Juice cleansing have been gaining lots of interest, especially with the amount of juice bars that are popping up everywhere. Social media, documentaries and other videos relating health and weight loss with juicing have allowed juice cleansing to be more well-known and increasingly popular.
So what is the deal about the juice cleanses?
For those who are unsure, when you are on a true juice cleanse you consume nothing except juices (and water of course) for 1, 3, 5, or however many days. As you can imagine this reaps so many benefits. One being, you are getting rid of all the junk, all the processed and refined foods, and ultimately all the unhealthy food choices that we consume. As a result this gives our bodies a break, especially with all the complicated foods that we consume. The benefit of juices is that there is immediate nourishment. The process of having to break down the foods into smaller particles (glucose) in order for us to absorb it, has already been done for us. With that being taken care of, it allows our bodies to focus its energy on other things such as eliminating other toxins that we intake through the environment like pollution and other chemicals, as well as toxins like stress. Some other benefits include: mental clarity, normalized digestion, improved hormone regulation, glowing complexion, better sleep, and improving the immune system.
What is cold pressed juice? How is it different to normal juicing?
The cold-pressed process uses a hydraulic press to extract the juice from the fruits and vegetables. No heat or oxygen is added during the process which allows the juice to retain maximum nutritional value of all the fruits and vegetables going into each juice. Depending on the store/company, on average around 16 ounces or around 500 mL equates to roughly two to three pounds of fruits and vegetables! Additionally because there is no additional oxygen added during the process, cold-pressed juices lasts longer (around 3 days) compared to normal fresh juices which should be consumed asap to prevent loss of nutrients and increased speed of decay.
Who should do a juice cleanse? And for how long?
Whether you create your own cleanse and juice yourself, or purchase one from a store, each cleanse will vary. Additionally, the duration of the cleanses will produce a different result. The longer the cleanse, the more intense because it allow for a longer detoxification period. Everyone can and will benefit from juice cleanse, regardless of the potential negative detoxification symptoms you may experience. At the end of the day cleanses ultimately is to help cleanse and reset your body. Therefore, no matter how light or intense the cleanse is, it will be beneficial. If you are completely new to it, I suggest starting slowly with just one juice a day, and then trying a 1-day juice cleanse to start. Once you are more familiar with drinking juices work your way up to longer durations.
The only people who I do NOT recommend going on a juice cleanse would be women who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding, people under 18, have a medical condition or are on medications like blood thinners, are competing or training for an athletic event, or suffering from a cold, flu, or virus. Please consult your healthcare provider.
What to do before, during and after a cleanse?
BEFORE – At least 2 days before you begin your cleanse, I highly suggest removing, or at least reducing the unhealthy foods. This includes: candy, chips, greasy take out, breads and pastries, alcohol, tobacco, coffee, fatty foods, milk and cheese, meat, and recreational drugs. If you are going to snack and indulge, replace the processed and unhealthy sugary, salty and fatty foods with fresh whole foods such as fresh fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. In addition to removing and reducing the unhealthy foods, just go about your normal day and avoid doing anything crazy or abnormal. Drink lots of water, make sure you rest, and don’t overeat thinking it’s your last day to eat so you must consume as much as you can… no, please do not do that.
DURING – Most cleanses come with 6 juices, I suggest planning out your day and drink a juice every 2-3 hours. For example, drinking a juice at 8am, 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, and 6pm. Each individual will experience different things during their cleanse. It may be emotional, physical, mental and everything else in between. As a result really make sure you take it easy and make sure you get lots of rest and drink water to help with the flushing out of toxins. Depending on how you feel you may want to avoid any strenuous exercise, others may feel completely fine and continue to engage in light exercise. It really is up to you and will vary. However, I suggest that during the duration of your cleanse, avoid having a really stressful, busy or crazy schedule. If you know the upcoming week there are a million meetings at work and lots of deadlines, perhaps choose a different week to cleanse. Drinking lots of fluids will require many trips to the washroom, so perhaps do not plan a long road trip. If it is your first cleanse and you are dying from hunger or really need to eat something, I suggest turning to fresh fruits and veggies to munch on.
AFTER – Slow and steady wins the race. It is important to slowly easy your way back into solid foods. So avoid jumping back into your normal routine. Similarly to what to do before your cleanse, avoid the processed and refined foods. I recommend consuming raw fruits and veggies to start, for example drinking smoothies. I also recommend taking the time to re-evaluate your food habits. The juice cleanse should be a great stepping stone and motivation on how you can improve and incorporate healthier choices into your life.
For more specific juice cleanse questions, there are a ton on the web. If there is a specific cleanse from a store you had in mind, go check out their website. Most will have a FAQ page outlining all the questions that you may have. Every cleanse can vary, some juice companies provide additional products such as a probiotic to take at the end, or give you chia seeds. Other cleanses include detox waters or nut mylks, or just straight up fruit and vegetable juices. It is important to take a little bit of time to do the research and prepare for it. So don’t just think you’ll start one tomorrow.
If you are interested in reading about my juice cleanse experience I have written another post about it HERE.