I started juicing again this week, as well as getting my first full nights’ sleep after a long break, and I just can’t believe the difference in how I feel. For the past few weeks, every morning, I struggled to pull myself out of bed, struggled to stay up long enough to finish the dishes from dinner. Then four days into juicing and a light-weight veggie/tea cleanse and I wake up racing with energy, my cheeks glowing, my temperament soaring… there has to be something to this stuff!
I’m starting to think that this is really what it takes to feel amazing:
- 8 hours a night of sleep (yes, really; 8)
- Eating 80-90% unprocessed foods (yes, really; nothing from a box or can)
- Eating way more vegetables than I can even fit in my belly (this is why I juice)
- Cleansing your body with whole foods and teas that are naturally detoxifying
- Moderate to intense exercise 3-4 times per week (walking in to work from my car does not count, even if it’s 6 city blocks)
- Yoga 1-2 times per week
Now Don’t raise up your freak flag and move to another blog
I get it. And I used to agree with you. I have always thought all this business sounded crazy. But if it’s so crazy, why do top athletes do it? What if this is what it takes to make a body run at top efficiency?
I used to think it was crazy because no doctor I’ve gone to for an annual exam has ever discussed any of these things at length with me. I remember sitting there in the office of what I thought was a great doctor. He was smiling and nodding at me because I had a good BMI, low cholesterol, and low blood pressure, but I was staring back at him begging for answers. Heart attacks are horrible, and I don’t want to have one, but I also am not sure how long I want to live feeling tired, groggy, and grumpy every day. I don’t want to have stomach aches, and I don’t want to take three spoonfuls of Citrucel each day to make my stomach aches go away. I don’t want to have a sore throat every day and get sick every few weeks from allergies, and I don’t want to take two allergy pills and nose spray twice a day to stop the allergic reactions.
Why is it so crazy to think we need to dig a bit deeper with our bodies? If you wanted a high-performance car for racing, you don’t just change the tires regularly, you put in premium gas. Why is it crazy to believe that we should make it as high a priority to put premium food into our bodies as we do trips to the dentist? Just like we flush our car’s oil, we have to flush our bodies of the toxins we’ve put in them. If we clearly get that an oil change is nothing without a new, clean filter, why can’t we see the same about our liver or kidneys or pancreas?
I think the hardest part that I’ve learned is that getting to this high performance isn’t something you can do overnight. It isn’t something you can do out of order either, and unfortunately the thing most promoted for physical health is what you should be considering last: exercise. When a car has old oil, a dirty filter, and bad gas, it’s probably not a great idea to take it out for a spin on the track and see how it does.
The Magic Maintenance Plan
I have learned that for me, it starts with sleep; I need to be well rested to focus on anything above and beyond during waking hours. Then I focus on eating right; taking in the right nutrients and not more toxins. Then I focus on cleansing my body of the toxins that are already there (I’m planning to do this four times a year for now, but not sure what frequency is right yet). And oddly enough, it is at this point that I feel so great, so energetic, that I can’t help but jump up and down and want to go for a bike ride, or run, or dance around the kitchen with my kids. Then the only thing that trips me up is stress, which I’m able to keep in check with regular exercise, especially yoga.
Now, if I can just keep it up… go to bed on time, stay away from the junk food, make time for juicing, and keep up the cleanses and the exercise…
Ah, I guess nobody said feeling amazing was easy. 🙂