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It’s Not Easy Being Green – Chlorella and My Unanticipated Juice Cleanse

Gentle Green Juice with cucumber, broccoli stem, apple and ginger - made with the Oscar Neo juicer
Gentle Green Juice with cucumber, broccoli stem, apple and ginger - made with the Oscar Neo juicer

Gentle Green Juice with cucumber, broccoli stem, apple and ginger – made with the Oscar Neo juicer

Eighteen months ago, I hopped on the detox wagon. Like coming out of a winter hibernation I felt sluggish, heavy and slow. My willpower was strong that things had to change for me to get my mojo back. So, with the support of a like-minded friend, a 10-day clean-up was easy. I drank organic fruit juice every morning before brekkie, quit sugar, chocolate and alcohol, swapped my long black espresso for peppermint tea and ate loads of lentils, sprouted/spelt/ancient grains, organic vegetables and fruit. I felt amazing – light in my practice, clear and focussed in my work, cheerful and present for my family and friends.

Determined to further this total inner-body transformation, I waltzed on over to my local health food store and purchased a box of “super greens”. At this time I didn’t own a juicer and buying the fresh organic stuff was burning the proverbial hole. The next Monday morning I added half a teaspoon of powder that looked and smelled like mowed lawn to my morning strawberry and banana coconut milk smoothie.

The morning proceeded as normal; I took the girls to school and began teaching my regular morning class. Over the course of that hour, however, I felt enormous cramping building in my tummy, I could feel my mouth fill with saliva, I was sweating profusely. I could even see my students picking up that all was not right, despite my joyful skipping into class not 20 minutes before. Finally, when it all came to a head, I ran out of my class apologising through clamped teeth to the bathroom where I stayed until my stomach was empty. Stumbling to the car, I managed to drive the entire 3 minutes back home without scoring a red light, only to open the door and empty more green smoothie from my quivering mouth onto the front lawn. Managing to get a shaking hand to insert my key into the front door, I stumbled to my bathroom to complete the cleanse.

Over the next 24 hours I only left my bed to “rinse and repeat” – any liquid in was coming out. My family and I were all convinced I had picked up gastro. By Wednesday night I was almost feeling back to normal – I had eaten some solid food and felt I’d be ok to return to work the next day. Once again determined to get healthy from the inside out, I added again half a teaspoon of super greens to this time a blueberry almond milk smoothie. This time, just measuring out the ground green “goodness” caused fluid in the back of my mouth to build and my stomach turn. But no, I had conviction – I was going to be healthy no matter how bad it tasted!

Within just half an hour I was embarrassingly hit again, but in the presence of a whole new bunch of students at another club. After emptying my stomach in another clean bathroom, I was taken home by my boss!!! A trip to the doctor confirmed what now I had suspected, I was allergic to super greens. Specifically, chlorella, an algae commonly used in many dietary supplements.

Now, a whiff of anything green and classed as a “superfood”, stirs my tummy. I can no longer be around where lawns are being mowed! So, how was I to be a green goddess with this predicament? I would have to only buy real juice, freshly juiced with real vegetables that I’ve heard of. I tried juices with kale – yuk, juices with baby spinach- yuk, juices with celery, with sprouts, with beetroot – yuk yuk yuk! One of my lovely friends (sorry Amanda) gave me a glass of water with mint, you guessed it, yuk!

Then another friend (blessings to Pia), introduced me to her juice, made with a cold-pressed juicer that removed all the pulp. It was light and delicious. I realised that my chlorella allergy had messed my mind so my stomach was unable to handle the thickness of juice purchased from a health food store or cafe. Then, for my birthday last year, I was lucky enough to have a bunch of friends and family contribute to the purchase of my beloved Oscar Neo DA 1000 Juicer.

Now everyone in our house only drinks freshly squeezed juice from organic fruit and vegetables, with names we all know! (Side note – my kids always hated juice with pulp too).

Gentle Green Juice

Here’s an easy green recipe for what I drink most mornings, at least 20 minutes before brekkie to allow the goodness to be absorbed quickly before the fibre in food can slow it down. It’s gentle for those like me who also find it’s not easy being green.

Push through the juicer of your choice the following, in this order:

1 big fat lebanese cucumber

½ apple (I love pink ladies and fujis, but now sundowners are in season)

1 broccoli stem

1cm stem ginger

swirl and pour into your favourite cocktail glass – it tastes better 😉


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