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Most people seek juice cleansing for the alleviation of physical health problems and weight loss, which it can help greatly with and is one of the healthiest physical methods for those ends. Today though, I’m excited to discuss how juice cleansing can support us in healing overeating and food addiction. I’ve personally done juice cleanses of many lengths, including my longest of 60-something days, and they have greatly assisted me in my journey of healing overeating and permanent, healthy weight loss.

Food is perhaps the only compulsion we can have which we aren’t able to stop completely for the rest of our lives. If we’re compulsive with gambling, pornography, alcohol, marijuana, sex, or any number of other things, they’re all ones we can cease altogether. Food is not like that, which doesn’t mean that we can’t heal our addictive behavior with it, but it makes it somewhat different to address partly because of this factor.

I found that because I was dipping back into my favorite compulsion, my “substance” (food) multiple times every day, it was hard for me to really get an objective handle on the whole thing. I overate so often, and was so addicted to junky foods that it constantly felt like I was on a roller coaster I couldn’t get off of and which never stopped. I’d try to step back to see why I was compulsive with food, but before I knew it, I was eating again and all consumed by it. I was so obsessed with food and weight all the time, always worried about what I might eat and beating myself up for what I’d already eaten, terrified I’d gain more weight or never lose it, that with all the drama and addiction all the time, I found it hard to see what was happening or make any progress with changing it.

Compulsive eating, binge eating, overeating, and junk food addiction are all forms of food addiction. Food addiction is similar to any other kind of addiction: it is there to help us avoid feeling our emotions. Anytime we behave with food in a way that hurts our bodies, in a way that is not logical nor loving towards ourselves, which sabotages our health or our being at a healthy weight, it is always because we are attempting to suppress ourselves emotionally. Food can help guard us against anxiety, fear, loneliness, discomfort, anger, pain, grief, shame and much more. Food can be an attempt to suppress any feeling about any topic. If we’ve been using food excessively much of or all of our lives, it is an indicator that there has been lifelong avoidance of feeling certain emotions and a strong desire to continue to avoid feeling them at all costs.

 

 “We eat the way we eat because we are afraid to feel what we feel.”

-Geneen Roth

 

When I discovered juice cleansing, the idea of it both excited and terrified me. I hoped this would be the answer to getting out of the prison of being overweight and obsessed with eating, and at the same time, the idea of going without food and certain drinks made me feel panicked.

I had been reading books about healing compulsive eating, and none of them had ever suggested juice cleansing. In fact, most of them discouraged anything which the author viewed as another form of restriction and as another diet; a different form in the same unhealthy cycle a person has been stuck in. Many overeating “experts” strongly discourage juice cleansing and suggest doing so would only exacerbate the problems the person needs to address. I completely understand where this concern comes from, because I see people frequently–even some of my own clients–seek juice cleansing for reasons that really just distill down to another crash diet (albeit the healthiest one you could do), and only seek a physical change without a desire to address the root cause of why they have problematic habits with eating. Juice cleansing indeed be more of the same yo-yo cycle if that’s how a person approaches it. Though we are likely to get the physical changes–particularly weight loss–that we are seeking from cleansing, juice cleansing remains in the framework of the dieting mentality.

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The thing that no one talks about is the fact that juice cleansing is not inherently that way and that actually, that doesn’t have to be the only potential intention for why a person would do a juice cleanse. We can approach it in a much different way; in fact a way so opposite that it can be the difference between a juice cleanse being a temporary fix which perpetuates our dieting cycles, or, it can be a powerful tool for very deep emotional healing which will actually change our relationship with food altogether and help us get to the place many people dare to even dream of being: where they don’t struggle with food or weight at all anymore, don’t diet anymore because there is no need to, and have great health.

We can juice cleanse with the desire to feel the emotions that we have been avoiding with the compulsive use of food. Going on a juice cleanse can be like going to food addiction rehab: we can remove the thing we are addicted to, which creates a space to deal with why we are addicted to it. Removal of an addiction often triggers the emotions which we are constantly using the addiction to cover over, in this case food and drinks (ie. caffeine etc), giving us an opportunity to feel those feelings instead of burying them all the time.

The way that healing overeating and permanent weight loss happens is by choosing not engage the suppressive behavior anymore, and then feeling what is there when we don’t do it. It happens by changing our beliefs about emotions and about feeling them, and being willing to feel everything in our soul, no matter what it is. The feelings we are suppressing will only leave us by us feeling them fully and actually going through them, which is the very thing we are desperately trying to avoid with our emotional eating.

 

“The best way out is always through. ”

-Robert Frost

 

For a juice cleanse or juice feast to be an environment for this kind of shift to happen, we have to desire to feel. We have to want to be thrown into the fire emotionally, and be willing to allow ourselves to feel emotionally overwhelmed and to look at what we believe about emotions that makes us so scared and resistant to them. A juice cleanse will not magically heal compulsive eating. While a juice cleanse done correctly will foster wonderful changes in the physical body and everyone who does one correctly has great results, a juice cleanse has no power in itself emotionally. In other words, juice cleansing is not inherently a restriction which will perpetuate diet cycles, and it is not inherently a magical cure for food addiction. It’s just drinking lots and lots of veggies and fruits in a way that enables our bodies to be fully supported without eating solid food.

If we do desire to take the leap and let ourselves get really emotionally triggered, then juice cleansing can provide a great context for some soul-based work, but this will only happen if we want it to be that. It is possible to juice cleanse and replace the addictions of coffee and food etc. with being really busy, spending hours online or watching TV, fill all our free time with talking to friends and family, and therefore just swap methods of burying how we feel. We can still distance ourselves from feelings with other things and if we do this, we won’t get to the deeper layers of the large iceberg of this issue of emotional eating and why we do it.

Additionally, there people who approach juice cleanses for what the detox world calls the “fasting high”, or in general with the desire to feel good all the time. It’s a feeling of “This is the best thing ever and I’m so clean! I’m amped up on life! Positive thinking! Clear body, clear mind, clear soul!” I jest, but in all seriousness, there those who feel the need for cleansing to give them an artificial amp-up and would be very concerned if they were to go on a fast and feel darker emotions. They’re after a sort of an addictive high which also serves to suppress our real feelings. This is not to say you may not have days, or quite a lot of days, on a juice cleanse where you feel very good and quite happy, but it will be an authentic, sincere kind of happiness which will usually come after allowing ourselves to feel some harder emotions, and not a manufactured, amped-up one that we expect to have the entire time.

While not all of my juice cleanses over the years have been done with the intention of feeling, when I have done juice cleanses where I have wanted that, I’ve been very upheaved emotionally. During my 60-ish day Juice Feast in particular, as well as other shorter ones, I raged, panicked, and ultimately sobbed my heart out many times. Removing food felt like removing my best friend, my primary source of joy, pleasure and comfort in my life. Without it I felt deprived, panicked, bored, angry, lonely and sad, and when I allowed myself to go into those feelings, I discovered that the feelings I was protecting myself from with food were often not about food at all. I would come home from work convinced that the source of my distress was my green juice tasting like the lawn and my not being able to have a cookie, only to find when I let myself go into how I really felt, that I was actually terrified I’d never be happy with my body, completely distressed about the food addiction, trapped and confused. I was afraid I would never be happy and heartbroken that I never really had been that happy for very long. I was angry at life and angry at God, and most of all, my despair felt like it went down to my marrow, like it huge and swallowing and made up the substance of who I was. Cookies and pizza had always helped drown all that out.

Food was my defense against my terror of being alone with myself and being alone with my real feelings about things. It allowed me to believe false stories about myself, how I felt, about my life and about my upbringing. It constantly numbed me into to a bleak but somewhat consistent state: I was never in the depths of my deepest pain, but at the same time, suppression meant I also was never really happy either. When I went on some of these juice cleanses, I began to allow myself to get triggered by the absence of my favorite compulsion, and to feel through some of the real core issues and root causes of my lifelong solace-seeking with food. After these more sincere juice cleanses were over, and I had lots of rages and sobs, I never went back to overeating to the same extent. And I kept the weight off.

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This isn’t to say one juice cleanse solved all my food addiction or it was just one where I lost all the weight and kept it off. But rather, when I used juice cleanses with the intention of putting myself in “food addiction rehab” and softened to some of the feelings I was so terrified to feel, when I went back to the world of eating, my behavior with food was better. What it felt like was that when I addressed some of the root issues directly while on a juice cleanse, I would go back to food and I would naturally be inclined to use food less heavily than before, and I didn’t even have to try to. Over time, as I felt through more of the real issues, my eating changed for good, and over time, I lost the weight for good. I think of it on a percentage scale compared to the worst of my binge eating behavior: I would feel through some big stuff and then all of a sudden my eating behavior was 10% better than that worst expression of the food addiction. Feel through more and then it was 30% better. Feel through more and it was half as bad. Feel through more and then 75% better. Now, compared to the severity of compulsive eating I used to engage, I’d rate it at 95% better. It’s not perfect, but eating and extra weight do not consume my life like they did before.

As a person who has healed the vast majority of a lifelong, very severe addiction to food as well as other eating disorders, I can absolutely say that juice cleansing was a huge part in helping me to do that. It was a tool that was really, really beneficial for me. I know from my own experience and from watching thousands of people do juice cleanses since 2006 that juice cleansing could be a really awesome part of healing compulsive eating and assisting in permanent weight loss and permanent alleviation of health problems. I totally don’t believe a person needs to juice cleanse in order to heal overeating. But there is an opportunity to use it in this way, where it is not only helping your body to heal, but is providing a space for you to heal your soul, too. And indeed, the truth is in order to not go back to the same familiar habits with food and drink we had before we started a juice cleanse, this is how we need to approach cleansing. Many people are concerned they will go back to the same bad habits as they had before cleanses and gain all the weight back, and if they don’t address the underlying emotional issues, they are indeed likely to do that, either right away or eventually. So approaching juice cleansing in the way I’ve discussed in this email is actually the only method which will allow us not to go back to the situation afterwards. This goes for things like being able to go and stay vegan as well.

 

“What the eyes are for the outer world, fasts are for the inner.”

-Gandhi

So with that, I’d like to leave you with some resources to begin to learn more about some of these concepts about food addiction and emotions, and some suggestions for books you could read while on one of these cleanses. And as always, feel free to email me at the contact form on this site if you’re interested in my assisting you with doing a juice cleanse or addressing overeating even if you don’t want to cleanse!

Divine Truth videos:

How is emotion controlled?

What makes an emotion “good” or “bad”?

Why do I want to hurt myself so much?

Books:

Healing Through the Dark Emotions by Miriam Greenspan

The Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller

Healing The Shame That Binds You by John Bradshaw

Love,

Courtney

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Some Changes Around Here

by Courtney on February 26, 2017

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Hi Friends,

I hope the new year finds you well! It’s a bit late for a happy new year greeting, but as this is the first time I’ve posted this year, better late than never, right? This blog will be a bit different than the blogs you’ve read from me before. I want to get personal and let you know of some changes as well as new avenues to share with you that will be coming soon.

I’ve had a blog about my journey with juice cleansing, health, nutrition, veganism, weight loss and healing food addiction since 2007. I began then with a little blogspot.com blog called Radical Radiance, and it was a casual hobby blog to share with others what I was learning and experiencing. I know some of you have been following my blog for the whole ten years since then. Thank you—and thank you to everyone who has followed it since.

After moving on from the retreat center I worked at for five years, I decided to continue the nutrition and juice cleansing coaching I was doing at the center and create my own business to assist others with those things as well as in more areas. Over the last ten years of nutrition being my career: five at the retreat center and five with my own business, I’ve worked with many hundreds of people, and I really love it. I love sharing information that may help others to alleviate their own suffering, including both physical suffering and soul-based suffering. As a person who has experienced a great deal of both of those kinds of suffering myself, I’m passionate doing what I can to assist others in being able to be happier and healthier.

But there are some things that I want to change about what I share with you, and how I share with you. Here are the main areas that have become issues for me and that you’ll see some changes with:

The Truth About What’s Helped Me

In my writing and public creations, I’ve always omitted sharing all the things that have helped me to go lose weight, heal my severe compulsive eating, complete lots of and long juice cleanses, and successfully stick to a vegan diet completely for more than a decade.

I’ve taken only a slice of the full pie of how I did these things and presented that just that one slice to you. I share some things that worked for me, but not others. I share some of what I believe—and have personally experienced—to be the way to health and freedom with food, but I don’t share other aspects of what I believe are part of that way.

Why, you might ask, would I do such a thing? Well, I still have a lot of fear of what people may think. I’ve always wanted to be relatively “palatable” to others. I’ve been a lifelong people-pleaser, a lifelong I-don’t-want-to-stand-out-er, and so in that place I’ve just guessed what others will find digestible and tried to adhere to that. Not too crazy, not too out there, not too off-the-mainstream. I’ve also been afraid if I’m not agreeable enough, my business won’t survive and I won’t be able to do something I really enjoy anymore.

But by living in these fears and not even experimenting with whether they’re true, I’m doing a disservice to you, because in that place I don’t share with you the full truth about what’s helped me, and so you are missing out on information that could help to change your life as much as it’s helped me changed mine.

Sharing Myself

This second area I want to change is linked to the first part, but is a bit more personal. The first part I’ve described above is about sharing the full gamut of information, approaches and truths that I believe are needed to be able to be physically and emotionally healthy. In this area it’s about sharing myself personally–me, Courtney as the person.

One of my personal issues I’ve always had—and am currently wanting to work through—is a hesitance to share myself and who I really am. I like to hide from the world; hide my personality and nature, be behind the scenes. I like sharing information and inspiration, but I don’t like infusing too much of myself in it, or not certain parts of myself. Many people have asked me why I’ve never created a youtube video over my nearly twelve years of studying nutrition. There is really just one reason: being on a video feels really exposed to me and I’m scared of it. While writing is a definite passion of mine, I also find hiding behind a computer screen and communicating by writing to be much less scary, and I can hide more.

I have a terror of being an arrogant or self-aggrandizing person, and so I often minimize what it is I know and have been able to do. But I also know that it is very rare for a person with as severe of a set of physical and mental health issues as I had, and as severe of food addictions and eating disorders as I had, to heal those things to the degree that I have. And I’m not perfectly healed in any of those areas, but I recognize how rarely significant and permanent shifts happen for people. There is a reason statistics in America are that 95-97% of people who try to lose weight don’t keep it off forever but rather gain it back.

I don’t believe that I’m anyone special inherently, I just think I’ve been lucky enough to come across some really life-changing information and processes. And, I’ve tried countless approaches, and some things have worked and other things have not, and I’ve figured a lot of it out through trial and error and my own experiments. I feel—despite my fear of being haughty in saying so—that I’ve discovered the way to heal that very few people know and fewer people succeed at.

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There is so much more I want to share about what I feel is the truth about physical health about how food addiction can be healed. I want to talk about juice cleansing in much deeper terms, and discuss how it can be a tool to address compulsive eating. I want to talk more bluntly about why long-term, permanent weight loss is so rare for people with serious struggles with food and weight. I want to talk about a vegan lifestyle in a fuller scope as well.

Spirituality and God

One of the biggest things I’ve shied away from mentioning much at all is the fact that my relationship with God, and my learning God’s Truths about things has helped me to change and heal. I’m not religious, and I also don’t believe a person has to believe in God or a higher power in order to heal food addictions and health issues. I’ve always had clients of all faiths and belief systems, agnostics and atheists; everyone really. But, having a budding relationship with God and learning the spiritual truths about the soul, about addictions, health, etc., has been instrumental for me. Healing my own health problems and binge eating has required going to some very dark and sad and scary places in my soul and divine truths and the relationship with God has gotten me through those times.

About six years into my health journey, I came across material that helped me massively, and was responsible for me to be able to continue that healing. These are the teachings of Divine Truth, taught by Jesus and Mary Magdalene, which can be explored at www.DivineTruth.com and on Youtube. They teach what I believe to be the truth about physical health, addictions (including to food), eating disorders, veganism, and so many more things. There were many resources that helped me in those first six years which I’d like also to talk about more in the future, but the Divine Truth teachings were far deeper and significantly more helpful than any other resources or truths I’d come across at that point–as well as ever since then.

So while I don’t have any expectation others believe what I do, I’ll also be talking more about everything in these contexts as well in the future.

Future Projects and Other Announcements

I want to expand the methods which I share information. I’ll continue to write in my blog here, and I’ve also been working on a book for a while about healing food addiction which has nearly a hundred pages as of now. I’ll be adding more content and editing to reflect the changes I’ve mentioned above as well, as I feel it will eventually be a few hundred pages when it’s finished. I hope to continue working on it regularly so that I can get it it out completed before too long.

Speaking of that fear of making vlogs I mentioned earlier: well, I’m planning to challenge that fear and use that method! Video is such a great medium to share with, and I would like to have multiple options for you as not everyone likes reading long blogs, which has been my only medium thus far. I plan to make videos on all the topics I’ve mentioned: juice cleansing, nutrition, health, healing food addiction etc.

While we’re here I also thought I’d make mention, since I never have officially before, that a couple years ago I switched from charging and invoicing for my business to living on donations, which you can read more about here. Thank you to those who have donated; your donations go to my basic living expenses as well as to have more time to create content; whether that be working on my book, writing blogs or creating videos.

I’m so passionate about the truth that no one has to suffer forever with health issues, that no one has to forever feel trapped by compulsive eating and extra weight. I’m also passionate about how juice cleanses can be an awesome tool for health and for healing food addiction. And I’m passionate about veganism being a healthy, loving way to live and that it can be yummy and easy to stick to long term after one has had the soul-shift in that area. I am looking forward to sharing more with you!

Love,

Courtney

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Beet with Greens Sweet and Earthy Juice Recipe

November 20, 2016

Today I have a juice recipe that is a bit sweeter than the usual ones I post, but has some fun ingredients and tastes delicious. As with all green juice recipes, it’s great whether you’re on a juice cleanse or whether you’re just feeling like a juice would feel good for your body in the […]

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My August 2016 Juice Cleanse, And Does It Get Easier?

September 3, 2016

Hi friends! I’ve finished a 5-day Juice Cleanse about a week ago, and I told my newsletter subscribers that I’d write about it, so here I am taking to my blog. Some of you are clients of mine right now and were so kind tell me good luck and ask me how I was doing on my […]

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Rainbow Spring Rolls With Peanut Dipping Sauce

March 12, 2016

This is so my kind of meal! It’s refreshing, crunchy, nutritious and it tastes amazing. It’s a fun, colorful way to give your body an array of veggies and to truly “taste the rainbow”. I also love the fact that you can switch out what you put in these with the same wrappers and sauce, which […]

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5 Juice Cleanse Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

February 11, 2016

The right kind of juice cleanse has the potential to transform your health on a mind, body and soul level. The wrong kind of juice cleanse however will set you up for problems. Unfortunately, all too often I see juice cleanse blogs or news which describe how someone did a juice cleanse, and how they […]

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Advice From A 10-Year Vegan

November 30, 2015

I’m a little late in posting this; the late summer of this year marked 10 years of veganism for me! There are so many ways people write “veganniversary” blogs, but for mine, I decided to create a Q&A with common questions people ask of me. So let’s dig right in! Q. What were hurdles you went through […]

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The Real Reason You Compulsively Eat (And How To Change That)

August 6, 2015

I have Google Alerts for the terms “compulsive eating”, “overeating” and other similar keywords set up on my email. If you’re not familiar with Google Alerts, you set them up for any phrase or word to be emailed the top news stories and articles on those topics every day. It’s interesting for me as a compulsive […]

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Chia Oat Porridge With Berries: A Radical Radiance Recipe

June 24, 2015

This is one of my absolute favorite breakfasts. If I don’t have a smoothie, it’s generally this recipe that I’m eating. In fact, when I have this around, it also sometimes serves as a great snack or dessert that satisfies, tastes great and is oh-so-good for us! I also love that you can make this […]

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Weight and Body Size: What Will Others Think of Me?

May 24, 2015

But what if they’ll notice I’ve gained weight? What if will they think when they see I’m still not thin. They’ll know I don’t have it all together if they see that I’m struggling with my weight. Many of us are very afraid other people noticing our extra weight. We’re afraid they’ll notice we gained some, we’re […]

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