Six months ago I woke up feeling as though knives were being driven into my lungs with each breath I gasped for. After spending that day in the ER, I nearly returned a week later when the pressure in my head was so painful that I could not stop vomiting on myself. It would take weeks of frightening, painful symptoms and doctors appointments before a mosquito borne virus was named as the cause. The virus was long gone, they said, but the inflammation from fighting it would take months to normalize. Doctors eventually came up with the right cocktail of anti-inflammatories and pain killers to get me through the worst of it, and cautioned that full recovery could take six months.
For months I managed through my work days, tired and aching by days’ end, eager to meet my body’s recovery. And in that time I became impatient, wanting to do anything possible to take healing matters into my own hands. It was only then that I finally paid clear attention to the books of “Medical Medium,” Anthony William. I added berry-packed papaya smoothies to my morning routine. I ate fresh herbs wherever possible. And I did my best to avoid “bad” foods like canola oil, fried foods, soy, corn, and the others like gluten, dairy, and eggs which I was already off. It helped.
By July I was no longer banned from flying, as the pressure in my head had reasonably subsided. My headaches had become fewer with more space between them. And in time surging a day, felt quite a lot less grueling. But still, even with all the extra fruit, herbs, and garden grown foods in my diet, my stubborn digestive tract refused to show up daily in the ways I most hoped it would. Still, I was not regularly pooping.
A decade before, when I began avoiding gluten and dairy, things had gotten more regular for me. Unfortunately, that was short-lived. Fast forward to present day, and every friend I talk to seems to have trouble going regularly to the bathroom.
I have no doubt that stress is a factor, as most of us have demanding, boring, corporate desk jobs. But even while on vacation — especially after flying — it seems that most people have some digestive irregularity.
It took months for me to finally give the Medical Medium’s most popular health hack a try — celery juice a real. Anyone who has read Goop, Mind Body Green, or frequents Instagram has probably been looped in on the celery juice craze that Anthony William has helped to start. His advice — drink celery juice on an empty stomach every morning, 15 minutes before anything else.
I hate celery. It’s not a food I would ever eat, unless maybe chopped down and softened up in batch of red beans or gumbo. But raw, ew! Months before I had toyed with the idea, and used a nut milk bag to squeeze thimblefuls of pureed celery juice into a glass before hurriedly swallowing it. I was inconsistent, and getting maybe an ounce of juice. But finally, I bought the cheapest ($99) Breville juicer on Amazon, bought too much celery to ignore in the fridge, and began gulping down at least 5 ounces of juice each morning. Currently I’m at well past 10 ounces each day. The target amount, 14 ounces.
In the earliest days, I noticed that it made me feel happy. Odd, but true, my mood was somehow elevated much of the day. I also quickly noticed its affect on my allergies. Better than anything else, it seemed to quiet things down with my immune system. Some days I even made a second batch of juice in the evening, just to see what it was fully capable of.
And when something like a bout of hayfever hits me after chopping onions, I simply gulp down a few ounces of the green gold, and everything in my body calms down.
It has now been nearly three months since I started adding celery juice to my morning routine, and the best side affect I’ve noticed to date is how regular my digestion now is. For much of my adult life I’ve struggled with irregular bowl movements. A decade ago when I learned about my severe food intolerances, that helped things quite a bit. But inevitably, things returned to questionable levels of function. Doctors always say my health is great, but most days my belly would begin to bulge, and I’d know that I just wasn’t going to the bathroom often enough.