Why I love Juicing
I love juicing! It is my favorite part of my health routine because it always makes me feel great, refreshed and like I am doing something important to take care of myself for the day. The results that I got when I initially started juicing, actually motivated me to learn more about clean eating and whole food diets. This discovery led to my commitment to change my eating habits, but getting into to routine of juicing was not so easy. Like most people, knowing the benefits of juicing was not enough to get me started. My father had actually started juicing long before me and had bought me a juicer one Christmas, but for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to use the juicer on a regular basis. Since I was used to the convenience of store bought juice, which has little to no effect on health and energy level, it was really hard for me to understand what fresh pressed juice can do for you and why it is worth the extra chore in the morning. Luckily, I was eventually inspired to give juicing an honest try, and I am so glad that I did.
One Saturday afternoon, My husband and I decided to watch a movie together while my daughter, who was about 1 year old at the time, was taking her afternoon nap. We went on Netflix.com and we decided to watch “The Beautiful Truth” which is a documentary about Gerson Therapy. It was kind of strange that we made the choice to watch this particular movie, on that day. Neither myself nor my husband knew anything about Gerson therapy nor were we the type of people who normally watched documentaries for fun, but for whatever reason, that day we did. If you are not familiar with Gerson Therapy, it is actually an alternative form of therapy for people who suffer from certain types of cancer. It involves eating a sodium-free, vegan diet, and requires that a person drink fresh pressed vegetable juices several times a day. The documentary told the story of several people who were diagnosed with advanced forms of cancer, that were thought to be terminal, who were able to heal their cancer and go on to live their lives feeling healthier than they had ever been before. This was the first time that I had heard of food described as a form of medicine. I had no idea that people could use food to heal themselves, and it was remarkable to me that people were recovering from something so life threatening, as cancer. I was intrigued, to say the least.
After watching the moving, I immediately bought the book, “The Gerson Therapy” written by Charlotte Gerson so that I could learn more about this therapy and how it works. At the time, I think I was drawn to this book and to this therapy because my uncle had recently been diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer and I wanted to know if there was anything else that my family could do for him. It turns out that my uncle was already experimenting with other forms of alternative therapies and was not ready to try Gerson Therapy, but little did I know that the information in the book would have such a huge impact on my life. The book was a great read, full of success stories and a thorough description of the Gerson Protocol which is very involved and specific. The thing that intrigued me the most was that Gerson Therapy not only helped people to reverse certain types of cancer, but it was also able to cure 52 other ailments, one of which was eczema. That got my attention right away. At that point, I was still struggling with my daughter's eczema, that was aggravated by her numerous food intolerances, and trying to find foods that she could tolerate. My husband and I literally felt like we were fighting to keep my daughter adequately nourished. Her diets consisted of a handful of foods, and we new that as she got older those foods wouldn’t be enough to keep her healthy and growing as she should. Needless to say that the idea that a diet itself could cure my daughter’s eczema and food intolerances was a complete revelation, and if nothing else, it gave me hope that things were going to get better.
Obviously, I wasn’t going to take this new information and start experimenting with my one year old daughter’s health. So, I did the next best thing. I experimented on myself. You may be thinking, “why not just ask a doctor about this therapy?” And the answer is that I didn't know a good doctor at the time who practiced alternative therapies and I knew that discussing this diet with a conventional doctor would probably lead to a lecture on why conventional treatments are the only intelligent choice and how a diet like this was too risky and unproven. So I decided to spare myself the awkward conversation and discouragement, from a doctor who is not trained to know about unconventional therapies. It is actually illegal for a doctor to treat a patient with the Gerson Protocol in the United States, as it is not an approved form of cancer treatment here. That is why the Gerson Clinics are located outside of the U.S. The reasons that the administration of Gerson Therapy is illegal in the U.S., are complicated and best suited for a future discussion. But for the record, I don't believe that Gerson therapy is illegal because it is inherently dangerous, but rather because of the structure of our current medical system. Fruits and vegetables as medicine do not exactly fit into a system of prescription drugs. So, why would anyone try this illegal treatment? Like I mentioned earlier, a lot of the people who were cured by this therapy were already diagnosed as terminally ill. They had nothing to lose. If they had believed their doctors' prognoses, there would be nothing left for them to do but die. Why wouldn't they want to do whatever they could to stay alive? And now the question becomes, "Why would a person like me, who does not have cancer, try such an unconventional therapy? The answer: curiosity, desperation, and optimism. I honestly thought, "How harmful could it really be to eat more fruits and vegetables?" Also, it should be mentioned that, I did not do anthing that I felt was extreme or dangerous and I followed a modified version of the diet. I was never able to juice the amount that the protocol recommended nor was I able to take all of the supplements that were prescribed, but I still experienced drastic, positive changes in my health.
It’s funny because I never really considered myself to have any serious health problems that required medical attention, but I didn’t realized how bad I felt on a daily basis until I realized how good I could feel everyday. I had always been low in energy. People would laugh at me because I could fall to sleep anywhere (even once at a house party with music blaring all around me.) When I went on the Gerson Therapy (or my version of it), my energy skyrocketed. I was able to focus better and remember things in a way that I hadn't experienced since before my pregnancy. The way that I spoke even became a little clearer. Prior to Gerson therapy, I had always felt like I was carrying a weight on my shoulders, and like I had to literally drag myself through the day. I never woke up in the morning feeling rested and I always wanted to sneak a nap into my day, whenever I could. After Gerson Therapy I felt like a new person and I wondered if this was how other people felt all the time. I felt like I was given a new beginning.
I only stayed on the Gerson therapy for a couple of months, but the results of the diets were almost immediately apparent. The reason why I stopped was because the diet was extremely intensive, time consuming and expensive because it involves buying a very large amount of fresh organic produce on a weekly basis. The diet was effective but it was unrealistic to think that a mom who did not have cancer would be able to follow such a rigid protocol long term, and likewise I realized that this diet would be impossible to implement on my daughter because of the reasons that I have just described. Despite having to stop the diet, I appreciate the fact that it did have a lasting impact on my family and the way we eat. We learned about the healing power of food and we realized that organic fruits and vegetable would have to become a primary staple in our diet, on a daily basis. We began to juice fruits and vegetables everyday and I was so happy that even my daughter would willingly drink her vegetable juice in the morning. The biggest take away from this experience, though, was that food could be a form of medicine, a vehicle for healing and a source of wellness. I would like to think that the Gerson Therapy was the wake up call that started me on my health journey. I believe that there is no greater motivation to commit to healthy eating, than learning and actually experiencing how great you can feel when you make the change. I will forever be inspired and motivated to keep feeling my best and living optimally.
Are you familiar with Gerson Therapy or have you ever tried another “healing diet?” Please share your experiences in the comments below.