What is a juice cleanse
You’ve heard of detoxing, but what is a juice cleanse? A juice cleanse diet is the reset button on the machine called your body. By removing built-up toxins caused by processed foods, animal products, and lack of nutrients, you can start a new weight loss program or a completely fresh lifestyle. Juices with high levels of vitamins, minerals, and replenishing properties replace solid food. This gives your digestive system a vacation while allowing your immune system to thrive.
Know your motivation
Before you begin, think about why you want to start your cleansing journey. You may be lacking energy and know that change is needed, but what kind of change? Do you have long-term goals like losing weight, switching to a plant-based diet, or curing a health issue holistically? This is your chance to start over, so you should give this much thought.
Preparing for a juice cleanse
Great, you know why you want to begin a juice cleanse diet, now you need to put in the work. The best juice cleanse begins with preparation. First, analyze your relationship with food. You may fall into one of these categories.
- Health Guru– You eat consciously and intentionally. Your diet already includes mainly plant-based, organic foods, but you may have gone through a transition (a new relationship or long-distance move perhaps) that has set you back some. To get back to your usual self, you should resort to your old habits for 1-2 days before starting a raw juice cleanse.
- On-again, off-again– Sometimes you indulge, say, when you go out with friends or visit family. But, when at home, you stick to your fruits and veggies. To remove toxins like occasional alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, or red meats, you will want your healthy alter ego to linger for 3-4 days prior to a cleanse.
- Quick and Easy– Your busy lifestyle as made you succumb to a typical fast-paced, on-the-go eating routine. If frozen, cheap food and take-out containers line your refrigerator, it may be time to do some real grocery shopping. It may take up to 5 days to get on the right path to avoid unwanted symptoms during your detox.
- Diet Coke Conundrum– If the healthiest item on your daily menu is a diet soda, then you are in for a big, wonderful change. It is necessary to remove all sugary and carbonated drinks, and fast-food from your diet starting 7 days before your cleanse. Your body will begin to thank you from day one!
Your pre-cleanse checklist
You now know how long you should be preparing for a juice cleanse depending on your eating habits. No matter your current diet, you should begin preparations to get the best juice cleanse possible by doing the following:
- Hydrate your body– Take the pee test, if it is clear than you are hydrated. This will not only begin cleansing your body, it will also steer away false hunger pains during your juice cleanse.
- Avoid non-organic foods– Pesticides add toxins to your body, which is what you are trying to remove.
- Remove animal products– Diary and meat products are more difficult to digest, so they can linger in your body, which can make a cleanse more difficult.
- Eat fresh and all-natural– Pre-made, processed foods contain preservatives and additives that do not offer any nutrients. By eating vegetables and fruits or all-natural products, you will strengthen your immune system and remove unnecessary chemicals from your body.
- Cut caffeine and alcohol– Drinks containing caffeine, like coffee and soda, and alcoholic drinks are highly acidic. Acid disrupts your pH level and has a negative effect on your health. This may be difficult for daily coffee drinkers, but try to limit your coffee breaks or switch to a lower-caffeinated tea. By doing so, your body will become alkalized from the veggies and fruits.
How to do a juice cleanse
You have done a lot of work so far and it is about to pay off. Your next step is to understand how to do a juice cleanse.
Choose your duration
First choose how long your cleanse will last. If this is your first try at detoxing, then a 1 day juice cleanse is a great start. If you have done this before, then try a longer 2 day juice cleanse or a 3 day juice cleanse.
Getting started on your cleanse
Begin your day with some warm lemon water to clear out initial toxins from your liver. This gives you a clean palate before starting on the juice.
Choose your ingredients
You may want to create your own concoctions of juice, or you can start with a pre-made juice kit. If you make your own, then you will need a juicer (not blender) as you want to remove the fiber from your veggies and fruits. Food will pass through your system quickly while absorbing only the nutrients.
Create a schedule
Making your juice ahead of time will keep you on track as you will be drinking a lot of juice. Stock your refrigerator with jars or jugs of juices to be distributed throughout the day. Aim to drink 16 ounces every 2 hours, amounting to about a gallon a day. The important part is that you do not feel hungry or dehydrated.
Increase your detox effects
As your body is ridding itself of toxins, consider enhancing and taking advantage of it effects by doing the following:
- Exfoliate your skin– Open your pores and remove dead skin cells with dry brushing. It also complements your cleanse by increasing circulation and helps move waste through the body.
- Light exercise or steams– Sweating is an additional way to excrete toxins through the skin pores. Remember to monitor your hydration levels and to not over exercise. This should be a relaxing not intense process. Even a calming bath or shower after dry brushing will do the trick.
- Detox the mind– Think of this time as a way to cleanse the body and mind. Your thoughts influence stress levels, which are some of the biggest obstacles to a healthy lifestyle. Meditation, nature walks, or even expressing yourself through art will remove negatives thoughts and guide your renewal process.
Every cleanse is different and can include some bumps along the road. You may come across these difficulties, but monitoring your journey and your body’s reaction can help you overcome them.
- Missing the chew– You might experience cravings masked as hunger. This is a symptom of reflex since we are used to chewing food as part of our eating ritual. Think about if you really are hungry or if your chewing reflex is acting up. If you are hungry and you have had your juice recently, then snacking on organic, vegan, and teeny tiny solid food will not do any harm.
- Caffeine headaches– If you gave up or lessened your caffeine intake, withdrawal may kick in. An herbal tea with small amounts of caffeine can ease these symptoms.
- Bathroom quarrels– If you are on a 1 day juice cleanse then your may experience frequent bathroom visits. This is normal, but you should have relatively solid stools. During a 2 day juice cleanse and a 3 day juice cleanse, your visits to the toilet will decrease as your system clears. If you are constipated, then a mild natural laxative will work.
After your raw juice cleanse
You did it! Bask in how you feel and know that you are on your way to a healthier lifestyle. Now is the time to think about how food has affected your body as you ease back into a solid food diet.
Take your time
Reverse your pre-cleanse diet by beginning to eat solid fruits and veggies. You may want to start off with a hardy smoothie to slowly add fiber to your diet. Continue to avoid meats, dairies, and processed food or strike them from your future all together.
You can also use this opportunity to find any food allergies or triggers that upset your stomach. Add certain foods one by one and determine how they make you feel.
Now is your chance for real change. You know what has made you feel this good, so continue eating organic, vitamin-rich foods. You deserve it!