As someone who flirts with healthier lifestyles from time to time, juicing has long been on my radar. Lately, a glass of celery juice a day has been all the rage in the wellness realm, and generally speaking, so have juice cleanses. I've leaned more towards the latter. Anyone who knows me knows my preoccupation with the rich and sometimes unhealthy deliciousness of food (just peep my Instagram). Trying new restaurants is a favorite pastime of mine and unfortunately, so is ordering hundreds of dollars a month in food delivery services.
Despite the love I have for my curves in new places, since my weight gain (the office 20 is no joke!), I haven't enjoyed my gut or the perpetual feeling of being bloated from not eating as well as I should. My biggest wake-up call happened a few weeks back when I was laying in bed and felt my toes become numb. I had been told by a doctor that I was prediabetic before, and after a quick WebMD search, I felt like it was the Universe's way of saying, "Step away from all of the sugar, sis."
So when the opportunity to review the black woman-owned brand of organic cold-pressed "liquid magic" 1987 Juices came about, I leapt at it. The owner of 1987 Juices, La-Keasha Brown, had a primary goal in mind when creating the music-inspired line of juices, "To consistently provide health and wellness alternatives for other creatives, entrepreneurs or artists wanting/needing to incorporate healthy living into their ambitious schedules without breaking their budgets."
While some people engage in cleanses to lose weight, for me, a juice cleanse would mean a reset both physically and financially and would help promote a lifestyle of all around better habits. Because I am so used to eating 2-3 times a day every day, the idea of "fasting" and consuming fruits and veggies solely in juice form was a little intimidating to me as a first-timer; however, the proposed schedule was easy to follow and the timeframe (3 days are ideal for beginners) made it easier to see the finish line at the end. And lawd knows I needed to be able to see that finish line.
Day 1 of the Juice Cleanse
La-Keasha advised slowly eliminating food from your diet in the days leading up to starting the cleanse. On the eve before you start, you should be strictly drinking water to prepare for the 3-day juice cleanse. So of course, I woke up hungry af. But unlike the eggs I typically gravitate toward, I started my day with my usual 16 oz of water, followed by a cup of hot water and lemon before officially starting the cleanse.
The juices and my schedule for the rest of the day was as follows:
- 9am: The Green Mile
- 11am: Beets By Meh
- 1pm: Four Leaf Clover
- 3pm: Power
- 5pm: Morning Kisses
- 7pm: The Green Mile
I was surprised by how good all of the juices tasted. I noticed that the juices were arranged in a way that you got a "break" between the not-so-fun flavors like The Green Mile and Four Leaf Clover with juices like Beets By Meh and Morning Kisses (my personal favorites). Power was another favorite and was a combination of activated charcoal, alkaline water, maple syrup, and lemon. The green juices weren't half-bad and I was surprised at how easy it was to sip all of them throughout the day. I was even excited for a drink by the time the two hours passed.
Day 2 of the Juice Cleanse
What goes up must come down. I don't know what it was about Day 2 but Day 2 was HARD! My head was pounding all day from a caffeine withdrawal and I was just hungry. I noticed though in the process, things like sweets and juices weren't necessarily what I was craving, just food in general. I think mentally that helped curtail whatever sugar cravings I had simply because I was so focused on how physically ravenous I felt.
Even the way the juices tasted felt like night and day. All of the juices felt hard to throw back and what took 20-30 minutes of sipping time the day prior was taking over an hour to consume. Especially The Green Mile, which is the green juice you start and end your day with. Maybe it was because I wanted food that the juices weren't doing "it" for me. My taste buds were like, "Girl, if you don't-."
Day 3 of the Juice Cleanse
Day 3 wasn't Day 1's smooth sailing vibe, but it also wasn't the close-to-tapping-out moments that eclipsed much of Day 2. It was mostly neutral. My headache thankfully subsided. I was thinking about food, but not nearly as obsessively as I was the day before. I still wanted it, but I could also rationalize with myself internally that tomorrow morning, it'll be on and poppin', just wait. Which is what I did.
I noticed that even though my appetite wasn't curbed, my sugar cravings definitely were, which made me feel like what I hoped the cleanse would do was successful. I wanted to reset my palette and mentally and physically, I felt myself experiencing that. I had more energy and within my body overall, I just felt incredible.
This juice cleanse taught me that I can literally do anything that I put my mind to, even if it gets hard and therefore I am a lot more mentally strong than I give myself credit for. I was also able to lose a little water weight in the process. I was glowing, I was more regular. Ultimately, my favorite result the feeling of renewal that I felt my body needed. Although I won't be a daily juice girl anytime soon, I will follow La-Keasha's lead and make juice(s) a self-care fixture at least once a week.
My body deserves it.
*I was gifted a 3-day cleanse package from 1987 Juices to review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Featured image by Shutterstock
Originally published July 31, 2019
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This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Ladies, have you ever noticed that anytime we break up with an ex, we cleanse our spaces and bodies – mentally and physically?
First, we remove the things that remind us of them because there is no need to cling to a toxic or unnecessary past. I’m not sure about you, but something about getting rid of clutter that weighed me down is so refreshing; I rebuke all negative energy in my personal space. Next, we cleanse ourselves by taking a natural, detoxifying bath or journal to release those emotions safely and effectively. However, what do you do when it comes to spiritually detoxing yourself? Can you recognize when it is time for something like that?
Detoxes concentrate on drawing out bad toxins and energies and realigning us with our purpose. Usually, when my energy is low, or I experience constant uneasiness, I know I need to take steps to detox spiritually. Luckily, I remembered a Reiki healer who worked with a close friend years ago; therefore, I started there.
I checked in with Reiki Practitioner Tamara Angela (@loveandfaerymagic) for her top ten recommendations on how to spiritually detox. I appreciate Tamara’s advice because she uses Reiki as “maintenance, not crisis [management],” thus, helping me realize I can prevent “spiritual clutter” from progressing.
Reiki practitioner Tamara Angela
Photo courtesy of Tamara Angela
According to Tamara, "Reiki is a Japanese healing art. It [Reiki] comes with the understanding that we are all energy. And the way I describe it is Reiki covers you like your grandma’s prayer.” And we all know how vital our grandmother’s (or elders’) prayers are, especially growing up.
Ways To Spiritually Detox
Tamara explained that her nine steps all work together and detoxify your spirit and help you maintain the work you put into cleansing your spirit. We apply many of these steps to our daily routine, not realizing how crucial they are for our spiritual health. Each step ties into the other, and all are necessary.
When you do a spiritual detox it's important to remember, it’s a lifestyle. Start slowly to create the level of peace you want and build the stability you need. Tamara shares, “You can do all nine steps and still experience chaos. That is why it is important to have a baseline, a level of peace,” Tamara says. “You have to create a baseline of stability that you can revert back to. ‘I am used to this level of peace.’ Someone came along to disturb it, and now I have to fix it. Now, I can come back to these [steps] and remove that energy and know how to properly.”
1. Turn off your phone notifications and alerts.
Those notifications keep you tethered to constantly looking out for things (i.e. a text from that one person you should have kept blocked), thus, making it harder to calm your spirits. “Instead, choose a time in the day when you’re checking notifications,” Tamara recommended.
2. Get proper rest.
We experience different levels of sleep, and getting proper rest allows your body to reset. Raise your hand if your off day consists of running multiple errands. Often, we do not rest on our off days; “something” comes up. That “something” can be as simple as your favorite reality show.
Feel seen yet? I surely did. Sitting down and binge-watching a TV show does not allow your mind to rest effectively. For proper rest, Tamara suggested that classical and jazz music or white noise is okay, but nothing with lyrics.
3. Clear and calm your nervous system
When you are constantly experiencing things, sometimes you need to calm your mind down. For example, when something goes wrong with the Wi-Fi, we reset the modem. We should do the same when it comes to our bodies. Unfortunately, we tend to not think like that regarding our body and nervous system. “We are in a constant sensory experience," Tamara explained.
"You have six senses. That is how you experience the world. So, when you are constantly experiencing things, sometimes you need to calm down. Sometimes you need to remove something. Sometimes you need to be aware of how much you have taken in or have the capacity to take in.”
According to Apollo Neuro, an overactive sympathetic nervous system can cause issues like muscle tension, jitters, insomnia, etc. It can also lead to hyper-vigilance, the tendency to detect danger, even in its absence. By contrast, excessive tiredness, depression, and an overactive gag reflex can signal parasympathetic dominance. Fortunately, steps eight and nine emphasize easing an overactive nervous system.
4. Enjoy the company of good friends with laughter
“Laughter is a way to express emotion; it’s a great release. You are not in an inadequate space when you’re there [with friends].” As we know, laughter is good for the soul; it releases endorphins and helps you release things.
5. Purge your living space/get rid of clutter
Also known as “spring cleaning.” Constant mess or clutter is draining, and cleaning removes that negative energy. A great example Tamara uses is opening a window as it “can let out negative, stagnant energy. Many people do not realize that this practice is hoodoo-based.”
Completely unplug or pick a day or time, and unplug. One way to do this is by turning off your phone. You cannot scroll through social media, talk on the phone, etc. Tamara recommended starting with 15 minutes and progressing from there.
7. Set boundaries
My personal favorite as I’ve gotten older. From a former people-pleaser, this is not an easy task. A lot of the pleasing we wrap ourselves up in is one of the main reasons we are spiritually drained. Setting boundaries is healthy; do things are your terms.
8. Do some Reiki
“Reiki energy balancing allows you to center yourself and clear that [negative] energy,” Tamara said. She further explained that it's like a church mother “laying hands on you.” Reiki is an energy healing technique that promotes relaxation and reduces stress and anxiety through gentle touch. Reiki practitioners use their hands to deliver energy to your body, improving the flow and balance of your energy to support healing.
Reiki practitioners are a conduit between you and the universal life force energy source. The energy flows through the practitioner’s hands to you. However, your Reiki healer does not always have to touch you for Reiki to work physically. “You can receive Reiki healing from long distances, like on the phone,” Tamara said. Instead, clients experience the energy through heat, cold, tingling, or pulsing sensations.
There are many benefits to Reiki. Reiki can:
- Promote relaxation, stress reduction, and symptom relief to improve overall health and well-being.
- Bring on a meditative state.
- Foster tissue and bone healing after injury or surgery.
- Stimulate your body’s immune system.
- Promote natural self-healing.
- Relieve pain and tension.
“Breathwork is extremely helpful in moving any stagnant energy,” and that is why Tamara gives the people she works with a two-minute meditation that consists of breathwork. One breathwork exercise is placing your hand on your heart and feeling the movement of your heartbeat. Doing this technique for two minutes will recenter you and can be performed anywhere – office cubicle, home, etc. Even a deep belly breath, hold, then release is a great way to release stuck emotions.
“The process of inhaling brings in what we need, and that full exhale is letting go of what we do not [need],” Tamara said.
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Feature image by Johnce/ Getty Images