December 8, 2016

How a Juice Cleanse helped me Overcome my Trickster Mind.

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My friends always joke that I’m probably the unhealthiest yoga teacher of all time, especially when they see what I eat.

I have to admit, when it comes to food I can have a lack of awareness from time to time. I recently decided to work on that and challenged myself, and my friends, to a five-day juice cleanse.

Only liquids for five days.

The whole cleanse was supervised by an experienced raw food chef, so there was no danger of starving at any point. Knowing this helped a lot when my mind tried to trick me into giving up.

During the five-day cleanse, we drank five bottles of juice per day and vegetable broth in the evening. Each drink was a mix of so-called superfoods, like wild berries, acai powder, handpicked herbs and seeds, plus almost all had turmeric in them.

With knowledge about the cleanse and the support of our chef, I felt safe doing this, but would recommend not trying this alone for the first time. Always make sure to have someone on your side who knows what your body needs.

As healthy as a cleanse can be if done right, not eating food for five days is still an intense experience—as I quickly found out.

The first two days I did not feel well at all. I was sweating, had headaches and my mind was not at ease. If I hadn’t been doing this with friends, I probably would’ve given up.

All of a sudden on day three, I started feeling different. I was sleeping better during the night and felt more awake in the morning. I also have a tendency to eat a lot before bed, and not doing that for a few days made me feel better.

I even went surfing on day three and four. And on the fifth day I even went for a solid run. The headaches stopped and my mind quit trying to sabotage me. The food cravings lessened and I was even thinking of extending the cleanse for a few more days.

At the same time, I found myself thinking about certain foods or restaurants all day long. I noticed those thoughts usually came up when I felt bored or frustrated about something in my daily life.

Apparently I was using food to make me feel better. It wasn’t about nutritional value or being hungry, I was just eating whenever my mind told me to.

We all know that feeling of wanting to eat a carton of ice cream. It‘s not that our body needs this, it‘s just our mind demanding a treat. Our brain works fairly simple in that respect.

At the same time, those treats we are giving our mind challenge our digestive system and we end up feeling tired or sick. I am someone that over-eats a lot, and now I can understand better what that causes for my body and my mind in the long run.

Not eating for five days showed me that most of the time I feel hungry I am actually just thirsty. Drinking water helps us avoid over-eating. I also learned that by not having to digest heavy food overnight, I sleep better.

It’s not that I never heard these ideas before or that I questioned them. My mind was just too good at tricking me into treating it, into eating too much unhealthy food.

Sometimes it’s hard to see the lesson we need to learn. Sometimes we need an extreme experience to help us understand what’s best for us.

Five days without food is tough, so always make sure to check in with your doctor first. But once you feel ready, go for it!

I spent a lot of time hesitating, thinking I wasn’t strong enough to handle it. Now I know I can.

When will you start challenging yourself?


Author: Robert Busch

Image: @yoga_dude/Instagram

Editor: Nicole Cameron


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Marian Ziegler-McAfee Dec 9, 2016 3:24am

Unknowingly I water fasted for 5 days (twice). I say that because a) it never occurred to me to have anyone to "supervise" my endeavor. It's water...good water and that was it. I'm 68 years old. I'm overweight and have end stage cancer. I'd read about the benefits over 1000's of years of people finding results in prayer WITH fasting. I'm spiritual, why not I thought. I had no idea how long the fast would last nor any prep for it aside from HUGE motivation to do whatever it takes to heal myself. The 1st - 3rd day were difficult...it was learning curve to discover as long as I drank half my body weight daily...or whenever I felt my mind dictating reasons to drop this foolishness I just drank . After 3 days my body started changing faster. I felt better. Notably. So I began to "speak" quietly to my spirituality, saying I was healing and feeling a "shift". I had marked less pain. I take no pain meds (because I'm allergic but also because I wanted a point of reference to gauge my progress and pain is a gauge. My body seemed to kick into another gear as it rested from the usual daily tasks of digesting whatever Good thing I was trying to get in there. It was good for my mind (I began to think with more clarity), it was good for my self esteem (who's a thunk I was remotely capable of self discipline like this...for my SELF and without payment, and without anyone knowing except my husband. I was afraid of judgements like, "Oh, no, you CAN NOT go without food! You'll die" or worse. I WANTED only good vibes. So I stayed close to myself. It was AWESOME. Part of me wanted to go 30, 40 or 90 days. But at my age I thought I didn't want to push it. Yes, friends, it DOES help with spirituality. I can say that my thoughts, my putting things out to the ethers, God, source, guardian angel, etc. seemed to be heard in a more powerful way. For what it's worth. Glad you read about the juice fast. They are good as well, for me just not as powerful as the water fast. Go for it. Lay low and don't broadcast the thing. Let this be personal. Best of the best to everyone.

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Robert Busch

Robert Busch is a certified 500-hour Yoga Teacher with German/Bulgarian roots. It was a long path that led him to be a yoga teacher. Experiences from playing in a punk rock band for six years, being a competitive snowboarder and working in the fashion industry set the ground for creating his own Yoga-Style called “DUDE-Yoga.” Find out more on his website or his Instagram.