Over the past Labor Day weekend I retreated into my quiet apartment that is now my home to push the RESET button on my life. I was feeling out of control and very toxic. I was in need of a juice cleanse. Way too often we get so caught up in our hectic lives that we do not take time to stop and think about what we are doing to ourselves. I was running all the time, from meeting to meeting, eating breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner in the car. I was eating food (some if not even really food) that I got from a convenience store or a fast food drive-in.  I was drinking diet soda and coffee all during the day to stay awake and wine at night to fall asleep.

My cleansing and juicing journey started a long time ago in a previous life when I was a working mom, running my own CPA firm, and raising two children. One particularly long and difficult day toward the end of Tax Season, I rushed home to pick up the kids and take them to the mall. I was feeling guilty for working so much and wanted to try to be a better mom. While the kids looked for books at the bookstore, I browsed the bargain table.

Two books practically jumped off the table:  The 3 Day Energy Fast by Pamela Serure and 8 Weeks to Optimum Health by Andrew Weil, M.D. I bought both books. One thing that stuck with me from Dr. Weil was that he compared the human body to a barrel. When the barrel becomes too filled with toxins from pollution, bad food choices, stress, excess caffeine, excess alcohol, etc. the toxins begin to spill over in the form of illness of the body and mind.  When tax season was over, my husband took the kids on their annual trip to Lake Powell and I stayed at home and did my first 3 day fast. That was over 15 years ago and since then I have periodically done Serure’s 3 Day Fast.

During this summer, I felt more and more toxic and felt that my barrel was not only overflowing, but about to explode! I took the long weekend to finally take the time to fast and rejuvenate my spirit. I usually try to follow the fast pretty closely, but in my last few attempts were thwarted by my addition to caffeine. Giving up the caffeine is by far the most difficult part of this process for me and I have given up because of the  severe headaches I experienced during withdrawal.  This time I gave myself a full week to give up caffeine and I finally made it. I began my fast on the Saturday of the Labor Day weekend.

Each morning I began the day with a smoothie of mango or papaya, pineapple, strawberries, flaxseed oil and acidophilus. That is the only actual food I had during the day, the rest of the day the meals are specific fresh and organic fruit and vegetable juices. Fruit juice midmorning, a carrot blend for lunch, green vegetable drink mid afternoon, and a wonderful broth for dinner. I love this ritual. In addition to the menu, I also wrote in my journal, meditated, took baths, walked my dogs. I spent the weekend trying to follow Surure’s advice, and become still. I even watched some TV staying away from news and the usual TV I watch, and instead watched Puppies and Kittens on the Animal Planet and the movie Eat, Pray, Love (which seemed quite appropriate).

As I began to add back solid food I find that I feel better than I have in years. I am continuing to eat clean and now I am better able to tell which foods cause me problems. I know that when I take care of myself I am able to work harder and stay focused no matter what life throws my way.

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