The celery juice challenge is super popular right now, and I get a lot of queries about its benefits. My response is always to ask ‘why do you feel you need to drink celery juice for a week, or go on any juice fast / detox? People say they do it because they feel toxed-out, unhealthy, stressed out, wound-up and bloated, amongst other things. But these feelings come from lifestyle factors like constant rushing, snacking, skipping meals, working late into the night, accumulating sleep debt and generally being overcommitted with ongoing anxiety and worry.

This is a lifestyle that creates yang imbalances and can cause what we call ‘heat’ conditions. A week of celery juice will cool the ‘heat’ (toxicity) and counter the yang rising, but it doesn’t provide the yin that is necessary to keep yang in balance. So it doesn’t solve the underlying lifestyle problem and it may in fact exacerbate symptoms. Your organs don’t like cold and raw foods especially not first thing in the morning (hence the ‘smoothie’ breakfast is not recommended in TCM). If you want cold food or drinks in the morning, it can be indication of a heat pattern.

After a week of juicing people do feel different, but the symptoms slowly creep back. I recommend making lifestyle changes instead to start eliminating the symptoms; the stress, bloating, anxiety and so on at the source. The daily routine I outline in Clock On To Health naturally does this. It also delivers a daily detox, courtesy of your large intestine, that continuously takes care of physical and emotional toxicity so it doesn’t build-up. And you can still enjoy food and drink (enjoyment enhances digestion and builds chi).

Most people don’t enjoy celery juice but drink it because it is supposed to be ‘good’ for them. Juices do have lots of vitamins and minerals, but you can get these from high quality supplements and Chinese herbal formulas (which your organs love). Try the chi-cycle challenge for a week. Reshuffle your day to get in line with the natural rhythm and help your organs out, and you’ll be astonished by how much better you’ll feel. Keep it up and you’ll keep feeling better without having to follow any fad diets. The chi-cycle lifestyle is not about giving things up, it’s about when to do things. So if you love a juice, have it between breakfast and lunch and enjoy it!

There aren’t any shortcuts to health, it’s a lifelong journey and it should be enjoyable and inspiring. So make slow changes to your day and your diet, proceed at a pace your organs are comfortable with and follow the natural 24 hour rhythm and you’ll discover their healing and cleansing power.