Liquid Fast Info & My Thyroid Journey Update

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Good blessed morning people!

I know that it has been a while since I did anything for the Thyroid Journey segment but I was waiting for some test results before I went further. Along with working on my home business, starting a new job, writing my cookbook, and an upcoming detox blog series, I have been a bit busy. 
Twice every year in April or May and then every October I do a cleanse of some sort. When I was in my late teens/twenties, these fasts and cleanses were much more intense and for a longer duration. 
That was fine then but as I have gotten older, had difficulties with my thyroid, injuries, digestive issues, and reduced energy levels/slowed metabolism, I have come to find that a short and sweet cleanse is a great way to reboot.
This recent cleanse I did was 3 days of prep, 3 days of juicing, and 3 days of slow re-introduction to food. Why such a process? 
Well, cleansing, juice fasting, liquid fasting, etc. is intense and you need to prepare on different levels before undertaking such a process. And believe me, it is a process.
Firstly, the 3 day prep and if I am honest, it's usually something I mentally start preparing myself for about a month in advance. I start gathering recipes, figuring out what I want to eat in the days leading up to my cleanse, I make sure that I can take some time off to rest, and I run through the different stages in my mind so I can handle the different things that come up. What kinds of things? Well, let's start at the beginning and I will get further into the process as I break it down; then I will post the recipe on the bottom.
1st-Choose the type of cleanse you want to do, research the benefits and side effects,(yes there are side effects) as well as any dangers, then discuss it with your Naturopath or doctor-especially if you have a medical condition.
Well, that's a good question and I have personal experience that I will share to save you from difficulties I was unaware of when I did such an intense cleanse. Here goes...
Many years ago I did The Master Cleanse, I liked it a lot, was very happy with the results, and felt really good. My weight went down, I flushed all the toxins from hard meds. I had been given for a very bad injury, my face and eyes were no longer swollen and were clear, I had fewer stomach problems, and I was physically ready to eat raw vegan without any difficulties.
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Dark side to this?
I had such severe eczema that my skin was falling off my hand and required serious medical assistance, it was painful, extremely swollen, raw, and brought me to tears and caused extreme sleep disturbing discomfort. It turns out that when I saw a Naturopath, they told me that I had detoxed too much, too soon, and through the largest organ which is our skin, because there was no where else for it to go. The medications I had been on were the main cause, along with undiagnosed severe gluten allergies, this was where colonic irrigation was suggested and major doses of liquid probiotics. I sought this out immediately as a means to alleviate my horrendous symptoms. 
It made a huge difference and I have been a convert to colonics and probiotics, whenever I cleanse. I will not do a cleanse without them, I even took lessons to learn how to do colonic irrigation so I could understand the process better.
Then there was the problem of the teeth and muscle weakness.
The Master Cleanse consists of Lemon Juice from fresh lemons, Grade B Maple syrup, Filtered water, and Cayenne pepper. 
BTW, the last ingredient, being one of the worst things to ingest when prone to eczema or ulcers; lesson learned-the hard way, for eczema.
This mixture is very high in acid and sugar, a bad combo for erosion of dental enamel, contributes to gum problems, and is not feeding the muscles in the body. 
If this cleanse is adhered to for more than the recommended minimum 10 days, you are looking at muscle wasting becoming a concern. 
Now, Master Cleanse fans do not address this or want to hear about it but it is a topic that seriously needs to be discussed. When we fast our digestive system takes a break, starts accessing energy sources through our stored reserves, and when those run out, our bodies will start leeching vital proteins from muscle tissue to ensure that you survive. 
It is a very efficient technique that the body uses to keep us alive. 
However, when we get to the point where protein is being pulled from muscles, the body is in a weakened state and wasting can happen. Here is a short article about it under it's medical terms, please note that such wasting is usually a result of aging or serious illness but it is clearly stated that poor nutrition can also be a cause; and subsisting on lemonade for extended periods of time is not nutritionally sound:

Loss of muscle and fat tissue due to chronic illness is called cachexia. The general loss of weight and muscle mass that occurs with advancing age is called sarcopenia. In both cachexia and sarcopenia, muscle loss can lead to frailty and adversely affect a variety of clinical outcomes (Rolland 2011; Fearon 2013; Muscaritoli 2013). 
Individuals with cachexia and/or sarcopenia have an increased risk of death, infection, and falls; slower wound healing; significantly lower exercise and breathing capacity; and overall diminished quality of life (Sirola 2011; Paddon-Jones 2009; Janssen 2004; Zacker 2006; Thomas 2007; Cosqueric 2006; Cawthon 2007).
Cachexia and sarcopenia share some pathological mechanisms, including excess levels of systemic inflammation, oxidative damage, and reduced levels of anabolic hormones like testosterone, and may occur simultaneously (Rolland 2011; Fearon 2013; Muscaritoli 2013). The term “catabolic wasting”encompasses both sarcopenia and cachexia. (“Catabolic” refers to the breakdown of tissue; it is the opposite of “anabolic,” which means tissue-building.) 
Cachexia usually causes more rapid and pronounced weight reduction than sarcopenia and is generally characterized as loss of muscle and fat tissue totaling more than 5% of body weight, but losses of more than 20% of body weight are common (Rolland 2011; Nicolini 2013; Siddiqui 2006; Muscaritoli 2013; Gordon 2004; Gullett 2011). In many cases, a person with cachexia continues losing weight even if they are getting enough calories (Siddiqui 2006; Muscaritoli 2013).
Severe, chronic illnesses such as cancer, AIDS, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are known causes of cachexia (Sididqui 2006; Fearon 2013). Between 50% and 80% of all cancer patients experience cachexia, and it is estimated that cachexia is the main cause of over 20% of all cancer-related deaths (Nicolini 2013; von Haehling 2010; Suzuki 2013). Cachexia in HIV/AIDS patients is common and occurred almost universally before the advent of antiviral HIV drugs (Guillory 2013).
Sarcopenia (from the Greek meaning "poverty of flesh") generally refers to age-related loss of muscle mass and function (Iannuzzi-Sucich 2002). Approximately 50% of people over age 80 experience sarcopenia (Baumgartner 1998; Janssen 2004).
Sarcopenia can also occur as a result of physical inactivity, poor nutrition, or illness. Some researchers refer to age-related muscle loss not associated with an underlying cause as “primary sarcopenia,” and that which occurs as a consequence of one or more other causes as “secondary sarcopenia” (Rolland 2011; Muscaritoli 2013). Also, sarcopenia can sometimes occur in a person who still has significant fat stores, a condition known as “sarcopenic obesity” (Zamboni 2008). Sarcopenia is associated with increased risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in non-obese adults over age 60 years (Moon 2013).

Do I think everyone on the Master Cleanse will have this experience?
No, of course not.
However, there are cases of individual's doing the Master Cleanse for a year and I was personally acquainted with a woman who did it for 45 days. She looked so frail, too thin, and incredibly sickly, I was in a state of shock when I saw her and asked why had she had done such a thing?
Her response?
"I don't know, I just liked it and I felt so light and thin on it."
This is very dangerous and leads me to another point with cleanses, those with borderline or full-blown eating disorders should not play with these kinds of cleanses.
A short term cleanse, 3-10 days maximum is more than enough for the AVERAGE person.
Anything else needs to be closely monitored by a physician and should not be taken lightly.
As a person who suffered through an eating disorder in my teens, I get how easy and alluring these methods of weight loss can be. 
Please, remember that these cleanses are about regaining equilibrium, feeling good-not pressured, and resting to regain the best gift on earth; optimum health.
This is where my last point comes in, and I want to state very clearly before I begin that I am a firm believer in cleansing/juice fasting, and feel they are a wonderful addition to a healthy lifestyle.

   No one told me that there can be long-term side effects of doing something like the Master Cleanse that can have serious health repercussions. I learned, only a short while ago that this particular kind of cleanse can have a severe impact on the thyroid, the metabolism, and can even be considered detrimental to overall wellness.
I have a family history of thyroid issues, a few years ago, I had done the Master Cleanse and went Raw Vegan once more when I was done, except, that time I was not well. 
My energy levels completely plummeted, I would wake up, eat, shower, and need to sleep for 3-4 hours to recover. I added more greens like Kale and extra spirulina as well as sea weed and vegan protein shakes to my diet to combat what I assumed was a vitamin/protein/iron or mineral deficiency. I continued to eat raw vegan for several more weeks but my symptoms worsened and the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, except that I kept getting UTI's/kidney and sinus infections or severe colds and flu's, was very sluggish, extremely weak, and had high nitrate levels. 
The nitrate levels baffled one doctor because when he told me to lay off all processed meats and bacon, I replied-raw vegan sir, don't eat that stuff. 
This continued for about 3 months until I woke up one morning and started craving shrimp, chicken, even steak!!!!! I was ashamed and would eat outside of the house to get my shrimp or chicken "fix". 
I was hiding it as I was unhappy with my "weakness" and not being able to stick to a vegan diet, for the first time in my life, I was failing at abstaining from meat when I had chosen to do so, I wanted to enjoy my raw vegan journey again, not be a bad person who was craving these "no-no" foods! The truth was it was helping, I also nixed kale and spirulina smoothies because I noticed I felt worse whenever I had them.    At the time, I was receiving Bowen treatments from a wonderful lady who was very patient, kind, thoughtful, and did not judge. I explained my predicament in hushed tones when we were alone, she immediately did an iodine absorption test on my arm and began going over my symptoms. I explained that I felt so bad but I had to eat these foods I was craving because I couldn't get through my days without them. She asked if I felt better when I did, to which I replied an emphatic YES! She told me to continue eating them, abandon the only Raw food diet, and listen to my body as well as get blood tests and thyroid checks because my arm sucked up the iodine by the time we were done talking. It was by chance at this point that I had results coming in from a special scan that had been done for my spinal injury, when the doctor got them she had me rush to her office the same day without delay. It turned out I had a goiter on my thyroid along with very low thyroid levels and this worried her more than my spine because the lab tech had circled the  results and wrote-get immediate diagnosis, very low.
This answered many questions, it also turns out that the Kale which I felt bad whenever I ate, is a goitrogen and was inhibiting my thyroids ability to function which was in turn creating difficulty with absorbing nutrients and things like protein dense spirulina, were not being processed properly so it was adding strain on my kidneys! Wah wah wah...
Having gone through this, studied a lot of information about all types of diet's and cleanses, including the Master Cleanse, I now know that some choices I had made were not well informed or for the best. 
I have since modified my diet to include meat as I feel I need it-I do not eat a lot of it but I no longer deny myself or feel guilty about needing it.
To all you, (this only applies to the meanies) holier-than-thou, rude, condescending, self-righteous vegans, who can be quite awful and nasty, I say it's none of your business!
Until illness becomes the defining focus of your life and you are literally battling every day to do the simplest tasks, most take for granted, you burden your loved one's with your sickness, work becomes impossible, and your entire outlook on life is bleak and depressed because of it; you do not have the right to make judgement calls on my food intake or anyone else's for that matter.
I love eating healthy foods and was vegetarian from the age of 12, my choices now are to keep me alive and strong with a high quality of life, I will not be bullied and neither should anyone else.
I am not trying to offend anyone but I have had people say and treat me in such an awful way because their vegan sensibilities were offended and it was not fair. I do not want anyone else who may be suffering and happens to read this post, to feel like they have to be ashamed. Nor do I want vegans to be put off, I just know that we do not understand what another is going through and should keep judgement to ourselves.
Food is a blessing not a measure of character.
So, how do I eat now?
I incorporate Paleo, Raw foods, Whole foods, Pescetarian and Vegetarian foods to my diet. I have also added Protein smoothies that Poppa Bear suggested. 
He's a personal trainer and warned me my protein intake was too low, especially because I am more of a grazer, small appetite person than big plates and portions of food kind of gal. I also used natural Bovine desiccated thyroid, liquid iodine, natural adrenal and estrogen products, liquid iron, Omega oils, natural anti-inflammatory product, organic coconut and flax oils, probiotics and digestive enzymes, elimination diet and autoimmune protocols, as well as doing much more gentle exercise routines/more rest days, and liquid, short 3-day fasts. 
This with a lot of prayer, God's grace, and Poppa Bears unwavering support has gotten my health back on track. The last time I went to my doctor just over a year ago, test results came back from my endocrinologist and she was very happy, she said all my levels are normal, goiter is shrunk and will only need to be monitored every 2 years, as well as having my iron levels at normal. This was so exciting! Lately though, I have felt sluggishness creeping back in, weight gain, and some brain fog. This all started last December, when I accidentally ingested some gluten. It has wreaked havoc with my entire system and I have been a touch frustrated. 
We are checking into Cortisol level difficulties, as there may be some thyroid relapse, or age-related, cortisol and hormonal changes, but this I am also being responsible with. 
I have just done a new battery of tests and will be finding out soon what is happening. For now, I am taking Estrosense, Thyrosense, some liquid iron, Vitamin D, and I am working on how I manage stress, make an effort to get away more, and have been walking regularly to clear my mind.
This leads me to part 2 of cleansing, once you have chosen the cleanse that is appropriate for you, gotten your recipes all gathered, written out the grocery list for juicing stuff you need, I suggest you inform your friends and family that you are doing this. That you may have some cranky days, need to rest days, and that they need to be supportive not sabotaging of your efforts.
People have offered me chips and chocolate while fasting, believe it or not!
Along with informing others, get anything that is a temptation OUT OF THE HOUSE, and prepare your path! 
You need to replace all that bad stuff immediately with all the fruits and vegetables you will use for juicing, any miso or bone broths you may choose to have will need to be at the ready, and eat vegetarian for 3 days leading up to your cleanse so your system is not taxed for the duration of the cleanse. I also recommend 2 big bottles of spring water, like the huge jugs, you need a lot of water.

3-Once you have gone through those steps do your 3-10 days max of cleansing with joy, kindness, gentleness, and self-love in your heart. I do 3 day fasts now with juices, bone broths, and miso broths, detox tea, and loads of water mingled with the evening warm almond milk and cinnamon.

Do not run to eat a steak and French fries, a whole plate of pasta, fried eggs, or anything remotely cheesy. No ice-cream, cake, cookies or pie either!
Did you know that coming off of an extended fast by eating greasy, rich, or heavy foods can have you end up in excruciating pain or even hospitalized? No, this is not a joke!
The best way to break a fast is by having broth, then later on in the day have more and add a banana or a pear-ripe, not hard. 
You should continue to drink your juices and water. If you feel up to it the next day move onto having a soft boiled egg, broth and a juice. Eat more mild, soft fruit, for supper you should be able to have a salad with your broth. Day 3 is usually when you can start incorporating more vegetarian foods and will be better able to eat solid food. I don't recommend eating anything fried for a good 2-3 weeks. I can't eat that kind of stuff for way longer than that after cleansing. Now is actually a great time to incorporate a whole foods diet with regular exercise and heaps of positive self-talk. You can actually get yourself a wholefoods or vegan or paleo menu ready before you finish your fast, so when you are done cleansing you are ready to roll.
A little side note, I do not recommend fasting or cleanses during high stress times like when you are moving, during special occasions, exams, surgery, etc. You need to set yourself up for success and when there is too much pressure in your life, the focus cannot be on giving yourself your best. I also do not suggest that you watch culinary shows, it's just torture for some people and will obviously make you crave food. Lastly, I want to make mention of these 2 things:

1) Do not only drink sweet juices, your cells need greens and you do not want to feed candida. Balance and moderation my friends!

2)there are days that are more difficult and intense than others on a cleanse, particularly juice fasts. I personally struggle the evening of the 1st day, the 5th and 7th days when I am on extended fasts. Most people feel that these are the days they experience the most difficulty with detox symptoms and BIG food cravings or a strong desire to quit.
Day 3
Day 5
Day 7
Day 10-yup, the last day can be the worst!

Just remember that you can make it through and that cravings for food=habit and or maybe you need more juice, drink! Listen to your body and if you really cannot make it through the entire cleanse, do not beat yourself up about it. Celebrate your accomplishment, remember to come off the fast carefully, and there's always another season to try again.
Here are some pics of the juices I made over the 3 days, and miso broth. I have a masticating juicer from Dr. Mercola which is slower than a Breville-which is an awesome juicer, but a masticating juicer really gets all the juice from the ingredients you use.

This is my awesome juicer that I highly recommend!

This is what the juicer spits out when it removes the juice, so cool!

Be careful because things like parsnips, fennel, and unpeeled celery, can slow down a juicer and may need to be cleaned out to make sure it doesn't jam.

I use glass jars from other drinks or things I have finished off, I prefer to keep them in those jars because plastic gets fruit and veg taste stuck in it. Plus, when I am heading out I make many juices for the day in advance in the morning, so I am not stuck being dangerously hungry. Glass jars are best for keeping them in the fridge and I am recycling-double win!

Something to think about when you are cleansing in getting outside and walking in nature where it's beautiful, will calm you, and will contribute to an overall positive outlook. It gives you a chance to reconnect with God, nature, and yourself. 

Nature walk with a pet pooch is always a good idea, we took the Rockstar out with us and had loads of laughs watching him run around like a nut chasing squirrels! 
He's still a cutie, look at that punim!

This is Rocky ignoring me as he is diligently checked for the squirrels he could hear and see.

Loads to tell me about your juicing experiences? 
Questions? Requests for recipes? Let me know in the comments down below and don't forget to subscribe!
Take care, be well, love freely.
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