Category Archives: Raw Food & Juicing

Beauty CEO Reveals That Raw Juicing Does More for the Skin Than Skincare

21 Day Juice Fast Results

Juicing results, before/during/after

I get the same question from just about all of my customers (who are mostly Gen-X and Baby Boomers), and that is “What is the best product to improve my skin?”

The truth, as I am about to reveal, has more to do with what you are putting in your body, rather than what you are putting on your body. I do share this with everyone, but the advice seems to be glazed over in hopes that there is a quick-fix miracle I can sell them.

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that great skincare can vastly improve one’s complexion, however it can only do so much. It’s kind of like working out with a personal trainer, but still eating fast food every day…there is only so much progress you can hope to achieve.

I decided to put my own advice to the test, and follow every single thing I recommend to my own customers, to prove that you have the ability (in a relatively short period of time) to change your skin’s tone, texture and evenness. So I cleared my schedule to embark on a three week journey through the mountains, with my best friend in tow, to see how much my skin could change. We did this all in a little vintage travel trailer, who I affectionately call Alexis Carrington.

We reluctantly took “before” pictures and measurements of ourselves, and set off into the summer heat for a glamping adventure.

I went into the woods expecting to report back on how to make certain juices (recipes) and how great my complexion looked (and it did!), but what I discovered was something so life-changing and cathartic, that is has completely changed me at a cellular level, and I feel compelled to move in a different direction with my life (more on that later). I could have called this the “Ten Years Younger Road Trip” because that’s exactly what happened.

In case you missed it, my previous blog entry explains why I chose raw juicing for this experiment. I have done raw juice fasts in the past, but it was more of a struggle for me, and I was never able to sustain long-term changes in my behavior. I did continue to juice after my fasts, but I also did other things (alcohol, processed foods, etc). All of this lead to puffiness, inflammation and rosacea flare-ups (as you can see from my before picture above, in the top left photo).

What I believe was the missing component to make long term changes was a mind/body/spirit connection. I viewed the fast as a punishment – as in “I can’t wait to get off this fast and then I can enjoy real food again”. I even joined a few raw juice Facebook support groups, but although they provided great recipes, most newbies in the groups seemed scared, depressed and defeated (especially if they could not keep it going after a few days), and the emphasis is always on juice recipes. That’s great, but in my opinion, it’s one small piece of the puzzle.

This time, I prepared much differently for the fast, and yes I use the word prepare, because just like you  wouldn’t run a marathon without training first, you can’t just jump into a raw juice fast without some preparation. I now believe this is why so many people attempt and fail at juicing, because they didn’t train properly first.

I created a plan-of-action…The Glamper’s Guide to Juicing, and not only did it enable me to go through the 21 day raw juice fast with ease, I came home and decided to continue my juice fast for a total of 60 days!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         By the way, if you aren’t familiar with the term glamper/glamping, it means glamorous

My 1972 Shasta Compact, Alexis Carrington

My 1972 Shasta Compact, Alexis Carrington

camper/camping. It brings five star ambiance to nature (complete with Egyptian cotton sheets and chandeliers!). It takes the “roughing it” out of camping.

To be successful at this, you need to have the right mind set going in.

The first thing we did was to make a date to disappear, and then made no apologies for it to anyone. It may seem selfish. It is, but you have to be selfish in order to take care of yourself first so that you can be healthy for your family. This proved to be the hardest step, because we had to rely on others to help us with kids, animals, work, etc.

If you think you can’t get away for three weeks, then take a week, or a weekend. The point is, you have to remove yourself from distractions so you can focus on yourself 100%. You can make the time if it’s important enough for you. Look at it this way, if your doctor told you that you have something wrong with you, and he is putting you in the hospital to figure it out, you would probably go, no questions asked because they are “doctor’s orders”. Nobody would even question it, they would figure out a way to get things done in your household.

Why wait until you are sick before you do something so life-changing that it could prevent you from getting sick?

If I was not doing this for the benefit of my customers, I wouldn’t have told anyone about my decision to do a 21 day juice fast (except of course my husband) because all of the sudden you will get everyone coming out of the woodwork giving you health advice and opinions, most of them negative. I believe this is because they don’t  understand how juicing works (it’s been done safely for centuries, and all religions observe some kind of fasting rituals), or they read sensationalized headlines about juicing designed to scare people.

Nobody can make the decision to change your health; not your spouse, friends, family or doctor. Only you can. It’s up to you to educate yourself about your health, and what it means to be truly healthy.

Before we left, we both watched three documentaries about juicing (which explain the science behind it): Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, Hungry for Change, and Super Juice Me. We also downloaded them so we could watch them during our trip. That really kept us motivated.

If you are experiencing a disease (as opposed to just wanting to look better or lose a few pounds), I encourage you to also watch The Beautiful Truth. The way food is poisoned (with pesticides), genetically modified, and processed (with additives and chemicals), it’s no wonder we are a nation of obese and sick people. It effects your weight, the way you age, and your health.

There are chemicals in food that make us crave it, in fact there is an entire industry of food engineers whose sole purpose it is to make you crave it more, so you will buy it more. It’s all about profit. Then when you get sick, you go to the doctor who prescribes medication (which cause all sorts of side effects). Then you get strange diseases (which were unheard of fifty years ago) and you get depressed, so you eat to numb yourself, or to cope with the depression and the cycle continues.

When you are able to break that food addiction (and lose the cravings for sugar, salt, processed foods), you lose the brain fog (which you may not even realize you have), and have more energy that you could possibly imagine. It feels like you are a child again.

I eliminated alcohol, processed foods, and refined carbs (sweets) and added a juice or two (daily) for the two weeks prior to leaving. This made it MUCH easier to transition into just juice. The last time I did this, I partied like a rock star up until the day I started the fast (to be fair, it was the month of my birthday and Thanksgiving, so there was a lot of celebrating going on), and it was a big mistake. I had detox symptoms (feeling sick) for the first four days and it I felt awful. I believe it happens to a lot of people who don’t properly prepare, and that’s why a lot of people give up after a few days.

We chose our route based on the weather. While it was summer, it was much cooler in the Blue Ridge mountains than in the rest of the country. We chose to camp because it would get us off the grid (we rarely had cell phone or internet service), and the campgrounds were off the beaten path and away from temptation, i.e. restaurants. We also wanted to be as active as possible, and it doesn’t get more active than camping, where most conveniences are gone and you have to move around a lot. The walk to the bathrooms alone were far.

As far as the cost, we camped for three weeks at different campgrounds, and the total for lodging was about $650 total. Add to that gas, activities (such as zip lining, water water rafting, a movie on rainy days, etc), food purchased at local produce stands, and the whole trip was about $1,000 each.

Something remarkable happened as a result of being off the grid, and I also believe this helped us succeed. We were not exposed to any negativity or fear from the media. When you expose yourself (even peripherally) to the news, it will make you anxious, angry, even fearful. This causes your body to be in  “flight-or-fight” mode, which releases the hormone cortisol. Add that “out there” stress to the everyday stress of commuting, picking up kids, dealing with work, arguments with your spouse, preparing meals, etc. and it all adds up to a lot of cortisol being released. This can turn your overeating into a habit. Because increased levels of the hormone also help cause higher insulin levels, your blood sugar drops and you crave sugary, fatty foods.

Imagine three weeks without hearing about shootings, Isis, the presidential race or the Kardashians?! Imagine not being able to have any internet or cell service. Then imagine no dogs in your bed, no alarm clock ringing at 7 a.m. or no kids to get off to school. It was Pure Silent Bliss! It was almost too quiet at first – but soon we found our body’s responding to the natural circadian rhythms of nature and we slept more soundly and deeply than at any time in our lives.

Good sleep is essential for cellular repair. We woke up just about every day looking refreshed (not like we had to go back to bed for a couple of more hours).

Our physical exercise plan was simple. Make it fun! I brought along a weighted hula hoop (purchased at Target), and Sandy brought her exercise bands, but the majority of our exercise came from walking (we walked just about every morning and again when the sun went down), hiking trails in the parks, cleaning our campsite, and preparing our juices.

Our mental exercises comprised of journaling, EFT (also known as tapping), vision boarding, reading books from authors that inspire me.

The recipes we chose were simple. We made four different recipes which we got from the Reboot with Joe website.We did the Low Sugar Green Juice, The Original Mean Green Juice, Hot V6 Juice (this was our favorite!), and Beet the Heat Juice. We read all the testimonials from that website too, which are all very inspirational.

On week one, we drank 4-5 juices per day, one every 3 hours and lots of water! It seemed like we were in the bathroom all the time in the beginning. One week two, we lost our urges to eat (this happens on day 4-7, it varies by person), so we only drank 3 juices and more water. By week three, we had one juice in the morning and one at night.

For three weeks, we maintained a can-do attitude. We didn’t sit around whining about what we couldn’t have, or count the days till we could. Our spirits were high, and each day brought us to new heights. This is hard to put into words, but as we got healthier, and our cells became nourished with real nutrients, we became happier! I consider myself a very happy person anyway, but when you add the nutrition element to it, it is simply incomprehensible at how GOOD you feel. It’s euphoric! I felt reborn!

“Ah, so THIS is how we are supposed to feel!”

It was at this point in our fast (week 3) that we both decided to extend our fast to 60 days when we got back home. It’s also the same time I decided to make some real big changes in my life. I made a decision to be 100% happy every single day, to do things that make me happy, to be around people that make me laugh. When you take care of yourself first (the body), everything else falls into place.

Look, I know we aren’t going to live forever, but if I get to choose how to live out the remainder of my life, it will be to live with love, integrity, intention and perfect health. I had been doing pretty good with the first three parts of that equation, but hadn’t realized how much the health influenced the other areas. I guess that’s what they mean when they say mind/body/soul connection.

In the silence of the woods, I heard my true calling…which is to inspire and enlighten others on their own journeys. To help show them the way by example.

Up until now, I have done that, by making clean skincare. Since I founded Celtic Complexion in 2011, I have received hundreds of testimonials from women who thank me for changing their skin, but I want to make an even bigger impact and reach greater amount of women. I don’t want to just change skin, I want to change lives!

Celtic Complexion isn’t going anywhere, I am just expanding to create something bigger. I combined everything I’ve learned about natural health, applied it, tweaked it, and saw incredible results for myself.  In just three short weeks, I lost 21 lbs, 10 (over all) inches, lost 3 dress sizes, and my blood pressure (which had always been elevated) was normal. I also lost 3% body fat and my BMI went down 2.71%. IN THREE WEEKS.

I had a blood lipid panel done two days before I left (to establish a benchmark), and I will have them done again at the three month mark and share my before and after results.

As I begin the second phase of my fast, I am going to do something I have always wanted to do, but never had the time or will power to do, and that is a full body cleanse that was highly recommended to me a few years ago. For maximum results, they recommend you fast. Now that I have that down, it will be easy. It’s by Blessed Herbs and it’s a 21 day internal cleansing kit that cleanses your colon, liver, kidneys, gallbladder, lungs, blood, skin and lymphatic system. That link will give you 20% off, so you can save a little (and they will in turn give me a 20% coupon for referring you for my next cleanse).

This raw juice fast turned out to be much, much more than seeing superficial skin condition changes (rosacea). It also went beyond weight loss (in fact, we didn’t take a scale with us because we didn’t want the focus to be on weight loss). Instead it focused on creating a new way of living, a road map of how to age and feel great (from the inside out). We found how to create joy around these changes so it was actually fun to do. Raw juicing was only one component of the much bigger picture. There were so many subtle nuances that were drawn upon to achieve this monumental change in our lives.

When we were out there, we met lots of very nice people. They were mostly retirees who were 70+ years old. A few stuck out in my mind. Annie would walk by our set up every night and wave and smile. It happened to be her birthday during the week we were there, and she was smiling and almost glowing. I never ask a lady her age, but she volunteered that she was 84. If I had to guess, I would have thought she was at least a decade earlier. I asked her what her secret was, and she said “I eat very modestly and kept moving every single day!”

At another camp, we met Ralph and Darlene, who we later found out had been married for 63 years. They were hiking the same (strenuous) trail we were up the mountain. When we arrived at the top and sat for a rest, they came up beside us and we ended up chatting for a while. Feeling a bit homesick for our husbands about now, we asked them to tell us the secret to a long marriage, and Ralph said “being healthy enough to enjoy ourselves.” Talk about an ah-ha moment.

In this youth-obsessed society we live, we are being force-fed images (unrealistic images I might add) of women barely out of their teens as the standard of beauty. Honestly, how much of a challenge is it to look young when you are young?! It’s almost inescapable too – magazines, tv, internet. How often do you see real healthy women in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond? Those are the women we should be looking to for advice, but in order to do so, you have to seek them out because they won’t be found in the mainstream media.

I don’t believe we have to throw our hands up and say “it’s too late, I can’t change”. I now believe that not only can you be healthy as you age, but you can get better with age too. One of the women who inspires me the most is Ernestine Sheperd, she is proof that you can change at any age, as long as you have the desire to do so.

We need many tools in our toolbox to help us navigate, and I’m building a brand new tool box. Instead of searching for my tribe, I am creating my tribe…stay tuned!

 

Chief Executive Glamper

Chief Executive Glamper

Happy trails,

Jennifer

Celtic Complexion Keys to Good Living

Juicing is the Best (and Quickest) Way to Improve Your Your Skin

10897958_1013361822013502_4800328254079535606_nThe question I get asked most is “what is the best way to improve my skin?” and invariably, they are expecting a product recommendation…after all, we are a skincare company. I can certainly understand why someone would assume that. Each month, every beauty magazine has a new “miracle cure”, but the truth is, what you eat and drink has a much greater impact on your complexion than anything you can apply topically.  When you are juicing AND using great skincare, the sky’s the limit!

I first began raw juicing fasts about three years ago, when I attended the Reboot Camp with Joe Cross. He took his own raw juice journey and turned it into a documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. He was suffering from a chronic inflammatory disease, and he cured himself of it (and got off all of the medication). He also lost about 100 lbs.

He calls a juice fast a “reboot” because it reboots your system, and gives your body a break from having to deal with toxins (sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, etc).  It sounded very extreme to me at the time, but I still watched the movie a half dozen times and eventually, when I was ready, the knowledge sunk in.

It’s human nature to want the path of least resistance, so when I recommend to people seeking anti-aging advice to change their diet, they seem to glaze over. It was time to walk the line and follow the ver12316365_10153772732548658_1746394979607487946_ny advice I was dispensing.

I began searching for other “rebooters” on Youtube, and thousands have gratefully shared their journeys for everyone to follow. Most of the people (in the movie and on Youtube) were either overweight or sick. It was amazing to see the transformations.

I wasn’t sick, and although I could stand to lose a few pounds, my main curiosity was how fast could the skin change (rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, acne, wrinkles, etc). When the chance to attend one of his boot camps came up (at the beautiful Omega Institute in NY), I signed up, in the name of “research”.

Off I went.

One week later, I was simply amazed at how different the people at boot camp looked. Their complexions GLOWED. I know it’s because inflammation and puffiness were significantly reduced. This was achieved by the micro nutrients of the juices, and the increased water intake. I felt like I looked years younger (and that was only with 5 days of juice fasting!).

When I got back from the retreat, I shared my new found knowledge with any friends or family that would listen, but unfortunately, they weren’t as excited as I was. I have since come to realize that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I quit preaching to my family, and tried to incorporate as much raw green juice into my diet as possible.

A few months later that year, one of my childhood friends asked me about juicing. Up until she asked, it was pretty much cricket bombs in my inbox.  I was so excitIMG_10133446877621ed to share my knowledge with her, because she suffers from multiple sclerosis. She was looking to improve her health with dietary changes, and I was sure juicing could help (it certainly couldn’t hurt).

We made an aggressive plan to forgo the traditional holiday time traditions, and do a thirty day juice fast in December. No parties, no cookies, no egg nog. What seemed like a punishment on December 1, was a gift on December 31. We also incorporated colonics, ionic foot baths, massages and whole body vibration sessions. It was the only time in my entire life that I gave 10% focus to my body, and it showed.

I can’t explain how good we felt, because it’s indescribable. The sense of accomplishment, combined with the unbounded energy was pure euphoria. My thoughts were clearer, I slept better and I was happier. Oh, and my skin was “juicy”! It looked airbrushed.

I was convinced thaCeltic Complexion Keys to Good Livingt juicing is nature’s anti-aging secret.

At the time, it didn’t occur to me that I should document our journey because to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I could do it.

This summer we are doing it again, and I am going to document everything. I will take close up pictures so you can see the daily changes in my skin, and I will post the recipes I juice. I will be blogging and shooting youtube videos too, so you get a front seat to our experience.

Rather than doing our juice fast at home, this time we are taking the show on the road. We will be glamping (glamorous camping) in my vintage 1972 Shasta Compact trailer, along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Juicing and the great outdoors, there couldn’t be a better combination.

In the weeks leading up to the fast, I will be eliminating certain things in my diet to make the transition to juices easier, such as wine, sugar and all processed foods.

I hope you will follow along with me during my juicing journey.  Leave your questions or comments on our Facebook page (under this post) and I’ll be sure to answer them.

Happy trails,

 

Jennifer

 

 

 

marie-antoinette cake

Is This My Craziest Idea Yet?

The blog post I wrote last week entitled “5 Easy Steps for Creating a Raw Juice Retreat” was a popular one and it reminded me, “Hey, I need a retreat about now!” So I remembered a little place I found on a FB group, the Juicebox Camper. I called her up, and we had a nice chat. She’s located in Virginia Beach. I had no doubt she could help me, it was just a matter of fitting it in my schedule.

That night, I tossed and turned in bed, which is usually a sign that an idea is bubbling up to the surface and needs to be birthed.

Sure enough, the next day while having my morning tea, I looked outside my window to the beautiful yard and wished that I could host people here in my home who are looking for a nurturing journey to health. This way, my teachings could keep me on track too and I would get to meet a lot of friendly people who are seeking the same path as me. I kind of marinated on it for a few hours, and before my bed hit the pillow that night, I said “why not?!”

I want to create a three day journey that will teach all the principles of raw juicing, and introduce people to the wonderful alternative health practices that have enhanced my life. I have set up a yoga studio in my home that includes a whole body vibration machine, a bio-mat, and ionic detox foot bath. All of these treatments were featured in many of the raw food/juice retreats that I’ve attended, but there were all “extra” (they weren’t included in the fee), which is a shame because they are so important to the over all program.

My library consists of over 100 books on holistic healing, and I have developed a network of healing super stars here in beautiful Raleigh, including a colon hydrotherapist, a naturopathic physician, a massage therapist (who makes house calls) and a shamanic healer. These are my go-to team for keeping me healthy (and they can be yours too while you are here).

You would stay in a luxurious private room in our home, and I would arm you with enough information to bring back to your home and continue your healthy journey. This would be a one-on-one experience, so as to give you all the attention you need to “get it”. Three days because the first three days are the most challenging, and after three days, you don’t feel hungry anymore so it will be easy to continue at home.

Submerging yourself in a healthy lifestyle without distractions, while being gently guided and nurtured by someone who has done it before makes it easier to reset your goals (and without any sales pressure to buy anything!).

While you’re here, we’ll watch a healthy movie marathon, including all of the movies I consider “must-watches” to teach you even more about taking control of your own health. Weather permitting, we can walk around the beautiful parks surrounding our city, or bike along historic paths. I’ll even include a gift basket with a Celtic Complexion travel kit, so you can treat your skin to some love too.

Think of it as a girlfriend getaway, with me as your girlfriend!

If this is something that would interest you, please leave a comment or contact me directly (Jennifer@CelticComplexion.com) to be put on the wait list.

juicing

5 Tips for Creating Your Own Raw Juice Retreat

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know how much I love raw juicing. That feeling of nirvana when you are only consuming optimal nutrition, the unbelievable energy of a teenager, and the mental clarity of a ninja warrior… But what happens when when you fall off the wagon?

You don’t realize it, but food and drinking are a BIG part of your social life, and for many people, food is how you express love, so when suddenly you aren’t eating like everybody else, things can become challenging. I don’t know about you, but when my girlfriends get together, we want to drink wine and chat, not prepare juices!

Well, today’s blog post is about how to create an at-home juice retreat without breaking the bank. Raw juice retreats aren’t cheap, they can run from $900-$10k per visit, but lucky for you, I’ve been to a few, so I can teach what to do for a fraction of the cost (the savings of which you can use to buy your favorite case of wine after you’re done! KIDDING!!) For the record, the only raw juice retreat I would recommend is the Reboot with Joe Retreat. http://www.rebootwithjoe.com/

1. Clear Your Schedule for Three Days: “Timing is everything” they say, and juice fasting is no different. The hardest part of the juice fast is a. starting and b. the first three days. You will experience all of the emotions as a bad breakup; excitement, regret, anger, elation.. well, you get the point. I’ve been through a half dozen juice fasts and day 4 is the MAGIC day, where you start to feel like superwoman. You just have to get through THE. FIRST. THREE. DAYS.

2. It Takes a Village: Most everything in life is easier with a friend by your side, and ESPECIALLY juicing, because if you are on the same page, you can keep each other motivated when one of you starts to doubt yourself (or complain, or cry, or try to rationalize having just one glass of wine is fine, because it’s been like forever since you’ve seen each other!).

3. Rent Some Inspiring Movies: Have an arsenal of inspiring videos; Fat Sick and Nearly Dead (Part 1 and 2), Food Inc., Food Matters, Forks Over Knives. You can also watch a lot of inspiring videos on YouTube, just do a search for “raw food journey”. These will reinforce why you are doing this in the first place.

4. Schedule Healthy Activities: You won’t be getting a lot of calories, so steer clear of heavy activities. Yoga, meditating, walking are all great exercises. Book a massage or other body work. Also, try something unique like making a vision board (I Love this one!). The point is, fill your time with things to do so you won’t be focusing on food. I always catch up on reading when I’m juicing.

5. Order In: Depending on your expertise level and finances, you can choose to make your own juice, which in all honesty is very labor intensive, or you can order fresh juices to be delivered to you (which gives you more time for activities). I love Raleigh Raw (In Raleigh, NC) and Squeeze Juice Works in St. Petersburg, FL. myself. So many places are popping up – just do a Google search for “raw juices (and your city)”.

One more thing, if you *do* plan a DIY raw juice retreat, be sure to send me an invitation!