I wish I were more original, but despite all good intentions about moderation going into the holidays, it ended up being a good old fashioned season of excess. Low point: December 25, eating (not even favourite foods!) until so full that I had to lie down on the couch. Why? Why do I do this?
It’s January now, and like everyone else, I am getting back on track and trying to cut out the bigger chunks of this nonsense out of my life. I’m doing more yoga and eating more lightly (in between a snuck Turtle or four) and gearing up for a detox (eliminating certain foods) in February.
But if you must know, I was more in need of a detox in November than now, and I had a lot less time. I was barely keeping my head above water: no exercise, not enough sleep, watching the balls drop, and not managing to eat even my regular diet, let alone make modifications for an elimination diet.
When Cedar Juice contacted 4Mothers about a juice cleanse, I jumped in. It was perfect for me at the time: three days, organic cold-pressed unpasteurized juices, and all the work done for me. I desperately needed to knock off some bad habits (existing in carb-ville, eating 5 or 6 Hallowe’en Snickers bars most nights, anyone?) but was too overwhelmed to add anything to the list. Cedar Juice took me away from all that.
Working with Cedar was easy. I chose dates for my cleanse, and got emailed tips and encouragement along the way. The juices arrived right on time: kale, pineapple, lemon, beet and cashew blends. I was set, and here’s what I learned.
1. It’s a lot of juice! There are 6 bottles a day (and you drink them in a particular order), and each bottle is about 2 cups of fresh juice. You’re supposed to space out the juices 2 to 3 hours apart, and drink lots of water in between. I actually found this challenging. I tried to drink some water but couldn’t get much down because I was too full of liquids, and I had to sip the juices over the day to get them down. In fact, by the close of the first day, I didn’t even get to my last juice. I did better the next two days and drank everything.
2. The juices are delicious and varied. Any of these alone would be a treat. Also, the last juice blend of cashew, hemp, and vanilla bean is so yummy! It’s also the most substantial and satisfying of the juices, probably because of the nuts. The folks at Cedar know what they’re doing when they save the best for last (and it probably helps keep hunger at bay through the night).
3. I wasn’t very hungry. I mean, I craved solid food, but I was drinking juice and taking in calories the whole day. i can easily imagine someone else getting hungry (maybe someone more active? remember I was in a busy survival mode) but as it was during the three day cleanse I was quite comfortable.
4. Except for two occasions. The first is when I had to cook solid hot foods for my family. Then I was very aware of what I couldn’t eat and needed to exercise discipline to stay on the cleanse. The other occasion is when my husband ordered in a pizza during the cleanse. I had fallen asleep while putting the kids to sleep and got up later to watch a movie with him. I stared at him and the pizza and he looked guiltily back at me. “I thought you had fallen asleep for the night,” he said haplessly. That man ate the entire pizza while I sipped my second night of liquids. Yeah.
6. My knees didn’t hurt. I am sure this is the result of eliminating foods that cause inflammation of my knee joints. Up next: elimination diet to identify which foods do this.
7. My head was clear. The most obvious change I felt during the cleanse, and it started quite early, was a mental alertness that, sadly, was a marked contrast to my usual state. I could think clearly and was not tired or lethargic as usual. I really had picked up some bad habits before the juice cleanse and I think dropping these and substituting them with some really healthful alternatives really had an impact.
8. Um… I think I got high off the juice. Talking to my husband one night I suddenly realized I felt very different than usual. Amazing actually, a sparkling clarity and flush of pleasure, like I couldn’t open my eyes wide enough. It seemed so unreal that I almost wouldn’t have mentioned it here, until Nathalie said this had happened to a friend of hers too, and I didn’t feel quite so odd. Cleanest high ever. And no hangover, obviously.
9. It did the trick. Cleanses are reputed to have a wide range of health benefits, and I did enjoy more energy, clearer mind, and sounder sleep during the cleanse. But true health comes from the choices we make everyday over the long run, and for me the real advantage of the cleanse is to knock off bad habits and kick start some better ones, to help me eat and live the way I really want to, instead of the way I end up doing when I’m run off my feet. A detox is an opportunity to put some primary intention to my health and both times I’ve done it, I have improved my eating and self-care habits afterwards. It’s so worth it.
And now it’s early January, and we’ve all done what we’ve done over the holidays, and the party is over. For anyone feeling sluggish and wanting to shake off the holiday excess with some tasty goodness, Cedar Juice is generously offering 4 Mothers readers a discount code for their amazing juice cleanses – just type “4mothers1blog” for $30 off! Plus shipping is free in Ontario!
It would be a great way to bring in 2015. Happy new year!