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Tips for a Stress-free Fast

greenjuicesGot a new juicer and hot date with some sexy green juice for a couple days? I do very soon. Below are some tips that may be useful when embarking on a juice fast.

1) Clean that colon! I missed the memo on this when I first started juice fasting, and it was not fun. When you fast, your body is going to start flushing out toxins. Its important to facilitate this process with enemas or colonics. If you don’t you may feel dizzy, generally ill, or develop acne (if it doesn’t come out the other end, yes it will start to come out on your face).

2) Take a chill pill. If you are a crazy multi-tasker, take it easy. Fasting is not the time to be super woman or take on stressful new projects. Get rest, and it will pay dividends. Also avoiding TV is good, or else during a commercial break you may have a sudden strong urge to “Have it your way!”

3) Inspire yourself  2 go the distance. Find quiet time to read inspiring literature, spiritual texts, or stories about people who overcame by fasting. Your favorite motivational speaker, writer, whoever, listen or read and use use the inspiration to keep you focused on the goal of going within. This is when I wish I had T.D. Jakes on speed dial!

4) Don’t broadcast yr fast. Its always easiest to not tell people you are fasting. I make up other excuses for why I can’t go out to eat or whatever. As soon as you open your mouth you may allow others to fast talk you right out of your commitment.

5)  Ease off. Don’t make the mistake of chowing down right afterwards. You need a period of a least a quarter the amount of time you fasted to come down off the fast properly.

6) Have Patience with any unexpected Emotional Drama. When your body releases toxins, a physical cleansing takes place. I experienced first hand that the release of toxins can also lead to emotional cleansing as well. If you need to cry, scream, whatever, give yourself permission to let it out. Just don’t hurt nobody!

** Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Listen to your body, consult w/ yr doc if need be, and take my advice at your own risk. Side effects may include general joie de vire, a spiritual awakening, or an increase in magnetism & overall sexiness.

How to Break a Fast! Increasing Mindfulness & Maximizing Your Benefits

Dearest Readers:

If you have not check out past posts on Fasting please do. My personal go-to for the first day of breaking a fast is to eat simple liquid foods, like fresh fruit juices: watermelon juice, fresh pineapple juice, fresh squeezed orange juice, or vegetable broths (miso is usually my broth of choice because it is a light fermented food that promotes good bacteria). Depending on how long the fast–for instance if the fast was longer than 3 Days— I will stay on liquid/blended meals for two days and then begin to introduce solid fruits. When you introduce solids be sure to savor your food and chew thoroughly so it’s easier for your body to break it down. Savoring your food is a part of “mindfulness,” and includes taking a moment to enjoy the taste and flavors, and having a deep gratitude to the Source for providing your meal.  Breaking your fast is crucial to retaining the benefits you worked hard for, and keeping your body in balance. Go slow, listen to your body, and plan ahead. -XoXo Raw Girl

So a friend of mine calls me the other day and says to me “Nicola I just love what you guys are doing with Raw Girl and you have inspired me so much that I’ve embarked on my own liquid fast.” I was ecstatic. There is nothing better than hearing that something that you are a part of has inspired another to take control of their health. When I asked her how long she had been fasting, she told me that she was on day eight! I felt so uplifted to hear the news, because I have been on extended fasts myself in the past and after day three it really becomes easy sailing from there. Not only that, there are tons of mental, physical, and spiritual breakthroughs which can occur during extended periods of fasting. She was amazed at her progress, just was a little unsure of how to incorporate solids back into her life. At this stage in the game, the biggest and probably most CRUCIAL step in maintaining the benefits of a fast is how to go about incorporating solid foods again.

Fasting of all sorts is an amazing way to take control of your health but also presents a great opportunity to improve your relationship to food. My own personal journey with fasting was born out of a need to address a serious binge eating problem that I would occasionally have due to what I thought was simply a psychological deficiency (but later found out it may have had more to do with a nutritional deficiency). Fasting was something that I just started to do because I was blown away by the benefits, but I wasn’t resourceful enough at the time to be strategic about the way that I introduced solid foods back into my life.  Which, I quickly discovered through experience is a crucial element to reap the overall benefits of the fast.

When our bodies go into a fasting state, especially for prolonged periods of time longer than three days, then the digestive system goes to sleep. All of the energy that the body was using to digest the foods that you’ve been constantly eating suddenly is now diverted into a deeper cleansing of the body. It’s sort of like that extra time you suddenly have during spring break (if you’re in school) and you get to finally get into the nooks and crannies of your living space to clean everything out that you didn’t have the time to get to before. The biggest mistake that people make when breaking fast is eating a big, hard to digest meal. To your digestive system, It’s a lot like being awakened from a deep soothing slumber with a bucket of ice being thrown at you. Not gentle, and um…not easy to digest. Again, your system has been diverted from its usual digesting duties, and its very important that it is gently reintroduced to simple easy to digest foods like simple fruits or vegetables. This is in order to give the digestive system time to start producing the enzymes again needed to get the job done which had ceased to be produced upon fasting. Failure to do this can result in the digestive lining becoming irritated and even damaged if this process is not respected.

Here are a few rules of thumb and tips for breaking a fast correctly:

  • You should spend at least 1 day breaking fast for every 3 days of fasting
  • Write out a “breaking the fast” plan and be ready to implement( Buy food before hand and have a systematic plan in place to avoid eating whatever is available/overeating)
  • Drink lots of water between meals
  • LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. If you are still feeling full when it comes time to eat again, don’t force yourself to eat, just drink some juice or some water and let your body do its thing.

This is very important, so I will reiterate: spend at least 1 day breaking a fast for every 3 days that you fast. After all the hard work and discipline you’ve exercised in fasting, it’s so worth the extra push to break fast correctly, and in the process renew your appreciation for the food you are consuming. Fasting has been such an amazing journey for me, which is ongoing and ever evolving. Since I began, the process has dramatically improved my relationship with my food and portion sizes. Learning how to be truly mindful with my food has played a big role in that. I encourage you to plan a customized fast which fits your needs; there are so many options for you to choose from that will increase your energy, vitality, and health! – Nicola, Signing in for Raw Girl

For more on Fasting check out these past posts:

How to Design Your Own Fast

Tips for a Stress-Free Fast

Wise Ones on the Benefits of Fasting

How to Design Your Own Fast

“Fast and your light will break forth like morning…[and your] healing shall spring forth speedily.” – Isaiah 58: 6-11 

One of the coolest things I’ve ever learned about fasting I read in Gabriel Cousen’s book Spiritual Nutrition. He mentions that when you fast, your body turns on a “youthing gene,” and that it has been scientifically proven that our genes revert to an earlier expression of themselves when in fasting mode. In other words you begin to get younger, rather than older! Which is why long-term, adding the habit of regular fasting into your lifestyle literally adds years onto your life. Besides living longer, fasting, especially on fresh vegetable juices can speed your healing process, cleanse your body, boost your energy, revive your skin, and enhance your general joie de vivre.

You may be sold on the idea but have no idea where to start? No fear, it’s not as daunting as it seems. Most people like to have a program to follow and a schedule so they can stick to something and not fall off after one day of fasting. The first day and sometimes even the second can be the hardest. Preparation is definitely key when fasting, as well as motivation. You want to be clear on your motivation and fuel it, so that when the going gets rough you can stick with it to the finish line.

I fast for a number of reasons. Sometimes I feel like my skin is looking dull and I’ve had too much cooked food, so I’ll juice fast for a while to cleanse and get my vegan glow back, and other times it’s more of a spiritual thing. I’m sure that other avid fasters can attest to the fact that fasting can also put you in a heightened state of receptivity, and/or force you to listen and be more aware if you are seeking guidance on a major decision or waiting for something awesome to manifest in your life. There’s a reason so many spiritual leaders and sages have engaged in fasting. In the Bible alone there are several stories that are awesome commercials for fasting, from David to Jesus himself, which illustrate how fasting can unleash supernatural power.

There are plenty of fasts you can follow in books or even online, but I highly recommend creating something yourself that works for your personal goals. If you’ve never embarked on a fast I would recommend no more than three days. Also, be sure to consult with a doctor or holistic practitioner if you have any preexisting medical conditions. Below are five simple steps you can take to create your own fast. Hope this post is helpful, if you have more questions feel free to post or message me via Facebook-XoXo Raw Girl

  1. Find & fuel your motivation. Whether it be for cleansing/detox, clarity, spiritual insight etc. figure out your reason to begin. If you are doing longer fasts up to 10 days, you should be prepared with daily reading, quotes, or whatever works for you to keep you focused on your intention. If it’s a spiritual fast, or even if it is not, you may want to make time daily for prayer, meditation, or just reflection.
  2. Set the parameters.  Decide whether or not this is a 3 day fast or longer. Choose your method: are you fasting on green juices, veggie juices, water, raw foods? Fasting just means that you are committing to abstain from something. You could do a vegan fast or a raw fast. You could even be a meat eater who decides to abstain from meat for awhile. But for cleansing purposes if you want results, juice fasting with mostly if not all green vegetables is definitely the way to go.  If you are incorporating other sweet veggies like carrots and beets make sure you balance it by getting in some green juices daily as well. If you have a specific ailment you are nursing, you can actually look up recipes online or in holistic health books that will cater to that dis-ease. I don’t recommend you do a water fast unless it’s supervised. Make sure whatever method you use that you also consume large amounts of water during your fasting period. There is no set rule to how many juices you consume a day. Make sure you have enough on hand to get your fill. Some days you may need more juice than others. Go with the flow.
  3. Relax your schedule & plan ahead. Make sure you’ve got enough groceries and recipes for juices or whatever method of fast you choose. Even with die-hard commitment when the veggie hits the fan if you are juice fasting and can’t get your fix you may leave yourself vulnerable to eating other foods that happen to be around and breaking your fast the wrong way. Your fridge should be stocked with more than enough veggie ammo to survive your cravings. During this time respect your cleansing process and try to relax your schedule as much as possible. It’s possible to exercise while fasting, but for beginners and even veteran fasters, you may opt for much gentler workouts during your cleansing period. My favorite exercise while fasting (not exactly gentle) is hot yoga, because I get to sweat more toxins out.
  4. Commit to some sort of colon cleansing for the duration of the fast. This is a HUGE must. I recommend you also read my past post Tips For a Stress Free Fast which elaborates on this point even more. Fasting accelerates the bodies process of eliminating toxins, and if you do not support this process you could end up feeling sick during your fast. To avoid this you are going to need to incorporate enemas or colonics in your process. You will feel incredible if you do this. Some people say daily enemas, I say feel out your body and do what works for you, but do not skip this step.
  5. Have a plan for breaking the fast. Alright you made it to Day 3, and you are salivating because you want to bite something! Slow down. Make sure that you spend at least half of the time you fasted coming down off the fast. So for a three day, at least a day and a half coming down off the fast. Introduce solids very slowly. Veggie broths, fruit juices, and raw fruit can be great and not jarring. Eating things like nuts would throw your system into shock and may cause constipation so start with lighter foods.
** Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Listen to your body, consult w/ yr doc if need be, and take my advice at your own risk. Side effects may include general joie de vire, a spiritual awakening, or an increase in magnetism & overall sexiness.***
Check out this past post Tips for a Stress-Free Fast:

The Break-Up Fast: Loss as a Tool for Transformation

“Fast and your light will break forth like morning…[and your] healing shall spring forth speedily.” – Isaiah 58: 6-11 (paraphrased)

Have you noticed that when unexpected  loss shows at up at  your door, you tend to overeat? This is true for a lot of us. The concept of vegging out on comfort food is worn like a badge of honor nowadays, when processed food is plentiful and sugar addiction is the norm. In the past I was among the loyal cadre of folks that used food as the drug of choice to remedy my woes. Ever since I embraced balance and changed my diet and eating habits, the opposite seems to be the case. Loss, which used to throw me into stuff my gut til’ it aches mode, now causes me to lose my appetite and retreat into fasting mode.

I recently got dumped. Like drop my heart in the bottom of your shoe dumped. In the midst of my processing the situation and mending my broken heart, my appetite seemed to naturally vanish. In order to prevent from starving myself,  I decided to go ahead and officially fast, so that at least my body would be nourished. While wallowing in my own experience I thought it would be interesting to research the effects of fasting on loss or any sort of depression. I found that fasting has been for ages used since Biblical times to bring the body, mind, and spirit back into balance while processing loss.

I love the Bible quote from Isaiah, the idea that fasting will “break your light forth like new morning.” The operative words for me are “light” and “new.” Yes indeed fasting not only purges the body, it renews the spirit and in fact can bring the mind into an altered state of consciousness. Opening up the inner light that gets dimmed from wrong thinking, wrong eating, or just the chaos that is this modern world. Those who fast know that in the midst of a fast there can be moments of intense bliss and interconnectedness with life around us in ways that heal our unseen wounds physical and emotional. Combined with solitude, fasting brings us face to face with the chaos that we have surrounded ourselves with and can break the addictions we have whether it be drugs, alcohol, dysfunctional relationships, or even food. All of these addictions are born from that feeling of lack; a sort of unconscious spiritual deprivation that we all look to fill with people and things. There have been documented case after case of people using fasting to quit smoking, drinking, or to heal terminal diseases naturally.

Uncannily enough, just as I began the fast, my phone would not charge. I discovered that I needed to replace the battery. The loss of communication, really put me into a different place than before. In the past, I fasted in tandem with the daily texting, facebooking, and emailing via phone. With that gone, I felt a certain sense of quiet and freedom simultaneously. It forced me to look at how much of my life is spent in my present moment, rather than consumed in cyberspace.  All of this prompted me to venture on a retreat into the wilderness. My father’s church happens to own a spiritual solitude retreat called Spiritual Wilderness Solitude in Harmony Haven, Virginia, and funnily enough although I have visited, I never myself undertook the process of staying there alone for an extended period of time. It was day one of the fast, that I received the inner guidance, that I had to go, sometime soon.

Now I am a fan of solitude, I do actually spend a lot of time by myself, and am not one of those people who feels uncomfortable going to the movies alone or spending time in meditation. But this idea of being in the middle of nature no phone reception, no lighted highways, and far enough from civilization that silence was really SILENCE, on purpose, is a new concept. I’m almost afraid to venture into that space, and what I may discover about myself. But I will do it…very soon, and I will let you all know how it goes.

Visionaries such as Christ and Buddha used fasting and solitude to obtain mystical revelations. The act of fasting to me feels like the deepest form of prayer…its a sensation that seems to align the spirit immediately to receiving healing, opens the universal gateway for  help in the time of need and solutions to any kind of problem. So the next time you loose a loved one, are mending a broken heart, fall sick with any kind of disease or drug addiction, or maybe just need answers, consider fasting perhaps accompanied with some meditation and  solitude as a remedy. What began as a break up may be the catalyst for a deeper connection with life and spirit than you can fathom. – XoXo Raw Girl

For more on fasting, check out my article Juice Fasting: The Ultimate Tool for Anti-Aging and Spiritual Awakening:…-juice-fasting/

And also…this previous post which offers Tips for a Stress-Free Fast:

15 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Detox

RawGirlDetoxPlan_CoverThe word detox is thrown around so often nowadays in health and celeb-watching lingo, I’m sure most of us are used to hearing about the latest fad. Unfortunately, the focus in our popular culture tends to be on fast weight loss and getting so-and-so’s abs with the new fat flush diet, rather than achieving optimal health. Although you may have heard about the latest detox fad, do you really know what detox means? Detoxification is a key function of the body which happens naturally that involves elimination of metabolic waste  and toxins via our bodies’ major eliminatory organs: our skin, kidneys, colon, lymph, lungs, and liver. Toxins in our bodies’ are in the form of the toxic by-products of our own metabolism, the foods, drinks, and drugs we choose to consume which includes alcohol, cigarettes, prescription and recreational drugs, our household cleaning products, environmental pollution, and the effects of emotional stress and mental pollution.

We live in a toxic world, so obviously encouraging detoxification is a good thing, and keeps the body light, renewed, and refreshed.  Our SAD (Standard American Diets) leave the majority of us overloaded with animal protein, saturated and trans fats, and all the other aforementioned toxins. In our natural state the body is designed to be able to flush out unwanted substances. But due to the toxic overload, the bodies’ natural ability dampens, and toxins end up getting stored in our tissues. To counteract this our bodies’ surround this toxic waste with mucous (which later can become dis-ease) and guess what, FAT. Which is why when you opt for a diet that is cleansing the weight or “waste” seems to just fall off. Detox diets are designed to encourage, support, and facilitate the toxin elimination process. Some examples of regimens that encourage detoxification are juicing, juice fasting, and the raw food diet. The removal of cooked and processed foods from your diet for a period time, or the absence of solid food altogether, gives your body a chance to rejuvenate and flush out old waste.

Below are some of the awesome reasons why you should consider incorporating a regular yearly detox into your lifestyle. And…available for purchase beginning March 11th on a blog near you is Raw Girl’s 7 Day Detox. I’m excited about sharing this plan with you, which will include a power juice guide with recipes and nutritional benefits of ingredients, a shopping list and budget, a detox schedule which you can follow daily for a full week, and a manual which includes tips to make your cleanse stress-free. If seven days is too long for you to handle, a shorter 3 Day Detox Plan will also be available as a starter to The Acne Free Diet. Stay tuned! -XoXo Raw Girl

Benefits of a Detox:

  1. Releases addictions to processed foods
  2. Flushes out toxins from the body
  3. Balances hormones
  4. Boosts energy levels and increases circulation
  5. Improves digestion
  6. Strengthens immune system
  7. Lowers risk of dis-ease
  8. Improves concentration
  9. Improves quality of sleep
  10. Clears skin problems and acne

     11. Encourages regular bowel movements

     12. Detoxifies the organs

     13. Reduces stress

     14. Boosts libido/ Increases sex drive

      15. Encourages weight loss and maintaining healthy weight

Surviving a Healing Crisis During Detox

Dearest Veggie Lovers: This is an article written by Nicola, a lovely new addition to the Raw Girl team. I think this is an important topic to discuss. If you’ve ever done a cleanse you should know all about healing crises. If you have not, I recommend you read this article and also check out a past post on How to Conduct a Stress-Free Fast to give you tips on minimizing intense reactions during cleansing. Hope you enjoy it, summer is here and it’s a great season to eat light and cleanse. Happy detoxing! -XoXo Raw Girl

Detoxification is a sacred practice which has been used by many people all over the world since the dawn of time. From a 10 day juice fast to 10 day water fast with cayenne pepper, lemon, and maple syrup (master cleanse) , to a 100% raw foods diet, cleansing is dynamic and diverse in its methods. Taking the time and exercising the discipline needed to cleanse can be a wildly rewarding experience for anyone willing to take on the challenge and can sometimes offer major spiritual transformation and discovery.
                     This article is not geared towards convincing you to embark on a fast or adopt a particular eating habit. This is intended as a tool for those who have taken up the challenge of cleansing and may have had trouble seeing it through. Or you may just be ready to take it to the next level. In all modes of detoxification, the cleanser will experience what is called a healing crisis. A healing crisis can be described as a variety of symptoms from migraines, irritable moods, intense cravings, strong emotional outbursts, reliving unpleasant memories, skin breakouts, frequent trips to the bathroom, etc. For many, this part of cleansing is a roadblock, because they may not be emotionally ready to deal with the many feelings that arise during this part of the cleansing process. This however, is a very important part of the process of purification and a great opportunity to bravely face many of the challenges that are buried deep within.
               What is taking place physiologically, is the body, efficient organism that it is, is taking full advantage of its fasting state and quickly dumping toxins that have been tucked away in the cells into the blood stream for excretion. These toxins have been in places that the body did not have the time to cleanse or excrete previously because of preoccupation digesting heavily cooked or other food. It is important that anyone that embarks on any extended fast or cleanse is made aware of the challenges that will arise because it will better equip them to be ready to deal with them instead of being surprised and more likely to retreat to old ways of living, thinking, and eating. The other side of the coin is, once the healing crisis is over its usually met with an increased sense of well-being, relief, and energy levels.
                  Some ways to manage the healing crisis when it is upon you, is to have positive affirmations on hand which speak to and magnify the experience you wish to have. For example : “I am strong enough, abundant enough, wise enough, to journey into the unknown.” Repeating this to yourself until you start to feel it can change your whole mind set.  A nice sea salt bath with aromatherapy oils, an emergency home enema, colon hydrotherapy, massaging yourself, getting a professional massage, doing light yoga, or just simply sitting with your feelings and breathing through them are all great methods for coping with the healing crisis. Once you are  in the throes of a crisis, whatever you do to aid the rate of your detoxification will help reduce the symptoms sooner. If you get a sudden craving for something you know you should not be eating, flooding the system with lots of water or freshly prepared juice can often offset the craving. Each person will have a unique way in which they deal with a healing crisis, its best to experiment and find out what works best for you. Sometimes it may be as simple as allowing yourself to cry and release old pent-up feelings that you never before were brave enough to allow through. Seeing the detoxification process through is a sacred process with the power to heal and change your life!
               We must remember that cleansing is a holistic practice which involves not only body, but mind AND spirit. As we are in the summer season, now is the best time to consider undergoing some sort of cleanse that is custom to your needs. This could be increasing your raw food consumption, and definitely increase your physical exercise. We must remember that we are the creators of our own life, and that every step we take to invest in our holistic wellness is a win-win situation for ourselves and for our world. Ultimately, remembering to be gentle and loving towards ourselves as we undergo our “internal housecleaning” is essential for our success. I can say that it has worked for me on many occasion during healing crises, however its an ongoing process and just as our health improves so must our creativity in maintaining it as well. EMBRACE YOUR PROCESS!  ~Nicola, Signing in for Raw Girl

Dear Raw Girl: Fighting Lupus?

Hello Raw Girl! I came across your site after searching for vegan and dermatomyositis…I was diagnosed with Lupus about a year ago…they put me on meds and the symptoms didn’t improve and I got even more sick. By the grace of God I came across Jill Harrington’s Lupus Recovery Diet and became vegan. My symptoms improved and I thought I was *cured*…so I then began eating whatever I wanted. BIG surprise (not) my eyes are swollen and itchy. Turns out, I have this thing…so now I’m in the middle of a fast to get my body back on a fresh start and then STAY on the vegan diet. I’ve even started feeding my kids a more vegetarian diet. Wondering from your opinion…do you think my symptoms will improve again? Or is it too late? – Brittany Clarke

Dear Brittany:

Thank you for sharing this with me and trusting my opinion. First off, I want to say, whatever I express in this post is just that, an OPINION. Not fact, not necessarily the be all end all, just my own biased point of view. I am not a doctor so I cannot give you a specific medical opinion based on your body, but I can share with you my thoughts. Unfortunately there are many doctors with opinions, who speak into people’s lives, and their word is taken as truth. Time and time again, patients with terminal diseases have proven doctors wrong, and have far outlived their diagnosis just based on the power of will and positivity. That said, how bad do you want it? You made yourself well once before, so you clearly have what it takes to do it again if you visualize wellness and stick to your guns. I think you can do it.

I did some research through several natural cures books about Lupus, and diet is definitely key in keeping you well long term and reducing inflammation. They say no one knows the exact cause and conventional medicine usually treats issues that may lead to flare-ups such as medications, birth control pills, any pre-existing viral illnesses, or extreme stress. Attacking your condition from the holistic perspective you need to find out if you have any particular food allergies (apparently some food allergies can mimic lupus or worsen conditions), watch anything that may cause hormonal imbalances, assure that your digestion is optimal, make sure you address any potential nutritional deficiencies, and also that you avoid intake of more toxins and detox from heavy metals. So its important not only that you go vegan, you need to avoid the sugars and carbs that promote an internal acidic environment and inflammation, you also need to focus on really giving your body OPTIMAL  nutrition. Here’s some ideas based on my research that may help you.

  • Juice Fasting. The juice fast plan is great, 3 days is a good length on green juices, and you can even throw in their some organic herbal teas to help promote detoxification. Try once a month if more seems too much to start.
  • Buy organic whole foods. Avoid conventional veggies if possible so you don’t take in more toxins via pesticides etc. Thoroughly wash your veggies.
  • Vitamin E . For this you can include wheat germ, watercress (which has three times the amount of Vitamin E in lettuce) and all other leafy greens, nuts and seeds.
  • Essential Fatty Acids in ground flaxseed or flaxseed oil will help you reduce inflammation. You can add these to a salad. Or make a yogurt out of fruit and sprinkle ground flaxseeds on top.
  • Foods high in sulfur will help repair damage that flareups do to your joint cartilage. Foods such as: onions, garlic, asparagus, arugula, blue green algea (E3 Live would be great), bee pollen, broccoli, kale, maca, spirulina, watercress, cauliflower, and pumpkin seeds are contain a nice amount of sulfur.
  • Incorporate a supergreen supplement in your diet, some of which were mention in the sulfur food list above: spirulina, chlorella (which also helps body detoxify from heavy metals), and/or E3 Live (liquid blue green algae supplement).
  • Make sure your water is clean! Tap water may expose you to toxins and microorganisms which won’t help because your body is already in a compromised state.
  • Probiotics will help with digestion and maintain a healthy digestive environment.
  • Natural Pain Relievers. Evening primrose oil and black currant oil can help to reduce joint inflammation. White willow bark is a natural alternative that can be used for join pain. (I can vouch for this one, when I had my accident I took this and valerian root to help ease the pain.)

All that said, the gist of it is that I believe, YOU CAN DO IT. Make sure to listen to your body, seek medical supervision holistic or regular if you need it just to see where you are. Consider going to a holistic practitioner and testing for any food allergies and nutritional deficiencies you may have, and try to organize your life in a way that minimizes your daily stress. I sincerely wish you the health you deserve, and because you did it once before, you should know, you most definitely can do it again! This next time, though, make sure to stick with it. -XoXo Raw Girl

For tips on how to have a stress free fast, check out this previous post:

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Back to One: The End of the Year Cleanse

Sometimes it really feels good to reset and revamp. It’s not like setting the clock back, but more so starting from where you are and undergoing a process of renewal. I’ve been feeling like in many areas of my life this process of going “back to one” is happening, and thus, it felt like an awesome time to take on a cleanse. As the end of the year approaches (can you believe how fast it went by) cleansing allows us to rejuvenate our bodies, while letting our minds and spirits reflect on the time that has passed and our next steps.

I chose this time to take on a gentle two-week full body herbal detox in a box that cleanses my skin, liver, lungs, colon, kidneys, blood and lymphatic system. Also combining this with a parasite cleanse and seven-day liquid fast  so that I can move into the new year, with my body reset and full of vitality, and mind ready to take on new tasks.

Just as I am resetting my body through fasting and detox, I find that the New Year is a great time to reset my mind. It’s important to me to spend adequate time ruminating on the goals I accomplished, and also look at where I fell short to examine what new approaches or what character flaws may be standing in my way. Most people make resolutions that lose their legs by the second month of the year. In order for us to set goals that stand the test of time, we have to examine our motives and really connect to how our goals will increase the quality of our lives and also touch others.

We also can change the way we look at our goals and ourselves, by not only focusing on where we want to be, but also who is it that we have to become to get there? That shift in thinking alone, made me realize that in order to get to where I am going it won’t be through just daily actions, but also continuous self-evaluation and development of my character. Below is a list of New Year’s back to one actions that may inspire you to get “Back to One.” – XoXo Raw Girl

  • Create a vision board for 2011 in all important areas of your life: finances, spiritual, career, relationships, health. Place it in a visible place and look at it daily.
  • After you’ve created this vision board or wrote down your goals spend time visualizing how achievement of these goals will enhance the quality of your life and those around you.
  • Write a letter to yourself that describes in detail what goals you would like to accomplish in all areas of your life and what  kind of person you have become at the end of 2011. Seal it and do not open until the end of 2011. (I did this last year and it was amazing!)
  • Take on a Fast or Cleanse. Fasting can be as simple as abstaining from certain foods you are trying to cut out of your diet or going full-out and doing fresh juices only, blended food only, or even raw food only periods.
  • Clean House. This one feels really good. I hate going into the New year with too much baggage. Taking a day or however long to reduce the clutter in your life not only make room for more good to come, it frees up more mental space!

For more on juice fasting, check out these previous posts:

Tips for a Stress Free Fast

The Benefits of Juice Fasting…-juice-fasting/

Diary of My 7 Day Spring Cleaning

I feel like I’m a little late on my annual spring cleaning, but better late than never, as they say. The best way to gauge whether or not you need to detox or cleanse is really to listen to your body, and last week my body was screaming “STOP EATING FOR A MINUTE.” So, I listened. Another factor that always plays a huge part in my personal desire to fast is what is happening  in my life at the time. If I feel like things are in transition, or new projects and opportunities are in  a very important incubation phase, sometimes I use fasting like a form of prayer. It keeps my thoughts still and positive, vibration high, and allows me to hear clearer guidance from the universe.

Fasting, as I have mentioned in previous posts, is a sure way to increase longevity, rid the body of stored toxins, and  awaken a deeper spiritual connection.  In Dr. Gabriel Cousen’s book, Spiritual Nutrition, he discusses fasting as, “the ultimate way to reactivate the youthing gene expression.”  he goes on to elaborate that research has proven that fasting actually allowed a “youthing gene” to be turned on, and people were literally “reverting to an earlier stage of their gene expression.” They were getting younger! If none of those reasons appeal to you, then perhaps you would just like to have a natural glow–after and sometimes even during every fast–my skin always gets just a little bit more radiant and people often comment on it. Below is the regimen I followed on my own Spring Cleaning. I didn’t really plan it out, just kind of went with the flow.

Usually it is best to ease into it, having less and less solids and more liquids, then do liquids alone all day, and then transition back out of the fast easily. In total my spring cleaning was 7 days, 2 days transitioning into it, 3 days of liquid only fasting, and 2 days to transition off of the fast. Fasting for up to seven to ten days is generally considered safe by many fasting experts, but if one has an acute disease it would be wise to fast in conjunction with a health professional.

For more info on Juice fasting check out this previous post/article I wrote:

For tips on how to make your fast stress free check out this previous post:

Hope you will be  inspired to tailor your own personal spring cleaning and move into to summer glowing and toxin-free. -XoXo Raw Girl

Day 1

Morning: lots of water, Around 12pm: Watermelon (it was a huge piece like 1/3 of a whole watermelon :), Around 3pm: Water & Meat of 1 Thai Coconut, Around 6pm: one large spinach/kale/avocado salad w/ pine nuts and red bell pepper

Day 2

Morning: lots of water, Around 12pm: Water & Meat from Thai coconut, Around 4 pm: Water & meat from Thai Coconut, Around 7pm: Miso Soup with seaweed, carrot, scallions, and ginger

Day 3

Morning: lots of water, Around 12pm 32 oz of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, Lots of water throughout the day, Around 5:30 pm around 24 oz green juice: kale, celery, apple, ginger, Late evening: green tea

Day 4

Morning: lots of water, Around 12pm Coconut Water, Around 3pm 24 oz of green juice: celery, kale, apple, lemon, ginger, Around 6pm Coconut Water,  Around 7pm Several glasses of Hibiscus Flower tea

Day 5

Morning: lots of water, several glasses of Hibiscus flower tea, Around 12pm: 16 oz of Cleansing Cocktail (Watch video of how to make in this post:,  Around 3pm Green Coconut Water (coconut water and meat blended with spirulina mixed in), Around 7pm: veggie broth w/seaweed

Day 6

Morning: Lots of water, Around 12 pm coconut water and meat, 3pm: coconut water and meat, Around 7pm: 1 guacamole nori roll with shredded beet, carrots, and a little red quinoa salad w/red onion (tastes like heaven)

Day 7

Morning: water, Around 12pm: green juice, 4pm veggie broth, 7:30pm kale & mixed green salad w/ avocado dressing

Yummy Kale Salad