After a playful holiday season full of rich homemade egg nog, casserole, several muffins and even one cookie baking marathon, I felt it was quite appropriate to treat myself to an indulgence of a different sort by kicking off the new year with a fourteen day juice cleanse. I've done such a cleanse several times before, and I knew that the mind and complexion clearing benefits would be very (very) welcome at the start of the spring semester.
In preparation for this endeavor, I omitted dairy and grains from my diet and included even more steamed veggies and salads about five days prior to when I knew I would be beginning the cleanse. This little change makes it a lot easier for the body to transition to an all-juice regime, but it's not crucial. Cold turkey has also worked for me in the past, especially for shorter cleanses. I also purchased a huge bottle of raw, organic apple cider vinegar. I drank two ounces diluted with warm water faithfully every morning during the cleanse, to further detoxify my system. I was able to retrieve an ancient Champion Juicer from under my mom's kitchen sink as well, to make juice at home for those days I didn't feel like going anywhere. I actually only used it maybe seven times during the entire two week period, and when I did I made a lot of juice at once and kept it in a big jar on hand for the day. Otherwise, I fulfilled all my juicy needs at JuiceLand on Lake Austin Boulevard and on Barton Springs road.
So how much and what kind of juice did I drink, exactly? I drank a lot. Like really, I didn't hold back at all. I drank juice whenever I was hungry. Generally I started my day with twenty four ounces or more of a fruit based juice, although I almost always tried to mix in a little green and maybe some ginger. Citrus, apple, and pineapple are all good morning candidates for me, since they provide more calories for energy to fuel my day. My midday juices were usually carrot and coconut water based drinks, with lots of organic greens, beet and maybe even cayenne pepper or tumeric. Later on in the day, I would drink celery based green veggie juices mixed with spirulina, chlorella, or E3 Live. Deep green drinks are extraordinarily alkalizing and nourishing and promise a deep restful sleep. I also took colon cleansing herbs at night, and drank green tea throughout the day.
My overall experience? Farewell to post-holiday bloat, candida and skin bumps, and hello to well-being. I feel absolutely amazing as a result of this cleanse. Some days during the two weeks I did rest a lot, especially in the beginning, and I definitely took long naps whenever I felt tired from the detoxifying process. Other days I had oodles of energy and I went for long runs and did yoga and chattered my boyfriends ear off about how great life is. Juice cleansing really boosts my mood and balances my emotions, gives my physical body a healing sort of retreat from it's usual rigors, and gets me back in tune with my relationship with food. It's like reminding myself what really makes me feel good, and I find myself making healthier choices as a result. My digestion is better, my eyes are brighter, and I feel renewed. I've been easing back into my normal eating routine over the course of a week, choosing smoothies, fresh fruits and raw veggies for my first few days of solid meals. This is what has kept me feeling tip-top and it supports all the healing benefits of the cleanse.
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