The REAL Reasons to "Juice" (That No One Talks About)
by Kiki Athanas
January 21, 2017
It's January, the official "time to get healthy" month.
What does that mean for me? Ugh, my yoga studio is packed, the lines at my local health food store are longer than usual, and my Facebook News Feed is inundated with "50% off juice cleanse" specials. For some strange reason, all of this gets under my skin. Yet I can't quite seem to figure out why. I think of myself as a "holistic health advocate", so I should be thrilled about everyone jumping on the healthy bandwagon.
Perhaps that's the problem in itself - I can sense the inauthenticity and the thoughtless trend seekers behind it all. Aimlessly committing yourself to a whole bunch of new "healthy" things at a very shallow level is not a recipe for success. Now I'm starting to sound bitter and pessimistic, which is certainly not my intention. Don't get me wrong, if the start of a new year is what it takes to get people to reassess their "health journey" and make some more positive steps in the right direction - I'm all for it! With that said, I still can't help but cringe at all the ridiculous marketing blitzes frantically trying to profit off of this "health-crazed" time of the year.
I used to feel that way towards juice cleanses.
Then I met Amina Cordano from Whole Hearted Juice Co. and my perspective on what I had thought was just a "fad" was completely transformed.
In fact, juicing is way more transformational than you probably realize. Amina first turned to juicing as an element in her treatment plan after suffering with severe heart conditions - which I'm happy to report are now 100% cured, with many thanks attributed to her diet, mainly - juicing. Her particular story unfortunately gets much worse before it gets better, but to spare you the details and to focus on good vibes only: you guessed it - juicing was a key factor in getting her health back in order. Hearing her talk so passionately and openly about how juice literally saved her whole heart (hence "Whole Hearted Juice") forced me to reconsider how I look at the "juicing" trend, and to instead give it more time of day than I initially thought it deserved.
Luckily for me, Amina made that part really easy - graciously and generally delivering me my very own personal juice kit each and every day during my stay in Sacramento, California.
I soon become in awe of her juice, rad vibes, and inspirational strength as a female entrepreneur (& mom!). What's more, I become in awe of MYSELF as my entire body began to thank me for the nourishment I was putting into it. I generally eat quite "clean" (I'm a little obsessed, in case you didn't know), so I didn't go through the "detox symptoms" that some people are known to experience (e.g. headache, bad breath, muscle aches, etc.). Instead, I felt rejuvenated, energized, and just plain HAPPIER. The energized aspect is key, as I was staying with a dear friend who just so happens to be a killer fitness trainer - Sandra Augustin - so needless to say my entire body was being thoroughly conditioned at her gym on the daily (sometimes starting at 6am...). I thank the juice for keeping me going - in particular 'Transformation' which consists of beets, kale, celery, apple, orange, lemon and ginger (a perfect pre-workout boost thanks to the naturally occurring nitrates present in beets).
A few days in after drinking these glorious juices, and I was more than sold.
Then I visited the Whole Hearted Juice Co. kitchen, which was perhaps one of the most special days in my entire life. Seeing first-hand the pure love and joy that goes into each and every drop of juice, all created with such thoughtful intention by individuals I was immediately impressed with and naturally drawn to, is something I will never forget. What's more, is from that day on, the juice tasted EVEN better. Knowing all of the care and to be honest - hard WORK - that goes into extracting what I was sipping on makes it that much more precious. Thank you thank you to all of the lovely folks at Whole Hearted Juice for making this world a kinder and brighter place.
In closing, I'd like to share with you 3 benefits of juicing that I think go understated (or even ignored completely):
1. Gives the Body A Break.
Did you know that it takes approximately 18 hours to eliminate one meal?! That means our digestive systems are at work basically all the time. When fasting, the body burns stored fat for fuel, and since many toxins are stored in your fatty tissue, they are released when the fat is metabolized, and can then be processed for elimination.
2. Stop Stressing About Food.
It's amazing how much anxiety can exist around food - from what to eat, when to eat it, and all of the planning and scheduling that surrounds those things. It can be such a relief to have those weights lifted from your shoulders and have peace of mind that what you're consuming for the day is already prepared and planned out for you. During my juice cleanse, I focused energy on enjoying each juice slowly, consciously, and presently - making sure I savour each sip and beautiful moment as I drank.
3. Get Reacquainted With Your Tastebuds.
Who knew I liked golden beets so much? Or green juices with herbs? I do now. Juicing - especially with a carefully curated collection of unique blends with delicious superfoods and superherbs - can open your eyes (and stomach) to new and exciting things you would have never even thought to try prior to taking part in the cleanse experience.
If you're ready to stop rolling your eyes at the idea of a juice cleanse, and truly indulge in something beneficial for your mind, body, and spirit - I wholeheartedly recommend it.