I am a vegetarian and have been since I was three years old (by choice and on my own freewill – poor mom had her work cut out for her when I was a little one). While I consider myself to be a healthy eater, I sometimes rely on dairy and carbs to “fill me up” when veggies and fruits do not do the trick. I welcome small quantities of dairy and carbs into my meals, but for the last two months or so, I felt like my diet was evolving to become too heavy with this type of food and I did not feel well.
I have followed an Ayurvedic diet on and off during various stages of my life and this was when I felt the most healthy and balanced. Yoga Journal summaries the Ayurvedic approach as:
“Ayurvedic texts emphasize ahara, proper diet, as vital for promoting health and happiness. Ayurveda creates health by enlivening the body’s inner intelligence to create harmony. Unlike modern nutritional theories, which tend to recommend ‘one size fits all’ guidelines that change with each new wave of research, Ayurvedic physicians maintain there is no one single diet or food that is healthy for all individuals.
Ayurveda identifies six major tastes we need in our diet every day—sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Each of these tastes has specific health-giving effects. By including all six, we will be most completely nourished and satisfied. When we consistently eat only a few of the tastes, it not only causes health problems but also triggers cravings for unhealthy foods.
The six tastes also affect the doshas. Different foods cause specific doshas either to increase or decrease. The doshas increase and decrease on the principle of ‘like attracts like.’ If you have a predominance of vata, you will have the tendency to accumulate more vata. Foods that decrease a dosha are said to pacify that dosha, and foods that increase it aggravate it. Sweet, sour, and salty foods pacify vata. Sweet, pungent, and bitter foods decrease pitta. Pungent, bitter, and astringent foods pacify kapha.”
I am a fiery pitta and like to set and accomplish personal goals. People tackle juice cleanses for different reasons. Some want weight-loss, better sleep schedules, to give up caffeine, asses portion control and many additional reasons. I wanted to fully embrace the Ayurvedic lifestyle and eat the way that causes me to feel the best. I decided to set the goal of completing a juice cleanse as a way to jumpstart this welcomed change in my life.
For me, it was most important that I cleanse in a smart and safe way that will help my body and mind and not alter my health. Given this, I placed my trust in Strawberry Moon Juice Co. The creator of Strawberry Moon Juice Co. is an instructor at hauteyoga Queen Anne, my local yoga studio, and I have a handful of friends who participated in the cleanse and received positive results. I believed that Strawberry Moon Juice Co. was the best plan for me because the juices are organic, primarily local and carefully made. Additionally, I appreciated that this type of cleanse kept my metabolism up while providing the necessary nutrients to my body.
Many people have asked what the experience was like. Here are the quick highlights:
- Everyone is different, but day one was by far the most challenging day for me. I have fasted for a day+ before, but this was unique. I felt different right when I started drinking my first juice. It was the feeling you get after a massage when toxins are being released.
- During day one I experienced waves of slight nausea and heat flashes. My body was cleansing in a way that was completely foreign to me. I was fine by the evening, but day one was both a physical and mental challenge.
- The juices themselves tasted incredible. Each combination was different. My juices were primarily vegetable based with a touch of fruit added for flavor. Two of the juices incorporated “almond mylk” and I could have licked the container it was so good! I love vegetables, but at the start of my cleanse – I struggled with the green juices a little. That being said, by the end of the cleanse I was downing them with no problem.
- I drank three juices a day and did not feel too hungry. The hardest part of each day was between 2 pm and 5 pm. I would consider drinking four juices per day in the future to help cope with this timeframe.
- Day two I received some emotional news. I was sad and realized that when I was down – I craved food. This brought a new awareness to my eating habits. I calmed myself by going to bed early and woke up feeling fresh the next day.
- Day three was primarily smooth sailing. I did not crave food when others ate around me, but instead focused on my breathing. Warm water with lemon became my best friend and provided support when my stomach and mind needed nourishment.
- Day four I physically felt fine, but my mind slightly suffered. By day I work in the fast paced world of public relations and standard tasks were taking me longer to complete. I felt like my mind was trying to catch up to my fingers when I typed. I was sensitive to what people said and I think this was my body’s way of dealing with fatigue.
- Day five I was somewhat tired, but felt very together and refreshed. If you asked me to continue the cleanse for the next 15 days – I felt like I could take the challenge on. I had passed the hump and I was in a routine. It was a little hard for me to know that it was over the following day, but I was proud of my willpower and determination.
- Throughout the cleanse I worked at my day job, worked out in the evenings and even taught a yoga class. The only lifestyle change I made was time for additional sleep.
- Easing back into food was not bad. I have struggled with digestive issues in the past and feared that my body would reject the sudden change. I have since been eating clean (with the exception of a client dinner tonight) and I feel a surge of energy.
Overall, the cleanse accomplished my goals of providing a mental and physical reset. I plan to incorporate a juice cleanse into a quarterly routine to keep myself in check and focus on my health goals. It was a different type of challenge for me, but I am grateful for the experience. My body feels healthier with fewer toxins, but most importantly, my mind feels stronger and reenergized. Just what the doctor ordered.