I have embarked on my first juice cleanse since I moved to Colorado, and this is also the juice cleanse which, as of today, will officially put me over 200 days of juice cleansing total. That’s over about 8 years, but still a big number when I look at it. Those 200 days have been some of the more transformating of my life, partly because of the physical healing, and partly because of the emotional healing.
When I started cleansing, I was a junk food addict, overeater, was overweight, had chronic fatigue and skin issues, had just come out of depression, and was generally very emotionally distraught. Juice cleansing first of all gave me the experience of what health was really like. I didn’t realize that my entire life I hadn’t felt that great; I didn’t realize that fatigue and mental fog and aches and pains weren’t normal. Juice cleansing, for the first time ever, gave me a peek into what true health was, and I have to say I had never felt that level of health in my life before.
Emotionally, I was able to start to use juice cleansing to heal. It wasn’t always profound, but much of my emotional healing, release, and breakthroughs have been on juice cleanses, simply because food was my drug and so by taking out the drug, I faced myself head-on. By really working through my emotional associations with eating and by working through the various emotional wounds that were from various situations in my life that I’d always used food to cover over, I was able to make little strides in changing how I ate when I wasn’t juice cleansing. And over the years, the way I eat has been greatly transformed into being balanced and healthy.
And these days, I do juice cleanses to tune up physically, though for some different reasons than 8 years ago when I started. The truth is, we live in a world where massive amounts of pollutants are released into the air we breathe, the water we drink, it comes from the construction of our homes, the products we use, the food we might eat, and so many other places. Most modern day activities, products, and places have some kind of toxicity associated with them. It can be a sad feeling, but the truth is even if we eat well we are absorbing things through so many other avenues. This is one of the reasons why the argument against juice cleansing that our bodies already cleanse themselves so we don’t need to cleanse just isn’t true in this day and age. Yes, our bodies are designed to cleanse themselves. And hundreds of years ago, when there were virtually no pollutants in the air, water, our homes, in the products we use, and everyone ate organic because chemicals and junk food didn’t exist, perhaps we didn’t really need cleansing so much (though fasting has been recorded throughout history for boosting health and for spiritual growth). But our bodies don’t exactly account for the massive amounts of toxicity from so many places. It’s too much for what they were designed to do. So, by drinking just juice for a time, our body has the opportunity to use the extra energy we don’t use from digestion to heal, and it can clean out all that junk, as well as re-nourish itself with loads of green juice.
The emotional and spiritual component is also a main component for me these days. Though my eating is 95% better than it was during my worst days, it’s not always as self-loving as it could be, and I want to change that. I want to love myself all the time, in every situation. So juice cleansing helps with that. Additionally, emotional healing and spiritual growth is important to me in general, and so I value juice cleanses in helping expose unresolved, unfelt and therefore unreleased emotional wounds that are about other things entirely than food.
Above: orange parsley juice
So, with all that being said, today is Day 4 of my Juice Cleanse and as of today – January 23rd 2014 – I’ve officially done over 202 days of cleansing! It’s been going pretty predictably for me these days: smooth, pretty enjoyable. Really. Yes, food sounds better than juice (because if you believe the reverse you might want to check whether you’re human), but juice cleanses for me these days are just fine. They’re really not hard emotionally or physically. I can’t say that was always true; for a long time it felt like the worst form of torture and I was a basket-case every day (by the way, if you feel this way, have all the solitary tantrums and cries you need!). But these days, it’s pretty smooth. You can look forward to this too after you have some juice cleanses under your belt! I’ve been making juice and doing a bit more yoga and a bit less cardio than usual, and everything else is pretty much the same.
Above: a green juice of mine, the background is a painting I did!