10-day citrus cleanse
I've been drawn to fasting for its cleansing and healing purposes as well as how connected and calm I feel afterwards, for a while now. My first introduction to this was the movie 'Fat, sick and nearly dead' which I recommend watching for anyone interested. I have done a few fresh fruit and vegetable juice fasts over the last few years, where all I had was fresh juice and herbal tea if I wanted. The longest I did was five days, the first couple of days were hard - emotionally, mentally and physically, and it took a lot of willpower as well as surrendering not to give in and eat something. But after I got through them, my hunger went and I felt amazing after, much lighter, full of energy and calmer inside.
Since then I've been trying intermittent fasting, which is having a certain time window in the day where I can eat and drink, then nothing until the next day. This has been working really well - at the moment I usually eat in between 12pm and 7pm, and am including lemon water, fresh fruits and vegetables and then usually pulses, roast vegetables, curry or bean burgers (something warming as it's still quite cold here). I'm not nearly as hungry as I thought I would be, I have more energy and I realise how little food we actually need - so much of it is in our minds, or fuelled by emotions.
Inspired by a friend of mine, who runs a group on Facebook (called Fasting with Alice), I'm going to do a 10 day citrus cleanse. This means only citrus fruits - whole, blended or juiced as well as some other things like herbal tinctures, activated charcoal and psyllium husks which aid the cleansing process.
This isn't something I could have done in the dead of winter, but the days are getting longer and the light has changed; it feels like spring is on the way. I have also been on an entirely whole foods plant-based diet (i.e. no processed or refined foods) now for almost two months and was feeling a lot more energised than I have in a while. All in all I feel ready to do a cleanse - physically and emotionally (as it can bring up old feelings and emotions). I am ready to challenge myself a bit, and do some deep cleansing. I know that I can and will feel amazing at the end.
Before I begin, I really want to reaffirm my 'WHY' and other reasons for doing this cleanse.
I woke up not really hungry, so waited a while before having a lemon water and then a large glass of freshly squeezed orange, tangerine and lemon juice. Feel a bit irritable and cranky today. Had a couple of tangerines and a grapefruit - whole. Feeling a bit tingly all over, almost nauseous. I know how sensitive my body is and how things affect me, so quite interested to see how I feel throughout this journey. Particularly in the beginning…
The day was quite good, I was off work so went for a long walk on the beach with my other half - it was cold but beautiful and just what I needed. Felt surprisingly upbeat most of the day, I did get sudden cold, shivers come on - although I now know this is a release of toxins and hormones.
I'll be at work for the next three days, I hope my detox symptoms aren't too bad.
Didn't sleep much as I was out of London until late the night before, and didn't get home until 10pm (late for me) so was too tired to get up this morning and make fresh juice. Know that freshly squeezed from a supermarket is okay, so I got some of that and some clementines and lemons for the day at work.
Was hungry by about 12.30pm, craving a jacket potato - not sure if this is because they were my total comfort food when I worked in an office regularly. Think it probably is. Ate some clementines instead. Felt better, more energised - was still craving a jacket potato with cheese and tuna! Has been so long since I had one… It's totally psychological though, I'm not hungry at all. It's already getting a bit monotonous eating the same thing when my taste buds are used to variety and flavour.
Felt quite light and energised at the end of the day. Still feeling very cold. Excited to be in bed and rest.
Slept well last night, over nine hours. Not at all hungry in the morning and felt quite energised - made myself 1.5 litres of fresh orange, grapefruit and lime juice, which I had throughout the morning.
Felt okay most of the day, but was hungry mid-afternoon so had a few tangerines and some lush blood oranges. Had loads of energy when I left work, so did some household bits when I got home. Felt my old OCD issue rising when I spilled charcoal powder on my carpet and it wouldn't vacuum up. This is definitely an old pattern of mine here to challenge me. I was handling the charcoal so carefully and it still happened. Something for me to let go of, so I am.
I made the other half a big mushroom and pea risotto and felt fine not having any. Also helped by the fact I don't like risotto much and he does. He brought me back two pomelos (the sweetie) which I've never tried so I'm looking forward to those when I'm home in the next few days.
In bed and my body feels tired, my mind is surprisingly calm.
I've noticed that lots of external 'lessons' or things have been coming up for me over the past 24 hours. So, rather than emotions, thoughts and feelings coming up, I've been getting a lot of external situations which in the past, or even recently, challenged me. E.g. a situation which challenged my past OCD, a situation which brought up my fear of being late, an ongoing family issue and lots more. It really seems like a LOT has been coming to me and all situations out of my control (control also being something for me to let go of a bit?!). Or maybe it's more that I'm noticing things? My number one reason for doing this cleanse is to deepen my spiritual connection and it's quite amazing to have these experiences, it is making me smile.
Other than that I felt quite tired today, but have been doing a lot physically at work. I was craving something warm and filling, but only for a minute then the craving went. I really could have done with today being a 'work in bed' kind of day!
Got a bit emotional last night and took it out on the other half. Poor guy. I know it's also valid stuff which I'm bringing up, but there is another way to do it. We had a fight and didn't go to bed on great terms. Woke up in the middle of the night feeling sad about it, but calmed myself and managed to get some sleep.
Woke up and journaled first thing to get the few thoughts spinning in my head out, and on to paper. The day was actually quite good. I'm feeling really calm inside and incredibly present. My mind isn't doing its usual 'over-analyse every situation and outcome possible' (something I would do on overdrive in situations like the one I'm in with the other half right now). Had a lot of lemon water today, and only two blood oranges - just not feeling hungry. Took it quite easy with a gentle walk in the park and sat in the sunshine for the first time in ages, which was lovely as it actually had some heat to it. I'm really noticing my mind isn't wandering so much, it's quite incredible.
Also noticed I'm becoming super sensitive to smells, I'm finding onion in particular quite offensive.
Felt quite rested when I woke up. I'm still sleeping around 9 hours a night, which is quite a bit. I know many people find they sleep a lot less when cleansing or fasting as their body does a lot of healing during waking hours too. Ah, we are all different. My period also started today, so this could also be why. I have barely any cramps, which is great, did feel a bit tender and like hibernating though.
Wasn't really hungry so started the day with warm lemon water and had my first pomelo. It was quite an interesting flavour, a bit like subtle grapefruit. It was extremely filling. All resolved with the other half, so we had a chilled evening with a movie and homemade clay facemasks :)
Slept well but was thirsty when I woke up, so had a fresh orange, tangerine and lemon juice. Spent most of the day working in bed, had warm lemon water, pomelo and tangerines throughout to snack on. I still have no cramps, which is incredible, but feeling the need to be quiet and at home.
I'm finding my mind is a bit distracted, which is strange as it was so calm a few days ago. I tried to meditate but found that hard too.
Felt a bit 'spaced out', emotional and tired for a lot of the day. Could put that down to menstruating and finding out our sweet family dog very sadly passed away in her sleep last night as she had a heart condition. Was the first day I felt like I'd had enough of this cleanse and was ready to stop it and eat some fish and chips. I know this is my old pattern of comfort eating though. Definitely not an easy day, glad it was a Sunday and I could be cosy in bed.
Woke up feeling rested today. Had a craving for coffee for about 10 seconds - it's because it's a Monday and I'm working at home. Again it's a comfort thing. Had a delicious fresh tangerine and lemon juice and felt good.
Started feeling quite anxious around mid-morning, there's no reason whatsoever why I should be though (and there usually is when I feel like this, or it's because I've been drinking - which I haven't). I feel like the cleanse is bringing up some of these old feelings. Will try journaling a bit and see what comes up…. Yes, it's definitely old patterns of feeling tired, exhausted, and unmotivated, from way back. Escaping life a bit even. Just allowing the feelings to be there and breathing through them.
Was a weird day today, had a few moments of feeling quite spaced out and almost dizzy. In my previous cleanses I always felt worse at the beginning, whereas this is the opposite. Instinctively I feel it's because I'm actually working at home, my body has slowed down a bit and is getting to do more deep cleaning/healing. I asked Alice if this is normal and she said absolutely, as long as I don't feel too weak to do anything (which I don't) so I'm not worrying. I don't feel awful, just not as good as I was feeling the first few days. Am going with what my body needs and taking it a bit easier.
One positive thing I did notice today is that my skin is a lot smoother all over my body. It can be a bit dry in places, but it's really soft almost baby like. Even the soles of my feet and elbows! Also I've had a few little spots come to the surface and easily come out.
Woke up with a bit of a headache today, not really hungry or thirsty, but had some warm lemon water. Busy morning with lots of work calls and really wasn't feeling 100% - not sure what I was feeling, kind of a bit blah to be honest. Also there's sadness in there.
It's been a tough week - I've been busier than I have in months, had two family member's anniversaries of their passing on, our little dog died, and other day-to-day things which all just seemed to happen this week. It's amazing how everything is brought to you when you start to change or overhaul your life - all the things you need to 'deal' with. I amazingly felt very calm throughout all this, even though I was in such a sensitive state.
I've also been thinking about how this is different from some of the 'diets' I used to do in the past. I know I'm doing this from a totally different place, it's actually from a point of loving myself and wanting to strengthen my connection with myself as well as allow my body to heal on a deep level. I don't feel deprived at all and know that I am choosing this. Before when I did diets where I practically starved myself they came from a place of hating my body and self and wanting to try and be something else. It's amazing how perspective changes something.
I've also gotta say, freshly squeezed citrus juice (especially oranges in my opinion) really is the nectar of the Gods!
Had some chocolate cravings today, did some journaling around it and realise it goes back to a time in my life when I was really lonely and sad inside, but didn't express it. I'd secretly buy a big bag of chocolate and sweets after school on a Friday then hide in my bedroom and eat it all in one go, until I felt so full I was numb or sick.
Can't believe it's day 10, this cleanse has gone so quickly. Woke up today after only 6 hours sleep and felt good, awake and energised. Have a few little spots coming up on my face - weird that my skin is only getting bad today (for me) towards the end of the cleanse. I must be going deeper into it. I am going to stick to a clean fruit and vegetable diet for the next few days as I want to keep this going.
Feel a bit bloated today though, which is odd. I have to keep reminding myself that it's probably old stuff being brought up. I also really don't feel like chewing - only drinking citrus. Was at work, so the day went fast - felt good overall, no energy dips and was focused and calm throughout.
It's been a few days since I finished the cleanse now. My stomach has shrunk majorly and I really don't want to put anything toxic or processed into my body. I tried some cooked vegetables and grains after a couple of days and felt an instant tiredness after, also felt a bit spaced out for the following few hours. It's amazing how sensitive my body has been since.
A few things I am taking away from this cleanse:
Note: please do not take this as advice or a plan for you to follow. I did the cleanse with guidance from a trained professional and it was relevant to where I am on my personal journey.
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Photo by Phoenix Han on Unsplash