Getting Healthy

10 Lessons From 10 Days of Juicing

10 Day Juice Cleanse >> Life In Limbo

Last week, I finished a ten day juice cleanse. Ten days! We’re going to record an episode of the podcast all about my experience and motivations, so stay tuned for that in a couple of weeks if you want more information. Today, I just wanted to share my takeaways from this experience, in case you’re thinking of doing something similar.

1. It’s not that hard to drink only juice, I just really like to eat

Truly, I didn’t find it that hard. Sure, it was tedious to clean out the juicer or blender (usually both) every couple of hours, and yes, it was certainly annoying to be around grocery stores and restaurants. But those were mostly mental annoyances more than physical ones. I didn’t have any really strong cravings at any point during our detox, but I did spend a lot of time lovingly thinking about food – all the while not truly wanting to break my fast and eat any! It was kind of a weird paradox because while I wasn’t very hungry and felt pretty satisfied despite being on a liquid diet, I just sort of missed food.

We had so much variety in our juicing plan, both over a single day and throughout the ten days. We used so many different kinds of fruits and vegetables that the juices were never really boring – merely the act of drinking only juice was boring.

Basically, I was reminded that I like balance in my life. I don’t like restricting myself from doing or eating something, because if I do, I’ll simply want it more. I’m a moderator, not an abstainer.

2. Beware bad moods caused by physical things

The first five days of the fast, I was very irritable. The last few, I felt light, a bit clearer and even less reactive. But in those first days, I was not my best self and neither was my boyfriend. We tried to make it easier on ourselves by not leaving the house very much, so that we could relax and be quiet, but still we had our moments of stress and annoyance. We came up with a little system to use whenever we’re feeling angry to check in with ourselves and see whether it’s being caused by hunger, anxiety, hormones or fatigue. If so, time for some space. I really believe the majority of my “issues” come up at times when I’m physically overwhelmed or out-of-sorts, so recognizing that what I’m feeling might not even be a real problem is so key for me.

10 Day Juice Cleanse >> Life In Limbo

3. I am stronger than I think

During our fast, I both taught and took yoga classes, went for hikes and for walks, did my hobbies, and performed all of my regular everyday activities. While I never really experienced that “huge burst of energy” that people who do juice cleanses talk about, I found that I was able to do much more than I thought I’d be able to. And even though I had some issues with focus and headaches in the first few days, I did experience more clarity and energy in the last few days. I was able to be creative and keep up with all my work without any problems. This is a good reminder that I am capable and strong and can work with what I have. (And so are you!)

4. Community is so important

I think my boyfriend’s support and participation were huge factors in my success in completing this cleanse. Not only did he make the majority of the juices and smoothies (don’t worry, I cleaned it all up), just having him totally on board, without wavering, made it that much easier for me to stick to it. We also told his whole family what we were going to do, so they were able to support us and not tempt us too much with food. His mom even did a few days of juicing and eating lightly in the evenings, which was so great. Having everyone’s support made it so easy to stay with it.

10 Day Juice Cleanse >> Life In Limbo

5. Listen to your body

I’ve learned this lesson about a hundred times in my life, but it never stops being important. During the detox we sometimes went to bed at 9, we sometimes slept in, I taught gentler yoga classes than usual, and we stayed at home as much as we could. A couple times, we took a big hike because we wanted to be outside and active, but took it gently and only went as far as what felt good. We really went with how we were feeling physically, and let that guide us as much as possible. We are lucky enough to work mostly from home, so we were able to change our schedules to match our energy levels.

6. No expectations

This is another lesson I feel I’m constantly learning, but it applies here too. We were inspired to try this cleanse after watching Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, and motivated by the results that the people in the documentary experienced. We weren’t doing it to lose weight, although we did. Instead it was more of an experiment in trying to detoxify our bodies. I was mostly excited about experiencing that big spurt of energy, and having more focus and clarity. I was also just curious to see if I could really do it, and what it would be like. I didn’t think I had many expectations going into it, but I can admit that I was often comparing how I felt to how I thought I was going to feel by Day ___. It’s an excellent reminder that I should work to minimize my expectations and just be grateful for whatever comes.

10 Day Juice Cleanse >> Life In Limbo

7. Do things just to see

You never know until you try, right? Pushing myself to try new things, just because, is such a wonderful way to help myself see the world in a different light. This juice cleanse sparked many conversations, it brought me closer to my partner, and it taught me more about myself. Not to mention, it was an experience! Any experience can be full of so much learning and growing, especially those experiences that are kind of out of the ordinary. Doing this cleanse seemed an idea that was a little crazy but a little fun and in fact, it was a lot of both. I probably won’t do it again, at least not for 10 days, but I’m very glad I did it once.

8. Live in an atmosphere of growth and experimenting

Similar to #7, I am learning that I want to live my life with an open mind, an open heart, and a lot of curiosity. I want my environment to be full of that kind of energy too. It’s only by living with that mindset that I even thought about trying this detox, and it’s only with light-heartedness, curiosity, and sense of playfulness that I could follow through with it. Really, it was an experiment to see what would happen and to see what I would discover. Doing this cleanse reminded me that curious people are the kind of people I love, and that a curious life is the kind of life I want to live.

10 Day Juice Cleanse >> Life In Limbo

9. You can do anything you put your mind to

Simple, but important: finishing things feels good. Doing the things you say you’re going to do feels good. Being the kind of person who lives by her values feels really good. I really believe that building confidence comes from doing things that you’re proud of, things that remind you of who you are. Following through builds confidence. Even if what you’re doing is as simple (or as tricky) as a 10 day juice cleanse, the self-esteem you can build from completing even simple actions can be very real and very healthy.

10. Goals are great

I don’t think that goals are great if you pursue them at all costs, or if they’re not really in line with your values, but making goals from a light-hearted, loving place can be so powerful. My birthday lists are just for fun and for growth. They’re an opportunity for me to push myself, try new things and learn new skills. And consistently, the things I complete from my birthday lists turn out to be some of my best memories from that year of my life. They’re the things I look back on the most fondly, or the things I am most proud of. I want to remember to never stop setting these kinds of goals for myself.

***

Surprisingly, I learned or was reminded of a lot of great lessons during this experience. I know it seems like a bit of an intense thing to do just out of curiosity, let alone stick to it, but I always learn a lot in doing these crazy and interesting things.

This detox was a goal from my list of 25 things I want to do before I turn 25. See the rest of the list here.

On Yoga School

wpid-Photo-20150713110408876.jpg

It is difficult to put my experience here in India at yoga school into words but I’ll try:

Painful. Tiring. Hot. Flies. Inspiring. Cows. Mountains. Rain. Enlightening. Humbling. Gratifying. Love. Car horns. Beautiful. Tough. Rewarding. Terrifying. Meaningful. Simple. Complicated. Frustrating. Wonderful.

wpid-Photo-20150713113806233.jpg

Every day I went to classes and talked to friends and teachers and friends who were my teachers (and teachers who were my friends) and got filled up to the brim with wisdom and information, almost like taking a jug to a tap of cold water and letting it fill to overflowing. Every night, or every night that I wasn’t too exhausted, I sat on my bed with my coloured pens and tried to write it all down so that it wouldn’t slip away.

Now six weeks later I have a little book full of quotes and lessons and messages from the universe. I have stronger and more flexible muscles. I have a stronger and more flexible mind. I feel quieter. A friend in the course told me on our last day that she’d seen a subtle shift in me over the weeks, that I seemed to have softened – I feel that too, slightly. Most of all though, I feel humbled. I am sure that I know so much less than I thought and much less than I want to know. I am also sure I have much more work to do than I thought on myself and my behaviours with others. I am ready to keep trying my best, forever and ever.

So I’m officially a yoga teacher now, but I feel more like a yoga student than I did when I arrived. I don’t feel ready to teach classes, but I simultaneously feel excited to share what I’ve learned. More than anything, I feel ready for the next stage in this great safe beautiful adventure that is my life.

The picture at the top is one of those pages on which I tried to carefully record all the wisdom from my day. I chose to share it because it seems to contain some of the biggest lessons that kept coming up for me throughout the course.

Namaste, everyone!

And thanks as always for your love and patience while I took a little long sabbatical from the blog. It always seems to call me back at exactly the right time for me. Thanks for reading!

November Goals

November Goals

Some new goals for a new month! #makeitpublicmakeithappen

How’d I fare last month? Pretty well. I got 10,000 steps almost every day, and it was so great to have that “excuse” to get outside in the evenings for an extra walk around the block. I did not run anywhere close to 60KM (more like 20) but I did read around 9 books so that gives you some idea of what I was doing with my time. I considered this piece a love letter to my mom. I booked our Airbnb in the Philippines for Christmas holidays! I wrote for another site, I fixed my ad, I bought a disposable camera.

This month I want to make use of my YogaGlo membership. I want to make some new recipes. I want to save lots of money and read lots of books. I want to get my ducks in a row to apply for a program I’m really excited about. And most of all (and scariest of all, sort of), I want to get laser eye surgery! It’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for a long time and it’s relatively cheap here in Korea. I have a few friends who have gotten it done here and are thrilled with the results.

I’m leaving some space on the list for goals that might come to me as the month goes on. What are your goals for November?

You can see my October goals here.

On Running a Triathlon

Ha! Nope, I am not suddenly a triathlete, but over on the podcast today we’re talking to a friend of ours who is.

I think one of my favourite things about having a podcast is that I have a handy little excuse to reach out to people I basically just want to talk to about something awesome they’re doing in the world. If I meet someone new and find them interesting, I tend to ask them about a million questions and usually my curiosity is still not satisfied. Not so on a podcast! This is one of the many reasons I’m (always) considering creating a new podcast to give me the chance to talk to a whole new group of people.

Sometimes, too, I get to reach out to old friends which is twice as nice. I knew Marina in university – we had lots of mutual friends and did a few science labs together. She’s followed my blog a bit in the past and I keep track of what she’s doing on Facebook. When I saw her post a picture of herself after a triathlon I was totally blown away! I finally reached out a few weeks ago and she was more than happy to come on the show and talk to us about how to approach running triathlons as a beginner. We learned so much and it was all so fascinating and totally inspiring.

You can listen to the episode right here.

Scroll to Top