5 Important Things to Know Before You Start a Juice Cleanse
A juice cleanse is fantastic way to pack your body full of disease-fighting nutrients, give your digestive system a break from processing heavy proteins, fats, and other foods that are taxing on your organs to digestive, clean your colon, and flush out toxins from your body. Many people believe that if they manage to get through a juice cleanse for a few days, losing weight will automatically be an additional benefit. In fact, it may be the most motivating perceived benefit of them all! There are many things to take into consideration when it comes to doing a juice cleanse however. Here are my top 5 tips for success when it comes to detoxifying your body, losing both water weight & body fat, & improving your health:
1. Ease your way into juicing.
Does your current diet contains animal products and/or processed foods? If so, it is important to take steps to eliminate those foods, replacing them with plant based whole foods. As you do this, start to incorporate more and more raw foods, decreasing the amount of cooked foods, so in the days prior to beginning juicing you are eating as close to a vegan raw food diet as possible. Following your juicing period (for newbies, a 3 day cleanse may be best, although a 5 day cleanse is more effective for longer-term benefits), you will want to ease out of it, starting with the raw food diet, then incorporating some plant-based whole cooked foods. If you don’t go back to animal products and processed foods, all the health benefits will continue for a lifetime! It is the perfect time to make this choice, because you have managed to have fought off your addiction to harmful foods, so you can use the opportunity to break old habits and keep from returning to your former state of health!
2. Know what to expect.
Everybody experiences different “side effects” during a juice cleanse, especially during the first few days. Some common ones are headache, fatigue, minor skin blemishes, hunger, & irritability. These are caused by the detoxification process your body is going through. Depending on what your diet was like before, some symptoms could even be described as withdrawal from addictive food/drink products. Being prepared for this is important. During the first few days of the juice cleanse, create your schedule with these potential effects in mind. Don’t plan important work meetings or social events for example.
3. Keep your eye on the prize.
Keep telling yourself… “The results are worth it!” The results often being clear skin, positive mood, improved digestion, feeling clear-headed, losing water weight, losing body fat, improved digestion, increased energy levels, and an overall sense of well-being. (Remember though, following tip #1 is essential for gaining these benefits!)
4. Choose a juice cleanse provider wisely
If juicing is new to you, chances are you will be choosing a cleanse from a company that sells juice cleanse packages (as opposed to making your own). There are a few things you want to look for when making your decision. First, choose a company that makes juice using a cold-press, as it has been found to transfer more of the nutrients from plant to juice. Second, make sure the juices are 100% certified organic. If not, all those fruits and veggies they use (and it takes pounds of them to make a single juice) may contain pesticides and could be genetically modified (some GMO foods are actually technically a pesticide themselves because they are created with the ability to kill insects that try to eat them!) Third, make sure the juices contain a wide variety of vegetable and fruits so you will be getting as many of the different nutrients your body need as possible. There should be plenty of green vegetables in the juices! And last, find a company that is supportive throughout your cleanse, gives you information on the ingredients and why they are combined as they are, have a knowledgable, friendly staff and someone who will be available to give you answers if you have any questions throughout the cleanse.
5. Get support.
If you can find a “cleanse-buddy” (a reliable one) it is probably the most effective way to be successful… someone to share in your experience, to hold each other accountable, bitch and moan with when it gets tough, and someone to celebrate with when you have completed it (and I don’t mean with a candy bar;)). You CAN do it on your own, but you still need to establish a support system. As I mentioned in tip 4, make sure to choose a juice provider that can be a resource to you throughout the process. Otherwise, whether it be a friend you ask to be there for you, or a group you find on a forum or social media site… whatever works best for you, but you need to have them prepped and ready to help!
So there you go! You are ready to get off to a great start on your juice cleanse venture! If you haven’t seen it, I recommend you watch this documentary before you begin!
*Juice cleansing is not recommended for everyone. It is not recommended for pregnant women & people with certain medical conditions. Seek professional advice if you are not sure if juicing is right for you.
Featured video courtesy of online.wsj.com. Photo credit: Janie Osborne