So look, I don’t want to start a big debate with all you juice fanatics out there. I am very aware that there are benefits to juicing such as resting the digestive system fully. Fasts of all kinds are advocated in many spiritual traditions, including in yogic teaching. I am not anti-juicing per se, but I have a little more to say about our ever increasing obsession with juice fasts. So if they work for you - super, I respect that fully, but bear with me a minute to consider another position.
I have a history of eating disorders. Many of you reading this will not. Some of you will. I would gently suggest that most of us do however, have a highly disordered relationship with food. It´s not our fault. We live in a culture that cultivates it. We are simultaneously sold highly addictive and unhealthy foodstuffs as part of a supposedly standard diet, as well as ridiculous thinness, ´´fitness´´ and an unrelenting message of unattainable airbrush perfectionism. It is dangerous, damaging & exhausting.
It traps the majority of us on a never ending treadmill of ´´good eating´´ and ´´naughty eating´´. We have a guilt based relationship with food and a shame based relationship with our bodies. We yo-yo back and forth over a lifetime. Our weight goes up and down. Our lifestyle goes back and forth. We are really just going round and round. The festive season followed by the ´´New Year New You´´ mentality magnifies this trend all the more. Just because something is normal doesn’t mean it´s healthy. Just because the world is living by a binge and starve mentality, doesn’t mean we should be accepting it for ourselves.
Juicing is a part of this culture. No matter how healthy juicing can be, I too often talk with people who will quietly concede that they´re doing it to lose weight, or compensate for a period of over indulgence. The extreme nature of juicing satisfies our sense of urgency to correct our ´´wrong doing´´. Its starvation. Its deprivation. Its self punishment. We eat to feel better. We starve to feel better. It’s a self perpetuating cycle that I would suggest we would do well to get free from. It’s a well intended attempt at a reset, but too often juice fasts are just diets in disguise … and so the cycle continues.
Dropping your dietary intake so drastically, especially after a period of excess, is extreme and shocking to the system. It can cause the metabolism to crash out. We don’t want that. When it crashes, we start to burn slowly. The more regularly we destabilise the metabolic rate the harder time it has ever getting back to normal. That means we gain weight faster and lose it harder. And so the battle begins again.
Juicing fruits gives you a sugar hit just like eating a KitKat because we´ve stripped out all of the fiber. Juicing vegetables is great … but you might as well just eat a carrot, its going to do an awful lot more for your rumbly tummy! When we are vibing for an occasional liquid lunch, I much prefer a green smoothie for the fiber punch. I also advocate smoothies in general as a super breakfast suggestion.
Additionally, when the brain is alerted to significantly less intake than normal, it senses this deprivation and on a primal level, fears starvation. So what does it do? It triggers craving in the body, for high sugar and high fat foods. It thinks its needs to store up for winter so to speak. That’s why the moment you go on a diet or finish your fast you reach for the biscuit tin - the deprivation switch was flipped.This is why so many of our diets and resolutions are short lived - because a foundation of deprivation rarely holds strong for long. So sure, have a yummy juice in a fancy glass with your lunch, but think twice about living off liquids for 3-14 days. It might harm more than it helps. This is why so many of our diets and resolutions are short lived. Because a foundation of deprivation rarely holds strong for long.
There is another way. What if your new years resolution this year could be to stop battling your body? To experience that it is in fact not your enemy, but your ally. Wouldn’t that bring a different vibe? A sense of release and relief? Imagine starting your year with self love instead of self loathing. What a different year that might be. That is a year of real transformation. That, is freedom in the making.
So let's, begin to nourish not punish.
This stuff isn’t so complicated. Just eat simple fresh foods. Three meals a day. Its not rocket science. Nature knows what she's doing. She didn’t invent juicers. Juicing is in many ways a mechanised way of compensating for our general nutritional lack. It's
time to change our vision and our lifestyle longer term, not just start yet another year on a drop kick diet and be back on the burgers & family sized chocolate bars in 2 weeks time, hating ourselves for having ´´failed´´.
As a yogi, I advocate a natural plant based way of living. Unlike animal products, plant foods are light on the digestive system, nutritionally dense, and filling! A yogic lifestyle generally advocates plant based because dairy is acidic to the system & animal flesh takes 72 hours to pass through the gut and is rotting by the time it leaves our bodies – not so healthy. Plus, as an extra bonus, its pretty cool to be compassionate and live by ‘’Ahimsa’’ - a life of no harm / non violence.
When we aren’t used to eating this way, it in itself can seem extreme, daunting, and maybe boring. It is far from any of these things. It is in fact the most natural and delicious way for us to eat, the way humanity has eaten for 1000's of years until quite recently. I'm not asking you to jump all the way in from now until forever. I'm just inviting you to be open to another way to cleanse and reset your system, and see how the food makes you feel.
When we begin to eat wholesome, tasty, natural meals with regularity, rather than dancing back and forth, the body can begin to breath, to relax. It will stop holding and start settling. You can enjoy your food and feel aligned with your beautiful body. You can wave the white flag and end the war. It doesn’t mean you can never enjoy anything on the naughty list again, but the funny thing is you will probably stop wanting it so much. It changes from an ''I shouldn't'' to an ''I don't really want to''. Plus, there are all kinds of better ways to bake and create sweet treats should you feel inclined at certain times.
When you eat fresh you feel fresh. When your plate is packed with vibrant and vital foods on a daily basis, the body feels vibrant and vital. You don’t have to get hungry to heal. Actually, eat enough of the good stuff, and the decent food portions actually fuel the metabolic fire, meaning you burn faster than before. It feels satisfying to self care so consistently. Your body starts working for you. Digestion improves. The immune system is boosted. Energy regulates. Inflammation & bloating leave the system. The skin glows. We gotta remember guys, that true beauty - radiant well being - really is an insides out (not outsides in) job. So, are we ready to go at it the right way around this year?
To get you going I am offering a Yogic Green Cleanse Guide For Free! No hungry tummies here!
This guide is to help you refresh and reset without starving or depriving. It is designed to help the body heal and set a foundation for a longer lasting and far more fulfilling lifestyle change. It also includes some simple extra yogi tips & practices for holistic healing and all encompassing health!
CLICK HERE NOW TO NOURISH NOT PUNISH and sign up to the newsletter and receive all the info through on Monday, New Year´s day and kickstart your self loving year.
All my love always & new years blessings to you each and all,