Please welcome the first guest blogger in the Juice Junkie - Spring Clean Up, Erin Maloney! Erin has just recently started a 30 day Juice fast and I've asked her to share her thoughts and experiences with the Juice Junkie readers.
First, a little about Erin...
I am a graphic designer and mother of an awesome 7 year old girl named Naia. I was born in New Hampshire but have lived all over the country and have finally curbed my wanderlust and set down roots in Vermont with my little family. I'm an avid reader, writer, and lover of the digital arts- I try to memorialize all things I experience in life through visual media and the written word.
It's funny. I keep looking into the fridge and seeing all this food that I feel compelled to eat immediately, today, because I know it will go bad after I begin this journey. I resist the compulsion to horde and grasp and obsess, because I know this is the time to be winding things down. This is a quiet period. A time for reflection and mental, physical, emotional and spiritual preparation.
I begin my 30 day juice fast tomorrow. I know it's probably not in my best interest, but I do allow myself one "last supper" with my fiance, because that man won't do battle with a frying pan to save his life surrounded by 1000 eggs. This too will be another change our little family must face in the next month- in order to resist the compulsion to eat, I'm not going to be cooking as many meals for Dustin and our 7 year old daughter Naia as we're all used to. He's going to have to force himself to tackle the dreaded kitchen implements. Because I have awesome taste in future husbands, I know he'll handle the challenge with bravado and obstinate (okay, tormented) determination.
This isn't a completely new process. I've juice fasted before- I made it 18 days in 2011. I lost a little less than a pound a day, and I felt amazing after the initial 5 days or so of hellish detox. This time I'm going whole-hog and shooting for at least 30, because among many reasons for this fast, after 10 years of being together, Dustin and I are finally having our wedding this summer.
I'm assuming anyone that has read this has at least a rudimentary knowledge of juice fasting and understands its myriad benefits, as well as the supposed dangers touted by those who haven't experienced it (no, it's not a fad diet; no, resting the digestive system is not dangerous, yes, people all over the world have done this for centuries; yes, there's plenty of protein in the produce I juice, etc.). I myself am an avid and obsessive researcher. When I get my claws into a subject I'm like a starving vampire- I'll do my best to bleed dry every iota of information on it. So when I watched Joe Cross' "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead", I was off on a tangent of cynicism, curiosity, but above all hope. After finally trying it and joining communities dedicated to the support and success of juice fasting, I'm on board 100%. The way I felt when I was really in it- surprisingly energetic, happy, more awake than I remember feeling in a long time- all this experience essentially forced the nay-sayings into the background of my mind. I'm a firm believer in "don't knock it til you try it".
I am not only juicing for my waistline heading toward my wedding date; I am also juicing for my health- namely, my psoriasis. Joe Cross had an equally perplexing and infuriating autoimmune disease that caused skin eruptions, and he was able to eradicate it to the point of getting off all medication by juicing and adopting a healthy lifestyle after his fast. My psoriasis is a similar demon- covering about 60% of my body, I get so much "Is that poison oak?" and "Mommy, what's wrong with that woman!?" that I'm often tempted to tell people I'm a leper and to keep their distance or suffer the same fate.
My affliction didn't disappear with the first fast, but it certainly improved. I'm approaching the situation this time with a completely holistic attitude- I'm cutting oranges out of my recipes (yes, this fruit is one of the incredibly long list of foods that may/may not affect psoriasis, though of course nobody really knows for certain), and I've replaced all my typical chemical-laden American hygiene products with those that contain no sulfates and are completely organic. I don't plan on consuming anything but vegetables, fruit, and water for at least 30 days. I'm hoping (oh, fickle hope!) to reach that distant 30 day mark and see myself doing well enough to keep pushing for 60, my ultimate goal.
I am beginning this journey with an incredible sense of excitement and trepidation. What a huge change to weather! What a major support to ask of my family, to accept me and my inevitable crabbiness during this thing! I am very lucky to have them- they understand and are happy for my excitement. So I begin by turning inward today before my official start tomorrow- I plan on spending a lot of time inside my own mind meditating and confronting the many demons that I ignored in the past and ultimately lead me to this point of poor health through mindless bad choices. Mindfulness is my mantra for the next 30+ days.
I start today at 197. Let's make it to 170, or even 150, baby. Let's get back in touch with ourselves and strip away all the gunk, like the decayed outer layers of an onion, like the shedding of old skins. Let's clear out the mind, the heart, and the body. I think a place of optimism, self-encouragement, and hope is as good a place as any to start. Down the hatch, mean green! A toast to my fellow juicers!