Love & Juice Fasting

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It has without a doubt been the most incredible start to the year in these past four months. A rollercoaster ride full of adventure, crazy experiences, new people, old people, painting, drawing, creating, making, going out, getting messed up, food, more food, yoga, gym etc I'd just graduated, you get my drift. I am free. It's been a fast paced crazy active four months but in between, a lot of realisation. A lot of learning.

I came into this year wanting to dedicate it to LOVE. I made sure that everything I did, I did it with Love. And if I didn't Love it I didn't do it. Wow. This put a whole new spin on things. Before the end of last year I started to question Love, why the Love in my life came in reoccuring patterns and because it was so cyclical and repetitive this Love started to dissipate. It never started off as strongly as it did when I was 17. Put a record on repeat and you don't want to dance to it anymore. I was quite sad and fed up. Is this what Love is? You feel it, you share it, you make compromises because of it, it brings you high, it brings you low and then you don't feel it anymore and the cycle continues... Until we make a break in it.

I am obviously referring to relationships here because that is where I got my Love from. That is where I thought Love came from. Another person. A sense of belonging, a sense of care, an emotion shared by two individuals, that is what I thought Love was. And of course it can be. But Love speaks in a much Greater language.

Two years ago I once said to someone "I just want to fall in Love."

His response was "You have to become Love first."

I had no idea what he was on about. I wanted to get it but I didn't.

This year I decided that all the energy I put into loving something or someone else was finally going to go back to myself. I'd said that and done that before but my critical mind was always hard on myself and so it was as if my inner child just sat on the sidelines still waiting for someone to Love her regardless of what I did. 

I let go of that hardness. I started to accept. I had always told myself that I only need to surround myself with what fuels me, but most importantly I started to accept. Life is not striving for perfection, it is far from perfect. Life is never consistent. In this struggle we fight for consistency. Aldous Huxley once said: 

"Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead."

Oscar Wilde followed that with "Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative."

The critical voice in my head is slowly disappearing.

Life is ridiculous and we need to laugh at its ridiculousness. I began to take an even greater trust in the Universe and know that everything that happens always happens for a reason, to teach us something and from there if we are aware, we take what we've learnt and we carry on further. When we stop what we are battling in our heads everything becomes much easier. 

Impossibles become possibilities, sadness becomes more joy, uncertainty becomes more confidence, guilt is a non existing emotion, worries pass, anxieties force us to authentically deal with situations and we sit with ourselves. In stillness, in peace, accepting everything that there is. And then the vibrational frequency of Love is triggered. I travelled inwards. I sat more gratefully and gave thanks to everything I had been given. I sent Love to those in need and gave Love to everything I have and everything that I am. I started to truly Love myself and finally started to understand what it was to BECOME Love. 

Love is an incredibly powerful healer. It is a universal language far from just words, not spoken enough. It is an inner feeling. A feeling of connectedness, joy, safety, romance, beauty. It is more than just an emotion. It is a frequency that attracts all positivity and it is only when we become Love that we can give Love or share it and connect with people of Love also. With this realisation I began to have a strong urge to cleanse, my body, my home, my life.

The Juice Cleanse - Day 1

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 Day 1 started on the 8th of April at 12pm. I woke up, had my breakfast went to the gym and suddenly had a strong urge to only want to drink liquids. Maybe my body was calling for hydration but food felt heavy and a cleanse felt necessary. This feeling came a few weeks ago but as I'd ignored it, starting one now felt very appropriate, especially as we have entered Spring Equinox - a great time for cleansing. I made my way over to Juicebaby (398 King's Road, London SW10 0LJ) right after and stocked up on enough juice to last me at least one and a half days. The focus wasn't to restrict calories but to give my body a rest from digesting and more energy into healing and detoxifying so I drank a juice whenever I felt hungry and this included Nut Milks as well and it worked up to about 6-8 juices, a little water and a little herbal tea. I also had a mug of bone broth at night to warm me up. I went for whatever healthy liquid I felt like but made sure I had a good range of colours to ensure more variety in nutrients. It looked a little something like this: 

That's my buddy in the background who decided to embark on this journey with me.  I totally forgot I had my best friends birthday dinner that night with her mama. Shoot. I made it, 3 whole hours of watching people eat whilst I drowned myself in more juice. Surprisingly I felt fine, the hydration kept me satiated and the good chat kept me distracted. I got home, my first night, the hunger started to kick in and I dreamt of all the vegetables I wanted to eat. The simplicity of the flavours in spinach, broccoli, artichoke, radish started to make my mouth water and I had a craving for a fresh crunchy salad and some fish. I started browsing ottolenghi salad recipes online already looking forward to what I was going to eat as soon as I came off this cleanse.

After that, a strange sensation of feeling bare/naked kicked in. I felt quiet, calm but quite dark, and as I got into bed these feelings escalated and I began to travel inwards. There was a serious feeling of presence. I knew, and I was aware that this cleanse was not only going to be physically challenging but also mentally and emotionally challenging. I was prepared to ride through it all. As my feelings intensified a great sense of gratitude kicked in for the things as simple as the warmth of my own bed. It felt so good, so safe and so comforting. I imagined all the children that didn't have the pleasures of that. The children that were also going to sleep but on cold rough rubble. The children that were going to sleep hungry with no shelter and no promise of food in the next few days. I wanted to give them so much Love, this brought up a few tears and I sent out as much Love as I could give. The struggle just got so real and I knew that somewhere in my line of work I want to make a difference to help people.

As I drifted off I woke up to remembering less dreams - a sign of deeper sleep. So that is what its like to sleep well. I'm not a troubled sleeper but I dream very vividly sometimes waking up having not felt rested enough. Some mornings I wake up anxious, this morning I woke up calm.

Day 2

Full of energy I started the day on water, I was listening to my body and it wanted only water. By 11:30am I had my first juice and started researching more recipes on what I was going to make myself in 2 days time. Luckily the springtime has bought along some sunshine so I stopped torturing myself and went out to the park. I felt surprisingly incredible. Full of elation, energy, super happy and very calm. As I walked with my dog I fully took in my surroundings of all the nature around me, sat inbetween two trees, let the sunshine pour in, with the biggest smile on my face. Reading and writing, fuelling on more juice, I found salvation in the sunshine. 

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I felt so good I was starting to feel like I could do this for a whole week. By 3:30pm a slight hunger for food kicked in but nothing major, I went and restocked on more juices from Juicebaby and had a cacao almond milk (so damn delicious) with a scoop of FibreSmart (which made it even more damn delicious) as it got thicker and more of a shake like consistency. Keeping busy is key, the juices came flowing in gradually throughout the day and then: 

I had work tonight. I run a music night with two of my girlfriends once a month at Notting Hill Arts Club called The Come Up and I laughed at the challenge I'd set myself. I had a lot of energy to exert so seeing buddies, running around dancing, vibing off good music and 3 juices later I was proud of my self discipline and what I had accomplished and I was feeling fantastic. I got into bed at almost 5am with a glass of bentonite clay and a mug of clear chicken broth I had made during the day. One thing I had noticed is whilst juicing I definitely started to feel a little more cold so something warm and soothing was a great way to sleep. 

Day 3

My skin feels soft, I feel even more hydrated and now fully recognise the importance of hydration and how different it makes me feel, mentally and energetically. Any puffiness in my face has dramatically decreased, my skin feels clearer and bizarrely my teeth look whiter. Three days in. I can't believe I've come this far. I've never come this far. Nor did I ever think I could do it but I'm doing it and I really put that down to this strong urge I had to want to do it in the first place. Again I started the day with half a litre of water and then a cacao almond milk with a scoop of fibre. I have decided to up my fibre to two scoops today. Today was the hardest of all days. By 3pm I felt hungry, the weekend was here, more friends were out and all I wanted to do was eat. I felt pretty tired and a little spaced out and out of it. This was probably lack of sleep from working the night before. I went out to lie with a friend in the park. Resting during a cleanse is vital. As the evening progressed my patience was starting to wear thin. People were annoying me and I was a little snappy. Again. Rest during a cleanse is vital.

I was breaking my fast at midday the next day but ended up doing a little extra time as the 4th day started off easy. I maybe could have carried on but I had done my 3 days and a Holy Kale salad back at juicebaby felt so well deserved and so incredibly delicious.

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 I did it! Three days of no food! I felt fantastic and so pleased at all the benefits I'd felt. Better sleep, great energy, soft skin, clearer head, clearer skin, a lot of calm and elation. I carried on to Borough Market where I ate only vegetables throughout the day and a little bit of raw salmon at night. I couldn't take much as my stomach must have shrunk so I eased solid foods in gently still including lots of juices. 

The changes came and happened so quick and it really drew my attention to just how much a nutrient dense diet can make a difference to the body and the importance of and the support needed for digestion and gut health and how big a role that is for everything else to function optimally in the body. Hydration is essential and makes a big difference to mental clarity and anxiety not just thirst. I am continuing to eat whole unprocessed foods with no dairy, and no refined sugars and no grains.

It is important if you are cleansing to have a clean diet or at least start eating a clean diet 5 days before a juice cleanse to reduce any symptoms of toxicity/withdrawal including headaches, nausea, severe hunger pangs from low sugar levels etc. You do not want to shock the system, you want to help assist it gently and kindly through cleansing and a clean diet beforehand will help the body stock up on the necessary nutrients that are stored in your bodies tissues to keep you going and support you during a fast. 

During the cleanse I took FibreSmart and FirstCleanse by Renew Life. I was also drinking a teaspoon of bentonite clay in water every night and will continue with these for the next 3 to 4 weeks. I would definitely fast again and am considering dedicating a day of fasting once every two weeks. 

I found these sites very useful:

http://www.allaboutfasting.com/

http://www.camdenwholehealth.com/2012/12/how-to-use-bentonite-clay-internally/

http://www.juicebaby.co.uk/cleanse/