Hey friendly friends!
I’m currently on day 4 of a 4-day cleanse. Whenever I embark on a juice cleanse I get such mixed reviews and questions from people, so I think it’s an appropriate time for me to write this post. There are many opinions floating around the web about methods of cleansing / fasting / detoxing.
First I’ll go over a few potential benefits of a juice cleanse, and then explain my personal method of cleansing this time around.
*Note: I’m not a doctor and this is not intended to be any sort of medical advice. I am speaking purely from experience and research.
Why do a cleanse?
It gives your body a break from digesting solid foods. We use a lot of energy to digest food, and we ingest countless toxins daily on the SAD (Standard American Diet). These toxins come from things like sugar, animal products and processed foods. The more toxins you have in your body, the more you suppress your immune system – which makes you more prone to sickness/disease. When you cleanse, you’re taking all that energy usually used for digestion and using it for detoxification, healing and cleansing the temple that is your body. You give your body a chance to rest, you re-charge your system and you actually speed up your metabolism. While calorie reduction does initially slow your metabolism, your body is much more efficient after the cleanse is over – leading to higher energy levels and increased metabolic performance.
Yes, juice cleansing can aid in weight loss. Some may say “but it’s only water weight!” That’s not a bad thing. Losing water weight is actually the first step in long-term weight loss. The reason we even have water weight is because of toxins in our body that are causing inflammation and water retention. Excess weight stems from waste material and toxins in the body, so the first step is to eliminate some of those toxins! Find out more about why it’s healthy and beneficial to lose water weight here.
This time around, I didn’t follow a specific regimen such as the Master Cleanse or Blueprint (although I hear great things about both). I made mine up through trial and error, figuring what works for me personally. I encourage you to do the same if you decide to do a cleanse. Start easy. Try a couple of different things, and do what feels best for you. Here’s what I consumed for this cleanse:
Fruit juice (100% fruit juice, no added ingredients)
Vegetable juice made from greens, carrots, etc.
Green Superfood powder (usually mixed in with the fruit juice)
Explanation on a few things-
Why green tea? Some people recommend cutting caffeine out completely during a cleanse, which is definitely most beneficial for complete system detox – but there are some other major detox symptoms that come along with giving up caffeine altogether if you’re an avid coffee drinker (read: migraines). This week, being super busy at work, I knew juice fasting would be tough enough without the caffeine withdrawals, so I chose to incorporate a few cups of green tea each day.
Why 100% fruit and vegetable juice? While detoxing, you’re giving your body a high amount of vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants through drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices.
Kombucha? Kombucha is one of the loves of my life. It’s raw, great for digestion, totally detoxifying, and boasts a myriad of health benefits. Read more about it here.
Green Superfood Powder? I like to add some superfood powder to my juices to make sure I’m getting tons of nutrients and energy while cleansing. My favorite is Boku but this time I had a big container of Green Vibrance, so I used that. I like to add it to fresh squeezed orange juice.
So that’s my version of a juice cleanse – as much as you want, for a few days. I try to do at least 3 days, because it’s usually those first days that most of the detoxifying happens. There’s loads of information online about juicing, so do some research and figure out what works for you (or doesn’t)!
Important note about breaking your cleanse: incorporate raw fruits and veggies slowly when you’re ready to get off the cleanse. You don’t want to put too much pressure on your digestive system after being so kind to it. Today I started the initial descent from the cleanse by having some watermelon, and I may have some fruits or veggies tonight. Tomorrow I’ll probably be ready for some more substantial vegan or vegetarian food. If you eat meat, wait a couple of days after the cleanse to incorporate that back in.
And check out Juice Feasting – this site has some great info.
And have fun. It’s an amazing test of willpower. :)