Juice Fasting and The Happiness Factor

(Just so you know, I’m not even supposed to be writing this right now! I’m on “baby’s gonna drop any day” watch and should be sitting on the nest taking it easy. This is important enough to break the hiatus. See how  much I love y’all?)

I was inspired to write this post this morning by a comment on our Facebook page. Quick disclaimer: this is not meant to offend anyone…just to get you to think of your juicing/health/weight loss/life change journey from another perspective. Now that the preamble is over, let’s get to it, shall we?

smiley-face

Admittedly, I can be one of those disgustingly happy people that you’d prefer to avoid on the street. I’m not saying that I don’t have my snarky moments or I’m constantly going around singing “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”, but…I’m pretty happy the majority of the time, and I believe that accounts for the wonderful life that I live. In addition, if I decide to make a change in my life, I’m the kind of person who considers it first and then, upon the decision to do the damn thing, leaps into it with reckless abandon. The one piece of required equipment for the leap, you may ask?

HAPPINESS. See how I put that word on bold, there? That’s because, on this road, it’s beyond crucial to get (and keep) your happy on. 

Now, that’s MY feeling. Obviously, there are others who don’t share that sentiment, and that’s what I’m responding to on this gorgeous Saturday morning. I take the time to answer lots of questions and posts here and on Facebook, and the ones that always dishearten me are the messages where folks are obviously unhappy – either with themselves or the choice they have made to juice, lose weight, what have you. I get the ever-growing barrage of complaints no matter what I say: “I’m not losing weight fast enough!”, “Ugh! This is impossible!”, “My skin’s breaking out!”, “My head hurts!”, “I can’t poop!”, “Nothing tastes good!”…see where I’m going? I’m not talking about the occasional vent about the obvious discomforts that come with juicing, either, because we ALL have those. This is a sense that no matter what anyone says or advises, the complaints just keep on comin’. 

My response today to those comments? DON’T JUICE. DON’T GO RAW. DON’T UP THE VEGGIES. DON’T LOSE THE WEIGHT. DON’T CHANGE YOUR HEALTH. JUST DON’T DO IT, BECAUSE IT’S TOO HARD. 

Pause for reaction: “Carla! What the heck are you saying?!?!? How could you write such thing?!?!? Where’ the “light at the end of the tunnel” , happy-shiny encouragement that we come here for?!?”

Never fear, lovies…it’s coming. Let me explain. 

Happy

I recently posted the above quote to my personal FB page. I believe that with all my heart and believe that you have to carry around that statement like a friggin’ beacon, especially when you decide to sludge through the hard times that come with drastic life changes. Let’s face it; anyone who makes the oh-so-brave decision to turn their back on their past behaviors and get healthy is clearly in for an uphill battle. It’s not easy, and if you don’t have the right attitude about it from jump, it’s even frickin’ frackin’ harder. The emotions? The food temptations? The television commercials? Family pressure? Detox symptoms? SELF-DOUBT? Come on, now…these are the things flying in your face at every moment of every day! If you don’t have a positive attitude about 1) what you’re doing, 2) why you are doing it, and 3) the inevitable awesome outcome that’s guaranteed if you stick to your path, these so-called obstacles will trip you up along the way. You HAVE to stay focused. You HAVE to stay true to your original goal. And most of all, you HAVE to get happy about it. You have to get happy about ALL of it. 

We all have bad days and we all have moments of doubt. It’s how you overcome those moments that’s the most crucial, especially when you’re doing something as ground-breaking-life-shaking as getting healthy. It’s not just about the juice recipes, the amount of water you drink, having the right equipment, or watching the right videos to “keep you going”. It’s about YOUR attitude towards yourself and your journey. It’s about choosing happiness – being happy that you are finally taking the steps. Being happy that every detox symptom is one less toxin in your body and a sign that your body is finally sloughing off the nonsense. Being happy about every time you choose juice over junk food. Being happy that your skin, your waist line, your cholesterol levels, your energy levels and everything else starts to reflect the great choice you made and stuck to. Being happy that your family, friends, loved ones, and random folks on the street will see your example and be inspired. Being happy that you are taking the TIME to make the changes, understanding that time and focus is what gets you to your end goal. 

So, it’s your choice. If I were you, I’d choose happiness as it makes everything so much easier. Now, excuse me while I break out into song and go skipping down the street…

Who am I kidding? No one “skips” when they’re 9 months pregnant. LOL! 

May I Be Frank: Why You Should All Watch This Right Now

I saw Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead for the first time on the first day of my very first juice fast. Unlike many, I had not seen it before deciding to jump into the juicy water. However I, like millions of others, immediately fell in love with it, Joe Cross and Phil Staples, and was inspired and encouraged to power on during my cleanse. 

Almost two years later…I can honestly say that as much as I adored FSND,  I wish I had seen May I Be Frank first. Now y’all know I don’t use the word “should” often, but this is a notable exception. You SHOULD see this movie. Like, now. 

FRANKcitysilouhette

Meet Frank Ferrante: a 54 year old, obese, depressed, negative, and addicted New Yorker. One day in San Francisco, he walks into Cafe Gratitude – a popular raw vegan restaurant – and, after discussion with a couple of the servers about love, life and regret, decides to jump into a fully coached 42-day raw cleanse. And that is just the start of it all…what follows is one of the most emotionally gut-wrenching, heart-charging, unexpectedly jarring, raw, real, and phenomenal documentaries I have ever seen about cleansing. This is a tear-jerker, y’all, that will have you cheering!

Two reasons why I wish I had seen it first: one, I love how you see how NEW everything is to Frank. His first wheatgrass shot, his first affirmation, his first colonic…it’s all new and his reactions are real. Two, and most importantly – after going through a cleanse, I realize (and try to relate to all of you) how frickin’ frackin’ EMOTIONAL the process is. I tend to come across folks who think juicing or cleansing through raw foods is all about energy, weight loss and achieving that happy-happy-joy-joy state of being. It is SO much deeper than that, however – it’s as if your soul detoxes, as well. All your issues come to the surface and jump right up in your face, and if you aren’t ready for that, it can seem downright soul crushing. You look around at all these happy shiny people and wonder, “what the heck is wrong with ME?“…when everything is actually happening exactly as it should. This is what the documentary prepares you for. 

(Insert caveat here: No one’s journey is the same, so the way your demons may appear will not be the same as your neighbor’s. I am also not saying that everyone’s trek is going to feel like you’re being raked over the proverbial coals, but to be prepared for it to happen is better than to think the journey is going to be all roses and you end up with thorns in your ass.)

FSND is a wonderful, wonderful film, and I am so happy it has inspired so many to get healthy and change their lives. However, May I Be Frank goes deeper and, I feel, better preps you for the realities of cleansing. It shows how you can try, fail, try again, fall down, kick, scream, cry, fall…and how all of that is a part of your success. 

For those of you who are about to embark on a cleanse, check out the documentary. For those of you who have tried and “failed”, check out the documentary. For those of who who desire with all your heart to make a healthy change in your life, keep the Kleenex handy and check out the documentary. You will not regret it. 

You can find more information about it at http://mayibefrankmovie.com. Happy movie watching! 

Soul Food Junkies – A Must See Documentary!

Happy 2013, Raw Raw Lovies!

Okay, I know I’m late in the well wishes and all. I KNOW it’s been more than 3 months since I’ve posted on here! You have to give me a break…pregnant people move a lot slower than most. LOL! The first six months have brought about a LOT of sleeping. Now that I have a little more pep, the videos (and other surprises) will resume on Monday! Until then, there’s another great video I want you to watch.

Soul Food Junkies

Click the pic to watch it on PBS!

Soul Food Junkies” is a BRILLIANT documentary that looks at how our love of southern cooking came about. And when I say “love”, I mean LOVE of fried chicken, BBQ ribs, mac & cheese, collards with hamhocks or turkey, sweet potato anything… I mean, some of these foods are absolute STAPLES in our households, am I right? Well, why is that? Where did it come from, why do we associate this food with love and family…and what happens if we turn away from it?

In the film, Byron Hurt (director, producer and writer) tracks his father’s life, death and addiction to soul food, and then asks how it affects our communities, our health and well being, and the future of our children. Now, when I say “our”, I mean that the documentary reviews it from the Black perspective. However, I truly think this is a movie for all to see. The phenomenon of southern cooking isn’t just in the African-American community, and the very real food issues the filmmaker comes across, such as peer pressure, “food deserts” in poorer communities, lack of acceptance to change within family units, the need to educate our children about fruits and vegetables, and addictions to fast/processed foods due to a lack of cooking in the home affects us all.

If you loved “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” and “Hungry For Change”, you’ll adore this movie. As a matter of fact, even if you DIDN’T see those food documentaries, take an hour to watch this amazing film, Soul Food Junkies, and then tell your friends and family to watch it, too. It streams on PBS.org until January 22nd!

Back with more goodies beginning Monday, lovies. -C-