Sunday, June 9, 2013

For "Mostly Raw June" I've asked a few friends to do guest posts about their experiences with raw food, whether as a person who eats almost entirely raw food, or someone who just includes raw food in their regular diet, to reap the huge benefits of raw foods.

Today we have Kymberly Morgan, who has been including raw foods in her life for the past couple of years, and who recently decided to embark on a 3-day raw juice detox.  Check it out!

At the beginning of spring, I was feeling rather inspired to take on another “Juicy June” detox fast, which is sponsored by Carla Douglin’s ‘Raw Raw Life’ website, Facebook page and books.  My friend and fellow Eat-Clean Diet Ambassador Amacuba, who is also a co-writer and editor of Carla’s books, has inspired me for the past couple of years to try juicing, eating raw, and purchase appliances to make this experience not only easier, but fun as well.

Have you ever made spiral cut zucchini, beets, carrots, cucumbers, or jicama?  Not only is it fun to use a spiral machine, but the outcome is beautiful!  Amacuba assisted me in finding an inexpensive yet good quality spiral machine last year.  Many terrific raw recipes have been created in my kitchen with my machine since I purchased it. Raw vegetables are transformed into beautiful spiral rings of tantalizing colors- orange, yellow, green, white…  What ever you are able to spiral cut, the results will be pretty! 

The variety of recipes you can create with spiraled raw vegetables are plentiful.  I've made the most beautiful bowl of what appears to be vegetable pasta, but is really just spiraled veggies.  I've created beautiful raw salads, fun soups for my grandchildren--not raw, but hey, it’s totally healthy if made clean!  I've created hors'doeuvres of spiraled zucchini wrapped around a chunk of roma tomato with a small slice of mozzarella cheese inside of it.  Raw spiraled veggies make an incredibly delicious Chinese salad, and the presentation is stunning!

Eating raw is a great way to eat clean and detox your liver, colon, kidneys, gallbladder, and lungs. Raw fruits and vegetables contain large amounts of water, vitamins, and nutrients that are imperative for vital organ function.  However, I decided to take detoxing my organs to a whole new level this spring.

After watching Carla Douglin’s ‘Raw Raw Life’ videos on YouTube, I decided to try a raw juice fast/detox again this year.  I've tried them a few times in the past, but was never able to fully commit to, or stick with a juice fast.  Being an admitted recovering over-eater and food-binger, I was highly skeptical the first time I considered a juice fast.

I had many concerns about fasting on juice, and the most obvious for a recovering over-eater was the “deprivation” factor.  One would assume that, if only consuming juice, they would feel deprived at the lack of chew-able foods.  This concerned me.  The mere thought of not being able to chew food gave me anxiety.  When I feel “deprived” from food, my brain goes into the automatic mental darkness of stress, and immediately starts talking to me in McDonald’s language of salty, greasy French fries. I've been eating clean for 3 years now; I have no intention of having cravings for a Big Mac! 

To set “rules” and deprive myself of food, my brain goes straight into that “have to have it” mode.  Sure, I have learned how to control that urge through eating clean and being a member of Overeaters Anonymous, but still, why would I want to put myself through that?  After giving this very issue some serious thought, I decided to do what I tell my Eat-Clean support group to do:  Face your fears and confront them head on.  It’s been said that you must do the thing you fear the most.  Well, welcome to my biggest fear:  Not being able to eat, chew, and enjoy real food!

I decided that I would give Raw Raw Life’s ‘Juicy June’ a try.  After all, what’s the worst that could happen?  I might actually like it?  Okay, I still wasn't convinced.  But I did make the commitment, and I started prepping for my juice fast last week.  I went to our local farmer’s market at the beach last Friday and purchased a beautiful arrangement of produce--from beets to zucchini, kale, carrots, cucumbers, and a variety of fruits and fresh ginger. 

I returned home, got out my juicer and gave it a good cleaning.  I then prepped & juiced enough produce for my first day of juice fasting, which just so happened to be the next day!  I figured I’d better be prepared to wake up Saturday morning and have some healthy juice staring at me from the top of the refrigerator shelf, so that I couldn't back out of my juice fast commitment!

In order to properly prepare myself for my juicy road ahead, I decided to  re-read Carla and Amacuba e-books, ‘101 JuiceFast Recipes’ and ‘How to Break a Juice Fast’ which I have uploaded to my Kindle.  They even have a new book out now called ‘Juice 28! Your COMPLETE 28-Day Juice Detox Plan’ as well.  Fabulous stuff here, everyone!  Get on over to Raw Raw Life’s website and get your copies now!  (PDF versions are available on their website, and Kindle format is available at

I went to bed early Friday night, got a good night of sleep, and arose bright and early Saturday morning with a “let’s do this!” attitude of fierceness!  As Carla often says, “Juice early, juice often.”  I juiced early, and it was good!  It took me nearly an hour to finish my first glass of juice. It was the “juice often” part of the equation that I had trouble with.

By the afternoon, I was wondering why I was torturing myself with a juice detox. I was having doubts that I would make it through the first day.  I had previously committed to doing the juice fast for 3 days.  Somehow, this kept weighing heavily on my mind while I doubted myself, and I couldn't help but feel like a failure for wanting to give up so soon.  3 hours into my new juice fast, I was feeling deprived.  All I could think about what was I could not have.  I was not focusing on the health ramifications of goodness that a fast does for your internal organs, nor was I thinking about all of the beautiful juice prepared and waiting for me in my refrigerator. 

Thank goodness Carla posted YouTube videos pertaining to juice fasting!  She explained that I was feeling ‘mentalhunger,’ and not ‘physical hunger.’  She was right!  Once I took my mind off of the feelings of food deprivation from what I could not have, I began to think about all of the things that I could have--beautiful, delicious, healthy raw juice made in my own kitchen;  a cleansed colon, liver, stomach, gallbladder, kidneys, lungs;  clear skin, improved vision, clean and improved blood.  There are so many positive things that I was providing for my body by committing to a juice fast detox.  I began to focus on the healthy elements instead of the mental anguish of deprivation.

I decided to get out of the house, and re-focus my thoughts and energy.  It took my mind off of ‘myself,’ and allowed me to get some fresh air and mild exercise.  That first night, I slept well.  As a matter of fact, I slept very well. I woke up ready to juice the next morning, day 2 of my juice fast, and felt energetic and alive. It was at this point that I knew my body was responding well, and I decided to continue with the fast.  I did experience weak periods throughout the day, and needed to rest a lot.  I had a headache through the majority of the detox, and my skin broke out horrifically. 

Those are the exact signs that your body is properly detoxing, so I knew that I just needed to continue on and wait it out, which is exactly what I did.  Day 3 was pretty easy, and my detox symptoms began to dissipate.  I felt great by the time I went to bed that night, and gave myself a good talking to about doubt and fear.  I felt so good the next morning that I decided to have a huge glass of freshly made juice for breakfast, even though my juice fast detox was over.

From reading Carla and Amacuba’s e-books, I knew that I still would need to ‘break’ my fast properly.  I've taken this entire past week to ensure my fast is properly ended, and I have continued to eat mainly raw food as well as incorporate juicing into my daily menu.  Just this morning, I had my favorite juice combo:  beet, carrot, kale, green apple, lemon, and ginger juice!  It’s amazing!  Thank you, Carla and Amacuba, for putting together such healthful, nutritional information and encouragement in your books as well as website information.  You two have done an excellent job with education here!
The final results of my juice fast are remarkable.  I’ve lost 4 pounds, I’m sleeping fabulously at night, I’m waking up with energy and strength, and my stomach issues of bloating and gas have gone away.  My skin has cleared up, and I feel much lighter.  I’m so happy with the outcome from my 3 day juice fast, that I am recommitting to another juice fast soon- a 5 day juice fast!  Eventually, I’d like to work my way up to a full 28 day juice detox fast.  But for me personally, I know that is exactly what I must do:  I must work my way up to it!  For me, it’s all about small steps, one day at a time.  Won’t you give it a try, too?  Your body and mind will surely thank you for it!

~Kymberly Morgan