Experiments in Rebellion

 

Testing social norms in order to live a conscious life

Rebel//Feb 2018 • Shereen Thor

 Photo by Fredrick Kearney Jr

My favorite rapper of all time is Eminem. Early in his career, he was just so unexpectedly crazy; so undeniably insane, it was to the point of demanding respect. You may not like him, he said, but you will respect him.

 

His rebel levels were so high that it stirred me up and made me feel more alive. That energy is extraordinarily powerful in so many ways. No doubt such energy has changed the world, and our individual lives, for the better.

 

Rebels are often misunderstood or even vilified in the more conservative parts of society. We ruffle too many feathers, and that bothers people. On the flip side we can fake humdrum complacency to avoid rocking the boat, but inside we feel trapped, stifled, and bogged down by rules. Social norms like how to act, where to sit, and what is acceptable in general are just not our style. But in the world of creativity, art and entrepreneurship rebellion thrives. Those are spaces somewhat expansive enough to truly let the rebel breathe, live, flourish, and innovate.

 

So this column is an effort to kick up some dust, raise a little hell, live a conscious life, and examine how we can assert our role as people who refuse to play by the rules of the system.

 

Famed French philosopher and writer Albert Camus said that “Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.” This is what we hope to inspire here. We are questioners, we are seekers, we are adventurers, and we absolutely refuse to be sheep or lemmings or drones. There is no blueprint for rebellion, so we seek to make our own. To this end, I’ll be experimenting (on myself) with things that buck the norm and question the system in the hopes of developing my inner rebel and giving you, the reader, some insight into how you can too.

 

To kick us off...I did a juice cleanse. Who needs eating? Eating is for normal people, right? So here was the plan: drink juice for three days straight; no food allowed. I had the support of a self-described “Detox Expert,” some literature on the possible impacts, and my will to keep me strong.

 

The benefits of cleanses are debated by doctors, nutritionists, and health nerds, but this is what I was told: You can’t just drink any juice. I needed to get cold-pressed juice and, as long as I drank a juice every 2-3 hours, my body would know it was being fed and would have all the necessary nutrition needed to function properly even without solid food.

 

On top of that, I was told that it’s so easy for the body to digest juice that solely drinking it gives your digestive system a sometimes-much-needed rest. The extra energy is what’s used to detoxify. And as an added bonus, since most toxins are stored in fat, it also helps your body break down the fat as well.

 

Juice cleansing is a 3.4 billion dollar industry that first became popular in the 1970s thanks to people like fitness and nutrition expert, Jack LaLaane. Many mention subjective benefits such as improved mood, glowing skin, weight loss, and improved overall appearance. Detoxification is one of the most cited benefits, and one of the primary reasons why people do a juice cleanse, though there is not sufficient evidence to prove that it actually does this.

 

Some of the dangers associated with a juice cleanse are headaches, fatigue, difficulty thinking, moodiness, stomach pain, hunger, low protein, low fiber and an increased danger of getting type 2 diabetes.

 

But I just had my second kid eight months ago, and I welcomed any opportunity to lose some of the baby weight so, regardless of the dangers, I bought my cold-pressed juice and started the cleanse. By day three, I was down 4.5 pounds and was less “puffy,” if you will.

 

I also felt elated and happy. I consider myself a pretty happy person, but this was extraordinarily happy. My mood was so good and so high that I found myself being a more loving wife, mother, and person. It was such an unexpected and wonderful byproduct of the experience. Not only did I lose weight, but my quality of life went up considerably. So much so that I decided to continue the cleanse for an additional day! (What the hell is wrong with me?)

 

Once I started to break the fast and reintroduce solid foods into my diet, I found my mood drop a bit. I had no idea there was another level of happiness to be had, so I’m on a newfound quest to figure out what piece of the diet caused the mood alteration so that I can continue the elation party. I also had no idea that I had a food sensitivity, so I’ve started an elimination diet that allows me to zoom in on how specific foods and food groups impact me.

 

So there you have it. Stop eating and you will be a happier person, just kidding. Keep eating, but take an opportunity to be thoughtful about it, whether through a juice cleanse, a sugar detox, or any other exercise that tunes you into what you put into your mouth. You just might learn something new about yourself.

 

This juice cleanse was my first experiment in rebellion in an effort to live a more conscious life and no doubt it was a success. The clinical benefits are still being sorted out, and each person should do what is best for their body, but I certainly benefited from switching things up and trying something different. My mind was clearer, my energy was higher, and I don’t miss those few pounds. My challenge now is to keep the dial tuned into my body so I can continue to discover new pieces of myself.

 

Background, Context & Reference

 

 

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