Who here has done a juice cleanse?! First of all, I am not here to persuade you to jump on the juice cleansing bandwagon. That is not my mission. Alternatively, I have decided to share my experience with you. Long story short- I used to be slightly against juice cleanses. During my studies to be a Holistic Nutritionist, I was exposed to many different theories, opinions and schools of thought in relation to detoxification, cleanses and our bodies. From what I acquired, I came to the decision that when faced with the option of a juice or a smoothie- I would sway towards the delicious green smoothie (a smoothie that includes one of several greens such as spinach, kale, bok choy or cucumber). To me, there was something about eliminating all fibre from a food that didn’t sit right- how could it be good for you if it was against nature’s creation?
The thing about juicing is that it is not something you should do all day, everyday, for the rest of your life. However, when you are in need of a quick boost of essential nutrients, or a kickstart to a healthy lifestyle- juicing is a great way to get you going. Also, juicing is a great way to start your day. Thus, either by doing a short juice cleanse (3-7 days) or including a green juice into your daily regimen- you will be doing your body and your sense of balance and happiness a whole lot of good! Almost one year ago today I wrote a blog post on the debate between juices and smoothies, so, if you are interested in learning more about both in detail- click here.
Fast forward to summer of 2013. I found myself feeling very tired, weighed down and overburdened. During the summer months in Vancouver I had somehow climbed into an emotional and physical hibernation (in my apartment) and really wasn’t feeling good at all. I was again, caught in my eating disorder trap of pain. I was in dire need of a reboot. I was in need of something to get my out of my emotional trap. Enter my beautiful friend and fellow holistic nutritionist, Melanie Emlyn of Free Run Kitchen– at full speed, I may add. Of several beautiful and talented traits, Melanie is a fervent believer in the morning (or snack time, lunch time or dinner time, I might add) green juice. Needless to say- she rubbed off on me quickly.
One day towards the end of summer, we spontaneously confirmed our decision on an impromptu Road Trip to my family ranch in Calgary (literally, I called her up at 9pm the night before and we left at 6am the following morning)! That morning, I picked dear Melanie up along with a large mason jar in hand- filled with a fantastic green concoction. Together we embarked on a 10 hour journey through the majestic Rockie mountains, sippin’ green juice and blasting our favourite old school beats. When we arrived in Calgary, we filled our bellies with delicious vegetables the first night (to the point of painful tummies) and the following morning, decided that we should take advantage of my mother’s industrial juicer. So, we juiced for 3 days- and it was amazing. I left Calgary a week later feeling refreshed, rejuvenated & light. Emotionally I felt grounded, less anxious and balanced. Physically, let’s just say, I felt much lighter;) Since then, juicing has become a fundamental part of my life. I’m shocked that I hadn’t adopted this routine sooner!
The term detoxification can refer to various processes in your body. There is not just one way to detox. For instance, simply adding a daily green juice or smoothie to your diet for a month is considered a light version of a detox. Similarly, cutting gluten, dairy and/or sugar from your diet for an extended period of time (ie., 2 weeks, 1 month) is a form of detoxification. The point is that you are adding or removing something into your body in order to facilitate your bodies natural processes. Simply put, our bodies are highly intelligent- they know what they are doing. The point of a detox is to lend your body a helping hand during the phases of detox. Another form of ‘detox’ that is very common now is adding lemon into your daily routine. Throughout my time traveling in the past 2 months- the one constant (other than water) has been lemons. When I was hit by the winter flu in Europe, I would eat 2 whole lemons each day. Of many benefits nutritionally, lemons are a great way to get your body started in the morning, to get the juices flowing and your organ’s processes moving. When I’m not found eating a whole lemon, I will be enjoying my daily glass of 1/2 a lemon squeezed into a glass of warm water. Fantastic routine to get into! These forms of detoxification give your organs (kidney, liver, gal bladder) a break from processing heavy materials such as protein and high fat, while the toxins in the tissues are able to mobilize and be flushed from the body for good.
The thing about traveling is that it is both incredibly inspiring & also quite overwhelming. This trip has taught me how much I love traveling. I have to say, the days (/weeks) leading up to my departure from Vancouver I was quite worried and anxious. I couldn’t fathom how I was going to cope without my food, eating & exercise routines. How was I going to survive without my kitchen/equipment/safe food? I knew that there was no way I would be able to hold onto my strict eating habits and rules while traveling the world. The thing about traveling is that it forces you to let go of control, truly. Traveling teaches you to be more present. Traveling teaches you the beauty of life that comes from being present. I’ve had various conversations on this topic with various people about traveling since I’ve been on this trip (go figure). Of course, there is an element of escapism that comes with the notion of traveling. Leaving one’s reality in order to explore and experience something new.
For me, traveling has been an education. An education in learning, further, how to love myself & let go of the illusion of control. At the end of the day, even when we think we have control over something- it’s just a false reality. I was faced with the demons of this illusion pretty quickly in my travels. Within days of being in Dubai & traveling with my dad- I had my own version of a temper-tantrum one morning when I felt fat, ugly and out of control. In Vancouver, my method of coping would’ve been to stay in bed all day & to stop eating for at least one day. The only way for this to truly work would be to be inactive (aka, stay in bed and watch TV all day). When you’re traveling- sometimes you can’t do this. You either have plans, a flight to catch, or you literally don’t have a bed to sleep in all day!
When I first arrived in Dubai, I knew that no matter what- I wanted to find a way to have green juice in my daily life. I also wanted to get my dad into this lifestyle- to help improve his health, his life and balance him out!:) Within a few days we had found a juicer and began the morning routine of a healthy, refreshing green juice (my favourite cleansing green juice recipe: cucumber, celery, lemon, lime, cilantro, parsley & ginger). Although this routine was absolutely fantastic for the first few weeks- there came a point in my travels when I could hear my body screaming for a break. One green juice a day wasn’t going to cut it- my body needed a rest. My body needed some love. Enter Detox Delight Dubai!
I suddenly realized, ‘hey, I’m in Dubai- there must be a company out there that offers this service.’ I did some research, and finally found this fantastic company through instagram! I literally jumped for joy- and got on their website immediately. Actually, the real story is that I was in Durban and was feeling very tired and sorry for my poor, overburdened-liver. Before even landing back in Dubai, I had ordered my dad and I the 3-day-juice cleanse.
The day of the delivery was like Christmas Day! I am not joking. I couldn’t contain my excitement. The delivery man came, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Not only were these juices so beautifully presented and packaged, the marketing and information that came with them was outstanding! I disassembled the packages for my dad and I- and embarked on the beginning of the exciting 3 days ahead. Although my dad was obviously not as excited as me- there was still an element of joy leaking through his eyes as I read out his instructions and he slurped on his first cleansing lemonade.
Being a holistic nutritionist, this was not the first time I had done a juice cleanse. My dad, on the other hand, had never experienced something like this before. I was convinced that with my support and information, and the fantastic level of quality of Detox Delight’s products; my dad would not only be successful but also incredibly comfortable throughout his cleanse. Along with all juices being delivered in a safe, attractive & nutritionally-beneficial manner, Detox Delight attaches the delivery with a package filled with nutritional information, support, letters and menus for each day! I truly was very impressed. As with most juice cleanse companies now a days, there are several options to choose from depending on whether or not you have done a cleanse before. Already well acquainted with the juicing lifestyle, I ordered myself the Super Green Juice Delight. Following the advice of Claudia (Detox Delight Dubai’s Managing Partner), I ordered my dad a mixture of the Juice Delight & the Juice and Soup Delight. We decided that allowing my dad a variation for his first cleanse would be a more light and friendly way to ease him into the lifestyle. Luckily, my dad was already well acquainted with the intense morning green juice that I had been making for him every morning since I touched down in Dubai.
Fast forward 1 month–It is now January 6, 2014! Today, marks the second day of my 3 day juice cleanse, and I couldn’t be more excited! There’s no better time to give your body a break than after a long holiday, especially if the holiday lands over the Christmas & New Year celebrations! Thus, this is the first day of my 2nd Detox Delight juice cleanse in Dubai, and the first cleanse of 2014. It’s that time again. My body is craving some love, light and a well-deserved break from toxins.
What are the benefits of a juice cleanse?
Emotional: The thing about a juice cleanse is that it gives your whole body a break from many processes that take place in a regular day. Think about how much energy it takes in your body to break down and digest the food that you eat, at least 3 times a day. When that energy is conserved- it can be allocated to other areas of your body (and life). A lot of people report going through a lot of emotional and mental breakdowns and breakthroughs during a cleanse. Not only that- but you are also going to be dealing with some of the symptoms of a juice cleanse, as your body detoxifies itself. Your body is consistently detoxifying itself through various passageways (sweat, urine, breathing)- however, during a juice cleanse it’s like everything is in hyper power mode. Thus, you are bound to experience some level of discomfort during the cleanse. However, by it’s end- you will feel more balanced, experience WAY less cravings and have a clear mind.
Weight: A fantastic side effect of a juice cleanse is of course, everyone’s favourite, weight loss. Depending on how many days you cleanse for- you will lose a certain amount of weight. The thing about a cleanse is that a lot of the weight you do lose is water weight. When you are eating a diet full of foods that require a lot of water to break down and digest, your body interprets this and holds onto as much water as it can in order to carry out these processes effectively (high sugar, fat, and carb). When you eliminate these foods, and accompany a cleanse with a high quantity of water- your body registers this and continues the various detoxifying processes at a higher level (sweating, urination). That said, the only way to maintain these results is with long term changes to your diet and lifestyle. Juice cleansing will get you there… staying there is up to you! For instance, a common thing to do after a cleanse is to celebrate with a big meal and a lot of alcohol. The point of a juice cleanse is not a quick fix or to lose weight. I always stress the point that a juice cleanse is NOT a weight loss method. It is about treating your body with love and giving it the time and space to recover and heal itself. Thus, if you want to maintain the way you feel post-cleanse, my best advice is to incorporate a green juice/smoothie into your daily life and pay attention to how your body feels after eating. Incorporate certain food groups slowly back (ie., sugar, gluten, dairy, meat) and be conscious of the signs your body gives you on how it feels (skin, stomach pain, hair, tired).
If you live in Dubai or Abu Dhabi & are in search for a way to start your year 2014 off healthy, happy & balanced- I highly recommend you check out Detox Delight Dubai and sign up for a juice cleanse! Not only is the program very easy to register for, they also offer front door delivery service! Talk about convenient. Click here to find out more about Detox Delight Dubai.
So what is a good reason to try out a juice cleanse?
> A new year resolution
> You are feeling tired, weighed-down & exhausted
> You are looking to shed a few extra holiday pounds in a safe, balanced, nutritionally sound way.
> You have been getting sick a lot lately, need a reboot.
> You are interested in ridding your body of toxins.
> You have been traveling a lot lately (gradual build up of toxins)
> Experiencing symptoms such as constipation & IBS
> Emotionally exhausted or experiencing a lot of anxiety, headaches
What is a good reason NOT to juice cleanse?
> You are pregnant
> You are currently suffering from eating disorders or recovering
> You are under the age of 18
> The elderly and the chronically ill should seek the guidance of a qualified medical practitioner before embarking on a cleanse.
> You have not consulted with a physician in a long time
> You have high blood pressure
Finally, click here for a little juice cleansing humour to lighten the mood, from Huffington Post. Just cause’:)