I’m Nicole Dillenberg and this is my Juicing Story
During the past three decades, juicing has significantly impacted my life. From joining the Green Party, to my run-in with Shirley Maclaine, to curing my IBS – juicing was involved. Through my experiences, I have learned a great deal and hope to share this with you here on JuiceCleanser.com.
In 1986, I was a lost soul. I’d graduated from film school and was trekking through Europe, trying to find film work. I gained weight, drank too much, and felt like I was aging – fast.
In Germany, I visited the town my ancestors emigrated from, and while there, I met a young member of the new Green Party. Intrigued by their philosophy and belief in sustainable living, I leapt at the chance to attend a meeting of the Green Party once home in Los Angeles. The group was brand new: there were just twelve people and a baby. In fact, we used to joke about being the new disciples.
Through that small group, I met a number of health-minded people, became a vegetarian, and stumbled across Patricia Murray, a macrobiotics healer and teacher. I went to stay at Patricia’s Malibu mountain home in order to learn how to cook a macrobiotic diet and live a healthier life.
Dead at Fifty?
I was wildly out of place – the only other people there were cancer patients. On my first day, Patricia took my palm, examined it, told me my vascular system looked like it was on the decline, and announced that I would die at fifty if I didn’t dramatically change my ways.
Just twenty-three, I was terrified. Not a few therapists took issue with Patricia’s pronouncement in the years to come. I found Patricia’s bedside manner to be disconcerting. One time, she threw me out of her kitchen for emitting “bad energy.” She told me to take a walk and come back in a few hours. Furious, I left for three days instead, and went home to my studio apartment in Hollywood.
Though she could be testy and difficult, Patricia also saved countless lives – perhaps even my own. She’s 85 now, and still teaches all over the world. I plan to get in touch with her soon, tell her I made it through my fiftieth year without kicking the bucket, and interview her for this blog. For it was Patricia who insisted I buy my Acme juicer all those years ago. She told me to buy the best juicer I could possibly afford. It cost me $100 – a fortune in 1986. It was also Patricia who explained to me that you could comfort yourself and others with healthy, organic fruits and vegetables – that the concept of “comfort food” did not have to be limited to junk.
Though Los Angeles had a small, vibrant vegetarian community back then, cold-press juicing was practically unknown. In fact, when I showed up at a Los Angeles dinner party thrown by friends of my New York-based parents, gift of fresh-squeezed carrot juice in hand, they phoned my parents to complain that something was seriously wrong with me.
Around that time I stopped wearing make-up, because I was juicing and my skin had cleared up to perfection – but no one was impressed. The make-up free look was wildly out of fashion then. This was the mid-eighties: big hair, bright colors and geometric jewelry ruled the day. At yet another Los Angeles party – a lifetime achievement dinner for Jack Lemmon, Shirley Maclaine, who had recently written her “Out On A Limb” books, snapped at me in the ladies room. Though I hadn’t said a word to her all night, she assumed I must be a new age groupie, there to bother her.
Gradually, a lack of support, coupled with the time commitment involved, chipped away at my juicing. Nevertheless, I held onto my juicer each time I moved. Flash-forward 26 years.
Return to Juicing – “Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead”
Like so many of us, I downloaded the excellent documentary, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” My computer froze half-way through, so I got my juicer out before I had even finished watching. By then, I was suffering from full-blown IBS, with terrible cramps and intestinal problems multiple times per week. It was my greatest hope that juicing would help me. It did, and my journey continues.
I’ve come to believe that juice cleansing holds a three-pronged cure for us:
- The juice itself heals the body.
- When we take in juice – and only juice – we are NOT eating: chemicals, gluten, fats, cholesterol, and any other numbers of toxins and allergens we may not even be aware of. The very act of being reductive with foods is, in itself, healing.
- Juicing changes your taste buds. This may be the most important – for once you’ve done a proper juice cleanse, what tastes good to you will never be the same.
You may find that for the first time in your life, what you really crave is plain yellow squash with nothing on it at all, or a plain avocado, or even the bitterness of cold, steamed brussel sprouts.
You will begin to really taste your food. And processed foods? They will begin to taste bad to you. I will never forget, as a vegetarian all those years ago, trying to eat an Oreo, and tasting the lard in the white-frosted center for the first time.
As a juice practitioner, you will instinctively protect yourself against bad foods as you go forward – even if you only juice once in awhile – because your body will now know, on a cellular level, what is good for it. This is a profound gift – the spiritual basis of all juice healing.
Me & JuiceCleanser.com
I am honored to join you on your juicing journey. Thank you for letting me into your lives! Please get in touch with your questions or concerns. I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist – I’m still searching and learning, too, and I’d be happy to help you track down whatever information you may seek. That’s what community is all about.
Namaste, and welcome!
– Nicole Dillenberg