If you have a history of body dysmorphia, chronic dieting, restriction, or other types of freaky food behavior, juice cleanses aren’t going to do shit for your precious body or your awesome mind.
Even if you ate a lot of holiday cookies, even if you feel anxious and tired, even if you want your body to quickly change, even if your digestion is sucking right now, even if lots of amazing people you know or look up to are going to do them.
My personal opinion is that there are no reputable studies or science behind the very idea of detoxing via juice cleansing, but because I certainly haven’t read all there is to read on the subject, I will say the jury is out on if juice cleanses even do what they say they are going to do in the first place.
What I do know, is that MANY people are coming to me completely stressed out by their holiday indulgences and wondering if the answer might be a liquid cleanse. In every instance I have emphatically said “No, please please please do not stop eating food”.
There is simply no magic bullet to “fix” past action.
Sure, if you want to stop eating rich holiday foods, now is a great time to simplify your diet. Get stoked on whole foods, get your vegetables in, maybe even steer clear of refined oils or animal products if you feel so inclined. Be chiller with your body, chances are that might come completely naturally if you’re tuned in to how you’re feeling anyway. Be super mindful, but still eat.
I am a huge fan of the work of Sid Garza-Hillman, and this one thing he said in regards to cleansing has really stuck with me. It is as follows:
What you do before a juice cleanse and what you do after is what actually matters.
Simple, right? Obvious, even.
I am going to come out and say something that has been swimming around my brain for awhile now: Juice cleansing is downright dangerous for those who have struggled with eating disorders. Some folks may do juice cleanses and be fine, some folks may even have struggled with food and cleanse with no mental affect. My opinion, though, is that those instances are probably rare. Generally, the simple act of NOT EATING is just not a safe or wise thing for a person in recovery to do.
I know lots of people think juice cleanses are wonderful and healthy. Indeed, the micronutrient consumption is off the hook. But as both a health and wellness coach and a person who has struggled with all of the eating disorder ever, I just can’t condone them.
Not eating for an extended period of time would trigger the fuck out of me, even years into my recovery, and I imagine it would be the same for others. It’s okay to be really careful with yourself around decisions like this. Admitting vulnerability actually makes you stronger, not weak.
If you think you need a nutritional reset, but I’ve crushed your hopes of juice cleansing, please don’t worry. Steam up some green veggies. Make a miso tahini sauce. Bake a sweet potato. Saute up some tempeh. Eat slowly, and don’t be a jerk to yourself. You’re getting healthier by making a meal that will nourish you at any time.
You’re going to be okay without the juice cleanse.
So, it rained in Oakland, actually kind of a lot, which is supposedly notable. As I have biked through more rain countless times in the five years that I lived in Portland, I can’t help but wonder if the occurrence of weather was used to distract people from the organization around the murders the police have committed recently and historically, the reports of CIA torture, and the cops in civilian clothes pulling guns on protesters. Am I becoming a conspiracy theorist? WHAT’S HAPPENING TO ME?!
Anyway. Moving on.
I am feeling good lately. Creative and organized and motivated and strong and well-rested. The conflation of all these good feelings doesn’t always happen at the same time, so I am definitely reflecting on the good fortune and chilling with gratitude. 2014 has been the best year of my entire life. Super Strength Health has been the best gift I could ever give myself. As emails come in with questions, requests, and general thanks, I feel so ridiculously lucky I can barely believe it. This is my dream job, even when it’s unpredictable. I am so grateful for the work, and most of all, I am grateful for my readers. Thank you all so much. You are making my life significantly better. I hope my content offers even just a fraction of the life enrichment that I have received. Crying a single tear now.
Okay, I’ll stop.
I read a lot of things that I loved this week, and I am SUPER excited to share them with you. I hope you enjoy!
Hey, did you know that some asshole wrote an article called “Tell Loved Ones They are Overweight This Christmas”? And that it makes the rounds of internet share-i-tude like, over and over and over again?
That’s a thing.
Hateful garbage like the aforementioned article exists, but luckily whip-smart people like Ragen Chastain ALSO exist. In this article Ragen gives us practical tips to deal if a relative or “friend” attempts to take you down a notch in terms of your body confidence. While I certainly hope none of my readers will have to deal with that kind of terror, I think it’s a good idea to share, just in case.
If you can believe it, some folks are pointing to Eric Garner’s weight as the “reason” for his death.
Let’s take a moment to breathe that in. To understand that a man was put into an illegal chokehold for a negligable offense, SCREAMED that he could not breathe ELEVEN times, died, and some people will essentially say “he killed himself! A person at a “healthy weight” would have survived!”
Take that in, read this article, and get really fucking angry.
Then spring to action.
The ThinkThin bar. The Luna Bar. The “Eat Like A Woman” bar. (Yes that exists, and yes- EW.)
There is a certain type of marketing that goes along with these nutrition bars, and a lot of it is seriously offensive. This article examines the advertising with a critical lens, dissecting the language and pointing out the misogyny. I like it.
In this article Cynthia talks about dealing with the holidays in the absence of her mother. It’s beautiful, and I love it, and I can relate in so many ways. The joy of celebration can feel really gut wrenching, and Cynthia offers super practical advice for self-soothing.
Thank you, Cynthia. Your words are a gift.
This is on my Holiday menu! What’s on yours?
See you next week!
It has been a good, good week over at Super Strength Health. Before I could even sneeze, my first month of Summer vacation has gone by, and my brain is going a million miles an hour. This has been quite a productive season so far! I am putting the finishing touches on a few very cool projects (think book proposal and a gluten-free challenge program) and am in the baby stages of planning some big stuff for the future that I can’t quite talk about yet.
I really like being a health and wellness coach, have I mentioned that?
Christy Morgan is the powerhouse behind Definition Magazine. She is vegan, a cookbook author, a personal trainer, and just an all around powerful babe who I want to be around.
This article is about the dreaded numbers. She says: “The new “Fitspiration” movement is not helping women be any less obsessive. It’s a big pet-peeve when personal trainers and physique competitors talk about their numbers or their clients numbers all the time like they mean something. For the average person we do not need to dwell on the numbers. And they can be triggers for those who have disordered eating patterns or an obsessive nature. It’s important that trainers and coaches steer their clients into how they feel rather than how they look and use other methods to track progress than just the number on the scale. I wish physique competitors would stop telling average people what they do while getting ready for a competition because that isn’t what the average person should be doing.”
AAAAAA-men. There are a ton of beautifully sculpted amazing competitors out there, and I find the whole process of how they get that way to be, I dunno, triggering. Not like for me personally, but for the universe. I get it. You have to do crazy things to get those muscles to pop out. Probably the masses don’t need to know every excruciating detail. It can make a girl feel crazy to hear that someone measured their broccoli and avoided water for a couple of days, ya know?
It takes a lot of guts to get out there and be a lady lifting decidedly unladylike amounts of weight. Some people applaud you, sure, but others say all sorts of asinine and ridiculous bullshit. Read all about that in this article, and don’t be surprised if you laugh, then cry, then feel a little proud.
I would own every single item in this etsy shop. Feminist Art was instrumental to my upbringing, a sort of theoretical mom to guide and shape my brain. Basically, feminist art is about the best thing ever. These posters (T-shirts, totebags, post cards) say so, in no uncertain terms.
I understand why people eat Paleo. I understand that aspects of it are healthy (lots of plants, zero processed foods and no sugar? I am all about that). I also think that it is unsustainable, and that a lot of the theory is rooted in speculation. (I’m not saying my diet is perfect in comparison, it’s simply an observation.) Please go read this article to read a ton of detail about why.
Rhiannon is hilarious. I met her many years ago in Portland, OR and have been a huge fan of her writing ever since. This is her brand new blog, and it is full of the stuff that makes me laugh my butt off.
In this story:
The characters: Rhiannon, an angsty Riot Grrl, and her oh-so-serene hippie lady mom
The scene: Family vacation at a nude hot spring
The result: Hilarity ensues.