I always thought I would run throughout my life. I had been a competitive runner for many years and I absolutely loved it, but in my mid-thirties, my body broke down. I contracted illnesses I had thought were made up in people’s heads, like Epstein Barr and Chronic Fatigue, but once I contracted them, I learned those illnesses were not imaginary. In fact, every day when I woke up, I literally felt like I was walking through Jell-O.
It wasn’t just my strenuous training for my running and triathlon competitions that caused my body to break down. I also had a highly stressful job as an equity analyst on Wall Street that demanded workaholic hours. Each day after I became ill, I literally dragged myself to work and felt exhausted just by the simple act of lifting myself from my chair. Running was, of course, out of the question.
At the time, I thought I had a healthy diet. I ate salads almost daily and lots of vegetables at both lunch and dinner. If you looked at me, you would have thought I was toned and in shape, but that was only on the outside. Inside I felt like I was falling apart.
I consulted with doctors, but none seemed to know how to cure these illnesses. Finally, a friend referred me to a nutritionist that was well ahead of the times. My friend warned, “She’s a bit out of the box.”
I was ready to try anything to heal, but perhaps if I had known in advance how unconventional this nutritionist was, I may not have gone.
She started our appointment by doing an iris analysis. I sat there and let her do her thing. After she was done, she looked me straight in the eye and said, “At least 70% of your diet must be from vegetables. The best way you can consume that much is to drink unpasteurized juice.”
Fortunately living in New York City where there’s a juice bar on practically every corner, this was easy. I drank 2 to 3 large juices per day and within a week, my energy levels returned to the point that I actually started running again.
There was another unexpected benefit to drinking so much juice. I used to spend an embarrassing amount on skin care products. The woman at the Le Prairie counter was practically my best friend. As I drank juice, my skin became softer and glowed and the lines in my face diminished. Even to this day, I use very little skin products and I’m over 50.
After I left my Wall Street job, I lived in Asia and Europe. I was amazed to see how people drink unpasteurized juices all over the world as a natural part of their diet. It was easy to find juice bars just about anywhere so I continued to drink daily.
I moved back to Boston 14 years ago for a divorce, which was ugly and painful. I needed a place I could turn for relief, which is when I started to cleanse heavily. I wanted to shed all the layers of pain, and I thought cleansing would enable me to achieve that.
When people hear the word “cleansing,” they think of weird stuff coming out of your bowels, but that’s really not what it is at all. Although there are many types of cleaned, all cleansing really means is eating a clean diet or mostly greens and eliminating processed foods and sugar, and food that are hard to digest, including gluten, dairy, animal protein. Typically on cleanses, people drink green juices, but this isn’t necessary.
For me, the cleaner I ate, the lighter and more empowered I felt. It showed us how unbelievably invigorated and balanced we feel when we consume a plant rich diet.
Admittedly, there is a lot more I did other than cleansing, that led me back to a life in which I felt empowered. I still have days in which I feel a bit shaky, but that’s when I turn to the established healthy tools that helps me get back on track. I will be discussing these tools in future blog posts.