I used to hear the word ‘cleanse’ as if it was a 4 letter word. It taunted me, teasing me to consider trying it, knowing the whole time I would have to make some serious compromises from my normal routine.

Could I stick to it? How could I manage juicing and raw foods while at work? Would the hubs be supportive?  Would I spend more time in the bathroom than anywhere else? Would I be satisfied, or feel hungry the whole time?

I remember the first cleanse I ever tried four years ago.  It was a horribly unstructured cleanse ordered by my doctor to address poor adrenal and liver function and help get my digestive system back on track. I stumbled through it, not prepared, and didn’t fully understand how to take advantage of the tools and support that was available to me. So needless to say, my first experience was a bust.

Fortunately, I didn’t let that define my opinions of a cleanse.

And when I met a couple here in Austin that are running an incredible Raw Foods company, and offered to have me join their upcoming Group Cleanse, I was intrigued. I had been thinking about trying another cleanse for a while, but was a little intimidated to go about it on my own. So, I sucked it up and registered for their group cleanse. No turning back now!

Choosing the right group for a cleanse.

As I just mentioned, I’ve recently discovered an amazing group of people who are passionate about helping people transform their lives through healthy eating and better lifestyle choices. They believe in helping us get to the root of our health issues through cleansing programs that strengthen the body, help kill off bacteria and metal toxicities and just generally make you feel great.

I discovered the group I will be joining the Group Cleanse for while in Whole Foods one day looking for a chocolate treat I could eat – it had to be gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free and Organic. And like the incredibly knowledgeable staff at Whole Foods often do, they were able to guide me to a product that would rock my world.  These amazing Chocolate Goddess Clusters remind me of a dense macaroon, but without a noticeable coconut texture, and quickly became my favorite indulgence.

So when I started researching New Earth to learn about their other products, I discovered a cleanse they were putting on for a Spring Jumpstart. By the way, if you want to try some of my favorite raw snacks that helped me get through the cleanse, you can click the image below and head over to our store online to pick them up – I highly recommend you do!


What did I experience?

Day 1: I was unprepared to be out of the house most of the day, so I felt a bit tired and hungry much of the day. Need to do a better job of being prepared for the rest of the week! I stopped by my favorite Juice Bar in town and stocked up on some green juice to get me through the day.

Day 2: I was better prepared since I stopped off at Whole Foods and stocked up on some fresh fruits and veggies. A bit of sticker shock over the bill though 🙁 I hope I love this cleanse!

Woke up feeling good, but about the same as I usually do, so wondering if I’ll start to notice a little more energy throughout the week. Stayed full all day since I was better prepared and enjoyed some recipes such as a classic green juice:

1 green apple
1 inch knob ginger
5 large stalks celery
1 cucumber
1 large handful parsley
5 stalks kale

Snacked on some raw crackers by 2 Moms in the Raw with some guac around dinner time. Feeling good and satisfied!

Day 3:  no more energy in the morning than I typically wake up with, but head is clearer. I did notice that I was feeling a bit more emotionally vulnerable throughout the day though.  Today I added some carrots into the diet and followed this recipe as well as the green juice from above….

3 large carrots
1 beet
1 green apple
4 large stalks celery
1 large handful of spinach, parsley, or other dark green
1 small cucumber
1 inch knob ginger

Day 4: I noticed I’m sleeping really well now and not waking up in the middle of the night. Yay! Also, definitely feeling clear headed in the morning but again, no more energy.  I decided I wanted to chew something today so I made a simple salad with julienne carrots, cucumbers and zucchini and used some fresh lime juice for a dressing. Today I added another new juice recipe into the mix:

Summertime Mojito: A virgin mojito that is fresh, simple, and delicious!

1 cucumber
1 large pear
1 large handful mint
½ lime

Feeling really good today, and glad I decided to give the raw foods and juice cleanse another try!

Day 5: Woke up feeling good with a little more energy today! Emotions are better (not as raw) and feeling great. Today I wanted to add a little sweet juice to my routine so I tried this one and totally recommend it! Not too sweet but gave me a satisfying sweet flavor alongside the green juices I keep drinking.  On a personal note, my bowel movements are stable and I’m peeing more frequently than usual, so I’m avoiding any liquids too close to bedtime.

1 large pear
1 apple
1 cup pineapple, cubed
4 large stalks kale
1 cucumber

Day 6: I’m feeling confident and happy, and made some raw crackers in the dehydrator I borrowed from a friend. They weren’t bad, but I’m glad I have some store bought goodies on hand too! For dinner I had some guac and crackers alongside a beet juice:

1 apple
4 large carrots
1 beet
1 inch ginger

Day 7: Woke up feeling great, but my emotions are right on the surface again. I have a class today for the group cleanse and I’m excited to see what they suggest we do to keep a portion of raw foods into our diet as my goal is to keep at a 50/50 ratio of cooked and raw foods.  I decided to finish out the cleanse with a combo juice I made up:

2 apples
4 large carrots
1 beet
1 inch ginger

1 cucumber



Day 8: Today I wasn’t as hungry as I had been on the previous days, but I still kept up with my juices and just avoided the raw snacks. My emotions are good and I’m definitely continuing to have a clear head!

Day 9: Slept like a baby last night and I woke up feeling great. We have another group class today and I’m looking forward to the recipes they share. I’m’ so glad I’m doing this as apart of a group. It’s been really helpful to share in my experiences with the other group members and learn how much better they feel since most of them are on their second or third group cleanse. Here’s a new juice I added into the mix today:

2 Granny Smith apples
1 McIntosh apple
1  pear
5 kale leaves
1 cucumber
4 celery stalks
1/2 cilantro bunch
1  lemon (optional)

Day 10: I made it! The last day of the cleanse is here, and I’m heading out this morning to a final group class. I did notice that I’m feeling a little vulnerable (emotionally) but otherwise I’m doing great. Slept great, head is clear, energy is high and I’m so glad I did this. It’s such an amazing feeling to know I can do it!  Here’s my new favorite juice blend:

1 red beet
5 carrots
3 celery stalks
1 cucumber
1  pear
1  lemon


What does a cleanse do for me?

Eating raw foods and consuming an abundance of fresh leafy veggies and fruits through juicing give me a sense of energy and awareness that I don’t have otherwise.  I wake up refreshed, I have an easier time at work, my emotions feel more balanced and I sleep better at night.

I’m happier, more energized and any hints of anxiety or emotional ups and downs are gone. Though I will say that if you’re approaching a cleanse form a typical American diet rich in sugar and grains you will probably experience some emotional clearing (meaning you may be a raging bitch or weeping basket-case for a day) but that will pass and you will be on the other side of it feeling better, more balanced and motivated to keep on the path!

So, would I recommend a 7 day raw food and juice cleanse? ABSOLUTELY!

My overall experience was positive and I felt great, had a clearer head, lost a couple pounds of water weight and slept better than I typically do. I’m planning to keep up with a goal of a 50/50 ratio cooked to raw foods, and I bought a dehydrator to make some flat breads and crackers. I’ll share some of the recipes I’m trying as I keep on this raw food path and definitely recommend a cleanse for anyone who wants to give your system a nice little reboot 🙂

Have you followed a raw food or juice cleanse? I’d love to hear your experience too!


This past year has been an amazing one for me. I’ve had some major improvements in my health, am forming an incredible group of healing professionals around us, and been lucky enough to join a group of amazingly talented writers who share their insights, inspirations and life journeys on health and wellness. And this group, Village Green Network, is hosting a Healthy Life Summit next week and I’m excited to be hear what comes from the summit.   This FREE online virtual conference is happening March 24-30, and includes 35 of my favorite health experts, authors, doctors, bloggers, farmers and activists , and I get to listen to them from the comfort of my own couch 🙂

Ann Marie Michaels, the host of the Healthy Life Summit,  is a leading advocate of the real food movement and is passionate about leveraging digital media to help spread the word about healthy living choices.  In 2008, she founded Real Food Media – now Village Green Network – providing the highest-quality information from the best bloggers on organic and natural food and lifestyle. She runs a network of healthy lifestyle bloggers that has opened my eyes to so many ways we can improve our health; from small changes in our food choices, why we should shun plastic, natural ointments and salves for bruises, cuts and scrapes, healthy recipes and more.

I share many of the posts I love on my Facebook page, so many of you are aware of some of the authors already, but here’s a full list of the speakers:

Healthy Eating

Diane Sanfilippo, author of New York Times bestsellerPractical Paleo – The 21-Day Sugar Detox

Bill Staley and Hayley Mason, authors of Make It Paleo – Make It Paleo

Julia Ross, author of The Mood Cure and The Diet Cure – Healing the Mind and Body with Food

Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of the Whole Soy Story – Practice Safe Soy

Kelly the Kitchen Kop – Transitioning Your Family from Junk Food to Real Food

Mark McAfee, Organic Pastures Raw Dairy – The War on Milk

Jenny McGruther, Nourished Kitchen – Techniques for Making Real Food Easy & Affordable


Healthy Body

Liz Wolfe of Cave Girl Eats – SKINTERVENTION

Vanessa Romero, Healthy Living How To – Losing Weight & Healing Your Hormones in Your 40s

Donna Gates, author of The Body Ecology Diet – Conquering Systemic Infection: Essential to Good Health

Robin Konie, Thank Your Body – Movement for Eliminating Chronic Pain and Weight Loss

Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle – Why You Need Magnesium

Matt Stone, 180 Degree Health – Metabolism and Stress – An Inner Tug of War

Dr. Dean Howell – NeuroCranial Restructuring (NCR)


Healthy Babies & Kids

Kristen Michaelis of FoodRenegade.com – Why Pre-Conception & Pregnancy Diets Matter

Sally Fallon Morell, author of Nourishing Traditions – Feeding and Caring for Babies and Children

Emily Bartlett, LAc, of HolisticSquid.com – Treating Eczema from the Inside Out

Robyn O’Brien, author of The Unhealthy Truth and founder of Allergykids.com – Generation RX

Genevieve Pazdan, of MamaNatural.com – Cloth Diapers Made Easy

Sarah Pope, The Healthy Home Economist – Is Breast Really Always Best?

Cara Comini, Health, Home & Happiness – Recovering from Autism with Diet


Healthy Living

Chris Kresser – Chrono-Disruption: The Dark Side Of Artificial Light

Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception andGenetic Roulette – Health and Environmental Dangers of GMOs

Matt & Betsy Jabs, DIYNatural.com – Natural DIY Projects: Save Money & Improve Your Health

Mary Cordaro, MaryCordaro.com – Nesting Reframed: Creating Healthy Homes

Daniel Vitalis, founder of Surthrival – Rewilding Yourself

Louisa Williams, author of Radical Medicine – Radical Medicine

Heather Dessinger, Mommypotamus – Homemade Beauty Products Safe Enough to Eat


Healthy World

Joel Salatin, Polyface Farms – Folks, This Ain’t Normal!

Brandon Sheard, Farmstead Meatsmith – Welcome to the Sausage Party: How to Slaughter & Butcher Animals at Home

Tamara Wilder, Paleotechnics.com – Paleo Technology: Ancient Skills in a Modern World

Chris Kerstonof Chaffin Family Orchards – Sustainable Grass-based Farms Can Save the Planet

Kristin Canty, Director of Farmageddon – The Attack on American Farms

Birke Baehr, 14-year-old Future Organic Farmer – What’s Wrong with Our Food?

Graham Merriwether, Director of American Meat – From CAFOS to Sustainable, Grass-fed Agriculture


I just love being able to listen to these summits, in my home, while alone and able to give myself some quiet time to spend on learning how to continue to improve my health. And to be honest, I can’t imagine ever being able to afford the insights all of these folks can offer. So I’m planning to attend it live, but also to buy a copy of the recordings so I can listen again, and catch the parts I’m sure I’ll miss the first time around.  I just love carving out some alone time and staying focused to improving my health, learning new tips for healthy living, and discovering all the ways I can keep my family happy and healthy.

If you can’t watch the event live, or you want to be sure you catch parts you’ll probably miss in the live summit, you can order a copy of the full Summit by clicking on this image below.And since I’m a mmeber of the group, I can offer and you can save 75% off the cost! I’m so excited to offer this to you because the information that will come out of this summit is invaluable and worth much more than the $49 price. I can’t even get into a holistic doctor’s office for less than that 🙂


Healthy LIving Summit


Healthy Llving Summit


healthy living summit

































Here’s a great image I found on Facebook that pretty much sums up how we feel! I always tell our son to remember what I was taught in science class so many years ago: GIGO.

Garbage in = Garbage out.

Treat your body with love and fuel it with food that serves both your body and soul.

Share this image if you agree!


Gluten Free Paleo Diet Discussed on Fox News Interview with Dr. Osborne.flv

Fox Interview with Dr. Osborne

Yay for a Doctor coming forward to discuss cross-reactive responses due to the similarity in proteins between gluten, corn, rice, quinoa, millet, potato starch, etc.  Worth the watch when an MD discusses the Paleo diet and its advantages! He mentions GMOs and the harmful impact of commercials telling us that whole grains are healthy, how importnat it is to be aware of cross-reactive foods, and that there are over 190 auto-immune disorders tied into a gluten sensitivity. As he says, when you have symptoms and no one can figure out whats wrong with you, and have all sorts of medications being thrown at you, you need to consider whether you may have food allergies. Definitely worth the 5 minutes it takes to watch this clip!

Those who know me have heard me say many times over the last couple of years how powerful nutrition is. That’s for a simple fact; changing my diet changed my life. Yes, I had to use other nutritional supplements to help get my body back on the right track, and I don’t believe I could have healed without their help too, but the bottom line is food is powerful stuff. I’ve read reports of people healing from various auto-immune diseases by changing their diets to remove the harmful chemicals we eat (unknowingly) daily, and by removing foods which our bodies just aren’t programmed to digest (hence why I follow the Primal/Paleo lifestyle).  I can speak for myself and say that by removing all grains and dairy, I have changed my health. I have more energy, less physical ailments (from digestion to heartburn, painful cramping, headaches, fatigue, nausea, mood swings, etc) and whenever I cheat, I pay for it. Quickly. 

It’s not an easy diet for most, and I understand completely. I live it everyday, so I get it. But for the first time in years, I’m able to connect with life in a way I haven’t been able to for as long as I can remember. And it feels good to feel good 🙂