60 Days of Celery Juice: Here’s What Happened

Heller, BBs! In this post we are going to get REALLLL PERSONAL. So, if you are looking for in-depth rawness regarding the past 60 days, keep on reading!

For the past year and a half, I have been sharing my journey with IBS-C via IG: @_jasminvanessa and here on the blog. But for the first time in the past 8 years since diagnosed with IBS, I have FINALLY found what has actually worked… read on.

For reference, IBS, also known as: Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a chronic intestinal disorder that causes pain, bloat, gas, diarrhea, and or constipation. In my case, I have IBS-C, Irritable Bowel Syndrome with constipation but some people suffer from both. Flare-ups could be triggered by food, trapped toxins AKA constipation and/or life stressors/anxiety. About 6-7 days of the week, my stomach flared up, to what my mom even said, was larger than any of her full-term pregnancies. I would literally not be able to zip up the very pants I wore going into a dinner. One bite of a trigger food (onions, garlic, tomato, cabbage, etc) was enough to have a 10-12 hour flare-up, where gas and cramps were non-stop the entire time. There would be multiple days where I could not use the restroom, and even if I was hungry, I knew there was little room in there to consume any more space. Some weeks, I would try multiple laxatives, fiber powder, eat as many fruits and veggies as I could, and still have no success.

It is a silent disease with little research and understanding. It is also, rarely talked about as there is no definitive cure and lets be honest, a fairly uncomfortable topic as it deals with your stool. However, it can be manageable-ish***. In fact, there are so many IBS sufferers out there, “managing” their daily pains, who are not even aware that their conditions fall under IBS. For reference, I was diagnosed with IBS at 18 years old, however medications and commercials for gut health said to help manage the conditions, are all usually geared towards the elder audience. I am by far the youngest patient whenever I go into my GI appointments, go figure! So I am so pleased I was able to share my journey with so many of my fellow peers, because IBS is wayyyy more common than we think! And although we are young, we are certainly not suffering alone.

This illness, of course, affects your physical health but most importantly your mental health. You feel trapped in a body that does not bring you peace. Literally ingesting anything is a gamble! So many nights are sleepless due to the pain, and almost every meal no longer seems enjoyable. It is an incredibly frustrating disease because the human body: eats, sleeps, and poops, so when this disease or really any other GI condition basically robs you of all 3 basic functions, it can feel hopeless!

So, from deep deep experience, celery juice has been a legitimate healer in my life!

Read on to learn how:

FAQ: 

  1. Q: What are the main benefits of juicing celery? 

                AHEALS AND ACTIVATES GUT:

    • PC Answer: Celery Juice acts as a healer to the digestive system, activating and relining the gut.  It helps us metabolize quicker, and restores the acid, riding of the bad bacterias, and assisting the break downs more efficiently.
    • Real AF Answer: IT WILL MAKE YOU SHIT A TON MORE. During my first 21 days, I would nearly have to run to the restroom, minutes after drinking. I became extremely regular, going 3-5 times a day! For an IBS-C sufferer, that is only a dream! Especially during travel, my ability to use the restroom successfully was almost a joke! Often times, not even the strongest of laxatives worked. So juicing, basically serves as a natural laxative, without the pill! FIBROUS AF!

                B.  REDUCED BLOAT/FLARE-UPS:

    • PC Answer:  Celery Juice is an anti-inflammatory: It’s properties are known to  ease nerves and reduce fluid retention. By producing better stomach acids, it    eases the uncomfortable symptoms like gas, pressure, and fullness. IBS-C flare- ups can be caused by the several reasons listed above, however, with finally being more regular, the “constipation bloat” essentially disappears.
    • Real AF Answer: Now, of course, food triggers are usually triggers for the long- haul but I did notice that foods that once upset my belly, had less potency after drinking celery juice on a daily basis. If I accidentally missed to pick out, lets say, an onion, out of my dish, prior to celery, I’d have to prepare for WWIII. I mean 8-12 hour flare ups, potent gas for hours, and cramps that felt like child birth. Where as now, if I swallowed a piece of onion on accident (true story) I’d maybe be bloated for 1-2 hours, and likely would be able to use the restroom and relieve the pain a bit! I mean, I went to bed looking well over 9 months preggo from 6-7 nights a week, to maybe 1-2 nights tops…SOLELY because of a food trigger bloat, and NOT due to constipation bloat. PRAIISE JESUS!

  C.  GREAT FOR YO’ SKIN:

    • PC Answer:  Since celery juice alkalizes, it not only cleanses your body of toxins, but also the blood stream…reflecting in your skin! With improved blood flow and circulation paired with celery’s antioxidant properties, you and your skin are receiving tons of electrolytes, balancing the pH levels, increasing it’s overall hydration.
    • Real AF Answer: Although, my skin has been great to me this year, I will say that since juicing celery, my skin feels more hydrated than it did before. If I didn’t lather my face in Vitamin E oil, my skin and it’s hydration wasn’t that forgiving, where as now,  I can commit skincare suicide and fall asleep on the couch, without doing my full nighttime skin routine, and still wake up feeling hydrated!

               D. INCREASED ENERGY 

    • PC Answer:  Since celery helps the break down of protein and fat, you’ll likely  also feel a boost of energy!
    • Real AF Answer: I feel way less sluggish! If you are used to having a morning coffee, I can guarantee you, that by swapping these two, you will see a difference in feeling a natural energy boost. Since I workout in the AM, right before drinking celery juice, the combo basically sets the tone for a productive morning! No more laying in bed, with a heating pad right on my belly, trying to rid the 12 hour flare-up that stole my entire night’s worth of sleep!

      2. Q: When should I drink it and how much? 

    • A: It is best to drink 10-16oz (2-5 hearts, depending on size) in the morning on  an empty stomach. Also, be sure to wait 30 mins before consuming breakfast or any other foods. 16oz is suggested but especially during the first 30 days, more than 10 oz at a time, would scream a run to the restroom, like IMMEDIATELY! Now, after 60 days, since my body has stabilized a bit, I am able to drink the full amount without the theatrics and simply remain regular throughout my days. But I say, if you are in REAL need of beginning this journey with juicing and are FOS (sorry, but like actually), give your body some time to adjust and detox, as it probs needs it desperately. It won’t always be a running to the restroom, type situation…your body will adjust! So you can def work your way up, with serving size!

3. Q: Should I add other veggies or fruits to the juice blend? 

    • A: No! Adding any other ingredients to the juice will dilute it’s medicinal properties as each vegetable and/or fruit serves different functions. When added to it, celery juice is essentially denatured. I used to make several juice combos, including celery into those blends, but I NEVER saw the benefits that I do now, with juicing celery on it’s own. Also be sure to stray away from adding water or ice! Plain celery juice is best!

4.  Q: What juicer do you recommend and how do I prep it?

    • A: I’ve been using my Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus 850-Watt Extractor    (click to shop) for over a year now and love it! Affordable, easy set up, not too noisy, and quick break down! Plus, it does a good job of maintaining some pulp (many juicers tend to extract it all) which is where most of your fiber lies! Whether you are using a juicer or a regular blender, you want to ensure you wash the celery thoroughly! I can not even tell you how many bugs I’ve found between stalks! I like to chop off the base and the top of the stalks, feed the washed celery through the feeding tube, and drink immediately. If you are using a traditional blender, you would follow the same techniques, however, consider using a nut milk bag to strain/remove any large chunks from the juice.

5. Q: Can I prep the juice in advance for the week? 

    • A: You can but it is not ideal! It is best to drink the juice immediately to benefit from all it’s healing powers. However, if you have to, make sure it is kept closed tight in a mason jar in the fridge! When I worked full-time in the office, I did not have the time to juice daily, so this was the only way I could drink it! However, try not to prep more than 1-2 days in advance.

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Soooo that about covers all of your frequently asked questions regarding this healing phenomena! I went far too long, suffering DAILY, hearing about its’ benefits, and still choosing not to give into this “Instagram fad”. But I am here to tell you, celery juice has truly transformed my overall physical and mental health! I no longer cry myself to sleep, stuck in fetal position, feeling literally trapped in a unhealthy vicious cycle of constant pain that comes with my chronic illness. I no longer have to skip out on a meal at a friend’s outing because everything on the menu is a trigger. I no longer have to look down at the massive bloat belly, no longer fitting into the very clothes I was wearing that same morning! I no longer have to look at food as an enemy of sorts, because now I can actually enjoy my meals in peace. And I no longer feel hopeless in my journey to good health. IBS may not have a tangible cure yet, but drinking my juice daily, has been the closest I’ve ever been to a healed and healthy gut! If you feel like you have tried everything and nothing has stuck, I URGE you to give celery juice a shot…IT IS LIFE CHANGING, SIS! Let’s raise a glass (of celery) to good health. Xo

 

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Q & A – Instagram Edition Pt. II

Hey boos! I see a lot of new faces on here + it has been a minute since I dedicated a post to my most asked questions so here we go 🙂

  1. Any tips on creating content on a budget?
    • This is tricky! Curating a photo can be multi-layered. This can all depend on location, outfit, props, etc. If you are wanting to shoot at a botanical garden, state park, museum, etc these locations all cost money, not just for your own entrance fee but your photographers as well. So in terms of location, try to stick to public places like the beach, down town area, and even your home. For outfits, if you are not gifted certain pieces, thrifting will be your best bet. I have posted photos in entirely thrifted pieces from head to toe where I spent anywhere from $10-$40. Now if you use props in your shots, which I do almost 100% of the time, flowers are my go-to. Trader Joe’s, Ralph’s, and Whole Foods carry my fave kinds of flowers for a decent price (depending on the week). But many times you can find props laying around the house and just incorporate them into your shots as you see fit.
  2. What is the biggest surprise in your transition into blogging full-time?
    • I would have to say, the struggle lies in the actual adjustment of schedules and time management. Before, when I was working full-time in the office, I knew I would only have the 6pm-12am time slot to work on my blog/IG. But now, as “more” time is available, I am finding myself still cramming everything into a small window of time as I am picking up more work on this end. Before there was some sort of structure there, though chaotic, it somehow worked. So, I am trying to fine tune a new schedule that works for me and that all begins with practicing good habits so that they eventually become routine.
  3. What advice would you give to someone who is trying to gain a bigger but yet organic and authentic audience on IG?
    • Now, I think this can vary depending on who you are asking. And this is because there are several routes to take. And by no means am I throwing shade to those who do the following techniques, but I’m just stating what I’ve seen be done. So in order to build an organic following, you want to refrain from joining any “course” that promises quick growth. Although, you may gain authentic followers, the way in which they advise you to do so, most likely won’t be organic. Because in my eyes, organic growth happens over time and not overnight or in a matter of a few weeks. Also, from what I’m hearing, these techniques can be flagged by IG which can effect your overall reach. In terms of authentic followers, do not succumb to the pressures or even curiosity of buying fake followers. I know SOOO many people do it, but like…it is SOOO obvious. And I have IG friends who have confided in me that they do this only because “desperate times call for desperate measures” and I can totally understand the frustrations of not growing, but I personally could not go about my day knowing I am making moves that have challenged my integrity. I also think there is a different sense of pride knowing you built your community solely through your hard work vs. through sus means.  So, the simple answer here…is literally just do you. Speak on issues that matter to YOU, create content that excites YOU, and by being your true + raw authentic self, people will take notice. Utilize your stories to help your audience get a glimpse into your every day non-curated life. Relatability means a lot to people! I like to ask myself, “am I the same person online than I am in real life?” If I feel I posted something that does not match 100% to who I am, I delete it. This has been key for me in my growth. In addition to authenticity, I love to focus on community. I want to get to know my followers and the only way I can do that, is through engagement. Are you taking the time to make real connections with others? Also, I listen to what my audience likes, if they ask for more at home shoots, I try to throw a few in there to show their suggestions are being heard.
  4. How do you stay inspired/creative?
    • I am naturally drawn to aesthetics. I love to look at content that makes me feeeel a type of way. And usually that is through pretty, thought out, photos. Yes, I love seeing bomb ass outfits, but what else can the photo give me? I want to leave looking at a photo feeling something stronger. So, that emotional aspect of it, is something I try to take with me in curating my own content. And this is not to say, I am successful each time. In fact, there are many photos of mine which will never see the light of day (or I wished never saw the light of day), because I didn’t/don’t feel any type of way while looking at it. It can be hard to conceptualize a shoot and go in thinking it’s going to be amazing, but during post-production, simply hating it. So I think what keeps me inspired, is creating and figuring ways that give me opportunity to feel less of those shitty days. I want every single photo of mine to spark something within me. So the more I am able to pull within myself and up my game more and more each and every time, the stronger collectively my work will be. I also like to analyze my feed as a means of surveying. What am I seeing too often? What am I not seeing enough? Which photos spark joy and which don’t? Whatever data I am able to pull from that, I can then go into Pinterest, IG, the outdoors etc., and try to locate those answers. Also, taking a break from posting, can also give me a fresh perspective on the direction I’d like to take for future shoots.
  5. How do you balance being so active on your social media and being present in your real life?
    • THIS IS TOUGH! I feel like the two go hand and hand at this point but that is partially because I have always been this way! Ever since I can remember, my friends and family HATED that I had to take photos of everything! But, I’d always found joy in documenting my life. So now that social media is actually a thing, I don’t necessarily find it to be any different? I know this sounds bad but I don’t look at it as an inconvenience to whatever my day to day is. But I also think this is because of who I am. If I’m having a shitty day, I am able to talk about it and share what that looks like. No make up, greasy ass hair, etc. But I know of friends, who can’t do that! They feel they have to “show up” for Instagram, make up, cheerful attitude, the whole 9.  So it can be hard for me personally to draw that line, because I can easily watch a movie with bae, take a quick video while slumped on the couch, post it, and keep watching. But what I did in Europe to try to remain as present as possible was saving all my videos until later that day, so I wasn’t spending that time while out adventuring. But again, this is a work in progress for me!
  6. How do you get such great engagement on your posts? 
    • Well, right now I am currently shadow banned so meh, it’s been hard out here for a sis!! HAHA. But overall, I have to owe it all to the community I have been blessed with! I think the amount of time I have put into getting to know my audience, and the friendships I have built has been reciprocated in so many ways, one being through engagement. For me, there is this sort of loyalty to each other so when we post, so we just naturally want to support and engage. And I truly think that has been the case for me.
  7. I’m a smaller account and larger accounts have directly copied my content, any advice?
    • UGH, if I had a dollar for every time this has happened to me (massive ass eye roll). So I know there is this notion that ideas are not owned and we all pull inspo from each other at some point and I get that! However, it can feel like a robbery when all the time, effort, energy it takes to curate one post, can literally be “taken” for lack of better word and treated as though it were an original concept. Because as content curators our work is essentially public, we are not really protected against this. So the only thing I can suggest doing, is finding it within yourself to some how shake it off. It’ll suck, it’ll sting, it really makes you question the integrity of others, but unfortunately this is a risk all creators take by putting their work out for the world to see. It is almost inevitable. But what is most important to remember is that people can copy your recipe, but YOU ARE THE SECRET SAUCE 🙂
  8. When it comes to blogging, what is your biggest fear and what’s your advice to fight it?
    • My biggest fear is that I am not touching on topics that resonate with people. If y’all notice, often times I don’t talk about very blogger-esque topics because simply other things interest me. I’ve found myself wondering if people even care what I’m writing about but then I have to remind myself that I am not creating content to conform, I am creating because I have a passion for whatever it is I’m putting out. So in my case, remembering that as long as I am loving what I’m doing, the rest will follow.
  9. If you knew something when you started your IG journey that you know now, what would you do differently? 
    • I would have cut off toxic, half-assed support earlier on. When you start a small business, you have a lot of skepticism around it. And in the beginning, I went through several months where I struggled maintaining “friendships” that I knew were not supportive but I stuck around anyway because #loyalty. But I realized, life is too short to surround yourself that with type of energy. Life requires you to level up and if my circle is not vibrating to that same frequency, girl, bye! The time and guilt I spent/felt by ending those friendships were yes, worth it in the long run but in retrospect, it would have been healthier for me to just act on those red flags earlier on.
  10. What does your BTS actually look like, if you could paint the picture for us. 
    • AH!! So usually the real BTS takes hours and this is because my posts are all for the most part… fully curated. We start off heading to the store to pick up our props, then we head to our location. Thing is, our location, is usually a longer road trip away, HA! So once we are there, I quickly change into my outfit, we have Troy (our dog) in his stroller chilling on the side of us, and we location scout. Once we have our exact location, I have bae stand in my desired spot, and then we add in the props. Usually the weather is against us, so many times we both are just standing idle until the wind passes. Usually I try 10-20 different poses. Often times after 20 minutes, Troy starts to bark and the embarrassment begins, LOL. Half of my shots are me telling or yelling at  Troy, “almost done, Bubba, just a few more!!” We normally take a break for me to review the photos and if none are to my liking, bae knows the pressure is on, because I can get impatient AF! Our roles are like reversed: he’s the one telling me we need to shoot more, and I’m the one who’s like, “K, lets go!” HAHA. Depending if the photo is due that day, we either edit straight after in the car for posting or we narrow down our selects so once we arrive back home, the post production part is not as long.

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Ah, soooo I know this is long (let’s be honest, when are my posts ever short?) but I tried to be thorough AF. Or if you’re just a metiche like me, hope you enjoyed the tea! XO 

 

Q & A – Instagram Edition

Hi guys! Long time no talk, ha! So, I’ve compiled a list of my most asked questions as of recently from my IG and thought I’d answer em’ in an easy read blog post!

  1. Q: How do you plan a curated feed?
    • A: I use the app called, “UNUM” It gives you a look of what your feed currently looks like plus a preview of what it would all look like with whatever photo you’re looking to upload next. Plus, I edit all of my photos with the same style of editing on Adobe Lightroom.
  2. Q: What are you hoping to achieve with your personal brand?
    • A: For right now, I hope to create beautiful photos that tell a story. I hope to continue to inspire women to be their bad ass, fierce, confident selves, but also to come together to create the better good in society. Whether that be, helping a stranger in need, speaking up on issues that are important, and/or not being afraid to put you and your mental health first! As I grow with my audience, I hope to create presets and possibly workshops/meet-ups for aspiring bloggers.
  3. Q: Do you ever get body shamed? If so, what do you do to forget the haters?
    • A: Not really in my adult life, but growing up, I would get dumped on for how my body looked! I was called, “cottage cheese legs”, “wide-load”, “corn-bred fed” throughout my time in school. It happened so frequently that I had a talk with my parents. They advised me that in this life, we are giving one body and we have the choice of loving or hating it. Through my practice with self-love, I realized these people were the problem and not my body! I felt empowered knowing this and am very comfortable in my own skin, today! However, just recently I received a comment on IG from another blogger that read, “You are the most beautiful big-skinny girl, I’ve ever seen!!” Now, part of me, was like, whoa! Although, maybe a compliment?? – it came off as icky. But at the end of the day, no matter what people intentionally or unintentionally say, you are the only person living in your body so might as well love it!
  4. Q: Do you connect IRL with many creatives? If so, how do you find them?
    • A: Yes, I actually have! In fact, I’ve made really strong friendships with a number of them! About 6 months ago, I mustered up the courage to host a meet up with some babes I know solely through IG. It went so well that now we talk everyday and are meeting up again this weekend, actually! Since then, I’ve met up AND collaborated with so many others and I think the most useful tool in doing this is your DMs! I heard a podcast that said, “Your DM portal is your magic potion!” You can literally create such strong connections  every single day with complete strangers by simply reaching out and complimenting someone’s feed, recent post, outfit, whatever it may be!
  5. Q: What inspires you to create?
    • A: For me, I get inspired by so so much! I’ve always been more of a visual learner and in my adult life, aesthetics really draw me in. I feel a mood whenever I see something that captures my attention. And this tingly- weird awe-inspired feeling is something I try to bring to my own content. I want to tell a story of some sorts: I want to make the seemingly ordinary look extraordinary, lighting up whatever random corner I’m shooting at. Most importantly, I don’t just want people to look at my content, I want them to FEEL something after looking away.
  6.  Q: Tips on posing and shooting locations?!
    • A: I try my best to scout locations ahead of time. Whether that means: I take a mental note of a cute area I see on my way home from work, or visiting a popular tourist site, or even hashtagging my city and going through recent posts of other IG users to get location inspo. However, there are other times that we just wing it, pick a random neighborhood, and drive around and around until somewhere speaks out to us. As for posing, I try to stand tall and confident in whatever movement I make. I like to go for more action motions such as: walking, arms swaying, dress in the wind, that sort of stuff. But do whatever feels most comfortable for you! If you are a hand on the hip, head tilted a bit, cheesy smile gal- you do the damn thang, boo!
  7. Q: Do you plan your outfits for the location?
    • A: Typically, yes! Like I said, I like to set a mood. So if I am doing a shoot with plants, I will go for animal print or something that is in the same palette. Also, I think you should go based off of your feed! If your tones are more warm like mine, I like to stick to neutral colored items but if its more cooler, than maybe whites, tans, black. Or I’ve seen some really colorful feeds, so likely brighter pieces will fit better. But the great thing about creating is that you can take a completely diff spin on what you’re comfortable wearing and switch it up every now and again!
  8. Q: How do you stay consistent with posting content?
    • A: This is actually a very complex question for me. I used to post on IG, 4 times a week, no matter what! I was on turbo mode and made sure shooting was of top priority. It wasn’t until I sprained my ankle when the universe sent me the unfriendly reminder that it will not always work alongside your preferred schedule. I legit could not walk for almost 2.5 weeks. I was miserable! I felt as though someone was suffocating my creativity and just sitting at home made me feel as though I was not bringing value to the world. I even tried to force myself to shoot, crying in pain on the way to our location, yet smizing for the shot, but what that actually did was exacerbate the injury and leave me with a photo where I looked pained. But as time passed, I accepted what was. But I was nervous, tbh! On this platform, you’re expected to create to remain “relevant” as sad as that sounds but more so, there are so many people looking forward to your content. I decided to be transparent with my followers and made it known the content would be slowed down for a while. Personally, I know of a lot of people who share “filler photos” or throwbacks consistently but I wanted to be true to my situation and honestly listen to my faith and the universe that maybe…just maybe I needed to slow down. Now that I’m finally healed (from my ankle, HA) life has given me a bit of a window to create more content again, so I do what I can for now. I try to make shooting a priority but I realize life will get in the way sometimes and we have to take care of our health first and everything else second.

 

So if you’re still reading this, you da real MVP! I’m such a chismosa and LOVE reading Q&A’s so hopefully this brought some insight into who I am and most importantly, has been helpful in any way to other aspiring bloggers or influencers. XOxo