A Beginner’s Guide to Juice Cleansing: How and Why to Do a Juice Cleanse
-by Tera Warner and Kelly Cleason
If you read our first article in this series on juice cleansing, you may have decided you’re ready to sip from the fountain of youth! Perhaps you’ve decided to find out if all these promises about ageless beauty and vibrant health are true! If you’re ready to commit to a juice cleanse for anything from three to ten days, then this article contains very helpful tips, suggestions and insights to make it happen!
A little pep talk before we begin.
The biggest secret to achieving vibrant health is that there is no secret. Everyone agrees that fruits and vegetables are good for you. When you stop making them a condiment and start making them the main course, great things happen. Juice is the easiest thing for the body to digest and assimilate. You’re saving your body the trouble of separating nutrition from the fibre.
It’s not going to be easy. It’s not easy. But most of the best things in life are worth working for! Forging a healthy path through the forest of fast food chains takes guts, self-discipline and a willingness to feel alone sometimes. It’s easier to “agree” with everyone and do like everyone else and feel like you’re a part of the crowd than it is to break out of the mold.
Few people on this planet will ever have the courage, discipline and persistence to do a short juice cleanse, but those who do have a powerful opportunity to change and improve their lives. As you adventure forth on a juice cleanse, treat yourself as the brave, rare health warrior you are!
Why a juice cleanse isn’t just a juice cleanse.
Life is overloaded with distractions. With all the responsibilities to handle and wildly conflicting information coming in from all sides about what to eat and how to live, for many of us, juice cleansing is a chance to STOP a lot of the noise and overwhelm without having to pack up and head to a meditation centre for a week.
For most of us juggling kids, work, a spouse, our own person care and basic to do lists, even getting a few things off our list can make a big difference to how we feel!
We need to find a way to stay in the game while still giving ourselves a new perspective. A short juice cleanse is the perfect way to do that!
A juice cleanse will free up your attention.
For most of the people I know, food takes an enormous part of their time and attention. With the standard three meals to make, grocery shopping to do, and clean up after meals, that’s a LOT of time every day that is devoted to food! If there are any struggles or difficulties with someone’s relationship to food (cravings, bingeing, overeating, etc.) then food can be all-consuming!!
There’s also the fact that eating is a lot of work for the body, too. Depending on your stress levels and food choices, packing high calorie meals down the pipes three times a day with salty sweet snacks on the side…
…well, it’s a lot. And for most of us, we’re already under enough pressure.
Taking a little break to do a juice cleanse can simplify things. There are no complicated meals to make. There’s no’s heavily burdened digestive system taking a lot of your attention. And you get to see and learn a LOT about your relationship with food. You’ll still be getting calories enough that you will have energy, but your body won’t be getting slammed with sandwiches and heavy meals. A pure water fast can be too intense for some people, so juice cleansing as a short term (three to ten days) is my favorite way to help someone restore their relationship with food and improve her relationship to her body.
So before you get started, here’s what you need to know:
How a juice cleanse can help you detoxify the body?
We’re assuming that your juice cleanse will include a large number of green juices. “Green juices” contain a lot of vegetables and some dark, leafy green vegetables, and are very low in fruit. This isn’t a pasteurized orange juice cleanse we’re talking about. 😉 (You’ll get a lot more information in the coming days about what to get, what to expect, etc.)
- Dark, leafy greens are rich in nutrients, such as iron, calcium, magnesium and folate.
- Green juice also contains easy-to-digest amino acids – in essence, the building blocks of protein.
- With age, we lose elasticity. This is compounded when we do not pass toxins properly from our bodies.
- Eating a healthy diet that is rich in antioxidants helps the bowels move more smoothly, thus expelling more toxins.
- Drinking plenty of water also helps to bulk up our cells. When we are dehydrated, the body pulls water from skin cells to facilitate body functions, such as digestion and respiration. Replacing stagnant water from cells is another way to dispel toxins from the body.
- A juice cleanse can be especially beneficial if you are struggling with body aches and pains, digestive issues (such as leaky gut or IBS), low energy levels throughout the day and even diminished concentration. Incorporating green juice into your life following the cleanse will be of additional benefit.
Many participants feel so much better that they incorporate green juice into their daily meal plan after completion of the juice cleanse.
We have seen some remarkable results from participant cleanse, including, but not limited to:
- healthy weight loss
- regulated blood sugar
- decreased dependence on insulin
- decreased dependence on pain killers
- elimination of some medications
- establishing a healthy relationship with food
- improved confidence
- increased mental clarity
- and much, much, much more!
Note: We do not encourage eliminating any medications that you may have been prescribed; rather, we urge you to develop a healthy communication with your primary care physician. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Contrary to popular belief, plant proteins can be effectively combined to sustain sufficient protein.
And whether you choose to include animal products in your diet, or not, a juice cleanse can still be a great tool for giving yourself and your body a break.
Historically,Western culture has associated protein with meat and animal foods; however, we have to start considering plant-based foods as good sources of protein for the sake of sustainability of the planet. In the Western diet, animal foods are the centre of a meal and vegetables are just garnishes.
This is not environmentally sustainable, and it’s not that good for our long term health. To produce just one pound of beef, up to 16 pounds of soy and grain are required, in addition to 5,214 gallons of water!
In terms of the benefits to our personal health, out of all the natural cancer-prevention substances found (including Vitamin C, Vitamin B-17, beta carotene, etc.), none has been found to be animal-derived. However, when most meat is cooked, it produces an array of benzenes and other carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compounds. Cancer is infinitely easier to prevent than cure!
Should I buy organic produce for my juice cleanse?
YES!!!! In a perfect world, we would have access to affordable, local, organic produce. We recommend juicing organically-grown produce any time that you can find it and afford it.
If this is not possible, wash your produce thoroughly and rinse it well to ensure that you are removing as much of the pesticides and pollutants as possible.
Don’t beat yourself up over not having the means to buy organic, if it is not within your budget. Focus on the healthy choices that you are making. Some tricks to finding cost-effective, organic produce include sourcing local farmers markets and co-op grocers.
Benefits of organic, local produce include:
- Organic produce is free from artificial chemicals and fertilizers.
- Buying local and organic keeps money in the local community.
- Supporting your neighbours’ organic farms helps keep organic farmers in business.
- Organic, local produce is fresher produce with less of a carbon footprint.
- Organic, local produce is more nutrient dense.
- Seasonal and heirloom varieties of many favorites, such as tomatoes, have better flavor!
- It is beneficial to have the ability to talk with local farmers about the way the food is grown.
- Buying from local, organic farmers offers the potential of meeting like-minded people.
How much should I drink during my juice cleanse?
Aim to drink at least 4 quarts or 128 ounces of juice per day to ensure adequate nutrients. Depending on the ingredients juiced, you will be consuming 1,000-1,200 calories per day.
Do not forget to ensure adequate intake of water. This may sound odd, as you will be drinking at least 16 cups of juice per day; but drinking at least 2 quarts of filtered water per day increases your body’s ability to push through the body toxins that are released by the cleanse.
When portioning your daily water, a good rule of thumb to consider is to aim for half of your body weight in ounces per day. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds, aim for 60 ounces of water per day, in addition to your juice regimen.
You have the option to consume diluted juice. In order to accelerate the detoxification process, combine your freshly made juice with water. When calculating your fluid intake for the day, take into account juice content and water content separately, in order to ensure that you are drinking enough juice.
Some participants find that sipping juices (as opposed to chugging juice at meals) helps them stay fuller and more energized for longer periods of time.
If you’d like more information on how to complete a gentle juice cleanse, visit our Gentle Juice Cleanse program here. Over the course of ten days you’ll receive articles just like this that guide you step-by-step through the preparations of your juice fast.
You’ll have the option to add structured menu planners, receive additional support and super resources about cravings, emotional eating and SO MUCH MORE! Click here to learn more now.