Do you know how to do a juice cleanse?
Most people start by asking the wrong questions and end up with a crummy cleanse and wasted $$. So let's start with the basics.
What is a juice cleanse?
It's a period of time when you commit to only drinking your fruits and vegetables. The idea is to give your digestive system a break while you flood your body with easily digestible, living nutrients.
You'll still want to drink plenty of water, perhaps even more than usual during a cleanse. Water helps flush away all the "bad stuff" that's in your system, while keeping you well hydrated.
PRO TIP: Drinking water also helps keep you feeling full on your cleanse. In fact, this is a good trick when you're eating meals too, because it helps fill you up so you eat less. The easy rule of thumb is, drink eight (8 oz) cups of water each day.
A cleanse will help you retrain your taste buds, kick your bad eating habits, and motivate you to eat better.
After a cleanse, most people will experience:
Clearer and softer skin, although your skin may initially break out from impurities leaving your body
Much better digestion. By giving your digestive system a break, you're giving your body a chance to deeply expel any toxins lingering around.
Much more energy, the kind that you feel after a really good night's sleep
Many people also report losing up to 3 pounds of weight each day they're cleansing.
Of course, your results depend on how healthy you are now.
Is a juice cleanse right for you?
You can think of a juice cleanse as starting a new chapter in your diet or getting your old diet back on track.
Consider a juice cleanse after binging on processed, greasy, or generally unhealthy foods
You'll want to get your eating routine back on track after traveling.
Consider a juice cleanse if you spent last weekend a little too much like this guy
A juice cleanse is perfect for when you need to look your best
Use a juice cleanse to help pinpoint problematic foods in your diet
WARNING! Please don't cleanse if you're pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a severe medical condition without first consulting your doctor.
Getting ready for your cleanse
Some like jumping into things feet first, but to me, that's like driving with your eyes blindfolded. No thank you. Let's do some prep work.
The better your diet is going into your cleanse, the better your results will be. So the week before you plan to cleanse:
Cut down on your white breads, junk food, sugary and fried food
Reduce or eliminate fast food, caffeine, and alcohol
Cut back on meat focused meals
Start drinking more water. You need at least 8 cups of water a day.
Eat more raw foods, like salads and fruits
Drink a juice to start your day
PRO TIP: Try to drink one to two cups of water with each meal.
What to expect during your cleanse
If you're like me, you'll probably miss chewing on something. But hey, remember you're about to undo all those terrible meals you're still feeling guilty about. If you really get antsy though, nibble on some nuts, carrot sticks, or cucumber slices.
Some days you might feel tired, have a headache, or even experience some dizziness. It's different for everyone, but what you feel is temporary as your body adjusts. Most of the time, drinking more water or juice will resolve these side effects.
If you've cut coffee or whatever your caffeine crutch is, you'll have headaches from the withdrawal. It will go away with time, but really depends on how much you were drinking in a day.
Your skin might break out as all of your impurities start bleeding through your pores. Don't worry, your skin will clear up clearer than ever before.
If you start feeling faint, start vomiting, or having severe diarrhea, stop your cleanse! You've identified something that's wrong with your system, so get it checked out with your doctor.
You will still feel hungry, but more energetic. You'll feel a lot more in rhythm with the process of drinking liquids throughout your day.
If you're feeling sluggish still, that's ok. It just means your body needs an extra day or two to come around.
Don't forget to drink those liquids, especially the water in between the juices.
Many cleansers call this the last day. It's just long enough to get your body through the cleansing process. You'll feel like you can do this for many more days, but glad it's winding down.
You likely woke up this morning ready to go, maybe even before your alarm. When was the last time that happened?
Your nails grew a bunch. Your hair feels softer. Your skin feels smoother.
You are relishing in a job well done.
And before you go celebrating..
Your post-cleanse diet is just as important
Your digestive system has been on break, so you don't want to shock it by shoving all sorts of random food into it.
Ease back into eating with natural foods and liquids. This is super important!
Smoothies. Smoothies are a great way to ease back into eating solid foods. Aim for a smoothie breakfast your first day off your juice cleanse.
Salads. Your body has grown accustomed to fruits and veggies, so that's the kind of solid food you want to reintroduce first. Salads are good for lunch or dinner.
Soups. You can add heartier foods like broths and light soups, but stay away from the creamy stuff.
Rice and Dairy. Add in rice and dairy over the next few days.
Meat. Add meat in last, preferring chicken and fish over red meats.
You're a pro juicer now, so put that experience to work. Add juice to any meal to keep boosting your diet with extra fruit and veggie nutrients.