet have pins and needles. My “before” photo:
I know I have a lot going on but I am thankful that these symptoms can all be dealt with by modifying my diet and doing a deep cleanse. I’m not sure how the cleanse is going to go, but somehow I know I can do this. I will miss eating and it will be hard to not think about my favorite foods, but I’m ready. I’m ready to start a new life and to, in a sense, be “reborn” into the new me, the one that’s always been inside me, but has been waiting for the right moment to emerge. I’m ready to break out and to be the best ever version of ME. I know there will be detox and various kinds of highs and lows, but having a coach like Courtney with all her knowledge and expertise will surely make this a smoother road.
Day 2: I have a headache that will not go away and every time I get out of bed I feel nauseous and dizzy. I keep thinking that if the whole cleanse was like this then I’ll be really screwed, but I know it won’t be. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine a different reality when you’re right smack-dab in the middle of an experience you’re not particularly enjoying.
Day 3: I feel good overall. I feel a little stiff in my lower back and legs, but the headache is gone and the nausea has passed. Something good did come out of yesterday: I noticed something profound about my body. In the quietness of having my head wedged between two pillows and just wanting to fall into a deep slumber, I noticed the pains in my body were all on my left side, like a meridian line of sickness. I am very curious to know what this connection might be. I will set out to find the answer to this, perhaps from an acupuncturist or a Chinese medicine practitioner. I guess feeling crappy sometimes can be a gift! What if this knowledge and the research leads to me healing the cause of my discomfort and I never had to live with any of these symptoms again? Thank you God for making the human body so perfect and for making it so easy to heal!
Day 4: I have a nut mylk bag blowout (I’ve been using the blender and nut mylk bag method to make my juice) and so I employed a rubber band to fix it. Last night my whole lower back region was really cramped. The cramps stayed with me all day and my back and butt felt like they needed to be stretched and massaged. I did manage to squeeze in some stretching but I certainly could have done more.
Day 6: I feel great! I just need to remember to drink my juice and my water! Tools I’ve found to be most useful with that: a big fat straw, and drinking my juice within certain time frames. Courtney and I talked about trying to have each quart of juice in by a certain time of day – that really helped!
Day 9: I ask myself, “Is this it?” I’m wondering if I will feel good like this for the rest of the Juice Feast. I asked Courtney and as to whether or not I had plateaued, or if I was going to feel some sort of further euphoria, or even go back down into the slumps of detox. And then it happened. I was filled with love and light and felt high on good vibes; definitely the green juice. I wrote on my Facebook about how happy, content, and nutritionally satisfied I feel, and about how connected I feel to the universe and people around me. I feel I am letting go of the past and am happy with who I am.
Day 12: I killed my blender and so I went to the mall to get a new one. It was tough to smell french fries and fried foods, which are a serious temptation to me even though the idea of eating them sounds gross. I don’t know all of the nasty ingredients that go into a McDonald’s french fry but they sure smell tasty! Today I’m noticing some “boogers” coming from my eyes. My armpits don’t smell as bad, I think my breath is better and I have lost 10 lbs!
Day 13: I am still finding it hard to smell french fries and not want them. Orion (my 4-year old) said my breath smelled like green juice.
Day 16: My nut mylk bag is really starting to fail. I’m realizing that anyone who does juicing this way (blending and straining) should consider buying two nut mylk bags before starting.
Day 17: I feel good, but am really getting cravings. Mexican food, eggs, McDonalds, pizza, just about everything is in my head. I’ve spent most of the day doing administrative tasks and laundry and am so glad I don’t work in a restaurant. Courtney sent me some documentaries on veganism and the yuck of eating animals, and I’m starting to steer my boat in this direction and I am coming away from thinking I need protein from meat. I am now looking at recipes and fantasizing about cooking beans and lentils!
Day 18: Today was a good day. I went to the farmer’s market and was able to get everything I needed for the week for $100. In Hawaii that’s pretty good! It feels great supporting local farmers and being able to ask where the food was grown and get the vibes of the people growing it. I have been putting a lot of thought into how I will eat when I’m done with this cleanse and I am really inspired to not go back to coffee, alcohol, meat, wheat and dairy. I have been watching more videos and documentaries on plant based diets vs. standard diets and I am starting to understand that meat, wheat and dairy causes the body to work harder, creates an acidic system, can be harmful to animals and causes imbalance on the earth. I know now that I can sustain a high-protein diet eating vegan and have been researching the topic so I can be ready to meal plan after my Juice Feast. There are so many resources out there and Courtney pointed me in the direction of some really awesome websites and films on the subject. She is great – I am so thankful for her, she seems to know so much about living this way – she is wise beyond her years! She’s been through all of these same trials that I am currently going through and on top of that, she’s a woman and understands what its like to struggle with weight, food addiction and wanting to look and feel beautiful. I honestly feel her help was instrumental in me lasting this long on my juicing endeavor. I am so thankful to you Courtney:)
Day 19: Only 2 more days left!!! People on Facebook are asking me about my Juice Feast and are inspired to make change in their own lives. It is so awesome to know I am inspiring others! For me, that’s the best thing ever. I am very excited about my clear complexion, my sustained energy level (no highs and lows) and seeing my clothes fit better. I feel like I’m ready to soon begin a 3-month work out regimen with some before and after pictures. I even bought a bikini! Orion told me I looked beautiful tonight. I said,”Really?” and he said, “Here” and pointed me to the mirror. Then he said, “Look at yourself!” That was pretty precious and sure made my heart skip a beat. I feel like I’m shining.
Day 20: Wow I’m almost there… it’s day 20 and I have gotten used to running clean on green juice fuel. Although my energy was a bit low today, it’s more probably a symptom of simply not feeling aligned with doing some things I had to do today. This brings up a good point: when you’re eating a green, plant-based diet, you become more aware of your decisions and where you’re allowing your energy to go. You become conscious of whats working in your life and what’s not. You can no longer force yourself to conform to a life you don’t agree with in every cell in your being. I realize that I want to be more aligned with my life’s purpose than I currently am. Perhaps I am feeling like a career shift is in order, or at least that I need to honor my unique, creative gifts by taking small steps towards being able to create abundance from my creative skill sets and passions. I am inspired to move closer to that goal and transition to a life that feels more satisfying. I am excited for the awesomeness of the rest of my life!
Day 21: I’m here! Its my 21st day and I actually feel great! I made a whole new batch of yummy juice recipes from some of the herbs and kale I picked from the garden where I was working yesterday. I am now enjoying a unique blend of greens, basil and oranges and soon will be consuming my pineapple, mint and fennel concoction. This has been such an adventure. I am overjoyed to have been satisfied and sustained with these juices and am, at the same time, excited to start transitioning back into eating and meal planning. I am thankful for this experience and am proud to say that I have set out to accomplish my goal of doing a 21-day juice cleanse. I can now admit that at the beginning of this juice cleanse, I wasn’t sure how it was going to be for me as I have never done juice fasting for more than 5 – 7 days (which were pretty miserable) . Now on my 21st day of juicing, my skin is glowing and radiant, I’ve lost almost 17 lbs, I feel clear and my eyes look brighter. I know if I keep eating a plant based diet and begin to exercise, getting to where I want to be ultimately is easily obtainable. My before and after pictures from 21 days of Juice Feasting:
The skin on my face has greatly improved and I don’t feel or look bloated anymore. I still must investigate my teeth and overall mouth health and that left-side meridian connection, but I can do that easily throughout this next phase of eating right and starting a new exercise regime. I also may investigate the possibility of doing a liver cleanse and a kidney flush, as some of the symptoms that are lingering in my feet and mouth seem to suggest that I may need specified attention in these organs. But overall, I feel amazing and so much more alive than I was just three weeks ago. I encourage anyone who would like create real change in their lives to consider a long term Juice Feast. It will open your eyes and your heart and unveil a whole new set of possibilities for you. It has truly been a rewarding journey for me and one that I will revisit regularly throughout my lifetime. Much credit goes to Courtney who has been an incredible teacher and guide throughout this transformation time – thank you with all of my heart. To everyone who has come along with me through this journey, as we say in Hawaii, Mahalo, a hui hou malama pono! (Thank you, take care until we meet again).