Cleanse Update and Some History

I'm happy to say that I've successfully finished my short fast & cleanse - all on my own this time 🙂

I really appreciate all the comments with your thoughts, feelings, and fasting stories. I enjoyed reading the range of experiences, from people who are inspired to give it a try... to those who have dabbled... to those who are fasting veterans (one woman just finished a 21 day water fast - now THAT is inspiring!).
The past 8 days have been really amazing, and quite effortless. For me this is a testament to the importance of readiness...
I learned about raw food 10 years ago (went to a raw restaurant) when I was a vegetarian (I became veg overnight at the age of 14 after reading the book Fit For Life but still couldn't resist baked goodies that contained dairy). I looked into raw a bit - read Shazzie's blog, thought it sounded cool, and tried some recipes. When I was 17 I got really into it and then went to Belgium for an exchange program. I continued to eat raw, however my host family thought it was totally strange. I ended up on a fruit diet with a simple salad for dinner that summer. They knew I loved cherries, so brought home a cherry tart and were offended that I didn't want eat it. They really didn't get it.
I took a year off in between high school and college, and during that time went to a raw retreat for 1 month in Ojai California, put on by The Garden Diet folks. It was totally eye opening and incredible in every way - all the top raw speakers at the time came to lecture throughout the month: David Wolfe, Fred Bisci, Doug Graham/Rozi, Paul Nison, Victoria Boutenko, Elaina Love, and Nomi Shannon. I learned, lived it, and decided I would go 100% raw. After being home for one week in -30C (-20 F) winter temperatures and lack of support, I well off the wagon - and it wasn't always healthy cooked food either. I held a lot of guilt for not being able to live the raw lifestyle - the guilt always caused more havoc which ended up in overdosing on sugar - fruit sugar, white sugar products, you name it. *Sigh*
I still desired to move toward a raw diet so would experiment here and there. With a passion for healthy cooking, I looked into various holistic cooking programs but settled on a conventional culinary school - I got my classmates to taste my meat/dairy dishes, but I enjoyed some of the goodies bake lab had to offer. The program provided me with invaluable tools though. I worked in the restaurant industry for a while but never liked the fast-paced, artery clogging, "slap food on a plate" environment. Fortunately I got out of that and have worked at various other things that are in alignment with my desires. I teach as a certified yoga instructor, teach raw food classes, work as a personal chef, and have cooked for the past 5 years at a summer camp for teen girls (fortunately I run the kitchen the way I want to).
All throughout those years I've gone back and forth from %100 raw, high raw, low raw, to everything in between. I've been through cycles of eating what my definition of "perfect" was, and then would swing out of control on sweets as a result of the control, deprivation, and emotional issues.
I never noticed it in the moment, but over time I've progressed. "Baby steps" I like to tell people at my classes who think they can't do it. Some people can go 100% overnight, and for others it takes years. Well, it's taken me years to get where I am - and I'm still working on it. I'm not 100% raw - I let go of that idea a while ago. I eat raw vegan most of the time, but for me I feel it's best not to put a label or restriction on myself. Funny how the psychology works - tell yourself you can't have something and suddenly it's all you can think about. I am learning to trust my inner guidance. My body craves things like baked squash and yams when the cold weather hits, and I like to eat cooked dark chocolate when I don't have any raw choccie on hand, and I like to drink real margaritas or martinis occasionally. The difference now is that I've come to accept things these as ok for me. This new belief releases the emotional pressure that comes from unrealistic expectations. As I continue to work on self love and acceptance I naturally want to take better care for myself - no force, only ease - I think that's the main reason I was able to take on the fast alone and succeed. I realized I can do this, and anything else really, on my own. It's liberating considering I've thought for years that I have to look outside of myself for the things I desire.
That being said, here are some of the things I noticed throughout the experience:
-I felt so much more at peace - with myself, with others, with life. Of course I still had my down moments, but over all, I felt grounded and peaceful.
-I had zero cravings - not even for chocolate!
-My only noticeable detox symptom was fatigue - it would come and go. Fortunately I was in the position to rest when I needed to... although I was a little draggy to go and teach yoga, lol.
-I wasn't hung up on my physical imperfections the way I normally am. I felt better about my body when I look in the mirror.
-I thought about food, and looked forward to eating my usual goodies again, but I felt totally satisfied on the liquids.
-I required less sleep
-I felt strong most of the time and worked out daily on my rebounder and did yoga.
-I did experience some hunger, but it was like I didn't care too much, and would drink and be fine again.
Another little victory was doing 2 dehydrator marathons during the cleanse(it needed to be done, but not the most ideal time to do this). Savory goodies a few days ago, and sweet stuff today - I didn't feel the need to snack as I went along, as I normally would, which was pretty cool. I had a second of temptation when making granola, but reminded myself I can have it in a few days when my body is ready.
In my last post I concluded with my plan to break the fast with a grapefruit on day 4. I did that and enjoyed every juice bite! I proceeded to eat 2 more grapefruits that day. I felt completely satisfied.
Day 5

-Juice: celery, cucumber, apple, spinach, parsley
-Juice: grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime (this was so delish and refreshing!)
-1 Grapefruit
-1 Grapefruit
-Pot of super tea - probably 40 oz.

This is a highly nourishing tea blend of: reishi mushroom, pau d'arco, cat's claw, oatstraw, milk thistle. To that I added some vanilla water, schisandra berry powder, ashwaganda powder, cinnamon, aloe powder, stevia, and lecithin.

Day 6

-Celery, apple, parsley, cucumber, ginger
- 1 grapefruit
- Colosan w water/lemon juice (bowel cleanser)
-Green smoothie: 1 apple, 1 large handful spinach, chilled super tea, 1 teaspoon lecithin (for my liver)
-Green smoothie: 1 large handful spinach, 1/2 apple, 1 large chard leaf, 1 handful frozen strawberries, 1/4 banana, chilled super tea, lecithin

Day 7

-Green smoothie: 1/2 apple, spinach, frozen strawberries, young coconut water
- 2 grapefruits
- Peppermint tea
- Miso broth - with ginger/apple cider vinegar

Day 8

- Colosan in water/lemon
-Juice: celery, cucumber, kale, parsley, beet
-Smoothie: water, few pieces soaked jack fruit & 1 tbs goji berries, 1/2 banana, handful spinach, 1 small orange, big chunk of young coconut (firm) (pictured at the top before I added the spinach 🙂
- Sarsaparilla tea
-Salad! Yay! So excited to eat it again... greens, sauerkraut, spirulina, red pepper, tomato dressing.
-Pudding - young coconut pulp, strawberries, lucuma, 1 date, water, goji berries, mullberries
Sorry there was only one pic - I ended up not feeling inspired to take pics of green juices and smoothies, but I wanted at least one pic so thought today's smoothie was perfect - before adding the spinach. I'm excited to make and eat choccie again within the next few days!
If you're thinking about embarking on your first fast, three cheers to you! I've found that even one day is beneficial. I loved hearing your stories, so please keep sharing... I feel like we can all inspire each other!
About the Author

  1. February 3, 2010 at 05:42

    Cheers to you! Juicy Goddess! Much inspiration from this post. <br />Baby steps is my way to go too and it's what's working for me. I am working my way to a 21 days for the next summer. Who knows?! I might be able to make it ;-)<br />Thank you for this wonderful post.<br />XOXOXO.

  2. February 3, 2010 at 11:29

    Thank you for sharing your story! I am always interestead to read how people got started off down their raw pathway. I ove Shazzie too! :)

  3. February 3, 2010 at 12:22

    I admire those who can go Raw over night, for me it is baby steps. I'm not 100% Raw but I do have the strength to give up all my addictions at the same time.<br /><br /> I eat hot meals frequently, especially in winter. I have lentil soup, baked potatos and steamed broccoli. I don't scold myself for it because I dont want the guilt.<br /><br />You have come so far in your journey, like all of us had our ups and downs. Welldone for getting where you are!

  4. February 3, 2010 at 14:08

    Thanks for sharing, Heathy! I love learning more about your journey and your honesty is charming! HUGS! XO

  5. February 3, 2010 at 15:27

    this post was so inspirational!<br /><br />thank you...<br /><br />i am in my first year of vegan...and would really love to transition into raw at some point...both have been pretty you mentioned, it's harder when you label step at a time...such great advice!<br /><br />thank you and have a wonderful day!

  6. February 3, 2010 at 15:53

    I loved reading your story. It's so inspiring to me to see how others have come to where they are now. You're a great inspiration Heathy! And I'm glad the juice fast went so well for you. I'm embarking on my first juice-fest this week and feel ready, prepared, and excited to see what happens. Hope you're having a great week. Happy February!

  7. February 3, 2010 at 16:51

    Congrats on completing your juice fast! And thanks for your thoughtful post. I'm glad to hear so many people on my rounds lately putting labels and percentages behind them and just going with the flow, with what their body needs. I look forward to one day completing a juice fast and try some of these recipes you shared. ;)

  8. February 3, 2010 at 17:41

    I am in the last week of a 28 day detox program (Simply Raw Detox Manual by Natasha Kyssa). I find through this longer detox that you go through stages of detoxing. You may discover saddness or headaches the first week, then nothing the next, than irritability and weakness, than power and changing perspectives. I agree with you, the sense of peace and connection is well worth the commitment. Good for you doing it on your own. Maybe that was the most important part of the detox for you, beyond the physical.<br />Peace and joy, Candice

  9. February 3, 2010 at 17:54

    ha, juicy goddess! hippiemom is the best =) <br /><br />i love this post. so honest and real. (i've seen pictures of you and can't believe you can find physical imperfections! you're beautiful! heck, aren't we all?! =)<br /><br />life is a journey, a growing process, and i love that we can share our experiences with like-minded friends in the blogging world. i have gained so much insight and inspiration from blogging buddies like you! xoxoxo

  10. February 3, 2010 at 18:34

    i love reading your story! I find it so interesting that you went from a traditional culinary school to making such yummy raw treats!<br /><br />so glad your fast went well for you. and thanks for sharing it with us.

  11. February 3, 2010 at 18:57

    Love this post! I am on my way to eating a more high raw, vegan lifestyle and your story is so inspiring! I need to start out with baby steps, too, but there is NOTHING wrong with that! I don't think I'll ever be 100% raw, or even 90% (I am in culinary school as well!) but the more I can be, the better I know it is for my health! <br /><br />xo<br />K

  12. February 3, 2010 at 19:55

    Heathy, <br /><br />You are an absolutely gorgeous young woman (inside and out)and should not be focusing on any self perceived flaws - when you are 50, not to say that with your lifestyle you won't look just as good then, but you will look back and wish you had appreciated your younger self<br /><br />Sarma of Lucky Duck/Pure Food and Wine posted a similar story, about how she refuses to label her eating style with the somewhat controversial title, "I'm Not Vegetarian". If you haven't read it, you may find it interesting.<br /><br />Congratulations on your solo fast and controlled re-entry into the world of food - you should be very proud of yourself!

  13. February 3, 2010 at 20:42

    Heathy you are an inspiration! Thank you for sharing everything. You have made me want to try it out!

  14. February 3, 2010 at 20:47

    Great post! Love your story and absolutely agree with the idea of losing the labels to achieve greater success :-)

  15. February 3, 2010 at 21:00

    I really enjoyed to read your story. I especially like the part where you wrote, that you don't want to put labels on something :-)<br />You are very beautyfull and inspiring - thank you so much!

  16. February 4, 2010 at 02:16

    I've just started eating some cooked foods after being 100% raw for all of January so it was really nice to read this post about your own struggles with raw food.<br /><br />I'd planned to stay about 80% raw but I felt so amazing 100% that I'm considering going back. <br /><br />Thanks again!

  17. February 4, 2010 at 04:47

    Hi Heathy, Thank you so much for sharing your history. I have been back and forth with raw since about 1973. My goal is to be 90% raw consistently. If you are older (I'm 54) you really feel the difference when raw. However, my emotional attachments to cooked meals can really mess with my plan! What I think is that cooked food sometimes equals nurture and love. My inner guidance is to keep it very simple and remember to eat for physical reasons, not for spiritual, emotional or neurotic reasons. It's a challenge. Thank you so much for your blog. You are truly inspiring. Love, Robin

  18. February 4, 2010 at 05:00

    Awesome, congrats! Great post on your raw history as well, very cool that you stuck to it while staying with in a non-raw house. Think I'll start with a smoothie fast and start working my way to juice :-)

  19. February 4, 2010 at 06:23

    Wow what a great post. Really dovetails with a lot of thoughts I've had lately. Thank you for sharing that! <br /><br />Sam

  20. February 4, 2010 at 06:44

    heathy, amazing post, thank you for all your insights and perspectives!<br /><br />this:I teach as a certified yoga instructor, teach raw food classes, work as a personal chef, and have cooked for the past 5 years at a summer camp for teen girls.<br />holy crap're a superstar! I teach yoga, and am a mother and wife and blogger but would have no time to teach more yoga and/or do the raw classes or the summer camp, you're awesome.<br /><br />the no cravings, not even for choccie, love that!<br /><br />xoox

  21. February 4, 2010 at 14:29

    Thank you so much!<br /><br />I find juice fasting challenging with my appetite, especially in the bitter cold in NYC now. But I normally have veggie juice, green smoothie (a complex one), or both every day until after noon. I thank you for the super tea information!<br /><br />NYC needs it's own raw food gourmet school!! :)<br /><br />I go to Sarma's One Lucky Duck cafe/shop for salads and other raw goodies a lot of the time, so haven't used my dehydrator just yet! Love you, you're beautiful!<br />Susan XX

  22. February 5, 2010 at 00:02

    What a wonderful story - thank you so much for sharing. I can totally relate to your journey - and have also given up the labels. I love eating raw but don't feel guilty when I'm not 100% I am now totally inspired to do a cleanse - this is something I have always wanted to do but I totally agree with you that you need to be ready (emotionally and physically). I'm not sure if I have commented before - but I love, love, love your blog (from one Canadian girl to another :) )<br />xoxo

  23. February 5, 2010 at 09:07

    Congratulations on meeting your goals! Wonderful posts! I can;t wait to see the cupcake recipe since it's winning the race :P

  24. February 6, 2010 at 23:48

    Loved your story. You have such great recipes. Talked to Adam and Eva Rawposa at the JaxRaw meet up At Present Moment Cafe Last Sunday. adam is supposed to send you some of the Pics I took. Keep up your wonderful adventure.

  25. February 7, 2010 at 03:07

    Would love to chat...can you email me??<br /><br />Beautiful blog...

  26. February 7, 2010 at 05:04

    Fabulous post! Thank you for sharing your different experiences.<br />xo<br />Eco Mama

  27. February 7, 2010 at 20:09

    What a great journal. Your backstory is really interesting. I am glad you feel in control, with no cravings. I still need a little chocolate now and then!<br /><br />To Your Health!<br />James Reno (editor)<br /><a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>

  28. February 8, 2010 at 23:57

    Thank you so much for this post! I'm currently in a point in my life where I'm deciding whether vegetarianism/veganism is something that I 100% want to commit to so it's nice to know that some set backs are normal.

  29. February 8, 2010 at 23:58

    Hi! I just wanted to let you know of a giveaway I am having on my site for Glass Dharma straws. They are beautiful glass straws that are so fun in green smoothies, juices, or even just lemon water. Perhaps your readers would be interested?<br /><br />Here is the link to the giveaway:<br /><br />Thanks! : )<br /><br />Audrey<br />

  30. February 10, 2010 at 16:01

    Great plan! Thanks for the day to day process... sounds like a great cleanse.

  31. February 10, 2010 at 20:25

    good job!i'm happy that you're filling much better,tomorow is my first day 100% raw i hope i can, if not i will take baby steps!you inspired me so keep it this way

  32. February 10, 2010 at 22:19

    Beautiful and inspiring post, thanks so much for sharing!

  33. Angela
    February 19, 2010 at 05:16

    Just found your blog, it'll be on my faves! You write so it's fun to read (does that make any sense?!?) I'm converting to raw and excited, although it's tricky when there's little kids to consider and hubby isn't into it at all. Oh well, it'll be a good challenge! I'm also a fellow Canadian, yeehaw :-)

  34. Mary Kay
    January 17, 2011 at 18:47

    Thank you for sharing your imperfections with us. Nice to know we're not all perfect and that you are not judging yourself (or probably others) so harshly. <br /><br />I do want to caution you on the number of grapefruits you are consuming though. I did approx 2 gpfruits a day for most days for about five months ---turns out, grapefruits mess with the p450 cytochrome enzyme in yourliver that detoxes excess extrogen and fats = not good to do so many. Best to do only about 2 grapefruits/week. <br /><br />Good luck, thanks for sharing.

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